By Jordan Houston
A local physical therapist is dedicated to promoting a lifestyle free from painkillers, out of doctor’s offices and a no-holds-barred approach to living life to the fullest.
Mesa’s Spark Performance and Physiotherapy, located at 6056 E. Baseline Road, Suite 147, is a sports and orthopedic clinic that specializes in helping active adults prevent or recover from “painful injuries and get back to doing what they love without the use of medications, injections or invasive surgeries.” Founded in 2018, the clinic is divided into physical therapy and sports performance divisions.
According to Spark Performance and Physiotherapy clinic administrator Chelsey Street, it caters to those suffering from orthopedic and sports injuries, individuals looking to leave painkillers behind or avoid surgery, people in need of assistance in returning to the gym or “golf course” and injured athletes looking to minimize time away from their sport.
“The population we tend to target is middle-aged and older adults by helping them age gracefully and be as active as they want to be,” Street says.
The physical therapy division offers a free phone or in-person consultation and provides one-on-one therapy that is highly tailored to the individual.
Although treatment plans vary, Spark Performance treats problem areas within the back and spine, such as low back pain, disc degeneration and sciatica, as well as pre- and post-surgical pain. It also tackles neck and head pain, and limb-related issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome and hip, knee and elbow pain.
What sets the physical therapy clinic apart from the rest, however, is its emphasis on remaining active in order to return to or continue living a “healthy” and “active” lifestyle, Street says.
“In other clinics, you might see people sitting down – but a lot of active people don’t sit down,” the clinic administrator expresses. “A lot of what we do is with people on their feet. We are a bit untraditional; our main hub is a squat rack. It looks more like a gym than it does like a physical therapy clinic.”
Most treatment plans tap into strength-centric workouts, including the use of barbells and dumbbells, she continues.
“Just because you are in your mid-50s doesn’t mean you can’t operate a barbell,” Street says.
Regardless of age, Street says incorporating proper form into all active activities, whether it’s playing tennis or lifting household objects like laundry baskets, is key to maintaining a healthy body.
Form, balance and coordination only become more crucial as we age, she adds.
“We try to incorporate our physical therapy philosophies into things people are going to experience on the daily,” Street says. “Things get a little weaker as you get older. Weight training and resistance training are known to positively impact bone strength and density or limit fall.”
Spark Performance’s philosophy stems from its owner and founder Steven Alexander, Street notes.
Alexander, a Mesa High School and Arizona State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, competed his doctorate in physical therapy from Regis University. He is also certified in dry needling.
Alexander was inspired to launch the clinic in 2018 after spending “a lot of time” working at “mill-like” physical therapy clinics, the website states.
“He’s an elite physical therapist and he broke out from the traditional clinic when he decided it was just too much of a mill with too many patients that weren’t getting the type of therapy essential for active lifestyles,” Street explains.
“You would have active people trying to get back to active lifestyles using three-pound dumbbells,” she continues. “You’re not going to get an athlete or active adult back to doing what they want that way.”
Spark Performance and Physiotherapy has since been a hotspot for active adults looking to stay moving – and it’s only continuing to expand.
Street says the clinic will soon launch a personal training service geared toward sports performance for young athletes.
“We’re looking to engage high school and college athletes more,” Street shares. “We want to make it a lifestyle, so it’s not just the parents coming in, we can teach your kids, too.”
Spark Performance and Physiotherapy
6056 E. Baseline Road,
Suite 147, Mesa
6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to noon Saturday