By Kristin Boza
Sports + Ortho Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, 10909 S. Western Ave., takes a unique approach to physical therapy that focuses on revolutionary techniques designed to elevate patient outcomes.
As a woman-owned, community-based, locally supportive PT clinic, Sports + Ortho owner Dahlia Fahmy requires her physical therapists to achieve higher levels of certifications in the Applied Functional Science (AFS) method, which takes an integrated approach to evaluating, rehabilitating, training and conditioning. Fahmy became a Fellow in AFS therapy six years ago, and quickly realized that this forward-thinking methodology is essential for her practice.
“AFS is the understanding and evaluation of kinetic mechanics, which means that we look at people from head to toe,” Fahmy said. “After completing my fellowship, I decided to make it mandatory for my physical therapists to either get certified in AFS or become a fellow in the program — and we pay for them to go through that additional education. We are the only clinic in Chicago to have six AFS Fellows.”
Sports + Ortho takes a different approach to physical therapy, and the focus on AFS means that each patient will receive consistent therapy, regardless of the therapist they see. “Not many people know what AFS is, and patients who have had therapy before at a different clinic come to us and recognize the different approach immediately,” Fahmy said.
Aside from AFS, Sports + Ortho also focuses on manual therapy, which is a hands-on technique ranging from soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization to dry needling, and muscle energy. “Our clinic is founded on manual therapy; each patient will receive it in addition to the exercise portion of their therapy,” Fahmy said.
The clinic also offers custom-tailored programs for first responders, including time spent on the fire truck parked in the clinic’s parking lot. “We have all of the equipment and dummies needed for first responders to ensure they can get back to doing their job; they are able to work on the motions they need to do in their jobs every day,” Fahmy said.
Fahmy opened up the first Sports + Ortho location in 2003, and she now has six adult clinics and one pediatric clinic throughout the city and suburbs. The Beverly location opened in 2005. “We are not a chain, and we have a vested interest in making people happy. We try to support everything in our community and be a part of the local fabric,” she said.