Chris Mathews is a physical therapy expert that embodies a servant’s heart with his family, the community and with his patients. He earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in 2011. He has served in a myriad of settings, even as the physical therapist that evaluated potential players for the Ice Bears Hockey Team. He evaluated the joints of each potential player to discern if they might be putting the team at risk of injury or if they were a solid candidate for membership.
Chris was on the golf team in college. It was then that he sustained a shoulder injury and spent 2.5 months in rehab. That time in therapy began to pique his interest and grow his organic appreciation for the healing benefits of physical therapy. Even now, when asked if he has a favorite area of the body to treat, he replies enthusiastically, “Shoulders! The actual issue is often hard to pinpoint because shoulders are comprised of three different joints.”
A Husband and Father
Chris Mathews is committed to helping his patients win with therapy and his family win on the golf course. As a native East Tennessean, born and raised in Lenoir City, Chris calls Knoxville home. His wife handles marketing for Knox County’s Foster Care Services. Giving back is deeply embedded into the fabric of their lives.
Chris has a son, 9 years old, and a daughter, 6 years old. They live a life of golf enthusiasts on the weekends, Chris, and his wife caddy for their children at weekend youth tournaments. Their family lives the advice he works to instill in patients, “Movement is Medicine!”
The Volunteer and WellPark Founder
Chris has always embodied the Volunteer spirit. In 2014, Chris began volunteering his expertise at Shannondale Health Care Center and embraced a passion to deliver orthopedic, neurological and balance treatment options for the population at Shannondale.
That passion fueled the ideation of WellPark Short-term Rehabilitation. Chris has been with WellPark since it opened its doors in 2016. WellPark was also committed to bringing specialists in balance, endurance, sports medicine, and orthopedics to its target audience.
Chris’s favorite story about a patient happened on the very first night that WellPark was open. They were able to help a lady in a minivan in the middle of a snowstorm and the phrase “WellPark goes above and beyond for its patients’” was born.
Chris describes their team as well-rounded across a continuum of specialties. Together they deliver excellence across the spectrum of rehab needs and conditions. All members of the WellPark team are highly skilled and dedicated. They have been together long enough to enjoy a family-like work culture, which translates to a welcoming environment for all. Chris credits the fact that he loves the people he works with as the number one reason he remains at WellPark.
The WellPark Enthusiast
When asked why patients and families should choose WellPark, Chris listed many reasons including one-on-one therapy, knowledge and expertise of the staff and the team’s passion for serving their patients.
WellPark is a hybrid facility, providing both in-patient and out-patient treatments/sessions. When asked why he would choose WellPark for a friend or relative, Chris responded, “We really listen, do a thorough assessment, and design/implement a program of therapy that will help the patient achieve his/her goals.” The sessions at WellPark are one-hour each and are one-on-one with a therapist. That focused time serves as a quality avenue for physical success and relationship building. It also fosters an environment of patients helping patients, it is common to find a patient who is further down the road with a particular treatment plan giving encouragement to one just starting on what feels to be a difficult path.
Knowledge. Expertise, and Passion of the Staff
Chris shared that prior to COVID, most of their therapies were dedicated to injuries, with a lesser amount of time dedicated to endurance and mobility issues. That ratio has now flipped, and most patients are struggling to regain mobility and strength due to inactivity for two or more years. Chris referenced the recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine, that all should exercise/move for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. The American Heart Association tags on that the exercise should raise your heart rate and it should take place 5-7 days a week.
Since COVID, they have seen an influx of individuals that have not been active. These patients are not just weakened physically, they also have fallen off track emotionally. When you are not moving you are not generating endorphins which can lead to feelings of depression.
Chris and his team are ready to meet with you and support your development or re-engagement with an active lifestyle. They will help you customize an exercise routine for you, built around your goals. All solid exercise routines must encourage upper body, core, and leg strength. They want to meet you where you are, listen to your goals and support you as you establish wellness routines that build upon your current strengths.
If you’re in need of physical therapy, come see Chris at WellPark. Contact us today to get started: Rehabilitation – Shannondale Retirement Homes WellPark (shannondaletn.com)