Physical Therapy: No prescription required!

Happy New Year! MV__6944 (2)

2014 was an amazing year for us here, and the clinic continues to grow and our satisfied patients are getting back to their sports and reaching their goals!

2015 brings with it a new “win” for PT clinics and patients in the state of Michigan: easier access to PT services. The new law, that went into place January 1st, 2015, allows patients/athletes to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without a prescription from their physician. This is similar to our patients going to their dentist for treatment…simply make an appointment. One of the news channels in the Grand Rapids area did a little spot on this a few days ago: VIDEO.


A few things to keep in mind, as these are things that we will adhere to at Adams Sports Medicine:


  1. We can evaluate and treat your condition/injury without a prescription from your physician…but our clinical policy is that we will create a plan of care with the physician’s input, so your primary care or ortho doc will know/understand what our plan is for the course of treatment.


  1. We will refer you to a specialist as indicated…if your injury/condition has not been evaluated prior to coming here, rest assured that if there is something that needs further assessment or treatment, we will assist you in getting the appointments you need for optimal care.


  1. You can initiate your own care, to which ever clinic you prefer. We suggest you come to us, of course…but understand that your insurance may dictate what clinic you go to or how many visits are covered. This is one reason why we, as a courtesy, will conduct an brief “pre-screen” of your insurance and educate you on what your benefits are, and what (possible) out of pocket expense you may incur. 


So, when in doubt, give our clinic a call. We are experts in orthopaedic injuries, and we specialize in individualized care for our patients and athletes.


BikeFit Level 1 Clinical Course November 15-16, 2014

BikeFit Pro Level 1 Clinical Course

Adams Sports Medicine Bike Fitting

Professional Bike Fitting at Adams Sports Medicine, with focus on foot/shoe/cleat interface.

November 15 – 16, 2014 – Novi, Michigan
Combined Clinical/Non-Clinical BikeFit Pro Level 1 Education

Join BikeFit PRO Instructor Dr. Brian Adams, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS to learn the complete, biomechanically sound system to treat individual comfort and efficiency issues with any of your customers, no matter their experience level. Learn why the foot/pedal interface is the foundation for a great bike fit, and the area where most overuse injuries can occur. At this two-day seminar, you’ll learn repeatable, simple and proven techniques that can make the most impact for your customers.


Level One is dedicated to the hands-on skills necessary for road bike fitting in the clinical setting. Expect to get greasy. This class includes functional diagnosis of cycling pathologies and overuse syndromes associated with cycling. You will develop the hands-on skills necessary to fix the mechanism of injury occurring on the bike. The foot-pedal interface is a key component to this class and focuses on adjusting the cleat in fore-aft, medial-lateral, rotation, canting and elevation as appropriate for the specific cyclist. This class focuses on road fit but includes aspects of mountain and tri as appropriate.

Bike Fit

Medical Bike Fit at Adams Sports Medicine


Registration Information:

Cost = $800 per person*

*All attendees are given a coupon code to take BikeFit’s online course ahead of time. If completed
course fee is reduced to $700 (Save over $200!)

Please email [email protected] to register

Sagittal View of the Cyclist

Sagittal View of the Cyclist

Cycling Injuries @ 2014 Tour de France

It has been a crazy first few days at the tour, with record crowds in England and some excellent racing. But it hasn’t come without a price.

For those out there that believe cycling injuries are merely the result of overuse, ill-timed training or poor fit, think again. Two big names in the peloton are out of the tour already, and headed to the operating room. Both are due to crashes. Some will argue that they were preventable (reckless sprinting and intruding spectators)…but the fact remains that traumatic/catastrophic injuries will occur.

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish ruptured all the ligaments around his acromioclavicular joint and suffered a separated shoulder during the sprint finish to stage one of the Tour de France in Harrogate. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Mark Cavendish

Sprinting specialist. High speed crash resulting in separated AC joint in his shoulder. Headed for surgery to stabilize. Out for 6 weeks.

Andy Schleck

Tour Overall Contender. Benign fall after the peloton scuffled with a fan taking a picture. Headed to surgery to repair and debride the tissues in his knee. Out of the Tour, unknown prognosis.


With all of the injuries, it’s no surprise that the Tour organizers/jury have pulled 2 cobble sections out of today’s stage to increase the safety for the cyclists.

Best of luck to the remaining participants!

Achilles Tendinopathy in the Running Athlete

Endurance athletics can be rewarding; running the local trails, cycling over rolling hills, swimming peacefully through the local open-water lakes in Michigan.

Endurance athletics can also be damaging.

Overuse injuries are often slow to develop. They are typically shrugged off as the “normal aches and pains of training”. But then it hits. A sore knee, an achy shoulder… a “twinge” in the Achilles.

If you are an avid runner, you have inevitably had to work through the mid-season overuse injury. A common complaint that we see in our clinic is Achilles tendinitis (acute irritation or flare up of the tendon) or Achilles tendinosis (chronic state of injury/healing/inflammation). Typically when we see our athletes, the damage has already been done … and the rehabilitation/return to sport progression begins.

But researchers have recently identified a few key factors in the goal of reducing Achilles tendinopathy in runners, as cited in the very recent article in Sports Medicine (June, 2014). With all-due respect to the multitude of factors contributing to overuse injuries (training volume, hydration, experience, surface, shoes, running style, pace, intensity, duration/distance)…the authors found 3 key ingredients that led to unfavorable outcomes: running surface (too soft), arch type (too low, unsupported), and running style (high level of brake force during running gait). Coaching through surface selection and training programs is a must. Identifying proper shoes, orthotic selection and fabrication (as needed) will assist any biomechanical flaws. And a thorough analysis of running gait at different speeds and grades will identify any technique flaws that are contributing to soft tissue destruction.

The authors also sited that strength training for runners is also a preventative ingredient, which will be covered in a later write up!

If a coach, therapist, athletic trainer or health care practitioner can identify and address these issues early on in the season, the athlete stands a better chance of running free and easy through the entire season without a concern for the proverbial “Achilles heel”.

So if you haven’t had a running or gait analysis done, seek out your local professional and do it now…it’s not to late to save the rest of your season!

City of Novi National Bike Month

Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy is the Presenting Sponsor for the City of Novi National Bike Month!

Staying true to our community mission, we are excited to announce that we are the title sponsor for the City of Novi celebration of National Bike Month (May, 2014). We will be at most of the events, and will also be supporting with a few giveaways during the Bike Rodeo: certificates for professional bike fitting and consultations to help you get on your bike and enjoy your rides with improved efficiency and less risk of overuse injuries!

LINK: Press Release: City of Novi recognizes National Bike Month with a variety of activities.

According to the League of American Cyclists, Michigan is the 12th most bike friendly state. For the past seven years, the City of Novi has been recognized by the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness with a gold level Promoting Active Communities Award due, in part, to a commitment of enhancing non-motorized transportation. The City’s Non-Motorized Master Plan serves as guideline for allocating resources to increase the sidewalk and pathway inventory. To date, Novi boasts more than 250 miles of non-motorized facilities.

“Recognizing National Bike Month and encouraging people to bike to work on Wednesday, May 14 is an easy win for us,” said Novi Interim City Manager Victor Cardenas. “We are supporting green initiatives, promoting active lifestyles, and generating employee engagement.”

The City of Novi is working in partnership with Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy, Performance Bike of Novi and American Cycle to present the activities listed above.



Correlation between ACL tears and knee osteoarthritis


(c) Netter

If you play sports, ski, play football… if you walk your dog…if you walk on ice while getting your mail…chances are you are putting yourself at risk for an injury. Life has a funny way of leveling you when you least expect it. 

If you suffer a traumatic event affecting your knee, you may fear the announcement: you’ve torn your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

The bonus: there are many ways to manage this damage.

The real problem is: what happens to your knee 5…10…15 years down the road?

The warning has come from professionals in the sports medicine and ortho world, including me: do your absolute best to keep that leg mobile, strong and out of trouble…because the clock is ticking. Your knee is now at a significantly higher risk for developing knee osteoarthritis (OA). Starting…now.

There is a new article by Barenius, et al. published this month in the American Journal of Sports Medicine ( that identifies (again) that the long term (14 yr) follow up on knee OA prevalence after an ACL tear and reconstruction. 

ARTICLE CONCLUSION: A 3-fold increased prevalence of OA was found after an ACL injury treated with reconstruction compared with the contralateral healthy knee. No differences in the prevalence of OA between the BPTB and quadrupled ST reconstructions were found. An initial meniscus resection was a strong risk factor for OA; the time between injury and reconstruction was not.

This is not to say that surgery increases the risk for knee OA. Depending on the type of injury, it can be due to bone bruising from the initial mechanism of injury. 

Take home message: the best medicine is prevention; preferably before a traumatic injury, but equally important is the after-care and ongoing maintenance to maintain the tissue strength, mobility, stability and vitality. 


Read more here: American Journal of Sports Medicine (

Passion for Life 5k – Walled Lake, 3/29/14

Passion for Life 5k – Walled Lake, 3/29/14

We are excited about the upcoming Passion for Life 5k that will take place this coming weekend, Saturday the 29th of March.

One thing that makes this event special is the fact that each year, a local family and University of Michigan Mott Hospital is the benefactor of the proceeds. For 2014, the local family is from Commerce Township, the Balzer Family.

Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy is proud to support the efforts of Passion for Life and the Walled Lake Community. If you are around, consider participating, running, or simply coming out to cheer the runners/walkers for this annual event!


Our seventh Inspirational Family is the Balzer family. Sydney Balzer is a nine year old girl from Commerce Twp, MI.

Sydney’s story started in September 2010 and just only a few weeks into the school year. After feeling extremely tired & worn down, the family took Sydney to the doctor’s office. After extensive blood work was done and a couple hours later, the family was sent to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and was told that Sydney had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The family was devastated. Leukemia treatments are hard. Sydney had missed over 100 days of school during first grade. Over the course of the 2 ½ years of treatment she lost her hair twice, was in the hospital many times, spent many a days (and nights) sick from the chemo’s at home and was not able to participate in many of the normal activities that she loved (soccer, gymnastics, swimming). Even harder was not being able to spend time with friends. Sydney completed treatments in February 2013. After a great “cancer free” celebration, life was normal again. She enjoyed gymnastics, soccer, piano and so much more. Her smile is amazing and seeing her participate in the things she loved was wonderful. On September 5, 2013 the Leukemia relapsed. It was even more devastating. The family has been told that her best chance of survival is a Bone Marrow Transplant. She will complete chemo treatments through the end of this year (2013) and then hopefully (assuming a donor is found) receive a Bone Marrow Transplant in early 2014.

Sydney is the daughter to Jason and Stacy Balzer and younger sister to Jeremy.


Every year, there will be one family in our community chosen as our Inspirational Family and the proceeds from our event will go benefit the Passion for Life inspirational families, medical research at U of M Mott Hospital & the Passion for Life Organization

Find out more @


What is a “Sports Injury”

In the confluence of sports and medicine, we can anticipate that there will tend to be a disconnect between athlete and medical practitioner. Either because of a lack of understanding from both parties, or simply a lack of similar dialogue and verbiage. In a recent article “What is a Sports Injury” in Sports Medicine (Jan2014) by Timpka et al. , the authors examine a set of nomenclature that will (hopefully) bridge the gap in communication. Because, when clinicians and patients understand each other, the potential outcomes and the overall satisfaction is significantly enhanced. And, when clinicians can more effectively communicate, the efficiency of care, documentation and outcomes improves. I encourage my clinical comrades to take a quick read!

On the clinical level, the article proposes:

quote-seek-first-to-understand_14845-0 (2)


Sports injury:
Loss or abnormality of bodily structure or functioning resulting from an isolated exposure to physical energy during sports training or competition that following examination is diagnosed by a clinical professional as a medically recognized injury.

Sports disease (overuse syndrome)
Loss or abnormality of bodily structure or functioning resulting from repeated bouts of physical load without adequate recovery periods in association with sports training or competition that following examination is diagnosed by a clinical professional as a medically recognized disease or syndrome

You can find the article on the Sports Medicine journal website: SportsMed Jan2014

So the next question that begs to be answered: What is “Sports Medicine”? 

Clinical Bike Fit Course – March 15-16 (Level 1)

Biomechanics of Cycling, Bike Fit Skills

& Physical Therapy Interventions

—Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy, Novi, MI.—

We are very excited to announce our next education course to be hosted here at Adams Sports Medicine, and it is geared towards one of our biggest passions: cycling, and the optimum fit of the cyclist and bike. Please read on…space is limited to approximately 8 clinicians, so be sure to contact BikeFit to register as soon as possible. Please let us know if you have any questions!



Adams Sports Medicine Bike Fitting

Professional Bike Fitting at Adams Sports Medicine, with focus on foot/shoe/cleat interface.

BikeFit Clinical Bike Fit Course hosted by Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy (Novi, MI).

Clinical BikeFit Pros have two certified fitting levels: Level 1 and Level 2. This course hosted by Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy is a Level 1 course, which is dedicated to the hands-on skills necessary for road bike fitting in the clinical setting. Expect to get greasy. This class includes functional diagnosis of cycling pathologies and overuse syndromes associated with cycling. You will develop the hands-on skills necessary to fix the mechanism of injury occurring on the bike. The foot-pedal interface is a key component to this class and focuses on adjusting the cleat in fore-aft, medial-lateral, rotation, canting and elevation as appropriate for the specific cyclist. This class focuses on road fit but includes aspects of mountain and tri as appropriate.

Plan on extensive HANDS-ON training, with special emphasis on the important Foot-Pedal Interface. Time will be spent on assessment of normal and pathological cycling mechanics, including functional differential diagnosis, as well as problem solving & training for appropriate adjustments on the bike for cyclists. Clinical considerations (billing, time, marketing) for bike fitting in a clinical setting.

Dates: (Saturday March 15th • 8:30am – 6pm & Sunday March 16th• 8am – 5pm)

Audience:  This weekend course is geared towards the healthcare professional, such as Doctors, Physical Therapists, Athletic Trainers, etc.


    • Paul Swift, Owner – BikeFit Systems, and an 8-time National Elite Track Cycling Champion.
    • Brian Adams, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, Elite level cyclist and BikeFit Pro.

CEUs: 18 contact hours available. Continued support is provided after the course is completed. E-mailed educational tips and helpful hints, along with other premium benefits will be provided upon completion of the course. Phone consultations with instructors will also be available.

Registration:  Call 425-821-7237 ext #104, e-mail [email protected]

For more information and for registration, please contact BikeFit at:

See the Clinical Bike Fit course flyer here:

For questions about Adams Sports Medicine, how to find us, or where to stay, please call our clinic at 248-513-3003 or email: [email protected] 

Cost: $800 per person ($200 registration deposit required, with final payment due one week prior to class). If you would like to repeat (audit a class), cost is $275. Class size is 8 students with 4:1 student to instructor
ratio. Call or email now to reserve your spot as the seminar spaces fill quickly. Please note: all attendees will be offered a $5 coupon for our online course with their course registration.  If you complete the course prior the training date, we will deduct $100 from your balance due – an actual savings of over $200!



Biomechanics of Cycling, Bike Fit Skills & Physical Therapy Interventions
@ Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy, Novi, MI.

The fundamental goal of this class is to further the understanding of normal and pathological movement patterns of cycling. As physical therapists, we tell patients to “ride a bike to get some exercise and take pressure off your joints.” However, that may not be as simple as it sounds.  As humans, we are asymmetrical creatures. Yet, we place ourselves and our patients on very symmetrical bicycles. Thus, the dilemma from the least experienced cyclist to the most advanced racer.

For a brief introduction, please see the BikeFit overview page here:

Therefore, the objectives of this class include but are not exclusive to:

1) Understand the basic biomechanics of cycling (static and dynamic assessment).
2) Identify patterns of motion that indicate inefficiency and potential pathology.
3) Identify and Associate the significance of physical therapy testing (manual, static,
dynamic) procedures to cycling biomechanics.
4) Bike Fit Skills: Learn how to alter the bike to better accommodate the patient’s
biomechanical needs, including stem length/angle, seat height, seat fore-aft and
handle bar position.
5) Identify specific foot types and unique LE architecture and their implications in
cycling biomechanics.
6) Bike Fit Skills: Learn how to address the foot/pedal interface to accommodate the
patient’s biomechanical needs, including fore-aft, rotation, medial-lateral and canting
of the foot.
7) Discuss the role and relevance of OTC inserts & custom orthotics for cyclists.
8) Discussion of the triathlete position versus the “comfort position” and it’s relevance
in performance.
9) Building a relationship with a local bike shop.

We hope you enjoy this class as much as we enjoy teaching it.

Physical Therapy + CrossFit = Symbiosis

Education and collaboration on form/technique. Physical Therapy + CrossFit

Education and collaboration on form/technique. Physical Therapy + CrossFit

For the numbers of people who have visited our clinic here, one of the first things they notice is the adjoining “warehouse” behind the clinic. Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy is located in a “flex space”, which in commercial real estate, simply means an office/showroom adjoining with a manufacturing or warehouse space. About a year ago, the now-owners of CrossFit Novi (Jason Ritchie and Phil DiPrima) put a plan in motion to renovate the abandoned warehouse into something very useful: a crossfit “Box”. At the same time, I was negotiating with the property owner to secure the front office space.


Within months, the Renascence began. And so did the symbiosis.


And the relationship between sport/science/rehabilitation became so evident, and the relationships between coaches, athletes, patients and clinicians began to form. There is a lot of sharing of knowledge, support and education. One of the strengths of CrossFit Novi is their camaraderie, their support of each other and their community. It has been a blessing to be a part of this, and we are pleased to be a supporting roll in their growth…and in growing our business in a synergistic way. The ability to work side-by-side with local athletes, and the ability to consult and educate in an Athletic Training Room atmosphere is priceless.

Core Stability training for a CrossFit Novi Athlete

Core Stability training for a CrossFit Novi Athlete

An article was recently written by a fellow doctor of physical therapy Dan Pope, and shared by one of my favorite professors from Grand Valley State University, Barb Hoogenboom. It is a very well written piece about the positive relationships of sports-minded physical therapists working in a symbiotic nature with crossfitters and the cross fit scene. You can read the article here:

Not all CrossFit boxes are the same. Not all physical therapists are in-tune with the needs of their athletes and their return to sport requirements. Regardless of your stance on crossfit, or your feelings towards physical therapy, their is value in each when utilized in isolation…and in our collaborative model here at ASMPT and CFN, their is added value in a symbiotic relationship!


Application of RockTape for a CrossFit athlete.
Application of RockTape for a CrossFit athlete.