Imagine Physical Therapy

Health and Wellness Archives

New Clinic! Mount Pleasant, Old Village

Posted on September 15, 2015 by

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We’re proud to announce the opening of our 6th clinic, Imagine PT Old Village, which started seeing patients on September 8th. As the city of Mount Pleasant has grown, the need for physical therapy has grown with it. Imagine aims to serve the whole city of Mount Pleasant, and we know you’ll find our newest location convenient.


Although the clinic location is new to Imagine, rest assured that our Clinic Manager, Dusty Tolley, is pretty old news. Dusty has been working at our Park West clinic since 2011 when he was a student. He’s a gifted PT, and Imagine never let him go, hiring him directly upon graduation. “Working at Imagine Physical Therapy has been such a blessing for me,” shares Dusty. “Now having the opportunity to open a new clinic is a dream come true. My promise is that we will provide exceptional care and develop lasting friendships with anyone that walks through our door. We’ll listen to your wellness goals and give you concrete steps on how to reach them, supporting you in any way possible.”


For more about Dusty, please visit our Staff Page here.


Imagine Old Village is located off of Coleman Boulevard at 1304-C Erckmann Drive. Heading toward Sullivans Island, turn right on Erckmann Drive between Taco Bell and Oriental Garden. We are the first left hand turn off that road into a brick building. Coming from Chuck Dawley, turn right onto Coleman Blvd. Pass Fonduely Yours and turn left between Oriental Garden and Taco Bell.


We sincerely appreciate any friends and family you can send our way. Thanks for being part of the Imagine family!



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How can we keep our youth athletes safe from injury?

Posted on August 11, 2015 by


With the school year upon us, student athletes are gearing up for a year full of competition, many competing in multiple sports. At Imagine, we’re a collaborating organization with a group known as STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention) Sports Injuries, and we wanted to share information with you to pass along to the athlete in your life. We MUCH prefer that you watch them on the playing field instead of watch them perform exercises in our offices!


The two questions that we would like you to consider are these:


1) As a parent/caring adult, how can you help to minimize the risk of injury to the youth athlete in your life?


2) What injury prevention tips are available to pass along to youth athletes?


For question number one, Kris Winders, our Daniel Island Office Clinic Manager, offers the following advice:


“I think by far the most important thing is just to remember that these are KIDS.  Their bodies are still developing and changing and their bones and muscles have a lot of maturing to do.  I have two boys of my own and I really hope that they are both superstar pro athletes who buy me a beach house and a Ferrari and let me retire at 45.  The reality is that even the chance of them playing in college is very small.  What is most important is that they are having fun and being SAFE.  Dr. James Andrews, a renowned orthopaedist and surgeon to many professional athletes, makes a pretty strong case for letting kids have two to four months of rest from sports each year.  This cuts WAY down on overuse injuries and lets their bodies, rest, grow, and heal.  I think we should all remember that you can’t train the same way at 10 or 12 that you can at 22.  If our kids are good enough, college coaches and pro scouts will notice, even if our kids aren’t playing  11 months a year.  As they say… the cream always rises to the top.  Rather than pushing them to play more, we should spend a lot more time making sure they are playing with good form.  This is especially important in swimmers, pitchers, and overhead athletes.  Maybe if we can cut down a little on the volume, and work more on good form, we can keep our kids out of doctor and physical therapy offices and keep them on the field. “


For question number two, we highly recommend that you visit the STOP website. The website is full of great information on not only on sport specific injury prevention, but also on issue specific injury prevention such as preventing concussions and preventing ACL ruptures. For your convenience, below is a list of links to the sports specific injury prevention information on the STOP website. We encourage you to share this article via Facebook or Twitter with the buttons at the top of this article. Injuries inevitably happen, but lets all work together to STOP the ones that we can!





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Fall Prevention Awareness Day, September 23, 2015

Posted on August 11, 2015 by

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Fall Prevention Awareness Day is on September 23rd, and at Imagine we’re passionate about this issue. Every 13 seconds, an older adult is seen in the emergency department for a fall-related injury. Many of these injuries are preventable!


Kris Winders, Daniel Island Clinic Manager states: “Unfortunately, a lot of people feel like falling is just part of getting older.  They think that a little dizziness or the occasional stumble just comes with the gray hair.  While it may be true that some parts of the aging process are out of our control, there are a lot of factors in falling that we ABSOLUTELY can do something about.  We see injuries every day that could have been prevented by addressing some balance issues.  We are fine with treating broken arms and hips, but we’d much rather spend our time helping folks on the front end to prevent these injuries and help them restore their mobility and independence.”


This month, we’d like to share 6 Tips On How to Stay Safe. Please, please, please discuss them with the older person in your life, and if you’re that older person, discuss them with your family!

  • Find a good balance and exercise program. Looking to build balance, strength and flexibility is one of the most important steps in preventing falls. Imagine can DEFINITELY help you with this one! In fact, we already have. Please refer here for a post written last year that includes several exercises that will improve your balance.
  • Talk to your health care provider. Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls.
  • Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist.  Make sure side effects aren’t increasing your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.
  • Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses. Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
  • Keep your home safe. Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.  See the bottom of the article for adjustments you can make to your home to help prevent falls.
  • Talk to your family members. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors’ issue.




 How to Keep Your Home Safe

  • Remove things you can trip over (ie electric cords, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
  • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Improve the lighting in your home by placing night lights in the bathroom and keeping lights turned on in the daytime.
  • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
  • If necessary, have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Use non-slip mats in the tub and on bathroom floors.
  • Make sure you have handrails and lights on all staircases.
  • Wear shoes inside and outside your house. Avoid wearing flip-flops, slippers or going barefoot.
  • Also, studies show that off the shelf arch supports can decrease the risk of falls. Our therapists at Imagine are happy to help you get these if you’re interested!




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We’ve Got Your Back!

Posted on June 16, 2015 by

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We love to tell patients that at Imagine, our goal is to get you “Better Faster” and to keep you “Better Longer”. Based on two new studies, we can now say that of the patients we’ve treated with low back pain (LBP) who chose to come to us or were referred to us within 90 days of their initial LBP episode, we’ve most likely also helped you keep a “Better Bank Account”.




Maybe you’re shaking your head saying–“Nope, you helped with my pain, but not my bank account!”. Please consider with us one recent study that analyzed 122,723 patients who went to a primary care physician following an initial episode of LBP and received PT within 90 days. Twenty-four per cent of these patients received PT within 14 days and adhered to the guidelines of their treatment plan. The study found that “in a 2-year time period, these patients made significantly less use of advanced imaging, lumbar spinal injections, lumbar spine surgery, and opiods than did patients in other combinations of timing and adherence” (APTA News Release, April 2015). These treatments–injection, surgery, opiods, imaging–all cost lots of money. We encourage you to give PT a shot (no pun intended) first. We want to help you avoid costly and unnecessary treatments…while getting you better!


John Mart, a veteran (29 years!) Physical Therapist states: “You WILL get better faster and stay better longer if you see your Physical Therapist when you hurt your back. We will be able to differentiate if your back pain is due to nerves being pinched, muscle spasms or joint restrictions. We will decrease your pain and show you how you can decrease your pain on the first visit.”


Not convinced we can or did save you money? A second study released this year looked at PT treatment versus imaging for patients with low back pain. The study “analyzed utilization records and other health information for patients who consulted with a primary care provider about uncomplicated LBP and were referred to management outside primary care within 6 weeks” (APTA News Release, March 2015). What they found?


1) Initial PT (average 3.8 visits) cost $504 on average versus $1,306 for and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).


2) Average subsequent cost over the next year were nearly 72% lower for patients who began with PT ($1,871  compared with $6,664) versus beginning with imaging over the same time period.


3) Authors discovered that patients who receive imaging as a first referral increased their likelihood of surgery, injections, specialist visits and emergency room visits


For more information about this study, please visit the American Physical Therapy Associations News Release on the study, or the study itself here. 


Bottom line–We’ve Got Your Back! We’d love to hear YOUR testimonials of how we helped your back pain. Please share with us by emailing

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BOGO* of the Month: Strengthen Hips, Lessen Knee Pain!

Posted on April 23, 2015 by

*Imagine’s version of a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) is to share one simple and healthy activity with you (such as new exercises, stretches, nutrition information or cardio activities) that by implementing you will see benefits in 2 or more ways. 


It’s back—Imagine’s BOGO of the month. We’ve got a great one for you, a must for everyone. All you have to do? Strengthen your hips. The benefits? Well, obviously stronger hips (important for all types of physical activity and movement in general) but also–less knee pain! Whaaaattt??? Yes, you read that correctly. By strengthening your hips, you will in fact lessen your knee pain! So…this blogpost is particularly relevant to those folks out there who have so much knee pain they struggle with any weight bearing activities. The exercises and stretches we’re sharing avoid the knee almost entirely (share with friends and family members who are suffering–this is a great place to start!). For more information as to the WHY behind strengthening hips/lessening knee pain, please visit The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy’s website. We’re here to give you a place to start by introducing you to the three simple hip exercises that were proven to work in decreasing knee pain.


Please note that in the exercises/stretches below, the transparent image is the starting position and the solid image is the ending position.


Exercise One: Standing Hip Abduction


Instructions:  Stand near a wall or counter so you can reach for balance if necessary.  Tighten your abdominal muscles. Then, keeping your leg straight, lift it out to the side and pause briefly at the top.  Be sure to lift the leg straight out to the side without coming forward and try not to lean.  If you lean, you went too far! Start with 10 repetitions and progress to 30. Repeat with the other leg. Ankle weights can be added once these have become too easy!

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Exercise Two: Seated External Rotation


Instructions: Sit on a firm surface with your feet just touching the floor.  Slide one foot up your opposite shin to the top of your knee.  Repeat 10 times and progress to 30.  Repeat for the opposite leg.

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Exercise 3: Side-lying Clams


Instructions: Lie on one side with your bottom leg straight and your top knee bent up so that your top foot is hooked behind the crease of your bottom knee.  Keeping your foot down, lift your top knee up and out, like the motion of a clam shell opening.  Repeat 10 times and progress to 30 repetitions.  Then lie on your other side and repeat with the opposite leg. 

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In regards to knee pain and exercises, let us emphasize this is truly the tip of the iceberg–simply a great place to start. We would love to assist in you your path to a pain free life. Please contact the clinic closest to you for a FREE 30 minute consult–we’ll let you know if you’re a good candidate for therapy. We’re always here to help you get BETTER FASTER and stay BETTER LONGER!!!

All information found in this post attributed to article found on the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy website, “Strengthening Your Hip Muscles: Some Exercises May Be Better Than Others”.

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Imagine Physical Therapy Is Tops In the Nation!

Posted on March 12, 2015 by

We’re going to brag. But just a little, we promise. The weekend of February 6-8th, our physical therapists went through the final phase of the Mulligan Certification process. The process began in January of 2014, and this was the third long weekend dedicated to becoming Certified Mulligan Practitioners (CMP’s). Is this a high pressure situation? If you consider that simply ‘sitting’ for the Mulligan test cost $500 per therapist (more than the boards cost to get licensed as a PT!), then YES—this was a very high pressure situation indeed!

We are proud to announce that we shot 100%, and have eight Certified Mulligan Practitioners. Now we can not only stake claim as leading the state with the most CMP’s, but we also are tied with one other physical therapy practice as having the most CMP’s in the nation. We’re very proud of our therapists for their accomplishment!

What does this mean to you? What’s so great about being our being Mulligan Practitioners? Our goal is always to get you BETTER FASTER and keep you BETTER LONGER. Mulligan techniques are another way that we can accomplish this goal. Mulligan’s techniques are also known as “Mobilization With Movement” and are used to decrease your pain during functional activities (i.e. shoulder pain with reaching overhead, elbow pain with tennis, neck pain when turning head). These manual therapy and taping techniques were created by Brian Mulligan to restore functional and pain free motion in patients by retraining joints to move the way they were designed to move in the first place. Interested in learning more about Mulligans? Please refer to our two other blog posts which provide more detail about Session 1 and Session 2 of our Mulligan training over the past year.

So…does this work? Absolutely! We’ve already seen some amazing results by putting these techniques into practice in our clinics. We’ve had a tennis elbow patient whose grip strength went from 40 PSI to 90 PSI after one treatment. We’ve also had a gentleman who couldn’t raise his arm over his head proceed to lift a 5 pound dumbbell over his head 20 times after utilizing one simple Mulligan technique. The kicker? He was able to lift with NO PAIN. Obviously, not every technique has miraculous results, but having these tools as a weapon to combat pain and dysfunction has immediately impacted our patients for the better.

If you’re having a pain that simply won’t go away, please call us for a consult and we’ll see if our Mulligans techniques might benefit you!

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Kick Computer Pain!

Posted on December 8, 2014 by

In today’s world, most of us spend hours in front of a computer, whether for work or play. This causes many issues ranging from neck and back pain, to Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. At Imagine, we see patients daily as a result of poor posture and poor workstation setup. We sincerely hope that you don’t become one of those patients, and we’re here to provide you with two tips to stop your computer from being such a pain. Read on, and let us help you stay BETTER LONGER!


Tip #1-Take time to do these 3 exercises once every hour you’re sitting at your desk (or whenever you have time if not every hour!)


Exercise #1, Doorway Stretch











Hold the above position for 30 seconds and do 3 sets. It will feel soooo good–promise. The benefit? This stretch gives your neck and upper back muscles a break from being pulled forward by the muscles on the front side of your body.


Exercise #2, Upper Trap Stretch


Hold the above position for 30 seconds and perform 3 sets on each side.  This stretches your upper traps, which get tight from typing at your keyboard or navigating your mouse.


Exercise #3, Seated Piriformis Stretch


Place your right leg on your left. Slowly lean forward until you feel a pull in your lower back and right hip, and hold for 30 seconds.  The benefit of this exercise is that it stretches the lower back and your hip rotators that get stiff from prolonged sitting. Reverse your legs to stretch the left side of your body.


Tip #2: Make sure your workstation is set up properly.

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If you take a look at the picture above, you’ll see two individuals, both of whom have ergonomically correct workstations. In setting up your station, pay particular attention to the following:

a) Elbows-above the desk, at 90-110 degrees

b) Shoulders-relaxed as opposed to hunched

c) Wrists-in line with forarem

d) Hips, knees, ankles-at 90 degrees while seated

e) Feet-flat on the ground or on a footrest

f) Head-Upright with ears aligned with shoulders

g) Eyes-looking at the top third of the screen. Consider the use of a laptop raiser with your laptop

h) Seat Length-Should be long enough to provide support beneath thighs

i) Backrest-Angled at 90-110 degrees w/ adequate lumbar support in line with lower back

j) Keyboard and mouse- g&h of your keyboard aligned with your nose; mouse gripped loosely


Imagine is always here for consultations about any issues you might have with your particular workstation. We are very creative in finding solutions for your aches and pains–please don’t hesitate to ask your therapist or email us with any questions!


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New Imagine Location: North Charleston!

Posted on December 8, 2014 by

We’re excited to announce that as of today (Monday, 12/8/14) we’re accepting patients at the newest Imagine Physical Therapy location on North Rhett Avenue. We’ve long wanted to provide services to the North Charleston community, and we recently found a great location on North Rhett nestled between 526 and Park Circle to make this a reality. If you have friends or family in need of physical therapy who live in North Charleston or Hanahan (we are only minutes from Tanner Plantation) please let them know about us! Visit our locations page for our phone and fax numbers. And just a heads up…as of today, our Imagine sign is NOT outside the building, but it will be very soon. Currently, the sign says Innovative Partners–but it’s us, we promise!!!


Who will be the fearless leader of our North Charleston clinic? Meet Davis Bradley!


Davis has been a part of the Imagine family since his first clinical rotation as an MUSC student back in 2011. He began his professional career with Imagine after receiving his Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from MUSC in 2013. He enjoys spending his free time exploring Charleston with his loyal companion LEO who he rescued from a local dog shelter. His love for physical therapy has deeps roots, as he grew up playing sports and spent time as an injured athlete. During his time in physical therapy, he came to appreciate the caring bond a therapist can have with a patient. Davis has known he wanted to be a PT since high school, and he doesn’t consider coming to work a “job” because as he says making people feel better for a living is a blessing not a chore.


Thanks for trusting us to help you get BETTER FASTER and keep you BETTER LONGER!


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Hard Work (With A Lot of Fun!) Paying Off: Mulligans Part II

Posted on November 22, 2014 by

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Ryan taping John’s knee while he practices his table surfing

On September 19th and 20th, we convinced Rick Crowell from the Mulligan Concept team into joining us yet again for some more Mobilization With Movement training.  After completing the Upper Extremity course in January, our therapists were excited to learn some new tricks for treating the lower extremities and back injuries.  We were MOST DEFINITELY not disappointed.  We came away with dozens of new treatment techniques to help our patients with back, hip, knee, and ankle pain…while of course having tons of fun along the way (see above picture)!  Just as exciting as our ‘in clinic’ techniques, we learned new taping and patient home treatment techniques to help with carryover from the clinic to daily life. As we hope you know by now…our goal is to get you BETTER FASTER and keep you BETTER LONGER!


So…what’s so great about Mobilization With Movement (MWM) techniques? Why would you want to ‘let’ us use MVM on you? Simple–all techniques are designed to be pain-free, provide immediate results, and produce long lasting effects.  Most of these techniques are quick and simple and can make a HUGE impact, often the first time they are performed. We’re already seeing great results from patients with back, knee, hip, and ankle injuries and are excited to get more practice using these techniques as we prepare for our final Mulligan course in early 2015.  We’re proud that all of our therapists are one step closer to becoming Certified Mulligan Practitioners (see more information about that here), but even more importantly are excited to have more tools in our pain relief arsenal (yep, that was corny….but honest!!!)!


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Rick teaching a two-person treatment technique for the lower back


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John performing a treatment for hip pain with a belt

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Rick demonstrating a traction technique using a belt



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Trick of TREAT(ment)? Dry Needling Explained

Posted on October 21, 2014 by

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Nope, we’re not playing tricks on you–allowing our therapists at Imagine to stick you with needles can be a real treat! The pictures of our brave West Ashley Clinic Manager, Yves Gege, with needles in his face were taken during a 3 day dry needling continuing education course hosted at our West Ashley clinic. For the duration of this course, our therapists allowed themselves to be ‘stuck’ and did some ‘sticking’ in order that they could add another weapon to their treatment arsenal. Our goal is always to get you BETTER FASTER and to keep you BETTER LONGER…and dry needling is another way to do just that! Dry needling is an excellent adjunct to traditional physical therapy and our therapists are highly trained in dry needling techniques.  Please read the following interview with Yves to learn more about dry needling and how it benefits individuals in pain.

1) What exactly is dry needling?

Dry needling uses very small acupuncture-like needles to treat muscular pain and dysfunction. Dry needling is used to treat symptomatic trigger points and is used in corresponding areas based on muscular anatomy and neurophysiology to restore normal tissue function essentially making your muscle less tight and less painful.

2) How is dry needling different than acupuncture?

Dry needling uses an anatomical, muscular, neurological medical paradigm based on modern western medicine to treat your pain, in contrast to acupuncture which uses ancient eastern medicine knowledge based on meridians to treat systemic issues. Both use small gauge needles of various depths.

3) How can dry needling help those with pain? What type of conditions can it treat?

After a thorough and pleasant physical therapy examination is completed at Imagine, we’ll discuss the benefits and precautions associated with dry needling if we think it’s a viable option. Dry needling is used in conjunction with other therapies (therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, modalities) to improve range of motion and decrease pain. The needles are inserted into symptomatic areas creating less tension in the muscle and giving your body a stimulus to heal itself. Dry needling is commonly used for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, and also used commonly for muscle strains, neck issues and headaches.

4) How long do the needles stay in? Does it hurt?

Depending on your treatment plan, needles may be in for only seconds or they might be left in for 10-15 minutes with electric stimulation. Some areas of the body are quite sensitive and there is some pain; other areas you won’t feel hardly anything at all. Dry needling can be painful, typically however, there is minimal pain associated with this treatment. Most commonly there will be some muscular soreness over the next 12-24 hours.

5) Have you experienced lots of success with dry needling?

We have experienced lots of success. One patient recently came in and we performed dry needling to regain mobility and range of motion in his shoulders. With a combination of stretching and exercises, we had great success in meeting his goals. He actually chose to move on and have dry needling in other areas such as his forearms, elbows, biceps and chest and the treatment has been equally beneficial in those areas.

We also have had much success in helping to rid folks of headaches and tension in their shoulders and necks. I would encourage anyone who has an area of pain that won’t seem to go away to come in for a consult to see if dry needling might be an option.




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Did you know?

Many insurance companies now cover Physical Therapy WITHOUT a doctor's referal.

Direct Access

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Did you know?

Many insurance companies now cover Physical Therapy WITHOUT a doctor's referal.

Direct Access

Learn More