News & Events

How Do You Define An Athlete? It’s Not What You Think

Without fail, it happens about once every couple of weeks.  I meet a new patient and one of the first things they say is “I am not sure why my physician recommended me to come here. I am not an athlete.”
As the conversation progresses, the patient tells me about how they go to the gym and work out 3-4 times a week and how during the summer they regularly play in a golf league.  But, you’re not an athlete? I think maybe you are.
In this blog, I will explain three reasons why you fit our definition of being an athlete. 

Two men playing paddle tennis in wide angle shot image

I get it.  Normally, when we think about an “athlete”, we think about someone who participates in organized sports, are between the ages of 12-22 years old, or are paid, professional athletes.  
But what about the police officer who (injured his back on duty as a patrol officer) is on patrol?  
What about the (mother of three who is ready to get back to her pre-children fitness level to keep up with her family) stay at home mom who works out regularly at the nearby gym?  
How about the guy who can get a senior discount at most restaurants but lives to play tennis with his buddies three times a week?  
Or how about me? A 41-year-old (at the time of this writing) who enjoys working out a couple times a week, plays men’s league hockey, and has frequent wrestling matches with his kids?
In my eyes, everyone listed is an “athlete”.
Being an athlete is not defined by our age or whether we are in organized sports.  It is a mindset. It is a mindset that you want to perform at your optimal level, regardless of where you are in the cycle of life.
Every single person, traditional athlete or not, is on a performance continuum.

On one side of the continuum you have an injury or pain that is limiting your function and performance.  On the other end of the continuum is when you are feeling great and you are physically performing everything in life you desire to do.

How high your continuum reaches might vary compared to someone else, but you are still somewhere on it.  
I founded Athletes’ Training Center Sports Performance & Physical Therapy with that continuum in mind so that we had solutions for anyone who wanted to shift their place on the continuum to the far right. We don’t just see professional athletes or 12 to 22 year old athletes who are in organized sports.
We see so many more “athletes.”
Here are 3 easy ways to know if you are our kind of athlete:

1. You value feeling good and performing at your best 

2. You want to be challenged in a way that helps you reach your best

3. You want an environment where like-minded people come striving to get better
Help us continue to be the destination where athletes and their families could turn to get unmatched rehabilitative care, training, and service by commenting below in our feed or sharing this link with a fellow athlete. 
Thanks for reading! 
Written By: Travis Manners, PT, SCS, CSCS, President and Founder 

Concussion Focus, What Is It? 

Over my five years as a physical therapist, I have been a part of many teams and have taken on many different roles, each of which has grown me as a professional and as a person.  One of my favorite roles is serving with the Concussion Focus team. Today I want to tell you a little about the team and what we do!  

Concussion Focus was originally started in the midst of a rising awareness of concussions. At that time, there were few multidisciplinary options for concussion treatment. Concussion Focus brought together physicians, physical therapists, psychiatrists, athletic trainers, and people passionate about and well trained in concussion management.

The Concussion Focus team continues to meet every other month.  The team is unique as we each represent separate organizations, but when we gather to meet we all take off those hats and come together to do our best to impact concussion treatment. In our meetings, we discuss ways to support each person’s individual efforts in regard to concussions, share current research and swap case studies. We also set a goal each year as a group to get the word out about advancement in concussion treatment.

This year we will be writing a series of blogs as a team with the intent of helping to provide resources to people dealing with concussions.

If you would like to learn more about concussions or Concussion Focus, please go to Be on the lookout for more blogs to come from my colleagues on the Concussion Focus team!

Written By: Josiah Parker, PT, DPT

What can a physical therapist do for a concussion?

If you are suffering from post-concussion symptoms, you may feel helpless and think there is no way to help speed up the process of recovery. But there is a way! 3 Unexpected Treatments for Concussions – That Work!

The care and treatment of concussions have become one of the fastest growing priorities in the medical community in the last several years and rightfully so.

An estimated 300,000 sport-related traumatic brain injuries, predominantly concussions, occur annually in the United States. In fact, for young people ages 15-24 years, sports are second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of this form of a traumatic brain injury. (Journal of Athletic Training)


Concussions are now more widely recognized in the world of sports, in work safety and in the medical world than ever before. According to the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.


1 out of every 5 people who sustain a concussion WILL NOT recover in the normal 2-3 week time frame.

Though they may appear to be functioning just fine, people suffering from a concussion may be dealing with an array of symptoms. These symptoms include time lost from school/work, time out of sports, headaches, dizziness, nausea, balance problems, fatigue, and the list could go on.

If you have had a concussion and are struggling with fully recovering, don’t wait any longer. Click the button below to schedule a consultation.

Schedule a Consultation

Easy Pad Thai

Whitney Larsen, RD, LMNT Positive Nutrition

*Recipe adapted from

Serves 4-6    


  • 1 pound raw shrimp OR boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Juice from one lime
  • ⅔ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup sweet thai chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sriracha (optional)
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup red pepper, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (4 oz) package pad thai rice noodles
  • optional garnishes: cilantro, peanuts, green onion *not provided


  1. In a small bowl combine lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and sriracha. Stir until combined.
  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions (or save time and buy precooked noodles!)
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add ½ tbsp of oil. After oil has warmed add chicken or shrimp to pan, season with salt and pepper and cook through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add remaining ½ tbsp oil, carrots and red pepper. Cook vegetables until slightly tender and add noodles and sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Return shrimp or chicken to pan and add sauce. Cook 5-8 minutes.
  6. Move ingredients to one side of pan and crack and scramble eggs on open side of pan. Once scrambled, stir eggs into other ingredients until everything is well combined.
  7. Top with sliced green onions, minced cilantro and chopped peanuts, if desired.

Whitney Larsen, RD, LMNT – Positive Nutrition of Omaha 

Train Until the End of the Year

Enjoy unlimited MET-FIT sessions until the end of the year for only $99*!

Now is your chance to train with us until the end of the year with a special MET-FIT membership that begins with our annual day after Thanksgiving workout and lets you train in an unlimited number of MET-FIT sessions until December 31st .

Hurry!  You must purchase before December 2nd to get the special pricing.

MET-FIT sessions are a blend of resistance training, body weight training, and sports/movement drills constantly mixed up and designed to BURN CALORIES!  Members can easily burn an average of 400-600+ calories every session!!

Why not stay accountable through the holidays or get an early jump on your New Year’s resolution?

Complete the form below to get your exclusive link to buy your membership today.


Don’t worry, you’ll have the chance to review your purchase.


*Offer is for new clients only and is not valid for anyone who has had a membership in the past 2 years.



Brussels Sprouts Salad: Pancetta & Dried Cranberries

Whitney Larsen, RD, LMNT Positive Nutrition

Recipe adapted from


  • 2 Tbsp pancetta or bacon, small diced
  • ½ cup Brussels sprouts thinly sliced, lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp Sweet Dried Cranberries
  • Spanish Manchego cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette (see recipe below)


  1. Heat a sauté pan over medium; cook pancetta or bacon to render out the fat and crisp.  
  2. Add in Brussels sprouts and coat with rendered fat. Season with salt and pepper.  
  3. Add in vinaigrette(see recipe below) and cranberries and toss. Sauté for 45 seconds until al dente. *Careful not to overcook.
  4. Plate and garnish with shredded Manchego cheese.

Vinaigrette recipe


  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 1/2 T chopped thyme
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1 T minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 cups blended olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients except oil.  Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

**This makes a great Thanksgiving side dish!

Whitney Larsen, RD, LMNT – Positive Nutrition of Omaha 


How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist

Today’s blog post comes at the request of my father.  My answer to him was to simply call his son! Unfortunately this strategy will not work for most of you reading this post, and the decision may seem daunting. 

It seems over the last 10 years a physical therapy clinic has popped up on every corner in Omaha and the surrounding communities, which gives you a plethora of options. Going with the closest clinic may sound convenient but also may not deliver the results you are looking for. Today, I want to share my thoughts on how to narrow down your search!


First and foremost,

I would talk to former patients and see what their stories are along with asking several questions.

  1. Did they return to their desired activities?
  2. How long did it take?
  3. Did they get along well with their therapist?
  4. Did the therapist make adjustments if the initial plan was not quite meeting the patient’s needs?

Each of these questions can reveal important information about your potential therapist and what better person to ask than someone who has already worked with that person.

Next, see if you can get along with that potential therapist!

Therapy at times can be a long process. If you are recovering from a serious surgery you may work with your therapist for 6 months or longer. 

Stopping at the clinic and spending five minutes talking to your potential therapist can help you see if your personality meshes well with that person and if you can see yourself putting up with that person for the long haul.

Finally, set up an initial evaluation. 

During that evaluation the therapist should:

  • do a thorough history of your injury
  • take the needed measurements to show deficits and track progress
  • develop a plan of care

At some point during your first appointment the therapist should explain the “why” behind their plan of care.  If they don’t volunteer this information then feel free to ask them.

If the therapist cannot satisfactorily answer this question then I personally would find someone else to treat me. If you don’t understand why you are completing your exercises then it will be very difficult for you to buy in and give 100 percent effort.

Once a therapist has passed all these tests you should feel comfortable that you have a good person on your team to guide your road to recovery!

If you are reading this to start your selection process then I encourage you to give us a try! Stop in with any questions or use our website contact form to send an email.

Written By: Josiah Parker, PT

Your Most Popular Dry Needling Questions Answered

Dry needling is currently one of my favorite manual treatments and I am constantly discussing it in the clinic with my patients. Due to the mildly invasive nature of the treatment, and because many people have not heard of dry needling I end up fielding many questions.

I recently received an email from a patient with several good questions and decided it would make a good blog post! If you don’t know what dry needling is check out our past blog post, “Functional Dry Needling” before reading the rest of this article.

Question 1:
Why do you feel I would benefit from needling and how does it relate to the big picture?

Dry needling is only on piece of the puzzle but it is a powerful piece. I like to explain dry needling as the ability to press the reset button on a muscle. I give the muscle a stimulus through the needle and that stimulus can help to decease muscle tension, decrease pain, increase range of motion, improve muscle activation, and improve function.

Pressing that reset button provides a window that allows us to work on treating the root cause of the dysfunction. I may follow the needling with exercises, stretches, etc which will help to reinforce the treatment and allow those changes to become more permanent.

Dry needling is only one tool in the toolbox, but my experience so far says that it is a very strong tool and one that I will continue to use more and more.

Question 2:
Do you see this as a temporary solution?

No! Needling done only by itself would be a temporary solution, but as a physical therapist I always back up my needling with other treatment so that we address the root cause of the dysfunction and not just the symptoms. I feel like in many cases needling helps to deliver results faster but my goal is not a temporary solution.

Question 3:
I see a massage therapist to help with my tight muscles, would I get the same result from just getting a deep tissue massage?

Massage is another tool in the toolbox and one that I often use, sometimes even in conjunction with the dry needling. However, needling provides a different stimulus and sometimes people respond better and faster to needling than they would to deep tissue massage. I have seen patients who responded terribly to massage respond very well to needling and vice versa. Needling is not the answer for everyone but when it works well the results are undeniable.

Hopefully this answers some of your questions on dry needling! If this has sparked more questions for you then feel free to contact us or post them in the comments section below.

Likewise if you are interested in treatment call our office today 402.932.7111 and schedule an evaluation, we would love to see you! We offer cash based options for Functional Dry Needling, and the treatment may also be covered by your insurance. 

Written by, Josiah Parker – PT, DPT

Partnership Kickoff

We are excited to announce that we have forged a partnership with the Omaha Stockmen, a local football team.  To kick off our partneship (pun intended) we’ll be hosting a team workout and a community meet and greet for them on April 22nd at the West Omaha facility from 1pm-3:30pm. 

Danielle Kleber and Jake Ulrich will be providing athletic training services for their players on game day.  Athletes’ Training Center will be doing injury screens for their players as well.  

omaha, stockmen, athletes, training, center

Recipe: Perfectly Moist Chicken…Every Time!

Jessica Wegener RD, CSSD, LMNT 


12-inch non-stick, oven safe sauté 20 inch skillet

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (choose as many that you want and will fit your sauté skillet pan)

1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil or Canola oil

 Seasoning of choice i.e. Greek, barbeque, Chicago, Italian, Asian, etc…


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F degrees.
  2. Heat oil in the skillet on medium-high heat
  3. Season both sides of the chicken breast, place in hot oil. Turn temperature down to medium and cook 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer to the oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until juices run clear. May take longer if the chicken is thicker. Slice and serve or add to your favorite soups, stews, wraps, salads, pizzas, etc… Enjoy!

Jessica Wegener RD, CSSD, LMNT – Positive Nutrition of Omaha
Nutrition Consultant for Athletes’ Training Center Sports Performance & Physical Therapy


Rehab Report – Maurice Watson Creighton Basketball

Listen to the Rehab Report with Travis Manners, Joe Quinn and Nick Handley from Omaha Sports Insider as they discuss Mo Watson’s ACL injury and the future for Creighton Basketball.  afternoon on the #RehabReport at 4:45 on AMSports590 – Omaha Sports Insider.


Homemade Individual Chicken Potpies

Jessica Wegener RD, CSSD, LMNT 
Makes 8 servings

Photo Credit:


3-4 Tbsp. butter
¼ cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

½ tsp sage

1-2 cups chicken broth

1 cup 1% milk

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

4 oz. can sliced mushrooms drained

½ cup onions

1 ½ -2 cups cooked and diced chicken breast

1 can Pillsbury, light and flaky large biscuits                            


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F oven.
  2. Heat a medium size non-stick sauté pan on medium-high heat. Melt butter and add flour to make a paste, once at a paste consistency add hot chicken broth, salt, pepper and sage to make a thick soup like consistency. Add 1 cup of milk, frozen peas, carrots, and onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes until veggies are tender. Depending on your preference you can make thick or thinner with more or less chicken broth or milk.
  3. Add cooked chicken and mushrooms, simmer for 2 more minutes.
  4. Spray 8, 1 cup ramekins with cooking spray. Fill will ¾ cup of chicken pot pie mixture. (you can also use a large baking dish and cover the whole top with the biscuits vs doing individual cups)
  5. Remove biscuits from can, pull biscuit to make wide enough to cover the top of the pot pie mixture but still fit inside the ramekin. Top each ramekin with a biscuit.
  6. Bake for 12-17 minutes or until the biscuit is fully cooked. Place on bottom rack to prevent excess browning of the biscuits.

Jessica Wegener RD, CSSD, LMNT – Positive Nutrition of Omaha
Nutrition Consultant for Athletes’ Training Center Sports Performance & Physical Therapy

Rehab Report – Tommy Armstrong Jr.

What do we take away from Nebraska Huskers Tommy Armstrong’s violent helmet-to-turf collision during the Nebraska Ohio State game? Listen to the Rehab Report on AMSPORTS590 as Travis Manners and the Omaha Sports Insider team discuss his injury and also breakdown the proper protocol for a concussion injury. 

Click below to listen now.

The Truth about Dietary Supplements

The 6 Questions You Must Ask Yourself

The “truth” about supplements is difficult for the consumer to uncover because we have a tendency to read the bottle and believe everything we read. After all, “someone” has to be regulating this stuff or they wouldn’t even be able to sell it! Right? Not necessarily true.

spoon with dietary supplements on fruits background

Dietary supplements do NOT need approval from the FDA before they are marketed. It’s interesting that a vegetable in its purest form has to be approved by the FDA for human consumption, yet a dietary supplement that is concocted with minerals, herbs, botanicals, enzymes, organ tissue, glandular tissue and metabolites can be marketed for human consumption if the manufacturer of that product deems it to be safe and effective. Why would the manufacturer tell you otherwise?

The truth is that the FDA has the responsibility of proving a supplement is unsafe before they can restrict the products use or removal from the marketplace.

A product is deemed unsafe after a certain amount of adverse events or reactions are reported to the FDA by people taking the products. Adverse events can include diarrhea, hair loss, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and everything in between. Some of the “effects” aren’t detected for years after consuming such products.

They don’t list the possible side effects because they don’t take a proactive approach to ensuring a supplement is “safe” before they market it and sell it. Furthermore, the FDA doesn’t have the resources to analyze every supplement that is marketed to determine if the “Supplement Facts” section on the label is accurate and safe, or if the contents listed on the label match what’s actually in the supplement.

So how do you pick out dietary supplements?

Try to avoid supplements with long ingredient lists and/or that say “Proprietary Blend.” The best choice is to choose a supplement that has had a 3rd party certification. These are some of the companies that provide 3rd party audits on supplements.

These stamps indicate quality of product, however they do not determine if the product will be effective for you. For effectiveness you want to contact a medical professional who is knowledgeable about dietary supplements like a Dietitian, Pharmacist, Doctor, etc.

Ask yourself 6 questions before choosing supplements

1. Is it 3rd party certified?

2. ≤ 5 Ingredients (except gelatin, color additives and dyes?)

3. No ingredients listed as “blends,” “proprietary blends” or “delivery systems” on the label?

4. Total amount of caffeine indicated? ≤ 200 mg/serving/day?

5. Can pronounce names of all ingredients & does my diet need supplementation?

6. All ingredients with DV established and DV nutrients ≤ 200% (except fish oil, glucosamine)?

Mark a “1” for yes and “0” for no. A score ≥ 4 suggests the supplement may be okay. The bottom line is that you can fuel your system with food.

Written By: Jess Wegener, RD, CSSD, LMNT, Registered Sports Dietitian

Jennie A., Collegiate Track & Field Athlete

Athletes’ Training Center has worked to specialize workouts to fit my athletic needs. The strength coaches have a one on one personal connection to fix minor details that have had a major impact on my athletic performance.