Enhanced accessibility to physical therapy now available for Virginia patients. Learn more >


Top 6 Tips To Safely Spring Back into Running

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, many runners are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to return to their favorite outdoor activity. However, after a long winter of reduced activity, it’s important to approach the return to running in the spring with caution. Here are my top tips for safely and successfully returning

What Can I Expect When I Go To Vestibular Rehabilitation Physical Therapy?

The vestibular system plays a crucial role in maintaining our sense of spatial orientation and equilibrium, and damage or dysfunction in this system can lead to symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, a sense of feeling “off”, and nausea. Many patients who experience a vestibular crisis, or episode, can feel very anxious and significantly limited

Treating a Herniated Disc With Physical Therapy

What is the fastest way to heal a herniated disc? First and foremost, you want to avoid activities that trigger pain.  You want to promote a healing environment in order for the inflamed and injured tissue, in this case a herniated disc, to begin to heal.  So, the first step sounds simple, but is often

The 411 on Cupping as Treatment for Sore Muscles

What is cupping?  Cupping is an ancient form of holistic alternative medicine.  It is a treatment method that was initially  used to help treat internal diseases and structural problems.  Its popularity over the years has increased as people have seen celebrities and athletes “sporting” the common circular bruising pattern that occurs after a cupping session. 

How to Properly and Safely Dress in Layers for Cold Weather Exercise

“There’s no bad weather, just bad gear”. I paraphrase but this is a common Scandinavian saying. As we get deeper into the winter, the common complaint that patients tell me is that they don’t go outside because it’s cold. Aside from slipping on an icy day, cold weather shouldn’t prevent you from going outside. Unless you

Snow Day Shoveling Tips

As with any activity, if you haven’t prepared your body to perform the task you are at a greater chance for injury. The same is true even for the smallest of tasks, like snow shoveling. What may seem like easy work, it can really put a strain on your entire body if not done properly.

Warming-up Before Cold Weather Exercise

Cold weather is upon us, but that doesn’t mean outdoor workouts need to stop! Did you know that you are not necessarily at higher-risk for musculoskeletal injury because of the cold? With time, your body can begin to adapt to exercise in moderate cold; in fact, the American College of Sports Medicine promotes that exercise can be

The 411 on Blood Flow Restriction Training

The excitement around blood flow restriction (BFR) training continues to spread long after the 2021 Summer Olympics have ended. Even the New York Times posted about BFR being a, “hot fitness trend” used by Olympians! Though trends tend to go away with time, blood flow restriction is definitely here to stay. What is blood flow

Physical Therapy Myth vs. Reality

Patients need a doctor’s referral for physical therapy. MYTH– Direct Access gives a PT 60 days to treat without a prescription.  At VTFC, we treat all body parts from head to toe.  We have the training to refer out to MD if a patient presents with any red flags (i.e. suspicion of cancer or fracture)


WHY ARE MY MUSCLES TIGHT? Do you feel like your muscles are always tight? Do you wish your muscles would relax so you could enjoy some rest? Muscle tightness is quite common, and it may come as a surprise how simple and effective treatments can be in resolving muscle tightness.  WHAT IS MUSCLE TIGHTNESS? The

Productive Pain vs. Harmful Pain

Many people have experienced some degree of pain from working out or from an injury/trauma.  The saying, “No pain, no gain” has been used in fitness and athletic circles for years.  There is some truth to some discomfort from exercise being “good pain.” But, knowing when to listen to your body and knowing when to

Is Wearing a Brace Bad For You?

Whether you have recently had an injury to your lower back, knee, or ankle or you are a weekend warrior that puts a brace on to allow you to participate in a weekend sport or activity, a brace can help you function better and help you get back on your path to a full recovery.


In order to continue caring for our patients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center (VTFC) is now offering virtual physical therapy and wellness “E-Visits”. While our doors are still open, treating patients in a medically responsible manner, we are now offering virtual services for patients who prefer to receive their care remotely.

Skiing Tips to Avoid Injury on the Slopes

According to a recent Johns Hopkins study, it is estimated that about 600,000 people in the U.S. are injured and require hospitalization each year as a result of skiing and snowboarding. And of all skiers, an incidence of one injury per 500 skier visits occurs. Injuries while alpine skiing typically includes the knee, the shoulder, wrist,

How We Cured Nagging Hip Pain By Treating The Abdominal Muscles

Even as a physical therapist, when I experience pain I’m really not any different than most of my patients. In the beginning I manage it the quickest way I know how, and then assume it will go away. If it doesn’t go away in a timely manner, then I may do what most patients do…

Do You Love Your Technology? Does It Love You? “Text Neck” A New Epidemic!

As we quickly move into the era of 5G, augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence (AI), we have to remember that for all the good technology can provide… there is a negative.  That negative being the spine health of the user. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies published a paper

How Do Elbow Injuries Affect Baseball Players?

The World Series is in town, and for the first time the Washington Nationals will be playing to make their mark on history! The Nationals have been successful this year for many reasons, but mainly because they have been able to keep their player-injury rates low. For baseball players, especially pitchers, there can be no

What Is Pain?

PAIN IS A CONSCIOUS FEELING Pain is typically thought of as a sensation caused by damage to the body. However, through modern science we have found that there are multiple factors in and outside of the body that lead to your brain’s ultimate decision to “feel” pain or not. Pain is more accurately defined as

Dry Needling Provides Effective Pain Relief For Musculoskeletal Conditions

Over the past 20 years practicing physical therapy, I have yet to experience an intervention as effective as dry needling for treating musculoskeletal pain. I started using the treatment of dry needling around 2008. At that time there was minimal evidence based research supporting its effects. While clinically I found dry needling to be extremely effective at

FAQ: Why Physical Therapy After Limb Lengthening Surgery?

Limb lengthening is a complex procedure performed on individuals with congenital defects or skeletal abnormalities. After a lengthening procedure, physical therapy is performed to rehabilitate the patient in order to maximize the benefits of the lengthening surgery, and to return the patient to an optimal functional level. Here at Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center, we

4 Proven Benefits Of Schroth Method For Scoliosis

WHAT IS THE SCHROTH METHOD? The Schroth Method is a non-surgical, exercise and positional based treatment technique for patients with Scoliosis. The program uses conservative methods to return a curved spine to a more neutral position, and utilizes a three-dimensional approach as part of a comprehensive treatment technique. Depending on the severity of the curve,

Physical Therapy Plays A Critical Role In The Evolving World Of Concussion Management

Concussions are a growing concern for athletes of all ages, as the number of affected individuals rising each year. In fact, one study suggests concussion diagnosis for athletes under 22 have risen 500% in the past decade. On average, nearly 85% of all concussions resolve within 7-10 days after injury.  Every concussion patient has a specific and unique

Junior Golfers Need Physical Conditioning Too

The MAPGA Junior Season is right around the corner and that means junior golfers will once again be hitting the links in droves. With that in mind, think back to the last time your kid picked up a golf club — has it been several months? After this long winter hiatus, many athletes could use a crash

Runners! Treat The Underlying Cause Of Your Knee & Thigh Pain

Runners, let’s talk. If you’re consistently experiencing pain in the outside portion of your thigh or knee, it’s time to see a physical therapist. A common cause for this type of pain is known as iliotibial band(ITB). When the iliotibial band becomes weak it may result in Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) and can affect up to

Get To The Root Of Your Ankle Pain!

Do you have pain in the front of your ankle, especially when trying to stretch your calf? You’re not alone if you think stretching is the best solution, but this may actually make the problem worse! That’s because the underlying problem may not be a tight muscle, but the ankle joint itself. LET’S BREAK DOWN

The Surprising Reason You Have Muscle Cramps While Working Out

Are you getting muscle cramps during or after exercise? You’re not alone! In fact, 95% of people who have been through a physical education class in school report having had a muscle cramp at least once.  Higher level endurance athletes, such as triathletes, are even more susceptible to exercise-associated muscle cramps with 67% of triathletes

Laser Therapy + Physical Therapy = Perfect Treatment Pairing

Lasers have been around since the 1960s when Sci-Fi movie directors realized its potential for visual effects. Eventually, its use spilled over into other fields, including medicine and rehabilitation, and it became a powerful tool for recovery and healing. Low-level lasers have been used to treat a variety of orthopedic conditions, and over the course

Check Your Balance…Spinal Balance, That Is.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend an excellent presentation on ‘Spinal Balance’ at Virginia Spine Institute’s weekly clinical conference, provided by Dr. Christopher Good.   Often times in the orthopedic world, whether it be in physical therapy or spinal surgery, success lies in the details. The details that come forward in this presentation are the importance of

Is Your Golf Swing Setup ‘Up To Par’? Evaluate Your Swing!

With the major PGA tournaments coming to a close, is your golf swing ready for the next championship? The golf swing is extremely complex and requires many parts of the body to work in tandem with each other. The swing is primarily rotational, relying on the spine and hips to provide stabilization and strength. An

Attention Runners: Are You Treating Your Achilles Tendonitis Correctly?

Did you know that Achilles tendon pain is one of the most common complaints among endurance athletes such as runners and triathletes? The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel which allows our bodies to perform a myriad of movements including walking, jumping, and running. Although it is one of the largest and

4 Common Causes For Your Painful Shoulder

“My shoulder hurts! Now what?” Shoulder pain can be bothersome and debilitating, leading to difficulty sleeping, inability to perform daily tasks, and forget about your favorite sports like golf and tennis! THERE ARE MANY CAUSES FOR SHOULDER PAIN. WHERE DO YOU START? The shoulder is made up of joints, tendons, and muscles that all combine

Former Hockey Player Improves Hip Mobility With Laser Therapy!

A few years ago, I noticed I was having a tough time tying my right shoe. I could still walk normally but could no longer bend easily at the hip and had to tilt my foot to the side to reach the laces. Putting on socks also became somewhat challenging. After some time, individuals would

Take A Tour Of Our State-Of-The-Art Facility!

Welcome to Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center! Our team of specialized orthopedic manual therapists work collaboratively to help patients overcome sports injuries, recover after surgery, or resolve their nagging pain. Also on our team? On-site aquatic therapists, massage therapists, and rehabilitative personal trainers. Using the most advanced treatment options, coupled with the latest technology and equipment, see

Get To Know Our New Massage Therapist—Imi Sarkozi!

WHAT DROVE YOU TO BECOME A CERTIFIED MASSAGE THERAPIST? I lived in Pennsylvania and worked as an Orthodontist Clinician, interacting with many patients a day. When I moved to Virginia, however, I became a Dental Technician and my interaction with patients was limited to coworkers and the occasional provider. I missed communicating with patients and

Take Charge Of Your Recovery Using Virginia’s New Direct Access Guidelines

Injury or pain can occur at anytime, and could be the result of strained tendons or joints, muscle flare ups…the list goes on. Traditionally, it’s been a long road to recovery. Patients initially scheduled with their primary care doctor, and then are referred to a general orthopedist, to finally receive a referral for physical therapy.

VTFC’s Bone Health Program Presented At Health Fair In DC

Susan Brady and Carrie Seifert attended the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Health and Wellness Fair in Washington, DC last Wednesday, March 14th. While Susan educated the public on the risks and concerns of osteoporosis, Carrie performed nearly 50 body composition analyses using the InBody bio-impedance machine.  Susan and Carrie have teamed up to run the Bone Health Program at Virginia Therapy

Here’s Why You Can’t Afford To Stop Moving With An Injury

WHAT IS PAIN? Pain is as much physical as it is mental. Consider these questions: Have you ever injured yourself, but didn’t notice the pain until you saw a visible bruise? Have you ever gotten a paper cut, but didn’t notice the pain until you washed your hands and then your hand throbs the rest

Wellness Just Got Easier…Introducing The New VTFC App!

Joining our wellness program just got easier! Virginia Therapy and Fitness Center is thrilled to introduce a new app designed to make scheduling easier! Services including group classes, personal training, massage, nutrition consultations, and future wellness workshops and seminars will now be offered at various times throughout the day to better accommodate your schedule. Class descriptions and schedules can be found

Ask The Expert: How Do I Treat My Sprained Ankle?

March Madness is upon us! With the mania of pursuing the college basketball crown, many teams are plagued by injuries throughout the season and especially during the NCAA Tournament to reach the Championship game. Ankle sprains are among the highest injuries facing basketball players and many of the athletes we see at VTFC. WHAT IS

Skip The Injury With An ACL Prevention Program!

We’ve all heard of the horror stories – a rising star athlete at the peak of his/her performance ending the season, or possibly career, due to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament {ACL} tear. Luckily, there are many types of preventative ACL protocols available to athletes, but it can be difficult weeding out the good from the bad. BUT

Regenerate Your Body With Physical Therapy!

Regenerative therapy is gaining popularity across the nation as a reasonable alternative to surgery, though not everyone is up to speed with their vast benefits. Many physical therapists across the country are unfamiliar with these regenerative therapies and as such are unable to provide proper care after these therapies to maximize the level of healing offered.

Wrapping Up The Olympics With Kinesio Tape

Have you found yourself spending many hours tuned into the Olympics over the past week? If so, you may have noticed many Olympians sporting some colorful body tape located on various parts of their bodies. This trend seems to span many sports including volleyball, track and field, swimming, diving, and the list goes on. Although

Experience A Foot Or Ankle Injury? You’re In Olympic Company…

The Olympics are finally here and we‘re geared up for some exciting competition and performances by remarkable athletes from around the world. With the intensity of the training these athletes are doing, and the high level of competition they endure, they are susceptible to sport-related injuries just like you and I. One of the most

Research Shows Physical Therapy Reduces Chronic Headache Symptoms

Headache disorders are among the most common disorders plaguing the nervous system. In fact, it is estimated that almost half of the adult population experienced a headache at least once last year. Headache disorders describe individuals that experience recurrent headaches, namely migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. CAUSES FOR HEADACHES: Fatigue and sleep deprivation Stress

Non-Operative Treatment Options For Scoliosis: Physical Therapy & Schroth Method

Typically affecting 2% of the population, scoliosis is a common diagnosis among children aged 9-17. While the specific cause of scoliosis is idiopathic, or unknown, it is typically noted beginning at 10 years of age when growth spurts begin prior to puberty. The treatment of scoliosis is determined by the severity of the curve and is determined

Nutrient Foods Help Prevent Or Reduce Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease affecting many aging women and men in the US and around the world.  It is characterized by deterioration of bone tissue leading to weak and fragile bones that are at an increased risk for fractures. Although many believe osteoporosis is an unavoidable consequence of aging, it can actually be prevented {and

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is an assessment tool used by medical or rehabilitation specialists (including certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, and physicians) to examine individuals who have pain with movement and activities. The assessment is based on 10 movements, which can be deconstructed to stress specific joints and tissues. The goal of the

Spinal Fusion Rehabilitation: Progressing From Fusion To Function

You’ve had surgery — now what? Your doctor will provide post-surgical recommendations and guidelines to follow, but they may not fully explain how vital physical therapy is in regards to the recovery phase. It is estimated that an individual will continue improving and healing for nearly 2 years following surgery, but the majority of healing

Rethink Your Morning Breakfast

If you are like many Americans, 2016 began with some wonderful ambitions about getting healthy and fit.  The typical New Year’s Resolution is stacked with ambitious goals to lose weight, limit calories, avoid junk food and keep to a tough workout schedule. Unfortunately for many of us, those New Year’s goals, though well intentioned, tend to

Three Benefits Of Aquatic Therapy For Surgery Recovery

Aquatic therapy is often times the first step in a patient’s rehabilitation program after surgery. Doctors prescribe it post-operatively because of the valuable benefits it provides for patients that are ready to regain strength in their muscles, but have not healed enough to begin extensive physical therapy. Aquatic therapy provides a weightless environment that allows

Gravity Fit Is The New Revolutionary Exercise Science That Builds Good Postural Form

Over the past year I have been working with a unique exercise tool used to activate and strengthen the anti-gravity muscles (i.e. quadriceps, glutes, etc.) and improve core body strength and performance called Gravity Fit. I work with many useful training tools but this particular neuromuscular training system has proven helpful to every single patient during their treatment.

Let’s Get Physical! Health Organization’s Physical Activities Guidelines

We live in a fast paced world now consisting of conference calls, business meetings, etc. While our minds and deadlines are active, however, our lifestyle is actually quite sedentary chaining us to our desks and, unfortunately, our seats. Research has proven that sitting frequently is detrimental to your health, therefore several health organizations have compiled physical

Apathy For Pain: Common Feelings Among Back Pain Sufferers

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS MAKE UP THE COMMON FEELINGS EXPERIENCED BY PEOPLE SUFFERING WITH NECK OR BACK PAIN.  WHICH ONE DO YOU CURRENTLY IDENTIFY WITH?  “I Can’t!” Some back pain sufferers don’t want to do the work in order to get better. Giving into the pain is all they care to do anymore. “Why won’t

Leg Length Discrepancy Linked To Lower Back Pain

Have you ever been told or noticed that one of your legs is a bit longer than the other?  Do you have incidences of lower back pain?  These two things could be related.  Most individuals have a small difference in their leg lengths.  For some, the discrepancy is small and negligible and will not be

Massage Therapy Styles & Benefits

Rick Johnson, LMT is one of our massage therapists; here he shares his personal story of how massage therapy helped him overcome lower back and hip pain. As a lifelong avid golfer (my wife would say obsessive) I have experienced many low back pain episodes. This eventually became a chronic, day to day, condition that left

Healing Waters: Get Pain Relief And Increased Mobility With Aquatic Therapy

Whether it is for leisure or as an aerobic activity, swimming is a great way to cross train or add diversity to your workout. Did you know that the pool is also a great conduit for people experiencing pain or recovering from surgery? Water serves as a highly effective environment for the post-surgical or acutely

Tired Of Nagging Muscle & Joint Pain? Trigger Point Dry Needling Is The Answer!

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, you can’t let muscle pain slow you down. This new technique for pain management and sports related injuries applies the use of acupuncture needles to deactivate the trigger point (muscle knot), reduce pain and restore normal function to the involved muscle. This innovative technique is successful in