About us

Physical therapy

Improving your condition

Contact us

For questions or information about our physical therapy services, call (804) 828-1122.

The VCU Sports Medicine Clinic’s physical therapists help patients improve mobility and motion, reduce pain without medication and in some cases, avoid surgery.

We focus largely on exercise and manual therapy but use modalities as needed, including ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, traction, iontophoresis and phonophoresis. Our equipment includes highly specialized rehabilitation machines.

Our physical therapists are experts in how the body moves and will collaborate with you and your physician to help achieve your long-term health goals.

We help patients suffering from conditions including:

  • Arthritis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Leg and foot pain
  • Overuse injuries
  • Postoperative rehabilitation
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sport-specific evaluation and treatment
  • Sprains, strains and fractures
  • Appointment FAQs

    When are appointments available?

    Appointments are available from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Initial visits typically last between 60 and 90 minutes. Please arrive 15 minutes early to your first visit to allow time for completing new patient paperwork.

    Will insurance cover my visits?

    We accept most major insurance plans, but you can call the member services number on the back of your insurance card to be sure. We are usually listed under “VCU Health System.” We also offer a variety of flexible self-pay and payment plan options.

    Many plans require that you make a co-payment at the time of your visit. We accept credit cards, checks and cash. The amount of your co-pay is determined by your insurance carrier and should be listed on your insurance card.

    Some insurance plans may require that you get authorization from them before you visit us. Since this varies by plan, we encourage you to contact your insurance company and let us know before your appointment that you need an authorization.

    We understand that your injury may have a profound impact on your finances and are committed to finding a way to help you in a cost-effective manner.

    What do I need to bring to my first visit?

    Please bring a copy of your physical therapy prescription from your health care provider as well as a photo ID and your insurance card(s).

    What should I wear to my visit?

    Please wear comfortable, loose clothing and athletic shoes. For women with shoulder or back problems, a tank-top or sports bra under your T-shirt would be ideal. Shorts are encouraged for hip, knee and ankle issues. We have facilities for changing your clothes if needed.

    What should I expect during my physical therapy visits?

    A visit can last from 15 minutes to 2.5 hours depending on your situation. Treatment for your condition may take only a couple of visits or span over several months.

    What is your cancellation/no-show policy?

    We request that you kindly give us 24-hour notice if you are unable to come for your appointment so another patient can be offered an appointment with adequate notice. Patients who are no-shows for three visits will no longer be seen at our facility.

  • Meet our physical therapy staff

    Ashley Harwood, PT, D.P.T.

    Ashley joined VCU Sports Medicine Physical Therapy in 2012. Ashley enjoys treating a wide variety of orthopedic conditions, with focus on degenerative and post-operative hip injuries, overhead athletes and performing artists. She enjoys guiding patients with ACL reconstructions from the immediate post-operative phase to the return to their sport or hobby, and in ACL prevention through specific exercises.

    Prior to arriving at VCU, Ashley worked in a private orthopedic clinic for 7 years and worked closely with the Richmond Ballet, providing PT services to the professional company. In preparation for this role, she received extensive training at NYU’s Harkness Center for Dance Medicine in New York City. Ashley works very closely with the VCU Department of Dance and Choreography in providing screenings and injury prevention to the dance majors. Ashley is certified as an Emergency Medical Responder and is a Clinical Instructor for the VCU Department of Physical Therapy.

    Ashley received her undergraduate degree from VCU in 2002 and her D.P.T. degree from VCU in 2005.

    Bob Izzo, PT, D.P.T., Cert MDT

    Bob has worked at VCU Sports Medicine since it opened in 2000. His clinical practice includes treating patients with orthopedic and sports related injuries. He is certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine through the McKenzie Institute USA. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Physical Therapy and holds an Advanced Clinical Instructor Certification through the A.P.T.A. Bob served for four years on The State Board of Physical Therapy.

    Bob received his undergraduate degree in 1976 from Virginia Commonwealth University, his PT degree in 1981 from Old Dominion University, and his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2007 from Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Michael Messer, PT, D.P.T.

    Michael joined VCU Sports Medicine Physical Therapy in 2014. Michael has been an avid soccer player, coach, and fan throughout his life, and takes a special interest in applying all of his accumulated knowledge specifically to the soccer medicine population.

    Michael enjoys treating all orthopaedic conditions, though athletic and sports medicine injuries are the areas he most focuses on. He has performed additional training in manual therapy techniques through the Virginia Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Institute. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), APTA Sports and Orthopaedic sections, and the Virginia Physical Therapy Association. Michael also serves as a Clinical Instructor for the VCU Physical Therapy Department.

    Michael received undergraduate degree in 2009 from the University of Virginia and his D.P.T. in 2013 from VCU.

    Rebecca Moran, PT, D.P.T.

    Rebecca joined VCU Sports Medicine Physical Therapy in 2014. Rebecca joined the VCU Health System in 2003 where she worked in acute care physical therapy, primarily treating the ICU population. She spent 4 years serving as the Cerner Liason for the OT/PT/ SLP department. Her primary focus include the treatment of lower extremity athletic injuries including ACL, PCL, and multi-ligamentous injuries.

    She enjoys challenging patients with creative functional activities in order to get them back to the sports that they enjoy, whether it be a professional athlete or a weekend warrior. Rebecca is a certified Emergency Medical Responder. She serves as adjunct faculty and a Clinical Instructor for the VCU Department of Physical Therapy.

    Rebecca earned a MSPT in 2001 from VCU and a D.P.T. in 2006, also from VCU.

    Chad Taylor, PT, D.P.T., SCS, ATC, CSCS

    Chad joined VCU Sports Medicine in 2015. Chad enjoys working with all athletes, particularly those with injuries of the lower extremity and shoulder. He also performs biomechanical foot evaluations and casts patients for custom orthotics. He has a history of working with young adolescents up to professional athletes.

    Chad holds the distinction of Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association. Chad is also a certified athletic trainer through the National Athletic Training Association, as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Chad is an assistant professor in the VCU Department of Physical Therapy where he teaches courses in orthopedics. Chad serves as the Director of the VCU Sports Residency program. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and its Sports Section.

    Chad received his undergraduate degree in 1998 from the College of William and Mary. He earned his MSPT in 2001 and his DPT in 2007 from VCU.

    D. S. Blaise Williams III, PT, Ph.D.

    Blaise has been with VCU Sports Medicine Physical Therapy since 2013. Blaise focuses his clinical practice on runners and running-related injuries. Blaise also treats patients following complex foot and ankle injuries and surgery. Blaise is the Director of the VCU RUN LAB, a collaborative effort with the Departments of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology at VCU.

    Blaise leads research on human movement in various populations. Blaise has studied gait patterns in runners, walking, jumping and standing in obese adolescents, landing in female college basketball players, ankle movement in individuals with diabetes, balance and coordination in surfers, injury mechanics in dancers, and hip movement and strength in National Hockey League players. His current research projects include: enhancing running mechanics as it relates to injury and performance across the lifespan and understanding regularity of human movement in runners. Dr. Williams holds academic positions in the Department of Physical Therapy, Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at VCU and the Department of Physical Therapy at East Carolina University. Blaise is the current chair of the Running Special Interest Group of the Sports Section of the APTA.

    Blaise received his undergraduate degree in 1992 from the University of Virginia, his PT degree in 1996 from University of Maryland and his Ph.D. in 2000 from University of Delaware.

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