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HISTORY
Physical therapist turns back injury into orthopedic products company.

Greg Specht uses Posture Belt™ for Pack Pain with a client

SI Belt Recommended by Professionals
Greg Specht knows back pain. As a sufferer of sacroiliac joint dysfunction since his early twenties, the 41-year old physical therapist developed an SI belt more than 10 years ago that not only eliminated his back pain, but set him on a course for success in business.

In 1996, Greg Specht needed help. His back had hurt him on-and-off, over the previous ten years, but never like this. As a physical therapist he was sure he had a sacroiliac joint problem and expected an SI belt to help. He was frustrated though, since he had tried every SI belt he could find, and none of them worked. With each successive episode of back pain, he suffered for several days and in time the pain would gradually diminish, only to return again. This time was different though. He had awoken on this Saturday morning with pain so severe, that he couldn’t stand up. This was a serious dilemma since he needed to help his sister move into her new home later that day. He couldn’t wait a week or two for this to get better. “I knew that I needed SI stabilization so I tried something different.” says Specht. “By tightening a rigid belt over a neoprene belt that I had secured around my pelvis, the pain went away immediately.” In that moment, Specht had developed the basic design of his first product, the Active SI Belt® 'for Sacroiliac Pain. While wearing this SI belt, he was able to move furniture all weekend without pain, and he was absolutely pain free for work on Monday morning. Despite his amazement at how effectively his new belt worked, it took several more episodes of pain followed by instant relief with the invention, for Specht to appreciate that he had developed a product that should be marketed.

“It was so exciting,” says Specht. “To realize I had created something that could help a lot of people. It took many design changes, prototypes and manufacturers however, to finally produce an SI belt on which I was proud to place my name.” Along the way, Specht has received encouragement from experts in the treatment of back and sacroiliac pain such as Richard Jackson, PT, OCS, Gregory S. Johnson, PT, FFCFMT and Jerry Hesch, MHS, PT, among many others. Specht’s customers include rehabilitation product distributors, thousands of physical therapists and tens of thousands of individuals who have used the SI belt to reduce pain and get back to their normal lives. Specht is particularly proud that he has been able to keep his product manufacturing operations in the U.S.A.; using the same local company with whom he started in 1997. “It’s worked out unbelievably well,” says Specht with a laugh. “The factory is only 10 minutes away so I can stop in anytime to check on quality, discuss design changes or work on new products.”

What’s New?

As a practicing physical therapist and product developer, Specht is constantly on the lookout for anything that can speed up the rehabilitation process. “I am more impatient than my patients,” he says. “And my best ideas come about when I’m trying to streamline a treatment process.” Specht’s newest product falls squarely into the category of promoting rapid recovery from back injury by improving posture. “The Posture Belt™ for Back Pain is a new product that evolved out of my frustration with standard back braces and lumbar supports.” says Specht. “I wanted something that would provide adjustable, firm and comfortable support to the lumbosacral region because that’s what works.” Specht also realized, that by integrating this type of support into a belt that included a cold pack/hot pack insert, it would provide rapid pain relief. Specht further adds, “In the final phase of development we incorporated a component into the belt that is nothing short of revolutionary in back rehab.” While he admits that this is quite a bold claim, Specht clarifies that the Posture Belt™ for Back Pain is the only product specifically designed for the attachment of a dowel to provide feedback and accelerate the learning of correct posture and spinal stability. “Physical therapists have been using dowels along the spines of their patients for many years to teach posture and body mechanics.” says Specht. “Now a patient can get the same feedback on correct posture, at home or in the clinic, without a therapist holding a dowel along their spine.” The Posture Belt™ for Back Pain is Patent Pending and will be available for purchase at www.ActiveOrtho.com on November 1st 2008. It is certainly understandable that Specht is excited about the prospect of changing more lives and as he says his next product is “probably just one patient or one injury away!”

ActiveOrtho’s entire product line will be on display at the following professional trade shows in 2008 & 2009:

November 6-7, 2008:
American Physical Therapy Association – Private Practice Section Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando, Florida.

February 9-12, 2009:
American Physical Therapy Association – Combined Sections Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

June 10-13, 2009:
American Physical Therapy Association – Annual Conference and Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland.

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