May 21, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Carrying yourself with good posture creates natural muscle strengthening. What’s good posture? “Think of gently pushing your shoulder blades towards your back pockets,” Kraetz advises. “Walk with your shoulders back, your palms should face your legs, thumbs forward.”
On the six-month anniversary of opening her own business, physical therapist Dr. Shelly Kraetz is excited. She loves what she does, her reputation is growing, her business is looking toward expansion and she feels that her work makes a difference in people’s lives.
“Why should people choose physical therapy? Because ‘no medicine yet invented has the health benefits of exercise.’ That’s one of my favorite professional quotes,” said Kraetz. “Surgery is a last resort, even for surgeons; they prefer to send patients to us first. You don’t want to change your body if you can help it.”
While Kraetz, who opened her own eponymous physical therapy office at 796 West Genesee St. a few months ago, treats patients of all ages, genders and injury/issue types — including post-surgery orthopedic rehabilitation — her main focus is on women’s health services. She treats “all phases of a woman’s life,” for conditions such as urinary incontinence, post-mastectomy pain, lymphedema, pregnancy-related pain, post-pregnancy conditions, osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction and menopause.
“I live in Skaneateles, and I opened my office here because I thought there was a need for women’s health in this area — and there is no lymphedema therapy here at all,” Kraetz said.
Kraetz, who is originally from Connecticut, has a doctorate in physical therapy from Upstate Medical and is a certified lymphedema therapist. She previously worked as part of a medical office in Moravia and decided last year to open her own office in Skaneateles.
There are numerous issues facing women’s bodies that physical therapy can help with, she said. “Pills and surgeries don’t always work.”
Kraetz said she often helps women “learn how to move,” how to strengthen the correct muscles safely in their bodies, how to attain and maintain flexibility. These help with issues such as pregnancy-related back pain, joint issues and posture problems; osteoporosis and osteopenia, post mastectomy pain and lymphedema (impairment of the lymphatic system). She also helps women with urinary incontinence by doing pelvic assessments and teaching patients how to strengthen their pelvic muscles.
Another specialty Kraetz offers is post-surgery orthopedic rehabilitation, especially for geriatric patients. Many of her patients are recovering from knee or hip replacement surgery, joint pains and surgery, and she helps get them back to form. She even does house calls. “Patients love house calls, especially in the middle of winter,” Kraetz said. “But I love it too. It’s great to see people at home because that’s where they fell and where they heal. It’s easier to recommend changes and educate them this way.”
But Kraetz’s work is not only in response to injuries, but also in preventative measures. The American Physical Therapy Association is now pushing for more preventative PT, such as strengthening one’s posture, sitting at a work station properly and proper typing techniques.
“We’re the posture police,” she said with a laugh. “People are more in-tune with their bodies nowadays, especially younger people, but the hardest thing about therapy is the behavior change.”
Kratez’s office is small, with one exam room and one main therapy room, but already it is busy and looking to expand. The office sits on one-and-a-half acres of land that would accommodate additions and improvements to the office building. She recently contracted with a certified message therapist, Nicolette B. Hai, of Hai Energy Massage, who will work out of one of the rooms in the building, and Kraetz hired an office manager, Laurie Chiaccio, to help with the business administration.
Both Hai and Chiaccio met Kraetz by seeking physical therapy treatment from her, immediately connecting and moving into business relationships. “It was a little bit is kismet there, I think,” Hai said.
Kraetz also has been talking to Gazella studios, also in Skaneateles, about coordinating exercise classes, and is looking to hire a nutritionist eventually as well.
“Wellness is more than just exercise,” Kraetz said. “People also need good nutrition, psychology. We’re empowering people to take care of themselves.”
For more information visit the Kraetz Physical Therapy website at kratezpt.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.