Sports Fitness and Wellness Cleveland | CHC Physical Therapy

Perfecting Performance

Physical Therapist Matt throwing a ball as part of patient therapyMission Statement

The purpose of CHC Physical Therapy's Perfecting Athletic Performance program is to provide the community with a highly educated and reliable institution where one can come to identify their functional athletic responsibility specific to sports and position. To identify areas of strength, endurance, cardiovascular endurance, balance, polymeric properties, velocity and agility that a specific athlete is lacking in and which is preventing said athlete from performing at his or her best.  Licensed physical therapy professionals who have received the highest level of education in the movement demands of a specific sport will design individual exercise programs, based on the individual's determined need. This program will result in increased athletic performance both in practice and competition.

Perfecting Performance Is Achieved Through Function Specific Training

In sports we are challenged in unstable, dynamic positions, i.e., a gymnast on doing a jump, a soccer player stealing a ball, a baseball player reaching to catch a ball.  We are challenging our bodies to reach higher, move quicker, to generate fast, powerful movements all in unstable conditions.  This movement requires the coordination of multiple functions of the neuro-musculoskeletal system.  It requires stabilization, power, balance, agility and full range of movement of the active muscles.  It requires the absence of pain.  It requires freedom from fear of movement often caused by an old injury.  To maximize performance each of these functions should be addressed independent of the other and in combination with the other.  Function specific training alone and in combination with other functions will provide the soccer player the agility require to kick accurately and powerfully while changing direction.

Function Specific Training requires ongoing evaluation and adjustment of the exercise program.

Function Specific Training this requires program design and supervision of a sports physical therapist.

Function Specific Training directs training towards balance, agility, range of motion, power, endurance and coordination.


Patient and Physical Therapist working on physical therapy equipment

Some examples of an athlete who would benefit from the Perfecting Performance program:

•  The athlete who has a history of repetitive sprains and strains.

•  Unexplained pain

•  Chronic inflexibility or weakness

•  Poor posture

•  No increase in the power of the pitch.

•  Balance deficits affect power and accuracy.

•  Decreased agility will affect a basketball player’s ability to stop and cut.



Jim LaMastra PT, DPTMeet Jim LaMastra, PT, DPT

Jim brings his experience as a nationally recognized Professional Triathlete and his 14 years of Orthopedic Physical Therapy experience to CHC Physical Therapy.

Jim can be found racing Ironman Triathlons professionally throughout North America and beyond. He has won more than 30 races over the past decade and is one of 10 Americans racing for USProTri, a professional triathlete team representing many of the top brands in the multi-sport world.

Jim’s accomplishments as an athlete combined with his experience in physical therapy allows Jim to identify and correct the movement faults that hinder performance and cause pain in the athlete including, the treatment of overuse running and swimming related injuries.

Jim is skilled in the treatment of nerve entrapments with his treatment focused on the spine and the peripheral nervous system.  Treatment focused on the entrapped nerve results in fast resolution of the pain.  When the nerve is ignored, chronic pain and swelling is the result.  Nerve Entrapments are often the consequence of pain and injury and are a frequent, unidentified cause of recurrent pain.  IT Band Syndrome, Shin Splints, Knee Pain, Tennis Elbow, Shoulder Pain and Plantar Fasciitis are examples of pain caused by nerve entrapments.  The initial cause of pain is the injury to a muscle, tendon or joint.  Surgery is a common cause of a nerve entrapment.  The cause of recurrent or chronic pain, most frequently, is a nerve entrapped as a result of the scar tissue formation. 


The solution to pain and performance decline is not always…….More stretches

                                                                                                                          More strengthening

                                                                                                                                 More endurance

In post-surgical joint repair, reconstruction or replacement it is often the ignored neural component that is not addressed in the rehabilitation process.  The result is less than optimal outcomes.

Inflammation is a consequence of repetitive movement or compression, injury and surgery.  Inflammation causes the formation of scar tissue.  The neural sheath can be “caught up” in this scarring process.  The nerve becomes entrapped.  The nerve’s ability to glide and slide to accommodate movement is limited.  This causes pain, inflammation and decreased performance.   The injury could have been the fall off your bike at 7 years old, the high school football injury or a recent episode of runner’s heel pain.

In the treatment of Pain and Performance, the Nervous System cannot be ignored.

Common Areas of Pain Caused By An Entrapped Nerve

Physical Therapists at CHC Physical Therapy are

Neuro-Orthopedic Physical Therapists. 

Physical therapists are movement specialists.  Their education focuses on movement and the anatomy of all the systems and structures in the body involved with movement:

  • This includes the movement of muscles, bones, joints and spine. 
  • Two important components of balance are the movement of the fluid in the vestibular canals of the inner ear and the tracking of the eye to tell our body where it is in space.   
  • Two important components of endurance are the respiratory system’s ability to cause the movement of air in and out of the lungs and the strength of cardiac tissue to pump the oxygen out into the body.
  • Good alignment (posture) is essential to optimal movement.


At CHC Physical Therapy we also specialize in the movement of the nervous system.

The ability of the nerves to glide and slide to accommodate movement in the musculoskeletal system is often ignored in the treatment of pain and performance.

       Golf Swing

Think of the golf swing:

The nervous system has to be able to function while accommodating this movement. The spine has to be able to rotate. The hips and shoulders need full range of movement.  For all of this to happen, good alignment is essential.

Good Posture Tennis Player

With tennis and all sports, the spine has to be able to move through the full range of movement in all directions.  “Bumping” into a block to movement will eventually cause pain.

Good Posture Runner Physical Therapy Heel, foot, shin and anterior knee pain experienced by runners is often attributed to heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and patellar tendonitis.  Maybe these inflammatory processes caused the original episode of pain but an entrapped nerve in the area most probably causes the recurrent pain.
Girls Team Soccer For optimal balance, the eyes, inner ear and the mechano-sensory (musculoskeletal) systems have to work together.  Treatment focused on only one system will not maximize balance and good balance is essential in soccer.  To prevent injury and to maximize performance and power, optimal balance is essential.
baseball pitcher physical therapy

Chronic IT Band Syndrome often has a significant neural entrapment component.

Every system in the body that is involved with movement has to work optimally for maximum performance without pain or the risk of injury.  Balance, power and maximum range of movement of the neuro-musculoskeletal systems are essential for the pitcher to prevent shoulder pain and injury.  The nerves ability to glide and slide is essential for optimal shoulder function.  CHC Physical Therapy did a 100 patient clinical trial on the neural component of shoulder pain.  This trial demonstrated that there was an 85% reduction in shoulder pain with use of the Body Phyx equipment alone.  The study demonstrated that Body Phyx causes movement of neural tissues in and around the shoulder and arm. This would indicate that Body Phyx should be the main component of a shoulder program.

wrestlers physical therapy From working with wrestlers at CHC Physical Therapy it has been observed that they have more loss of movement in the nervous system than any other athlete.  This could be explained by the static power exerted by the wrestler.  The effects of the neural tension, or the lack of the ability of the nerves to glide and slide to accommodate movement not only affects performance at onset, but it is often experienced later, much later, in life.  At this point pain, experienced with getting up from a chair, running, walking or a gym workout, is blamed on arthritis.  The nerves loss of ability to slide and glide is not determined by an x-ray or MRI.  Physical therapists at CHC Physical Therapy use evidence based tests to determine the presence of the loss of movement in the nervous system.
hockey player

Not all athletes wear helmets but even with a helmet; the head and upper neck are vulnerable to injury. Concussions effect performance immediately after onset and for years down the road.  Concussions are frequently not diagnosed and even if diagnosed movement affected by the concussion is not restored.  This can be movement of all the systems discussed above:

  • The Nervous System
  • Balance, including The Vestibular System and Eye Tracking
  • The Musculoskeletal Systems
  • The Respiratory System and Heart muscle

Everyone would benefit from an evaluation that addresses all systems of the body involved with movement.

  • The Nervous System
  • Balance, including The Vestibular System and Eye Tracking
  • The Musculoskeletal Systems
  • The Respiratory System and Heart muscle


Contact Us

CHC Physical Therapy

To schedule onsite evaluations of teams at the school or sports facility.  Individual evaluations are performed at CHC Physical Therapy

Not all stretches are equal.            Not all stretches are effective.          Stretches can cause pain and injury.

 The Nervous System is not Static.

Nerve Entrapments are blocks that limit the gliding and sliding of a nerve to accommodate movement.

Causes of Nerve Entrapments:

  • Isolated Contusion
  • Repetitive Compression
  • Stretch
  • Surgical Injury

-- Kevin deWeber, MD, FAAFP, Military Sports Medicine Director, USUHS, Bethesda, MD

Physical Therapists at CHC Physical Therapy are Specialists in the Science of  “Mobilization of the Nervous System”

--  David S.Butler B.Phty, Grad Dip Adv Adv Manip Ther, M.A.P.A., M.M.P.A. Lecturer, School of Physiotherapy, University of South Australia



The Results...Amazing Outcomes!

"I thought I was going to get a hip replacement. The orthopedic surgeon said I had arthritis. You alleviated the pain that I had! You guys are the best!"

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