About Us

Our Company

Optimal Therapy is perfect for people who don’t like relying on painkillers and who prefer natural, specialist solutions to end pain and stiffness so they can keep active and enjoy life.

Our outpatient orthopedic and sports medicine rehabilitation centers,in Las Vegas, Henderson, Pahrump, Boulder City and Tonopha herapy Clinic, are committed to providing the highest quality physical therapy care for our patients.

Optimal Physical Therapy is formed on the three basic principles of Empower, Educate and Elevate.

With our extensive evaluation to accurately determine the core problem that is causing your pain, our manual therapy techniques, and therapeutic exercise, we empower you to become a partner in your recovery and a return to the active life that you enjoy.

We educate you on why you are having a problem and diagnose the reason, but we do not treat the pain. Instead we treat the condition or injury that is causing the pain.

At the conclusion of your time with us, we elevate you beyond your pre-injury state and take you as far along the road to wellness as you will permit us.

To fulfill our three core rehabilitation values on which our practice is built, we use the exceptional skills, experience and training of our team members. Our focus is to heal you through manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercise instead of gadgets and passive treatments.

We provide pre-operative and post-operative therapy as well as non-operative therapy for injuries that are a result of work, trauma or overuse. We maintain an individual focus on patient care to successfully return our patients to full function and an enhanced quality of life.

At Optimal Physical Therapy we value the individual, not just the patient.


Our Team

Mike Russell

Mike Russell
- Physical Therapist
PT, DPT, CSCS

Mike Russell is a graduate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Department of Physical Therapy in 2007. Since that time, his research interests have included balance rehabilitation for athletes and the aging population, shoulder pain and the overhead throwing athlete, foot volumetrics related to running versus walking, hip, knee, and ankle pain with running and run-related injuries.

Mike Russell is a graduate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Department of Physical Therapy in 2007.

Since that time, his research interests have included balance rehabilitation for athletes and the aging population, shoulder pain and the overhead throwing athlete, foot volumetrics related to running versus walking, hip, knee, and ankle pain with running and run-related injuries.

Dr. Russell has been assisting all individuals to help them return to activity with an emphasis on “prehabilitation.” This term is the type of work and rehabilitation that the general population needs to engage in and depend on to prevent injuries.

He has extensive training in the use of dry needling techniques to help alleviate aches and pains faster with less time away from activities that people love. Clients of Dr. Russell enjoy the ability to stay active, avoid the use of pills or pain medication, and avoid costly surgery and procedures.

Dr. Russell is married to his beautiful wife Sara and enjoys fishing, Disneyland, and going to the beach with their kids Madison, Luke, and Liam.

Jason Melton

Jason Melton
- Lake Mead Clinic Director
PT, DPT

Jason Melton, DPT, was inspired to become a physical therapist after his own personal experience recovering from a torn ACL. After serving an LDS mission in Mexico, he graduated from Utah Valley University (Orem, UT) with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Recreation. He then completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Jason Melton, DPT, was inspired to become a physical therapist after his own personal experience recovering from a torn ACL.

After serving an LDS mission in Mexico, he graduated from Utah Valley University (Orem, UT) with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Recreation. He then completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Since graduating he received additional training in treating shoulder, hip, knee and back pathologies. He specializes in outpatient orthopedics and finds it truly rewarding to help his patients reduce their pain and achieve their goals.

Jason is married to Merryn and has four young children. His hobbies include all family activities, as well as playing basketball, soccer, and golf.

Spencer Earnest

Spencer Earnest
- Paseo Verde Clinic Director
PT, DPT

Spencer Earnest was born and raised in Laguna Niguel, California, spending his time playing sports and hanging out with his nine older siblings. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Utah Valley University and went on to get his Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy at Touro University, Nevada.

Spencer Earnest was born and raised in Laguna Niguel, California, spending his time playing sports and hanging out with his nine older siblings.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Utah Valley University and went on to get his Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy at Touro University, Nevada.

He describes himself as being married to the most wonderful girl in the world and they have three amazing children. He loves spending time with his family and playing any and all sports.

He has a passion for physical therapy and helping his patients achieve their functional and rehabilitational goals.

Dave Christensen

Dave Christensen
PT, DPT

Dr. Dave Christensen was born in Idaho Falls, ID and attended Shelley High School. Dr. Christensen grew up on a potato farm and learned the value of work at an early age. Upon graduation from high school in 2001, he served a 2-year religious mission in Riverside, CA.

Dr. Christensen continued his education at Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science in 2009 and Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2012.

Continuing his education, Dr. Christensen has become certified in Dry Needling and Kinesio Taping. Training also includes a course in high-velocity low-amplitude thrust manipulation of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and SI joints. His clinical skills/experience include wound care, home health services, orthopedic conditions, neurological impairments, vestibular/balance, cardiopulmonary, and workers’ compensation/FCE cases.

Training and education are important to Dr. Christensen as he set up several contracts with surrounding colleges and universities to provide clinical educational opportunities to future therapists such as PT’s, PTA’s, OT’s, COTA’s, and Athletic Trainers.

In 2017, Dr. Christensen began helping with the Nye County School District by consulting with school employees/staff, as well as parents and directly treating students with various gross motor impairments throughout Nye County.

Dr. Christensen is very personable and enjoys working with a wide array of patients with various ailments. His interest in rehabilitation started at an early age as he enjoyed sports and was injured several times including, broken bones, muscle strains, and knee surgery that introduced him to the wonderful world of physical therapy. Because of his time dealing with injuries and several bouts of rehab, Dr. Christensen is able to empathize with his patients and provide some unique insight.

The family is very important to Dr. Christensen as he is blissfully married to his high-school sweet-heart Elsha and they are blessed to have 4 children in their home: 3 boys and 1 girl. As a family, they enjoy church, scouting, sports, photography, theme parks, video games, being involved

Stephen DeFriez

Stephen DeFriez
PT, DPT

Stephen DeFriez was born in Price, Utah and grew up in Castle Dale, Utah.  After high school, he served a 2-year mission in Italy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Stephen obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Utah.  He then received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy also from the University of Utah in 2009.

While at the University of Utah, Stephen met and married his wife Kim. Together, they have 3 beautiful children.

Dr. DeFriez’s interest in physical therapy started after an ACL and meniscus injury and subsequent surgical repair and physical therapy treatment. 

 Stephen has always enjoyed small towns so his work experience has been very broad and includes geriatrics, vestibular/balance, orthopedics, home health, cardiopulmonary, and wound care.

Stephen has been a resident of Pahrump since 2009.  His interests include Jeeping, camping, hiking, and playing board games/videos games with his children.

Stephen DeFriez was born in Price, Utah and grew up in Castle Dale, Utah. After high school, he served a 2 year LDS mission in Italy. Stephen obtained a bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Utah. He then received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy also from the University of Utah in 2009.
While at the University of Utah Stephen met and married his wife. They have 3 children.

Stephen has always enjoyed small towns so his work experience has been very broad and includes geriatrics, vestibular/balance, orthopedics, home health, cardiopulmonary, and wound care.

Stephen has been a resident of Pahrump for 7 years. His interests include Jeeping, camping, hiking and trying science experiments with his kids.

Isaac Inouye

Isaac Inouye
DPT

Isaac Inouye was born and raised in Costa Mesa California. After high school, Isaac moved to Orem, Utah to work on his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Exercise Science at Utah Valley University. While working on his undergraduate education, Isaac met and married his wife Sharyn. After getting his B.S. in Exercise Science, Isaac moved to Henderson, Nevada where he obtained his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Touro University.

Isaac enjoys the outdoor access that the Las Vegas valley provides, and he tries to get outside as much as time and the Las Vegas Summers permit. Isaac considers himself a Jack-of-all-trades and enjoys mountain biking, climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing. Isaac also recently discovered Pickleball and enjoys to play as much as time permits

Isaac has worked in multiple areas of Physical Therapy and his clinical experience include Athlete Performance, Orthopedic Conditions, Low-Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Whiplash Associated Disorders, Chronic pain and is Certified in Functional Dry Needling through Kinetacore.

Danny Wilcox

Danny Wilcox
DPT

Danny Wilcox is originally from Southern California and spent most of his years in Corona. He went to Corona High and ran on the Cross Country and Track team. The mile, 800m, and 4x400m relay were his personal favorites. He continued running in college for Biola University and was an assistant coach for Corona High Cross Country for several years during his undergraduate education.

Various injuries throughout his running career prompted several bouts of physical therapy and introduced him to the field. After Danny graduated with his B.S. in Kinesiology, he applied and was admitted into Touro University Nevada’s Doctorate program for Physical Therapy. He began his career as a physical therapist in acute care at Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Danny’s time attending Biola University led him to meet the love of his life, Mackenzie. They have been married since 2010 and together enjoy biking, hiking, running, weightlifting, tennis, and all things Star Wars. They moved to Henderson in 2014 and are a part of Spring Meadows Presbyterian Church. Danny and Mackenzie have a new baby son, who was born March 2018, named Jesse.

Justin Larson

Justin Larson
PT, DPT

Dr. Justin Larson PT, DPT recently completed his doctoral education at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri. He had the privilege of learning the latest in hands-on manual therapy techniques from SBU fellows and faculty. SBU curriculum includes attending internships, he was chosen for Joplin, MO; Tempe, AZ; New York City; and Dallas, TX. During these internships, he found his true passion: orthopedic and sports physical therapy. While obtaining his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, he had the opportunity to be published and have his research findings presented at Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Prior to physical therapy school, Justin obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Utah. He met his wife, Lacie, while at the U of U. They have been married for 7 years. Their favorite thing to do is travel and attend sporting events. Both are very passionate fans of the Utah Utes. 

Justin specializes in hands-on manual therapy, sports rehabilitation, and general outpatient orthopedic care.

Richard Del Rosario

Richard Del Rosario
PTA

Richard Del Rosario was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He attended Spring Valley High school where he graduated in 2012. In 2014, Richard decided to go to school to get his Associates degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) and graduated from Carrington College in April 2016.

During his clinical experience, Richard was able to attend two outpatient orthopedics and a skilled nursing facility. Richard wanted to become part of this profession because he loves the satisfaction of helping people physically and getting them back to their previous lifestyle. Over the last few years of being a PTA, Richard has gained new knowledge in manual therapy and exercises to help patients excel in their everyday endeavors. Richard’s attentiveness to his patients needs to help him identify ways to progress their function and to build a connection. Richard’s favorite part of being a Physical Therapist Assistant is working hands-on with patients and being able to decrease their pain by massage or by stretching exercises to improve their mobility.

During Richard’s free time, he enjoys playing badminton, snowboarding, going hiking, and bowling. Richard also enjoys cooking and trying different foods from all cultures.

Robert Figgins

Robert Figgins
OT – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Robert Figgins was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. After graduating from Bonanza High School, Robert served a 2-year mission in Hawaii for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After returning home from Hawaii, he completed his undergraduate courses at UNLV in 2011 with a degree in Business Management. Robert attended an occupational therapy graduate program in Mesa, AZ and graduated in 2016 with special training in both pediatrics and sports rehabilitation.

Robert is trained in different manual techniques, including IASTM and cupping, and has experience working with a wide variety of injuries and disabilities. Robert is also trained to work with children that have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and he collaborates closely with a physician in Las Vegas that also specializes in working with children that have this condition.

Robert was married in Gilbert, AZ in 2014 and has two boys, James and Landon, who keep him very busy. Robert enjoys playing basketball, cheering on the Rebels basketball team, and spending time with his wife, Melissa, and family.

Sean Hastings

Sean Hastings
HR and Facilities Director

Sean Hastings joined Affiliated Therapy’s team in 2014. Sean comes to Affiliated with a wealth of knowledge and experience in management, sales, graphic design and project management. He served a 2-year mission for his church in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2001.

Sean has studied at San Bernardino Valley Community College (SBVCC), Westwood College and is currently attending Western Governor’s University (WGU) pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He was recently elected in his county to the School Board as a Trustee. He is very excited about this new experience and opportunity to give back and help the children in the county school district as well as in his community.

Sean is very active in his personal life and in his church assignments. He loves spending time with his family, experiencing the great outdoors, going to the movies and trying new foods. Sean is most excited for the chance to help grow the Affiliated Therapy brand and working with so many wonderful people in and out of the clinic.

Selica Dingson

Selica Dingson
PTA

Selica was born and raised in the small town of Salinas, Ca. Growing up, she was always playing sports and staying active. While attending North Salinas High School, Selica was very active in track & field, softball, women’s flag football, and even advanced her skills in Filipino Martial arts. With such an active lifestyle, she knew at a young age that something in physical therapy was her pursuing career.

Selica moved to Las Vegas in 2014 to attend Carrington College where she received her Associate’s Degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). She has gained valuable experience in areas that include: skilled nursing facilities, cardiac rehab, worker’s comp, pediatric settings, and outpatient orthopedic settings. She is most interested in sports-related injuries and anything that includes manual therapy. Selica loves a challenge and is always willing to learn new ideas that enhance her skills as a PTA.

In her spare time, Selica loves to go snowboarding, bowling and trying new foods. She loves learning about other people and the experiences that they share. She is excited to see what the physical therapy world has to offer!

Brittany Vargas

Brittany Vargas
COTA

Brittany was born and raised in Las Vegas. She graduated from Basic High School where she met her husband whom she eventually married in 2013.

Brittany attended Pima Medical Institute. She graduated from their first Occupational Therapy Assistant program in December 2017. She often thought about going to school to become a PTA, but it never worked out. Now she knows why it never happened… The OT profession is where her true passion is.

She fell in love with Affiliated Therapy when she was placed there as a student for 8 weeks of fieldwork. After this experience, she knew right away that she wanted to be a pediatric Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

Brittany looks forward to a long career of helping kiddos and expanding her knowledge and specialties as a COTA. Her favorite things to do include: spending time with her husband, going to Disneyland, and celebrating her birthday!

Sharon Oster

Sharon Oster
MPT

Sharon Oster was raised on a dairy farm in Minnesota where she developed her love for animals and the great outdoors. She graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. Sharon has worked in several states and moved to the Pahrump valley when there were no fast food restaurants and only one stop light. Throughout her career she has worked with a wide variety of patients from premature newborns to 104 years old.

Robert “Bob” Martin

Robert “Bob” Martin
PTA

Robert “Bob” Martin was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but raised about three hours north in Kokomo, Indiana.

He joined the US Air Force out of high school and after serving for 4 years, he moved back to Northern Indiana where he met his wife Tricia. They have since been married for thirty years, and together have raised four beautiful girls.

Through becoming an avid runner and cyclist, Bob grew his interest in physical therapy, health and more importantly, in helping people. He attended school at Brown Mackie College in South Bend, Indiana and finished in the top of his class. Soon after graduation, Bob gained employment with a skilled nursing facility where he won the annual exemplary employee, “Quest for Excellence” award. He has since gained a wealth of knowledge and experience as a PTA from working in many skilled nursing and wellness facilities throughout his career.

Now an empty nester, Bob and his wife are very active in their church, volunteering, mentoring high school students, and enjoying time with their rescue horse, Tom.

Jessica Popelka

Jessica Popelka
PT

Jessica is a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) and graduated with an A.A.S. degree from the College of Southern Nevada in 2010. She has experience in a variety of healthcare settings including hospital-based acute care and rehabilitation, long-term subacute care, rural outpatient care, home health care, and working with patients with developmental disabilities. She enjoys providing continuity of care for each patient she works with by looking at the whole picture in order to provide an individualized treatment approach. Jessica enjoys spending quality time with her family, cooking, reading, exercising and being outdoors.

Jason Dalisay

Jason Dalisay
PTA

Jason Dalisay is originally from San Diego, California. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University in 2005. Some years later, Jason decided to go back to school and in 2015, he graduated at the top of his class in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program from Carrington College in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, he also earned his second Associate’s degree.

Jason has worked at several sports performance PT clinics throughout the Las Vegas valley. He loves treating athletes but also has a keen sense for treating post-op orthopedic patients.  He is LSVT BIG certified which is a specific treatment plan that can help Parkinson’s patients.  He is also an STMT-1 certified practitioner.

Jason is an avid SDSU college basketball fan and a San Diego Chargers fan. In his spare time, Jason enjoys playing golf, traveling, and participating in obstacle course races. He married his bride Jennette in March 2013. In April of 2015 they were blessed with their daughter, Aria and on June 2017 they had their son, Lincoln. Jason loves spending his free time with his family. 

Brenda Deaver

Brenda Deaver
PT/DPT

Brenda Deaver was born and raised in the Salt Lake City, Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she competed on the Track and Field team in sprints and hurdles. After serving an LDS mission in Romania, she graduated with her BS in Exercise Science. She enjoyed the field so much, she pursued a MS degree in Exercise Physiology, and enjoyed teaching in the anatomy lab and various sports classes. She decided to further her education and moved to Las Vegas for physical therapy school at UNLV. There she met her husband, Ryan, and they love biking, movies, walking their dog, and trying new ice cream places. From a young age, she developed a love of sports and an active lifestyle and participated in several sports. Her most recent athletic achievement was playing on the Utah Falconz, a semi-professional women’s football team in the IWFL, and one of the best in the nation. She enjoys running, biking, triathlons, soccer, football, and trying new things.

Trever Heppe

Trever Heppe

Trever was born in northern California but was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. After graduating from Coronado High School, Trever completed his B.S. degree in Biology from UNLV. Trever became interested in physical therapy through his background in sports and while working for several clinics as a physical therapy technician throughout the pursuit of his undergraduate degree. He graduated with his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Touro University Nevada.

Trever wishes to specialize in treating young athletes of all sports. His goal is to obtain his specialty in sports. Because soccer is a huge part of Trever’s life, he also aspires to one day become a youth soccer coach.

Trever enjoys remaining active in his spare time. He enjoys watching soccer and playing in several leagues around town. He also enjoys snowboarding, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, and rock climbing.

Robyn Reyes

Robyn Reyes
PTA

Robyn was born in Bronx, New York. Shortly after, she moved with her family to Las Vegas, Nevada. After graduating high school, Robyn started to work towards a Pastry degree at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). She gained experience working as a baker but realized that she enjoyed it more as a hobby.

Robyn has been familiar with the Physical Therapy field ever since a little girl because both of her parents are PTs. Robyn’s determination to help others and sincere passion for working with children, motivated her to graduate with an Associate Degree in Physical Therapy as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), from Carrington College.

From the first time she helped a non-ambulatory toddler to walk independently, Robyn was confident in her career choice. With years of knowledge and experience in treating a wide variety of pediatric disorders, Robyn is looking forward to helping all the kiddos she can. In her spare time, Robyn enjoys playing soccer, going to concerts, and ANYTHING DISNEY!

EffieJane Ochoa-Carrasco

EffieJane Ochoa-Carrasco
PTA

Effie was born in the Philippines but grew up in Oakland, California since she was 4. She moved to Las Vegas, Nevada with her parents in 2008 where she then attended UNLV. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. She had to take a break from pursuing her academic career to take care of her mother. In 2016 she went back to school to complete her Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) degree. In her spare time, she loves to eat and try different types of restaurants each time she goes out. She also enjoys dancing whether she is on beat or not. One day, she wants to go back to school and pursue her Physical Therapist degree.

Anthony Datu

Anthony Datu
PTA

Ever since a young age, Anthony Datu has been involved in various sports such as wrestling, boxing, football, soccer, pole vaulting, and cycling. Being so active in sports is what helped to spark his interest in pursuing a career in physical therapy. It is because of this spark, passion, and determination that Anthony proudly graduated from Carrington College in 2018 as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA).

Anthony is very familiar with working in an acute care setting. He loves working outpatient physical therapy as well. He is fond of performing wound care services and myofascial release techniques.

Anthony is a previous member of the United States Air Force and served for a total of 8 years. Anthony had the wonderful opportunity of being stationed in Japan, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and lastly, Las Vegas, Nevada. He received many awards and accolades while serving for his country, but his proudest achievement was in receiving the Pacific Airman of The Year award in 2011.

Outside of work, Anthony is a combat sports fan and loves to talk about upcoming Mixed Martial Arts events and predicting who will win. He also has a new-found hobby of powerlifting and so far, he can deadlift 425 pounds and squat 375 pounds.

One day, Anthony hopes to become a clinic director and to also help Affiliated Physical Therapy expand into new markets. Eventually, he plans to acquire and operate a therapy clinic of his own. “Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do”, are the Air Force’s core values. Anthony proudly applies these fundamental values in the physical therapy setting, in helping others feel better, and in everything that he does.

Steve Jolley

Steve Jolley
PT, DPT

Steve Jolley was born and raised in Shelley, Idaho. After high school, he dedicated 2 years of his life towards helping the people of Honduras. While in Honduras, Steve learned to fluently speak Spanish. Afterwards, he attended Brigham Young University, Idaho and received a Bachelor’s Degree. It is here where he met his wonderful and beautiful wife. Together, they have five amazing children.

Steve received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2008 from Idaho State University. Upon graduation, he moved with his family to southern Nevada. Shortly after moving, he opened his first clinic in 2009 in Pahrump, Nevada. Because of the great care provided at Affiliated Physical Therapy, the company quickly grew to become the largest in Nye County. 

After years of directing and conducting outpatient therapy treatments, Steve has recently been able to primarily transition into his business owner role while occasionally treating and interacting with the great patients that we serve. In other words, according to Steve, he is now “pushing around papers instead of pushing around muscles and bones”.

Affiliated Therapy is poised and continues to steadily grow from year to year. Steve, with his growth team in place, plans to keep the momentum going by opening new clinics each and every year. He is so excited to lead such a wonderful team of experts and staff and to see where his next steps will take him and his company.

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