With three locations on Long Island, Panetta Physical Therapy is a fantastic place to go for Long Islanders who need some help getting back in shape. Golfing Magazine recently spoke with Rich and Christina Panetta about what golfers can expect at Panetta Physical Therapy. GM:
Take us through exactly what you do at Panetta Physical Therapy. CP:
We’re all licensed physical therapists. It’s a pretty big company—we do something like 800 physical therapy visits per week, and we have twelve licensed physical therapists that are delivering physical therapy every week. A portion of the company is devoted just to golfers. GM:
Does the company focus primarily on injury rehabilitation, or do you also see perfectly healthy golfers come in to stay in shape? CP:
We have both types. There are those people that have an injury, then there are golfers who just want to improve their games. A lot of times people come in with an injury that is preventing them from enjoying golf. We first find out what the nature of the injury is—is it preventing them from playing altogether? Is it limiting the amount of times they can play? Or is it just making it uncomfortable or painful to play? I’ve found that if a golfer needs to take an aspirin or anti-inflammatory before, during, or after a round of golf, that’s the first sign that something is wrong. Many people think it’s common to pop a pill because of the toll golfing takes on you, but it’s really not—that points to an underlying physical problem that we can help golfers identify and fix. RP:
Our clients are divided into two types: golfers and non-golfers. Golfers enter our Body Balance program, which is geared specifically for golf. I would say that about 10% of our clients are golfers, while most of them are just trying to recover from previous injuries and regain range of motion and a pain-free day-to-day life. Body Balance helps a 7 handicap get down to a 4, or a 5 get down to a 2. In order to golf that well, you can’t be playing with injuries. We take that person and do a thorough check-up of their body. Our research in the past ten years has shown us exactly what the body must be doing to perform correctly. GM:
What kind of golfers can you help the most? RP:
We’ve noticed in the past few years that seniors are a very overlooked demographic. These are people that have been working their whole lives so that they can retire and play golf, and once that day comes, their bodies don’t cooperate with them. Often, they’re not in good enough shape to walk the course, and they need to take pain medication just to get through a round. We have all kinds of programs in place that can really help these people. Our Body Balance program is mostly for elite golfers, but these other programs can help the average golfer, as well. GM:
So you’re able to help just about anyone then? CP:
Almost everyone deals with pain and stiffness on the golf course, and this impacts their performance in a negative way. We’re able to educate people on how important physical fitness is, both in golf and in life. The great thing is, most people today have health insurance. Almost everyone would qualify for some type of physical therapy without worrying about the financial elements attached to it. When people walk out of our office, they have better range of motion and flexibility. They’re glad they came. GM:
Do you find that people are reluctant to come in? Or are they enthusiastic about getting the problem fixed and getting fit?
The problem is that most people are uneducated on the effects not being physically fit can have on their games. They don’t realize that the reason they slice is because they’re unable to extend their arms the way they should or they’re unable to rotate far enough. Most people think it’s normal to get stiff and weak as they get older. It’s really not normal, not if you take care of your body. RP:
One thing that we offer at Panetta Physical Therapy is continuing education. Other physical therapists are very qualified, but they aren’t able to make that connection between what the problem is and what it’s affecting in a patient’s golf game. Our physical therapists have continuing education training in which they’re encouraged to play golf and learn about golf. This allows them to better relate to golfers and to fill in the blanks between what an injury is and what it does to a patient’s game. They can communicate much better with patients this way. GM:
What else can Panetta Physical Therapy offer that other places can’t? CP:
A licensed physical therapist is the only person that can assess and restore motion to a joint. At Panetta Physical Therapy, we can determine what the problem is, what is causing the problem, and how to fix the problem. Everything our patients need can all be found in one place.
To find out more about Panetta Physical Therapy, please visit www.panetta.com
or email email@example.com. Look for recurring articles from Panetta Physical Therapy in Golfing Magazine’s 2007 issues.