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

"I've always been fascinated with anatomy and physiology.  I discovered the meaning of physical therapy in high school and knew I had found my passion.  I began volunteering at hospitals, clinics, and anyone who would have me.  I've spent over 10+ years of my life in school and can honestly say I love what I do.  The human body is an intricate system that moves unlike anything else in the world and I have the knowledge to alter its function and equip people with the tools to recover or prevent an injury and/or surgery, and to decrease pain without the use of medication. In the constantly changing field of healthcare, I will forever be learning and continuously advancing with the latest research and treatment techniques. I  strive for a higher quality of care and am fulfilled at the end of my day knowing I've done an outstanding job, giving my patients exceptional care."


Alicia graduated from Texas State University with her bachelors in exercise and sports science with an emphasis in Physical Therapy in 2010. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Texas State University in 2013.  Alicia continued her training, past the doctorate level, and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.  

Alicia head shot 2018.JPG


"I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from Texas A&M University in 1995. Following graduation, I worked for several years as an ACSM certified personal trainer, aerobics instructor, and provided patient care in out-patient cardiac rehabilitation. During this time, I also volunteered in physical therapy clinics and completed the course work required for Physical Therapy programs. I attended Texas State University where I received my Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 2001.

I have worked in outpatient orthopedics since graduation, always with the personal and professional intent to provide excellent, high quality care for optimal patient outcomes. It is with this intent that I enrolled in the Fellowship program with the Manual Therapy Institute immediately upon graduation. I believe in the importance of quality continuing education in order to expand on current knowledge with research-based science, in order to consistently improve skills and abilities as a health care provider. It is with this belief that has made my career as a Physical Therapist extremely enjoyable: knowing that I am providing the best possible care for my clients to help them reach their own personal goals and endeavors. I became a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists in 2005, and my board certification as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) in 2007. I was recently honored as a Top 3 finalist in Austin’s Best of the Best 2020 annual reader poll in the Austin American’s Statesman.

In addition to my work as a clinician, I am also a wife and mother. My husband, 2 children, and energetic dog keep me laughing and overall challenged by life!  We enjoy hiking, boating, and camping as a family. I look forward to meeting you, and together we can determine how to best achieve your goals."



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.


1000+ HOURS


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.