Live Well Physical Therapy opened a new clinic late last month at 3537 W. 13th St., its second location in Grand Island.

In addition to the other Grand Island location at 929 S. Locust St., a clinic is also located at 2307 Osborne Drive in Hastings.

Live Well Physical Therapy is owned by Barb Engberg and Matt Hilligas.

“Our patient volume has grown over the past four to five years that was resulting in us needing more space than what existed at our South Locust location,” Hilligas said.

As the clinic’s reputation has grown over the years, both Engberg and Hilligas felt they needed another location. They said the right opportunity presented itself in February and they thought it was too good to pass up.

“Over time, we have started to outgrow our current location. More space was a necessity,” Hilligas said. “The ideal location presented itself on the opposite side of Grand Island of our original location along with the perfect size space in a heavily trafficked and easily accessible area.”

Since opening on July 29, he said, the new clinic, at which he will be working, has been busy.

Engberg and Hilligas, who are both Grand Island natives, said they pride themselves in “implementing one-on-one treatment with patients utilizing evidence-based practice that allows us to personalize rehabilitation programs for patients to best achieve their goals in a family-friendly atmosphere.”

“This new clinic allows us the ability to provide the same top-notch quality care that Live Well is known for more conveniently to the entire community of Grand Island and its surrounding communities,” Hilligas said.

Engberg and Hilligas said the new clinic will offer everything the South Locust location offers except lymphedema and pelvic health.

“We provide one-on-one care,” Hilligas said. “You won’t be shuffled through three, four or five people in one visit at Live Well. Our South Locust location provides one-on-one treatments with our highly trained physical therapist and physical therapist assistants.”

The location will be initially be staffed by Hilligas, but if it continues to expand, they will add another full-time physical therapist and a full-time physical therapist assistant.

“In these early stages at this location, every session will be with Matt, still one on one, allowing the patient the continuum of care they deserve,” Engberg said.

She said Hilligas has extensive experience in treating orthopedic and post-operative conditions, sports performance and athletic injuries, as well as the treatment of chronic pain.

The new clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

“As our staff expands, we will be available Monday through Friday,” Hilligas said. “We are extremely flexible with scheduling and will accommodate a time that will best work for the patient.”

A new feature at the clinic is its new underwater treadmill, named The Mirage Pro.

Hilligas said the underwater treadmill is a “state-of-the-art, single-person aquatic unit that allows us to utilize the benefits of water in a therapy session at our new facility.”

He said the unit offers enough space for a single patient to perform rehabilitation exercises for treatment of dysfunction of the feet, legs, hips, back, shoulders and much more.

The treadmill on the unit allows them to train patients in walking, jogging, sprinting and even plyometric sports-specific training.

“The water not only provides buoyancy that places less stress on painful and arthritic joints, but the water also provides resistance that allows us to increase strength in our targeted muscle groups,” Hilligas said.

The water used in the unit is heated to approximately 95 degrees. That promotes muscular relaxation without overheating the body as it is under core body temperature.

The treadmill has the capability of going both forward and backward at a minimum speed of 0.2 mph, with the potential of a maximum speed of 9 mph, along with the option of resistance jets for added difficulty while the patient is progressing.

Once a patient steps into this unit, the door is shut and water begins to fill from the bottom up, which takes approximately five minutes.

“Depending on our goals, a typical treatment in this aquatic unit can last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the patient’s goals,” Hilligas said. “Once the session is over, the water drains from the unit, the door’s opened and the patient is able to exit the treadmill.”

One of the reasons both Engberg and Hilligas became physical therapists is they love getting to know people on a personal level and helping them reach their goals.

“The community of Grand Island has a special place in both of our hearts,” Hilligas said. “This opportunity to own and operate Live Well Physical Therapy has provided us the opportunity to positively impact the lives of our many patients every day by visiting with them, talking, laughing, listening, teaching, while also pushing each of our patients to achieve their goals, whether that be decreasing their back pain to sleep better at night or improving their core strength to prepare for an Iron Man race.”

Engberg is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and she practiced at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln for a time. She then worked in New York City at New York University Medical Center, where she founded and developed the Lymphedema and Women’s Health Physical Therapy Program.

Since returning to Grand Island in 2003, she has continued to develop services for the treatment of men’s/women’s health, lymphedema and general physical therapy. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and PT sections, including women’s health, private practice and oncology. Engberg and her husband, Jeff, have three children.

Hilligas is a Grand Island Senior High graduate and earned his doctorate in physical therapy from Creighton University in Omaha. Prior to completing his physical therapy education, he attended Wayne State College, where he played baseball. He worked for Enberg prior to becoming partners with her five years ago.

He is geared toward patients with orthopedic conditions and has a passion for athletics. He is also a member of the APTA, including the orthopedic section. He holds certifications in several areas. He has also received training to perform runner evaluations with the use of video analysis and functional testing. He and his wife, Amber, who is also a physical therapist at Live Well, have two children.

Both Engberg and Hilligas think of Live Well Physical Therapy as a family.

“We strive to utilize evidence-based practice that is up to date with the current research while maintaining a family-friendly environment with plenty of smiles, jokes and laughter, while pushing our patients to reach their individualized goals to allow them to live their lives to the fullest,” Hilligas said.

Their philosophy is to ensure their patients aren’t just a number.

“We take the time to sit down with our patients to find the things that make them tick, establish their goals and develop an individualized program utilizing the latest research and state-of-the-art facilities to provide exemplary care,” he said.

Both Engberg and Hilligas recognize that chronic pain and weakness can severely limit an individual’s ability to take part in the activities they love.

“With our philosophy, welcoming smiles, expertise and one-on-one personalized treatment programs, we’re able to provide the people of Grand Island along with the surrounding communities elite level care at multiple convenient locations to help them achieve their goals, love life again and live well,” Hilligas said.

Engberg and Hilligas will also be opening a satellite location at Dr. Pravardhan Birthi’s recently opened Grand Island Pain Relief Center at 403 Lexington Circle Drive.

“That will allow us the ability to provide patients suffering from chronic pain the accessibility to physical therapy consultation the same day and in the same facility as their consultation with a pain specialist when appropriate,” Hilligas said. “The opioid epidemic is serious and finding conservative routes to manage pain is extremely important for the community of Grand Island, the state of Nebraska and the nation.”

To learn more about the Live Well Physical Therapy and the services it provides, visit the website at or call (308) 382-9700.

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I cover business, ag and general reporting for the GI Independent.

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