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Ask the Expert: Mary Washington Physical Therapy

Mary Washington Healthcare announces the addition of new physical therapy clinics in the Fredericksburg region that will allow area residents to access this important medical service with shorter drives and reduced wait time for appointments. 

The new locations—in the Ladysmith community in Caroline County and just off U.S. 1 in Spotsylvania County—are meant to make it easier for the Fredericksburg community to reap the benefits of this functional therapy wherever they may need it.

As our July Expert, Mary Washington Physical Therapy’s Chris Brown, Regional Director of Therapy, talks about the importance of convenient access to physical therapy services. Chris is a Physical Therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Orthopedic Certified Specialist. He also holds a certification in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the spine. He has worked with patients in the Fredericksburg area since 2004.

Why is Mary Washington Healthcare expanding the availability of physical therapy with these new locations?

We really see it as fundamental to patient care. Physical therapy is a recurring treatment, so you want to get in two to three times a week. If you are having to drive 30 to 40 minutes to get to the clinic, it makes it a lot harder to keep up that frequency. That is going to decrease the overall results of your therapy. It’s also about access. Our existing clinics were so busy that patients were experiencing lengthy waits to get appointments, and we did not think that was acceptable, because timing is so critical with physical therapy. If you have had surgery, you need to be in therapy right away.

What excites you about opening these new locations?

Our new office in Ladysmith is in a community that has a growing population, and where many people were having to drive more than half an hour to Fredericksburg or Ashland to receive physical therapy. There was a clear need for more physical therapy options there. 

Our second new location will be on Carr Drive off U.S. 1 in Spotsylvania County. This is centrally located and will speed up availability for patients who had been waiting to get in to our two busiest offices—our Cosner’s Corner and Fredericksburg locations.

What is beneficial about receiving physical therapy within the Mary Washington Healthcare family of services?

It’s a wonderful continuity of care to be able to work with therapists who are connected to Mary Washington’s network of physicians, specialists and other providers. Your primary care physician may see something and send you to an orthopedist, who orders physical therapy. Within the Mary Washington family, all of these providers are sharing information, so that you are taken through your care plan without having to call around to find a provider for the next step. It’s seamless. Once treatment starts, physical therapists stay in close communication with your referring providers. Because communication can happen in real time, patients in our system are able to avoid delays in their care, and this can lead to quicker progress in some cases.

What role do physical therapists play in the overall process of recovering from an injury or surgery, or in correcting problems that are causing pain and mobility issues?

Physical therapy helps restore function and mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit physical disabilities after an injury or medical procedure. Therapists address any biomechanical and neuromuscular impairments patients experience, which can cause further injury down the line if ignored. Catching dysfunctions in movement early on can limit injuries and the effects of the aging process down the line. If you get in on the early side and can fix these things, you are going to literally save yourself from experiencing more pain later in life.

What do you like about working for Mary Washington Physical Therapy?

It’s a very positive environment with a lot of great interactions between the therapists and the technicians in the front office. And I think that shows among our staff. Of the 25 therapists we have working in the region, 17 were previous students or former traveling therapists who decided to come back to work with us. We also have a wide range of expertise, including vestibular specialists, hand specialists and sports specialists. Our clinics are top-of-the line and include all the newest equipment.

What should parents know about the benefits of physical therapy for children?

Over the years we have had a lot of experience working with children from the age of about six up through the teen years. Early intervention to correct specific movement disorders that a pediatrician might notice can help improve their mobility and comfort as they get older. It’s also very rewarding to help kids get back to their active lifestyles. One of the hardest things to see is when a child is immobilized and can’t participate in the activities that they most enjoy. Watching the psychological transformation that happens when you can get that child back into his or her favorite sports and activities is just great. 

A vast majority of our therapists are parents themselves, and they relate with the kids very well and give them that comfortable environment where they have a one-on-one relationship. Therapists help teach children about their body mechanics and the importance of being active and exercising, so in many cases there is an educational component to the treatment, as well.

To learn more, visit ortho.mwhc.com.

Find Mary Washington’s physical therapy services at the following locations:

  • 8051 Prosperity Way, Ruther Glen, VA  22546   (804) 589-3151 
  • 4400 Carr Drive, Fredericksburg, VA  22408    (540) 479-4764
  • 1201 Sam Perry Blvd, Fredericksburg, Mary Washington Hospital    (540) 741-1542
  • 3310 Fall Hill Avenue, Fredericksburg    (540) 373-7133
  • 125 Hospital Center Blvd, Stafford, Stafford Hospital   (540) 741-9647
  • 90 Greenspring Drive, Stafford   (540) 657-2925
  • 10 Stafford Lakes Parkway, Fredericksburg   (540) 737-6150
  • 4710 Spotsylvania Parkway, Spotsylvania    (540) 479-4779
Emily Freehling
Emily Freehling is an award-winning journalist who helps Fredericksburg Parent and Family's advertisers tell valuable stories through magazine advertorials and videos. Emily also produces content for a wide variety of other clients and outlets. Find her on LinkedIn and at emilyfreehling.com.

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