Dr. Steve Ryland aims to keep people healthy before injury and illness sets in at Beachside Health Studio
In a recent survey, 57 percent of senior citizens said they have never been members of a gym, let alone followed a consistent exercise schedule. In 2006, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported over half a million injuries among basketball players. Another two million injuries were associated with bicycling, football and other sports. Meanwhile, based on a report by Connect With Kids, 30 percent of parents report that their children have been injured while playing team sports, and 22 percent of soccer players, 25 percent of baseball players and 12 percent of softball players all admit to injuries while playing their respective sports. Furthermore, studies show that 8 out of 10 Americans suffer from lower back pain.
This all means that virtually 100 percent of the population can benefit from preventative care and maintenance programs.
PHYSCIAL THERAPY’S ROLE IN HEALTH & WELLNESS
As a response to these growing statistics, Steve Ryland, PT, DPT, turned a long-term vision into a reality and opened Beachside Health Studio in the fall 2008.
“When most people think of physical therapy, they think of a place or person that they would go to for ‘serious problems,’” explains Dr. Ryland of a common misconception. “They don’t think of physical therapists in health and wellness roles, or as the forefront leaders in exercise education, nutritional counseling, injury prevention and keeping people healthy before injury and illness sets in.”
That said, the concept of helping individuals of all ages stay healthy, age gracefully and stay injury free is what fueled Dr. Ryland to open Beachside Health Studio. Offering services such as personal training, physical therapy, private Pilates classes, a wide variety of group classes, yoga and massage therapy, the Indialantic studio can help anyone achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
Dr. Ryland’s passion for helping clients achieve their highest level of health and well being actually started years ago after he sustained a crippling back injury.
“When I was in my 20s, I was a competitive weight lifter. One day in the gym changed my life. I blew out a disk in my back that took me to my knees. I suffered for nearly two years. I went through the whole process of treatments that I see my current clients go through, but I would only get temporary relief. I was told I needed surgery. While waiting for my surgery date to come, my surgeon ordered physical therapy to get me stronger for a faster recovery. In six weeks, I was 90 percent better! My surgery was postponed and I was told to continue strengthening,” he explains.
It was this life-changing incident that caused Dr. Ryland to pursue a career as a physical therapist. “I was headed for law school but I decided to give that all up and go the medical route. I felt a calling to help others the way that I had been helped,” he says.
Dr. Ryland received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in 1996. He worked in the field for a few years but still felt something was lacking. “At that time, there was a big push in the field of physical therapy for research and discovering why injuries occurred,” he explains. “More importantly, researchers were interested in learning how to prevent those injuries from occurring in the first place.”
Dr. Ryland decided to go back to school and received his doctorate degree in physical therapy a few years later. While doing research in this field, he started to see patterns as to why individuals sustained certain injuries and why these injuries were sometimes slow to heal. He began to do his own research and discovered that through exercise, diet, nutrition and education, an individual could be put on a fast track to recovery. This research brought him into contact with all the top professionals in his field. Many of those professionals shared the same passion toward educating individuals the way he had been educated at the time of his own injury.
DIRECT ACCESS THERAPY & TREATMENT
One major advantage for physical therapy in the state of Florida is the fact that Florida is a Direct Access state. Unlike several other states, patients have the opportunity to walk into a physical therapy clinic and receive treatment without a referral from their doctor. That said, physical therapy patients can walk in, pay cash and undergo therapy without having to worry about insurance billing, co-payments or any of the hassles that come along with insurance-related medical treatments.
The owner of five physical therapy clinics in Brevard County, Dr. Ryland saw a huge need for prevention services, continued care, health and wellness services and direct access physical therapy and treatment.
“I wanted to share all this information with our community. Nothing frustrates me more than to see someone suffering from aches and pains when something could be done now!” he says.
Beachside Health Studio is in its third year of business and is growing in popularity. Dr. Ryland attributes this not only to the results that clients are achieving, but also to the professionals he has surrounded himself with, who equally share his passion.
“Our community is catching on. They want to age gracefully and injury free. They see us as an instrument to making that happen,” says Dr. Ryland.
Due the significant results that the health studio is producing, word has spread beyond the Brevard County community. Recently, high-end professional athletes from various sports including football, basketball, tennis, soccer and golf have sought services and have experienced similar results in achieving optimal performance.
“It is flattering to be acknowledged by prestigious athletes, but I really enjoy working with individuals who just want to stay healthy and live an active, injury-free lifestyle. That is where we get our biggest satisfaction. We offer services for all types of clients from all walks of life,” says Dr. Ryland.
And the future looks bright.
“There are a lot of opportunities opening up in the near future, including teaming up with other professionals around the country to bring our knowledge to the masses. We want to start educating individuals early in life about health promotion and wellness. We want to see an end to diseases caused by sedentary lifestyles and obesity, which is becoming an epidemic in our country,” explains Dr. Ryland.
“The Health Studio is currently beta testing new programs but as we can see from the results already achieved, these new programs are going to be life changing.”