Blog – Page 2 – Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy
Monday October 14, 2019

Functional Medicine: What is it and Why is it So Important at Kinetic Edge?

by Dr. Troy Vander Molen, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Though there are many types of musculoskeletal problems, people seek health care for one of only three types of complaints:

  • “I hurt…”,
  • “I can’t do…”, and
  • “I’m afraid to…”Functional Medicine

These three realities – pain, function, and fear – are the only reasons that Kinetic Edge exists. In fact, these complaints are the only reasons the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, and any field that helps injured people exist.

While I wish it was not true, there are people who receive care for their musculoskeletal injuries that do not achieve the results they desire. Despite their rehab efforts, they don’t experience improvements in comfort, performance, or confidence. There are a variety of reasons why that is the case, but at least some of the poor rehabilitation outcomes are due to the paradigms utilized by traditional rehab professionals.

The truth is that traditional rehabilitation has not always been relevant and authentic, and thus it has not addressed quality of life issues and what a person truly needs for enhanced comfort and performance to better work, play, and rest.  But, Kinetic Edge is not a traditional rehab group, and the Functional Medicine paradigm endorsed by Kinetic Edge is different than what you experience at most physical therapy clinics.

The concept of function is easy to understand.  Function refers to all of the things the body needs and wants to do to interact successfully with the environment within which we live.  The concepts of Functional Medicine, however, are unique.  Functional Medicine is a holistic and dynamic approach to treating functional impairments of the body that originate from nerves, muscles, and bones due to disease or injury.

The word holistic conjures up many images, some of which are questionable at best.  So, what do we mean when we say that our approach, Functional Medicine, is holistic? According to Meriam-Webster’s Dictionary, holistic is “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.”

That is exactly the focus of Functional Medicine!  It is a three-dimensional approach engaging the mind, body, and spirit.  But its focus and methods are three-dimensional in many other ways in that Functional Medicine incorporates:

  • Three planes of motion – sagittal, frontal, and transverse;
  • Three bodily systems – neuro-musculo-skeletal AND cardio-vascular-respiratory;
  • Three experiences – pain, performance, and pleasure; and
  • Three models of care – prevention, rehabilitation, and enhancement

Functional Medicine doesn’t stay on the treatment table. It moves from the horizontal to the vertical. It requires a person to get off the table and onto his or her feet. Functional Medicine recognizes that the body accomplishes meaningful functional activities for work, play, and rest through the production and absorption of energy that helps us fight against gravity.

These weightbearing activities occur in definable patterns called Chain ReactionsTM. A successful chain reaction means that each part in the chain of movement contributes a unique role that helps us move efficiently in our environments. But, when Chain ReactionsTM are impaired or compromised, movement is less efficient and can result in injuries that produce signs and symptoms associated with pain, loss of function, and biomechanical compensation.

Neuro-musculo-skeletal complaints, those arising from the neurological, muscular and/or skeletal systems, are second only to upper respiratory complaints as the cause for people seeking physician care.  Physicians are well-trained to manage medical conditions but are ill-prepared to evaluate and treat dynamic biomechanical conditions that manifest themselves in Chain ReactionsTM.  That is the domain of competent physical therapists, and those trained in Functional Medicine are best prepared to develop relevant and authentic treatment plans for to rehabilitate these conditions.

Unfortunately, many physical therapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors are trained in biomechanical principles rather than functional application.  Functional Medicine is a stark contrast to traditional rehabilitation principles (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Traditional Rehabilitation vs. Functional Medicine

Traditional Rehabilitation Functional Medicine
Complaints and symptoms Causes and compensations
Problem moderating Problem solving
Challenges what a person cannot do Leverages what a person can do
A static, unloaded client A dynamic, loaded client
Isolated motion Three planes of movement
Non-functional activity Functional activity
Focus on treatment process Focus on treatment outcomes
Consciously driven by mindful intent Subconsciously driven by sensory stimulation
Dependency Empowering and encouraging
Contrived Spontaneous
Simulated Authentic

The Functional Medicine approach offers functional solutions and ensures success by providing knowledge, tools, and controls to live in power, not in pain.  Functional Medicine offers a unique, direct, and meaningful solution for all of the “I hurt…”, “I can’t do…”, and “I’m afraid to…” complaints.

To see how this approach works in real life, consider seeking out the services of a health care professional that understands function, like those at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy.  If you or someone you know experiences chronic pain, loss of function, and/or biomechanical compensations, Functional Medicine may provide the solutions you have been seeking.

October is National Physical Therapy month, and I welcome you to take us up on our offer of a free injury screen. To celebrate, we are reserving Thursday, October 24, 2019, as a day for free injury screens. Call now at 866-588-0230 to claim one of only 33 screens available at each of our seven clinic locations, and find out how Functional Medicine can change your life.

Monday October 14, 2019


At Kinetic Edge, we’re celebrating the marriage of Assistant Billing Manager Kimmy Van Zee to Zach Marsh. The two were wed at Sugar Grove Vineyards in Newton on September 14th.

Kimmy 1

Zach and Kimmy met through a mutual friend in December of 2017. Through the course of the next couple of months, they grew closer as friends. He knew he wanted to date… Kimmy, on the other hand, took a little more convincing. She finally gave in, and Zach proposed a year later on December 29, 2018.  Kimmy says she’s still a little bitter he got her out of bed on a cold December morning to “help him track a buck” that didn’t exist. We think the ring more than made up for it though!

We asked Kimmy to share 10 of her favorite moments from their wedding day, and here’s what she had to say:

  1. Everybody working together to swap our ceremony from outside to inside to back outside – We chose to have our ceremony and reception at Sugar Grove because of the awesome wedding planner, Collette, and her crew that came with it. She reassured us from the beginning that if need be, we could have the ceremony set up both inside and outside and worst case she could swap an inside ceremony into the reception venue in less than 15 minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The whole week leading up to the wedding the forecast for the day was a beautiful, sunny, warm fall day. However, rain started around 1:00 PM, so we decided around 3:00 PM to set up the ceremony inside just in case. It was really neat to see all of our friends and family working together to transform our reception into a beautiful ceremony spot… only for the rain to stop and the sun to come out again. We ended up postponing the ceremony about 20 minutes and still got to have our dream wedding outside!
  1. Father/daughter and mother/son dance – Zach and I decided to do our father/daughter and mother/son dances at the same time. We came across a song (I Love You Cause You’re You by Emily Adams) that we couldn’t find anywhere, so I ended up messaging her on Instagram and she sent me the song so we could still use it! We also invited other fathers/daughters and mothers/sons to come up and join us, and it was really neat to have them all up there with us!
  1. My cousin, Cory Nikkel, was our officiant – I knew that I wanted my cousin to be the officiant at my wedding as soon as he got his license to exhort. He made the ceremony perfect with the right amount of humor, seriousness, and love! It was personalized to us, and I loved having him walk through this journey with us.
  1. The food – Zach’s dad smoked the meat, and it was SO GOOD. We had Prime Country BBQ do the sides, and they were mouthwatering. Instead of cake, we served homemade ice cream for dessert… you can’t go wrong with that!
  1. Boys fishing/girls getting ready – The morning of the wedding, Zach and his groomsmen and grandpa went fishing at the pond on Sugar Grove’s property. This was right up their alley, and they caught some nice fish! He loved having his friends and grandpa there with him that morning to relax a little before the crazy began! I loved having all of my girls with me. I had a close friend come in to do hair, and she was amazing. My attendants brought in donuts and fruit, and we drank mimosas while getting ready. The morning really flew by!
  1. Seeing our vision come to life – We spent nine months planning this wedding, so we loved seeing everything come together. The boys looked really nice in their suits, and the girls’ dresses looked great. The ring bearers and flower girls were adorable! Seeing tables decorated and all of our little details just fall into place was such a great feeling!
  1. The dance/karaoke – We asked a family friend to emcee, and Zach’s uncle ran the sound. They did amazing! We also got song requests from people on their RSVPs, so the dance floor was rocking! We got the idea to do karaoke on a work trip to Mexico, since everybody loved it and really got into it. By the time we started karaoke, it was pretty much just bridal party and family left, so it was the perfect way to end the night.
  1. Ring bearers and flower girls – I said it earlier, but they were so cute! I melted when I saw the ring bearers in their suspenders and bow ties! My daughter was the flower girl in my best friend’s wedding, and now her three girls got to be the flower girls at my wedding! They were adorable in their dresses. All of the kids did such a great job walking down the aisle and were troopers all day.
  1. Bridal party scavenger hunt – If we did 10 things in order of our favorite, I think this would be at the top of the list! My cousin Courtney said her sister had just been at a wedding where they did a bridal party scavenger hunt, and we were sold on the idea! The bridal party and the crowd really got into it! We loved seeing our friends run around trying to find items from a mint to a men’s handkerchief and ending with the final 2 trying to get as much cash for our honeymoon as they could!
  1. Releasing rows of guests – We knew this would take a little bit of time, but we knew we wanted to see everybody that came to help us celebrate! It was a great way to individually thank everybody for coming.

Kimmy 3

Thursday October 3, 2019


Do you suffer from pain during daily activities? Do you hurt when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, go up and down steps, get in or out of your car, sleep, or drive? Pain doesn’t permanently go away on its own. If you’re ready to find a solution, then take advantage of our free screen day on October 24!

Facebook Event Banner
October is National Physical Therapy Month, which is why we wanted to do something special to celebrate!  This is our BIG THANK YOU for allowing us to serve you.  To thank you, our valued clients, we are having a day of completely free screens for:

  • All past clients who have not been seen in physical therapy in more than three months
  • All present clients who have another problem currently not being treated
  • All loved ones, family, friends, neighbors and co-workers of our past and present clients.

The day of free screens will be on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 7 AM – 6 PM. Don’t wait to schedule as this is a one day offer limited to 33 people per clinic! Call 866-588-0230 to schedule your free screen.

Your free screen consists of a 20-minute one-on-one appointment with one of our movement experts! That expert will ask you about the history of your problem and then test your strength and how well you move.  After a thorough screening, they will give you a written copy of:

  1. The cause of your pain or problem.
  2. A plan for successful treatment.

This free screen is ideal for people suffering with:

  • Lower back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Problems walking
  • Hand or wrist pain

If you are having pain or problems with day to day activities such as walking, standing, sitting for long periods, going up or down steps, getting in and out of the car, sleeping or driving, then this is an excellent opportunity to see one of our expert therapists and find out the cause of your problem.

The appointments are free but limited as each clinic only has 33 spots available. Call 866-588-0230 to schedule your free screen for October 24.

PS – As a special bonus, all people attending a free screen on October 24 will receive a free report: “The Seven Secrets to Permanent Relief for Neck and Back Arthritis”.

PPS – The first 5 people to schedule a free screen for October 24 will get a free CamelBak water bottle!

Wednesday September 11, 2019

Former Kinetic Edge Team Members Spread Hope Globally


At Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, we’re passionate about making a difference in the world. That’s why it’s our mission to transform lives and restore hope through movement. We strive to do this every day in each one of our seven clinics, and we search for people who resonate with this mission before adding anyone to our team.

One sign we believe indicates our success and intention in this area is that two of our former team members left Kinetic Edge and are now working full time in missions. We thought it’d be fun this month to check in with each of them and provide you with an update of where they’re at in the world and how they’re spreading hope on a global scale.

From Joel Watters, former Physical Therapist at Kinetic Edge now serving in Costa Rica

Two years ago in August, I said a bittersweet goodbye to the Kinetic Edge team toPic 1 serve with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a ministry that serves on University campuses. My wife Rachel and I felt called to partner with a sister ministry overseas and were invited to serve in Costa Rica.

We spent our first year here working on our Spanish and serving alongside established student groups on the universities in the capital city of San Jose. This year in January we moved three hours over the mountain to the southern zone of Costa Rica where our ministry never had a presence before. When we began, we didn’t know anyone, but then we met one student named Mariela. In July, we led Mariela through a five-week discipleship training on how to lead an inductive bible study. She has caught the vision of the university being a strategic and unreached corner for the gospel. Two weeks ago, she led her first bible study and did fantastic! We have seen tremendous growth in her throughout the year as she studies the Bible with us, takes risks in sharing her faith, and begins to invest in other younger Christians. Just this week, we had two different bible studies each with eight people participating! God has been so faithful opening doors onto campus as well moving within the hearts of our students. Our dream is plant ministry and see lives transformed on each college campus in the southern zone of Costa Rica!

God has been so good to our family. There have been wonderful joy-filledPic 2 moments and also very difficult ones, each reminding us of God’s love and faithfulness. Our children are thriving, and it is a joy to serve the Lord as a family. We can also see God preparing the way on the University. We are praying for more people like Mariela to join us in reaching the Universities in Costa Rica for the Kingdom of God. We feel blessed to have been sent and to have the opportunity to do such meaningful work with our lives. Although, I do certainly miss caring for people as a physical therapist with the Kinetic Edge team. We send our blessings to you all from Costa Rica praying that God’s presence and peace would grow in your hearts.

If you feel led to support Joel’s work with a financial gift, please head to

From Shelly De Ruiter, former Physical Therapist at Kinetic Edge now serving in Haiti

My husband and I moved to Sylvan, Haiti in October 2018 with Many Hands 4 Haiti.  When asked what we do here, we both smile, because that question doesn’t have a nice neat answer! The reason we smile when asked is because much of our time is spent learning how to live here and communicate with our Haitian staff, program participants, neighbors, and market vendors!  Generally speaking, my husband serves as the Organization Development Manger which means he is here to put systems organization into place in areas like education, agronomy, and leadership.

I serve as the Spiritual Direction Manager which means that I am no longer working as a physical therapist while here. I am pursuing a passion I’ve always had and incorporated in my physical therapy work – soul care and relative rest. I get to invite people into new ways of understanding how God sees them and how we understand God.

So far, my work has been directed toward the American mission trip participants by creating a Path of Life Guide that gives tools of prayer along our path that encircles our campus. I hope to offer mini retreats to fellow non-natives here in our area as well.Pic 4Pic 3

Just this last week, we had a guest on our campus who was here to do consulting work with another organization in Pignon. But I think God had him do some consulting work right here at MH4H! He is a pastor, a lifelong missionary, and trained in “Strengths Finders”. He spent hours with Darryl and me helping us understand beyond our titles and duties how we each are specifically talented for this time in Haiti. The timing was beautiful for both of us due to some loss of focus and longing for the “good old days” when we both knew what our jobs were and what we were supposed to be doing. We are thanking God that Phillip needed a place to stay and that MH4H could provide it!

If you feel led to support Shelly’s work with a financial gift, please head to

Wednesday September 11, 2019

Do You Know Your Movement Vital Signs?

movement vital signs

By Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

Most people think of heart rate or blood pressure when they think of vital signs. Vital SignsIt is common to use numbers to quantify health and risk of disease. The American Heart Association encourages people to “know their numbers” referring to blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and weight. However, research is now showing the importance of moving properly for health. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers you can use to quantify your movement health.

Walking Speed

Walking speed has been called the “sixth vital sign” in medical literature recently. It is easy to measure and takes into account strength, balance, coordination, confidence, cardiovascular fitness, tolerance to activity, and a whole host of other factors. It has also been shown to be predictive of future hospitalizations, functional decline, and overall mortality. Normal walking speed is considered to be 1.2 to 1.4 meters per second, which means that you should be able to walk the distance of a football field from goal line to goal line in a little over one minute.


Pushups are popular to build strength, but a recent study found that they can show us a lot about your heart too. Researchers found that men who could do 40 or more consecutive pushups were at a 96% lower risk for cardiovascular disease than were men who could do less than 10. The pushup test was also more useful in predicting future cardiovascular disease than aerobic capacity measured on a treadmill.

Grip Strength

Hand grip strength has been shown to be strongly correlated with health. The stronger your hand grip is, the less likely you are to suffer from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, COPD, and all types of cancer. In the study, muscle weakness was defined as grip strength < 57 pounds for men and < 35 pounds for women. Grip strength below these numbers was highly correlated with an increase in disease.

 Standing from the Floor

If you can’t easily get down on the floor and back up your health might be in trouble, according to a study that looked at more than 2,000 people. The study asked people to go from standing to sitting on the floor and back up with as little support as needed. They found that if you need to use more than one hand to get up and down from the floor that you were 2 to 5 times more likely to die in the next 7 years than someone who can do it with just one hand, or even better, no hands at all.

Moving well is obviously important to overall health and longer life. These tests can give a snapshot of how you’re doing. If you’re having trouble with any of them, considering seeing a movement specialist – your physical therapist. Call Kinetic Edge today at 866-588-0230 if you’d like to have a free 20-minute screen with one of our movement experts to test these important capabilities or talk about a pain you’ve been experiencing.