Steven J. Howell, MEd., PT, has served in leading roles and as a care provider at Tidewater Physical Therapy since 1990, but his aspirations of becoming a physical therapist have even deeper roots. A 1977 football injury led to shoulder surgery, an experience that Howell says gave him a deeper understanding of patients’ pain and discomfort. A total knee replacement in the late 1990s provided additional empathy for PT patients and galvanized Howell’s belief in the power of healing through manual therapy. This is a philosophy that continues to guide his patient care principles.
“I believe in the power of the human touch,” he says. “Manual therapy techniques allow me to make the human connection and gain patients’ confidence throughout the recovery process.”
Howell completed his undergraduate work at Washington State University in 1982, where majored in education, and honed his growing affinities by minoring in health, coaching and athletic training. While completing post-graduate work at UVA he became a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and began working at Virginia Military Institute in 1983. It was there that Howell met friends and future partners John Mitrovic and Wayne MacMasters. The three colleagues often discussed building a private practice together in the future, which underscored Howell’s eventual work as an athletic trainer at Roanoke Orthopedic and Athletic Rehabilitation.
After completing PT school at the Medical College of Virginia in 1990, Howell joined his friends in making this vision a reality at Tidewater Physical Therapy. Today, Howell serves as Vice President of the organization and Regional Director for clinical operations and performance services associated to the Tidewater Performance Center in Newport News. In addition to his duties at Tidewater, Howell has been a football team physical therapist for Christopher Newport University since 2000, and performs PT work for the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins, South Eastern Virginia Aquatics, and Poquoson High School Athletics. Beyond his avid and ongoing support for local and collegiate athletes and mentoring PT and high school students, Howell has a special interest in shoulder, knee, foot and ankle rehabilitation and has been fabricating custom orthotics for more than two decades.
Howell devotes quality time to his wife Samantha and their five children. In his spare time he pursues hobbies including fishing, golf, walking and working out with Tidewater Performance trainers.
Many of the physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy.
Steve holds Direct Access Certification and is available to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription from a physician.