By KEVIN CHIRI
Tammany West news
MADISONVILLE – Jim Silvestri confidently states that his staff of Physical and Occupational therapists are second to none in helping clients who have shoulder, elbow and hand problems.
“We are very passionate when it comes to treating these issues and as a result, we have seen a tremendous amount of success over the years,” he said.
But 25 years working as a physical therapist has also shown something else to Silvestri. Back pain continues to be a major problem for the people of St. Tammany parish.
“I get at least one call or e-mail a day from someone who is needlessly suffering with back or neck pain,” Jim said. “I say needlessly because studies report that up to 50% of it is preventable or easily treatable.”
That is why The Next Level Physical and Occupational Therapy Center is offering a free workshop for individuals suffering with back pain or sciatica nerve pain, limited to only 30 seats (20 filled already at the time of printing).
The seminar is set for this Saturday, Jan. 30 from 10 to 11 a.m. at 610 Deer Cross Court E. in Madisonville, the home for The Next Level. Call 985-898-0721 to reserve your seat.
“Why are we offering this workshop?” Jim said. “Simply because I know there is a great need and many people do not realize they can get relief, sometimes in a surprisingly simple way.”
Jim said there are a number of back or sciatica nerve problems that can be corrected with something as basic as proper stretching, but the real benefit from attending the workshop is that individuals will get knowledge to understand what is causing their problem, and ways to relieve their pain “without medication, injections or surgery.”
“Studies have shown for years that 80 percent of the population will have back pain at some point in their lives,” Jim said. “Knowing what to do when you are hurting or to prevent further episodes is clearly valuable information for anyone who is confused about their treatment options.”
The workshop will explain:
–The single biggest mistake back pain sufferers make which stops them from healing.
–The most commonly missed cause of lower back pain and sciatica.
–A sure-fire way to select the right treatment for the cause of your pain.
–How a problem in your back can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your leg.
–What successful treatment and permanent relief looks like without medication, injections or surgery.
Silvestri said the three most common causes of back or sciatica pain are Spinal Stenosis, Herniated Discs, or Sacroiliac problems.
“Many people never address the pain because they believe it will get better on its own…eventually” he said. “However, ignoring symptoms is a recipe for misery and unfortunately the statistics confirm this.”
Jim proudly says “The Next Level is a place of healing in a true family environment—I know you hear that a lot, but we really do make you feel at home here. We want everyone to leave with that ‘Wow!’ feeling in terms of the personal care and attention they receive.”
Silvestri, originally from Enfield, Ct., said that health care was his chosen field coming out of high school, sparked by a love of science and biology. After his family moved to the New Orleans area when he was 17, he selected LSU for college and had four years of pre-med before deciding physical therapy was the specific field he would enter.
After graduating from LSU Physical Therapy School in 1991, he worked primarily in outpatient orthopedics for 17 years before deciding to open his own clinic in Madisonville.
Located in a large baseball facility off Hwy. 1085 in Madisonville, The Next Level Physical & Occupational Therapy now incorporates much of the sports side into the shoulder, elbow and hand practice.
“Having batting cages and a health club set up right next to us is useful for many obvious reasons if you are a recovering athlete and need sport specific training” he said. “I always wanted a physical therapy sports facility and we have it all right here.”
For that matter, Silvestri offers a Bio-Mechanical Analysis for baseball pitchers which includes a 14-point video analysis. He has worked with dozens of top area pitchers, including many who pitched in college.
The Next Level team is bolstered by a staff that includes Certified Hand Therapists Missy Hymel and Stephanie Accardo.
“Missy is as good as they get when it comes to hand therapists,” Jim said. “She has been specializing in shoulder to hand care for 26 years and has been in private practice since 2005. I was extremely fortunate to have Missy become a part of The Next Level team 4 years ago.”
“Missy is an expert at treating sprains and fractures as well as tendon and nerve lacerations,” says Jim. “In order to protect healing tissues after surgery or traumatic injury, Missy is able to produce custom splints in the clinic in about an hour. What she can create with splinting materials is truly amazing to watch.”
Hymel had this to say “We both believe that knowledge is power, so we spend time educating our patients about their condition. We want patients to know how their body heals to help them make good choices during their recovery, so that they can return to all of the things they need to and love to do.”
Silvestri added “But overall I think that’s what makes us different as a staff—we do so much more than put a hot pad on you, do a few exercises and send you out the door—everything we do is either research or experience based and I truly believe we have the best therapy staff there is.”
That claim has quite a few testimonials to back up what Silvestri says as his front lobby is covered with pictures and comments from past clients who go into great length to compliment the results they received at The Next Level.
Jim’s advice to anyone with a nagging problem is “don’t ignore the symptoms. Small problems soon become big ones. We can help prevent that!”
Silvestri has been married for 28 years and has two sons, one who currently works at his clinic. Hymel has been married for 20 years with a very active teenage daughter and son.
For more information about the clinic, or to register for the back workshop, call The Next Level at 985-898-0721.