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Meet Tracey – Owner of Elevated Physical Therapy

Tracey Manasco
Founder of Elevated Physical Therapy
Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

From a young age I knew that I wanted to be in the medical field and that I wanted to be able to spend time with my patients and really make a difference in their lives. After seeing my father recover from a herniated disc without surgery in my teenage years, Physical Therapy became the chosen path. This led me down the the coast from Columbia, SC to Charleston. I attended the College of Charleston and then went on to the Medical University of SC for graduate school. Charleston has changed a lot in the 23 years that I have lived here but it is still my favorite place to be. I now consider Charleston my home.

My 16 year career as a PT has led me to various settings giving me experience in orthopedics, home health and acute neurological rehabilitation. Working in these different settings has given me a broader medical knowledge base that helps me see the big picture and how all systems...

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Diastasis Recti aka “Mummy Tummy”

Author: Meg Henderson

Did you know that your “six pack” is actually a muscle called the rectus abdominis? It has a fibrous connective tissue, called the linea alba, that runs down the center, which divides the muscle in two. When you are pregnant, your abdominal muscles and the linea alba HAVE TO stretch and thin, respectively, to accommodate the growing baby in your belly. There are studies out there that will cite the statistic that 100% of women who are pregnant in their third trimester will experience a diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA). However, it is also important to note that this is completely normal! Even when we are not pregnant or have never been pregnant before, this fascia allows for stretch when we are doing essential things…like breathing! An abnormal diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) that we talk about clinically is one where the gap is greater than 2.7cm at, above, or below the belly button…that is about the width of 2-3 fingers. And...

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GHD: The Most Ignored & Mistaken Piece of Equipment in the Gym

GHD: The Most Ignored & Mistaken Piece of Equipment in the Gym

Author: Dane Gifford


Most gyms have me, but not all gyms. I’m rarely used and more often misunderstood. I take up a bunch of floor space and my presence is often questioned. I’m essential but overlooked. My name is misleading but also very accurate. I can be intimidating but also very accomodating. My movements are simple but not easy. My methods are effective but not complex. If I were utilized regularly I would be very efficacious.

So what am I? I am the Glute Hamstring Developer or GHD.

It is true, we see them in almost every gym. We don’t, however, see many people utilizing them. When we do, it seems to be those that are already in the upper echelon of their fitness. The GHD is intimidating and it doesn’t really come with instructions. On the off chance that we have used the GHD, we are left sore for days and question if we ever want to use them again. I would say, YES, you...

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BFR – Strength & Hypertrophy

Will Personalized Blood Flow Restriction (PBFR) Training Increase Your Muscle Strength & Size?

Author: Dane Gifford


  • Your Muscles will get bigger using PBFR than by just lifting weights.
  • You will develop strength using PBFR just like you would lifting heavy weights
  • Growth Hormone will increase by 300% which will improve tendon health
  • Additionally, increased Growth Hormone will maximize your Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that you lift weight at moderate to high intensities, greater than 65% of your 1RM, in order to make significant gains in muscle strength and size (Donnelly 2009). Additionally you have to lift at these higher intensities 2-3 days each week, over a period of 8-16 weeks. This recommendation follows the “Overload Principle” which states that a significant load must be placed on the muscle in order to drive the desired adaptations in strength and hypertrophy according to...

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BFR – Your Magic Pill Awaits

Author: Dane Gifford


Everyone wants to accomplish more in less time. Everyone wants to maximize their efforts. This is especially true in the gym and with our health & fitness. But let’s be clear, there has never been a magic pill when it comes to your health… until now!

Personalized Blood Flow Restriction (PBFR) Training is the closest thing you will find to a magic pill.

PBFR, when used with specific protocols, can be utilized to increase muscle strength and size. PBFR is an effective therapy for those suffering from tendinopathies such as tennis or golf elbow, biceps tendinopathy, runner’s knee and plantar fasciitis. PBFR assists individuals looking to combat osteoporosis and promote bone health. PBFR decreases recovery time from surgery by limiting muscle atrophy (shrinking) while in the early stages of rehab. It can help eliminate pain during exercise as well. Furthermore, it can improve aerobic fitness by increasing VO2 Max or...

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8 Things You Didn’t Know About Low Back Pain

Author: Yves Gege

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Low Back Pain

First off, let’s get one thing straight. Your back is strong, resilient, and adaptable…NOT, weak and fragile!

1. Rounding your back is not inherently bad for you…

This one kills me. Why would we have the ability to bend over and flex your spine just to go through life not using this ability! I’m not saying you should lift a couch by yourself, round your back, and carry it into the truck but yes its ok to pick up that piece of paper with a rounded back. There are certain circumstances where rounding your back may be unsafe but as a whole, if you’re not lifting something heavy or repeating this motion 100s of times, over 1000s of days your back will be fine. A lot of times, avoiding these movement that can lead to injury and pain. Your spine has all that freedom to move for a reason…USE IT!

2. Core strengthening is not always the answer

You don’t have a weak...

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"I Have Bad Knees"

Author: Yves Gege

“I have bad knees” is something we hear all the time.

It usually comes up during some sort of physical activity like hiking, running, or tennis or during something as simple as getting up off of floor or going down stairs. You tell yourself, and unfortunately you have been told, that because you have “bad knees” we shouldn’t do certain things.

You’ll see a doctor or health professional who tells you that because of your arthritis or tendinitis or chondromalacia (big word) that we should avoid certain activities. Unfortunately, or FORTUNATELY, the newest medical research is simply not backing these claims.

We’ve now seen multiple studies showing improved cartilage thickness with weighted squats, as well as in runners. Also increased ligament size within olympic lifters as well. Most rehabilitative research shows that movement and exercise produces the best results for long term function better than any other modality.


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Why Women’s Health Physical Therapy?

Author: Meg Henderson

I have been practicing physical therapy in the outpatient orthopedic setting in Charleston, SC since 2008. As a new grad, in a new city, with a new husband I eagerly approached my job as I had been trained in school: evaluate and treat. Help the patient return to their functional activities. Instruct in home exercise programs. Over the years, I became more confident in my skills learning from my co-workers and continuing education courses along the way. I developed meaningful relationships with my patients as I assisted them in their recoveries from surgery, over-use injures, weekend warrior projects, and more.

Physical Therapy can help you respond to the changes in your body.

It wasn’t until I became pregnant with my second son that I became more interested in women’s health PT. I was learning first-hand how important it was to continue my once active lifestyle in order to prepare for the pregnancy-related changes to my body and keeping up...

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3 Shoulder Exercises to Improve Your Mobility

Author: Peter Yu

Our shoulders are one of the most versatile and incredible joints in the human body. The shoulder is a “ball and socket joint” and allows for the most range of motion and mobility of any joint in the body. The shoulder requires that at least 12 muscles work together at any given time along with the scapula and humerus of the arm in order to allow for optimal shoulder motion and function. Because of the large range of motion our shoulders allow, it is often times not as stable as our other joints and can frequently become injured. Right now we are specifically looking at how we can improve our shoulder mobility and stability, in order to ensure optimal shoulder performance.

The Apley’s Scratch Test and the Seated Shoulder Flexion Test are two self examination screens you can perform on yourself to determine if you have adequate mobility at the shoulder.


TEST: Apley’s Scratch Test 
(Shoulder Internal External...

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Ankle Integrity: Building a Foundation from the Feet Up

Author: Peter Yu, SPT

When it comes to building any house it is essential to establish a stable and strong foundation. Similar to that, our ankles and feet are the foundations of our body when it comes to movement and motion. Because our feet are the first thing that comes in contact with the ground, proper motion at the ankle is essential in order to have the joints above, and ultimately the whole body, moving in an effective and efficient manner. Having a healthy ankle is crucial in allowing us to optimize our movements without any pain or discomfort! A “healthy” ankle is comprised of 3 major factors: mobility, balance, and strength. This article will provide you with ways to assess and improve your ankle performance. Start by taking the following tests.

TEST: Ankle Mobility 
(Half Kneeling Dorsiflexion Test)

To perform this test, kneel in front of a wall with about 4-5 inches of separation from your big toe to the wall. Then, push your knee...

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