Physician Led • Outcomes Centered • Patient Focused

Who We Are

Stadia Sports Medicine is Des Moines’ only integrated model of physical therapy and physician Sports Medicine services.  Our goal is to provide excellent injury care in a “one stop shop” model.  If you think “Sports Medicine” is just for competitive athletes – Think again!”  Our comprehensive services include:

  • Sports Physician services:
    • Acute injury evaluation and care for all age groups
    • Treatment of joint pain, muscle strain, muscle imbalances and sub peak performance
    • Pain-controlled injection therapy, including joint, plantar fascia, epicondylitis and other soft tissue injection
    • Non-operative arthritis care, including injections with corticosteroid, Synvisc or platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
    • Evaluation and management of exercise-related asthma
    • Fracture/stress fracture management
    • Individualized home rehab programs with patient instruction
    • Concussion Evaluation and Management of Sports Related Concussions
    • Diagnostic testing for compartment syndrome
    • Nonsurgical ultrasound-guided tendon debridement for management of conditions such as tennis elbow, achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis that are not responding to other forms of non-operative care.
  • Physical Therapy services:
    • Highly-qualified physical therapists specializing in orthopedic and manual therapies
    • Des Moines’ leading providers of therapy for chronic tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis using ASTYM® and other follow up protocols
    • Integrated Care provided  by a Doctoral and/or Masters level therapist; Stadia does not employ Physical Therapy assistants; we believe you deserve one-on-one care with your “own” Physical Therapist
    • Goal-focused treatment and care plans
    • Physical therapist exclusivity with patient
    • Progression of treatment in efficient and effective manner

Why choose Stadia Sports Medicine?

We know that you have choices in the Sports Medicine and Sports Rehab marketplace.  Here are some reasons why you should consider us when the need for injury care arises:

  • Adequate time for proper evaluation:  Have you ever made an appointment to see a doctor after an injury and ended up with five minutes or less of actual face-to-face time with the physician?   We allow 45 minutes for new patient visits to allow time for a thorough history and evaluation, as well as 30 minutes for follow-up visits so that there is time to adjust treatment protocols if necessary and review these with the patient prior to discharge.
  • We understand that an injury doesn’t happen in isolation:  Whether a joint or limb is injured, or just starts hurting, we understand that there are usually unrecognized factors that contribute, both at and away from the area of injury, and which need to be identified in order to provide you with your individual pathway back to recovery.  This takes longer, but is essential.  We’re good at sorting this out, and don’t consider an evaluation complete until this has been considered.  Very few providers take the time to do this. 
  • Physician-therapist communication in our office is excellent:  Stadia Sports Medicine is unique in that all our clinicians work together in the same office, communicate regularly and can adjust treatment protocols quickly when the need arises.  Patients doing therapy at Stadia benefit from this quick turnaround of information, from a healthy clinical team dynamic, as well as from the presence of on-site physician supervision.  No other clinic in Des Moines can match the degree of integration that we provide. 
  • If you need to be seen quickly, we’ll make it happen:  We understand that when you are injured, although it is important to be evaluated correctly, it is also important to get that evaluation in a timely manner.  Today’s healthcare marketplace demands this, and we consider it part of providing appropriate service.  If you need to be seen quickly, we’ll make it happen. 
  • Sports Medicine is an easily accessible specialty:  Urgent care is not the same thing as specialty care.  When you are evaluated by a physician at Stadia Sports Medicine, you will walk away from your visit with a specific diagnosis, or with a specific plan to obtain that diagnosis.  Since proper diagnosis is the key to recovery, this is vital.  We believe strongly in the principal of physician diagnosis, and, if necessary, physical therapy based upon that diagnosis. 
  • If we can, we’ll put together a home exercise program for you, and keep you out of therapy:  Not everybody needs physical therapy.  If we can provide you with a home exercise program that addresses the factors that contributed to the injury, and if there is a reasonable expectation that doing this will result in improvement, we’ll keep you on your own and follow you clinically.  We are here to meet your goals, not the other way around!
  • We hire our therapy staff based on their interest and expertise in Sports Medicine:  A patient’s experience in physical therapy is going to vary widely from place to place, simply because there are many different therapists with many different treatment approaches.  The interests of these therapists also tend to vary widely.  At Stadia Sports Medicine, all of our physical therapists are hired on the basis of their demonstrated expertise in sports rehab.  We want therapists who understand the mind of an active individual and will work with a client to allow the most rapid return to safe activity possible.
  • When you work with a physical therapist at Stadia Sports Medicine, you’ll be with the same clinician from start to finish:  We believe in maintaining consistency from visit to visit when it comes to our patients undergoing physical therapy.  When a patient is cared for by multiple different providers, care becomes fragmented and the ability to detect subtle signs of progress or trouble becomes impaired.   We want patients to have a sense of ownership in their treatment program, and rapport with their therapist.  This develops over time as a strong clinical relationship is established, and cannot occur when multiple therapists are seeing the same person, or worse, when physical therapy aides or assistants are helping to manage care.  When you do your physical therapy at Stadia Sports Medicine, your therapist is your therapist, period.   Moreover, we don’t employ non-therapists to do the work of physical therapists, and we never will. 

Stadia Sports Medicine has consistently provided a superior level of medical service to the greater Des Moines Community since 2006.  Our professionals are committed to providing patients with a positive, professional, and fun environment.    We deliver compassionate, individualized care to our clients, working with them to reach clearly defined goals.  Our reputation has been confirmed over time by the consistent satisfaction of patients like you.
We are committed to our clients and the community.  Our goal is to be the number one choice for Sports Medicine care in the Des Moines area.  We are honored to have the opportunity to evaluate and treat you.  We hope that your initial impression of our practice exceeded your expectations.   If so, I’d humbly ask you to let others know about us so that we can assist others in their endeavor to return to sports.    Again, thank you for your visit, and welcome to the Stadia family. 

Chad Carlson, MD
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine


We're outcomes-centered.  We understand that as a patient, what's important to you is that we get you back to what you enjoy doing, and that usually, as long as that happens, the path taken to get there is less important. It's the concept that says that people don't buy a drill as much as the hole it makes. We keep up on the latest in sports injury research, and apply proven principles to the care of our patients. We also pay close attention to how people are doing under our care, and we listen to what our patients tell us. If something isn't working, we'll work with you to find a better way. When treatment is effective, we continue to seek improvements, always striving for the highest level of function possible, always grounding patient care in what's been shown to work. That's what we mean when we say we're "outcomes-centered."

We're patient-focused. We realize that you have choices in the health care arena, and we understand that in the final analysis, we exist to serve you and insure that your needs are met first and foremost.

We treat the "patient," not the "injury." At Stadia Sports Medicine, you're not a means to an end - you're the end we pledge to commit all of our means to. We acknowledge that you as an individual carry with you needs and goals that are not going to be the same as the patient who might precede or follow you. Our philosophy is to meet you where you are and work toward the healthcare goals you lay out for us, not to pigeonhole you into a generic idea of success that doesn't line up with what you're looking for.
When you see us for evaluation, we'll make sure that you leave the office understanding three things:

What is your diagnosis?

What are we doing for you today to help you?

What is the plan for ongoing treatment, and what does that mean in
terms of return to activity?

Part of successful treatment is proper patient awareness and education. If we're not doing that, we're not doing our job. We pledge to you our best efforts in this area.

We're committed to the concept of the Golden Rule. In all interactions, direct or indirect, we pledge to treat you the same way we would like to be treated - a simple, but effective rule for daily living. It's the way our team is committed to interacting with each other, and we extend that promise to you as well. Here in the twenty-first century, everyone's time is stretched beyond comfort, and the realities of medicine today mean that there are going to be limits to patient time. But when we're with you, we pledge to be wholly with you, and to leave all other distractions aside. That's the basis for effective communication.