Get back to doing the things you love with confidence.


Performance Focused Physical Therapy for Active Lifestyles in Charlottesville

Injuries Strip You Of Your Identity

When you get injured you’re not only in pain — you can’t do the things that you love. Going to the gym feels like a waste, trying to go for a run just seems to piss your injury off, and your daily walk with the dog is now the last thing you want to do.

You lose your identity when you get hurt. The worst part? You know the doctor is going to suggest “easing off” or “cutting back” or “retiring” altogether — we know that’s just not an option. That’s where Performance Physical Therapy at Whole Strength can help.

Don’t Settle for a Less Active Lifestyle


Whether it’s keeping up with the kids, hiking, working out playing a round of golf – you deserve to do it all, pain-free.


With performance physical therapy at Whole Strength, we get residents of Charlottesville and Central Virginia back to what they love, pain-free, even if they’ve tried everything



Charlottesville Physical Therapy

Your 3 Step Process



Our goal is to tell you exactly why you’re experiencing pain and give you a plan to find relief as quickly and efficiently as possible. On day 1, you and your Physical Therapist will create a plan to get you back to your life as soon as possible. You’ll figure out the root cause of your pain, and understand what you can and cannot do — and trust us, there’s nothing you can’t do.



We work together to address the issues that are needed to meet your goals. We teach you to be a better manager of your body and create a custom program to help you address every deficit and weakness related to your problem. With your Physical Therapist, you’ll know each step of the plan from getting you off the sideline, and back to what you love. This looks like a combination of manual therapy, dry needling, and hard work in the gym. This isn’t your grandparents PT.




After carrying out the treatment plan, you’re handed the keys. Time to get back out there. Throughout your Physical Therapy journey, you’ll be given the skills to identify when things might be getting worse, and what to do about it. Plus, we’re always here for a tune-up if you need it. You are equiped with the tools you need to help you stay at the top of your game for life!


Who Can Benefit?


Active Lifestyle

You may not identify as an athlete but you are active – From keeping up with your kids, getting in a round of golf, hitting the gym, or going for a hike, you deserve to be doing all of those things pain-free and for a lifetime. We can help you get back to the life you had before you were slowed down by an injury, nagging pain, or limited mobility.



From CrossFit, powerlifting to golf or triathlons, your sport of choice may vary. However, the frustration and agony of limited mobility, injury, and pain are the same. We understand the commitment it takes to perform at your highest level and am just as committed to getting you back to peak performance as soon as safely possible

Charlottesville Physical Therapy
Alec McKee
Alec McKee
I began going to Whole Strength Physical Therapy to address a nagging knee injury. I work a physical job and love doing CrossFit in my spare time and was being limited by pain in both my work and at the gym. The folks at Whole Strength very thoroughly assessed my injury. The approach they took was to try and address underlying issues - not just the injury. They worked with me to address an imbalance of hip and ankle mobility as well as glute and quad strength in order to attack this injury from the ground up. Their process is not just slapping a bandaid on an injury and hoping it doesn't come back - instead, they give you the tools to improve on the underlying cause of the injury which not only addresses pain, but ensures there is a lower chance of the same injury/pain returning. My experience with Whole Strength has been nothing short of excellent, and I can't recommend them enough. The doctors are kind, professional, knowledgable, and care about every client. They continue to educate and learn new techniques to offer the best care they possibly can. The facility is clean and has everything they could possibly need to help with your rehab and progression.
Pamela Lurie
Pamela Lurie
I worked came to Whole Strength after I was diagnosed with a treatable knee situation. They helped my partner with a back issue and he had amazing results, so I already trusted Whole Strength before I walked in the door. What I appreciate most about Whole Strength is that they consider my goals as an athlete, they want me to be stronger than before my injury to ensure it doesn't happen again, and they answers all my questions (I'm *that* patient with tons of questions). If you're not sure about working with Whole Strength, ask yourself how you want to heal in the long-term, because they set you up for success for that. I appreciate their approach so much and they have given me a lot of food for thought about my body, what it can do, and how I want to perceive myself from a strengths-based perspective as I age. I cannot thank them enough for believing in my body to heal and I look forward to using these knees, wisely and empowered!
Daniel Gerlach
Daniel Gerlach
Whole Strength was an amazing experience. They were very professional, respectful, thoughtful, and easy to communicate with. I was able to share my problems and goals and they were able to give me suggestions and ideas to help with my issues. Each session was one hour and it was a full hour of dedicated attention that I really appreciated. Working with them gave me new insight on my health and experience to help me get stronger in the areas I need work on. Overall, I think they are a great business and they do an amazing job treating their patients well.
P Lerner
P Lerner
I have been dealing with a series of nerve related issues for years. I have had surgery, gotten steroid injections, everything. I was always timid to get back to working out. I was frustrated with the big "PT factories" as the therapists there never really got to know me or my body. They were always so busy working on two patients at a time. I feel like they were just checking boxes and stealing the insurance money. So I was kind of down on the profession. Then, I noticed Whole Strength when they moved to the new location and I was taking my child to fencing next door. I love barbells and strength training and I thought that I would give this place a shot. I could not be more pleased. They only give attention to one patient at a time. Because of this, they get to know you and what is happening with your body, and they are able to make adjustments as you are doing the exercises. They do not wonder off to check on a different patient or look at their computers like they do in the "PT factories". My pain level is decreasing and I am seeing progress month to month. They have given me hope that I can be pain free and get back under a barbell for some squats in the future.
Maggie Salomonsky
Maggie Salomonsky
I started going to Whole Strength PT for serious knee pain during running. I was extremely nervous about the level of pain, considering I couldn't walk most days and I was in the middle of already-delayed marathon training. Luckily, the PT I worked with was very confident about making a game plan for me and continued to encourage that I would be prepared for race day. After about two consistent weeks of PT exercises, the pain was diminishing significantly and I could resume training. Two months later, the pain was entirely gone. I can now see how I've built up muscles to protect against future injuries. I would highly recommend Whole Strength to anyone, and especially to those who need to maintain confidence amidst their training schedules.
Jordan Kessler
Jordan Kessler
I had a serious break in my left wrist from a skiing accident when I was 14. At the time I was terrified. It was the first time I had ever broken a bone and the recovery time was lengthy. However, the bright spot of the entire experience was my orthopedic surgeon and his team. They were compassionate, understanding, and professional. That experience is my benchmark for care and since that time, nothing has ever come any where close. Flash forward. I'm 38. My knee hurts when I squat and my hip is bugging me too. I feared the worst. I thought back to that injury at 14 and envisioned a long recovery period. Desperate, I reached out to Whole Strength based on a referral from a friend. Within in the first session Dr. Luke assured me that what was going did not need intervention and that with some smarter training I could get out of pain. We met once a week for 5 weeks. Remarkably after each session I felt great. I would add what we had done to my own workouts and after 5 weeks, the painful symptom's disappeared. During this experience, Dr. Luke did a great job of hearing my concerns and professionally played the roll of my friend and my physical therapist. I looked forward to seeing him every week as we continued to crack the code on what was bugging my knee (weak quad) and hip (lack of time focused on mobilizing and stretching the hip). This experience with Whole Strength is the closest I have come to the care I received all those years ago. I strongly recommend reaching out to either Dr. Alan or Dr. Luke if you need help.
Frederik Brøndsted
Frederik Brøndsted
After going through a training progression towards the Cville 10 miler I had recurring bouts of hip pain that left me limping after runs. This was exacerbated after a basketball game to a point where I had pain for multiple days in a row. This led me to seek help at Whole Strength. I try to take good care of my body, but this unrelenting pain left me very frustrated. At Whole Strength they took good care of me, and provided some hands-on therapy to help with the initial symptoms and from there they developed a plan based on my goals and needs. I was given exercises to help strengthen my hip area, and over a couple of weeks I was able to get back to a normal exercise load (oly lifts, running, and competitive basketball) without any major flare ups. I am very grateful for the exercises I was taught at Whole Strength, and how to apply them when I feel my hip pain come back. It has left me confident that I have the tools to quickly address any future flares. I felt comfortable with my therapist, and I feel like he helped me a lot to stay injury free while going through a stressful stretch of life. I would definitely recommend Whole Strength, especially if you are looking for individualized care where your therapist has time to spend specifically on you.
Katie Grogan
Katie Grogan
If you have an injury - start here! I injured my lower back one year ago. As a previous college athlete who had never suffered any serious injuries, I thought I could just work through it. The pain became severe even when doing low impact exercises and sometimes with daily tasks like putting on my shoes. I tried rest and several chiropractors over the next 6 months. While the pain improved a bit, I would still get surprised with sharp pains while doing things like squatting down to pick something up, or picking up something bulky or moderately heavy. I also was not able to workout regularly with the chiropractic programs. My health and fitness is very important to me so it was really depressing to feel as though I lost that part of my life. I reached a point of desperation and decided to try Whole Strength. I wish I had started with Whole Strength because I quickly turned a corner and am back to squatting, deadlifting, running, and more without pain. Some people had told me things like, "I had similar pain and it turned out to be x and that can't heal without surgery" or "we're just getting old." I hated that attitude and believed that I could put the work in and get past it. The same beliefs are held at Whole Strength and they have the expertise and experience to direct my efforts to heal. They did not make me stop working out, but instead taught me how to modify exercises until we built the strength to do them without pain. With Whole Strength, I feel listened to, encouraged, and understood. I could not appreciate that more.
Carol Ann Paget Brown
Carol Ann Paget Brown
I am thoroughly impressed by, and very thankful for, my experience at Whole Strength PT. I developed bursitis in my hip, was in constant pain, and had trouble sleeping, significantly impacting my ability to move around and complete even simple tasks every single day. Alan developed a plan for my rehabilitation that was simple to follow and so effective. For several weeks now I have been completely pain free and have returned to all my activities without a single set back. I hope I don't need PT again, but if I do, Whole Strength PT will be my "go to" place.
Amy Rardin
Amy Rardin
I was impressed with Alan's knowledge of the human body and exactly how to go about healing my back. When I first met with him, I was depressed over my injury and considering surgery. The very first set of exercises he gave me, helped me to get out of bed and start feeling better. He was a positive presence during my therapy and always assured me that my condition would improve with patience and practice and it did. His approach is thoughtful and effective.

The Whole Strength Commitment


On time….always. We respect your time. If your appointment is at 9am, you’re seen at 9am.

One on one for the entire visit with your Doctor, every visit.

An individualized plan specifically designed for you, based on your unique injury or issue.

Transparency in what you pay. You’ll never get a bill from us 3 months after your visit.

Available for you between sessions. Have a question? Get an answer from your Doctor quickly and directly.

Meet the team

Dr. Alan Barb, DPT, OCS


Dr. Barb is a of doctor of physical therapy with 10 years of clinical experience and owner/founder of Whole Strength Physical Therapy. He earned his undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from West Virginia University. Post graduate, he earned his board certification as a Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (OCS) after completing an orthopedic residency affiliated with The University of Virginia with the Virginia Orthopedic Manual Therapy Institute.

Alan’s approach is to apply manual therapy and evidence-based exercise prescription to empower his patients to continue or resume desired activities of varying levels. He specializes in working with higher level and everyday fitness athletes to enhance their performance through individual and client centered sessions, return to full participation in exercise after injury, and injury risk reduction. His goal is to return his client’s to their desired level and reach their full potential athletically and in life to encourage lifelong movement and health.

He grew up in the mountains of West Virginia but has relocated to Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia for the past 8 years. He enjoys spending time with his wife Lindsey, son and daughter. His interests include strength training, golfing, and a variety of outdoors activities.

Dr. Luke Burns, DPT

Dr. Burns is a doctor of physical therapy and earned his B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Virginia (Go Hoos) in Charlottesville and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023.

Originally from Harrisonburg, VA, he has competed/coached in CrossFit for the last seven years and has a strong passion for working with athletes and gym goers of all levels and ages. Aside from CrossFit, he also has an athletic background in baseball, basketball, and distance running but also loves to find ways to get involved in other sports as well. He is excited to be back in Charlottesville and helping his athletes get out of pain and reach their full potential.

From Dr. Luke, “During my time competing, I have battled many sports or gym-related injuries myself and understand the frustrations that come with not being able to perform at the level you desire or to not even be able to complete the everyday activities that we often take for granted. I’m excited to connect with as many people as possible that may be struggling with their health and fitness journey and share my knowledge and tips that I have learned along the way!”