Our staff at Rehab Plus is committed to staying on top of cutting edge technology and research in our industry.  We are also fortunate to have a wide network of  associates we can rely upon to get great information.

Here are some of the topics we are consistently asked about:

  • Biologics, i.e. Stem Cell Therapy, PRP, Hylarounic acid
  • Quantified measurement techniques used in physical therapy and sports science
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (i.e. ASTYM, Grastons)
  • Nutritional Supplementation
  • Hip and Knee Total Joint Arthroplasty
  • PED’s (Performance Enhancing Drugs).  

Got a question?  Shoot us an email and we’ll try to answer your question to the best of our ability.

Tough Times Go Away, Tough People Don’t!

For years we have worked with people from all over the country to meet their physical therapy and sports performance training needs.   We know that for a person to experience great success in anything they do, they need to have heart, mental toughness, and are COMPETITIVE.  Some people have that unstoppable spirit and because of that they experience greater success than others.  We love to have these people in our clinic because they raise the bar for everyone, including us!  Over the next couple of weeks we are going to display some of these people.  We hope they motivate you, as they continue to motivate us.  This is why we look forward to showing up to work everyday!

This Week’s “Tough Guy”: Eddie King

We recently brought you Eddie’s story and wanted to give you an update on his progress.  He began his road back at a rehab facility in California, and came to work with us starting the summer of this year.  Eddie has made great progress thus far, and is committed to walking AND competing again.  Make no mistake, Eddie COMPETES every time he is rehabbing at our clinic and it is the competitive spirit that drives Eddie, and everyone for that matter, that is committed to achieving a goal.  The video above is an amazing example of the hard work and effort he has put in to get to this point, considering where he was a little less than a year ago.  Like us on Facebook and follow Eddie’s story!  September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.  Here are some links for you to see how you can help:


We got some other tough people we are going to recognize in the next couple weeks, people that are working with us at Rehab Plus, people that have overcome great adversity to move forward in their lives.  We’ve put together some PEARLS OF WISDOM regarding toughness we hope you enjoy:

Pearls of Wisdom: TOUGHNESS


“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscle”

Alex Karras


“Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain”

Mark Twain


BMX Legend Eddy King’s Road Back from Injury

Many of you know our own Chad Dunn used to compete as a nationally ranked BMX rider.  Well when he heard one of his hero’s BMX Legend  Eddie King had seriously injured his spinal cord in a mountain biking accident Chad reached out to him and offered the services of Rehab Plus. Eddie started working with us back in July and has been making great progress ever since.  When it comes to recovery after a serious injury Chad says, “You have to have the mindset that nothing is going to keep you down.”  Eddie has that and more.  In BMX News article one week following his accident in October 2013, Eddie stated, “To all those concerned about my mental state, it’s rock solid. I’ve always lived by the motto, “No matter how bad you have it, there is always someone out there that has it worse than you.”  This attitude has helped him make impressive gains in the 11 months following his accident.   For more information about how you can help visit Eddie King Foundation.  Check out these videos of his progress:

Part 2: Total Knee Replacement – Choose the right path


Hope you enjoyed part 1 of our series on total knee replacement success stories.  We are fortunate to attract highly motivated, focused individuals to join us in the collaborative effort to achieve optimal results following knee replacement surgery.  This installment we’d like to give you some thoughts on if/when someone is a candidate for a knee replacement and what we feel are crucial steps to achieve the best possible outcome.

Most people who have total knee replacement surgery have exhausted all their treatment options (i.e. physical therapy, hyaluronic acid shots, etc.) and the pain and reduced function let’s them know they are probably going to need a “new knee”.  Imaging via x-ray and/or MRI will confirm the affected knee is “bone on bone”.  Anyone who meets these criteria then has to mentally accept the fact that they are going to need a knee replacement and have a plan:

  1. Due your due diligence in choosing a surgeon.  A lot of people like to interview 2-3 orthopods to try to find “the right fit”.  We are asked quite often to recommend joint replacement surgeons and can be of help in this department given our network of associates and experience.
  2. Get yourself in the best physical shape you can prior to the surgery.  Focus on getting knee joint range of motion and lower extremity strength.
  3. Have goals you want to accomplish after the surgery: i.e. hiking, tennis, skiing, etc. , and be mentally prepared to achieve those goals.
  4. Begin aggressive outpatient physical therapy as soon as possible after the surgery.  The sooner you can begin an all inclusive total knee rehab protocol like the one we use at Rehab Plus, the quicker and more efficient your recovery will be.

We’ve kept this short but we will be offering personal insights into total knee rehab from our physical therapy staff in weeks to come.

Physical Therapy Treats Dizziness?

by Sarah Thompson, DPT


When you think about physical therapy, thoughts of shoulders, knees, and exercise are likely to come to mind.  Not very many people associate dizziness with the practice of physical therapy, but that is something that I am hoping to change.

Dizziness is one of the most common complaints reported to physicians. Perhaps you have heard of a more common form of dizziness, BPPV? Benign Paraoxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a type of dizziness that most commonly occurs following trauma to the head (car accident, fall, etc). BPPV is thought to be caused by free- floating calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) that have been jarred from the reservoirs within the inner ear (saccule and utricle) where they usually reside.  Common signs and symptoms of BPPV include dizziness often brought on by change in position (such as rolling over in bed),  nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, loss of balance, and/or recent trauma to the head (fall, car accident). Physical therapists with a background in vestibular rehabilitation are equipped with hands-on techniques to reposition the free-floating crystals back into their optimal alignment to minimize symptoms, and once symptoms have been managed, will design an exercise program based on each individual’s vestibular impairments.

There are 3 components to our balance systems: visual, vestibular, and somatosensory. What we see with our eyes makes up the visual component- how far away is an object? Is it moving? What we feel with our hands or our feet make up the somatosensory portion- is the ground I am standing on firm or soft? Uphill or downhill? Finally, and most importantly, is the vestibular system.  Inside each of our ears are 3 canals, all positioned at different angles, that are filled with fluid. When we move our head, the resulting movement of fluid in the ears tells the brain how far, how fast and in what direction the head is moving.

As we age, our body naturally begins to break down, resulting in poorer vision, loss of hearing, loss of strength, and resultantly, poorer balance.  That being said, balance is something that we must continuously work on, just as one works on strength, in order to maintain optimal function. Physical therapists are trained to recognize balance impairments and determine which of the 3 components of the balance system is or are affected. Vestibular rehabilitation challenges the impaired system (s) and is designed to result in habituation, or a decrease in symptoms following repeated stimulation.

If you, or anyone you know, suffer from dizziness or have questions about how it could be managed through physical therapy, please feel free to contact us at Rehab Plus Ahwatukee 480-485-5415.

Sarah Thompson, DPT is trained in Vestibular Rehabilitation and works out of our Rehab Plus Ahwatukee location.  Have a question about Vestibular Therapy treatment?  Email Sarah at

Should I stretch before I workout?

funny stretch

The simple answer is yes and no, it all depends on what you define as stretching.  Before you think, well that piece of advice is no help, let me explain.

There are 2 different forms of stretching and when you use them it can mean the difference between increased flexibility and sports performance or an injury.  The commonly known form of stretching is static stretching in which you move your muscle into extended movement where you begin to feel a slight pull in the muscle and hold it in that position for for a few seconds.  Although it’s often prescribed as an injury-prevention measure, static stretching before a workout might be the worst of all strategies. Because it forces the target muscle to relax, it temporarily makes it weaker. As a result, a strength imbalance can occur between opposing muscle groups. For example, stretching your hamstrings causes them to become significantly weaker than your quadriceps. And that may make you more susceptible to muscle strains, pulls, and tears in the short term.

woman stretching

Static stretching also reduces blood flow to your muscles and decreases the activity of your central nervous system—meaning it inhibits your brain’s ability to communicate with your muscles, which limits your capacity to generate force. The bottom line: Never perform static stretching before you work out or play sports.

Before you toss static stretching out, it does have a great role in increasing “passive” flexibility.  This is awesome for improving posture and basic everyday activities.  The important thing to note is that static stretching must be performed at least a couple of times a day, everyday, to see any noticeable flexibility improvements.

The best way to stretch before a workout is dynamic stretching.  It is the opposite of static stretching because you are moving through a full range of extended to flexed positions for the target muscle groups.  An example of this is an unweighted walking lunge.  So before you start your next workout or athletic event try this sample routine of movements that are probably already familiar to you: jumping jacks, arm circles, trunk rotations, front lunges, side lunges, high knees, and body-weight squats.  Start with slow controlled movements and gradually increase you range of motion and speed as your body begins to loosen up.  Do one set of 10 repetitions of each exercise consecutively until you have completed the complex.

dynamic stretch

Have questions on what stretches you should be doing?  Contact anyone of our 3 Rehab Plus locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Ahwatukee.  Just ask one of our experts.

Inspiring video on adversity, dedication, and success

Let’s be honest physical therapy is tough!  In order to get the best possible results it requires dedication.  We try to make that part easy from our side, but often it takes a whole lot of heart and commitment from our patients.  Here is a great example of one of our patients showing great heart and commitment.  Even though we have seen it thousands of times, this kind of result makes it easy for us to come to work everyday.

During this last year I had a chance to work with a hungry, focused young man named Thomas Coakley.  Thomas grew up in the Phoenix area, attended St Mary’s high school and went on to play college football at NAU.  While playing football, Thomas sustained a shoulder injury that required surgery.  When Thomas arrived at Rehab Plus to begin his physical therapy and start his road to recovery, Thomas explained to me his goals.  His passion for football along with his dream of playing after college, were the driving forces that inspired Thomas to work hard.  He wanted to get back and make a play.  After months of hard work by Rehab Plus, countless hours spent recovering for Thomas, and many of hours I spent coaching, he made it back to the football field.   Good luck!!!    

-Chad Dunn

Heel pain that won’t go away!


Aww….fall season is here and the weather is wonderful!  I think I might go for a run, time to pull out my old running shoes and hit the pavement.  The next morning I wake up and step out of bed and felt like someone drove a spike through my heel.  The first few steps are excruciating but gradually the pain subsides….hmmm…weird must have been the way I slept.  I go for another run and the next day the pain is worse and takes longer to go away.  What is going on? 

I think many of us can relate to this cycle and it seems no matter what we do, the pain will not go away!  In most cases these are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis.  Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is an overuse injury that affects the sole (plantar surface) of the foot.  It is characterized by inflammation of the fascia, a tough fibrous band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes.   So what can be done?

Rest doesn’t seem to get rid of it, icing only provides temporary relief, the new shoes haven’t provided much improvement…..what is next?  ASTYM treatment is highly effective and was scientifically developed to stimulate regeneration of the plantar fascia, tendons and other soft tissues.  ASTYM has its foundation in basic science research and is supported by clinical trials, case studies and extensive outcomes collected from a large number of multiple treatment sites.  It is a non-invasive treatment (there are no needles involved, no surgery).  Instruments are applied topically (on top of the skin) to put light to moderate pressure on the underlying soft tissue and stimulate a healing/regenerative response.  On average, 88.7% of plantar fasciopathy patients resolve within 4-5 weeks. 

Tired of heal pain that won’t go away?  Call Rehab Plus Physical Therapy today and see how our ASTYM treatment can help you today.