Dr. Alicia Shugart, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, Director

Dr. Anne-Marie Garza, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT



At Apex, we take a different approach to orthopedic physical therapy. We do not pass our patients off to assistants, treat more than one patient at a time, nor waste time with treatments you can perform at home (i.e. heat, ice, etc.). Whether you've been living with pain for several years, have recently injured yourself, and/or trying to avoid surgery or the use of pain medication, we can help.  Our highly educated therapists design an individualized treatment plan to assure the fastest recovery.



One-hour treatment sessions, one-on-one with a doctor of physical therapy produce good results. To achieve excellence, Apex employs therapists with the highest level of education, known as Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy.  Our advanced therapists are at the forefront of the latest evidence and research, coupled with the most extensive hands-on training. We accurately diagnose and treat the source of the pain, fix it correctly the first time, and equip you with the tools needed to prevent recurring pain.  Patients at Apex recover faster, in fewer visits, and spend less money on co-pays and deductibles. 


"Manual therapists are not created equal"

What is a fellowship trained orthopedic manual physical therapist (FAAOMPT)?

Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy, FAAOMPT, have completed the highest level of orthopedic manual physical therapy training.   This educational achievement is the gold standard level of care for musculoskeletal conditions.  To date, there are about 1800 fellows in America. 

FAAOMPT credentialed therapist at Apex Manual Therapy have completed over 1,000 hours of orthopedic education, over 500 hours of classroom training and nearly 500 hours of on-site live patient instruction, one-on-one with a mentor.


A manual therapist and a FAAOMPT credentialed therapist are NOT the same. A manual therapist is any therapist who chooses to use manual techniques.  A manual therapist does not require any additional training beyond a physical therapy license.  FAAOMPT credentialed therapists have been trained beyond the physical therapy license requirements to solve advanced problems with clinical reasoning.  This ensures an accurate diagnosis and treatment for orthopedic conditions. 


Manual techniques are only one component of fellowship training.  Manual fellows are first and foremost physical therapists; movement specialist.  There are several reasons the body alters from optimal movement: sustained posture, poor movement patterns, repetitive motions, falls, injuries, etc.  Manual manipulation is NOT always required to achieve optimal results.  The cause of pain could be related to poor nerve signal to the muscles, muscle strength imbalances, overactive muscles, short or lengthen muscles, and more.  A fellow determines whether hands-on therapy is required in addition to treating the movement dysfunction.  This is what sets apart a  FAAOMPT credentialed therapist.

What is a certified manual therapist (CMT)?

To become a certified manual therapist, one must complete roughly 100-200 classroom hours, a practical exam, and a written exam.  This helps to develop manual techniques at a basic level, which is great for a physical therapists who want to advance their knowledge in hands-on care but does not teach advanced problem solving and lacks the essential components to master the art of manual therapy and the full scope of orthopedic care.  

What's the point?

Patient outcome is directly correlated to the provider's ability to properly diagnose and treat the cause of pain.  Do your research prior to making a decision, as providers vary in their scope of education.  Read and understand what's behind their credentials.  Pain relief can be achieved through various therapies, but fellowship-trained manual physical therapists can provide quicker and long-lasting effects by treating pain at the source. Prior to Apex, many of our patients explored other forms of care with limited or no success. Read what they have to say about their experience at Apex. 

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