STRASBURG — When a second opportunity came to practice physical therapy in Strasburg, David Brewster knew the community would be receptive.
Having worked in the area previously, Brewster headed back to Strasburg in late 2020 to help open a new branch of Appalachian Physical Therapy.
“Folks out here have been wonderful. When you ask them to do their homework, they do their homework. By and large, they want to get better,” Brewster, said. “I came to know the people, they’ve come to know me. They’ve come to trust me and depend on me.”
Open at 105 Stony Pointe Way, Suite 211, the center takes referrals and direct access patients, but will also take walk-ins if someone’s schedule is open at that time.
Brewer and his staff help those involved in car crashes, who have had issues such as heart attacks or strokes, spinal chord injuries, joint replacements and other surgeries — “It’s a wide-open field,” Brewster said.
“Being able to help people who are in pain in the community is our number one goal,” he said, “to be able to help them get back to the stuff that they need and want to do.”
Brewster said physical therapy centers also play a crucial role in pain reduction, which could help with substance abuse and addiction.
“We are key players for reducing pain. Regarding the opioid epidemic, this builds a case for direct access,” he said. “If these people could have been seen in physical therapy first, we could try to figure out the source of the problem first instead of them going to a doctor and them saying, ‘here’s some medication that should make you feel better.’ You need to get to the source of what the problem is, then you can determine how to treat it.”
Personally, Brewster found his way into physical therapy after he was injured during a motorcycle crash in college and received physical therapy himself.
Brewster said he decided it was something he could see himself doing, so he changed his course load to move in that direction.
Now, almost 22 years later, Brewster finds himself still enjoying his work, back in a community that appreciates it.
“Being able to help people, getting them to be able to understand what’s going on, and seeing the light bulb going off is why I love it,” Brewster said. “One of the best things is when former patients come back just to say hello or we see them out in the community. It feels so great when they realize they are better and say thank you.”
Appalachian Physical Therapy is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.