HOUGHTON - A common mistake patients experiencing pain make is ignoring their discomfort.
"The sooner we can initiate treatment the sooner you will get better," Dr. Matt Solka said. "Prognosis depends a lot on how long the person has been suffering with the problems they have."
Solka is the owner of Body Mechanix in Houghton. A Physical Therapist and Industrial Rehab Coordinator, Solka specializes in musculoskeletal care for injuries of the muscles, bones and joints of the body.
Dr. Matt Solka, owner of Body Mechanix of Houghton stands outside of his clinic in Suite 1 of the Sharon Centre.
"That can be any type of injury that would affect movement or function," he said. "The most common cases patients come to me for are back, neck or shoulder injuries."
Pain can be caused by any number of things, Solka said, for example overuse or simply a one-time injury.
"Just as evenly mixed are traumatic injuries as well," he said. "I see all types and age ranges of patients."
Solka, who earned his doctorate in physical therapy in 2004 from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., also specializes in ergonomics in the workplace.
Ergonomics involves fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.
"It looks at how a person's body functions in its work environment," he said. "I've worked with a lot of patients - everywhere from computer and warehouse setups to fabrication in industrial machine shops and even gas and oil refineries."
Not only is ergonomics designed to treat injuries but to prevent them as well.
While many people associate physical therapy with exercise and rehabilitation from surgery, Solka said he can "very efficiently" treat common everyday aches and pains.
"We focus on pain relief, management and treatment, as well," he said. "Physical therapy has evolved to be able to specialize in acute injuries."
Born and raised in L'Anse, Solka worked in various physical therapy capacities across the country following graduation in 2004. In November 2011, he took over ownership of Body Mechanix in Houghton.
"I took advantage of the opportunity to work on treating people in the community the best that I can," he said. "It won't be known as Body Mechanix of Houghton for too much longer."
In addition to a name change and new signage, Solka is planning to remodel the interior of the clinic to give it "a fresh look."
As evidenced by the many plaques on the wall near the entrance, Body Mechanix has been voted best physical therapy clinic by readers of The Daily Mining Gazette several years in a row.
For the past couple years, Solka was named best physical therapist.
Solka has received a great deal of positive feedback from patients who find the clinic both comfortable and professional.
"We make sure to provide our patients with a more personalized treatment," he said. "Here they feel like a person rather than a number."
To make physical therapy more available to community residents, Solka maintains a payment policy that is very cost effective.
"Say for example their insurance benefits plan doesn't include therapy or has very expensive, high-cost deductibles," he said. "Our payment policy allows us a little more flexibility to work with people to be as economical and cost-efficient as we are treatment efficient."
New policies also include increasing efficiency of treating patients, "to simply get people feeling better faster."
Solka said it's important patients understand they have the right to seek physical therapy at the clinic of their choice.
"They are not required nor should they feel forced to be treated by anyone they don't want to," he said. "A lot of people don't realize they have the choice to go wherever they want. Patients have the freedom to choose. It is their right."
According to the Patient's Rights Act and the Patient Bill of Rights, people have the freedom to choose where they receive their physical therapy. It is inappropriate for anyone to be told where they have to receive their health care.
Body Mechanix is located in Suite 1 of the Sharon Centre in Houghton.
For more information, call 483-4800.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Body Mechanix of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.