News - Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy
Thursday February 1, 2018


Coffee Shop Date Night


February is a month made for celebrating love! If you have a special someone, then you know that spending intentional time together is important but easy to not prioritize in the midst of a busy life. Maybe for you, coming up with an idea to celebrate your love in the middle of an Iowan winter is half the battle. So we’ve rounded up 12 ideas for local date nights that are tested and approved by our team members to heat up your love life this Valentine’s Day!

  1. A game of Vertellis over wine and cheese – Troy Vander Molen

Vertellis is a game of cards that is used to stimulate deep and intentional conversation ( Match it with a bit of wine and cheese at some place like Tassel Ridge, The Wijn House, Van Wijk Winery, or Summerset Winery, and you’re set for an intimate date night.


  1. Dinner out followed by binge watching your favorite TV show. – Elise Spronk

Elise’s go-to restaurant is Kaldera in Pella where she loves to order the Hot Mama Mia, a spicy pasta dish. After dinner, she and her husband love to go home and catch up on their favorite show, either Dateline or Grey’s Anatomy.


  1. Go ice skating and split a milkshake. – Renae Oppenhuizen

Brenton Ice Skating PlazaRenae and her husband have enjoyed ice skating at Brenton Plaza in Des Moines and shared that they even nabbed a deal to go for cheaper off Groupon ( Since Brenton Plaza is just a block from Zombie Burger, we recommend walking over to split their milkshake of the week or another one of their unique milkshakes!


  1. Have a picnic and go for a walk. – Matt Scotton

If you know Matt, you know that he loves to be active and outdoors no matter the weather outside. He says if it’s too cold to enjoy an outdoor picnic, have one on your living room floor or in your car and then bundle up for a walk together.


  1. Grab dinner and then visit an arcade. – Kaity Hall

Kaity and her husband love to grab something to eat from Jason’s Deli in West Des Moines and then head to Chuck E. Cheese to play games. If you go without your kids, Kaity recommends giving your tickets away to the best-behaved kid when you’re done. If you’re looking to get away from the littles, give Up-Down in downtown Des Moines a try.


  1. Explore local antique shops. – Emily Norton

Des Moines hosts a variety of antique shops including Reclaimed, Porch Light, West End Salvage, and A Okay Antiques. Emily and her boyfriend enjoy perusing through the stores and then usually end up in Valley Junction which means their dinner choice of the night is pizza at The Tavern.


  1. Have a coffee shop date. – Melissa Hansen

Enjoy quality conversation or borrow a game from the coffee shop to play over warm drinks or food at your local coffee shop. Melissa loves to go for soup in a bread bowl or coffee at Smokey Row with her husband.


  1. Go to the movie theater together. – Susan Metz

Susan and her husband love to go to Cinemark Altoona and XD – a movie theater that’s known for its recliner seats – to catch the latest movie. Enjoy an even more affordable movie date night by going to the theater on a Tuesday night! Many theaters sell discounted tickets on Tuesday night. In fact, our local movie theaters in Oskaloosa, Pella, and Newton all sell tickets for $5 or less on Tuesday nights!


  1. Escape from Escape Chambers. – Heather Pilcher

Heather and Eric Escape ChambersThese escape rooms have become more and more popular! And they make the perfect date night where you and your special someone get locked in a room and have to practice teamwork to find your way out. Heather and her husband love the Escape Chambers, and she says this is one that makes for a fun double or triple date with other couples.



  1. Have a no electricity night and play your favorite game. – Lindsey Klyn

No electricity means no phones, no lights, no TV, no tablets, etc. so you have to make your way around the house using flashlights or candles. Then play your favorite game! Lindsey and her husband currently enjoy playing Ticket to Ride, Jenga, Settlers of Cataan (even though you technically need more than two people to really play this one), and this variation of Speed They’ve found they love having this space where technology doesn’t interrupt their time together.


  1. Enjoy a drink together at a local brewery. – Kayla Landhuis

Bloody MaryKayla and her husband brew their own beer and kombucha (a type of tea) from their home, so for date night, they enjoy checking out a local brewery. Kayla recommends Alluvial in Ames because they have kombucha, root beer, and coffee on tap, as well as their beer. She also says they have the most amazing popcorn. If you aren’t local to Ames, consider checking out Peace Tree, Firetrucker Brewery, or the Peanut Pub (home of the $2 mystery beer).


  1. Have a day date at Lake Red Rock. – Ashley Beekman

Lake Red RockAshley and her husband love to pick up lunch from In’t Veld’s Meat Market in Pella and then go below the dam at Lake Red Rock to eat lunch together. Afterwards, she recommends going for a walk along one of the nature paths with your dog(s) – if you have one – and enjoying a breath of fresh air. If you don’t want to drive out to Red Rock, Water Works Park in Des Moines also has great walking trails with scenic views.

So pick your favorite idea from this list, go find your special someone, and ask them out on a fun winter date! And if you go on one of these dates, we’d love to hear about it! Snap a photo and share it with us on Facebook!

Thursday February 1, 2018



Is My Lower Back Pain Dangerous?

by Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

You-Can-Conquer-Your-Back-Pain-With-These-Tips-300x200You probably know that lower back pain is common. Despite that fact, experiencing it for the first time can be an extremely painful and scary experience. And when pain strikes, it’s hard to know how serious to take it and what’s the best next step to take to resolve it.


If you’re dealing with low back pain, take a deep breath because lower back pain is rarely dangerous. In fact, in most cases the incident will go away on its own, at least for a while. Almost always, lower back pain, even if it’s accompanied by periodic numbness and tingling into the leg, is simply a mechanical irritation due to some type of physical stress (i.e. compression or tension) on a sensitive tissue in the lower back.


Only rarely is lower back pain caused by a serious problem. So let’s talk about the warning signs and particular symptoms associated with the rare instances of serious problems:


  1. Unexplained weight loss, physical weakness, and/or pain that worsens at night. These symptoms may be the result of a tumor around the spine.


  1. Difficulty with bowel or bladder function. In extremely rare cases, lower back problems can cause numbness in the buttocks region and difficulty with excretory functions, which can signify potential damage to the nerves in the tailbone area.


  1. Pain radiating into the legs accompanied by difficulty with muscle function in the leg. Pain, numbness, and tingling into the leg may result when a nerve gets pinched at the lower back. In most cases, effective physical therapy treatment can reduce the pressure and eliminate those symptoms. However, if you experience difficulty moving the foot or leg, the degree of pressure is advanced and requires more medical examination.


  1. Fever or chills. These types of symptoms can occur when you experience a spinal infection, another extremely rare condition.


back painIf you experience lower back pain – even if it is severe – you don’t need to fret. Pain relief and a return to full function are the absolute most common outcomes. The quicker you eliminate the stress on the painful tissue, the sooner you can feel better, so seek out the expert help of lower back pain experts, like your friends at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, at the first onset of pain.



We’re offering this FREE event on:

Tuesday, February 6 at 6:00 PM

Kinetic Edge in Des Moines– 4516 3rd Street, Suite 100



Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00 PM

Kinetic Edge in Ames – 4700 Mortensen Road, Suite 101



Tuesday, February 13 at 6:00 PM

Kinetic Edge in Newton – 1715 1st Avenue E


How do you register for the Lower Back Pain and Sciatica workshop?

Email us or call our office to register using our toll-free number, 866-588-0230. Don’t hesitate to sign up. Space is limited as we only have 30 seats available for this event.

The biggest predictor of lower back pain in the future 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 low back pain, give us a call at 866-588-0230 to schedule a free 20 minute back pain screen today.

Friday January 19, 2018

NOW HIRING: Office Assistant in Des Moines

Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy- office assistant needed

Office Assistant team member needed for a growing Physical Therapy clinic downtown Des Moines. Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy is a locally owned independent practice. We focus on transforming lives and restoring hope through movement. Kinetic Edge has the vision of creating a community of healthy, happy, and hope-filled people.

We are looking for a dynamic individual to join our team. We are a close-knit clinic environment with two physical therapists and one physical therapist assistant. Our next administrative assistant will be an important part of our team, helping us guide our clients through their physical therapy experience.

This position is full time 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Pay is hourly based on experience. Bonus earning potential based on meaningful contributions to clinic success. Benefits information available upon request.

Position responsibilities of this office assistant include customer service, client scheduling, insurance authorization, documentation assistance, and other office activities.

Please submit a cover letter with your resume to, sharing your reason for being interested in our company and position.

Required education:

  • Associate

Required experience:

  • Medical Office: 1 year
  • Office Assistant: 1 year
  • Computer: 1 year
Monday January 1, 2018



Does a Rotator Cuff Tear Require Surgery?

by Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

shoulder-painShoulder pain is a common problem. If you have experienced shoulder pain, you are most certainly not alone. Shoulder pain is the third most common reason people seek care from us at our five physical therapy clinics, and it is estimated that 70% of the population will experience shoulder pain at some point in their lifetime.

Rotator cuff problems are the most common reason for shoulder pain, and these problems can range from simple inflammation to a rotator cuff tear.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that originate from the shoulder blade. The tendons of these muscles come together to form a “cuff” around the shoulder, which is a ball and socket joint. Though it is known as the rotator cuff, which is appropriate because these muscles help to create shoulder rotation motions, its most common and important function is to properly position the large ball on the small socket of the shoulder.

If you experience rotator cuff problems, you are most likely to feel the pain when you are reaching. It is during this function that the rotator cuff may have difficulty controlling the position of the ball on the socket, which can result in pressure on sensitive tissues, causing pain on the front of the shoulder and radiating down the outside of your upper arm.

Many of you are likely to have dealt with this problem, and some of you have probably underwent diagnostic testing. If you are in the group of people who have been found to have a rotator cuff tear, it can be a scary experience.

Can a rotator cuff tear heal on its own? That’s a good question. If the tear is minor, healing can occur. However, if the tear has advanced, this tissue is unlikely to fully repair itself spontaneously.

So, does that mean that I must have rotator cuff surgery? The answer to that question is an emphatic “no!” A research study published in the January 2014 edition of the Bone and Joint Journal analyzed the results obtained by 167 subjects with nontraumatic (i.e. gradual wear and tear) rotator cuff tears, and the authors found that physical therapy alone produces results equal to those produced by both arthroscopic surgery and open surgical repair. In fact, the researchers indicated that “conservative treatment should be considered the primary treatment for this condition.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that finding a problem with an MRI can be misleading. These types of diagnostic tests are very sensitive but not very specific, which means that an MRI may be showing you something that is not even related to your current complaints.

Let me give you some details about what I mean about that:

  • A study by Tempelhof et al (1999) revealed that 23% of people with pain-free shoulders had a rotator cuff tear. Newer research indicates that 35-40% of healthy people – people with no shoulder pain – have rotator cuff tears, and this number rises to 2/3 of people age 70 and above.
  • Recent research indicates that more than 1/3 of people who undergo a successful rotator cuff surgery still have a rotator cuff tear. 16% still have partial tears and 20% still have complete tears.

Why get a surgery to fix something that many pain-free people also have? The goal is to improve the movement and reduce the pain – to feel better and function better – not fix the rotator cuff, and this can occur without going under the knife.

If you are one of the many dealing with shoulder pain, it is important to seek the help of a competent physical therapist who understands pain management, manual therapy, appropriate education and exercise interventions, and the functional role of the shoulder complex. Using modalities to rid the shoulder of pain may be helpful, but that focus alone is not complete. To feel better and function better, your shoulder specialist must understand the entire functional chain including the shoulder, the shoulder blade, the thoracic spine and even the hips.

Suffer with pain no more! Get the answers you need to correct the real problem, and stop spending loads of money on things that won’t provide any benefit. We invite you to call our office at (866)-588-0230 and schedule a FREE INJURY SCREEN to find out if your shoulder can benefit from the expertise we offer. We’d love to help you get results, save money, and experience a great 2018 free of shoulder pain!

Monday January 1, 2018


Jumping into 2018

New Year Reflections

by Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

Another year has passed, and I find myself being a bit nostalgic once again. I have been a part of the Kinetic Edge team for over 16 years now. That’s quite an accomplishment for a guy whose first two physical therapy jobs lasted less than a year each!

We are rounding the corner on our 20th year as an organization. I continue to wonder if the next year will slow up, but that hasn’t been the case yet! Here are a few of our favorite memories and accomplishments at Kinetic Edge in 2017.

Two New Clinic Spaces

Oskaloosa Clinic- 2017Since we opened the Oskaloosa clinic in 2006, we had operated in a space on the east side of town. That location and its 2,100 square feet served us well for eleven years, but it was clear that our growth there required additional space. We were happy to acquire space on the west side of town. This 3,500-square foot location underwent a complete gut job, and we moved into brand new digs in February. Believe it or not, we’re already contemplating adding another 1,000 SF to facilitate the growth that has already occurred there since moving in.

New clinic in Newton - 2017Similar to our situation in Oskaloosa, we had been in one building in Newton since we joined that community in 2007. We partnered with a local real estate investor to build and finish a new clinic in the heart of town along Business Highway 6 and moved into the 4,000-square foot facility in October. Our team there is loving the large and open gym space with high ceilings, in addition to private treatment rooms and a pediatric therapy space. Since our move, business has already increased another 20%!

Growth in the Mission

As an established business of nearly 20 years, projecting substantial growth from year to year can be a difficult proposition. You may remember that in 2016 we had 45% growth in client visits and 17% growth in consulting business compared to the previous year, which required us to add 7 team members. Is that sustainable for a clinic our age?

Amazingly, it has been. With a heavy focus on providing quality care and developing deep relationships, telling our story effectively with excellent marketing campaigns, and living out a commitment to generosity, we again experienced substantial growth in 2017. Our overall growth this year was 23% compared to 2016, and each clinic experienced no less than 15% growth. Our greatest progress occurred in Des Moines where we achieved a 40% increase in therapy visits compared to 2016. And the new clinic space helped us achieve 28% growth in Oskaloosa and 24% growth in Newton. These numbers are exciting to us because it means we are achieving our mission of transforming lives and restoring hope through movement in more people’s live than ever!

Growth in Team Members

kinetic edge physical therapy whole company photo, 2017 reflections







  • Jared Gerber, PT, DPT joined the team in January of 2017. After originally sharing time between Oskaloosa and Newton, he has settled into a full-time role in Newton.
  • Kaity Hall, PT, DPT, ATC was added to the Des Moines clinic team in May of 2017.
  • Emily Norton graduated from Drake University in May and immediately began working in our corporate office as a Marketing Strategist and Analyst, and because of her we can now say that we have a marketing team!
  • Whitney Vander Veen, PT, DPT, ATC became our first physical therapist that specializes in serving pediatric clients. She began in May as Whitney Steingard sharing time between Oskaloosa and Pella. After recently transitioning to a Vander Veen (she married a local chiropractor in Oskaloosa), she now serves both pediatric and adult clients in our Oskaloosa clinic.
  • Casey Negrete, PT, DPT joined our Ames team in August after graduating from Trine University. We are thankful for growth in the Ames market that made this addition a necessity.
  • Stacy Crouse joined our front desk team in Oskaloosa in September to help support all of the growth happening there.
  • Jordan Bell, OTR/L is our most recent addition. She began serving pediatric clients in our new Newton pediatric space just after Thanksgiving.

In addition to these new team members, we are currently searching for additional physical therapists and/or assistants in Oskaloosa, Newton, and Pella.

Hasta Luego for Joel Watters

With mixed emotions, we said goodbye (or at least see you later) to Physical Therapist Joel Watters at the end of the summer. After five enjoyable years with Kinetic Edge, Joel and his family embarked upon a new journey as missionaries in Costa Rica. It has been fun getting letters and emails from him to learn about how God is using their family in this new calling.

Functional Training for All Team Members

In October, Kinetic Edge closed the clinic and invited all of our providers to Pella for a two-day learning event. We hosted Michael Kane, PT, a functional movement specialist to train us to use the 3D Movement Analysis and Performance System (3DMAPS). Now every therapist, assistant, and athletic trainer at Kinetic Edge has the advanced training and expertise to identify and correct functional movement deficiencies, which helps our clients get better faster.

New Services Offered

With the additional space in Oskaloosa, we are now able to provide specialty pediatric physical therapy and medical fitness services. Likewise, in Newton we have increased our services to include pediatric occupational therapy and medical fitness services. Recently, Lauren Saehler, PT, DPT received Astym training, which means that all five our clinic sites now offer Astym as a treatment option for tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and other stubborn tendon and connective tissue ailments.

Free Screens

We believe that choosing a physical therapist or occupational therapist is a big decision. You don’t buy a car or a house sight unseen. You research this decision. You take a test drive or go through a home tour. That’s the wise thing to do, but medical providers operating in the insurance world often lose sight of these realities. We at Kinetic Edge do not.

Because we offer a service that requires mutual trust and clear communication, we want to give our potential clients the opportunity to test drive our clinic and take a free tour. Only then should you be comfortable making a decision about whether an investment in our team is a wise one. In 2017 we offered well over 350 free screens throughout our five clinic locations, and we hope to offer many more of these no-cost, no-obligation services as the years go on.

Charitable Contributions

As a team that exists to transform lives and restore hope, we realize that there are many other local organizations that fulfill the same purpose using their unique passions and gifts. In 2017, we consciously increased our focus on being a generous organization to partner with others who share a similar vision. We were blessed and humbled to provide over $75,000 in donations to non-profit organizations in 2017 through our Christmas giving program, which included a $1,000 challenge for every team member. If you would like to read more about that challenge, you can find that story on our blog.  We also donated around $5,000 through our Join the Movement referral program in which we donate $20 every time a previous client refers a friend or family member our way.

Merchant of the Year Award

The Capital Striders Running Club promotes and encourages running, physical fitness, and amateur sport in the Des Moines area, and Kinetic Edge has offered free injury screens and Runner’s Edge Assessments to help members enhance running comfort and performance. Recently we began sponsoring a $1,200 scholarship, which is awarded to a student that loves running and has achieved scholastically, on behalf of Capital Striders. In 2017 our Des Moines clinic was honored by Capital Striders as the Merchant of the Year!

Upcoming 20th Anniversary

Our business began in December of 1998. Throughout the years, from our transition from Work Systems P.C. to Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, our focus has not changed. We are excited to spend the entire 2018 year reflecting on the adventure that has occurred and preparing to celebrate those 20 years together with those that have made it possible. We couldn’t have done it without you, so thank you for your support over the years. We are looking forward to the 20th year being our best year ever!

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