WHITEHALL – One of the owners of the newest physical therapy facility in Whitehall likens caring for our bodies like maintaining a vehicle.

“Why do we regularly change the oil in our cars to counter repetitive wear and tear, yet ignore the pain caused by repetitive wear and tear in our bodies for years?,” questions Jeff Clark, co-owner of i’Move Physical Therapy and Athletic Performance which has moved into the recently opened, 40,000 square foot Viking Athletic Center, 541 E. Slocum Street. “The results are the same. Ignore your oil light long enough and your engine eventually shuts down. Ignore the pain caused by repetitive motion long enough and you’re eventually lying on an operating table.”

The Whitehall facility is the seventh West Michigan location for i’Move.

i’Move’s headquarters is in Spring Lake where it has complete facilities. It’s other locations are located at other athletic facilities — Spring Lake High School Fitness Center, Grand Haven Aquatic Center, Holland, Rockford and Cascade.

Marty Sytsema, physical therapist and co-owner said i’Move, in its 15th year, assists people to meet their movement goals.

“It’s all about movement,” he said.

“Maybe you’re looking to train for a marathon, or maybe you just want to walk up the stairs. We want to help you move wherever you are. i’Move doesn’t buy into fitness trends, but sticks with the medically-informed approach that physicians find to reduce pain and improve mobility time and time again. Our full-body analytics treat the whole source of your pain, not just the symptoms. Then, we build a custom routine with the same therapist to help you through your entire healing journey.”

Sytsema is impressed with the Viking Athletic Center. From his facility he can watch people walk the indoor exercise track. Whitehall District Schools, which owns the facility, reports that in its first month of operation, over 630 community members have signed up for memberships, in addition to school groups using the facility. The average age for members is just over 58 years.

Sytsema said the physical therapy facility is offering the public free 30-minute pain assessments. Often, he said health insurance will cover treatments, if they are necessary.

The facility also offers free use of a stretching cage which is located at the Viking Athletic Center, just outside of the i’Move office.

i’Move offers physical therapy, baseline concussion assessment and post-concussion screening, personal training, nutrition and workplace program.

i’Move’s team of 20 physical therapists, three in Whitehall, meet with line workers, construction laborers, office workers — anyone who overuses muscles as part of their job — to treat the source of movement difficulties and not only the symptoms.

“We are muscular-skeletal detectives,” he added.

Sytsema said their worksite program specializes in helping drive down employers’ and employees’ healthcare spending. An onsite, early preventative option, it combats rising healthcare costs by delivering bottom line savings and preventing larger, long-term issues.

He said a person doesn’t need a doctor’s note or approval to start working through their pain.

In a holistic approach, Sytsema said i’Move helps fight the cause, not the symptoms. “All too often, the cause of pain in the knee has nothing to do with the knee. i’Move uses biomechanics to identify the root of your pain, not just the symptoms, then develops a long-lasting treatment program to help you get a full recovery. When you need treatment after a shoulder injury, i’Move works with you to treat the whole arm. Let us identify where your body is off balance, and instill treatment that lasts from head to toe.”

Sytsema said he works at the Whitehall facility, which is open four days a week, on two of those days, and i’Move has just hired a Whitehall resident as its newest physical therapist, Gina Houtteman.

To make an appointment at the Whitehall office, call 231-893-1077. For more information, go online to www.imovedaily.com.