If you’ve ever been injured or had surgery, there is a good chance your doctor prescribed physical therapy. At Kriz Physical Therapy, owners Tiffany and Mike Kriz specialize in a method called Functional Manual Therapy. It’s a hands-on approach used to restore and improve strength and mobility.
Mike explains, “After surgery or injury or with many chronic conditions, movement patterns are altered because people are trying to avoid or reduce pain. Many people have to relearn movement patterns and it is best done with hands-on, guiding body parts or regions through space efficiently.”
Suzanne Wright experienced severe whiplash from an automobile accident when she was 21 years old. Some 20-years later she was in another accident. “My car went down a ravine,” she says. “I should not have survived.” Suzanne had broken bones all over her body, underwent back surgery, and has been in chronic pain since. Physical therapy has been a big part of her life.
But it wasn’t until she found the functional manual technique that she began to get real relief. “Mike uses gentle manipulations to help my body function the way it is supposed to physiologically.” Suzanne has been active her entire life and says, “I’ve managed to make this body work all these years and I’m not ready to stop. I wasn’t ready to give up golf either, and because of Mike, I can play with minimal pain,” says the 76-year-old.
Mike had a business degree and worked in the computer field for many years remembering, “I wanted to do more and had always been interested in anatomy and biology.” At the urging of his stepmother, he looked into physical therapy and was accepted into the program at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.
That’s where he met his future wife, Tiffany. Tiffany had attended the University of Miami and knew what she wanted to study, before attending Widener University. The two worked in corporate physical therapy offices in Northern Virginia before transferring to Southwest Florida where Mike’s father lived. Twenty years later they have a 10-year-old girl (Madeline) and 14-year-old boy (Ryan.)
About working with his wife Mike says, “Some couples barely see each other. It’s nice to be able to see her all day long and I think sometimes I take that for granted. I love working with my wife. I would not want to work with anyone else.”
Their children are often in the office contributing to the family feel. Suzanne says, “We talk about them and laugh a lot. It’s a very friendly and laid back place, but at the same time very professional.”
Besides the family atmosphere and treatment methods used at Kriz, the personal attention given to patients by therapists sets this practice apart from others. Mike explains, “In many PT offices, patients spend the majority of time with assistants or other lesser trained staff. We didn’t go to school to delegate treatment. We went to school to learn how to evaluate and treat. We keep emphasize continuing education and do all we can to be exceptional therapists.”
Patients receive 45 minutes to an hour of hands-on treatment with a therapist during each visit. The volume is lower, and the quality of care is better than higher-volume practices, according to Mike.
Many people who’ve tried physical therapy without the results they were looking for have found success here. At Kriz, the team is more “old school and I like it that way,” says Mike. “New modalities and equipment come and go but none of that matters if you are moving incorrectly to begin with.”
They treat conditions from head to toe, most often taking care of patients healing from surgery or injury to the hips, knees, shoulders, neck, and back. Mike calls physical therapy after surgery “incredibly important.”
Suzanne adds, “If you’ve ever had back issues, or any issues really, you know it can make you miserable. Mike has the ability to talk you through things, put you at ease and help you with your physiological functioning so you can live a relatively normal, pain-free life.” Tiffany’s patients will tell you the same according to Mike.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, recovering from surgery or injury, and need help restoring function, strength, and movement, call Kriz Physical Therapy to find out if functional manual therapy is right for you.