Local fitness businesses growing

PARKERSBURG – Two fast-growing fitness businesses in the Parkersburg area offer numerous choices to residents.

One has been around for more than a decade and one is new to the area.

Mountain River Physical Therapy has been serving the Mid-Ohio Valley for about 14 years with owner Burt Reed constantly improving his business.

Susan Tebay, director of marketing operations for the company, said Reed constantly tests the newest technology offered in the physical therapy industry.

“He is always laughing, always joking,” Tebay said of her employer. “The atmosphere of our clinics is so (clients) enjoy coming.”

Originally from St. Marys, Reed opened his first clinic in Mineral Wells in 1999, Tebay said. He now operates 13 locations, including two (one clinic and one athletic training center) in Parkersburg.

Tebay said those needing physical therapy are not necessarily partial to receiving the treatment and may be told they have to do it as a result of surgery or doctor’s orders.

The business offers an athletic performance center on 37th Street.

Bill Islay, chief operating officer of the company, said they pride themselves on the innovation they offer to the valley.

“Our challenge has been people who may have had a bad experience generally (with physical therapy),” he said. “We’re not typical.”

Islay said the company has 25 hands-on therapists on staff and 70 percent are board certified.

Reed opened his first clinic in Mineral Wells.

“Things fell in place,” he said. “It’s interesting since the Mineral Wells clinic all have been asked of me by physicians or PT’s (physical therapists) who wanted to stay with Mountain River and go to their hometown.”

Since opening the clinic in Mineral Wells, Reed has opened ones in Ellenboro, Parkersburg, Vienna, New Martinsville, Wellsburg, Leesport, Pa., Athens, Chatham, Va., Parkersburg (athletic performance center), Ripley and most recently Ocala, Fla.

Outpatient practices include quality patient care, cultivative professional and personal development, a positive and caring atmosphere and to enhance the communities the company serves, the team said. Other functions include Intramuscular Manual Therapy or trigger point dry needling.

Dry needling is a treatment for relieving the pain caused by muscular tightness and spasms following injuries to the body, Islay said. IMT can help relieve pain associated with carpel tunnel, tendonitis and osteoarthritis.

Specialties include manual therapy, sports medicine, orthotics, women’s health, industrial rehabilitation and post-operative rehabilitation. Islay said physical therapists can come into play in dental work.

Islay said one treatment is for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) or locked jaw.

TMJ is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull.

“We work with area dentists and orthodontists and collaborated with the local dental association,” Islay said.

The company focuses on a new fitness craze called CrossFit. The exercise of 20 minutes or less consists of intense, demanding physical fitness. The director involved with that program is a licensed massage therapist, Islay said.

“Rehab stuff goes hand-in-hand (with the CrossFit training),” he said.

Another exercise sweeping the nation is Zumba fitness. Owner and Zumba fitness trainer Toni Holbrook said she and her daughter, Tiffanee Rice, became interested in Zumba after they took a local class.

Holbrook opened the Brickhouse Cardio Club (2311 Ohio Ave., Unit B, Parkersburg) in May 2011 and has since seen an influx of participants.

Brickhouse had been offering 14 classes a week and added four classes, two morning and two evening, in March, Holbrook said. Including the Zumbatomic program, which is two more classes, she was offering 16 classes a week and in March it became 20.

All of the trainers at the club are CPR/AED certified, and have been certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, she said.

Holbrook’s husband, Darrell, is the main “Turbo Kick” instructor, with his daughter filling in when she isn’t teaching another class. The club is slowly adding more instructors as interest in the fitness dance in the valley progresses.

“All of our classes are designed to be modified for every fitness level and body type,” Rice said.