Professional Healthcare With a Personal Touch

7208 East Cave Creek Road, Suite H, Carefree, AZ  85377   |   Phone: 480-488-9095

30 years



“Carefree Physical Therapy is my favorite therapy. Beyond professional, courteous, helpful and friendly. NO better place!”
“I have encouraged 3 other patients to use Carefree Physical Therapy.”
“I would most definitely recommend Carefree Physical Therapy and Nathan.”

The Carefree Physical Therapy Treatment Team


cynthia driskellCynthia Driskell, PT received her Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Physical Therapy at the University of Missouri in 1979, as well as a BA in Biology at Drury University in 1977. She established Carefree Physical Therapy as a sole proprietor in 1987. In 1996, she was recognized as a Geriatric Certified Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. Cynthia is also certified as an Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (2010) and as an ASTYM provider.

Cynthia has a record of extensive participation in the Arizona Physical Therapy community. She is past- President of the Arizona Physical Therapy Association, past-President of the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy, and current chair of the AzPTA State Government Affairs Committee. She is a founding member of Arizona Physical Therapy Provider Network (PTPN).

Cynthia is active in the community with Soroptimist International of Saguaro Foothills, coach and referee with Desert Foothills Athletic Club, and the Foothills Caring Corp. Cynthia and Walt Murphy live and raise their family in Cave Creek. Away from the office, Cynthia enjoys riding her horse and playing tennis.

30 yearsAZ License #0921

“Cynthia Driskell was great! Very knowledgeable and patient.”  LC

“I would highly recommend Carefree Physical Therapy. Everyone is friendly and professional. Cynthia is the best!”  JJ

Lucy AriasLucy Arias has a Bachelor of Arts degree with emphasis on Health and Human Performance from St. Mary’s College of California. She joined Carefree Physical Therapy in 2006, after several years experience as a PTA in California. She received as Associate in Applied Science degree in Physical Therapy Assisting from Gateway Community College and her Arizona PTA certificate in 2014. Lucy, Juan, and their 4 children live in Carefree.

“Extremely satisfied with all aspects of my treatment!”  JP

carol cognataCarol Cognata joined Carefree Physical Therapy as Accounts Manager in 2007, bringing more than 20 years of experience in medical office management. She utilizes in-depth knowledge of medical billing and health insurance policy to ensure accurate and timely accounts management. She is happy to assist our patients with billing questions and insurance issues. Carol and her husband, Rich, live in north Phoenix and stay active visiting their children and grandchildren.

“Very satisfied. I would highly recommend Carefree Physical Therapy.”  PG

nathan millerNathan Miller, PT, DPT received his Doctor of Physical Therapy at Northern Arizona University in 2008, and his undergraduate degree in Religious Studies from Arizona State University in 2005. Nathan joined Carefree Physical Therapy in 2011. He has continued professional training in orthopedic manual therapy and has 3 years of experience in neurological rehabilitation. Nathan is certified in CrossFit Movement and Mobility and is a CrossFit trainer. He is interested in a broad spectrum of health, wellness, and prevention activities. Nathan, Megan and their 2 childdren live in north Phoenix with their 4 cats.


“I was very well taken care of and respected. I was here to get help with my knee and for that to improve, Nathan helped me strengthen my weak ankle and hip.  I am leaving with the understanding of correct alignment of my knee.”  BC

“I am so happy with the results. Nathan is so wonderful-inclusive, challenging, funny. Staff= terrific!”  CN

“I look forward to each next session with Nathan.  It is a joy to see my improvement!”  DB

FADI FRED ABOULHOSNFred received is Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at AT Still University (Mesa, AZ) I 2012, and has a BS in Kinesiology and Sports Injury Management from University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2006. He has completed an Orthopedic Residency Program and is Board certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy by the ABPTS. Fred joined Carefree Physical Therapy in 2012 and lives in north Phoenix. In addition to his personal fitness program, Fred likes soccer, trying new foods and restaurants, and playing with his dog.

“I am very satisfied with Fadi’s care. I have already told my doctor and would not hesitate to recommend him to others.”  RP

“I am very happy with my therapist (Fadi), the staff, and the facility.  I’ve had PT at 2 other places and Carefree Physical Therapy was clearly the best for me.”  RH

JESSICA aboulhosnJessica earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from A. T. Still University in 2012 after attaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Washington State University in 2009. She has a variety of professional interests including treatment of orthopedic conditions, balance and vestibular dysfunction, and women’s health conditions. Jessica has attended continuing education courses through Herman and Wallace Inc. focusing on treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. She has experience treating women with chronic pelvic pain conditions including pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, bladder prolapse and pregnancy related pain. She has experience in treatment of stress urinary incontinence and bladder retraining for patients with symptoms of urinary urgency. She joined Carefree Physical Therapy team in 2014. When she is not working Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband, Fred and their dog Ole, as well as hiking, yoga, and reading.
AZ License #10062

“Jessica has been very professional during my PT sessions. I found her to be extremely knowledgeable in her field, and I will request her in the future.”  SK

Kelly Forkasdi ArmijoKelly joined Carefree Physical Therapy in 2016 as front office referral coordinator and receptionist. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a BS in Advertising/Marketing in 1992. She has worked with Desert Foothills Athletic Club in an administrative role, and volunteers for the Congenital Heart Walk, an annual event in Tempe.

She and her husband Rick have three active boys. Most evenings you could find them at any of the local balls fields or gyms enjoying their boys’ games.

ginger morganOur dear friend and colleague Ginger Morgan passed away on Friday, March 20, 2015 after a brave fight against breast cancer for 2 years.

A graduate of University of Alabama-Birmingham in 1987, Ginger was very dedicated to her work at Carefree Physical Therapy as a physical therapist’s assistant from 2003 to 2015. Ginger was an integral part of our team at Carefree PT. She was fun, energetic, hard-working, and is fondly remembered by patients and coworkers.

In remembrance of Ginger, we placed a memorial bench on the the Go John Trail in Cave Creek Regional Park. It was one of her favorite trails, that she had hiked with her children Taylor and Katie. We invite you to hike the Go John Trail, enjoy the beautiful desert park, and remember our friend Ginger.

ginger bench on go john trail

The Carefree Physical Therapy Practice

Serving Carefree, Cave Creek, Desert Hills, North Scottsdale, and North Phoenix since 1987, Carefree Physical Therapy (formerly Foothills Physical Therapy) is dedicated to providing quality out-patient physical therapy and rehabilitation care to its clients of all ages for orthopedic, geriatric, and neurological conditions. We treat acute injuries, post-surgical needs, and chronic conditions. We offer post-rehab independent exercise programs at our facility.

Carefree Physical Therapy has been a Medicare certified provider since 1987 and credentialed by NCQA standards. We also participate with Medicare’s quality reporting initiative.

We participate in many insurance networks such as all BC/BS, and State Compensation Fund (workers comp). As a founding member of Physical Therapist Provider Network (PTPN), we participate in many other major networks such as Aetna, Humana, Healthnet, Community Care Network (CCN), Multiplan, and PHCS.

We utilize FOTO (Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes) a national interactive health analysis for quality assurance outcome measures.

30 years


Carefree Physical Therapy Services

carefree physical therapy
Orthopedic manual therapy means identifying movement abnormalities and correcting them. It relies on body movement analysis, Lucy Arias, PTA orthopedic manual therapymechanical positioning, and manual (hands-on) testing to assess muscle and joint abnormalities. Orthopedic manual therapy techniques can be applied to the spine, shoulders, hips, or other extremity joints.

Such abnormalities may cause symptoms of pain, stiffness, weakness or instability. These changes may be about some part of the body not moving freely enough, and the treatment is to restore more normal movement. Other conditions may create pain or dysfunction because some parts of the body are moving too much and the goal of treatment is to stabilize and limit motion.

Treatments in orthopedic manual therapy are movement oriented. Manual (hands-on) techniques by your physical therapist can be passive or active, with specific positioning techniques. Therapeutic exercises are targeted at specific areas of weakness or dysfunction, and home exercises are prescribed to support the changes obtained by the manual therapy treatment.


“You made my rehab fun and enjoyable, as did your friendly staff.”  JA

Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization

Carefree Physical Therapy is recognized as a network member with physical therapists certified in the provision of the ASTYM system of soft tissue mobilization.

ASTYMThe ASTYM system is a therapy approach that addresses problems such as scarring, fibrosis and degeneration that occur in soft tissues. These problems may develop as the result of trauma, surgery or overuse. The System is effective for new injuries as well as chronic, nagging conditions. The ASTYM System uses instruments along the surface of the skin to locate these problem areas and start the body’s healing process. As the body heals, exercise and activity help guide the healing which allows you to return to activities without pain and limitation. The success of the ASTYM System is documented for a wide variety of diagnoses and many times it helps patient where other treatments have failed.
The ASTYM System is used in settings ranging from therapy clinics to hospitals to industrial rehabilitations. This proven treatment helps countless patients every day.
The ASTYM System has been used in clinics by rehabilitation professionals since 1996. Thomas L. Sevier, MD guided the clinical, scientific and outcomes research used to develop the System and document its remarkable effectiveness.





“I would highly recommend Carefree Physical Therapy.  Everyone is friendly and professional.”  JJ

dry trigger point needlingTrigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) treatment is a very effective technique used to reduce muscular pain. the technique utilizes thin, solid filament needles to deactivate and desensitize trigger points in muscles. Myofascial trigger points are painful “knots” in muscles that can contribute to pain, decreased flexibility, and decreased muscle function. It is not uncommon for a person to continue to experience pain long after the inured tissues should have healed. This can be due to trigger points in the muscles in and around the area of injury. by inserting the needles into these trigger points, a “twitch response” or brief contraction is elicited, followed by relaxation of that muscle. this results in “deactivation” of the trigger point, which reduces pain and restores normal function to the muscle. Once normal muscle function is attained, treatment can progress to strengthening and returning to normal function.


“You made my rehab fun and enjoyable, as did your friendly staff.”  JA

There are many causes of dizziness and imbalance. There are three components that help us maintain our balance throughout our daily activities which include our vision, sensation and the vestibular system. The Vestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movements during all activities. When a problem occurs within the vestibular system it results in symptoms of vertigo. Vertigo is a sense of rotation, rocking or spinning when someone is perfectly still. Vertigo of peripheral (inner ear) and central (brain) origin can be addressed by a physical therapist. Specific treatments will depend on the cause of the vertigo, but can include head and neck maneuvers or other exercises to help eliminate your symptoms.

One of the most common causes of vertigo that physical therapists treat is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV occurs when the small calcium crystals normally found within the inner become displaced leading to irritation to the small hair cells within the inner ear canals leading to an inappropriate communication within the vestibular system resulting in symptoms of vertigo. When the calcium crystals are displaced within the inner ear canals normal movements such as looking upward, downward, side to side or rolling over in bed can result in dizziness, spinning, nausea, and difficulty walking.

carefree physical therapy balance strengtheningTreatment for vestibular conditions may involve repositioning maneuvers in the case of BPPV and habituation/adaptation exercises and balance exercises are usually required in cases of inner ear weakness or central vertigo disorders. The main goal of therapy is to eliminate or reduce your symptoms of vertigo to improve safety and confidence as you return to daily and recreational activities.
Non-vestibular causes of dizziness and imbalance:

Dizziness can be linked to a multitude of problems and is commonly linked to blood flow irregularities from cardiovascular conditions. It is important to follow up with your primary care physician when experiencing symptoms of dizziness. Non-vestibular causes of dizziness may include the following:

Side effects of medications
Orthostatic Hypotension (decreased blood pressure when changing positions)
Stress, Tension & Fatigue
Vision Disturbances (bifocals, cataracts)
Central nervous system conditions (ex. Stroke, aneurysm, tumor)
Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and other cardiac conditions
Neck Arthritis (vertebral basilar insufficiency)
Chronic conditions (ex. Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson Disease)


“I would highly recommend Carefree Physical Therapy.  Everyone is friendly and professional.”  JJ

As patients approach discharge from a formal physical therapy program, on going exercise for fitness and maintenance of function is highly important. Many individuals have home gyms, or a community fitness center to use. For those patients who need access to appropriate equipment, or a safe atmosphere for on going exercise, Carefree Physical Therapy offers a monthly gym membership. The cost is $40 per month, for gym access, Monday – Friday, 7:30 am to 5 pm. The office is closed on weekends and major holidays.

carefree physical therapy exercise equipment

We will provide you with instruction and a checklist of recommended activities to continue your individual program. You are always welcome to ask for assistance as needed.

This program is not available to the general public. It is limited to current and past patients of Carefree Physical Therapy.

Remember – exercise is the best medicine!

“Completely satisfied. Nathan was great and even though there was ‘pain to gain,’ I completely trusted him with my rehab.”  JP

Carefree Physical Therapy recommends Fall Risk Assessment for individuals who experience balance challenges without falls, who have experienced a recent fall, or who express fear of falling and limit their activity due to that fear. As a participating Medicare provider, we provide fall history questionaire and risk assessment as part of the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative to all of our Medicare patients.

preventing slips, trips and fallsIn our practice, we utilize evidence-based, functional tests to determine fall risk. These tests include:

Functional Reach Test – standing and reaching forward
Timed Up and Go Test – stand from a chair, walk 10 feet turn and walk back to sit down
Timed Chair Rise – sit to stand from a chair 5 times without using your arms
Single Leg Stance Test – Stand on one foot with arms across your chest

The test scores that indicate if you have a low, moderate or high risk for falls. The results of these tests can also suggest which exercises and activities could be beneficial for reducing your fall risk. Additional testing may also help to determine if an assistive device or other training may be helpful.

Falls are not a part of normal aging. Risk of falling can be greatly reduced by addressing issues of balance and strength through an appropriate exercise program.


“You made my rehab fun and enjoyable, as did your friendly staff.”  JA

Women’s health conditions can result in chronic pelvic pain and symptoms of stress/urge urinary incontinence that can result in major lifestyle modifications in a women’s life. Stress/Urge incontinence and chronic pelvic pain conditions can be effectively addressed by physical therapy evaluation and treatment.

Women’s health treatments begin with an initial evaluation that includes a complete review of the patient’s medical history and symptoms and a physical exam assessing posture, strength, muscle coordination and functional limitations. An internal assessment of the pelvic floor muscle strength and function may be performed if indicated and patient consents. After the initial evaluation a personalized treatment and exercise program is designed specifically for the patient’s needs.

The goal of physical therapy for patients with stress/urge incontinence is to strengthen the pelvic floor musculature, and through re-education, regain the ability to inhibit inappropriate bladder contractions and promote coordinated contractions of the pelvic floor.

The goal of physical therapy for patients with chronic pelvic pain conditions is to address strength and flexibility deficits with therapeutic exercise, use biofeedback to facilitate relaxation of painfully contracted muscles and manual therapies treating the soft tissue to improve muscle flexibility and reduce muscle adhesions.

women staying fitWomen’s Health Conditions that can be treated with physical therapy include:

Pelvic Pain
Rectal Pain
Dyspareunia (painful vaginal penetration in the absence of disease)
Vaginismus (inability to have vaginal penetration, spasm of the muscles)
Stress/Urge Urinary Incontinence
Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction
Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome
Coccyx Pain
Pudendal Neuralgia (pain in the nerve leading to the pelvic floor and genitalia)
Vulvodynia (chronic vulvar pain)
Pregnancy Related Pain

Treatment Options for Women’s Health Conditions

Manual therapy techniques are helpful in correcting pelvic asymmetries, reduce muscle spasm, decrease pain and increase soft tissue mobility which are essential in treatment of pelvic pain.

The muscle function of the pelvic floor can be compromised by surgery, pregnancy/childbirth, disease and musculoskeletal injury. Physical therapy evaluation can address strength and flexibility deficits to provide a specific exercise program to improve strength and muscle coordination of the pelvic floor to decrease pain and improve functional activities.

Surface electromyography (SEMG) is used to assess resting muscle tone of the pelvic floor and detect painfully contracted pelvic floor muscles. Use of biofeedback can be very effective to help to re-educate patients to voluntarily relax painfully contracted pelvic floor musculature to normal resting tone.

Intravaginal electrical stimulation is used to facilitate pelvic floor contractions and help patients regain motor control. Use of biofeedback and cueing from the physical therapist will help improve patient’s voluntary control over muscle function.


“I would highly recommend Carefree Physical Therapy.  Everyone is friendly and professional.”  JJ

rosa sida


Rosa Sidy, LMT is an Arizona licensed and nationally certified massage therapist.  She is a graduate of Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College in Flagstaff, AZ and has been practicing since 2001.

She is trained and experienced in a variety of massage and bodywork techniques, including Swedish massage, deep tissue, sports massage, trigger point, pre-natal, reflexology, and La Stone™.  She provides a professional and relaxing setting for massage, with attention to your personal preferences.  Massage therapy is billed to you as a private pay service, and not part of a physical therapy plan.

Please contact Rosa at 480-652-2268, or visit

michelle gavuraEnjoy the benefits of Pilates training for total body movement with emphasis on core stability.   Available by appointment with Michelle Gavura, PT, a certified Pilates Rehab Practitioner.  Michelle provides private lessons, individual equipment sessions, and group mat classes.

Contact Michelle at 602-295-4702,

In addition to the services listed on the left, we also offer:

  • Post-surgical Rehabilitation

  • Acute Injuries – Spine and Extremities

  • Exercise Prescription

  • Sports Rehabilitation

  • Industrial Injury Rehabilitation (Worker’s Compensation)


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