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The Physical Therapy Clinic of Monterey Spine & Joint is a full-service rehabilitation clinic, established in August 2017, specializing in the care of patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. At MSJ, our skilled therapists have easy access to your physician as well as easy access to your medical records, MRI, X-rays, and other information needed to best manage your treatment plan. This continuity of care ensures your individual case is managed according to your specific needs, which means our physical therapists not only provide interventions based on their careful judgements about diagnosis and prognosis, but also confer regularly with your referring physician to optimize and expedite your recovery. Our Director of Physical Therapy, Hunter Stark, came to the Monterey Peninsula from the Florida Gulf Coast with the vision of creating an integrated model of physical therapy in an environment that is suitable for all ages and activity levels. After years of helping professional, collegiate and high school athletes return from injury, enhance their performance, and excel at their sports, he was determined to create a similar environment for the general public. In order to achieve this vision, we developed a relationship with the San Francisco 49ers in order to help us bring a professional level of care to the people of the Monterey Peninsula. We are the first medical group to partner with the 49ers in this fashion. We plan to utilize the medical knowledge of the 49ers medical staff and combine that with the diverse background of our team of physical therapists and physicians in order to develop comprehensive education and treatment programs for all types of injuries.

If you have a body, you’re an athlete and everything you need is already inside

- Bill Bowerman, Coach and Co-Founder of Nike -

These simple quotes summarize our core principles at Monterey Spine & Joint Physical Therapy. Everyone is an athlete at heart and everyone shoulder have access to the elite level care like world-class athletes – whether you are a youth athlete, a weekend warrior, a busy executive or an active senior. We want to be the ones to educate and guide you to bring out the best athlete in everyone.

MEET OUR TEAM OF

PHYSICAL THERAPISTS

MEET OUR

STAFF

Hunter Stark

PT, DPT, COMT, CSCS

Hunter Stark is the Director of Physical Therapy for Monterey Spine & Joint and began in 2017. Hunter is a licensed physical therapist through the American Physical Therapy Association, as well as a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) via Maitland-Australian Physiotherapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association. Before joining Monterey Spine & Joint, Hunter spent the previous six years as a physical therapist at the Andrews Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, FL, where he provided rehabilitation for athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Olympic Teams as well as US Special Forces and general population. Hunter is originally from Jackson, MS, and received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Mississippi State University and Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He enjoys reading, fishing, outdoor sports, as well as lifting heavy things up and putting them down!

Carey-Leah Havrilko

PT, DPT

Carey Havrilko has been a staff physical therapist with Monterey Spine & Joint since 2017. Carey is a licensed physical therapist through the American Physical Therapy Association. Before joining Monterey Spine & Joint, Carey spent the previous six years in outpatient orthopedic practice in the Monterey-Salinas area. Carey is originally from Vermont and moved to the Monterey-Salinas area in 2011. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University in 1999 and Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of Vermont in 2011. She enjoys participating in barre classes, yoga and local wine tasting!

Dan Reddington

PT, DPT

Dan has been a staff physical therapist with Monterey Spine & Joint since 2017. Dan is a licensed physical therapist through the American Physical Therapy Association and certified in the use of dry-needling through Kineticore (Level 1 & 2). Before joining Monterey Spine & Joint, Dan spent the previous three years working in Rhode Island at an outpatient orthopedic clinic with emphasis on knee and shoulder conditions. Dan is originally from Rhode Island and graduated with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, with emphasis on Sports Strength and Conditioning. He is an avid football, basketball, and baseball fan and enjoys exercising and spending time outside in his free time!

Maria Piedimonte

Physical Therapy Technician

Maria has been a physical therapy technician with Monterey Spine & Joint since 2017. Maria is a Monterey native and received her B.S. degree in Neurobiology and Behavior from UC-Irvine. Maria is currently pursuing her Yoga instructor certification and has future plans to continue her education for a doctorate in physical therapy. She is passionate about yoga, nutrition, outdoor activities, reading, traveling and playing with puppies!

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Our services

Trying to return from a nagging injury or surgery that is keeping you from being your best self? Do you have aches and pain that are getting too much to handle on your own? Do you just need advice on how to take better care of your body? We can assist you to restore function, optimize yourself, and get back to your past activities even better than you were before. We’ll help you feel better, but also address the underlying causes of your injury to prevent it from occurring again.

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  • April
    17
    2019
    Preparing for Your Visit with a Physical Therapist Physical therapists are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who help patients improve or restore mobility, and in many cases hel...

    Preparing for Your Visit with a Physical Therapist

    Physical therapists are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who help patients improve or restore mobility, and in many cases helping patients reduce pain, and avoid the need for surgery and the long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.

    Physical therapists examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life. Your physical therapist’s overall goal is to maintain, restore, or improve your mobility and help reduce your pain.

    Whether this is your first visit or you’ve been treated by a physical therapist in the past, there are things you can do to make your visit as successful as possible.

    Before Your Visit:

    Make a list of any questions that you have, to make the best use of your time with your physical therapist.

    Write down any symptoms you’ve been having and for how long. If you have more than one symptom, begin with the one that is the most bothersome to you. For example, is your pain or symptom:

    • Better or worse with certain activities or movements or with certain positions, such as sitting or standing?
    • More noticeable at certain times of day?
    • Relieved or made worse by resting?

    Write down key information about your medical history, even if it seems unrelated to the condition for which you are seeing the physical therapist. For example:

    • Make a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking.
    • Make a note of any important personal information, including any recent stressful events, injuries, incidents, or environmental factors that you believe might have contributed to your condition.
    • Make sure you can see and hear as well as possible. If you wear glasses, take them with you. If you use a hearing aid, make certain that it is working well, and wear it. Tell your physical therapist and clinic staff if you have a hard time seeing or hearing. If available, bring any lab, diagnostic, or medical reports from other health care professionals that may be related to your medical history or who have treated you for your current condition.

    When you call to make your appointment, ask whether you should wear or bring a certain type of clothing when you come for your first visit. You may want to avoid tight or formal clothes, in case the therapist wants you to engage in activities during the first session.

    Financial Considerations

    • Carefully review the clinic’s financial policy prior to starting care. Be sure to ask questions if anything is unclear.
    • The physical therapy clinic will ask you to sign the financial agreement. Review the agreement carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.
    • Applicable deductibles and copayments will be requested prior to or upon completion of each appointment. It is important to pay the proper amounts at the time of service. This will help you to better manage your health care costs and avoid a large bill at the end of care.
    • If the frequency of visits needs to be adjusted for financial reasons, discuss this directly with your physical therapist. In partnership with your therapist, you can explore alternatives and develop a workable plan.
    • If you change insurance plans or lose insurance coverage for any reason, be sure to inform your therapist as well as the clinic’s front office staff.

    What to Expect During Your First Visit:

    Your physical therapist will begin by asking you lots of questions about your health and about the specific condition for which you are seeing the physical therapist. Detailed information about you and your condition will help the physical therapist determine whether you are likely to benefit from physical therapy and which treatments are most likely to help you.

    Your physical therapist will perform a detailed examination. Depending on your symptoms and condition, the physical therapist might evaluate your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rates. Your physical therapist might use his or her hands to examine or “palpate” the affected area or to perform a detailed examination of the mobility of your joints, muscles, and other tissues.

    Your physical therapist also might evaluate:

    • How you walk (your “gait”)
    • How you get up from a lying position or get in and out of a chair (“functional activities”)
    • How you use your body for certain activities, such as bending and lifting (“body mechanics”)

    Your physical therapist might ask you specific questions about your home or work environment, your health habits and activity level, and your leisure and recreational interests so that the therapist can help you become as active and independent as possible.

    Your physical therapist will work with you to determine your goals for physical therapy and will begin to develop a plan for your treatment. In many cases, the physical therapist will make a diagnosis and begin treatment almost immediately.

    One of the main goals of treatment is almost always to improve or maintain your ability to do your daily tasks and activities. To reach this goal, the physical therapist may need to focus on pain, swelling, weakness, or limited motion. Your physical therapist will constantly assess your response to each treatment and will make adjustments as needed.

    In most cases, an important aspect of your physical therapy treatment will be education. Your physical therapist might teach you special exercises to do at home. You might learn new and different ways to perform your activities at work and home. These new techniques can help minimize pain, lessen strain, avoid reinjury, and speed your recovery.

    Your physical therapist will evaluate your need for special equipment, such as special footwear, splints, or crutches. If the evaluation indicates that you are at risk for falling, your physical therapist might recommend simple equipment to help make your home a safer place for you. The therapist will know what equipment you need and can either get it for you or tell you where you can find it. If you do need special equipment, your physical therapist can show you how to use it properly.

    Your physical therapist will communicate the important information from your examination to your physician and to other health care professionals at your request.

    Your physical therapist will continually recheck your progress and work with you to plan for your discharge from physical therapy when you are ready. Make sure you talk with your physical therapist about what you should do after discharge if you have questions, or if your symptoms or condition worsen.

    Keeping Your Appointments

    • Arrive for treatment sessions at the scheduled time or a few minutes early so you are prepared. Late arrival may affect not only your 1-on-1 time with the therapist, but that of other patients in the clinic.
    • Actively participate in the discussion to determine visit frequency and work in partnership with the physical therapist to achieve your treatment goals.
    • Show up for appointments. Failure to show for an appointment and not calling to cancel the visit is disruptive to the physical therapist’s schedule. If an emergency prevents you from attending, try to provide adequate notice. It is important to review the facility’s cancellation policy prior to the start of treatment.
    • If you plan to discontinue therapy or change the frequency of treatment because of personal or financial considerations, discuss this with your physical therapist.

    You will get out of therapy what you put into it. Sufficient effort, as agreed between you and the physical therapist, is necessary to maximize benefit from each treatment session.

    Observe all precautions as instructed by your physical therapist. This may include modifying an activity, reducing weight on 1 limb while walking, avoiding certain movements, or restricting use of a specific body part. Lack of compliance with treatment precautions may cause injury and result in delayed recovery.

    If special devices such as splints, walkers, canes, or braces are provided for home use, follow the physical therapist’s exact instructions. Be sure to ask questions if you are unclear, as incorrect use may be harmful.

    The therapist may advise physical modifications in your home such as removing throw rugs, rearranging furniture, and installing safety rails. For your safety, it’s essential to comply with these recommendations.

    Follow the home program as instructed by the physical therapist. Your ongoing performance and commitment to the home program is essential to your recovery.

    If the instructions are unclear, ask for clarification. Only perform exercises at the therapist-specified repetition, frequency, and resistance (such as weight or resistance band color). More is not always better and may cause injury!

    After your physical therapy care is completed, continue to follow the after-care instructions provided by the physical therapist.

  • April
    17
    2018
    Movement is Medicine           When most people think of medicine, they imagine pills to be taken, injections to be endured or surgeries to help diagnose and treat diseases. However, one of the s...

    Movement is Medicine

              When most people think of medicine, they imagine pills to be taken, injections to be endured or surgeries to help diagnose and treat diseases. However, one of the strongest forms of medicine isn’t something you can buy at a pharmacy or get in a doctor’s office. This type of medicine is simply movement and it’s something that can easily be taught.

    Movement is an ideal medicine. It’s extremely effective, free, low risk, abundantly available, socially acceptable and simple to do. When compared to traditional treatments, such as drugs and surgery, the risk to benefit ratio frequently is far superior. A regular dose of movement can help to:

    • Improve memory and cognitive function
    • Improve your sleep
    • Reduce stress levels
    • Help with anxiety and depression
    • Support social connectedness and happiness
    • Lower your risk of many chronic disease including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers

    Important as the previous reasons are, there’s one reason that tops them all. The ability to meet the demands, both expected and unexpected, of everyday life because you have achieved a basic fitness level.  Unfortunately, most people approach movement with the same aversion they express towards a hypodermic needle or the awful-tasting medicine we sometimes have to swallow to “feel better.” As children we didn’t feel this way about moving our bodies. Kids typically view physical activities like skipping, jumping and running as exciting play to be enjoyed. In our hyper-busy, remote-control oriented culture, barriers to exercise and fun abound. Long workdays, difficult commutes and balancing family or job obligations leave many Americans chronically exhausted, stiff, sore and unable to even perform the most basic of tasks such as squatting, reaching, or bending down without pain.

    How can a Physical Therapist help to improve your functional fitness?

              Physical Therapists are the movement professionals of the medical world. Physical therapy is the health profession whose primary purpose is the promotion of optimal health and movement by preventing or correcting impairments in body structures and function, activity limitations, participation restrictions or environmental barriers as related to movement and health. A physical therapist can help educate you and tweak the way you move to prevent aches and pain as well as ward off serious injuries like “throwing out” your back. To help you become – and stay – physically active try implementing some of the following steps into your life:

    1. Recognize that your body needs movement to be healthy. We know that when we are hungry we should eat, and when we are tired we should sleep. But when we get stiff, achy and tired, we generally don’t recognize these signals as cues that our body craves movement. Instead, we misinterpret them as a need for rest, which makes us stiffer, achier and even more tired. This is why the saying “Motion is Lotion” is so true. Joint movement can provide “lotion” (lubrication) to painful joints, improve the way your body perceives pain and can even prevent some pain before it starts.

    2. Make a commitment to movement. Design your own personal activity program. This does not have to be a gym program but rather try to schedule fun activities and movements into your weekly plan.

    3. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods. Whenever you must sit for an extended length of time, take regular stretch breaks and short walks.

    4. Make the active choice. When you are faced with the choice of moving more or moving less, move more. For example, choose the stairs over an elevator, park in the farthest spot, walk to the store, turn off the TV and go out to play. Get rid of the negative mindset of trying to expend as little energy as possible and adopt a pro-active attitude that eagerly looks for opportunities to move.

    5. Understand the importance of attitude. If you say, “I can’t,” then you won’t. For example, don’t think of your “bad knee” and “good knee” but rather your “better and getting better” knees. Believe in your ability to achieve goals and improve rather than on a negative mindset.

    6. Remember that doing something is better than doing nothing. Three minutes of stretching, a two-minute walk, even a 30-second deep breath all can contribute to better health.

    Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life. Find the joy in moving. Let go of all preconceived notions regarding exercise and activity and just go outside – or inside – and play.

    “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”
    – George Bernard Shaw

     

    – Hunter Stark, PT, DPT, CSCS, COMT

Monterey Spine & Joint Physical Therapy is ready to provide you with the treatment you deserve.
Give us a call to start your recovery today!

Contact Us

+(1) 831-264-6040
12 Upper Ragsdale, Ryan Ranch
7am to 6pm Monday through Friday.