Sports Rehab & Physical Therapy won Best Physical Therapy Company for the third year in a row during the E-T's Best of Erath contest in June.

The E-T sat down with owner Mark Blackburn to discuss the different services they offer as well as what kind of physical therapy his business specializes in.

Here is what we learned:

1. Sports Rehab & Physical Therapy first opened in Stephenville in 1998.

2. In 2003, Mark Blackburn bought into the practice and became the full owner in 2007.

3. Also in 2003, another location was purchased in Weatherford followed by the opening of the Aledo clinic in 2011 and a location in Hico that opened in 2018.

4. Blackburn added Derek Haney and Brandi Wood as partners to the business in 2016 and added Whitney Hamilton as a partner this year.

5. Blackburn says that physical therapy is a broad field but describes his facility as an “outpatient physical therapy clinic that primarily treats muscular skeletal injuries involving the typical aches, pains and strains.”

6. One thing that’s unique to the Stephenville office is that they offer aquatic therapy utilizing their indoor pool.

7. A treatment was recently added called dry needling, another method to treat muscle and tendon injuries. A solid-tipped needle is inserted into the muscle, which allows the muscle to give off a certain physiological response that will help it heal. The Stephenville location is currently in the process of getting all of their therapists licensed to perform that treatment.

8. Another service that Blackburn and his team use is called work steps, which is basically a pre-employment test. They work with companies like Schreiber Foods and conduct a job analysis to see what the employee would have to do on a normal work day like lifting heavy objects or climbing a tall ladder. They then test the employee to see if they meet the qualifications of the job.

“It helps out the employer to make sure they’re not going to put someone in a job who can’t do that job, and it also helps the applicant because they’re not going into a job they can’t perform,” Blackburn said. “We’ve been doing that for a long time, but that’s a service that we offer that’s unique here compared to other places.”

9. The Stephenville location has 14 therapists with 45 total employees with the combined locations.

10. The hours of operation are 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only.

BONUS: Physical therapy has always been a medical service that required a physician’s referral in order to make an appointment. But with a recent law passed by Gov. Greg Abbott, patients can visit with physical therapists without a physician’s referral for two weeks.

“Now, we can go ahead and see you, and in the process of seeing you, then you can work on getting that appointment so we can get started with physical therapy sooner,” Blackburn said.