With a desire to elevate and grow the practice of physical therapy in the North Alabama, Jonathan Zecher and Chad Hobbs are focusing their vision on Huntsville by bringing their hands-on holistic approach to wellness to the region.
“I graduated from Grissom High School and actually started out in engineering out at UAH, but then decided I just didn’t think I could sit at a desk all day long,” joked Zecher who has been practicing Physical Therapy in Huntsville for a little over 15 years after previously practicing in Birmingham for several years before that.
“Essentially,” Zecher explained that as physical therapists, “we’re the experts in movement in the healthcare profession, and that’s really what we treat. We treat movement, we treat function.”
“Really my goal and desire has always been to increase the standard of care and increase the skills in our profession in this area.” he went on to say. “I’ve had the privilege of working with therapists all over the country and just feel like there are areas we can continue to get better and provide patients better care.”
In pursuit of this belief, Zecher opened his own practice Focus Physiotherapy here in Huntsville in August of 2015, partnering with therapist Chad Hobbs a few short months later in January of 2016. Since then their business has rapidly expanded, moving into a larger facility on Eagletree Lane, and is now in the process of opening a second location in Madison later this year.
“I feel very strongly about the benefits that physical therapy brings,” stated Zecher’s business partner Hobbs. “But I also feel very strongly about our ability to empower patients.” he added. Hobbs, who chose to go back to school and study physical therapy, leaving a successful career as a exercise physiologist behind, made his choice due largely to his first hand experience witnessing how physical therapy improved the life of his disabled sister. He explained that, “we bring the ability to, number one, decrease [our patients] pain, but number two, educate patients as to why their symptoms are happening, where they are coming from, and how they can gradually, with time, make that better.”
“I think our combination of doing the hands on work and looking at people from more of a holistic standpoint sets us apart from other practices in town,” theorized Zecher. “We tend to look at people and treat people as the whole person. Certainly you may be coming in with shoulder pain, but are there other things that are influencing that?”
This approach has yielded great results even from some patients who have tried physical therapy previously and then finally found relief at Focus Physiotherapy. Zecher tells of one such patient who came in, referred for a different part of the body but mentioned having debilitating headaches every day. After treating the original body part, Zecher gained approval from the patient’s doctor to also treat their neck.
“We started working on her neck and really within only about three visits, someone who was waking up every day with a headache, was down to one headache a week,” Zecher said. “And then, in about another three visits, she was down to ‘I haven’t had a headache at all this week’ and then basically we discharged her last week after about seven visits and she had had just one headache in the last month.”
Zecher says he sees this as an example of how physical therapists can partner with physicians to provide the best overall care for every patient.
“We’ve found that most of the family care doctors are very open to utilizing us and trusting us and find us as a great adjunct to what they are doing for their patients,” Zecher explained. “They see their patients for just a few minutes in their office and we spend an hour with a patient nearly every time they’re here. So sometimes we get information the doctor did not get and so our willingness and ability to share that information back and forth has been very positive because it just allows them the ability to treat their patient with more precision than they would have had otherwise.”
But beyond simply educating and empowering their patients, Focus Physiotherapy has also taken it upon themselves to empower its own therapists as well.
“We’re wanting to be pretty aggressive about developing our therapists skills and improving their training, pushing them further than the average therapist goes with those things,” Zecher said.
With this combination of patient education, physician interaction and increased therapist training, its no wonder why Focus Physiotherapy is expanding in Northern Alabama and Zecher and Hobbs are getting one-step closer each day to achieving their goals for their business, and their profession.
Interested in making an appointment with Focus Physiotherapy to see if they can make a difference in your life too? Simple visit their website HERE, or call them at (256) 883-0636 to book your consultation!