Betsy Rigsbee, PT, DPT
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Certified Orthopedic Manual and Manipulative Therapist
My Philosophy of Care
As a Doctor of Physical Therapy with over a decade of experience and expertise in orthopedics and manual therapy, my goal is to keep you moving and working toward your goals. Like the wise Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” I am not a healer that claims to perform a magical “cure,” but as your physical therapist I can be your coach, your counselor, your cheerleader, your navigator, your educator and most importantly your healthcare ally who listens and cares. I have many tools I can implement in my PT toolbox to help reduce your pain including taping, cupping, stretching and manual therapy techniques like myofascial release or joint mobilization. My bread and butter interventions, however, are education and exercise. These are what make the largest or most long-term impacts on my clients. I will prescribe you with a personalized home exercise program and rehab plan, as well as educate you about your pain, the human body and behavioral practices to facilitate recovery and reduce relative risk of injury. Whatever pain or injury brings you in to see me, I can help remove the distress or suffering it is causing you.
Bachelor of Arts in Dance / Barnard College, Columbia University
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior / Barnard College, Columbia University
Doctor of Physical Therapy / University of Washington
My Clinical Interests
- Sports/athletic rehabilitation
- Performing Arts/Dance Medicine
- Orthopedic Post-operative recovery
- Rehabilitation for Motor Vehicle Collision or Whiplash Injury
- Prenatal and Post-Partum Physical Health and Recovery
- Fall Risk Reduction
- Tai Ji Quan Moving for Better Balance
- Pain Management
- Yoga and Pilates based exercise interventions
- Comprehensive management and clinical collaboration for conditions or injuries with ligamentous laxity, collagen disorders, autoimmune dysfunction, dysautonomia and/or morphological joint changes (including but not limited to EDS, BJHS, Marfan’s, RA, SS, AS, ME formerly CFS, CRPS, POTS)
Betsy is determined to “make a difference” in the effectiveness of her time invested in our PT sessions which has a direct relationship to my ultimate healing process. Nothing is unknown in her ability to learn her patients, give a clear response to questions, and take a proactive approach to affect change. Betsy’s professionalism is tempered by her refined knowledge not only of that in which she excels from years of study, experience, and exposure to a multitude of methods to promote healing, but also of her intuitive sense and go-to spontaneity as she follows with her heart, soul, and mind to help others discover and find solutions to life’s challenges. We are in this together!
Currie PJ, Khelemsky R, Rigsbee EM, Dono LM, Coiro CD, Chapman CD, Hinchcliff K. Ghrelin is an orexigenic peptide and elicits anxiety-like behaviors following administration into discrete regions of the hypothalamus. Behav Brain Res. 2012 Jan 1;226(1):96-105. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.08.037. Epub 2011 Sep 2. PMID: 21907737; PMCID: PMC4104180. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21907737/
Stokes PD, Lai B, Holtz D, Rigsbee E, Cherrick D. Effects of practice on variability, effects of variability on transfer. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2008 Jun;34(3):640-59. doi: 10.1037/0096-15184.108.40.2060. PMID: 18505329. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18505329/
Community Involvement/Volunteer Organizations
Volunteer at free clinic and supporting member of Seattle Dance and Performing Arts Medicine (SeaPAM)
Supporting member of Mercer Island Preschool Association and Northwood Elementary PTA
My Personal Story
Maya Angelou once said, “As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.” As a life-long dancer, I was inspired by the many providers who helped me to continue to dance. I have always had a love for teaching and science. In college I discovered that working in research lab did not engage enough of my creativity and interpersonal skills, but the field of physical therapy did. Now that I am a mother of two, I only work part-time so that I can balance caring for myself, my children and my patients. Although I’m in the clinic fewer hours than previous, I am still as enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate about my work as I was on the first day of physical therapy school. My favorite self-care activities include running, swimming, yoga, weight lifting, living room dance parties with my kids and playing the piano. I look forward to helping you get back to the things that satisfy your soul.
I am recovering from rotator cuff surgery. I am a serious overhead athlete who desires to get my shoulder back to full strength with full range of motion as soon as possible. Betsy immediately recognized that scar tissue was building up then limiting my external range of motion. She dug into my shoulder and started to break up adhesions as well as providing several key at home exercises to strengthen and stabilize it. I am now a lifelong customer! Her outstanding skills and knowledge of her trade put her above the rest.