News - Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy
Monday October 1, 2018


Cross Country Runner, Rachel Peter


by Lindsey Klyn, Marketing Specialist at Kinetic Edge

Cross Country Runner, Rachel Peter Rachel Peter always loved to run. After running track and cross country at PCM (Prairie City/Monroe) High School, she went on to compete at Central College in Pella, Iowa. During last year’s cross-country season, Peter started to feel pain in her left leg. The junior dismissed the pain thinking it was a muscular problem, but when the pain gradually grew worse, she knew something more serious was going on.

Peter scheduled an appointment at Pella Regional Health Center where an X-ray revealed a large black circle around her bone.

“I felt very overwhelmed and shocked when the doctor described what was wrong,” said Peter. “I mainly was just worried about when I would be able to run again and if it would ever be the same.

To Peter’s relief, Giant Cell Tumor of the Bone is a noncancerous tumor that most often develops at the ends of the body’s long bones like the femur or tibia. Given the uniqueness of her situation, Peter went on to see a specialist at the University of Iowa Hospital. Surgery was the only option she faced to remove the tumor. Without surgery, the tumor would continue to grow and destroy her bone.

They scheduled surgery for November 7, 2017, just a few weeks after the tumor was discovered. Surgeons spent hours removing the tumor from the bone and replacing the area with bone graft. Post-surgery, Peter spent six weeks without putting any weight on her left leg.

Around four weeks after surgery, Peter started physical therapy with John Lenderink at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy. Therapy first focused on restoring Peter’s range of motion and then progressed to focus on restoring her strength and weight bearing tolerance.

“I can’t describe how happy I was during the physical therapy session with Physical Therapist John Lenderink when he took my crutches away and I was able to walk on my own again!” exclaimed Peter. “When I left physical therapy sessions with John, I felt confident and determined to recover faster. I believe I could not have recovered as quickly as I did without physical therapy.”

Cross Country Runner, Rachel Peter In March, the news Peter anticipated for four months came: she could start running again! As of September 2018, Peter happily reports she’s healthy and back to running like she used to with no pain, averaging 45 miles a week during the current cross-country season.

“I am very grateful to be back to running and competing in cross country,” shared Peter. “Reflecting back on where I was just a half a year ago, I am amazed at the progress I have been able to make.”

Peter will never take another step or stride for granted now, saying the entire experience in the past year has made her so grateful to be healthy and to be able to run again.

Monday October 1, 2018


Hip Stretch

How to Eliminate Back Pain (Part 2):

4 Critical Hip Strengthening Exercises

Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

In our June 1, 2018 article entitled 5 Reasons Why Your Back Hurts When You Walk, I outlined the most common root causes of this type of back pain. In September, we dove a little deeper into the topic of how you can improve hip mobility to alleviate lower back pain. This month, I want to help you work on enhancing hip strength to reduce lower back pain.

When we lack stability at a particular link in the kinetic chain, the body tends to demonstrate dysfunctional movement at that joint. This in turn creates additional movement-related stresses at neighboring regions. As a result, the body part that is experiencing pain isn’t really the true problem. It is simply the part that is experiencing increased mechanical stress because of the root problem.

Before I share some effective hip strengthening strategies, I want to remind you that there are a variety of hip muscle weakness issues that may contribute to your lower back pain. The following activities are a good start if you need to enhance hip strength, but it is always wise to seek the advice of a lower back pain specialist to assess your specific needs and find the exact program to overcome your unique issues. Remember, if you want good outcomes, it is always better to assess than to guess.

  1. Bridges – A simple bridge performed in the back-lying position provides stability on the posterior side of your core. It is great to perform this exercise after you’ve created good hip flexor mobility. If you have difficulty creating enough extension to bring your hips on a line directly between your knees and shoulders at the top of the bridge, narrow your feet and slightly open your knees.



  1. Clam Shell (Hip External Rotation) – This exercise strengthens the rotators deep beneath the gluteals, which helps provide rotary stability. To do this exercise, you can start with simple active leg movement as demonstrated in the video below, but eventually you will need some resistance, which is easy to provide with a resistance band (i.e. theraband).



  1. Side Planks with a Tweak – This more advanced exercise is done on your side with the knees bent. Place a pillow or foam pad under your elbow and try to lift your hips up until the top hip is on a line between your knee and shoulder. If you can hold this position without rolling the trunk forward or backward, then you can add the clam shell motion (as demonstrated). This exercise can produce some stress on the weightbearing shoulder, so do not perform the exercise if you feel pain there during the exercise.



  1. Functional Hip Loading – Performing great hip strengthening exercises laying on the floor or your bed is only beneficial if it helps you function better on your feet. To bridge the functional gap, attempt the following three-dimensional stepping motions demonstrated at the 2:15 mark of the video by Andrew Gorecki, our good friend at Superior Physical Therapy in Traverse City, MI.



In upcoming installments, the Kinetic Edge team and I will continue to provide practical information on how to eliminate back pain by improving mobility of the upper back (Part 3), enhancing foot and ankle mobility (Part 4), and managing spine arthritis and/or stenosis (Part 5). If you can’t wait for that information to be released, I welcome you to take advantage of our free injury screen day that we’re planning for Tuesday, October 23, 2018 from 7:00AM-6:00PM.

Ames: 515-337-1037

Centerville: 641-856-2515

Des Moines: 515-309-4706

Newton: 641-791-9675

Oskaloosa: 641-676-3535

Pella: 641-621-0230


We’re excited and blessed to be celebrating 20 years as a company, and this is another free gift that we are giving our faithful clients to thank you for helping us reach this milestone. Take advantage of this offer to get personal recommendations of exactly what you should do to eliminate your pain. And feel free to get your family and friends to sign up too, regardless of the type of pain they’re experiencing. All you have to do is call and get signed up today.

Remember, the biggest predictor for lower back pain is a past experience with lower back pain. So, even if you’re not experiencing lower back pain currently but have dealt with it in the past, you’d likely benefit from the help of a knowledgeable physical therapist who can find and fix the issues that contribute to the pain. Fixing those root problems will reduce the likelihood that your lower back pain will return.

Friday September 28, 2018


Free screen day on October 23 square image

Free Screen Day on October 23 graphic

2018 marks our 20th year in business! We’ve been doing all sorts of things to celebrate all year long! In April, we offered our first ever free screen day and people loved it! So since October is National Physical Therapy Month, we’d thought we’d offer one last day of free screens this year to thank you, our valued clients, and continue our 20th year celebration. These free screens are 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 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 from 7 AM – 6 PM.

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.

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

This free screen is ideal for people suffering with:

  • Lower back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Problems walking
  • Balance
  • Hand pain
  • 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.

Call 866-588-0230 to schedule your free screen for October 23.

PS – As a special bonus, all people attending a free screen on October 23 will receive a free report: “The Three Culprits that Cause Lower Back Pain”.

PPS – In honor of our 20th anniversary, we’ll also be giving away five free CamelBak water bottles.  These are going to the first 5 people to schedule a free screen for October 23.

Saturday September 1, 2018


Hip Stretch

How to Eliminate Back Pain:

The Top 6 Hip Mobility Exercises

Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

In our June 1, 2018 article entitled 5 Reasons Why Your Back Hurts When You Walk, I outlined the most common root causes of this type of back pain:

  1. Poor hip mobility
  2. Decreased hip strength
  3. Stiff upper back
  4. Limited Foot and Ankle Mobility
  5. Spine Arthritis and/or Stenosis

Continuing on in our How to Eliminate Back Pain series, let’s dive deeper into poor hip mobility and how you can overcome this problem.

Before I share some simple hip mobility drills, I want to emphasize that there are many different reasons you may develop a feeling of hip tightness (or any tightness for that matter) including but not limited to shortened muscles, tight hip capsule, neural tension, bony alignment issues, previous tissue injury, and protective muscle spasms.

When you lack mobility at a particular link in the kinetic chain, your body tends to compensate for that by increasing movement in neighboring regions. As a result, the body part that is in pain isn’t really the true problem. It is simply the part that is experiencing increased stress because of the root problem.

The following hip mobility drills can be effective if you have tight muscles or limited hip capsule mobility. If your hip tightness is the result of other factors than what’s on this list or you don’t experience benefit after performing these hip mobility drills, please consult a rehab professional equipped to assess your personal situation. If you want good outcomes, it is always better to assess than to guess.

One of the colleagues I respect greatly, Mike Reinold, a physical therapist with Champion Physical Therapy and Performance in Massachusetts, created an online primer entitled “6 Hip Mobility Drills Everyone Should Perform.” These are hip mobility exercises I use with many of my clients with lower back pain, so I welcome you to watch these brief videos to see those exercises in action:


  1. Quadruped Rockbacks – This simple exercise loosens up the hip joint to move better into flexion. You may want to consider doing these barefoot to enhance both ankle dorsiflexion (i.e. moving your foot so that your toes get closer to your knee) and great toe extension.


  1. Adductor Quadruped Rockbacks – This drill is a slight variation on the previous one that emphasizes flexibility of the groin muscles. Perform this and the following movement drills on both sides.


  1. Half Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch – To stretch the front of your hip and not overload other areas, be sure to keep the trunk vertical from your hips to your shoulders while you move forward into the stretch.


  1. Posterior Hip Stretch – To perform a deep gluteal stretch, this exercise on all fours does the trick.


  1. Figure 4 Stretch – The most basic and safest way to start the Figure 4 stretch is while you are on your back.


  1. Spiderman – This is an advanced exercise that requires you to be able to bear weight on your hands in a prone position, like the start of a push-up. Don’t try this exercise until you’ve perfected the previous ones, and stop it if you have any upper extremity pain while attempting the drill.


In upcoming articles, the Kinetic Edge team and I will provide practical information on how to eliminate back pain by enhancing hip strength, improving mobility of the upper back, enhancing foot and ankle mobility, and managing spine arthritis and/or stenosis. If you can’t wait for that information to be released, I welcome you to attend one of our upcoming free workshops later this month where you will learn about the root causes of your low back pain and how we have successfully helped hundreds of people from right here in Iowa eliminate their pain and get their lives back.


Thursday, Sept. 20 @ 6:00 PM in Oskaloosa – 1412 A Ave W, Suite A

Saturday, Sept. 22 @ 10:00 AM in Ames – 4700 Mortensen Rd. Suite 101

Saturday, Sept. 22 @ 10:00 AM in Des Moines – 516 3rd St. Suite 100 

Tuesday, Sept. 25 @ 5:00 PM in Newton – 1715 1st Ave. East 

Tuesday, Sept. 25 @ 7:00 PM in Pella – 604 Liberty St. Suite 227  


Remember, the biggest predictor for lower back pain is a past experience with lower back pain. So, even if you’re not experiencing lower back pain currently but have dealt with it in the past, you’d likely benefit from the help of a knowledgeable physical therapist who can find and fix the issues that contribute to the pain. Fixing those root problems will reduce the likelihood that your lower back pain will return.


If you’re ready to fix the root problems of your lower back pain and move on with your life, give us a call at 866-588-0230 to schedule a free 20-minute back pain screen today.

Saturday September 1, 2018


Rigo and Joel

How hope is transforming lives in Costa Rica

By Joel Watters, Missionary in Costa Rica and Former Physical Therapist at Kinetic Edge

On August 21, former Kinetic Edge Physical Therapist Joel Watters and his family celebrated their one-year anniversary of mission work in Costa Rica with Estudiantes Cristianos Unidos (ECU). ECU is a ministry that serves college students on universities throughout the country of Costa Rica. We’ve asked him to share an update on life there with you but were so thrilled to hear how he’s continuing to live out the Kinetic Edge mission in Costa Rica.

It has been quite the year in Costa Rica and difficult to summarize, but I shall try.

Joel Watters' familyLife has been hard but oh so sweet and meaningful. Each day we have walked the mile to school as a family. My wife Rachel and I have spent the mornings in Spanish class and then alternate serving on three different campuses in San Jose, the capital. Our children have transitioned better than we could ever have imagined. They attend a bilingual school and are well on their way to fluency. My oldest daughter speaks Spanish like a Costa Rican! I still speak like a white gringo. Overall, we have loved living life together and serving the Lord as a family here.

In November, we will move to the southern part of Costa Rica to a city called San Isidro de El General. Our ministry, ECU, was founded here over 40 years ago but has never had a presence on any campus in this region. We’ve been asked to plant a new ministry and start new student groups on these universities.

Student groupThe southern zone is much more rural and life will be quite a bit different than in the capital city. It is not Iowa but it’s about as close as it gets here with pineapple farms, year-round greenness, and mountains.  Our past experience with planning new student groups with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the United States creates confidence and excitement for this new opportunity, as we love the call of starting something new. We will begin searching for a home, school, church, and everything else we need to live in this month.

I have loved this new season of life in ministry but certainly miss my work with Kinetic Edge. I am so proud to have worked for a company that honors people above all else. Thankfully, I still find opportunities to use physical therapy to serve people here. I have one story of a man named Rigo that I would like to share.

Five months before I met Rigo, he began falling and experiencing weakness in both his arms and legs. The progression of weakness was so severe after two months he became bed bound, unable to sit up or move to a chair without significant assistance.

After extensive testing, a severe case of spinal stenosis was found in the middle segments of Rigo’s neck which was causing impingement of the spinal cord. He, his wife, 3 children, and grandson live in a tiny four room house in one of the poorest communities in San Jose. They were unable to afford the care he needed so after surgery, he returned to his bed. Word of his situation finally reached a skinny gringo from Iowa with limited Spanish, and I jumped at the chance to serve him. Ever since, I have been meeting with Rigo weekly and have seen an incredible transformation.

The first day I met him, Rigo had not been out of bed since he returned home three weeks earlier from surgery. I quickly realized not only was his body very weak, but more significantly, he had little hope. He was distant and quiet and showed little emotion. I sat next to his bed and listened to his story. I could feel his sadness and frustration.

Death was coming.

Rigo and JoelThat day, I taught him one seemingly small thing: how to use his body position to sit up. It was simple, a roll to the side, a movement of his legs off the bed, and the use of his hands to push himself up. It was hard for him as I helped him, but he did it. I had him lay down, and then we did it again.  After five minutes, he was able to nearly sit up independently. He tired quickly so he laid back down, and we prayed together.  As I left that day, I will never forget the look on his face. There was hope.

Within a month, he was able to transfer to a wheel chair independently. Within three months, I bought him a walker. At eight months, he took his first steps. He continues to have weakness and pain and will likely never walk again without the assistance of a walker. However, his life has changed. He is able to sit and eat dinner with his family. He gets outside to watch his grandson play on the patio.

I believe two things have saved his life: his deep faith in God and a renewed hope that tomorrow will be better than today. It has been an honor to serve this man and makes me want to continue giving my life for others.

God has been so good to our family this past year. We experienced His faithfulness again and again. We experienced a deep dependence on the Lord in a culture so different from ours with a language that we are just now feeling comfortable with. We miss our home, community, friends, and family but at the same time are so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord. There are many unknowns ahead and assuredly many challenges that will come, but we walk forward into our next year with hope, trusting that God will provide.

Like our family and even Rigo, I am sure many of you are dealing with challenges and difficulties. I pray that through them you experience the goodness of God and are able to live with hope for tomorrow.

Find out ways to help support the Watters and their mission by visiting:

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