Stevens Point Orthopedics is excited to introduce our new product line—the Wisconsin Performance Institute (WPI). The WPI is a unique enterprise dedicated to the comprehensive analysis, restoration, and maximization of human movement.
Comprised of some of the same passionate and caring physical therapists you’ve come to know, the WPI team is eager to share their knowledge of movement with anyone they meet.
So, let’s talk about what the WPI is, and what it can do for you!
It’s About Movement
Movement is at the core of the WPI, and as mentioned earlier, there are three things the WPI team does with your movement:
- They analyze it using the latest technology;
- They restore it if you’ve been injured, through their innovative rehabilitation programs; and
- They maximize it, improving efficiency and power so you can perform optimally.
This alone can be a lot, so let’s look at each one of those individually.
Analysis and Technology
Before they can fix your movement, they have to determine if something’s broken. They do that in several ways.
They start with a general conversation where they talk about how you’re feeling, specifically:
- Where you think you’re falling short
- What hurts
- What it feels like
- When the pain started
- What movements and/or activities you do repetitively
Then they ask a very important question: They ask for your “why.”
Your “why” is what brought you to the WPI and what you want to get out of the process. The only way this is going to work for you and for them is if they fully understand your needs and goals and dreams as they relate to how you move.
Once you’ve talked a little, they’ll perform a standardized orthopedic and movement examination to see if there’s anything they need to address immediately. This will also allow them to better understand how you move at a fundamental level and give them a better idea of what they may see during your analysis and why it is occurring.
If there’s anything that does need to be addressed immediately, they may send you for an X-ray or recommend you see an orthopedic physician at SPO. Because Stevens Point Orthopedics powers the WPI, this would be an easy step as you’d have access to our orthopedic physicians. However, if there’s nothing that needs to be addressed right away (and that’s usually the case), they’ll outfit you with high-tech sensors that connect to our Noraxon motion-analysis system.
The WPI staff have been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to the Noraxon system. They’re continually discovering new ways to use the technology to analyze movement and uncover issues. (You can see how that works on the WPI website.)
During the actual sessions, you’ll be asked to move in ways you move when performing your favorite activities – running, walking, throwing, swinging a golf club or tennis racket. The sensors work with the Noraxon system to create a skeleton avatar that helps the WPI team see your body’s structures as you move.
Your session is captured by the computer and can be broken down virtually frame-by-frame, so we can see areas of sub-optimal movement that may be causing pain, or your progress as you return to activity after surgery.
They can also see how you generate power through movement, the amount of power you generate, and how that compares to the amount you should be generating.
(To be clear, you generate power when you’re gardening just like you generate power when swinging a club, bat, or racket.)
They don’t just hook you up and do the analysis and then tell you what you should be doing: They bring you behind the computer, show you what they see and what it means, and talk about changes you can make to rectify issues.
They may even have you put some of those changes into action right away and show you the improvement in efficiency and performance caused by those changes.
The Noraxon system is powerful, but the way they use it to effect change is more powerful still.
It would be great if everyone who came to the WPI was simply looking to get better at moving, but some people are just looking to get better, period. They may be coming off of an injury or surgery, and turn to the WPI for rehabilitation services.
The most common injuries they treat are knee injuries, primarily ACL tears, but they’ve worked with injuries ranging from torn elbow ligaments to replaced joints.
With all their rehabilitation clients, they take the same approach they take with anyone who comes to the WPI: they listen, they analyze, and they help you improve.
In the case of knee injuries, they have a special program – ACL-PRO – that goes beyond rehabilitation and even beyond restoring movement to get people moving better than they did before their knee injury.
A decade ago, it was unheard of that someone could move better after a torn ACL than they did before their injury. But thanks to Noraxon, and improvements in surgical techniques and rehabilitation strategies, they’re able to make that a reality for many people with knee-ligament tears.
“Working through the ACL Rehab Program with the WPI team has been a fun challenge,” explains Collegiate Volleyball Player, Ali Hoffman. “Jesse is extremely knowledgeable and pushed me to be better every day. The state-of-the-art technology has greatly helped fine tune my mechanics to get me back out on the volleyball court in a safe and injury-free manner. The WPI team offers a top-notch rehabilitation experience and empowers you to surpass your goals!”
All this great work has a simple start: listening to your “why” and doing everything they can to get you there.
The last step in the process is in many ways the most rewarding: It’s coming up with the strategies to make your “why” real, and then helping you act on those strategies.
Movement improvement is a definite process, and while you need to trust the process, it’s a whole lot easier to trust the process if it’s measured regularly and you can see the impact of the changes you’ve made.
Because of that, they do multiple movement analyses as you move through your program, not only so you can see the results of your labors but to check for any other issues that might develop along the way.
For instance, one of the major concerns with severe injuries like ACL tears is that people might compensate for their injury by putting more stress on other body parts, eventually causing them to break down.
Effective movement is the result of your whole body working in sync, and they want to check regularly to make sure that’s happening as it should.
It’s A Relationship
When you go to the WPI, they don’t look at it as a one-and-done. They look at it as the start of a long-term relationship where they team up to get you and keep you moving at your best throughout your life.
The WPI team sincerely cares about you and your goals, and they rejoice in your progress.
If that sounds good to you, contact them for a 15-minute, no-obligation initial phone consultation.
We’re excited about the addition of the WPI, and can’t wait to help you reach your movement goals!