February 2021

BenchMark Measures Up: Lowcountry physical therapy clinics set standard for rehabilitation

Author: Cheryl Alexander | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

: Ryan Dromsky, Leann Ventriglia, Mark McManus and Leah Woods

Physical therapy is a growing field in medical industry where trained professionals evaluate and treat abnormal physical function related to injuries, disabilities, diseases, or other medical conditions. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) identifies a physical therapist as a trained and licensed medical professional with experience in diagnosing physical abnormalities, restoring physical function and mobility, maintaining physical function, and promoting physical activity and proper function.

BenchMark Physical Therapy, located in the shopping plaza at 1017 Fording Island Road, Suite 101-F (between Petco and Sake House) and at 386D Mark Cummings Road, Suite 102, operates with a mission to serve their patients and treat them promptly with integrity, honesty, and compassion. Their reputation for best-in-class patient care and unparalleled customer service, combined with our local and regional density, makes BenchMark the provider of choice for patients and referral sources in the area.

Since 1995, BenchMark Physical Therapy has operated as part of the Upstream Rehabilitation family of clinical care, a network of industry-leading brands providing world-class physical and occupational therapy services across the U.S. In 2015, the health center expanded to the coastal market (Georgia and South Carolina). To date, there are more than 800 clinics nationwide through the Upstream Rehabilitation network. In addition to in-clinic treatment, they offer telehealth physical therapy services as an option should patients desire to receive care through video interaction/conferencing with a licensed therapist, all from the comfort of home.

Leah Woods, PT, DPT, ATC, OCS, is the regional vice president for BenchMark Physical Therapy’s coastal market. She currently oversees 15 established clinics, with three additional clinics opening at the beginning of March. Woods is an athletic trainer and physical therapist, born and raised in Gwinnett County (northeast of Atlanta). Woods moved to the coastal market three years ago to assist with continued growth and the clinic’s mission of providing exceptional care throughout the Lowcountry.

Woods’ move to the area was driven by her desire to provide exceptional care and expand the BenchMark geographical footprint. As well, the continued population explosion of this area affords need for more physical therapy clinics.

“Anyone and everyone is welcome at BenchMark,” Woods said. “We strive to meet each individual patient where they are, whether they are recovering from a sports injury, surgery, deconditioning following COVID-19, cancer, or changes in their health status. We are here to meet you where you are in life, recovery, as well as your goals and ambitions.”

Woods believes that the individualized patient care offered at BenchMark is what sets her clinics apart from the others. The programs not only treat a client’s aches, pains, and functional limitations that affect daily living, but also overall wellness.

Additionally, BenchMark offers unique services that patients may not find elsewhere, such as trigger point dry needling (DN), an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain. DN, a procedure that involves inserting a very thin filament needle into a “trigger point” or muscle spasm that refers pain to a specific area of the body, can promote healing after injury and improves a patient’s ability to move with less pain.

“It is a common misconception that dry needling is like acupuncture,” Woods explained. “Although the tool we use is similar in that it is a very thin needle, our evaluation process, treatment and goals of the technique are different from acupuncture.”

In a DN session, BenchMark therapists evaluate your neuromuscular system (nerves and muscles) to determine what tissues are contributing to your painful limitations. They then treat specific muscle tissue with the overall goal to improve healing, decrease pain and increase your ability to perform activities without limitations.

Another distinctive service that patients can expect at BenchMark is instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), an effective manual (hands-on) treatment to help relieve pain from soft-tissue injuries. Physical therapists use specially designed tools to help remodel scar tissue, increase range of motion and decrease pain.

There are multiple types of IASTM products—ASTYM, Hawkgrips, and Graston Technique—yet despite their differences, each technique is designed to improve blood flow and scar tissue mobility, decrease muscle spasms, and improve healing.

Woods also credits the team of therapists and staff at BenchMark for propelling their clinics to the forefront of the industry. “Our employees uphold the company values, which include a commitment to the growth and success of our most valuable resources: our people and our communities, and excellence,” Woods said. “By focusing on being the best, we strive to deliver an experience that exceeds our customers’ highest expectations.”

To support the team’s clinical excellence, BenchMark’s hiring process involves selecting therapists who value patients as individuals and want to work alongside them to meet their personal goals. Therapists and associates receive continuing education, mentorship, and advancement opportunities. “By investing in our team with these opportunities, we are, in turn, investing in our patients,” Woods said.

The local team includes Leann Ventriglia, Clinic Director Bluffton; Ryan Dromsky, Physical Therapist Bluffton; and Mark McManus, Physical Therapist Okatie.

Ventriglia attended Touro College School of Health Sciences, Bayshore, N.Y., where she obtained her doctorate in physical therapy in 2018. She is successful in treating vestibular patients and has a passion for neurological patients, including those with Parkinson’s disease.

Dromsky attended Stockton University from 1998-2000 where he earned a master’s degree in physical therapy. He has 21 years of experience in outpatient physical therapy. His first 18 years of practice occurred in New Jersey, treating a board population of neurological, orthopedic, and geriatric patients. His treatment approach is individualized with a strong focus towards manual therapy in an effort to identify the primary cause of dysfunction or impairment. During his 18 years, he was able to be involved in start-ups and acquisitions of outpatient offices; in 2018, he moved to Bluffton to help open a local rehabilitation hospital.

Dromsky joined BenchMark Physical Therapy in December of 2020 to pursue his passion in helping others regain their life prior to injury or illness. He is a motivated and experienced therapist whose strength is his ability to analyze a patient’s needs.

McManus gained his doctorate in physical therapy in 2020 from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., and moved to Bluffton soon after. While in PT school, he obtained certification as a strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. McManus’ passion is working with athletes and other individuals who are motivated to get back to the activities they enjoy by incorporating principles of strength and conditioning into their rehabilitation.

Woods and the BenchMark team strive to inspire and empower the lives of their patients, serve their communities, and lead with purpose-driven passion. Through exceptional care and remarkable experiences,
BenchMark Physical Therapy chooses to be the outpatient provider, employer, and partner of choice.

For more information or to make an appointment, visit https://benchmark.urpt.com/locations/bluffton-sc/ or benchmark.urpt.com/locations/okatie/.

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