Mike Stare



Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit about me! I’m the co-owner of Orthopaedics Plus, where I’ve worked as a clinician since 2003. I’m also the founder and co-owner of Spectrum Fitness Consulting, a personal training studio located right next door to our clinic in Beverly since 2006. In addition to my clinical role and management roles, I also lecture on a monthly tour across the country teaching continuing education seminars for healthcare professionals.

So here’s my story, which if you are working with me or my colleagues, might be helpful for you to know.

In short, I’m a proud father of 3 amazingly kind, witty, strong, and occasionally challenging girls. I’m also a husband to Danielle, who is an unbelievably talented family nurse practitioner, and a complete nerd about all things pertaining to fitness and rehabilitation. I do my best to keep my nerdiness in check by getting out to enjoy some good music, playing softball with the guys, and learning to surf so I can keep up with my kids. But for the most part, I’m mostly doing family and work stuff, and getting in my workouts.

I got into the world of rehabilitation and fitness by being like most of you: a patient. When I was 17 I had a severe neck injury from football that left me with a badly damaged neck, requiring extensive physical therapy. While initially devastating, it was an eye-opening experience. As a patient I saw people who suffered severe pain and injury, yet persisted and regained their function through the help of Physical Therapy. It helped me realize that my function was not to be taken for granted and that the body can be incredibly resilient if treated well. Just as important, it exposed me to the profession of Physical Therapy that requires a unique combination of scientific knowledge, creativity, problem-solving, communication, skill, and compassion. At 17 years old, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and my passion was sparked to pursue a career in Physical Therapy.

I went on to study kinesiology and biomechanics at the University of Illinois where I first became a personal trainer. I then pursued my Master’s Degree at Boston University and Doctorate at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH IHP), and finally a 2 year fellowship at the Institute for Orthopaedics Manual Therapy (IOMT). Along the way I obtained the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential, and also became a Board Certified Nutritionist (CNS).

It was at BU when I first learned of Orthopaedics Plus, as 2 of my most skilled professors were clinicians who worked and trained with OP. Eventually, the opportunity arose for me to join the practice.

I quickly realized that the clinicians at OP were treating at a completely different level. The culture of constantly learning and sharing treatment tactics, an environment that allowed clinicians to spend adequate time with their patients, and the support to grow as an expert clinician was unparallel. It’s what every clinician hopes to have. I believe this is why so many experienced clinicians stay to treat at OP.

A few years later, with the help of OP’s founders, Al, Bill, and Vin, I opened Spectrum Fitness Consulting next door to our Beverly office. This allowed me to incorporate my vision for aligning fitness and wellness with my rehabilitation skills. You can learn more about that story here. While Spectrum grew, I continued my clinical role with OP.

As I honed my abilities and skills over the years, I was given the opportunity to teach my treatment approaches by providing continuing education seminars to Physical Therapists all across the country. My courses focus on managing and preventing low back disorders, and therapeutic exercise for older adults. I have had the chance to teach over 7000 clinicians in more than 150 cities, which I continue to do today. This has greatly improved my skills in teaching patients in the clinic and forces me to stay on top of the most recent research.

My roles as an owner of Spectrum Fitness Consulting has allowed me to see rehabilitation as more than a process of restoring function and eliminating pain. It was about finding the cause of the pain and treating the whole person. Getting rid of knee pain might be something that can be accomplished with 6 weeks of traditional rehab, but if poor training, obesity, and diet issues persist, not only is the knee pain going to return, but more dire conditions may surface. As a PT, we can get rid of your pain, but with the right mix of skill, perspective, and compassion we can do even more. My patients really respond well to that type of approach.

I’ve found that educating my patients empowers them. Being in pain, having “damaged” joints, and various injuries or disease can be daunting, but being able to better understand your condition with a concise, clear explanation and a straightforward plan helps immeasurably. The calm and control you feel allows you to focus on what you need to do to get better and stay that way. I’ve been a patient many times before, and I know how important this is. It takes time to do this, but it’s worth it.

I’ve also found that results breed motivation. Many people struggle with motivation. We all do. So I know the quicker they can see and feel results, the more likely they will get motivated and press on.

I also know that individualizing treatment is absolutely the key to success. We need to fit programs to people, not people into programs. Taking into account your unique needs and goals must be at the center of the best treatment plan.

I also believe firmly that you are not “too old!” Too many people are allowed to expect that being older means being weak and in pain. I love showing the older adults that this is not the case! Few things are more fun than helping older adults to get out of pain, and be strong and independent.

I love sharing my ideas and research on all things related to rehabilitation, fitness, and nutrition. Be sure to check out my articles and videos. While some are on some great fitness sites, you’ll find my best stuff on this site or at www.spectrumfit.net. A great way to learn more about me and OP is come to one of my workshops. Even better, reach out to me on Facebook or feel free send me an email at mike@spectrumfit.net.