Helping patients to live their best lives today

By Michelle Talsma Everson
Photos by Kimberly Carrillo

A lot of people have heard about physical therapy, but oftentimes, there’s still a mystique around what it actually is—especially for those who have never been treated by a physical therapist. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, a quality physical therapist is a movement expert who helps patients to improve their quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. They help patients to function, move and live better lives—oftentimes after injury or because a patient is in pain and wants to regain their former balance, strength and athleticism.

For optimal success, a patient needs to find the physical therapist and practice that works best for them. Locally, the Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT), owned by Dr. Tom Padilla PT, DPT, CSCS, is a great option to consider for those who want to address their physical concerns without resorting to painkillers or surgery.

“We help people avoid unwanted surgeries and avoid taking pills to just manage their pain,” explains Dr. Tom Padilla, who goes by “Dr. Tom.” “We specialize in analyzing exactly what’s causing your pain and designing an individualized plan to fix the root cause so that it doesn’t easily return. This way you can get back to doing things like hiking, weightlifting, golfing, swimming…literally whatever you want, without worrying that it will come back.”

In addition to himself, Dr. Tom’s team consists of Dr. Jessie Duppler, PT, DPT, Dr. Justin Becker, PT, DPT, XPS, SFDN1, and client care coordinator Lesa McAbee.

Dr. Tom shares that his average patient is between 30 and 50, male or female, sometimes an ex high school athlete who stayed active as they continued life. Perhaps they put their health aside though for a bit and didn’t make time for their favorite activities. They are oftentimes parents who experience back pain, and they don’t want to resort to pills to keep the pain under control. They want to not only feel better but get back to their favorite activities.

“Most physical therapy treatments stop when the patient is functional again,” Dr. Tom explains. “But we want our patients to not only be functional, but to get back to their favorite activities that they have been missing.”
Dr. Tom says that he and his team do this by utilizing their own unique diagnostic model. This model includes:
• Accurate diagnosis of the root cause of your pain. “Patients are amazed at how powerful it is to find the root cause of their symptoms,” Dr. Tom shares.
• A comprehensive strategy to get from point A (where a patient is now) and point B (where they want to be).
• Frequent measurements. Dr. Tom explains that, throughout treatment, they take frequent and accurate measurements to make sure that real progress is being made.

“Our physical therapists stand firmly for addressing the root cause of an issue, and treating the whole body as a system, rather than hundreds of individual parts,” Dr. Tom says. “The solutions we provide are lasting, adding years to a healthy, active lifestyle where clients can continue doing what they love.”

As a graduate of one of the nation’s top physical therapy schools, The University of Southern California, Dr. Tom and his team hope to redefine the standards of physical medicine by finding long-lasting solutions for patients. He says during his studies, and while practicing, he has learned what types of therapies can bring on “consistent, repeatable and reliable results.” He explains that there’s often a gap between healthcare (think medical doctors and surgery) and wellness (exercise, fitness, nutrition, and healthy living). “Quality physical therapy can help bridge that gap by providing holistic care to patients,” he adds.

In his fifth year of business—and having grown in the process—Dr. Tom says DPT focuses on asking the question: “How can we help?” In addition to assisting current patients, they offer potential patients a chance to book a Discovery Visit—where they will help you decide if physical therapy is right for you. They also offer free phone consultations as well. And, for those concerned about seeing them during the pandemic, they follow a variety of COVID-19 precautions in addition to offering telehealth visits.

“I came to DPT because my body was all kinds of messed up from my first pregnancy, which was making my second very uncomfortable. [There was] pelvis pain, back pain, etc.,” says Kelly H., a recent patient. “With my first visits at DPT I saw immediate results where I could get out of bed so much easier—which used to be a group activity with my husband. After having my daughter we had more sessions and I can happily say I’m back to my old self. No pain, better mobility, and with my functioning body I’m losing all my baby weight. Couldn’t have done it without my crew at DPT.”

In addition to helping patients, DPT’s website ( serves as an educational tool for anyone who visits. On there, Dr. Tom notes that there are free pain guides in addition to an active blog and informative newsletters. He also started his own podcast this month called “Uncut : Avoid Surgery & Live Well.”
“At DPT, we help active adults return to the activities they love without taking pills or having surgery,” Dr. Tom says. “We do this by providing value in everything we do.”

When it comes to statistics, he shares that, on average, only about 30 percent of patients actually finish their recommended physical therapy. At DPT, the rate is 93 percent.

To learn more about the Doctors of Physical Therapy, which is located at 8350 E. Evans Road, Suite C-2, in Scottsdale, visit You can also call 480-482-0651. Follow them on social media as well on Facebook and Instagram @thedoctorsofpt.