Fitness buffs, athletes to have own clinic |

Fitness buffs, athletes to have own clinic

Fitness fanatics with questions on everything from training to treatment of injuries will soon have a place to go for answers in the midvalley.

Within the next month, a sports medicine clinic will be established at the Midvalley Medical Center in Basalt. It will provide coordinated access to specialists such as orthopaedists, physical therapists, sports psychologists and nutritionists, as well as doctors who can help with training and recovery.

The clinic is the dream of Dr. Glenn Kotz, a longtime midvalley doctor with an interest in athletics. He and Aspen’s Dr. Mark Purnell serve on the medical team for the mountain bikers on the U.S. Cycling Team.

The idea of a local sports clinic was tossed around for years by various medical professionals associated with Aspen Valley Hospital, but no one took the initiative to get it going. Individual doctors offer sports medicine-based treatment, but not on the coordinated level that Kotz envisions.

He decided to devote Wednesday mornings this spring to sports medicine. The concept appealed to several other doctors and professionals who have signed on to work in the clinic.

Kotz’s vision is to develop a program where an athlete can come in and get a complete package of medical analysis and advice. It’s an approach that has proven effective in a number of other places. Kotz believes that type of clinic is overdue in the Aspen area, where athletics and recreational pursuits are so popular.

An athlete like a runner, for example, might come in for treatment of a nagging hamstring injury. While there, he or she might decide it is time to consult with the doctor about the inevitable deterioration of conditioning that comes with age and how to combat it.

Another athlete, such as a cyclist, might come in for what’s known as a VO2 Max test (see related story) to help determine the best training regimen. While there, the cyclist might decide to seek advice from the nutritionist about setting up a proper diet before races.

Kotz said programs can be tailored to different levels of athletes and different-sized budgets. The program will be geared toward weekend warriors as well as competitive racers.

The need for sports medicine is particularly acute in treatment of injuries. Sports medicine may dictate a different approach in treatment of an injury than conventional medicine, Kotz said.

Someone with a knee injury may be told by a general practitioner to stay off of it until it’s healed. But the sports medicine approach would be to remain more active to help the tissue heal faster.

In more unusual sports medicine cases, someone with asthma may not realize that training programs can be tailored for the greatest benefit to them, Kotz said.

The sports medicine clinic has room to grow, if the concept proves popular. It could be expanded to the top floor of the Midvalley Medical Center, at 1450 E. Valley Road, right off Highway 82.

To make an appointment at the sports medicine clinic, contact the Midvalley Medical Center at 927-6101.

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