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.


ACRR Camp 2016: Running Injuries


We have had the pleasure of being able to speak at the Ancient City Road Runners (ACRR) Summer Camp for the past three years.  This year we even videotaped the beginning of our talk to help share with you all our discussion on common running injuries.  Through interaction with the campers we learned some of their common injuries and discussed general information regarding the injuries, how to treat, number one predictor for injury and when to continue running or not.  Some of the injuries discussed include: stress fractures, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, sprained ankle, ITB syndrome and a touch on ACL tears due to audience interest.

After this video was recorded, we went on to do some general screening of the campers to help show them the value of strength training to help keep them injury free and running to their full potential.  Lateral lunges, step back lunges with hold and single leg Romanian deadlifts were then demonstrated and taught to the campers to help provide them with several exercises that are helpful in keeping them running strong.


We greatly enjoy talking at the camp every year as the campers and staff are all wonderful and attentive and look forward to meeting with them again next year.

Hopefully you have learned much about common running injuries from the video provided.  If you 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.


Swim & Surf Workshop


With it being summer time, we thought our latest workshop topic of Swim and Surf was perfect!  Despite the tropical storm and rain, we had a good number of attendees and want to thank all who came out to join us.  For those of you that were unable to make it, we videotaped a fair portion of the event and have included it below for your viewing pleasure.

The event started out discussing common swim and surf injuries by owner and physical therapist Steve Vighetti.  The swimming injuries were recorded and discussed in the following video, with an emphasis on low back, neck and shoulder injuries.  Surfing injuries were also discussed by physical therapist Kirsten Heath, talking about the most common being hit by a surfboard, hitting the ocean floor or getting caught in water turmoil.  She discussed making sure to perform protected pain-free motion after such injuries that result in bruises or cuts.  Also, if cuts were deep enough to bleed to ensure that the scar tissue is massaged and worked on during the healing process to make sure that normal mobility is maintained in the future.

Low back was the first area to be discussed and was led by Kirsten Heath in which exercises such as abdominal bracing arose.  Abdominal bracing was shown with a progression from simply lying on your back to bridges and heel taps.  Other exercises touched on include cat/cow, plank with rotation and supermans in the following video.

Next up addressed the neck and shoulder.  These two were combined as when examining and when treating the neck and shoulder, one cannot be addressed without the other.  They very much work in sync and this is shown through the exercises discussed during the workshop.  The exercises included below by Kirsten Heath include chin tucks, thoracic or upper back mobility and sphinx (great exercise for surfers especially!).

Neck and shoulder stretches were next on the agenda and touched on by Steve Vighetti.  Stretches included: pec major, biceps, triceps, lats, upper trap, levator scap and scalenes.

Lastly were exercises that were important for strengthening the neck and shoulder.  These included Is, Ys, and Ts for the upper back and around the shoulder blades, specifically the low/mid traps, rhomboids and triceps.  Shoulder external rotation was discussed with a loop of theraband or with bands to help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.  Serratus wall slides were also included which are important for addressing the outside part of the shoulder blade, the serratus anterior.

Hopefully you have learned much from the numerous videos shared with you all today from our latest workshop on Swim and Surf.  The goal was to provide you with exercises both for stretching/mobility and strengthening to help keep you active and swimming/surfing!  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 our next workshop on Bounce Back from Baby, July 25th!


Sports Physical Therapy