Injury Prevention for Dancers

Over the years, we have been lucky enough to work with multiple sports teams & organizations in the area. Most recently, Megan Dickerson, PT, DPT  had the opportunity to work with Abella’s School of Dance and provide information regarding common dance-related injuries, as well as preventative and corrective exercises to combat common musculoskeletal deficits often seen in dancers. Dance is a sport that varies greatly from dancer to dancer regarding intensity of training, and thus is often misunderstood by many healthcare professionals.

Research has shown that young competitive dancers, ages 5-17, are especially susceptible to injuries due to the imbalances in strength, flexibility and endurance of their musculoskeletal system.1    One common strength deficit found in dancers is muscle weakness in external rotators which are the muscles that help dancers turn their feet outwards. Weakness of these hip muscles has been shown to be a predictive indicator for development of low back injuries.2

During the injury prevention clinic at Abella’s School of dance, Megan instructed dancers on foam rolling techniques, specific stretches and strength exercises to target these imbalances. All the dancers asked fantastic questions about & we are so happy to get to work with such talented athletes!

If you are interested in learning more about the injury prevention & physical therapy services VASPT offers for dancers & gymnasts contact Megan Dickerson at!



1.Steinberg N, Siev-Ner I, Peleg S, et al. Injuries in female dancers aged 8 to 16 years. J Athl Train. 2013;48(1):118-123. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-48.1.06

2. Gildea JE, Hides JA, Hodges PW. Size and Symmetry of Trunk Muscles in Ballet Dancers With and Without Low Back Pain. J Orthop Sport Phys Ther. 2013;43(8):525-533. doi:10.2519/jospt.2013.4523

SPEED for Female Athletes

Speed for Female Athletes Program begins Monday June 11th.  It runs for 5 weeks until July 12th, at 2x/week on Mondays and Thursday at 7:30 am.  Cost is $200 for the whole program and space is limited. 

Led by Megann Schooley, Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Pedro Menendez Women’s Varsity Soccer Coach.

Participants are asked to bring:

  • Running shoes
  • Water
  • Towel

Prior to participating participants will be required to:

  • Have a release signed
  • Fill out a medial history form
  • Have a physical performed within the last year (for those under 18 years old, must provide physical copy as well)
  • Arrange for payment.

To sign up or if you have any questions please email or call us at 904-516-8121 today!

Exact dates noted below:

Runners and Back Pain

Steve Vighetti, creator and instructor of Running Rehabilitation course from the University of St. Augustine

Resident expert and owner of Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy, Steve Vighetti is now renowned in print through Furthermore with Equinox regarding the topic of Runners and Low Back Pain.  With multiple quotes on the topic in this national publication, if you had any questions as a local St. Augustine runner who to contact when experiencing low back, look no further than Steve Vighetti!

Runners and Back Pain

Read the quick article with some good tips and exercises at the link above. And if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Steve personally at!

Steve Vighetti running in the 2017 New York Marathon, finishing in the top 2%




Female Athletes Class

Calling all female athletes interested in moving with Strength, Power, Speed AND Agility!  This 10 week session will be taught by Megann Schooley, well known in the St Augustine, FL community as a board certified sports physical therapist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, previous elite college soccer player and soccer coach at Pedro Menendez High School.  The session will be June 1st to August 3rd, 2017 and will take place once a week on Thursdays*.

With the goal of this class to create better athletes and prevent injury, this session was developed specifically to cater to female athletes.  Be aware limited spots are available to provide the best attention and care to participants.

Contact us by email at or or by phone/text at 904-516-8121 if you have any comments, questions and/or concerns or to sign up today!

Foam Rolling Workshop

Due to popular demand, we repeated the topic of Foam Rolling this spring.  In this workshop we started off with discussing how foam rolling works and why we should be doing it, aka the logistics to convince you how important this is to make it a part of your regular routine!  So see below, to learn more.

When is the best time to foam roll?  Before, during, or after exercise and why?  Or does it not matter?  Click on the video below to learn more.

Next up: how long should you foam roll for? Research doesn’t say, but we give our clinical decision on the length of time to foam roll.  We do discuss that when you find a sensitive spot, a possible trigger point to hold that position for 60-90 seconds until the areas becomes less sensitive/relaxes.  We also explain how many times a week or how often you should foam roll as well.

Ok, now everyone’s favorite part…How do you foam roll?  And where should you foam roll?  The following videos will discuss numerous different areas of the body and how to foam toll, what to avoid and how to make the foam rolling more or less intense.

Butt (Gluts, Piriformis, Hip Rotators), Hamstrings & Calves

IT Band?  Quadriceps and Hip Adductors

Upper Back, Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) and Quadratus Lumborum (QL or the sides of your low back)

Bonus!  Due to an audience question, we also discussed when to static stretch and why in the following video.

Hopefully you have learned much from the numerous videos shared with you all today from our latest workshop on Foam Rolling.  You should now know why you should foam roll, the benefits of doing so, when you should foam roll, for how  and for how often, and last but not least, how and where.  If you all have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St Augustine, FL area contact us at or 904-516-8121.  We hope you to see you at upcoming workshop!

Why You Should See Dr. Heath (Kirsten)

Recently, a letter was received from a past patient of Dr. Kirsten Heath’s, one of our physical therapists.  Without prompting or even a conversation with this patient, “Patient X” took it upon herself to write a letter regarding her interaction with Kirsten and wanted it to be known by all, despite the fact that Kirsten had moved to being full time practicing in St. Augustine, and was no longer Patient X’s physical therapist.  So with her wishes in mine, below is the letter:

RE:  Kirsten Heath, DPT Letter of Commendation

 To Whom It May Concern: 

 In 1990, I learned from my favorite boss, Frank Voehl, (total quality management guru) recognition of outstanding service is an important part of successful leadership.  My favorite job was writing letters of commendation on behalf of various bosses.  Mitigating circumstances caused a delay in the part of business I enjoy the most.  Christmastime is when I generally send personal commendation letters.  However, “better late than never” has to be my motto today…So, without further delay:

I had the extreme pleasure to meet Kirsten Heath, DPT, when she worked at In Motion Physical Therapy in Jacksonville, FL.  I had asked my doctor to refer me to a physical therapist who specialized in aqua therapy after discovering In Motion Physical Therapy utilized a pool where I go for water aerobics, (although I have not been able to do the workout in full due to chronic musculoskeletal issues).  Thanks to Dr. Heath I am gaining physical strength and beginning to do activities of daily living again.  I was sick in the bed almost six months last year.  I believe Dr. Heath’s medical expertise and guidance has been the main reason why I have been able to achieve better quality of life. 

In fact, I feel Dr. Heath is the best medical professional I have had the honor of learning from over the course of many years in this chronic musculoskeletal pain syndrome journey.  My humble opinion is based upon a lifetime of experience and having worked in the medical profession.  A couple examples of why I feel Dr. Heath is “the best of the best” is because the first time I went to a doctor for a back sprain was when I was 10 years old after falling off a galloping horse.  I worked for both orthopedic surgeons and a chiropractor way back in the late 70s.  I also worked in the medical profession for many years in other capacities to include medical transcription at Martin Memorial Medical Centers in the late 90’s early 2000s. 

The first time I had physical therapy was in 2000 at Martin Memorial Wellness Center with an exercise physiologist.  My former water aerobics teacher also was an exercise physiologist.  I’ve also been to physical therapists at Shands/University of Florida, Brooks, and a private doctor of physical therapy who specialized in ART pursuant to a car accident in 2014.

I also feel Dr. Heath has some of the best listening skills of any medical practitioner I have ever met.  Dr. Heath demonstrates the ultimate professionalism in all realms and definition of the word.  Her direction exceeds patient satisfaction. 

If the student Dr. Heath had under her direction (when I was her patient) had not been the new physical therapist to take Dr. Heath’s place I would not have continued with physical therapy.  I Thank God that I am able to continue because my sole desire is to get better.

Accordingly, please place a copy of this letter in Dr. Heath’s personnel file for future reference.


Patient X

Introducing Megann Schooley

We are so happy to introduce the newest member of Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy: Megann Schooley.  Megann is officially beginning to see patients as of April 1st and we could not be more pleased!  The following is Megann’s bio which notes her clinical experience as a physical therapist for over 20 years, her specialization in sports and orthopaedics,  in addition to her being a strength coach and elite soccer player.   So call 904-516-8121 or email at today to set up an appointment with the wonderful Megann Schooley!

“Megann Schooley graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts/Humanities degree from Lynn University where she was captain of the Women’s National Championship Soccer Team, twice an Academic All-American and recently inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Furthermore, since completing her physical therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine, Megann has 20 years of physical therapy clinical experience with specializations in orthopaedics and sports. She was on the elite team of physical therapists that provided Corporate/ Occupational Injury Prevention services for the prominent entertainment/theme park industry in Orlando, Florida. Over the years, she has developed and implemented numerous programs including sports screenings, conditioning programs, law enforcement education and trainings, soccer specialized performance training and injury prevention, children’s exercise and nutrition wellness camps, ministry wellness programs and women’s health and wellness.

In addition, Megann is an educator. She was an adjunct faculty member for the University of Central Florida’s Physical Therapy Program and is currently an assistant professor at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

Megann is well qualified with numerous certifications:

  • Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties
  • Manual Therapy Certified through the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences,
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults through the American 

Currently, Megann resides in St. Augustine with her husband and two daughters. She is the head coach for the girls’ soccer program at a local high school. She is passionate about faith, family, community, mentoring youth, sports, teaching, health, wellness and being active.”

Plantar Fasciitis

Female foot heel pain, Woman's problem concept

Plantar Fasciitis.  What a hot topic these days!  I currently have three patients that came in with the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis within the last couple of weeks, either from self-diagnosis or from other medical professionals.  How many were actually plantar fasciitis? One.  That is not as much of a concern as the duration that many of these individuals are dealing with the pain!  Months!  Years!  That is crazy!

But the reason why plantar fasciitis is often not the actual diagnosis is because it is a garbage can term, something all-encompassing that does not exactly explain what is going on.  So our job is to figure out (if you truly have “plantar fasciitis”), why you are having the symptom of plantar fasciitis.  In other words, what caused you to have plantar fasciitis.  In the first part of our most recent workshop on plantar fasciitis, Steve Vighetti, owner and physical therapist of Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy begins with discussing just that, the causes, in addition to the common signs and symptoms.  Learn all about it in the video below!

If you haven’t heard a treatment for plantar fasciitis…well I am not sure that’s possible as it seems that everyone and their brother has heard of some kind of treatment.  But Kirsten Heath, physical therapist, in the video below discusses more traditional, or as she notes old school types of treatment versus more current treatments.  She uses evidence based research to show you the most effective and beneficial types of treatment to help rid the causes for plantar fasciitis pain and get you back to being active.  Check it out!

Hopefully those that attended the Plantar Fasciitis workshop learned something informative as well as those who will view it online!  If any comments, questions or concerns regarding these exercises please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at or 904-516-8121.

Low Back Pain


Who hasn’t experienced low back pain?  It is a common complaint by many.  Sometimes lasting a moment, other times days, and for the less fortunate months or even years.  No matter the duration, it is not fun but many a time can be treated with physical therapy.

In our Low Back Pain workshop, we discuss some of the most common diagnoses associated with low back pain.  These included low back pain from a disc in the lumbar spine, lumbar spinal stenosis and lastly based on posture.  Steve Vighetti talked about the common signs and symptoms to hopefully help you identify your low back pain and the best course of treatment.

Kirsten Heath goes on to discuss the various ways to treat the low back pain.  She primarily focused on exercises that addressed mobility, flexibility and lastly strength and endurance.  In the mobility section, she discussed the yoga pose cat/cow also known as cat/dog and how to apply it beyond the typical crawling position to help keep you mobile throughout the day.   In addition, the mobility exercises of single knee to chest and double knee to chest were illustrated.  She then went on to flexibility where she instructed in various piriformis, hip flexor and hamstring stretches that often prove valuable in the low back pain patient.  Lastly, she discussed strength/endurance exercises beginning with abdominal bracing, and the progression to heel taps, bridges, pillow lifts and kegels.

Hopefully those that attended the Low Back Pain workshop learned something informative as well as those who will view it online!  If any comments, questions or concerns regarding these exercises please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at or 904-516-8121.



Pregnancy Workshop


When I, Kirsten Heath, was interviewing to join Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy, a little over two years ago now, Steve talked to me about a program that he began called Bounce Back from Baby.  He was wondering if I would be willing to take over the program, seeing as I am a woman, and theoretically people should be more comfortable discussing pregnancy matters with me.  I said sureee, wanting a job and all but I wasn’t completely convinced with it at the time.  Despite no kids, and definitely no kids two years ago, I have grown to LOVE this program and this topic.  The main reason why… No one talks about pregnancy stuff.  I am not talking about the whole a human is coming out of you part.  But the “trainwreck” (a word Steve loves to use) aspect that your body is post-pregnancy and the drastic changes during pregnancy.  I have long been passionate about preventative physical therapy and I feel as though the during pregnancy and post-pregnancy area is somewhere I can truly help people.

With all that being said, below we talk about the numerous areas that are commonly affected at this time: low back, sacroiliac joint (SI), pelvic floor and overall posture (video one below).  We then move on to discuss what you should avoid while you exercise during pregnancy, immediately following birth and while breastfeeding as well as diastasis recti (video two below).  If you were in the workshop, you also learned how to assess diastasis recti and some common exercises: abdominal bracing, diaphragmatic breathing, kegels and bridges.  Handouts were given and then a group discussion followed where the attendees shared their experiences with each other.

As you learned, this is area of passion for us therefore if any comments, questions or concerns regarding these exercises please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at or 904-516-8121.


Sports Physical Therapy