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A Trainer’s Guide To Recovery

Total Balance Physical Therapy & Fitness

Regardless of demographics, we are all prone to injury at some point in our lives. Athletes and those with active lifestyles are no exception. When you succumb to an injury, or need to recover from a medical procedure, it’s important to know where to start and the assets you have available to you. Having a solid plan for your recuperation is extremely important in determining the quality, speed, and overall percentage of recovery.

This review is not a complete list of all quality recovery options in town, and it’s important to remind the reader that any treatment plan should be discussed and approved by a physician when related to an injury. But I am pleased to offer details on four recovery facilities right in Fargo, ND that have caught my interest in both their commitment and approach to their craft, as well as the culture within the walls of their perspective clinics. I feel both qualities bring value in terms of allowing the patient to find relief more completely and possibly within an accelerated timeframe. I truly hope this is helpful for you.

Total Balance Physical Therapy & Fitness

Total Balance Physical Therapy & Fitness started out of a small gym in North Fargo in 2017. Their stated mission is to bridge the gap between rehab and wellness. What sets Total Balance apart from a traditional physical therapy outfit is that they incorporate a full gym setting to help their clients continue building strength after their prescribed therapy is complete. I was able to speak with Dr. Anthony Charbonneau PT, DPT, OCS from Total Balance.

“We aim to be true primary care providers that treat neuromusculoskeletal conditions. In other words, we are pain specialists that effectively treat the many dysfunctions that arise due to pain and other ailments to promote the highest quality of life.” Why is it any more beneficial than a similar service: There seems to be a missing link between traditional therapy and exercising at a gym, and we aimed to eliminate that gap; hence our slogan! An oftentimes missing component of standard physical therapy is that after the formal treatment sessions are complete, the burden lies on the patient to continue with the management of their condition based on what they have learned during therapy. At Total Balance, there is always a plan for the future. We attempt to distinguish ourselves from other physical therapy practices in that we are in easily accessible locations across the F-M area, as well as Hawley. We are confident that anybody can walk into our clinics with virtually any condition, and we should be able to direct you to the right provider and explain how we have the ability to help in your situation, and how it would be different than what you would likely get from other providers in town. Health and wellness go hand-in-hand. Every physical therapy clinic wishes that they were connected to a gym as they want to be able to promote the health and wellness environment that we are able to offer, and we do it in a way that promotes synergy between the two. Going to a doctor and going to a gym can be very threatening to people, and we take pride in the fact that we have built an organization that effectively made them not only non-threatening but also enjoyable!”

My Take: Total Balance reminds me a bit of this year’s Los Angeles Rams. By this, I mean that they are a bit of a super team. They have put together a team of 15 well-educated physical therapists with a wide range of talents and certifications supported by multiple locations, all with a connecting gym and a supporting cast of certified personal trainers. There is also a registered dietician on staff. This means there is a professional on hand to provide nutritional advice to anyone, whether it be the general population, someone dealing with a metabolic disorder (diabetes/heart disease/obesity), cancer, food allergies or food intolerances. This certainly gives them the ability to be the “one-stop-shop” of physical therapy and fitness in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

As a coach, having an asset like this to refer out to is paramount. I’ve had clients have complete tears reattachments, hip replacements, labrum and meniscus surgeries just to name a few. When these situations come around it’s best to join the team and be a good listener. Once physical therapy is finished, we are able to help them finish the rest of the rebuild process.

Healing With Hyperbarics of North Dakota

Healing with Hyperbarics of North Dakota, PLLC, is a private practice, free-standing hyperbaric center under the direction of Dr. Daphne Denham. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a newage medical treatment that involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a hyperbaric (pressurized) chamber. The high level of oxygen in the blood provides an increased oxygen supply to all the body’s tissues, decreases swelling to any damaged tissues, and mitigates an over-reactive immune function. These three results, all simply from the increased oxygen of the blood, provide incredible healing benefits to the body’s cells and tissue.

The stated goal of Healing with Hyperbarics is “to provide hyperbaric oxygen treatments at affordable rates to demonstrate the possibilities of therapy with pure oxygen.” Their website explains that since 2009 they have focused exclusively on wound care and hyperbaric medicine. As a board-certified general surgeon, Dr. Denham has a unique perspective on the potential benefits of oxygen therapy.

My Take: This team of professionals truly impressed me during each of our interviews. It didn’t matter who I spoke with, each carried the same love and passion while discussing their mission. That sort of culture brings a level of energy and comfort that I believe is perfect within a clinic’s walls when beginning the healing process. Although initially when you think hyperbaric, you may think of divers and decompression sickness, and you would be correct in that thought. However, that is simply the tip of the iceberg.

There is an entire list of FDA-approved– and an even larger list of internationally– approved conditions that are currently treated with hyperbaric chambers. A few that I found to be fascinating are thermal injuries (frostbite and burns), delayed radiation injuries, pre-surgery tissue preparation, wound healing and the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. There is solid science that suggests that using hyperbaric oxygen treatment immediately after someone has experienced a concussion can aid in and possibly accelerate the recovery of the injury. It does this by bringing oxygen to the injured area, removing the initial inflammation, bringing normal blood flow back, and stopping future inflammation responses. In terms of youth and adult athletics, this is solid gold.

There is something special happening here outside the reach of pharmacology and quick fixes. As a coach that works with young athletes, combat sport athletes and the military, I see this as something that has great potential and benefits for the future.

Venture Chiropratic

“Chiropractic care can reduce joint pain, increase range of motion and reduce headache frequency, and is used by most professional sports and US Olympic teams. Let us show you how Venture Chiropractic can help you get back to doing what you love.” -Dr. Chris Dockter

Venture Chiropractic was established by Dr. Chris Dockter in 2009 and was initially located in Moorhead, MN. Dr. Melanie Dockter joined the practice in 2010. In 2012, they relocated to Fargo, ND, to meet the needs of a growing patient base. Due to loyal and supportive patients, Venture Chiropractic continues to grow and expand. Dr. Matt Casperson and Dr. Kinzie Koch also add their expertise and are passionate about getting people well and back to doing the things they love.

“At Venture Chiropractic we help people move better, feel better, and be the best version of themselves. Some chiropractors only adjust. We use adjustments to help you move better and with less pain and we teach you how to keep moving well to avoid future episodes of pain. Maintenance care can help you stay at the top of your game by increasing range of motion and guided rehabilitative exercises can improve stability to help you keep doing the things you love.”-Dr. Chris Dockter

My Take: Venture Chiropractic, like Total Balance, is essentially a “one-stopshop.” They have multiple, extremely talented DCs that cover a multitude of services, including general care, acupuncture, sport-related injuries and rehab and pediatric and maternity care. On the wellness side, they offer nutritional services and have a fitness area along with certified personal trainers. They also have an incredible trigger point specialist in Kathy Johnson of Therapeutic Massage Solutions who is on-site and Therapeutic Massage Solutions. These additional services are unique to a chiropractor’s office, but I feel are a great compliment to the traditional practice.

What I appreciate about Venture is their commitment to serving others by anticipating and facilitating their clients’ wellness needs. When you visit Venture, whether for general maintenance, chronic or acute injury, you not only get adjusted, but you leave with a comprehensive game plan for rehabilitation. As a strength and conditioning coach, I know very well the value of having a plan to accomplish your goals.

Glacial Peak Cryotheraphy

Glacial Peak Cryotherapy is locally owned and operated by Pam Bradow, a Fergus Falls, MN native. Pam originally tried Cryotherapy after she was injured in a car accident while living in Colorado Springs, CO. The effects of the accident left Pam so badly injured that she was unable to return to work as a Dental Hygienist. Pam was seeing a physical therapist, vision specialist and concussion specialist to help rehabilitate. After not getting the relief she sought, her quality of life was lacking, and she was ready to try just about anything. Her massage therapist suggested that she try Cryotherapy to reduce her general inflammation.

After personally feeling the many positive effects that Cryotherapy can have both physically and mentally, progress was made in her therapies. Pam was wanting to make the move back to the Midwest to continue working as a Dental Hygienist but that plan changed. She opened her own business and Glacial Peak was created.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is a therapy technique in which the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures (-166 to -320 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 3 minutes. The body’s natural response to this level of cold is to constrict the peripheral tissues, pulling the blood to the center of the body in an attempt to maintain core temperature. In doing so, it filters fluid through the lymphatic system which can help initiate the removal of toxins and allows the body to replenish and restore itself.

Cryotherapy works through cooling the blood, numbing the nerves, stimulating a hormonal response and initiating anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory responses within the body. Application of this technique can be performed full-body or locally depending on the injury or issue being treated. This form of treatment can be utilized in an acute setting (one single use), but results are better and last longer through multiple treatments in a condensed period of time.

My Take: Cold therapy is literally an ancient technique. The earliest known uses of cold therapy to remove inflammation goes back as early as 2500 BC with the Egyptians. I say this because I want others to know that cold therapy is a time-proven technique no matter the application in removing inflammation either locally or whole body. Up to this point, we have had to suffer with 10-20 minute ice baths if we were looking to do whole body cryotherapy. If we needed to ice locally, it was either ice packs or smaller baths made in a sink or bucket. No matter the circumstance, there’s always been a time constraint and discomfort. With Glacial Peak, the time constraint is nearly non-existent. What takes 20 minutes in an ice bath, takes up to 3 minutes in the cryosauna. Another benefit is that where ice baths contain water and thus are humid, this is very much a dry cold. So even though it takes your body to colder temperatures, it is far more comfortable in the process. This means that it is more applicable to the general public simply because it is more sustainable. The same goes for localized therapy. This takes a typically, feared but extremely useful, process and puts it within reach of the untrained or nonathlete. Just because a person doesn’t take hits in practice all day, doesn’t mean their lifestyle doesn’t take a toll on their bodies. Glacial Peak Cryotherapy bridges that gap. On top of that, you see a team that is passionate for what they do, and that makes the process even more comfortable.

When dealing with pain and injury, it’s important to understand and utilize your options for recovery. Technology advances all the time, offering more and more solutions to pain and illness. I am grateful to be in a thriving community like Fargo, ND where there are growing options for care within and outside a traditional medical setting. Recovery can feel like a long road, but you’re never alone, and you never know where you might reach success. I hope you enjoyed learning about just a few local practices breaking the mold in Fargo.


About The Author:

Eric Sweeney apbd_fitness has been the owner-operator/ head coach of the company Power By Design Fitness at Metroflex Gym Fargo for six years now. He has a degree in Exercise Science from NDSU, is a certified spread coach CSAC and a certified nutrition coach PN1. Eric coaches multiple facets of fitness including youth and adult athletics, group classes, combat sports, military prep, competition bodybuilding power/strength functional movements and general population.

Written by Eric Sweeney

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