Carolina Strong Physical Therapy prides itself on convenient, comprehensive, and compassionate physical therapy. The owners, Michael (Mike) and Kelly Payne, along with their qualified staff, will assist you in attaining your goals through one-hour individualized treatment sessions. Our experience is in orthopedics including total joint replacement, ACL rotator cuff repairs, sports and overuse injuries, neck and back pain, balance, impairments such as vertigo, functional dry needling, cupping, and osteoporosis management. Their facility is well designed and equipped to provide individualized quality treatment.
We are passionate about physical therapy and assisting you in relieving your pain and achieving your goals on the path to good health and wellness.
Beth Casamassina – Office Manager Damie Bradley – Scheduler
Michael Payne, PT, DPT
• Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University 2005
• BS in Biology from Richard Stockton University, NJ
• Certified in Functional Dry Needling since 2011
• Certified in Selective Functional Movement Assessment since 2011
• Certified in Functional Movement Screening since 2011
• Additional training in cervical, SI joint, lumbar, and lower extremity mobilization/manipulations, as well as vestibular impairments.
Kelly Payne, PT, DPT
• Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University 2007
• Graduated from JMU, VA with her BS in Health Science and a minor in Biology. 2003
• Experienced in pediatrics, neurological rehabilitation, outpatient physical therapy with emphasis on total joint replacements, low back pain and balance impairments. Additional training in Neuromuscular Therapy, balance impairments, traumatic brain injuries and stroke rehabilitation.
Mike and Kelly lived in Winchester VA for 4 years separately prior to moving to Wilmington NC in 2006/2007. They started dating in 2007 and married in 2009. In 2010 they were expecting their first child, Riley, and decided they should move back to Winchester Va. to be closer to both of their families (Kelly’s in Detroit MI and Mike’s in Winchester VA and south NJ.). They never felt like they were home in Winchester VA and continued to have dreams of moving back to NC eventually. Their move to NC was precipitated by Mike’s dad moving to Brunswick County to retire. They selected Brunswick County because it is still underdeveloped compared to Wilmington. Oak Island still has a small beach town feel like Mike remembers from the South Jersey Shore. They luckily found a house with the best of both worlds, a beach nearby and some land for a small farm.
Mike, Kelly, Riley, and Madelyn moved to a house which they turned into a small farm, something Mike has always dreamed of having. Mike’s dad grew up on a farm and he spent many summers with his cousins on that farm. Now he enjoys watching his wife and kids enjoy the animals, gardens and the outdoor lifestyle just as much as he did and still does. The Paynes truly feel more “at home” after one year of living in Bolivia, Brunswick County then they did after living in Virginia for 8 years. They hope to contribute and make a difference in their county and help as many people as possible. Their goal is to provide the best most affordable care. They truly care about their patients and people in general. They also want their kids to grow up in an environment and county where compassion and community are cornerstones of life.
Jennifer Pack, PT, DPT
Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University and Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Winston Salem State University. Jen joined the Carolina Strong Team in 2018 and enjoys working with post-surgical, balance patients, and treating vertigo. She is certified in Functional Dry Needling and Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization. She has experience working with various orthopedic, neurological, and vestibular conditions. In her free time, Jen enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh, and their dogs, Abby and Lola, as well as going to the beach and traveling.
Makaela Nelson, PT, DPT
Makaela is from central Maine where she attended Husson University. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and then completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy thereafter. Her professional interests include treating a variety of orthopedic conditions and surgeries through a combination of manual therapy and tailored exercise programs. Makaela moved to North Carolina in May of 2019 with her husband to join our team. In her free time, Makaela enjoys exploring the many beaches along the North Carolina coast and getting lost in a good book.
Amanda McEarl, PT, DPT
Amanda is from Cary, North Carolina. She graduated from East Carolina University with her undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology. She lived in Charleston, SC for several years prior to moving to the Wilmington area. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina. She is trained to treat various orthopedic conditions such as vestibular disorders and neurological impairments. She is certified in Functional Dry Needling. Amanda enjoys being outdoors exploring our many beautiful beaches and spending time with her friends and family.
John Westbrooks, PT, DPT
John graduated from University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2013. Prior to that he attended East Carolina University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2005. While at ECU, he was also a member of the baseball team. After suffering several career ending arm injuries this lead him into the field of physical therapy. His professional interests include biomechanical analysis of overhead throwing athletes, sports performance, and general orthopedics. In his free time John enjoys spending time involved in any sport as well as on the water with his two Rhodesian Ridgebacks Wes and Griff.
Garrett “Garry” Fitzgibbons, PT
Garry graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. He also attended Worcester State College, and was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (Magna Cum Laude). Garry is a former athlete including basketball, football and 10 years of competitive rugby. He recently moved to the warm shores of North Carolina from New England (Cape Cod) with his wife Rhonda. Garry has over 25 years of outpatient experience and provides a warm, reassuring welcome to all his patients. He has working experience with post joint replacement, neck and back pain, balance and strengthening, gentle manual deep tissue work, myofascial release, along with individualized exercise programs to each patient’s ability. He has also treated headache and post-MVA patients using cranial-facial release techniques with excellent results. Garry is a veteran of the United State Marine Corps. We thank him for his service.