Esther Smith, DPT, Cert. MDT, NTP
PHYSICAL THERAPIST, Pilates Instructor, NUTRITIONAL THERAPY PRACTITIONER AND OWNER OF GRASSROOTS PHYSICAL THERAPY
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.
In 2014 Esther founded Grassroots Physical Therapy in Salt Lake City 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®, Pilates Instruction, 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.
Sarah McNurlin, DPT, Cert. MDT
Sarah earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Utah. Since graduation, Sarah has worked in orthopedic clinics focusing on evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and problems, with an emphasis on spine pain. She also has extensive experience working with patients suffering from pregnancy/postpartum-related problems. She treats a multitude of extremity injuries as well.
Using a hands-on approach, Sarah works one-on-one with her clients to ensure they receive efficient and effective care. Her treatments and exercises are focused on each individual’s needs to quickly get them back to their previous function. Sarah integrates joint mobilizations and soft tissue mobilizations as well as prescriptive exercises with her patients to improve patient outcomes and return to sport. She emphasizes educating her patients about their injuries and treatments to ensure they understand how to self-manage and prevent future injuries.
Sarah is certified in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. She integrates skills and the treatment methodology into her treatments. She is passionate about learning and has additional training in Functional Dry Needling.Ⓡ from Kineticore.
Sarah joined the team at Grassroots Physical Therapy to be a part of an amazing community that celebrates health and well-being. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking with fresh ingredients from her garden and brewing her own kombucha. Sarah also loves hiking, biking, climbing, running, and adventuring in Utah’s beautiful terrain with her husband, two dogs, and friends. When not exploring the outdoors, she loves to practice calligraphy and cheer on her alma mater, the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Amy Fruge, DPT
Physical Therapist, Yoga Instructor
Amy Fruge, DPT, earned her doctorate in physical therapy from Texas Woman’s University’s School of Physical Therapy in Houston, Texas. As a recent graduate from TWU, Amy has utilized her education inside the largest medical center in the world to focus on becoming an expert in the evaluation and treatment of sports and orthopedic injuries. She specializes in hands on manual therapy diagnosis and treatment to identify, access, and solve the source of pain for her patients. As an athlete herself and former health and fitness coach, Amy brings her knowledge of health and fitness to every athlete and patient to help them reach their full potential after achieving their physical therapy goals. A thorough understanding of health and fitness combined with expert neuromuscular facilitation techniques allows Amy to solve the underlying problems that led to patient’s original onset of pain. With her experience in Yoga, Amy utilizes proper positioning, breathing, and muscle activation techniques to improve stability throughout the entire biomechanical system in her patients.
Amy’s roles before becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy as Senior Personal Trainer, entrepreneurial Yoga Instructor, and Head of a rock climbing program at a wilderness camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains have formed her into the well-rounded clinician, educator and promoter of wellness that she is today. Amy’s experience leading Yoga for Climbers, climbing injury inservices, and screening climbers to prevent further injuries is where she finds her zeal. Her favorite part about being a DPT is giving someone the tools to feel better, and accomplish something they did not think was possible.
Outside of the clinic, Amy loves to rock climb, snowboard, bike, trail run, laugh, play with dogs, listen to live music, and create and consume delicious food and drinks. She especially loves music and food that bring her back to her Southern roots in Louisiana.
Andrew Merget, DPT, SST, Cert. MDT
Andrew Merget, DPT, SST, Cert. MDT earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2011 from the University of Scranton and has worked in orthopedics with a focus on skilled treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Andrew believes in promoting self treatment at every stage of injury management, and listens to each patient to effectively educate and create an individualized plan to meet their goals. Many different diagnoses can be confusing and frustrating so Andrew strives to help his patients learn life long treatment strategies to restore a higher quality of life
Andrew utilizes the Mckenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (MDT) to reliably assess and treat musculoskeletal pain. Andrew became certified in MDT in 2014 after completing a written and practical exam, and is currently enrolled in the Diplomate program which would include Andrew as one of 450 therapists worldwide that hold this highest level of training to assess and treat using MDT.
Andrew became one of the first 50 therapists certified in the Schroth Scoliosis method for conservative management of scoliosis in 2013. The Schroth Method is a specialized type of conservative physical therapy that can be used to treat patients from adolescents to adults. The treatments and exercises are based on an individual’s specific curve pattern, curve severity, and the patient’s level of function and fitness.
The goal of this method is to create awareness of postural alignment through repetition of specific exercises and breathing techniques that encourage proper positioning. The Schroth Method can be tailored to adults with scoliosis, patients with idiopathic scoliosis, patients with Scheurmann’s Disease, adolescents at risk of progression and all those in pain due to structural scoliosis.
Andrew has been a member of the Mckenzie Institute USA since 2011 and has assisted in clinical courses offered by the Mckenzie Institute in Atlanta, GA. Andrew has contributed articles to the MDT WORLD PRESS ( Mckenzie Institute International Publication) on patient management and has been featured on TV discussing conservative management for scoliosis and musculoskeletal injuries.
Outside of work Andrew enjoys spending time with his two dogs and wife exploring Utah. Andrew was a Div III runner in college and loves running in the outdoors exploring the beautiful Sandy, Utah area. Andrew moved to Utah after living in Augusta, GA for four years and is from New York originally. That is why he will be found watching (or suffering) every fall when his NY Giants play.