David Wright, New York Mets (August 2015)
Schlink – Thank you very much for all of your time and effort over the last 2 months. I appreciate your help to get me back on the field. You’re the man!
The Battle To Be Wright Again: Inside David Wright's Grueling Rehab Routine —Ron Berler, Men's Fitness, April 2016
Watkins, the spine expert, believes in an aggressive treatment approach to spinal stenosis. He also believes that Wright’s condition is ultimately less about his smaller-than-normal spinal canal than the two decades he’s spent constantly twisting and torquing on the baseball field. “He injured the L4, L5 discs,” Watkins says. “You injure a joint in your back—it doesn’t need to be a massive herniation—and that affects everything you do. As soon as you bend forward, the weight of your body times the distance back to that joint is huge leverage forces.” In the days following his April 2015 diagnosis, he gave Wright a series of six bilateral steroid epidural injections to quiet the compression on the nerves that ran through his spinal column into his legs.
Less than a week later, Watkins had him working with Michael Schlink, a Los Angeles-based physical therapist whose expertise is spine-related core stabilization and strengthening. Schlink treated Wright daily for a month, then two to three times a week the following two months, teaching him a series of four minutely choreographed lower-back-strengthening exercises that proved critical to his main 2 1⁄2-hour exercise regimen. Called core-stabilization exercises, they address the six planes of lumbar spine motion—forward and back, side bend left and right, and rotation left and right—that together create a better balance between the muscles in front of and behind the pelvis, which in turn relieves spinal pressure. “What I did,” Schlink says, “was neurologically wake up abdominal, multifidus, and gluteus medius muscles that weren’t properly firing.”
The exercises didn’t solve Wright’s stenosis, but they did reduce his back pain. Without them, he would have been unable to complete his rehab workout.
Indiana Pacers, NBA
From Josh Corbiel DPT, Carl Eaton DPT, and Dan Dyrek DPT (Pacers Physical Therapy Staff)
Michael, Thanks for everything you do for us every summer. It is much appreciated!
Joy Fawcett, Member of the 2004 Olympic Women’s Soccer Gold Medal Team
Excerpt from an email Joy sent the day of the 2004 gold medal game
Tonight we play Brazil in the Final as you may already know. My back is awesome! I haven't had any problems (knock on wood) and have played every minute of every game. Only 90 more minutes! Thanks for all your help, and working all those weekends for me as well.
Kate Markgraf, Member of the 2004 Olympic Women’s Soccer Gold Medal Team
Excerpt from an email Kate sent the day after the 2004 gold medal game
Thanks, Michael. You know you’re the one that got me healthy! Without you I would not have helped this team very much. Thanks again, and best of luck to your son, Andy. I want to read about him one day.
LA Kings Tony Granato and four-time NHL all-star Rick Tocchet
Tocchet’s Back Problems Are All Behind Him Now —Daily News
“A couple of years ago I wasn’t worried about playing hockey,” Granato said, “but about things like picking up my kids, playing with them. I just wasn’t having any fun.” To the rescue came Michael Schlink, a physical therapist based in Westwood. Schlink designed a plan of therapy that saved Granato. “Basically, he (Schlink) is my lifeline. To Tony Granato and myself (Tocchet), he is like a religion to us now.” They certainly are devout followers. Then again, they have to be. Schlink gave both players pre- and post-game exercise routines for their backs. Tocchet and Granato follow them . . . well . . . religiously.”
Tocchet May Miss More Time —Kevin Paul Dupont, Boston.com News, March 27, 1996
“I was lucky to have Santa Monica back specialist Michael Schlink when I was playing in LA.” —Rick Tocchet
John LeClair, 5 time NHL all-star and “Legion of Doom” member
Return of LeClair, Recchi nears —Lee Brown, Philly.com, November 14, 2000
LeClair returned a few days ago from a checkup in Los Angeles with his surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins, and physical therapist Michael Schlink. “They just keep telling me to calm down,” said LeClair, who has been greatly encouraged by how his back has felt. “Watkins said as far as the surgery party, it’s healing nicely, I’m good there. With Michael Schlink, I’m just working on strengthening the back, so when I come back, I don’t re-injure myself. Watkins kind of set some goals for me to reach, that when I hit those, I’m ready.”
Back spasms have subsided, LeClair says —Tim Panaccio, Philly.com, The Inquirer, December 18, 2000
LeClair has been receiving twice-a-day treatments from his physical therapist, Michael Schlink, in Los Angeles. Doctors say the problem is muscular and unrelated to LeClair’s back surgery in October on a herniated disk. “I’m fine and I’m getting better every day. I’m going to talk to my therapist, and I’ll know when I start skating again. I want to get some final instructions before I come home.”
LeClair laces ’em up, rejoins teammates —Tim Panaccio, Philly.com, The Inquirer, January 4, 2001
In mid-December, LeClair spent more than a week in Los Angeles with his doctor, Robert Watkins, and physical therapist Michael Schlink. Schlink gave him a training regimen that the teams conditioning coach, Jim McCrossin, has implemented here (Philadelphia). “The last 2 weeks have probably been the most frustrating times I have ever had to play hockey. I was kind of stuck. You wonder what is going on. You plateau like that and wonder, is that it? I’m happy with the way the last 2 days have been. Looks like I’m going forward again.”
Isabelle Vaudelle, Cirque du Soleil Contortionist
Letter from Ian Murray, Canadian athletic therapist for Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam
I treated Isabelle Vaudelle, the contortionist with the T9, T10 and L4, L5 spinous process stress fractures, with the techniques which you had first used on her, and have continued with those as well as the pelvic stabilization exercises of yourself and Dr. Robert Watkins. Since that time, Isabelle has experienced a 95% recovery rate and is now pain free, while still able to do the same amount of contortion. She has considerably more strength throughout her entire back and is able to perform her act 10 times per week. Again, I would like to thank you for your help, the techniques and information you were able to share with us was invaluable for treating some of our “unique” cases here at the Cirque Du Soleil’s North American Tour of Quidam.
Thank you very much for all you help. My back is better now. —Isabelle
Paul K. Zimmerman
Michael Schlink—the Dr. Gregory House of PT—is a brilliant diagnostician. He can be grumpy, if you take shortcuts in the rehab process, and he never pays off his “pizza bets.” Michael has been rehabbing this 75 yr. old body for 25+ years (back, knees, shoulder etc.). You might as well bury me if he ever retires!
Matthew B.F. Biren
Mike Schlink has lovingly guided me back to competitive level form through bilateral knee replacement and rotator cuff/biceps tendon surgeries. Stated simply—he is the best. Unlike most physical therapists who tend to be glorified physical trainers, he has studied his craft and developed a philosophy based on science that produces unparalleled results.
I had a serious knee surgery at the end of August 2011 and I knew I had to do disciplined physical therapy post-surgery. A friend referred Michael Schlink. I walked into the office limping and favoring my other leg and literally a half an hour later, I started walking normally. Almost 10 weeks later after my surgery I was back on the soccer field running around. I have been competitive athlete all my life, hence I’ve spent time with physicians and physical therapists around the world but Micheal's knowledge, experience and his no-nonsense approach is absolutely unmatched. I can say confidently that I owe this quick and pleasant recovery to Michael and his staff.
A thank-you note to Michael and Chele
Thanks for all of your help, support and most of all you amazing dedication to helping your patients. Words can not express the gratitude I have for you. Thank you for bringing such stability, strength and support into my life. This is a long overdue thanks—but I never wanted to jinx anything!
Michael and his outstanding therapists take the recommendations of the referring physician, listen to ME and then develop a therapeutic regimen. Throughout my therapy, they reevaluate and refine the therapy to meet my needs. When I first started therapy for my shoulder, I worked with Chele and I still do the exercises that she taught me daily with great results. When I returned to the practice for my knee/hip, I had the good fortune of meeting another superb therapist, Rachel. Both have been great and have contributed to my excellent experience at Schlink and Associates.
To Michael, Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to help me get back on the ice!
To Michael, Thanks for taking good care of me.
To Michael, Thanks for all your help!
To Michael Schlink, Thanks for everything.
To Michael, Thanks a million for all the treatment and care over the years that helped and lengthened my time on the ice. You are the greatest!
To Michael, Thanks for all your help through the years! Your support is greatly appreciated!
To Michael, Thanks for your help!
Michael, Thanks for all your help. Attack life.