Reduce pain and regain function with physical therapy

Physical Therapy

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Clinic Hours:

Monday – Thurs: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Fridays: 7:00am – 2:00pm

Physical therapy for Vero Beach residents can help with many muscle, bone, or joint problems that stop you from enjoying your favorite Florida activities. Physical therapy can help you regain mobility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain.

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At OSA – Vero Beach, the physical therapist works directly with your doctor to provide the most comprehensive, individualized care you need.  We believe that physical therapy works best when you have control over your treatment. Because of this, OSA therapists and assistants focus on getting to know you so that they can work with your care team to determine what treatment will best suit your challenges, schedule, and goals.


What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a form of care used to improve pain, diseases, or impairments. Physical therapists do not use medicine or surgery to treat you. Instead, physical therapy includes exercises and manual treatments.

Doctors often recommend physical therapy with other forms of care; however, it can be a suitable treatment by itself as well.

Some physical therapy treatments include:


Exercises improve strength, mobility, and flexibility.



Ultrasounds apply deep-heat and are used to treat musculoskeletal system problems, like sprains and tendonitis.

physical-therapy-joint-mobilizationJoint mobilization

Joint mobilization improves pain levels and mobility by gently moving the joint in different directions. You can also learn to do this at home.


Soft tissue mobilization

Soft tissue mobilization is especially helpful for back and neck pain. Therapists use pressure to break apart tight, or inelastic, muscle tissue.

Hot and cold therapy

Hot packs improve circulation, relax the muscles, and sooth injuries. Ice packs decrease inflammation. Both are used to reduce pain.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

The goal of physical therapy is to improve your mobility. By strengthening your body, you will have a better range of movement and less of a reliance on other forms of medicine.

For example, many patients use physical therapy to reduce pain. As a result, they can avoid taking strong pain medications. Other patients may use it to control specific body parts, like the bladder.

Increased mobility often means:

  • Greater independence
  • Better performance
  • Improved social life

What to Expect from Physical Therapy

At your first appointment, your therapist will ask you about your lifestyle, sleep habits, and medical background. He or she will monitor how well you perform certain activities, such as walking up stairs and picking objects up from the ground. They may even note your heart rate, blood pressure, and flexibility.

physical-therapy-expectationAfter this process, you and your therapist will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and preferences. After therapy, your muscles might feel sore. Your body will adjust to the treatment; however, the pain should never be severe, so let your therapist know if it is.

Ortho-centered physical therapy is often used to:

  • Recover from a surgery.
  • Recover from a sports injury.
  • Recover from a bad fall or accident.
  • Improve flexibility, balance, and stability.
  • Adapt to an artificial limb.
  • Reduce back, neck, and knee pain.
  • Strengthen the muscles along the spine.
  • Treat arthritis and other forms of inflammation.
  • Treat degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, and other spine problems.

Meet the Physical Therapy Team

Our physical therapists are licensed health care professionals, and they must pass a national exam to practice. Our therapists and PT assistants are compassionate, knowledgeable, and capable of helping you reach your mobility goals.

  • Joe Justado, RPT
    Joe Justado, RPT Physical Therapist

    Joe Justado earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Emilio Aguinaldo College in 1991. He approaches physical therapy with communication and compassion, focusing on treating the whole person, not just their symptoms. Joe believes that the human body can repair itself in the right environment, so he’s always learning about new advancements in the field. Joe is a certified Kinesio taping practitioner (CKTP), as well as a strength and conditioning specialist (SCS with IWA).

    Outside of his work, Joe enjoys martial arts. He has four black belts in different disciplines, and he was a member of the US Kickboxing team from 2000 to 2002. He loves to travel, takes voice lessons, and has a passion for photography. Joe is an animal lover, with four dogs and an 18-year old cat at home.

  • Barbara Scharfschwerdt-Bodner
    Barbara Scharfschwerdt-Bodner Physical Therapist Assistant

    Lifelong Indian River County resident, Barbara received her A.S. in physical therapy from Chattanooga State University in Tennessee. After graduating in 1981, she returned to Vero Beach, where she specializes in orthopedic and sports medicine.  Barbara is a member of American Physical Therapy Association, and she played a role in the sports medicine team that treated Vero Beach Senior High School athletes. She enjoys seeing doctors and physical therapists come together to treat patients.

    In early 2017, Barbara joined the Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees. Barbara and her husband spend their free time traveling in their RV and training their Labrador retrievers, Gunner and Chase, in K-9 performance events.

  • Elizabeth McGibbons
    Elizabeth McGibbons Physical Therapist Assistant

    Elizabeth chose to work in physical therapy out of a desire to teach others how to be healthy and strong. To her, the most valuable part of physical therapy is applying her knowledge to help her patients. She received her AS in physical therapy from Broward College.

    In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys cooking, trying new food, jet skiing, and boating.

  • Reverend Michael E. Pant
    Reverend Michael E. Pant Physical Therapist Assistant

    Rev. Michael Pant has dedicated his adult life to service. He served in the Navy as a chef for almost 10 years. After his time in the military, Michael worked as a private chef, house manager, personal assistant, and valet in Florida.  After leaving the Service, Michael went back to school for physical therapy. He graduated from South University, West Palm Beach, with an Associate Degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Michael motivates his clients with compassion. He believes that empathy helps them achieve their best.

    Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his friends, family, and dog. He bowls, cooks, appreciates art, and travels. Since becoming a PTA, Michael has become an ordained Old Catholic Priest.