Chris Fleming says he can spot your next ache or pain before you experience it – and then try to help you avoid it.
Fleming, a certified athletic trainer and owner of the 10-month-old Inspire Health & Performance, recently invested in a 3D motion capture and analysis system made by Dari of Overland Park. The system uses eight high-definition cameras to record Fleming's clients as they're put through 17 distinct motions, such as raising an arm overhead, standing on one leg and performing a body-weight squat or lunge.
“We get very specific objective information, which is crucial to corporate wellness and athletics,” Fleming said. “We can say, 'When you squatted, this is how deep you went, this is the angle your ankles and knees hit, these are the muscles that are driving that squat.' ”
Then, he added, he can give clients specific exercises to correct weaknesses or improper form that can lead to injury.
"We can pick up injuries two weeks before they occur," he said.
Of course, many clients who come to Fleming are already injured or in pain. The same Dari system can help Fleming design rehabilitation programs to help them, he said.
Fleming is a captain with the Wichita Fire Department who became a certified athletic trainer as a second career. Unlike personal trainers, who focus on exercise and diet, certified athletic trainers specialize in the prevention, recognition and rehabilitation of orthopedic and athletic injuries.
Fleming worked with athletes at Kapaun Mount Carmel, Andale and Remington high schools before opening Inspire Health Performance. In his first location on East Douglas, Fleming concentrated on helping clients with concussions and plantar fasciitis, which are still key parts of his business.
In addition to athletes, people who've been in a car accidents are a significant part of his clientele, sometimes referred by lawyers or neurologists.
Moving to about 3,500 square feet on South Ida allowed him to install a sort of video studio where the Dari technology can be utilized, along with private treatment rooms and a gym where clients can be shown proper exercise technique.
Fleming says he's targeting three markets. The first is corporate clients that want to enhance their employee wellness programs.
"Sixty-three percent of (employees) don't participate in those programs because they're not personalized,” he said. “You can't get any more personalized than this."
Those business clients also use him to screen potential new hires, making sure they're physically able to do the job.
The second market is athletes, working directly with them or in conjunction with a personal trainer.
The third is physicians such as orthopedic surgeons, for whom Fleming hopes to provide data about patients that wouldn't otherwise be available.
After joking that he started a second career because he "couldn't decide what I wanted to be when I grew up," Fleming said there are actually similarities between his two jobs.
“People who call 911 and people who walk through these doors are potentially having the worst day of their lives,” he said. “I get to help people at both of my jobs.
“I feel blessed that I'm able to do this.”