Tuesday August 15, 2017


Dustin Sloan

New Physical Therapist Assistant in Oskaloosa

Dustin SloanKinetic Edge Physical Therapy is proud to announce the addition of Dustin Sloan, as their newest physical therapist assistant in Oskaloosa.

Dustin’s mission is to educate and help people learn how to consciously recognize and understand their own bodies as well as get them back to the pursuits that they enjoy. He has a passion for integrating manual therapy techniques, exercise and/or education into treatment that will help patients get back to the things they love to do.

Dustin earned his degree for Physical Therapy Assistant from Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Central College in Pella.

Dustin and his wife, Renae, will be moving soon. In his free time, he enjoys running, getting to the gym, hiking, camping, travelling, and drinking an excellent cup of cold brew coffee.

Dustin is excited to restore health, happiness, and hope. Schedule an appointment or contact her by calling 641-676-3535.

About Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy

Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy’s mission is to transform lives and restore hope through movement. They envision communities of healthy, happy, and hope-filled people and work towards that through the services they provide. Kinetic Edge has clinics in Pella, Des Moines, Oskaloosa, Newton, and Ames and consults throughout the state of Iowa and beyond. Their services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, worker performance, athletic training, pediatric therapy, and medical fitness.

Tuesday August 15, 2017


Casey Negrete

New Physical Therapist in Ames

Casey NegreteKinetic Edge Physical Therapy is proud to announce the addition of Casey Negrete, as their newest physical therapist in Ames.

Casey’s mission is to use his knowledge of human anatomy and physical rehabilitation, along with available resources, to help each patient meet their goals in an effective and efficient manner.

Casey earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Trine University, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Iowa State University.

Casey and his wife, Maggie, live in Ames. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, playing with his dog named Roxi, golfing, playing basketball, watching sports, and cheering for the Cyclones.

Casey is excited to restore health, happiness, and hope. Schedule an appointment or contact him by calling 515-337-1037.

About Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy

Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy’s mission is to transform lives and restore hope through movement. They envision communities of healthy, happy, and hope-filled people and work towards that through the services they provide. Kinetic Edge has clinics in Pella, Des Moines, Oskaloosa, Newton, and Ames and consults throughout the state of Iowa and beyond. Their services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, worker performance, athletic training, pediatric therapy, and medical fitness.

Tuesday August 1, 2017


Joel Watters

Physical Therapist Joel Watters resigns to move to Costa Rica

by Marketing Specialist Lindsey Klyn

Last March, Physical Therapist Joel Physical Therapist Joel WattersWatters announced he and his family were making plans to move to do missions in Costa Rica (read that article here). On August 3, Joel will spend his last day working as part of the Kinetic Edge Team.

Joel reached out to Kinetic Edge (well, we were Work Systems Rehab & Fitness at the time) over five years ago since his wife, Rachel, was taking a position on Intervarsity at Central College. It was obvious when we met with Joel for an interview at McDonald’s in Newton that he was a good candidate. (We didn’t know it at the time, but Joel entered the restaurant and met with us while Rachel, his wife, sat in the car parked outside!) We quickly learned in that meeting that Joel’s personal values and beliefs were an excellent match for our company.

“The character of our team members is extremely important to Kinetic Edge, and it has been for a long time,” shared CEO and Physical Therapist Troy Vander Molen. “We hire people who have excellent character, as well as great chemistry with the team we’ve built. This is even more important than competence, which is easier to train. It was obvious, though, that Joel had all three – character, chemistry, and competence.”

Pella Physical Therapy During that meeting, Joel also shared why he became interested in physical therapy as a high schooler. His mother received physical therapy care and enjoyed her experience, so she had Joel see the same physical therapist for running-related injury issues. As a result, Joel’s mother encouraged him to consider the field of physical therapy.

We later discovered that Troy Vander Molen, our CEO, was the physical therapist who had cared for Joel and his mom while working as a physical therapist at Linn County Physical Therapy. Small world! With all these things going for Joel, it seemed only fitting to make him part of the team.

We are sad to see Joel go, but we are so proud of his willingness to follow God’s leading in his life! We asked him to share a few final thoughts before wrapping up his time at Kinetic Edge.

View More: http://hannahwhite.pass.us/wattersMy name is Joel Watters, and I have worked as a physical therapist with Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy for the past five years, spending time in both our Pella and Oskaloosa clinics. My family and I have accepted a call to serve college students overseas in Costa Rica with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. We will be leaving on this new journey at the end of August.

As we prepare for this transition, certainly one of my biggest losses is my work as a physical therapist with Kinetic Edge. I have absolutely loved this work. It has been a joy to serve alongside the Kinetic Edge team in caring for our communities. I am grateful for all the patients I have had the opportunity to serve and this company that has supported me along the way. It has been incredibly meaningful to share this journey with so many of you and have a front row seat to people finding health, happiness, and hope!

John Lenderink will be stepping into my position at the Pella clinic. He is a great physical therapist and will serve our community well. I am grateful for him and couldn’t think of a better person to join our Pella team.

I don’t know what the future will bring but I hope to stay connected with many of you even as we move away. I am grateful for this season and hopeful for the next!

Like Joel, we are so thankful for the addition of John Lenderink to our Kinetic Edge team in Pella. John joined the team last November and has spent much time with Joel as we prepared for Joel’s departure. So many of our team members and clients have commented how we couldn’t have found a better fit to fill Joel’s shoes.

One of the things we love most about Joel is that he’s extremely conscientious and cares for people deeply. This will be missed by our entire team, in addition to the many clients he’s worked with over the years. Nevertheless, we are excited to see how God will use Joel, Rachel, and their family. Though the skills he’ll use in Costa Rica are different than his physical therapy skills, the same strengths that make him an excellent physical therapist will help him show God’s love as he serves in Costa Rica.  So with sadness and excitement, we say “hasta luego” (see you later) to Joel. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Tuesday August 1, 2017


Spinal Movement

by Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

As a physical therapist for twenty years, I have worked with a lot of people and a lot of diagnoses. I get a lot of questions from people in the community about their “rotary cup” or “slipped discs.” Even though those aren’t the correct terms, it’s easy to understand what the person is talking about, and it makes me think about how people perceive themselves, as well as how that impacts their health.

1. Slipped discs are a misnomer. It is one of the many myths about lower back problems. The phrase “slipped discs” gives people false ideas about what happens in their spines. So, let’s dispel those myths by reviewing some basics about the spine.

Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy
Figure 1. Spine Anatomy

2. Discs are the spine’s structural design made up of flexible material that acts to cushion forces. A disc is positioned between each vertebra, directly in front of the spinal cord, which runs through a canal behind the vertebrae (Figure 1). The disc has rings that circle the perimeter, called the annulus fibrosus, that are made out of cartilage.

These cartilage rings number 15-25 total, and they surround the soft inner core, called the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus is 80% water content and is gel-like, particularly when we’re younger.

When we bend and move, which is exactly what the spine is designed to allow us to do, the discs dissipate forces between the vertebrae. When we load the spine during movement, the discs deform, slightly and temporarily, to allow for the movement to occur (Figure 2).

Spinal Movement
Figure 2. The Disc During Movement


3. Over time, due to repeated mechanical pressure and tension, discs slowly wear out. This results in a loss of disc height and disc bulging, which is also referred to as disc prolapse or herniation. If there are some slight tears in the outer cartilage rings (annulus fibrosus), some of that inner gelatinous material (nucleus pulposus) may begin to slightly rupture through those openings, but that is much more likely to occur when we’re younger (under age 35), because as we age the nuclear material in the center loses water content and becomes less mobile.

4. A disc does not slide around, and it therefore can’t be manipulated back into position. So, the idea that the disc slips is really a myth. Yes, the inner disc material may bulge a little bit when we’re younger and the outer disc material may be displaced a bit when we’re older, but it is still stable in its position.

5. Most importantly, please note degenerative changes are absolutely normal. Recent studies show that up to 70% of us have disc bulges when viewed with MRI scans, and most do not have any symptoms. In other words, you are abnormal if you are an adult without degenerative disc issues. One study estimates that only 30% of people with disc degeneration experience any pain related to these changes.

So How Do I Know if I Have a Problem?

Well, I guess you could say that technically all of us have these problems. However, the problem doesn’t really need any attention unless you have pain and discomfort. At Kinetic Edge, we do not believe that everyone should seek treatment just because they have a spine that isn’t perfect.

It is often believed that “slipped discs” are the reason for leg pain or numbness. This leg pain or numbness, however, only occurs when the nerve that exits the spine and travels down the leg is receiving pressure. While changes to the disc may be the culprit, there are a variety of reasons that the nerve may be experiencing that pressure.

The single biggest mistake a person makes is to delay treatment when they begin to experience pain, whether the pain is local to the back or traveling down the leg. Usually these issues can be solved quickly and in a cost-effective way if we can assess and treat it early in the pain process. The goal is to find out the reason for the tissue pressure and resolve it, which will reduce inflammation and eliminate the pain.

The second biggest mistake a person makes is to stop moving. The importance of staying active cannot be underestimated. Moving ensures that muscles stay strong. It stimulates the nervous system and activates sensory nerves that block the pain signals. And it maintains the all-important mobility in spine joints.

There are some more significant symptoms of which you should be aware. If you have weakness in a leg muscle (i.e. can’t lift your foot or big toe) or difficulty controlling your bowel or bladder, you should contact your physical therapist or physician immediately. While these types of symptoms can occur, they are rare, and they are an indication that the pressure on a nerve is more significant.

Short of that, conservative care with a physical therapist is a highly effective way to mitigate back pain and restore proper motion throughout the kinetic chain. So, if you’re currently dealing with back pain or have experienced it in the recent past, we’d love to give you – at no cost or obligation – 20 minutes of our time to figure out the reason and solution for your pain. Once again, we have saved 10 slots in our schedule. Call now or email us to claim one before they are all taken up.

Saturday July 1, 2017


Pain in the Neck

by Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

Pain in the Neck How many times have you woken up in the morning with a kink in your neck? Isn’t it frustrating when you can’t turn your head because of your pain in the neck?

There are many reasons people experience pain in the neck, but irritation and movement limitation at a neck joint (called a facet joint) are very common findings when you have a kink in your neck. Sometimes these pains are short-lived. Other times they can linger. Often, they are recurrent. Usually people experience more frequent, more intense, and longer duration episodes as time goes on unless they find and fix the root of the problem.

If you’ve read our blog before, you won’t be surprised to hear that, like most musculoskeletal issues, this is another situation where the area with the pain is not really the primary problem. The things that hurt are usually simply the areas that experience more physical stress due to another neighboring area failing to do well what it is designed to do.

Figure 1
Figure 1

A commonly overlooked and undertreated area that can contribute to lots of aches and pains – including pain in the neck – is the thoracic spine (Figure 1). Unlike the cervical spine (neck) above and the lumbar spine (lower back) below, the thoracic spine is profoundly different. It has 12 segments and is surrounded by the rib cage which connects to the thoracic spine segments. This cage provides stability and support, as well as protection to vital organs beneath.

The thoracic spine is not designed to move a lot, but the little movements that the thoracic spine can make – and its appropriate posture and position – are critical to the long-term health of neighboring regions like the shoulder and neck above and the lower back below.

One of the body’s biggest enemies is gravity, and the thoracic spine is constantly fighting this tremendous and consistent force. If we don’t maintain our bodies well, the end result of this incessant battle against gravity is that the thoracic spine begins to flex slightly into a rounded curve. This flexion movement is usually coupled with a forward head and a forward shoulder position, which increases tissue loading on the facet joints of the neck, among many other things (Figure 2).

figure 2
Figure 2

So, if you’re currently dealing with neck pain or have experienced it in the past, you could eliminate the real problem and achieve real progress by making sure the thoracic spine is fighting well against gravity and has the necessary mobility to reduce stresses at the neighboring tissues.

So, this month, we are saving some time for those of you that suffer with pain in the neck. We’d love to give you 20 minutes of our time to figure out if your thoracic spine is the real reason for your pain. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough time for all of you. We did, however, save 10 slots in our schedule. Email us or call 866-588-0230 now to claim one before they are all taken up.

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