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On Your Mark

Orthopedics & Sports

Back Pain

If you’re experiencing back pain, whether it be acute, chronic, or post-surgical, physical therapy should be your first treatment option. Diagnoses, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, stenosis, spondylolysis, and disc herniation, can be effectively treated with manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, functional training to improve your movement patterns, and modalities for pain control. FunctionSmart’s skilled orthopedic physical therapists are trained in Active Release Technique (ART) and other manual techniques to effectively treat the thoracic and lumbar spine. Therapeutic exercise for core stabilization and functional training allows for carryover to correctly stabilize the spine with activities such as lifting, bending, and exercising. Every patient is provided with an individualized home program to achieve long term relief and prevent future injury.


Head, neck, and TMJ pain can be limiting. If you are suffering from headaches, migraines, chronic or acute neck pain, stiffness, TMJ, cervical radiculopathy, degenerative disc disease, disc bugle/herniation, whiplash, or more, ask us how we can help. We see a wide variety of head/neck cases and TMJ dysfunction is often associated with posture and neck imbalances that we can help address. Manual techniques, nerve glides, strengthening, postural education, neuro muscular re-education, and more are all helpful ways in which we can treat these injuries. 

Post surgical care

There are times in life when there is just no way around surgery. It can be an overwhelming, stressful, and challenging experience, and many times we are left with questions wondering about how to get back to our lives. This is where we come in. Our skilled team of therapists work with a wide range of post-operative cases. Post-surgical care we often treat, though is not limited to: joint replacements (hips, knees, shoulders, ankles), laminectomy, discectomy, spinal fusion, muscular and tendon repairs (rotator cuff, SLAP, labral, pectoralis, biceps, ACL), arthroscopic debridement, meniscal repairs, and more. We additionally rehabilitate clients following platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. 


FunctionSmart’s orthopedic physical therapists are skilled in treating hip/knee conditions, such as hip labral tears, impingement, bursitis, patella tendinitis, patellafemoral syndrome, and post-surgical rehab. This may be due to muscle imbalances, such as decreased core/hip strength and soft tissue restrictions affecting movement patterns, and a lack of functional hip stability resulting in poor hip and knee mechanics with daily activities. FunctionSmart’s physical therapists’ treatment approach for hip/knee conditions includes Active Release Techniques (ART), joint mobilizations, therapeutic exercise, and functional stability training to improve your overall mechanics and help you return to your daily life and recreational activities pain-free.


Whether you are an overhead athlete or not, shoulder injuries are complicated! We use our shoulder with just about everything we do. It is one of the most complex joints in the body and as such, should be treated with care. Our skilled staff have experience with a wide range of shoulder injuries and recovery care including: Rotator cuff strains/tears/repairs, labral tears/repairs, shoulder replacements, repetitive overuse injuries such as bursitis, tendinitis, and impingement, biceps and pec injuries, AC dysfunction and clavicular fractures, adhesive capsulitis, and so much more. Active Release Techniques is just one of many ways in which we help you achieve your goals. 

Balance deficits

Balance concerns can impose significant limitations on your lifestyle. At FunctionSmart, we can help you regain balance and restore a sense of normalcy to your life. We treat balance disturbances associated with muscle loss due to injury, disease, and deconditioning. Additionally some vestibular dysfunctions may be appropriate for PT. Give us a call today to see how we can help. 


Lower leg, foot, and ankle injuries are amongst the most common injuries sustained in the body. Whether from your daily life, recreational activities, or sports impact, these three sites are no stranger to injury occurrence. At FunctionSmart, we are here to help you recover and get back to your active lifestyle using a multimethod approach of manual techniques and strength/mobility exercises to facilitate rehabilitation. Our physical therapists are certified in and employ Active Release Technique (ART), as well as joint mobilizations, strength training, stretches, balance training, gait training, and more to reduce pain, restore mechanics and weight-bearing tolerance, and promote functional well-being. Conditions treated include, but are not limited to: calf strains, shin splints, stress fractures, achilles tendinitis/rupture, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Morton's neuroma, post-surgical, nerve entrapment (peroneal neuritis, tarsal tunnel syndrome), bunions.


The elbow, wrist, and hand are crucial to our every day function and sports participation. We grip, grasp, lift, carry, throw among many other functions with these joints and associated muscles. Pain can be limiting and overcompensation can lead to further injuries. At FunctionSmart we use our manual skills and therapeutic exercise techniques to get you back to function. Common injuries may include, but are not limited to: tennis/golfer's elbow, carpal tunnel, Dequervain's, wrist sprains and fractures, arthritis, bursitis, and more. 

Gait/Running Mechanics

FunctionSmart is San Diego's Premiere Physical Therapy Clinic. For years we have worked with the San Diego Triathlon Club and elite athletes to get them in tip top shape for performance. We address gait/running mechanics to facilitate efficiency and reduced risk of injury. Whether you have an injury, are looking to prevent one, or just need some additional information to get you on your way, we are here for you!

Active Release Technique (ART)

Active Release Techniques® (ART®) is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue treatment approach that treats problems that are often associated with overused muscles. The Active Release Techniques® Soft Tissue Management System was developed and founded by Dr. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, knee pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis are just a few problems that respond very quickly to ART® treatments.


Any time an athlete or individual increases their frequency, intensity, and/or duration of training, they are at risk of developing an overuse syndrome. Cumulative trauma or overuse injuries in soft tissue can create mirco-trauma to muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerve. As a result, these tissues can become fibrotic and develop restrictive adhesions that affect the length, tension, and integrity of the soft tissue as well as the biomechanics and function of the adjacent areas. Muscles become shorter and weaker, increase tension in the tendons, and entrapment of the nerves can occur, causing loss of strength, power, speed, balance, and pain.


ART® provides a way to assess and treat the underlying problems caused by adhesions in muscle and scar tissue formation. ART® treatments restore muscles to their normal performance length and allow you to function and train again. Active Release has proven to be especially valuable for athletes, from the beginner to the professional. Ninety percent of the time athletes with acute or long- standing muscular strain/sprain injuries experience complete recovery — in a short period of time.

Contact Us

Give us a call at 858-452-0282 to schedule an initial evaluation with our physical therapists or if you have any questions!

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