PHYSICAL THERAPY

with a speciality in sports performance and injury prevention

We strive to set ourselves apart from other Chicago Physical Therapy facilities by providing one on one  physical therapy training with each patient. Located in the Lincoln Park area, our facility provides access to the top of the line exercise and rehabilitative equipment. We provide a hands-on approach using manual therapy techniques that will help you achieve a speedy and effective recovery, allowing you to return to your desired activity as quickly as possible. We begin our program with a thorough assessment during the initial evaluation followed by a multifaceted plan of care that will address the body’s intertwined musculoskeletal system. When there is one failure in this system, there are then many upstream and downstream issues that need to be addressed and corrected. We provide the medical advice that you need to heal your specific injury by addressing the function of your body as a whole which will then keep you active for longer.

adjusting leg

PERFORMANCE THERAPY

A blend of physical therapy and sports performance

Mary Kate helps a Saint Ignatius student with her form.

Come to TFI for Chicago Performance Therapy. Our licensed physical therapists and certified personal trainers have put their heads together to deliver a unique approach to sports performance. We feel there are benefits in each approach that should be combined and implemented to reduce the overall risk of injury while still focusing on the body’s ability to perform at peak levels in the most efficient way. This medical model towards sports performance allows the individual to prepare, perform, and recover from sports and allows our bodies to sustain the countless hours of activities associated with our demanding lifestyles.

Concussion Management

    • Work with certified concussion specialist Mary Kate Casey, DPT to resolve the post concussion symptoms and get back to school. See our blog about concussion management, sign and symptoms of a concussion and how we treat those symptoms.
    • No symptom is a small symptom. I have worked with people of all shapes, sizes and levels of physical ability. We will ensure your symptoms are resolved or that you are in the right providers hands for further evaluation.
    • We also offer baseline concussion testing through Impact and utilize these assessments alongside your physician to assist with your Return to Play (RTP) protocol.
    • Learn more here
Injury Prevention and Sports Performance

Custom Orthotic Fitting

    • Mary Kate Casey will fit your for custom orthotics using plaster casts and a thorough assessment to determine the best fit for you. She has personal experience wearing this specific brand of Biomechanical Orthotics at work, walking through the city and on the collegiate lacrosse field. These custom orthotics are guaranteed to make a change in the way you live your life and experience recreation.
    • http://www.biomechanical.com/

Video Running Analysis

    • Using DartFish Video Technology, we assess your running pattern and evaluate for compensations and deviations that may contribute or lead to an injury. We not only want to help you recover from and injury, but we can improve your efficiency… and now why would anyone not want to improve their time!!!  
    • http://www.dartfish.com

DorsaVi Movement Assessment

    • The revolutionary wearable technology that brings the research lab to the clinic, allowing our TFI therapists the ability to see real time data and develop a plan of care that addresses areas of weakness and imbalance. With over 135 reps of lower extremity reps, this assessment is top of the line for determining your readiness for return to play and leg symmetry after a traumatic injury such as an ACL tear.
    • https://www.dorsavi.com/

Sports Massage Therapy

    • Work with Erin Bretts, owner of FIT Massage for an experience of a lifetime. She has worked on professional athletes to the moms and dads who do it all.  She will bring your back to life in no time, making those small aches and pains go away, leaving you feel like the professional athlete that was on the table right before you!

Sports Nutrition

Our friends at FUEL STRIDE, Julia Ritthaler are an amazing source (get it food source) to help you learn new ways to nourish your body, get the results you want and be a better version of you. They focus on improving your body awareness and your relationship with food and how it can fuel your body.

Sports Psychology

    • Work alongside Sara Buxton, LSW at Chicago Center to improve your self awareness, pressure situations, recover from your injury and prepare yourself to perform your best no matter what the situation.
    • http://www.chicagocbm.com/

Complimentary Injury Consultation

Speak with a physical therapist over the phone or in person and get real time advise on what you should do for your injury. We specialize in sports medicine and orthopedic conditions. We treat the active population ages 6- 99

Sports Medicine Articles and Links

ACL Return to Play

Graston Technique

Cupping Therapy

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a therapeutic technique in which a small filament needle is used to mechanically disrupt dysfunctional muscle, fascia and connective tissue. The most supported approach targets myofascial active and / or latent trigger points.  Active trigger points can cause spontaneous pain, whereas latent trigger points elicit symptoms when compressed. A trigger point can be anywhere in the body in response to sudden injury, muscle overload, or repetitive microtrauma. These trigger points negatively alter the activity of the muscle causing scarring, myofascial pain, motor recruitment and muscle firing deficits. Many clinicians, including myself, are already using dry needling to treat a plethora of musculoskeletal disorders. The actual mechanism of effect of dry needling therapy (DNT) is being vigorously researched, and we are learning more and more to improve in this exploding field.  Mechanically, dry needling targets the microscopic dysfunction of the muscle along with the nerves associated with it. The disruption produced by the needle also releases chemical and hormonal messengers that help balance the nervous system.  Overall, the goal of DNT is to return the muscle and soft tissue structures to a “normal” electrical, chemical, and mechanical environment.  

How to prepare?

It is important you are aware of the contraindications and precautions to dry needling therapy.  Some, but not all of these contraindications include: acute cardiac arrhythmias,  irregular heartbeat, spontaneous bleeding or bruising, anticoagulant therapy, unstable diabetes, HIV,  Hep B or C,  malignancy, recurrent infections, seizure induced by previous medical procedure. We strongly advise that you consult your medical doctor if you have any of these conditions to confirm that it is safe for you to receive DNT.   The possible risks and adverse reactions to dry needling therapy are rare, and in many cases the benefits outweigh the risks.

How many sessions of DNT is normal?

If treatment zones are found and the correct muscle groups are targeted, sub-acute conditions will improve after three – four consecutive sessions, with chronic injuries requiring five – six consecutive needling sessions.

How large are the needles, and how many will you use?

Needle diameter and depth is selected according to the size and anatomy of target muscle, and surrounding tissue. More acute injuries can respond to more superficial stimulation using a short and small diameter needle. There will likely be multiple needles throughout the entire muscle.   Chronic injuries with more extensive fibrosis may require deeper, longer and more closely spaced needles.

How should I feel after?

You may experience muscle soreness anywhere from 24 – 72 hours after dry needling therapy.  Obtaining more than one or two twitch responses within a muscle during a session will undoubtedly cause post needling soreness.  As mentioned, dry needling targets actin-myosin bonds of the muscle fiber to disrupt and reset the system with development of myofascial trigger points.  Similarly, think of the concept behind muscle strengthening, and the principle of progressive overload. It is believed that weight training results in muscle unit breakdown in order to rebuild stronger more efficient motor fibers.  The same theme carries over to Wolff’s law, which states healthy bone will adapt to the loads under which it is placed.  There has to be adequate stress or mechanical loading on the system to influence a favorable response.

How is DNT different than acupuncture?

  • While there are several philosophies of practice, acupuncture institutes are guided by the Daoist concept of yin and yang. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture teach the workings of the human body are controlled by an energy called “Qi” circulating between organs along channels called “meridians”, each corresponding to major functions. Energy must flow through each meridian in order to achieve and maintain equilibrium. To normalize the flow of Qi in the body an Acupuncturist would place a needle in the respective acupoint, or specific energy points on the body.  
  • There are positive clinical outcomes for both DNT and acupuncture.  I am trained as a doctor of physical therapy, so will take a different approach as a movement specialist. The process always begins with a thorough examination to assess and address strength and flexibility deficits.  My road map and target tissue will reflect your specific muscle imbalances and faulty or compensatory movement patterns.
  • Dry needling techniques vary, and in most cases I use more than one technique for positive clinical outcomes. Usually, my sessions will look like this:  (1) slow, steady motion in and out of the muscle to find a treatment zone (dynamic needling) (2) rotate the needle several revolutions in order to draw the taut fascia (3) leave the needle in situ (static needling). Once treatment zones are identified, I will have you relax for +/- 15 minutes with occasional manipulation of the needles throughout treatment time.  As previously mentioned, there are many “schools of thought” as various approaches exist.  Speaking to the trigger point model, dry needling therapy should not be the only intervention included in a patient’s plan of care.  DNT should be used in adjunct with stretching, joint mobilizations, neuromuscular reeducation, strengthening, and other -related interventions.