Ankle Therapy

Your ankle or foot issue is something we understand, and we know how frustrating it can be. These issues often limit one of our most human attributes — the ability to walk and maneuver freely without pain. We treat ankles and feet passionately because we know how important your independence is. We design ankle therapy plans to improve individual deficits with everyday functions such as walking, stairs, balance, or anything specific to you. We look for issues with range of motion, strength, and stability in the ankle joint. Most importantly, we want to know your goals for therapy so we can treat you comprehensively.

What is Ankle pain?

Ankle pain is pain or discomfort in any part of the ankle. It can be caused by a variety of things, including sprains, tendinitis, fractures, arthritis, and neuropathy.

Here are some of the common diagnoses that lead to ankle pain:

  • Sprains: A sprain is an injury to the ligaments that support the ankle. It is often caused by rolling or twisting the ankle. Most often in an inward motion known as an inversion ankle sprain.
  • Tendinitis: Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon. It can occur in the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, or in the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones in the ankle joint.
  • Fractures: A fracture is a break in a bone. It can occur in any of the bones in the ankle and is usually the result of some trauma or overuse-type injury.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It can affect any joint in the body, including the ankle.
  • Neuropathy: Lower extremity Neuropathy usually is damage to the nerves in the foot and ankle. It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling. Diabetes is the leading cause of polyneuropathy in the United States.
Ankle PT Charlotte, NC
Foot PT Charlotte, NC


There are many causes for why people experience ankle pain. Some of the most common factors include:

  • Injury: Ankle sprains and fractures are two of the most common causes of ankle pain. Common examples are stepping in a hole, stepping wrong off a curb, twisting an ankle playing a sport, or stepping on someone else’s foot. 
  • Arthritis: Causes include years of standing on hard surfaces for work, constant pounding on the ankle joint through repeated hopping or jumping, for example, a basketball player who is now older.
  • Overuse: Maybe you are an avid walker, hiker or even someone who runs marathons with constant training and putting lots of miles on your feet, you can have tissue irritation that can cause pain.
  • Poorly fitting shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose can put stress on the ankle and lead to pain.
  • Tendinitis: Tightness or irritation through activity or inactivity can affect the Achilles or Peroneal tendons most commonly leading to pain, muscular imbalance, gait disturbances and more.
  • Neuropathy: of the ankle and foot can lead to a dangerous circumstance of decreased sensation in the lower extremity causing falls and tripping episodes that could lead to other more serious injuries. Also, sores or wounds can become present on the feet if the patient is not properly educated on precautionary techniques due to the loss of feeling.

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Here are some ways to relieve ankle pain:

The best first step for relieving your ankle pain is to be evaluated to see what true deficits, causes and activity-based interventions are necessary to address your pain.

Some treatments that your therapist may include are

  • Stretching.  With Guidance stretching your ankle to improve range of motion.
  • Strength training.  starting strength training exercises to help prevent future injuries.
  • Manual therapy: This is usually a hands-on technique by the therapist to a muscle or tissue, like the calf if it is felt to be tight or limiting motion to help relieve tension and pain in the area.
  • Dry needling or cupping: These modalities are usually done to help with muscular tightness, trigger points, or soft tissue adhesions.  A more thorough description will be provided by your therapist in each case.

Balance training: helping to maintain good balance habits, and helping our body make unconscious corrections as we move on unstable surfaces to help prevent falls

Taping techniques: to support the ankle joint and give tactile feedback to the patient on proper ankle mechanics.

  • Ice. Applying ice to your ankle for 20 minutes at a time can help to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Compression. Wearing a compression bandage or sleeve can help to reduce swelling and support your ankle.
  • Elevation. Elevating your ankle above your heart can help to reduce swelling.
Ankle PT Service Charlotte, NC


Shoulder Therapy

Shoulder pain affects you every day — we use our arms a lot! Reaching overhead into a cabinet, pulling a wallet out of a back pocket, clasping a bra strap, grabbing the seatbelt in a car, combing hair, carrying the groceries, throwing a ball, sleeping on your side — the list is endless of the ways patients tell us how their shoulder pain affects their lives.

The shoulder is one of our most mobile joints; it moves up, down, left, right, forward, behind us, and any combination of those movements. Due to its mobility, any changes in the efficiency of how the shoulder joint, tendons, ligaments, and muscles work together can lead to pain. You may have just had surgery, could be dealing with a lingering injury, or are addressing a recent onset of pain. We are here for you!

What is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is a common problem that can affect people of all ages. Shoulder pain is often described differently for different individuals. Some patients experience deep aching pain, others sharp pains with specific movements; often, patients report an arm feeling significantly weaker or muscles feeling tighter than their other arm. Shoulder pain can range from very mild to very severe. Your pain is unique to your situation.

Some of the most common symptoms of shoulder pain:

  • Inflammation of the tendons that attach the rotator cuff muscles to the shoulder blade — The rotator cuff creates space in the shoulder joint as we reach in various directions, so there isn’t soft tissue pinching (shoulder impingement).
  • Inflammation of a fluid-filled sac (bursa) that helps to cushion the shoulder joint — causing pain.
  • Inflammation and damage to the joints can affect the shoulder joint, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling.
  • A stiff and painful shoulder joint that makes moving the arm very difficult – feeling like the joint is “frozen.”
  • The bony “ball” on the top of the long arm bone shifts, causing it to no longer sit correctly in the shoulder joint.
  • A broken bone in the shoulder can cause pain, swelling, and bruising.
Shoulder Physical Therapy Charlotte, NC
Armrest Physical Therapy Charlotte, NC


There are many reasons for shoulder pain. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis or bursitis:
  • he most common cause of shoulder pain. It occurs when the tendons or bursae (fluid-filled sacs) around the shoulder become inflamed or irritated by overuse, injury, or repetitive movements. The rotator cuff muscles frequently have soft tissue irritation or trigger points that transfer pain down the arm. Irritation causes muscle weakness and tightness, rendering the shoulder joint inefficient and causing more pain over time.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis in the shoulder causes inflammation and pain in the joint, making it difficult to move. With significant shoulder arthritis, a patient may be a candidate for a shoulder replacement to restore a pain-free range of motion and strength to the shoulder after healing and therapy.
  • Dislocation: A trauma like a car accident or a fall can dislocate the shoulder. Treatment can be physical therapy or surgery, followed by physical therapy, depending on the severity.
  • Frozen shoulder: Injury, overuse, or medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disease can cause a frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder typically affects patients between 40-60 years old and women more frequently than men.

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The shoulder is a complex joint; one answer wouldn’t do shoulder therapy justice. Because there are so many causes and individual complaints, a one-size-fits-all template for shoulder therapy doesn’t work. Some or all of the following methods will help you achieve your goals.

  • Stretching: this can include motions to stretch specific muscles found to be limited on your initial evaluation or even in the case of frozen shoulder stretches that address a connective tissue tightness in the shoulder joint capsule.
  • Strengthening: Referencing scientific studies means physical therapists can understand which motions cause the most shoulder muscle activation for maximum strengthening. We dedicate ourselves to ensuring the proper performance of these exercises. Your strength limitations will guide your strengthening program.
  • Manual therapy. Manual therapy can help relax the muscles in the shoulder and neck, relieve pain, and improve function. Various hands-on massage techniques for soft tissue irritation are proven to be effective.
  • Dry needling: Scientific evidence is overwhelming for the use of Dry needling — a treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Dry needling effectively relieves shoulder pain, especially pain caused by muscle tension or inflammation.
  • Ice: Applying ice for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce inflammation and pain — generally in the back of the shoulder for aching pain and in the front for patients whose pain is sharper. Your therapist will help you with proper placement.
Shlulder PT Charlotte, NC


Hip Therapy

You may be one of the many who have trouble sleeping on your side, feel like you cannot get your leg in a comfortable position, or experience weakness doing an activity like going upstairs. If you have been dealing with pain for years, you may even be considering a total hip replacement.

The hip joint is very stable and is the basis for so much of our movement because of the forces we generate with our big leg muscles, but frequent overuse occurs as a result. If unaddressed, hip issues can often lead to problems in the other leg joints. Knowing this at Uncommon, when you come in for an issue with your hip, we evaluate your entire lower body to remedy your current concerns and help prevent future challenges.

What is hip pain?

Hip pain is pain or discomfort in or around the hip joint. The hip joint is where your thigh bone (femur) connects to your pelvis. It is one of the largest joints in your body and is used for a variety of activities, such as walking, running, and sitting.

Hip pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It can damage the cartilage in the hip joint, leading to pain and stiffness
  • Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, which is a small sac of fluid that cushions bones and tendons.
  • Labral tear: The labrum is a ring of cartilage that helps to stabilize the hip joint. A labral tear can cause pain, clicking, and popping in the hip joint.
  • Hip fracture: A hip fracture is a break in the bone of the hip joint.
  • Impingement syndrome: Impingement syndrome occurs when the ball of the thigh bone rubs against the edge of the socket of the hip joint. This can cause pain, clicking, and popping in the hip joint. Muscular imbalances, muscular irritation, bony changes over time and genetic abnormalities can all be causes of impingement.
Ankle Therapist


There are many reasons why we face hip pain. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Arthritis: As mentioned above the stable hip joint carries a lot of our body weight and helps us produce the forces to be active. Over time this loading of the joint could lead to hip arthritis.
  • Bursitis:  Bursitis can occur in the hip joint, causing pain and swelling. The most common form of hip bursitis is called trochanteric bursitis. This fluid-filled sac covers the bony point on the side of your hip, and irritation is usually a big cause of painful side sleeping.
  • Labral tear: A labral tear usually occurs from hip impact wear and tear over time or a traumatic type of injury.
  • Hip fracture: Most hip fractures are the result of a fall or a motor vehicle accident because your femur is a very strong bone and it takes a lot of force to create a fracture.
  • Impingement syndrome: Muscular imbalances, muscular irritation, bony changes over time and genetic abnormalities can all be causes of impingement.

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Take advantage of a complimentary 15-minute phone conversation with a licensed Physical Therapist to discuss your concerns and ensure Uncommon Physical Therapy is best for you
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Patients see the best results for hip therapy usually addressing limitations in hip range of motion, and strength along with soft tissue tightness and irritations. We achieve these great results with.

There are many ways to relieve hip pain. Some of the most effective methods include:

  • Strengthening exercises: that focus on the glutes and hip musculature along with deep abdominal strengthening that supports the pelvis and lower back.
  • Stretching exercises: there are a significant number of muscles that attach to the hip complex and having your therapist determine if you have any joint or muscular tightness helps speed up recovery.
  • Manual therapy: we take a hands-on approach to manual therapy and use years of clinical experience to work on tight, sore, and inflamed soft tissue for quick patient relief from pain
  • Dry-needling: the muscular tightness and trigger points found in the glute and hip can often give relief to pain referral patterns that cause deep dull aching in the hip joint.
  • Rest: Having a conversation with your Physical Therapist about activity modification to promote healing is a great first step to feeling better for many patients.  This may mean taking a break from your daily activities, such as exercise, or sports if they are hurting your hip.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time can help to reduce inflammation and pain. You can use a bag of frozen peas or a cold compress.
Dry-needling- therapy


Neck Therapy

When someone is considered “a pain in the neck,” it isn’t a compliment! Neck pain is no joke. You may experience pain with turning your head to look over your shoulder, looking up or down, or having trouble finding a comfortable position while sleeping. Many individuals now are dealing with neck issues due to using technology, sitting at a desk doing computer work, and being attached to their phones for long periods. You may even be having headaches that can be attributable to neck pain.

Having the entire picture of your symptoms, functional limitations you are working through, and any concerns about your pain or starting therapy will only help us help you reach your goals.

What is neck pain?

Also known as cervicalgia, neck pain is any soreness, stiffness, spasms, or other discomfort in the neck. It is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population having neck pain at some point. We often see neck pain associated with headaches and sometimes in conjunction with shoulder pain.

  • Muscle strain: Overuse of the neck muscles, such as from sitting at a computer for long periods, can lead to muscle strain.
  • Age-related changes. As with other joints in the body, neck joints tend to wear with age. This can cause pain and stiffness or decreases in range of motion
  • Nerve compression: A pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.
  • Injuries:  Neck pain can be caused by a variety of injuries. Traumatic injuries that cause sudden jerking of the head or neck can put a strain on muscles and connective tissues that cause pain.

Common causes for neck pain

Neck pain is the result of a variety of factors, including:

  • Poor posture: Sitting or standing with poor posture strains your neck muscles and can lead to pain, stiffness, and headaches. People who spend significant time in front of computers are particularly prone.
  • Injuries: Neck pain can result from a sudden injury, such as a whiplash from a car accident. We also see neck injuries from simple falls.
  • Degenerative conditions: As you age, the discs in your neck can start to degenerate (the space between your vertebrae decreases), leading to pain, stiffness, and nerve involvement that can cause symptoms that potentially run down your arm and into your hands.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis can also cause neck pain — because arthritis can cause inflammation and damage to the joints in your neck.

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Take advantage of a complimentary 15-minute phone conversation with a licensed Physical Therapist to discuss your concerns and ensure Uncommon Physical Therapy is best for you
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How to relieve neck pain

If you have neck pain, there are a few things you can do to relieve it:

Let’s start by just stating the obvious. Our heads are heavy. So we need a great support system for that weight — starting with our neck!
We will include a shoulder screen for an individual experiencing neck pain because many of the muscles associated with the neck joints are a part of our shoulder!

Postural strengthening: Almost all physical therapy for neck discomfort will have a component of deep cervical muscle strengthening. Scientific evidence shows that weakness in these muscles is a significant cause of neck pain and headaches.

  • Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help to improve flexibility and range of motion in your neck. Manual therapy: Hands-on soft tissue mobilization to relieve muscular tightness and trigger points helps return range of motion and decrease pain
  • Dry needling: Scientific evidence is overwhelming for the use of Dry needling. It is a treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Dry needling effectively relieves neck pain and headaches caused by muscle tension.
  • Rest: Give your neck a break from activities that make it worse, including avoiding sitting or standing for long periods or avoiding looking down at your phone or computer for extended periods.
  • Ice or heat: Applying ice or heat to your neck can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

Lower Back

Lower back Therapy

Low back pain is the most common of all the orthopedic conditions we treat. Most people will have at least one episode of lower back pain in their lifetime, but do not accept the idea that you should deal with your pain because you know it happens to numerous people!

Your lower back pain may be short-lived and occur every few months, or it may be more of a chronic issue. It can be related to too much or too little activity, an accident, or you may not know why you are hurting. Lower back pain comes in many different shapes and sizes. We never want a patient to feel defeated by their lower back pain. We want them to know they can overcome it! Understanding your individual needs helps our patient-centered approach.

What is lower back pain?

Before we get into some of the typical lower back pain diagnoses, it is vital to know that most diagnoses are not always independent — most lower back pain results from a combination of many factors all interacting to produce pain.

Common low back pain diagnoses are:

  • Muscle strain or muscle sprain: This is what most patients describe as a tweaked muscle. A muscle strain can affect simple movements like walking, sitting, standing upright, lifting, or rolling over in bed.
  • Herniated disc: A herniated disc is when the soft, jelly-like center of a disc between the vertebrae in your spine bulges out.
  • Sciatica: Sciatica is nerve-type pain (burning, sharp, tingling, numbness) that radiates from your lower back down one or both legs. It results from pressure on the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis can cause inflammation of the joints in your spine, leading to pain and stiffness.
  • Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces in your spine, which can create pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Several diagnoses are associated with low back pain and too many to list here. We promise we have treated someone with the same concerns, issues, and pain as you!



  • Muscle strain or sprain: The most common cause of lower back pain is a strain or sprain of the muscles in the back — this can happen from lifting something heavy, twisting your back suddenly, or doing repetitive movements. Weakened abdominal strength is a significant contributing factor in low back pain.
  • Herniated disc: Having a herniated disc does not mean you have to have pain! A herniated disc causes pain when the herniation (protruding section of the disc) encounters a nerve that supplies certain areas of your lower back and lower extremities with sensory and motor nerve functions.
  • Sciatica: Sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower back down one or both legs. It results from pressure on the sciatic nerve. The cause of sciatica is disc herniation — sciatica symptoms can present themselves if there is pressure on the sciatic nerve after it leaves your spinal column and runs through your glutes and down your leg, where it might be irritated by soft tissues such as muscle tightness.
  • Arthritis: can affect some of the many joints associated with the spinal bones in your lower back; stiffness can lead to lower back pain. Most often, arthritis happens in conjunction with irritation and pain in the lower back muscles and glutes.
  • Spinal stenosis: The presentation for this diagnosis is similar to many of the other lower back diagnoses where the patient may be experiencing nerve-like pain or muscular irritations from the soft tissues of the lower back.

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Take advantage of a complimentary 15-minute phone conversation with a licensed Physical Therapist to discuss your concerns and ensure Uncommon Physical Therapy is best for you
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Scientific evidence suggests that patients with low back pain get better the fastest when treatment addresses the individual wholly. What we mean by this is that stretches, exercises, manual therapy, dry needling, cupping, or other treatments done individually are not as beneficial as conducting a complete evaluation of you and addressing all your deficits with a combination of some or all of these types of therapy.

  • Strengthening exercises: Begin with evaluating your deep and superficial abdominal muscles that serve as the basis for support in the lower back. Assessment of hip and glute strength because weaknesses contribute to low back pain.
  • Stretching: Tightness in muscles surrounding the spine, the glutes, and even hamstring tightness can cause lower back pain. We will find where you have muscular tightness and give you specific stretches to start the relief process.
  • Manual therapy: Most immediate relief for episodes of low back pain, either chronic or habitual, typically begins with some manual therapy to sore, tight, irritated soft tissue. When performed correctly, the necessary relief allows us to continue with the other treatments, which help sustain long-lasting, pain-free goals.
  • Dry needling: Evidence has shown dry needling to be a very effective treatment — specifically, focusing on muscular trigger points in the hips and glutes with a pain referral pattern associated with a lower back pain presentation.
  • Ice: Applying ice for 20 minutes at a time can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Let your therapist advise you on the best placement and icing protocol routine.


Knee Therapy

You may be an experienced athlete or someone just beginning a journey of exercise. Whether standing all day for work or healing from a recent total knee replacement, knee pain doesn’t discriminate; there are many different causes and diagnoses. Speaking extensively with your physical therapist about your aggravating factors, functional limitations (sitting, standing, stairs, squatting, jogging, etc.), and concerns is crucial to alleviating your discomfort and reaching the best outcomes. Developing your plan starts with these conversations, plus a thorough evaluation of your limitations, our expectations, and your goals — these will contribute to a comprehensive and successful therapy plan.


Knee pain is a pain in or around the knee joint. The knee joint is a complex joint comprising four bones: the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. Many muscles cross the front and back of the knee joint, allowing us to bend and straighten the knee. Inside and around the joint are several vital soft tissue structures that keep the joint functioning well, some of the common ones ligaments, tendons, meniscus, cartilage, and bursa sacs.

Knee pain can result from a variety of things, including:

  • Injury: The knee joint is susceptible to injuries from sports, falls, and other accidents. Common knee injuries involve ligament tears, meniscus tears, and fractures.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It can affect any joint in the body, including the knee.
  • Overuse: The knee joint can sustain injuries from overuse, including activities like running or jumping.


There are many reasons why people face knee pain. These are not all the diagnoses for knee pain, but some of the most common factors include:

  • Injury:  Ligament tears/sprains to the ACL, MCL, LCL, and PCL, which all help stabilize the knee joint. We can describe their position and function in more detail if needed. Meniscus tears (a cushioning cartilage between the femur and tibia) are common soft tissue injuries associated with knee pain and can occur for several reasons.
  •  Arthritis: Knee arthritis most often occurs in the aging population. It can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in one or both knees. If the degenerative changes are significant enough, an orthopedic surgeon may suggest a knee replacement surgery to alleviate the arthritis. We have extensive experience with pre and post-surgical knees — and arthritic knees that never need surgery!
  • Overuse: The knee joint can sustain injuries from overuse, such as running or jumping. Terms for these are runners’ knee (an Iliotibial band issue usually) and jumpers knee (which typically involves the patella tendon).

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Knee therapy combines strengthening exercises, stretches, manual therapy, and other customary techniques.

  • Strength exercises: Strengthen the muscles around the knee, improve functional range of motion, and reduce pain.
  • Stretches:  Improves muscular flexibility and range of motion — which will help in everything from tying your shoes to walking with a standard gait pattern.
  • Manual therapy:  Addresses soft tissue limitations and irritations in muscles and manipulates the knee joint to improve its function and reduce pain.
  • Dry needling or cupping: These modalities help with muscular tightness, trigger points, or soft tissue adhesions. Your therapist will provide a more thorough description.
  • Ice: Applying ice to your knee for 20 minutes at a time can help to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Compression can help to reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Elevating the affected knee can help to reduce swelling and pain. Prop the knee up on a pillow or other cushion.

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Uncommon Physical Therapy has changed my life. I was suffering from horrible sciatica, hip and pelvic pain for 2 years. Now a couple of weeks later, I have been pain-free. I can sleep! Thank you so much!
Doug S.
Uncommon PT -- They truly listened to what was happening with my pain. They gave me exercise and attention no other PT has. I was giving up on PT. This was my last try. It was 100% worth it.
Beth M.
Great guy, Davis. Professional, intuitive, on the money. Time well spent. My shoulder is almost as good as new. Didn't think this progress was possible.
James G.