ONE OF THE STATE’S LEADING PHYSICAL THERAPY CENTERS EMPHASIZES THE HEALING POWER OF MOVEMENT
BY LINDSEY BLAIR • PHOTOS BY AMESSÉ PHOTOGRAPHY
In today’s world, with people living longer, more active lives than ever before, the need for physical therapy has never been greater. What’s more, injury and general pain or discomfort are not conditions that afflict only the elderly. And that’s exactly what Ron Lombardi, owner of SportsCare Institute a leading physical therapy rehabilitation center with 70 locations in New York, New Jersey, and Florida recognized when he started his company back in 1997.
“People are much more active for a much longer time in their lifespan,” said Lombardi. “Our clients range anywhere from 6 months to 90 years old.”
Still, don’t be fooled by the SportsCare name. As the company’s slogan states clearly: “We’re not just sports, we’re all about the care.” The center offers a variety of rehabilitation services, starting with physical therapy, where the goal is to help each patient experience pain relief and maximum function not only by treating existing symptoms but also by identifying underlying causes. SportsCare also offers occupational therapy, which aims to restore function and help patients regain independence in performing everyday tasks; pediatric therapy, which treats patients from infancy through adolescence for various medical conditions and developmental disabilities; sports medicine, which helps athletes recover from a full range of injuries; and more.
“We named it SportsCare because we take more of a sports medicine approach, which is more aggressive than the traditional therapy approach,” Lombardi said. “You tend to get better results the more active and the more aggressively you treat the injury.”
When a patient arrives for a first appointment, he or she is evaluated by a physical therapist, who will continue to treat that patient for all subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics, where patients see a different therapist for each visit, SportsCare feels strongly about the one-on-one relationship between patients and caregivers.
“This one-on-one care conveys a real sense of family,” said Lauren Swensen SportsCare’s director of business development and marketing. “Our patients know our therapists’ birthdays and life events, and are constantly bringing homemade treats to celebrate milestones or just to say thank you. And that relationship goes both ways. Our therapists go further than just educating their patients on their injury and the best plan for their recovery.”
“You’ll find that therapy often turns into a social scene; you have people from the same or neighboring towns that may know each other, kibitzing on local happenings, people’s kids in sports, all sorts of things,” Swensen said. “The entire staff is so supportive when a patient is visibly moving around better than when they first stepped into the clinic. Even during setbacks, everyone in the clinic including other patients is pulling for that person. When you have that kind of support and encouragement, it helps the healing process.”
The facility makes a point of keeping its clinical team of 625 licensed physical therapy professionals up to date on the latest treatment techniques by honing their skills and expanding expertise through continuing education.
The company uses a range of innovative approaches, including the Graston Technique, a soft tissue diagnostic and therapeutic method useful in the management of a variety of musculoskeletal disorders; the McKenzie Method, an assessment that looks at repeated movements and prolonged positioning of the spine to identify what’s causing pain; Kinesio Taping, a technique that enhances an athlete’s performance by contributing to the healing process and improving joint biomechanics all while allowing a full range of motion; the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, a 10 session series of connective tissue mobilization, myofascial release, movement, and posture adjustment that relieves chronic structural stress; and others.
With each facility equipped with the latest technology in modalities, testing, and exercise equipment (the largest a whopping 10,000 square feet), its small surprise that SportsCare has become a top pick for professional sports teams like the New York Rangers, the New York Red Bulls (a professional soccer team based in Harrison, New Jersey), and a longtime partner, the Brooklyn Nets.
When Lombardi isn’t managing and opening new facilities, he spends his free time training and caring for his 3 year old racehorse, Frenzy Fire, a top 10 contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Corporate headquarters: 11 Eagle Rock Avenue, East Hanover
973.887.9000 (New Jersey and New York) / sportscare1.com