John Quinn's interest in physical therapy began when he was a patient.



Working in construction for almost 20 years, John injured his shoulder and had to have surgery. While he was recovering during his physical therapy appointments, he found he wanted to pursue that line of health care. He went back to school and graduated from College of Staten Island with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in physical therapy.



In 2002, after a few years of working in outpatient offices and home health care, John and his family moved from New York to Niceville, and he started his own practice in Destin.



"I like working with people and helping people," he said.



"I had one patient who had spinal surgery and his doctor was concerned he'd never walk again, but he's walking around now," John added proudly.



When John first opened his practice doors he was a one-man show, handling appointments and billing on top of caring for patients. It wasn't long before he enlisted the help of his wife, Mary, a registered nurse, who works at the office part time.



What makes Quinn Physical Therapy different from other offices is their personal attention. John likes to create a rapport with his patients and always strives to create an environment in which they feel comfortable. In the back of the office is the gym, equipped with several fitness machines. Patients bring in snacks and their own music, turning their workout routine into a fun, social hour.



"It's a family atmosphere," Mary said.



Initial appointments begin with an evaluation. Once a plan for physical therapy has been set, John assigns an exercise program that can be done at home or at the office.



"Some people think physical therapy will be painful, but we try to make it as pain-free as possible," he said.



Quinn Physical Therapy opens up its gym space to patients and non-patients, offering them a place to work out under the guidance of a healthcare professional. John helps them customize an exercise program that not only fits their needs, but reduces the chance of injuries.



"The gym is open to everyone," said Mary. "It's all about creating a gym program that is safe. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And if something's bothering them, they have a physical therapist they can turn to."



Mary also enjoys the fact that patients have a reason to return to the office.



"We get to see patients more," she said with a smile. "Some of them have been coming to us for 10 years. Through this practice we've had the chance to get to know people we wouldn't ordinarily meet."



"I wouldn't go anywhere else," said patient Paula Lubert. "I love working out here, and I've gone to the premier gyms. The people here are wonderful."



Snowbirds are welcome at Quinn Physical Therapy. Oftentimes, patients come in for physical therapy after undergoing surgery elsewhere, or utilize the gym during their stay.



"We love our snowbirds," Mary said. "We've had patients come back just to say hello."



Quinn Physical Therapy sees patients of all ages and ailments, from knee replacements to sports injuries. With three athletic children, John often doesn't get much time off, his wife joked.



Even after 10 years, the staff has only grown to a total of four people and doesn't have future plans of expanding. John and staff enjoy working in the Destin community and like having a small practice with a big heart.



"We're not a big corporation," he said. "We like to provide more personal attention, more one-on-one care. I enjoy watching someone progress and return to the lifestyle they want to have. I like helping people."