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About Us


Nancy McMahon, DPT

Nancy McMahon, PT, the founder and president of Ascend Physical Therapy & Wellness, still remembers her first experience in a physical therapy clinic when she was growing up in Vienna, VA.

“I was a 16-year-old basketball player and I hurt my knee really badly. I endured a round of conventional medicine for three months, but when I didn’t get better my doctor recommended surgery. I was devastated. It would have taken me out of my high school life for a long time and I might never be as involved in sports again.”

Nancy consulted a trusted coach and he suggested she try physical therapy before agreeing to the drastic step of surgery.

“I was terrified to go to my first appointment. My friends said it was awful and it would hurt.”

But she summoned her courage and started her treatments. Within a couple of months, she noticed great improvements with reduced pain and increased mobility.

More than 25 years have passed since that day and she is still involved with sports, lives an active lifestyle, and now runs her own physical therapy clinic in Vienna, VA.

Nancy said her teen experience with the healing power of physical therapy convinced her of its value as a career. She didn’t even wait until she finished high school to get more involved in the career she wanted.

“Just about the time I started to feel the healing effects of physical therapy, they made an announcement at my school about a local physical therapy clinic looking for a student intern to work part-time. As soon as class ended, I went there to get more information.“

The next day she secured the job, and spent the next two years working in the clinic, soaking up the information and helping in ways that she could. Upon graduation, Nancy enrolled in a community college in Northern Virginia where she obtained her associates degree. In 1992, she received her Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree from Florida International University in Miami.

In the early years of her career, Nancy continued to explore a variety of clinics and gather practical knowledge about a variety of conditions treated with physical therapy. She worked in outpatient clinics, in orthopedics, and served as a contractor physical therapist in schools and nursing homes gaining expertise in orthopedic, neurology, and pediatric physical therapy. She also gleaned extensive knowledge and training in anatomy, physiology, and the biomechanics of the body.

Along the way Nancy fostered a dream to open her own physical therapy clinic that would take a holistic philosophy to treating the whole patient and work to prevent the reoccurrence of injury and pain.

Ascend Physical Therapy & Wellness is the reality of that goal.

Nancy is licensed as a physical therapist in Virginia, Maryland, and Florida. She is a certified wellness coach in Virginia and an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

When she is not working, Nancy enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve McMahon, (“my IT guy”) and her Boston terrier, Murphy. She loves to travel to all parts of Virginia and abroad. She believes in living an active life and spends time hiking, biking and doing exercise.

She also still enjoys basketball, the sport of her youth, as well as track and football, also interests that have stayed with her from her high school days.


Kim, MPT

Kim is a long time fitness enthusiast having played soccer at the University of Michigan. She channeled her love of health and fitness into a career of physical therapy, graduating with Physical Therapy MA from Drexel University. Kim practiced outpatient physical therapy for seven years in Charlotte, NC.

While raising two sons and living in Japan for 5 years, Kim developed her skills as personal trainer for the US Navy and other fitness centers upon returning to Fairfax, VA.

She is excited to be back in the physical therapy field and is eager to apply her experience at Ascend. Kim’s unique passion for providing individual care to her clients will enhance Ascend’s hallmark philosophy.

In her free time, Kim enjoys swimming, hiking with her family and dog Vizsla, as well as studying Japanese.


Petya, DPT

Petya enjoys sports and an energetic lifestyle, which is why she pursued a career that helps people stay active.

Petya graduated with BS in kinesitherapy/physical therapy from National Sport Academy in her hometown Sofia, Bulgaria. She also earned a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University, VA.

Petya is particularly interested in treating orthopedic and sports related injuries. Before joining Ascend Physical Therapy & Wellness, Petya treated patients with variety of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. 

When not working, Petya enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children as well as working out at the gym, running and swimming.


Cathy, DPT

Megan, LPTA

Moriah, PT Tech

Helen, PT Tech

Ryann, PT Tech


Soheila, Administrative Assistant


What our patients are saying:

Ascend Physical Therapy & Wellness testimonialsNancy is extremely knowledgeable about the field, her attention to detail helped me with lower back pain as well as some pelvic issues I was going through. She is so friendly and welcoming that it makes it fun to do PT!

Every so often you meet someone who excels at their job and you realize it isn’t just their job, it’s their passion. That’s Nancy. She invests a part of herself with every patient, ensuring that they get the best possible treatment and stay well for years after that.

I would recommend Ascend Physical Therapy to anyone looking for therapy from a knowledgable, skilled, and caring team. Petya was my therapist for several months - she is AWESOME!

I had a pretty bad rotator cuff tear with a stubborn post-surgery recovery. Kim was masterful in getting me back on a healing track. They are knowledgeable, focused and determined to get results. Although there is plenty of technology; ultrasound, laser, software, etc., it is the friendly atmosphere and human touch that make the place so special.

Nancy is an outstanding physical therapist with a wide range of skills and knowledge. She has been so skillful in helping me get back on my feet due to all her training.