Growing up, Carmen Mulherin was a gymnast. She was fortunate to never injure herself, but watched several teammates tear ligaments and go through physical therapy to get back on the mat.
“I thought it was amazing how the (physical) therapists were able to help rehabilitate (them) from barely being able to walk to being able to do gymnastics again. I wanted to be able to make that kind of a difference in someone’s life, too.”
Now she does.
Carmen Mulherin, PT, DPT earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech in 2009, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2012 from Old Dominion University.
She joined Tidewater Physical Therapy in August 2012, just in time to help open the new Gloucester Courthouse clinic, which includes a Tidewater Performance Center and Hand Therapy Clinic. In 2014 she moved and now practices out of the Williamsburg clinic on Ironbound Road.
“I really love the company’s team approach to care, dedication to putting the patients first and commitment to ongoing clinical education for the therapists,” Carmen said.
Carmen recognizes that each patient has unique needs, “so I develop personalized treatment programs to ensure the patient’s goals are met. I believe patient education is an important part of their treatment.”
Helping patients understand their injury, how to best prevent getting injured again and the importance of their role in the recovery process are the cornerstones of Carmen’s education.
Recognizing that therapy is not always easy, Carmen said, “I do everything I can to make therapy a positive experience for the patient and help give them the support and motivation they need to get better.”
Carmen treats a variety of patients, and has a special interest in treating athletes with sports injuries.
“I enjoy helping these young patients rebuild strength, mobility, agility and stamina after an injury so they can return to their sport safely…and prevent future injuries.”
When she’s not in the clinic, Carmen enjoys running, watching gymnastics, spending time with her family and playing with her dog, Abby.
There’s no doubt that being in the clinic with patients is where she wants to be, Carmen said, remembering a particular patient she said she’d never forget.
“This particular patient had been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. As a result of the disease, she went from leading a completely normal and fully functional life to being in the ICU on a ventilator in a matter of hours. Although it was a long and slow rehabilitation process, she never gave up and was eventually able to get back to her prior level of function. She was the most positive and hard-working patient I have ever worked with. It is patients like that who really make me glad I chose physical therapy for my career.”
Many of the physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy.
Carmen holds Direct Access Certification and is available to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription from a physician.