News - Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy
Thursday September 17, 2015

SIX YEAR OLD DEFEATS BRAIN TUMOR

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September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

IMG_3643 - CopyNo parent wants to hear their child’s name in the same sentence as brain tumor, especially when that brain tumor turns out to be cancerous. But on September 24, 2012, that’s exactly what happened to Todd and Barb Gosselink and their four year old son, Jacob.

“Jacob’s head had started to hurt in late August,” stated Barb Gosselink. “By September, we knew something wasn’t right.”

Todd and Barb brought Jacob to the doctor where a scan revealed a brain tumor behind his cerebellum.  Three days later, they were at Mayo Clinic in the operating room where doctors pulled out Jacob’s cerebellum to remove the tumor.

IMG_3686Fortunate for the Gosselinks, a positive prognosis existed for Jacob. His tumor was the most common of tumors; with surgery, chemo, and radiation, the doctors felt optimistic about his future.

Over the course of the next year and a half, the Gosselinks did everything they could to help Jacob get better. They spent seven weeks in Houston experimenting with a newer approach to cancer treatment called proton therapy, in addition to many months of chemotherapy at Blank Children’s Hospital.

On December 12, 2013, six year old Jacob was declared cancer free. With this news came much rejoicing, but the battle hasn’t ended for the Gosselinks.

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“It sounds silly, but you just don’t realize all the things the brain controls,” commented Barb. “We still have to deal with so many of the long term effects of Jacob’s cancer and surgery.”

Jacob started physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy shortly after his surgery and continues to do occupational therapy at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy to work on things like coping skills, muscle weakness, and balance issues.

“Jacob experienced sensorimotor delays as a result of his cancer and not being as active as a normal kid his age would have been during that time in his life,” said Occupational Therapist Elise Spronk.

Elise Spronk and the occupational therapy team at Kinetic Edge use fun activities like obstacle courses, puzzles, and games to work on the areas Jacob struggles with. Over the past four months, Jacob’s seen drastic improvement in his visual motor skills and balance as a result of occupational therapy.

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At Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapist Elise Spronk works on Jacob’s sensorimotor delays with activities like painting himself on a mirror while standing on a Bosu to work on balance and working on a puzzle game while balancing on a tire swing.

“When I think about Jacob, I think of a kid who’s extremely caring and conscientious,” stated Spronk. “While cancer weakened him in some regards, I think it’s made him more aware of how things affect others and their feelings. It’s quite something for a six year old.”

IMG_3639Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy is proud to help raise awareness for kids like Jacob during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. For this reason, Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy is collecting donations and will donate $10 to Children’s Cancer Connection for every patient referral they receive from a current or previous patient. Children’s Cancer Connection is a non-profit utilized by families who are battling childhood cancer. Jacob’s two siblings went to a weeklong camp organized by Children’s Cancer Connection for siblings of cancer patients. To find out more about this organization, visit their website.

The occupational therapy team at Kinetic Edge specializes in treating patients with hand, wrist, or elbow problems, in addition to pediatric therapy. Occupational therapists are available at their Pella and Oskaloosa clinics. Occupational therapy can benefit a wide variety of children. Some examples include kids struggling with learning, picky eaters, children having difficulty calming down or staying focused, kids with balance and coordination difficulties, and those with delayed fine motor skills.

For more information on how occupational therapy could help you or your loved one, check out our occupational therapy page.

Friday September 11, 2015

IOWA VS. ISU DAY

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With five clinics throughout Iowa, we have quite the healthy rival going on among our team members during Iowa vs. ISU week. Our Ames clinic particularly enjoys this week. With an ISU alumni operating the front desk and an avid Hawkeye fan as the physical therapist in Cyclone Nation, you can imagine the shenanigans that go down. Check out a little bit of the fun we had this week:

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But despite all this fun and regardless of who wins the game tomorrow, all of us Iowans experienced a great loss this week. The life of Tyler Sash will not be quickly forgotten at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy. With a clinic in Oskaloosa, we’ve witnessed the impact Tyler made on this community. Tyler was known for working hard on and off the field. He was a sports legend that taught us all how important it is to compete hard on the field but love others well off of it.

Tyler Sash, you were so much more than a great football player. You did so much for our community and state, and you will be greatly missed.

Our prayers go out to the Sash family in this time of great loss. May you feel God’s comfort and peace in the difficult days to come, and may you know that your community and state mourn with you. No words can make this tragedy better, but we are thankful for the message this son, brother, uncle, friend, Hawkeye, Giant, and role model stood for and the legacy he’s leaving behind.

RIP Tyler Sash.

Monday August 31, 2015

MEET MATT SCOTTON

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Matt ScottonKinetic Edge Physical Therapy, formerly Work Systems Rehab & Fitness, is proud to annouce the addition of Matt Scotton to their team as the clinic manager of their Newton location. Scotton joins the team with over 20 years of experience in the physical therapy field.

Scotton earned his Bachelor’s degree from Central College, his Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and his Doctorate from Des Moines University. He‘s spent the last 21 years working at Skiff Medical Center, where he worked his way up to become the Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2010.
In addition to his experience and education in physical therapy, Scotton is also a certified athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has also worked onsite at Newton High School events.

This Northboro native has been an integral part of the Newton community since he joined it in 1994. Scotton’s mission as part of the Kinetic Edge team is to improve the health and quality of life of as many people as possible.

FUN FACTS ABOUT MATT:
• Matt and his wife, Sandy, have two daughters, Kora and Hannah
• Matt loves to explore nature and human performance.
• He explored his own human performance capacity by competing in a series of five endurance races at 10,000 feet altitude in Leadville, CO in 2011 & 2012 becoming a Leadman each year. Fewer than 250 people have accomplished this and fewer than 20 have done it twice.
• Matt loves to watch sports, especially baseball.

Want to schedule an appointment with Matt? Call our Newton clinic at 641-791-9675 or email us to request an appointment! 

Wednesday August 26, 2015

PHYSICAL THERAPIST SPENDS FIVE WEEKS IN CHINA

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by Joel Watters, Physical Therapist for Kinetic Edge in Pella

What would you say if I told you I just spent five weeks in China? And don’t let me forget to mention that I went with my two year old daughter, one year old son, seven month pregnant wife, and 17 college students.

You might be surprised that I’m living to tell about it, or you might just tell me that I must be absolutely crazy.

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With a young growing family, the thought of going to China felt risky and a bit scary. Many times I knew it would just be easier to say no. However, we had a deep longing to depend on God and to say yes to Him. We wanted so badly to choose to trust and to live our lives for something other than ourselves. So, in July of this year we packed our bags, held onto our kids, and headed across the ocean with 17 wonderful students.

While in China, we participated in a cultural exchange on a college campus where each American student was paired with a Chinese student. They lived together, went to class together, and experienced life together. We had daily topical classes in which each pair would present from the perspective of their culture. These topics ranged from geography to weddings and everything in between. We would have different activities, such as sports or art, in the afternoons, and the evenings were mostly free. Our days were spent building relationships and loving one another.

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How we got around in China: all of us on one bike!

The students weren’t the only ones paired off; I had a language partner as well who was a professor my age from the University. He was an incredible man, and we shared many things in common. As our relationship grew, he shared vulnerably about his home life and the difficulties he was having with his wife. I also was able to share challenges in my life with him in return, and through this relationship, I was able to tell him about my faith. One afternoon we went out for tea and read about the Prodigal Son. He could not believe the incredible love of the Father and asked question after question.  This was the first time his ears had heard this life-changing Good News.

Our students were fantastic and God did incredible things through them.  They loved well, struggled with the culture, and leaned into God.  At times, life was really hard, but in the difficulties, they were able to see God’s hand at work. They had many opportunities to share stories of Jesus and to demonstrate the love of God to their roommates. On our trip home we received a picture of six of our Chinese students together; they had all gone to church for the first time.

The Kingdom is moving. To God be the glory.

Watters familyReturning home is always a bit bittersweet. I am happy to return to the people and places I love, but I do miss the simplicity of life focused on pointing others to Christ. I long for a significant life here in the United States. Not one for all to see, but in humility serving God. I want to live life passionately for Christ in my workplace. I want my children to see me taking risks and living out the truth that I have placed my faith in.

Yes, spending five weeks in a foreign country with a two and one year old and a pregnant wife had its challenges. However, life over the past month was incredibly simple and so very sweet. We were focused on two things: loving God and loving each other. In this place of pure simplicity, I found life to be incredibly rich. In our act of obedience of saying yes to go, I encountered freedom. In living life for others, I experienced meaningful joy and purpose.  In true dependence on God, my faith was deepened and hope in Him solidified.  I am grateful for this opportunity and hope my life and the lives of my family, our students, and our Chinese friends will be changed forever.

Want to learn more about Joel? Check out his bio on our team page here

Wednesday August 26, 2015

Pain in the neck: A one-minute test and how to fix it

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Neck pain 2Do you find yourself massaging your neck throughout the day? Do you try to move your neck as little as possible as not to bother it? At Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, we help many people with pain in the neck. In some instances, the pain may travel into the shoulder, elbow, hand, chest, or shoulder blade.  For successful treatment and successful pain relief to occur, we must first find out what is causing the problem.

It is common for physical therapists to first look at how well a person with pain in the neck can move. If you suffer from pain in the neck, take this one-minute test at home to see how well you can move.

PicMonkey Collage 2One-minute test for neck pain: 

  1. Sit up with your back straight in a chair.
  2. Move your head up as far as you can.
  3. Move your head down as far as you can.
  4. Turn your head to the left as far as you can.
  5. Turn your head to the right as far as you can.
  6. Raise your right arm straight up as high as you can.
  7. Raise your left arm straight up as high as you can.

Most people with neck pain will feel limitation or restriction with one of these six movements.  For example, when looking down, many people will feel a tightness at the base of their neck or between their shoulder blades.  When turning the head side to side, it may be much easier to turn one direction than the other. If this happens, this usually means there is hope for successful outcomes with the right physical therapy treatment.

If you felt pain during the one minute test, your next goal is to reduce the pain.  If the pain is reproducible (meaning a movement brings on the symptoms), then there is usually hope.  Good treatment first restores the movement, and good physical therapists use various forms of hands-on treatment to achieve this. For instance, we’ve seen many who have trouble turning their head to the left.  We do a hands-on treatment at their first visit to help restore normal movement and then ask the person to try to turn their head to the left again.  After just one visit, most people will notice better movement and less pain. If we have done this, we have helped address the source of the problem.

So now what?

Perform the one minute test at home.  Note any tightness, pain, tingling or limited motion you have. If you have limited motion and would like to find out how to reduce your pain, please call us to schedule a free Kinetic Screen to see if physical therapy is right for you.

  • Pella: 641-621-0230
  • Des Moines: 515-309-4706
  • Oskaloosa: 641-676-3535
  • Newton: 641-791-9675
  • Ames: 515-337-1037

If you had discomfort or difficulty moving with any of the tests from above and want to learn some simple exercises for neck pain, simply email us telling where you experienced the problem. We’ll send you a simple home exercise that is specifically designed to help you move better, feel better, and function better.