Getting to the source of problems and treating the whole person sum up the philosophy of Spine & Sport Physical Therapy of Waupaca.
“We are all trained like a doctor in osteopathy. It is a way of looking at the spine. We all have our own little specialties,” said Mike Koch, who started the practice in 2008.
The Marquette University graduate has worked in physical therapy for 23 years, and his practice was voted No. 1 for physical therapy.
Koch’s staff includes fellow physical therapists Kendra Cichy and Liz Melcher, physical therapy assistant Nicole Skinner, athletic trainer Deb Jalling and licensed massage therapist Alisha Rowland.
The business moved into its current space at 1948 Godfrey Drive in 2012.
Koch said his business grew the most from 2008 to 2012.
With about 4,000 square feet of space, the gym alone comprises about 1,000 square feet of it. He said it is the biggest rehab gym in a 50-mile radius.
Koch’s practice has a corner in that gym specifically set up to work with Waupaca Foundry.
All new hires for production go through testing to see if they are able to do the functions necessary to perform their job functions, he said.
That is one example of how the two businesses work together.
Another one started about three years ago.
When Plant 5 in Indiana started a stretching program for its employees and showed it worked, the foundry asked Koch if he was interested in establishing such a program at the foundry’s plants in Waupaca.
He was, and as a result, all employees in Waupaca spend the first 10 minutes of their work day stretching, with their particular stretches based on what they do during the work day.
Koch’s path to physical therapy began in college, after he hurt his back and went through physical therapy himself.
“I think it picked me. I was pre-med and sucked at chemistry,” he said.
Koch saw some of his fellow students studying anatomy and decided to volunteer in the therapy department at a local hospital to see if it was the field for him. It was.
Koch quickly outgrew the space in his original Waupaca location.
He is a big believer in private treatment rooms and has that today with five of them.
Koch says he and his therapists all have different tools in their toolboxes.
“People tell me all the time it feels like home,” he said of the space.
That is because the space incorporates the principles of Feng Shui, including color choices and office and furniture placement.
There is even a suite off the break room, where the children of staff members may go after school.
Coffee and cookies, as well as music in the treatment rooms, are all part of making their patients feel comfortable.
And, Koch is honored his practice was chosen as being the best in physical therapy.
“The recognition that we exist, that people know our name … the big thing is that people have a choice in town,” he said.