Grassroots Physical Therapy

life in alignment


Downtown Run, Salt Lake City, UT ©Louis Arevalo,

At Grassroots we are dedicated to providing innovative, high-quality and effective physical therapy and Nutritional Therapy to our Wasatch Front community.

Our mission is simple: to provide exceptional care while being respectful of people’s time and money. This is achieved by providing clients with an accurate mechanical diagnosis, individualized treatment and by being efficient with clinic visits.

We advocate for an active recovery and return clients to doing what they love as soon as possible.

We treat anyone who is invested in improving their own health. Coming to Grassroots means entering a partnership: we provide the expertise and support it takes to diagnose, manage, and even abolish your pain, while you commit the time and effort required to heal.

Time with our therapists means one-on-one, individualized care. First, we listen to your story, then we create a plan to progress you through the appropriate therapy (possibly specific exercise, alignment training and/or manual therapy), finally we provide you with a self-maintenance program that will help you prevent the problem from happening again.

We focus on education and active client involvement during the course of treatment; both help to facilitate rapid recovery, restore function and independence, ultimately minimizing the number of visits to the clinic.

Grassroots is interested in providing the local community with a healing network of providers. We work with massage therapists, acupuncturists, yoga and Pilates instructors, personal trainers, naturopathic doctors, and medical doctors to provide you a network of care that will most suit your specific needs.


Grassroots Self Treatment offers a series of videos (and corresponding tool kits) that will teach you how to understand your body and how to reduce discomfort, recover function, and build strength related to common challenges such as tennis elbow, low back pain, knee pain and more.


Nutrition analysis and planning, plus weekly focus topics and recommendations are all included in this individualized 12 week program to optimize your health and find your ideal bodyweight. Enjoy expert guidance throughout the program and learn skills to take with you afterwards. 



(385) 226–5481


Streamline Bodyworks
1948 S 1100 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84106



(See online scheduling for availability)


Professional climber Brittany Griffith climbing "Sicilian Crack" 5.11, Indian Creek Canyon, Southern Utah, ©Chris Noble,

What we do

Grassroots is dedicated to meeting the physical therapy needs of the local community. Whether you have a new injury or long-standing pain, we want to help you return to living life pain free! 

Grassroots offers one-on-one evaluation and treatment sessions that aim to understand the nature of your individual complaints and to provide you with the most effective, evidence-based solutions and self-management programs. Our therapists share their expertise with you, so that you can keep your body pain-free and performing at your optimal level.

Our therapists are guided by the principles of the the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® and evidence-based manual therapy. This extensive and varied training provides us with an assessment process that leads to a mechanical diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for complaints such as:  



Specific Exercise: tailored exercises that give you the power to control your pain and stiffness. These exercises are simple, they do not require the use of expensive equipment and they can be conducted just about anywhere.

Manual therapy: advanced hands-on techniques applied to joints and soft tissue to promote normal functioning and mechanics. This includes spine and extremity joint mobilization and manipulation techniques and Functional Dry Needling®. These techniques are applied to assist you with progression to self-management.

Alignment Education: strategies and exercises designed to help you combat gravity and align your skeleton and muscles to promote optimal function, wellness, and longevity.



What to expect

You can expect a likely combination of specific exercise, manual therapy and alignment education to all be a part of treatment at Grassroots, depending on your individual needs and diagnosis.

Generally, you can expect your first visit to be one hour. Subsequent visits will be either one hour or a half an hour, depending on your needs.

At Grassroots, we want to get you back to function and wellness as soon as possible.  Number of visits range from 2-6, with more or less depending on your needs. 

Our therapists are also trained to identify when conservative treatment might not benefit you. If this is the case, you are quickly referred for alternate care, thus avoiding unnecessary periods of inappropriate or expensive treatment.

We are housed within Streamline Bodyworks, which is a collaborative, multidisciplinary space that offers Pilates and bodywork.

The entrance to our office is on the East side of the building, downstairs.


Grassroots is a cash pay practice, meaning that we do not network with private insurance companies or Medicare/Medicaid. 

Because we work outside of the insurance system, which, we believe, drives up costs and drives down treatment time, Grassroots is able to offer you exclusive time with our experts and ultimately individualized care. 

Our therapists respect your investment in your body. We will focus on educating you and putting you at the helm of your medical care every step of the way.  

Because of our cash pay system, you will receive no surprises, such as a hefty bill in the mail. Simply put, you get what you pay for.

Many private insurance plans reimburse for our services at an ‘out-of-network’ rate (does not apply if you are using Medicare, Workers’ Compensation or auto insurance). We recommend checking with your insurance company regarding the specifics of your ‘out-of-network’ benefits. We will happily generate a detailed invoice for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. 


  • We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. 
  • No-shows and cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will be billed in full, except in cases of sudden illness or emergency.
  • All payments are due at the time of service. 


30 min / $60
60 min / $100


Wasatch Frontcountry Skiing, Salt Lake City, UT ©Louis Arevalo,

Our Therapists


Esther Smith DPT, Cert. MDT, NTP received her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Utah.  Since graduation, she has worked in orthopedic settings with a particular focus on the management of musculoskeletal problems and athletic performance. Esther offers education and treatment that addresses the underlying cause of symptoms and aids in the prevention of future injury.

Esther founded Grassroots Physical Therapy in 2014 because she wanted to build a community network that bucks the conventional ideas of physical therapy delivery and celebrates wellness by giving clients the choices and solutions to put health care decisions back in their hands.

Time with Esther means one on one, hands-on sessions that focus on client self-treatment education, tailored exercise, and manual therapy including spine and joint mobilization. Esther never stops educating herself, and has obtained certification in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (Esther is one of five therapists in the State of Utah to be certified in MDT) with additional training in Restorative Exercise™, Functional Dry Needling® and manual therapy for the spine through the Spinal Manipulation Institute.

Esther is also certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), which gives her the ability to counsel clients regarding nutrition and develop individualized plans to help bring the body into balance.

Outside of the clinic, Esther enjoys cooking up good food gathered from local producers, rock climbing in Utah’s wild places, and generally adventuring outside with friends and family.




Katy’s fascination with the idea of healing the body through movement and exercise motivated her to earn a B.S. in Kinesiology and then brought her to the University of Utah where she earned her doctorate in physical therapy. Since graduation she has worked in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings where she has been blessed to be a part of her patients’ healing process.

After many years of interest in nutrition and personal experimentation with the effects of different diets on performance and health, she decided to pursue this passion and become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Appropriate movement and exercise can only go so far if the underlying health of the cells, tissues, or organs are out of balance. Through Nutritional Therapy, Katy uses a system of evaluative tools to identify nutritional deficiencies and imbalances and then develop a bio-individualized plan to bring her clients back into balance.

Katy’s special interests related to nutrition include: maximizing fertility with preconception planning, optimizing gut health, improving immune function, mineral balancing guided by Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA), and improving digestive function.

Katy is currently pursuing certification in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT). Katy knew that this should be the next step in her professional training after personally being efficiently and successfully treated for two different injuries by a credentialed MDT practitioner. Katy wants to help clients achieve and maintain musculoskeletal wellness and MDT provides the assessment and treatment process to do so.

Outside the clinic, Katy loves being in the mountains, climbing rocks, and enjoying intimate conversations shared over a table of nutritious, locally produced foods.


Family Time, Deep Lake, Wind Rivers, WY, ©Louis Arevalo,

Contact us

Call (385) 226–5481 from 8a – 5p M-F, or send us a message anytime. 

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Check us out on Facebook to find helpful exercises for common issues, as well as great nutritional ideas!



Morning Extension, Zion NP, UT, ©Louis Arevalo,

Nutritional Therapy


Nutritional Therapy addresses nutrition from a holistic and bio-individual perspective, respecting our genetic and geographical makeup to determine your unique nutritional needs. We offer a system of evaluative tools that help identify and correct nutritional imbalances. These include an Initial Interview, Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire, Food Journal and Functional Evaluation. As a client, you should be prepared for a collaborative process in which we are both active participants in your well-being! Number of visits range from 2-6 over the course of several months, with more or less depending on your needs. This is not a temporary fad diet; this is a new, sustainable way of life!  

We work with: 

  • Improving digestion complaints such as acid reflux, GERD, stomach pains and cramps, gas/bloating, IBS, constipation, diarrhea

  • Increasing energy by addressing blood sugar imbalance, sleep disturbance, stress, adrenal and thyroid imbalances

  • Relieving joint pain, chronic inflammation and headaches

  • Weight loss/management

  • Sports nutrition

  • Fertility 

  • Strengthening the immune system

  • Addressing food sensitivities and airborne allergies


Initial Consultation (2-hour appointment): $150
Follow-up visits (60 minutes): $100

“When I came to Esther for a nutrition consultation, I thought that I had been eating really healthy. I was doing the green smoothies, lots of organic vegetables and eating gluten-free. But, I had constant problems with my digestion and I relied heavily on caffeine in the afternoon to get through the day. Esther took me through a very comprehensive analysis and what resulted was an eye-opening review of where I was going wrong in my food choices. I literally felt a difference after the first day of making some of the changes we discussed! As I have continued to implement more changes, my digestion has dramatically improved and my energy levels are unbelievably steady!” -CWC

"Before calling Grassroots PT, I had been in traditional physical therapy for almost a year. Not only was this difficult from a scheduling perspective, but my symptoms only got worse, leaving me desperate and frustrated. When I began working with Katey, I immediately knew it would be different. By changing up my exercises and analyzing the resulting symptoms, Katey was able to pinpoint the root cause of my pain. Once I began treatment for the true cause, I started to see immediate improvement. I am still on the road to recovery, but Katey provided me with the knowledge and exercises to heal myself and prevent future injury. I will forever be grateful for my sessions with Katey and cannot recommend her enough!" SA

"Esther is more than a physical therapist, she is an educator, a coach and an athlete who demonstrates in her own life, the value of maintaining physical balance while working toward athletic goals. I have seen Esther for finger, knee and shoulder-related injuries resulting from trauma as well as over-use. In each case, she efficiently identified the problem and provided me with a successful solution that worked with my training plan. Thanks to Esther, I know more about my own physiology and what I can do to keep climbing and running happily." KM

I'm a professional climber and over the years I've been frustrated by various chronic injuries: shoulders, back, elbows. Climbing is my life and my profession, so surgery and a long time off to recover, as recommended by other PTs, was not an option. The first thing Esther said to me was, “I know you aren’t going to stop what you are doing, so let’s come up with a treatment that works for you.” Esther saved me from surgery, and since then she has successfully treated other injuries I inevitably incur in my field of work.” BG

"After 2 months of shoulder pain and scary internet research that warned of surgeries and dislocations, I was so lucky to find Katy at Grassroots Therapy. As a rock climber, my shoulders are an important part of the equation. Katy was able to determine the cause of my pain, and teach me exercises to eradicate the problem and prevent future shoulder-related weaknesses. I am now pain free and climbing well. Working with Katy was different because she corrected the source of my pain (which was actually my neck!) rather than just treating my symptoms or pain. As a climber herself, she understood the ways I use my shoulder, and she was empathetic to my need to keep climbing. Katy is personable, compassionate, and knowledgeable all at once. I would recommend grassroots physical therapy to all athletes. Having an athletic therapist makes a big difference!" AG

“Esther has helped me overcome some back and hip pain from a spinal fusion, without her help I don't think I would be as active (and pain free) as I am now. Several of the reasons that seeing Esther has been more beneficial than a regular PT, is that she has the time to work through a specific pain while you are in her office, she is active herself, and she tries to get you to a place where you don't need to return weekly.” JW

“I have been through PT before for various injuries and it was a completely different experience from working with Esther. In my past experiences I felt like I was in a PT factory. Show up for the appointment, do the exercises I was given, oftentimes without any supervision/guidance, get an ice pack and repeat a couple times a week. Esther listened to my concerns and goals and showed me exercises to help me get back to climbing safely and stronger after shoulder surgery. She did a variety of manual therapies that often pushed me. I felt like I was continually getting something out of our sessions instead of just going through the motions. Thanks Esther!” DS

“PT with Esther was awesome. I had chronic neck pain for about six months, and I couldn’t sleep through the night. Esther spent quite a bit of time with me going through the possible causes, and then she came up with a program of stretching and exercises. It really worked, and I am super appreciative! PT with Esther was much better than my previous PT experiences. Esther really takes a complete and comprehensive approach. She made the rehab work for my schedule and needs, too. I would highly recommend Esther!” NF