Chris Cooper - Physical Therapist - Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy at The Athletic Club of Bend - Physical Therapy in Bend, Oregon

Chris Cooper, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist
  • Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

A Montana native, Chris received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1996 and earned his Master’s of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 1999. Chris has worked for Therapeutic Associates in Bend since that time and has been at the Athletic Club of Bend clinic since 2005.

Chris is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and has advanced manual therapy training through the North American Institute of Manual Therapy. He is also a Level 3 Certified Golf Fitness Instructor through the Titleist Performance Institute, a Nike Golf Certified Performance Specialist, as well as Level 1 and 2 K-Vest Certified. Chris finished his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in May 2010. In 2015, Chris became a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties; In 2017, he achieved his TPI Level 2 Junior and Power Coach Certifications; In 2018, he achieved his TPI Level 3 Junior Coach Certification; In 2019, Chris attained his Levels 1-3 SuperSpeed Golf Training System Certifications.

His passion is treating injured golfers and helping non-injured golfers maximize golf-specific fitness. He is also passionate about treating foot and ankle injuries. He enjoys mountain and road biking, golfing, skiing, fly-fishing, cooking, and being with his family.

Blog Posts written by Chris Cooper

West Eugene PT
Kinesio Tape and its Benefits

Did you notice all that colored tape that the athletes are wearing these days? Are you wondering what all that fancy colored tape is? It is a product called Kinesio Tape and it is not just for high level athletes. Let’s take a quick look at how it came to be, what it is used for, and how it works. Maybe Kinesio Tape is something that can benefit you.

Healthy Joints

Whether you enjoy playing tennis or golf, mountain biking or running, healthy joints are an essential component of your physical fitness. Joint maintenance is extremely important for preventing the onset of joint pathologies such as Osteoarthritis (OA) and for allowing you to continue to participate in whatever you love to do.

Core Strengthening

If your trunk muscles are well conditioned, you will enjoy optimal transfer of energy from large to small muscles when you sprint, twist, lift, jump, throw, and perform other movements of sports and daily living. If the core is well conditioned you are less likely to be injured during training, competition and simple activities of daily life. We are often asked, “What is the best way to strengthen your core"? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Common Tennis Injuries: Treatment and Prevention

Tennis is a dynamic physical sport requiring hand-eye coordination and full body activity in order to run, position, swing, and hit. Because of these demands, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, balance and extremity and core muscle-conditioning exercises are important to prevent injuries. Most injuries can be minimized or prevented entirely by proper conditioning, proper technique, appropriate equipment, and seeking timely medical attention for chronic nagging pains or acutely painful conditions.

Acute Low Back Pain
Good Body Mechanics for a Healthy Back

The importance of proper posture and proper body mechanics cannot be understated. In the short term, poor posture and poor body mechanics can lead to nagging aches and subsequent decrease athletic performance, as well as activities of daily living. In the long term, they can lead to earlier onset of arthritis and more chronic types of pain.

cycle fit featured
Custom Biomechanical Bike Fit

A proper bicycle set up is as important to a cyclist as a good pair of shoes is to a runner. Significant problems can occur during repetitive activities if a joint is displaced from its' optimal anatomical and biomechanical positions. To cope with these deviations, the body can compensate by increasing the load transfer to other structures. This is when injury can occur, as well as considerable loss of energy efficiency.

close-up of shoes running on trail
Recovery from an Ankle Sprain

If you have experienced that unsettling feeling of your ankle turning over and the sound a severe sprain makes while it is happening, you undoubtedly know the journey of recovery. Pain with walking,movement and considerable swelling and bruising are all likely. Keeping a few things in mind after you sustain an ankle sprain can help facilitate less down time and get you back playing sooner.

Achilles Issues: I have Achilles tendon pain. Now what?

Achilles pain generally occurs due to repetitive motions involving running or jumping (Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and winter running are a common culprits this time of year). These motions can cause micro-traumas to the tissues which result in inflammation and pain. This condition makes itself apparent through pain which is commonly located where the tendon passes behind the ankle or where the Achilles attaches at the back of the heel.

Golf Fitness: Flexibility, Strength, and Balance

With the likes of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka taking golf fitness to new heights, the average weekend golfer can improve his/her golf game considerably while enjoying themselves more and avoiding injury. Golf fitness is not just for the tour professional anymore. There has been an increased awareness among Joe Average golfer of his need for improved fitness through watching fit and powerful tour professionals like Tiger Woods.

Pre-Round Warm-Up: Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

The majority of golfers getting ready to tee off on the first hole do not properly prepare themselves for the repetitive stresses they are about to encounter for the next 4-5 hours. You see it all the time, golfers rushing to the range to spray a few balls, taking a few putts on the practice green, grabbing the foot pulling it up, bending forward to touch the toes, and then they are trying to crush it off the first tee.

Injuries in Golf

Injuries in GolfInjuries sustained by golfers can range from repetitive overuse syndromes like tennis and/or golfer’s elbow to a herniated lumbar disc to an ankle fracture from driving with a leg hanging out of the golf cart. Most golfers who become injured are anxious to return to the sport they love and hate.

Seattle Wellness Series - Nutrition and Exercise
Golf Fitness Here and Now

Golf specific fitness is not just for tour players anymore. Any golfer can tune their body to improve performance by following a golf specific training program. Obviously the average recreational golfer does not have the time or money that a tour player has to invest in a high tech home gym or spend hours a day working out, but a little work will go a long way.

Golf ACB
Common Injuries in Golf

Most acute low back injuries that occur during a round of golf improve over a couple of days to several weeks. The most common injuries include: Muscle strains, Muscle/tendon pathologies, and Disc Injuries.

golf dynamic warm up
Golf: What Keeps Your Lead Arm From Being Straight in the Backswing?

There are a lot of reasons why you might not be able to keep your lead arm straight as you move into the top of your backswing. Some of the reasons can be mental but there are numerous physical reasons that can cause the “breakdown” of the left arm (for right-handed golfers). Surprisingly a lot of the physical reasons have nothing to do with your elbow proper. The breakdown can start from the feet and make its way on up to the arm.

Shoulder Pain - Physical Therapy
Keeping Your Shoulders Safe Through the Golf Season

Shoulder injuries in golf rank 3rd among professional golfers and 4th among amateur golfers as the most common injured region of the body accounting for up to 21% of all golfing injuries. As more baby-boomers take up the game in their leisure time, more shoulder injuries are bound to occur. It is a simple fact that we are not generally improving our overall fitness level as we age.

There is a Rash of Golfers with Tennis Elbow

“Tennis elbow” is more common among golfers than “golfer’s elbow”. Why is that? It has a lot to do with the lower body but we’ll get to that later. First let’s find out what it is, how to figure out if you have it, why it can occur and then what to do about it.

Downswing Pivot: A Need for Hip and Pelvic Stability for Golfers

After you get to the top of your backswing, you have to get back to the ball. A lot has to happen to do this consistently while avoiding injury. In part 1 of the backswing pivot, we spoke about the need for hip and mid-back MOBILITY (or flexibility) to create a good backswing pivot. This edition will focus on the need for hip and pelvic strength (or STABILITY) to get you from the top of your backswing through impact and into your finish.

Athletic Club of Bend - Broken Top Seminar - Golf Bend, OR
Backswing Pivot - A Need for Hip and Mid-Back Mobility for Golfers

An efficient backswing requires your physical body to do certain things. You can make a backswing without these various physical components in place but the result will likely be less than optimal. Backswing faults (biomechanical inefficiencies) include loss of posture/spine angle, sway, reverse pivot, and reverse weight shift. Addressing a few of these key areas of concern can go a long ways in making your golf game more enjoyable.

ACB Golf Over the Top

Have you ever been told that your golf swing comes “over-the-top”? Hopefully not……but most likely if you are an amateur player, this swing characteristic has been part of your game at some point in time. For those of you who have corrected it….good for you and you probably do not have to read the rest of this article. However, for those of you who still struggle with this move I hope you can learn something if you keep reading.

fitness program
Creating a Complete Fitness Program for Lifelong Wellness

I am often asked by patients who are winding down with formal physical therapy treatment, what makes a good fitness program or “what should I do to stay fit?” When I ask those patients what they currently do for fitness, I usually hear, “I walk,” “I do cardio,” “I go to aerobic classes,” or “I like to lift weights.” What I do not usually hear is, “I do cardio, stretching, and strength training, and work on my balance and do power and speed exercises.” A good and comprehensive fitness program will incorporate all of these components, and not just one of them alone.

eastwind daily run
Physical Therapy Helps Maximize Running Health

Running is a very “available” mode of exercise. With the number of runners out there on the road and trail, whether they are adequately trained to be there or not, associated injury is likely to occur at some point. In order to get back to running in the shortest time possible after injury, the knowledge and expertise of a physical therapist (PT) is crucial.

Golf and Low Back Pain

Most golfers will experience some form of lower back pain over the course of time. The nature of the golf swing is inherently unhealthy for the human spine. Forward flexion (bending forward) combined with rotation (twisting) creates torsional stresses throughout the spine including the discs, the joints between each vertebra, the ligaments connecting the vertebra to each other and the surrounding musculature.

Improving Your Golf Game with a Strong Core

If you think golfers are not athletes, take one look at Tiger Woods or Camilo Villegas, Annika Sorenstam or Natalie Gulbis. These modern day golfers are SERIOUS athletes, and their golf-specific exercise programs are SERIOUS workouts. If you are a golfer who wants to improve your golf performance, you ought to take your exercise time seriously.

ACB Golf Over the Top
Over the Top - Golf Performance

Over-the-top happens at the transition part of your golf swing when you initiate your downswing from the top of your backswing using your upper body rather than your lower body. This results in the club coming over the intended swing plane, leading to an “outside-in” swing path, leading to a pull if your clubface is square and the dreaded “banana-ball” slice if your clubface is open.

group of women running through field
10 Laws of Preventing Running Injuries

As Spring slowly descends on Central Oregon, many of us will be putting up our skis and snowshoes and dusting off our running shoes as the streets and trails start to dry out. Though unprepared runners do bring us steady business, we would like to do our part to help you avoid seeing us in the rehab setting. So this month’s article focuses on a bit of “prehab” advice.

Close-up of running shoes walking on road
Running Shoe Types and Selection

Shoes come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, colors, and fashion. We all wear shoes and we wear different types of shoes for different types of activities. Finding the right shoe for the specific activity you are participating can often be a confusing and complex process. Marketing and advertising often confuse the general public and you may end up buying a shoe that sure looks great and has a fancy name but may not be “the best” for your foot.

How to Maximize Ankle Health

The ankle joint is one of the most common sites for acute musculoskeletal injuries and sprains account for 75% of ankle injuries. Most ankle sprains (80%) are caused by “rolling” your foot inward (inversion sprain). Without adequate care, acute ankle trauma can result in chronic joint instability.

Vestibular Treatment
Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vertigo is complex condition caused by miscommunication between the vestibular, visual and somatosensory systems. It is characterized by a spinning sensation where an individual can perceive themselves or their environment rotating. Studies estimate that vertigo affects over 90 million people worldwide.

Tip of the Month: Knee Injuries From Skiing

The ski season is upon us. The snow is flying and the skiing is heating up. Unfortunately for many, the slopes can become a cruel place and the inevitable knee injury will occur. You can minimize down time after a minor (non surgical) knee injury by following a few key principles.

group of people lifting heavy barbells in gym
Strength Training

Many people are interested in beginning a weight training program, but have no idea how much weight to lift, how many sets and repetitions, how much rest they need, or how often they should lift. This article is intended to give some general guidelines for beginners, as well as for those who already do some strength training but could use a bit more focus.

Winter Golf Conditioning

While most of you are starting to tune your skis and put your clubs away for the winter, you should be tuning your body for next year’s golf season. That’s right, the winter is a great time to prepare yourself for the upcoming year . . . to get into golf shape.

Preventing Pickleball Injuries

Do you enjoy playing pickleball? Or are you interested in pick(le)ing up the sport? Whether you are a seasoned pickleball player or a complete novice at the game, it is important to be aware of the common injuries that are sustained in pickleball, as well as key ways to help prevent them.