Nancy McMahon, PT, the founder and president of Ascend Physical Therapy & Wellness, still remembers her first experience in a physical therapy clinic when she was growing up in Vienna, VA.
“I was a 16-year-old basketball player and I hurt my knee really badly. I endured a round of conventional medicine for three months, but when I didn’t get better my doctor recommended surgery. I was devastated. It would have taken me out of my high school life for a long time and I might never be as involved in sports again.”
Nancy consulted a trusted coach and he suggested she try physical therapy before agreeing to the drastic step of surgery.
“I was terrified to go to my first appointment. My friends said it was awful and it would hurt.”
But she summoned her courage and started her treatments. Within a couple of months, she noticed great improvements with reduced pain and increased mobility.
More than 25 years have passed since that day and she is still involved with sports, lives an active lifestyle, and now runs her own physical therapy clinic in Vienna, VA.
Nancy said her teen experience with the healing power of physical therapy convinced her of its value as a career. She didn’t even wait until she finished high school to get more involved in the career she wanted.
“Just about the time I started to feel the healing effects of physical therapy, they made an announcement at my school about a local physical therapy clinic looking for a student intern to work part-time. As soon as class ended, I went there to get more information.“
The next day she secured the job, and spent the next two years working in the clinic, soaking up the information and helping in ways that she could. Upon graduation, Nancy enrolled in a community college in Northern Virginia where she obtained her associates degree. In 1992, she received her Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree from Florida International University in Miami.
In the early years of her career, Nancy continued to explore a variety of clinics and gather practical knowledge about a variety of conditions treated with physical therapy. She worked in outpatient clinics, in orthopedics, and served as a contractor physical therapist in schools and nursing homes gaining expertise in orthopedic, neurology, and pediatric physical therapy. She also gleaned extensive knowledge and training in anatomy, physiology, and the biomechanics of the body.
Along the way Nancy fostered a dream to open her own physical therapy clinic that would take a holistic philosophy to treating the whole patient and work to prevent the reoccurrence of injury and pain.
Ascend Physical Therapy & Wellness is the reality of that goal.
Nancy is licensed as a physical therapist in Virginia, Maryland, and Florida. She is a certified wellness coach in Virginia and an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.
When she is not working, Nancy enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve McMahon, (“my IT guy”) and her Boston terrier, Murphy. She loves to travel to all parts of Virginia and abroad. She believes in living an active life and spends time hiking, biking and doing exercise.
She also still enjoys basketball, the sport of her youth, as well as track and football, also interests that have stayed with her from her high school days.