Category Archives: Healthy Living

  1. Can Exercise Ward Off Cold and Flu Symptoms?

    As cold and flu season approaches, so does the season of illness prevention.

    From getting flu shots to adding a little extra Vitamin C to our diets, prevention often becomes a focus for those concerned with getting sick, missing work and/or school, and optimizing the joy of their upcoming Holiday Seasons.

    It’s based on this mindset that medical professionals such as physical therapists are most likely to get some version of the question: Can exercise boost my immune system?

    The answer, however, is broader than the question itself.

    Boosting the Immune System

    On a more general level, healthy living is the true key to building and maintaining a strong immune system. Habits like eating right, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress account for some long-lasting, immune-boosting benefits.

    But, regular exercise definitely plays an important role, as well.

    Some studies have shown, for instance, that exercise on its own can play a role in reducing the length and intensity of colds and flu. Such research often points to many of the benefits inherent in regular fitness routines as factors that also help ward off illness:

    • Weight management
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Reduction in stress
    • Improved circulation

    Other studies have concluded that regular, mild-intensity exercise can help reduce illness while prolonged, high-intensity exercise can have the opposite effect by making one more susceptible to catching a bug.

    Based on this, if you feel you may be catching something – a cold, a flu or whatever may be going around – the best initial advice is to pull back on the length and intensity of their exercise routine just to be on the safe side.

    Keep getting your exercise, but also take greater care to make sure you’re staying hydrated, eating well and giving your body time to recover.

    If you do get sick?

    According to advice from the Mayo Clinic, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t continue to exercise. They offer the following two rules of thumb:

    The Neck Rule

    If you catch a cold and find that all the symptoms are concentrated above the neck (i.e., nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and/or a minor sore throat), it’s typically OK to exercise. Simply reduce your intensity. Instead of going for a jog, for instance, opt to go for a walk.

    In contrast, if you find that you’re experiencing symptoms below the neck – things like a congested chest, a hacking cough or an upset stomach – it’s best to not exercise at all.

    The Fever Rule

    Also, if you have a fever or are experience muscle aches and fatigue throughout your body, take a break from exercising. Instead, get some rest, stay hydrated and, if things don’t improve over a couple of days, visit your doctor.

    The bottom line: it’s always your best bet to listen to your body, and don’t overdo it. Pushing your body too hard when it’s fighting an illness could potentially do you more harm than good.

  2. I Stand Corrected! 5 Common Fitness Myths

    When only one in three adults get the recommended amount of physical activity their bodies need each week (according to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition), it’s difficult for we as physical therapists to find fault when an individual is making an effort to exercise … even if the effort’s slightly misguided.

    But since October is National Physical Therapy Month, and physical therapists are the medical community’s preeminent experts in movement, fitness, and musculoskeletal function and injury, we view this month as an opportune time to correct what we see as a few common misconceptions about exercise.

    Good Intentions

    Some of the more common personal goals people make revolve around health, fitness and weight loss, and we as physical therapists are dedicated to supporting these goals through a number of individualized services.

    In doing so, though, it’s important to us that people work toward these objectives in a safe and healthful manner – one which most efficiently moves them toward their goals.

    In this spirit, here are five exercise myths we finds to be common among many fitness-minded people:

    1) Stretching Before Exercise Prevents Injuries

    Perhaps surprisingly, research suggests there’s no connection between pre-workout stretching and injury prevention. In addition, stretching before an activity or competition can actually weaken performance.

    So instead, warm up dynamically before a workout by walking, jogging, doing lunges and leg/arm swings, etc.

    Stretching is still incredibly important, but do your stretches independent of your workouts.

    2) The More, the Better

    For the more goal-driven crowd, a pedal-to-the-metal approach to fitness can seem the quickest and most efficient way to better health.

    However, it’s critical workout intensity and length remain in line with one’s current fitness levels and limits.

    It’s also important to schedule recovery, or off-days, into your routine. Failing to do so can increase your injury risk as well as the risk of burnout.

    3) Cross Training is for Athletes Only

    Cross training is simply working activities into your regimen that differ from your preferred or usual activities. The goal is to improve your overall fitness level by challenging your cardio, strength and balance in different ways.

    Such “training diversification” will help maximize your workout potential while helping to prevent overuse injuries and burnout, so everyone should do it.

    4) Aerobic is More Important Than Strength Training

    Whether it’s because some are concerned about too much “bulking up” or they feel spending their limited time on ellipticals and stationary bikes will maximize their efforts, cardio is often a focus for those seeking to improve health.

    It shouldn’t be the only focus, however.

    Muscular fitness is just as important as cardio for such issues as weight management, bone health, injury prevention, and so on.

    5) If Sore or Injured, Rest is Always Best

    Wrong again.

    While rest has a long history as a go-to response to soreness, pain and injury, research now suggests movement and “active recovery” can actually speed up the healing process, specifically when guided by a physical therapist.

    If pain or injury is keeping you from getting a full dose of exercise and physical activity each week, visit a physical therapist.

    Highly educated and licensed health care professionals, physical therapists like those at our clinic are experts at helping people reduce pain, improve/restore mobility, and ultimately lead more healthful, active lives.

  3. 6 Common Back Pain Myths, Debunked

    Despite being one of the top causes of disability in the U.S., affecting around eight in 10 people in their lifetimes, back pain is an ailment often misunderstood by those affected.

    Such misconceptions can cause those suffering from back pain to seek solutions, potential treatment paths, and even lifestyle alterations that aren’t necessarily in their best interests.

    Back pain can be as frustrating as it is debilitating, especially if past preventative measures and treatments haven’t been helpful. And, this can lead a person down paths that don’t result in the best and most necessary evidence-based treatments.

    These paths can sometimes lead to treatments that are more expensive or personally invasive – and perhaps even unnecessary – such as MRIs and surgery.

    MRIs, shots, surgery, medication, etc., should mostly be considered last resort-type solutions. The fact is, most back pain issues will go away on their own in a few days. And even when they don’t, most remaining cases can be successfully resolved through safer, more affordable and more effective treatment approaches.

    To help health care consumers make better decisions when considering solutions to their back-pain issues, we’d like to shed some light on the following common back pain myths:

    1. Bed Rest Helps with Relief & Healing: Once a common treatment for back pain, research strongly suggests long-term rest can slow recovery and even make your back pain worse. Instead, treatment involving movement and exercise (i.e., stretches, walking, swimming, etc.) often works better to hasten healing and provide relief.
    2. The Problem’s in My Spine: Back pain can be caused by a wide array of issues throughout the body as well as one’s environment. It can be a response to the way you move when you exercise, how you sit at work, the shoes you wear, the mattress on which you sleep, or simply your body compensating for movement limitations and weaknesses. Back pain doesn’t necessarily mean you have a “bad back,” or are predisposed to back pain.
    3. I Just Need an ‘Adjustment’: Those accustomed to visiting a chiropractor for back pain issues often claim to find relief from having their spine adjusted, or “cracked.” While this process can release endorphins that offer some temporary relief, only about 10 percent of all back pain cases can actually benefit from spine mobilization. Exercise is often more effective, as is determining and treating the pain’s source. (See item No. 2.)
    4. Medication’s the Answer: A popular quick fix, medication should never be viewed as a long-term solution to chronic back pain issues. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help get you through in the short term, but many prescription pain meds can be dangerous, addictive, and even make the pain worse in some instances.
    5. I’ll Probably Need Surgery: Of people experiencing low-back pain, only about 4 to 8 percent of their conditions can and should be successfully treated with surgery, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Even 90-plus percent of herniated discs often get better on their own through a combination of rest and physical therapy.
    6. I Need a Referral to See a Physical Therapist: Multiple studies have concluded that physical therapy is one of the safest and most effective ways to both treat and prevent back pain. And in nearly every state, patients can access physical therapy services without first getting a physician’s prescription.
  4. Tips for Reducing, Managing Plantar Fasciitis Pain

    Studies show about three-quarters of all Americans will experience foot pain at some point in their lives. Of them, more than 2 million people who seek treatment each year will learn they suffer from an overuse condition called plantar fasciitis.

    Fortunately, most cases of plantar fasciitis are both manageable and treatable.

    Plantar fasciitis will typically present itself as sharp pain in the heel or in the arch of the foot, most often when you’re taking the first steps of the day. The pain is the result of your plantar fascia – the thick band of tissue connecting your heel to the ball of your foot – becoming inflamed due to overuse.

    The inflammation that causes plantar fasciitis can come from a sudden increase in activity levels (i.e., walking or running much longer distances) or from sports-related activities that require a lot of running and jumping. Other causes may include a lot of standing, walking or running on hard surfaces, not wearing shoes that properly support your foot type, or being overweight.

    It’s estimated plantar fasciitis affects about 10 percent of Americans at some point in their lives, with most being diagnosed after the age of 40.

    Plantar fasciitis pain may come and go for some without treatment, but we never recommend ignoring pain as this is your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong. Fortunately, there are some things you can do at home to help relieve the discomfort and hopefully keep the condition from getting worse.

    Tips for the at-home management of plantar fasciitis include:

    Rest: As with any overuse injury, rest is a key component of recovery. Decrease your distances when walking or running, and try to avoid hard surfaces.

    Stretching: Stretch the soles of your feet by gently pulling your big toe back toward your ankle and holding for 10 seconds at a time. Also, wrap a towel around the ball of your foot and, from a seated position with your heel to the floor, slowly pull your toes toward you, stretching the arch of your foot. As tight calves may also make you more susceptible to plantar fasciitis, regular calf stretches are a must.

    Massage: A tennis ball can do wonders as a massaging tool. Roll a tennis ball under the sole of your foot, applying weight as comfort allows. Rolling your foot over a frozen plastic water bottle can also work, with the added benefit of helping decrease pain and inflammation.

    Foot Support: When standing for long periods of time, stand on a thick, padded mat. And don’t take your shoes for granted. Make sure they offer good arch support and that you replace them immediately as the shock absorption begins to wear down.

    If pain persists, however, a more individualized treatment plan from a physical therapist is likely needed. A physical therapist can pinpoint the most likely triggers of your plantar fasciitis pain, then customize a treatment regimen that may include flexibility and strength exercises, footwear recommendations and/or custom shoe inserts, and the possible use of taping or splints to help maintain optimal ankle and toe positions.

  5. Tips for Keeping the Weekend Warrior Healthy, Injury Free

    A “weekend warrior” is someone who, due to the hectic nature of a typical workweek, opts to cram most of her or his exercise into weekend workouts, activities, games and/or competitions.

    And while most physical therapists would never fault anyone for getting exercise, most would also agree that weekend warriors should be particularly cautious as the sporadic nature of their workout schedule puts them at a greater risk of getting injured.

    Days of downtime followed by sudden bursts of activity over a day or two isn’t ideal, after all. By putting greater stress on the body over a shorter period of time, weekend warriors should be aware that they’re putting themselves at greater risk of acute injuries, such as strains, sprains or worse.

    That’s because inactivity throughout the week can lead to a general deconditioning of the body that may include muscle tightness and imbalances, along with reduced endurance and cardiovascular fitness. A more consistent workout schedule can combat such deconditioning.

    But if one truly does struggle to find time to achieve their expert-recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week without cramming them into just a couple of days, we offer to following tips for avoiding injury.

    Space It Out – Rather than packing your weekly exercise minutes into two back-to-back days at the end of the week, consider spacing these days out. This can help you avoid some of the deconditioning effects mentioned above.

    Warm Up, Cool Down – When the weekend arrives and it comes time to take the field, hit the trails or tee off for 18, always warm up first. Take 5 to 10 minutes for some light resistance and cardio exercises to get the blood flowing. And after you’re done, cool down with some stretching. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout.

    Temper Your Intensity – When you’re packing your workouts into just a couple days a week, don’t overdo it. As you’re not exercising as consistently, stay on the safe side by pulling back slightly on your intensity.

    Mix It Up – Try not to fill your weekends with the same activities. Mix it up, perhaps focusing on cardio one weekend and strength another – or a variation thereof. This helps ensure your entire body remains balanced, reducing your chances of injury.

    Stay Active During the Week – Even if you don’t have time to hit the gym during the week, don’t use that as an excuse to be completely sedentary. Capitalize on brief moments during the week to move around, stretch, and maybe even do some exercising. Take the stairs, stretch during your breaks, stand at your desk, walk during meetings or after work, and maybe even fit 10 minutes of at-home resistance training into your evenings.

    Listen to Your Body – Always know your limits. And, if you feel aches and pains or suspect possible injury, stop exercising immediately and see a medical professional, such as a physical therapist. Don’t try to power through discomfort just so you can get through the weekend.

  6. Good Night’s Sleep Linked to Optimal Physical & Mental Health

    At a time when studies indicate people are getting increasingly less sleep, one thing remains clear: we need to take sleep much more seriously as it is critical to both health and healing.

    Those who don’t get enough sleep are prone to lots of health-related issues that can interfere with quality of life and even life expectancy. This can also interfere with healing, especially when regular exercise, rehab and visits to the physical therapist are necessary.

    Multiple studies show that people who struggle to get enough sleep at night are more susceptible to issues and conditions such as weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, and even anxiety and depression.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average adult requires between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. School-aged children 6 to 12 years old need 9 to 12 hours per night, while teens require 8 to 10 hours.

    However, when people wake up tired, then spend the rest of the day longing for a chance to take a nap, it goes without saying that they’re not getting enough sleep. Over time, one will likely find this lack of sleep begins to affect other areas of life, whether it’s mood or a lack of motivation and drive to get things done in their day-to-day activities.

    It can become a spiral if the lack of sleep is not remedied.

    Having trouble getting enough sleep at night? Consider the following tips:

    • Keep a Schedule: Maintain a regular bed and wake-up schedule, even on the weekends.
    • Be Relaxed: Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath, reading a good book or listening to music.
    • Consider the Environment: Create a sleep-conducive environment – on a comfortable mattress – that’s quiet, dark, comfortable and cool.
    • Careful What You Consume: Have your last meal or snack 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, and avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine and alcohol shortly before you go to bed.
    • Cut Off Screen Time: Turn off all lit screens – smartphone, computer, TV, etc. – at least 30 minutes before lying down.
    • Exercise Regularly: It’s no coincidence that people who exercise regularly or who spend their days more physically active often report better sleep than those who are more sedentary.

    Physical therapists like to use the phrase, “movement is medicine,” and exercising for better sleep is one of many examples where this often holds true. Just be sure to complete your exercise regimen a few hours before bedtime.

Security / Fountain

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Services

  • Astym
  • Back Pain Rehabilitation
  • Balance Therapy
  • Chronic Pain Physical Therapy
  • Dry Needling – Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Fibromyalgia Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Foot Dysfunction Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Gait Training & Re-training
  • Headache Therapy
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Manual Physical Therapy

  • MS Physical Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Re-education
  • Parkinson’s Specific Therapy
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy: children 6 yrs. & up
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization / Myofascial Release
  • Spinal Mobilization
  • Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Surgical Rehabilitation / Pre & Post-Operative Care
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Work Conditioning / Industrial Rehabilitation
  • Workers Compensation Therapy

Greg Wilhelms PT, CERT.DN

Greg Wilhelms, PT, a longstanding part of the Colorado Springs and Fountain medical community, has been practicing physical therapy for nearly forty years.  Greg holds his Physical Therapy (Degree) Certificate, earned at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.  Additionally, he has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, received from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE.  Greg’s tenure as a physical therapist has afforded him many opportunities to work in outpatient rehabilitation centers and traditional orthopedic facilities, in acute hospital settings and skilled nursing facilities, and in individual patient homes.  Throughout his career, Greg has continued to fine tune his skills even further by taking over seventy continuing education courses. Greg approaches his physical therapy practice in much the same way he does all things in life, with a relaxed style.  Knowledgeable and highly trained, Greg puts patients at ease as he listens to their concerns, evaluates their condition or injury, and employs the most suitable techniques to remedy the pain and problems. When not working, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, kids and grandkids, watching sports, and gardening.

Aubrey Williams, PT, DPT

Aubrey Williams has been practicing physical therapy in outpatient orthopedics since graduating from the University of Florida in 2011 with a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy. Additionally, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the University of Florida.
Aubrey employs a wide range of manual techniques when treating both non-operative and operative orthopedic conditions. These conditions can range from a distal-humerus fracture in a pediatric patient to age-related changes in the geriatric population. Aubrey enjoys creating programs pursuant to patient goals while educating patients and empowering them in the process to maximize mobility and function.
New to Colorado Springs, Aubrey enjoys time with her husband and their two daughters playing at the park, exploring the zoo and hiking around the area. During the fall season they enjoy cheering on the Florida Gators while watching college football.

Karen Meade, PT, DPT, CSCS

Karen Meade, PT, DPT, CSCS, brings a passion for fitness, athletics and sports medicine to the Security/ Fountain Action Potential Physical Therapy team.  Karen earned her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.  In addition, she has a Master’s degree in Biomedical Science as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine both from Colorado State University.  She also holds the CSCS, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  Karen enjoys treating a variety of patients and especially enjoys working with athletes and individuals recovering from surgeries. An avid CrossFit enthusiast and instructor, Karen is certified “CrossFit Level 1” and holds her “Clinical Management of the Fitness Athlete” certification. She is Rock Tape, Cupping, and Rock Blades (IASTM) certified as well. Whatever the condition or ailment she treats, Karen puts to good use her extensive continuing education and breadth of specialty certifications.  In her free time, you can find her hiking, doing CrossFit, working out at the gym or traveling with her husband, Isaac.

Fillmore

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Services

  • Astym
  • Back Pain Rehabilitation
  • Balance Therapy
  • Chronic Pain Physical Therapy
  • Dry Needling – Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Fibromyalgia Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Foot Dysfunction Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Gait Training & Re-training
  • Headache Therapy
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Manual Physical Therapy

  • MS Physical Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Re-education
  • Parkinson’s Specific Therapy
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy: children 6 yrs. & up
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization / Myofascial Release
  • Spinal Mobilization
  • Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Surgical Rehabilitation / Pre & Post-Operative Care
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Work Conditioning / Industrial Rehabilitation
  • Workers Compensation Therapy

Andrew Fox PT, DPT, COMT, CERT.DN

Andrew Fox, PT, DPT, COMT, CERT.DN, earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2007 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from UNLV as well. He completed the ‘Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist’ (COMT) post-graduate coursework, training, and testing through the Institute of Manipulative Physiotherapy and Clinical Training in 2015. Andrew especially enjoys treating elderly patients, individuals with total joint replacements, and patients with neurological disorders. When not working or studying, Andrew plays golf and enjoys the outdoors. More than anything, he treasures time with his wife and three small children.

Ashley Fuller PT, DPT

Ashley Fuller, PT, DPT, earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of South Florida School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, FL. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Ashley plans to pursue a post-doctoral certification in orthopedic manual therapy through the North American Institute. A dynamic and enthusiastic therapist, Ashley treats a variety of chronic and acute injuries and conditions and especially enjoys treating pediatric patients, from infants to teenagers. Ashley appreciates all outdoor activities including running and hiking and she also enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with family.

Downtown

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Services

  • Astym
  • Back Pain Rehabilitation
  • Balance Therapy
  • Chronic Pain Physical Therapy
  • Dry Needling – Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Fibromyalgia Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Foot Dysfunction Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Functional Capacity Evaluation
  • Gait Training & Re-training
  • Hand Therapy
  • Headache Therapy
  • Job Site Evaluation
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Lift Testing / Task & Ability Evaluation
  • Manual Physical Therapy

  • Neuromuscular Re-education
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Parkinson’s Specific Therapy
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy: children 6 yrs. & up
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization / Myofascial Release
  • Spinal Mobilization
  • Splint Custom Fabrication
  • Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Surgical Rehabilitation / Pre & Post-Operative Care
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Work Conditioning / Industrial Rehabilitation
  • Workers Compensation Therapy

Rich Monaco PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, OCS, CERT.DN, DIPMT

Richard Monaco, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, OCS, CERT.DN, DIPMT, obtained his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010 from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY. Rich received his Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, he is certified in Trigger Point Dry Needling, and he completed the Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist post-graduate coursework, training, and testing through the Institute of Manipulative Physiotherapy and Clinical Training. Rich most recently completed his National Fellowship Certification. Rich operates from the perspective that physical therapy consists of equal parts manual therapy, for joint and soft tissue mobilization, and appropriate exercises, for maintenance and support. When not working or studying, Rich spends his time with his family and in the outdoors. He enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, rock and ice climbing, and hiking and backpacking.

Don Bost ATC

Donald Bost, ATC, is a certified athletic trainer and Director of Action Potential’s Industrial Evaluation and Rehabilitation program. Don earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Additionally, he studied Exercise Physiology at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Don is a member of the National Athletic Training Association and he is certified in the Blankenship Functional Capacity Evaluation System. Don’s breadth of experience in sports performance and worksite safety makes him an invaluable member of the Action Potential team. Prior to joining Action Potential, while with the “At A Glance Corporation,” in Sydney, NY, he was not only integral in helping the company secure a grant to create its Ergonomics Program, but he also then performed the employee ergonomic assessments and conducted worksite safety evaluations. At present, Don not only does ergonomic assessments, worksite evaluations, Functional Capacity Evaluations, and pre-placement screenings, but he also provides outstanding patient care, helping individuals to improve strength and conditioning. Don directs several sports performance programs locally and uses his expertise to help injured athletes return to action more quickly. In his free time, Don enjoys spending time with his wife and their five children.

Sandra Bost OTR, CHT

Sandra Bost, OTR, CHT is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist who has been an integral part of the Action Potential team since 1999. Sandy received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin Madison in Madison, WI in 1987. In 1994, after successfully completing thousands of hours working specifically with the hands, developing her expertise and honing her specialized skills, she earned the Certified Hand Therapist title. For over twenty years, Sandy has enjoyed treating patients with a variety of conditions affecting the hands and the entire upper quadrant of the body. Sandy has a comfortable and conversational approach, putting patients at ease as she listens to their concerns and employs the most suitable techniques to remedy the problem. As necessary, she creates customized splints to assist in the healing and recovery process. When not working, gardening, participating in and watching sports, and having fun with her family in every way possible top her list of favorite activities.

Suyasha Pai PT, Cert.DN

Suyasha Pai PT, Cert. DN has been a physical therapist for over 13 years. She completed her physical therapy education and training at the Sancheti Institute College of Physical Therapy, an acclaimed school in Pune, India. Her training includes all aspects of orthopedic physical therapy and rehabilitation, shoulder and hand specific rehabilitation, myofascial release and differential diagnosis techniques and skills. Additionally, she is certified in Trigger Point Dry Needling and trained in specialized Vestibular Rehabilitation concepts and practices. Suyasha truly loves working with senior patients and also has a special interest in treating patients with headaches, including migraines, those with TMJ problems and individuals with disorders of the foot and ankle. Throughout her career, Suyasha has been afforded the opportunity to work in diverse settings with a variety of patients. While in India, she worked in a facility specializing in knee rehabilitation, including the prevention of knee surgery and joint replacement. Since moving to the United States in 2007, Suyasha has worked in outpatient rehabilitation centers and traditional orthopedic facilities, in individual patient homes and in the clinical office setting. No matter the setting, she believes that “doing good to others is not just a duty, it is a joy!”  She loves her job and works to bring a smile to every patient she sees. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her friends, travel the world with her family and enjoy nature. Her hobbies include painting, dancing, singing and listening to music.

Briargate

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Services

  • Astym
  • Back Pain Rehabilitation
  • Balance Therapy
  • Chronic Pain Physical Therapy
  • Dry Needling – Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Fibromyalgia Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Foot Dysfunction Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Gait Training & Re-training
  • Hand Therapy
  • Headache Therapy
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Manual Physical Therapy

  • Multiple Sclerosis Physical Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Re-education
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Parkinson’s Specific Therapy
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy: children 6 yrs. & up
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization / Myofascial Release
  • Spinal Mobilization
  • Splint Custom Fabrication
  • Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Surgical Rehabilitation / Pre & Post-Operative Care
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Work Conditioning / Industrial Rehabilitation
  • Workers Compensation Therapy

Melodie Colyar OTR, CHT

A Certified Hand Therapist for over twenty years, Melodie Colyar OTR, CHT, specializes in the treatment of all aspects of injuries to the upper quadrant. Melodie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Committed to constant professional growth, she has observed hours of hand and upper extremity surgery and has taken countless continuing education courses in order to stay current on surgical procedures and evolving evidence-based practices. She works closely with occupational medicine doctors, family practice physicians and hand surgeons and believes in a team-based approach to care. Melodie asserts that occupational therapy combines the art of rehabilitation with the science of healing and she takes pride in her ability to provide both, realizing the privilege of being a part of the healing process. Outside of work Melodie’s priority is caring for her children and extended family. She is also an avid runner.

Mark Leenheer PT, DPT, CMPT

Mark Leenheer graduated from Saint Louis University in 2015 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Following graduation, Mark completed a post-doctoral residency program with a focus in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. A Certified Manual Physical Therapist through the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy, Mark is currently pursuing his Fellowship in manual physical therapy.  He is a certified practitioner of the Graston Technique, an instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization technique useful for treating myofascial restrictions and soft tissue adhesions, mobilizing scars, and promoting healing. Mark is a Cleveland, OH native and a passionate Cleveland sports fanatic. Additionally, he is a cyclist, skier, and trail runner.

Phil Plante PT, DSc, MTC, CMPT, COMT, FAAOMPT

Phil Plante founded Action Potential Physical Therapy in 1997 with the goal of providing world class physical therapy in a local setting. His passion for treating patients in the Colorado Springs community continues to this day. In addition to practicing physical therapy full time, Phil is a Fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Therapists, providing advanced fellowship training to therapists from all over the nation. Phil holds his Doctor of Science in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI. Additionally, Phil has the elite title of Certified Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapist (Level 4) through the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapists. He has a Master of Arts degree in Sports Science from the University of Denver in Denver, CO as well as a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Rockhurst College in Kansas City, MO. Phil earned his undergraduate degree in Community Health Education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, playing hockey, and fly fishing and relishes spending time with his wife, Eva, and their two daughters.

Austin Bluffs

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Services

  • Astym
  • Back Pain Rehabilitation
  • Balance Therapy
  • Chronic Pain Physical Therapy
  • Dry Needling – Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Fibromyalgia Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Foot Dysfunction Rehabilitation & Therapy
  • Gait Training & Re-training
  • Headache Therapy
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Manual Physical Therapy
  • MS Physical Therapy

  • Neuromuscular Re-education
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy: age 6 years+
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization / Myofascial Release
  • Spinal Mobilization
  • Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Surgical Rehabilitation / Pre & Post-Operative Care
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Work Conditioning / Industrial Rehabilitation
  • Workers Compensation Therapy

Rick Lambert PT, DPT, CERT.DN

Rick Lambert, PT, DPT, CERT.DN, has been practicing physical therapy for 15 years, emphasizing manual therapy, mobilization, manipulation and myofascial release, and exploring the neurophysiology of pain. Rick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997. He earned his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy in 2001, and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2005. Rick’s clinical approach consists of individualized treatment plans with an emphasis on hands-on physical therapy and a good dose of humor. Rick, his wife and their four children are thrilled to live in Colorado Springs and enjoy all the community has to offer. In his free time, he hikes, runs, swims, and travels.

Audrey Bauer PT, DPT

Audrey Bauer PT, DPT, is from Coppell, Texas and attended Abilene Christian University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Nutrition. She then attended Texas Woman’s University in Dallas where she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She moved to Colorado Springs for the challenging work environment and because of her love of hiking, running, skiing, and enjoying all the outdoor adventures Colorado has to offer. With an interest in chronic pain and pain science as they relate to the orthopedic world of physical therapy, Audrey plans to continue a course of lifelong learning with an emphasis on chronic pain and manual therapy treatments that will most benefit her patients in the clinic.