Just as Wilton was getting ready to turn the page and welcome in 2018, Wilton Physical Therapy was celebrating a significant anniversary. On Dec. 30, the practice marked five years in its new location at 23 Hubbard Rd..
Reflecting on this milestone, owner Tony Grabiec feels both gratitude and professional fulfillment.
“There is a fantastic community of people here in Wilton and the surrounding areas. Every patient that comes in is not only an opportunity to help them but also an opportunity to learn from them. I have learned so much from my patients over the years and I know it has made me a more well-rounded individual and better physical therapist.”
It was Grabiec’s long-standing interest in exercise that led him to Sacred Heart University after graduating from Central Connecticut State University. “After spending a few years in the golf industry, I looked into returning to school for exercise physiology or athletic training. As I looked closer at various careers, I gravitated towards physical therapy since there was a wide range of settings to which I could apply it.”
Armed with his Master’s in physical therapy, Grabiec first started treating patients at Advanced Physical Therapy (Stamford) and Darien Physical Therapy. He found his way to Wilton by way of former colleagues. “They purchased Wilton Physical Therapy in 2006 and brought me on as a staff therapist in 2007. Within a couple years there was an opportunity for ownership and I went for it!”
Grabiec relocated the practice from 396 Danbury Rd. to 23 Hubbard Rd. in 2012. It was the layout and central location that drew him to the space. Patients often describe the office as “open and warm,” which provides a comfortable environment. And, being in Wilton Center certainly has its perks: the post office, grocery stores, CVS, and more are quite literally a stone’s throw away, so patients can check both PT and errands off their to-do list one after the other, while its proximity to the Wilton train station allows commuters to be treated either before or after work.
Another big plus of the space according to Grabiec, is that it is more “senior” friendly. There are plenty of rails for assistance coming into the facility and since the layout provides a great view of the parking lot, staff can easily notice and quickly attend to anyone needing additional assistance getting into the building.
And for the younger patients from Middlebrook and the High School, Wilton Physical Therapy remains convenient and accessible by the school buses, as it’s a very short walk from the Bright Horizons/Wilton Library stop.
“We’ve certainly seen a lot of growth these past five years,” says Grabiec. He points to the evolution of the staff, which currently includes two therapists, three physical therapist aides and two administrative staff. “I think we’ve hit that sweet spot and have the right mix to provide a great PT experience for all patients.”
Treating both ends of the patient spectrum (young to old) provides a very diverse case load and each day brings something different.
“We treat 7-year olds, 90-year olds, recreational athletes, Division-I collegiate lacrosse players, busy moms, and corporate executives. Everyone has different goals and that is what makes our job satisfying when we return them to their prior level of function,” Grabiec explains.
Wilton Physical Therapy treats a wide range of orthopedic-related issues such as low back/neck pain, tendonitis, muscle strains and sprains, and balance/gait disorders. In addition to treating these common conditions the office specializes in post-surgical rehabilitation, including but not limited to rotator cuff, joint replacements, meniscal and ACL, as well as athletic overuse injuries. “I like working with all my patients but I do enjoy working with the kids and athletes the most since I was a former triathlete and currently coach my kids’ soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams.”
Grabiec and his team stay current with evidence-based treatments and implement what the research proves to be most effective. Some of the services provided include modalities (moist heat, cryotherapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation), manual therapy techniques, IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization), cupping and stretching, therapeutic exercise (which includes foam rolling, mobility, strengthening and corrective exercises, and neuromuscular reeducation (balance and proprioceptive activities). Dry needling and running assessments are expected to be added later in 2018. Dry needling, according to Grabiec is gaining a lot of attention in the PT world and is a technique to release myofascial trigger points through the use of solid filament needles that are inserted through the skin and into the muscle.
In addition to introducing new services, Grabiec hopes to further strengthen relationships with local orthopedists and increase Wilton Physical Therapy’s visibility in the town of Wilton. He also hopes for more opportunities to connect with the community and share his insight. Grabiec offers the following five tips on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle in 2018:
- Stay active: find something that interests you that will physically challenge you.
- Stretch more: especially if you have an office or sedentary job.
- Avoid prolonged sitting: sitting is the new smoking and taking frequent breaks to stand decreases the chance of cervical/lumbar conditions.
- Stay hydrated: it’s really quite simple, drink more water.
- Get in the pool: the buoyancy of water decreases impact on joints; this is especially helpful for seniors working to keep their mobility.