Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend enthusiast, getting sidelined by pain or injury can derail you for a long time.
For many baby boomers, years of repetitive motion and damage, poor technique, or ill-fitting gear are beginning to take their painful toll.
The Bauerfeind Performance Center in Santa Monica aims to help athletes of all ages and levels get back in their game and be free of pain or injury. The Center’s approach combines physical therapy techniques with technology that delivers the type of advanced biomechanical analysis often used by professional athletes.
Bauerfeind is a German company that’s been making biomechanics-based sports products since 1929. Bauerfeind has been an official supplier to the German Olympic teams and will be the orthopedic support provider for the international Olympic athletes at the London games next year.
The company is known for its expertise in body joints and for its orthopedic support, compression stocking, and foot orthotic products, all available at the center.
The center is organized into three zones — golf, tennis, and running — but these products can be used in any sport. There’s also a variety of other sports products like heart rate monitors, and a physical therapy clinic with a private elevator and parking.
On display at the center is the yellow Bauerfeind knee brace worn by the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. “Kobe has tried on dozens of different braces and he was looking for certain things (in a brace.) At the Beijing Olympics he saw the German players wearing Bauerfeind products, and he found us and asked us to make a brace for him,” said Andrew Pritikin DPT, the center’s clinical director. Pritikin is a Los Angeles native who has taught sports injury courses at Santa Monica College.
Because sports problems usually have more than one cause, the staff at Bauerfeind Performance Center take a holistic approach to active sports rehab and injury prevention.
“We not only address injuries, we get to the bottom of them and find out why they happen,” said Pritikin. “I’ve hurt everything on my body at least once, so I take a very empathetic view.”
Using on-site assessment technology, Pritikin can analyze your technique, such as a golf or tennis swing or a running gait. A sports motion analysis system uses high-speed cameras to videotape your motion from three angles. By looking at the video at slow speed, Pritikin can identify problem areas and recommend ways to correct your biomechanics, improve your technique, and avoid or recover from injury.
The center also can take precise, three-dimensional measurements of your body to make customized orthopedic products with optimal fit. Using a wireless sock system, they can help you find the right foot gear by analyzing foot pressure points and lower leg biomechanics while you stand and walk. The Bodytronic 600 machine — the only one in the U.S., says Pritikin — takes volumetric measurements of the whole body. These measurements are kept on file and are useful in custom-fitting orthopedic products like prosthetics and compression socks.
“Measurement is important and very difficult. The same person can measure the same thing differently each time, but these machines give precise measurements,” said Pritikin.
These services are available in flexible performance packages that start at $145 for one hour, $265 for two hours, and $385 for three hours.
Typically, performance packages for elite athletes take three hours, competitive athlete packages take two hours, and enthusiasts’ packages take one hour. For example, a running enthusiast’s one-hour performance package might include foot analysis, a treadmill running assessment, a flexibility program, and a personalized exercise prescription. Orthotic insoles made in-house run about $125.
Contact the center for more information about its individualized services.
Bauerfeind Performance Center
1540 Second Street, Santa Monica
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