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About Us

Providing the best care possible for over 30 years, Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates, P.A. was founded in 1984 under the guidance of Dr. W. James Downs, Jr., PT, DSc, ECS. Downs founded the firm in response to local physicians seeking progressive physical therapy services for patients on the Delmarva Peninsula. It is that grassroots attachment that has been the cornerstone of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s philosophy since day one.

Since its foundation, Tidewater Physical Therapy has expanded to 16 locally owned clinics across Delmarva. Our therapists have continued to increase their certifications and knowledge in many specialty areas to provide for their ever-growing patient population. In addition, Tidewater Physical Therapy is a certified Medicare Rehabilitation Agency, meaning our organization willingly accepts a stringent set of guidelines in which to operate, including annual inspections.

Our commitment to our community is an important component to our practice. We live in and are members of the communities where we work. We support and participate in local philanthropic endeavors, and are committed to seeing our communities thrive.

At Tidewater Physical Therapy, we pride ourselves on the quality and experience of our therapists. Our expert staff is well known for effective outcomes, clinical quality, and exceptional customer service. Our physical therapists are fully licensed and are also proud members of the American Physical Therapy Association. The staff is focused on improving our patients’ health, well-being, and quality of life.

Tidewater Physical Therapy is now the most widely recognized, highly accredited physical therapy firm on Delmarva, setting the standard for exceptional care in a comfortable, friendly, and community-oriented setting.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out our patient success stories!

Our Expertise

The Captains Of Our Ship

In 1992, I joined Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates, P.A. One of the greatest things about sharing the length of my years of service with this special organization is the number of employees who have been with the company longer. Our company is different. We love what we do, and we love seeing your success and getting you back to the things you love to do.

We understand you are not at your best when referred for physical therapy. We understand you need encouragement, compassion and someone to take your mind off of the pain. It is our goal to create a caring, family atmosphere  in all our clinics—an atmosphere that is filled with laughter but serious and professional about the care we are delivering. From accepting you as a new patient to getting you ready for treatment to helping with any financial issues that may arise, our support staff is here to make you feel like part of our family.

Dr. Downs is a licensed physical therapist who specializes in clinical electrophysiology (Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Studies). Jim graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA, in 1970, with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. In early 1970’s, Jim trained in EMG/Nerve Conduction while serving as a physical therapist in the US Public Health Service in New Orleans, LA and Washington, DC. In the mid-1970’s, he attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA and participated in pioneering EMG biofeedback in the laboratories of John D. Basmajian, MD, while practicing physical for the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Atlanta. In the latter 1970’s he attended the Graduate Anatomy Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI, while working as a research physical therapist in the kinesiologic gait research laboratories of Mary Pat Murray PT, PhD at Wood VA Hospital.

In 1977 Jim and his family moved back to the Eastern Shore of Maryland for Jim to be the director of physical therapy and EMG laboratories at Memorial Hospital in Easton, MD. He resigned from the hospital in 1980 to open his own practice, in Easton, in electromyography/nerve conduction, where he also has contracted with many of the area hospitals.

In 1984 Jim and three associates founded Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates in Easton, which has now expanded to 16 physical therapy offices, as well as several wellness centers across the peninsula. Jim is now the senior partner and CEO of Tidewater Physical Therapy, where he enjoys helping to guide Tidewater in its efforts to provide quality physical therapy services to patients throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland and southern Delaware.

Jim has been board certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in Clinical Electrophysiology (ECS) since 1986. While practicing full time he attended Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah from 1999 – 2006, where he was graduated with a Doctor of Science in Clinical Electrophysiology.

During his career Jim has held several local and national offices with the American Physical Therapy Association and has served 2 terms on the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. Jim has also taught the EMG/Nerve Conduction course work at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for over 20 years and has lectured nationally in the same field. Jim has practiced in the specialty of Clinical Electrophysiology for over 40 years, where his prime interest is in differentiating peripheral nerve lesions, plexus level lesions, root level lesions and generalized peripheral neuropathy, as well as other neuromuscular involvement, such as primary muscle diseases, myoneural junction deficits and motor neuron involvement.