The Smart Body Physical Therapy Story
Like most small businesses, Smart Body Physical Therapy has its own special backstory. Laura Bunso, PT, MTC, opened the practice in the fall of 2004. Growing up as a “military brat,” Laura lived all around the world and came back to Jacksonville, finishing high school here. She received her undergraduate degree from Jacksonville University and went on to pursue her love of helping people through physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine. After graduating as a physical therapist, Laura started her career at what was then St. Luke’s Hospital/Mayo Clinic – now known as Ascension Southside. During her first year, she worked as an inpatient physical therapist, doing rehabilitation for everything from total joint recovery to transplants and acute care. Laura was promoted to outpatient physical therapy by her second year, and when she decided to leave the hospital in early 2004, she was representing the rehabilitation department for the hospital’s Women’s Health Taskforce.
Laura left the hospital after becoming very sick while pregnant with her second child, who had a lot of medical complications. While his birth and multiple procedures went well, Laura stayed home with him in order to help his recovery. By the fall of 2004, he had recovered to the point that she was able to step back into her profession of physical therapy and step out on her own. She started renting a small, 10 x 12 room with thoughts of only being part-time. Her “small” practice continuously grew, doubling in size year over year, and requiring more clinic space.
Since 2011, Smart Body Physical Therapy has been located on Southpoint Parkway, in a 2500-square-foot facility with six private treatment rooms, gym, and state-of-the-art biofeedback for our pelvic health patients. Smart Body Physical Therapy has evolved from an outpatient orthopedics practice specializing in manual therapy, pelvic health (women’s and men’s), spine and orthopedics to one focused on pelvic health. This pelvic health focus originated after the company won the Athena Link project in 2015. Laura realized the depth of expertise the Smart Body Physical Therapy team had in this area of practice, and identified that they were truly pioneers in this area. Smart Body Physical Therapy then became one of the largest practices in the country focused on pelvic health. The practice has state-of-the-art biofeedback equipment and has been rolling out programs like telehealth long before they were popular. Smart Body Physical Therapy now serves over 900 referring providers and patients come from all over northeast Florida, as well as national and international patients who travel near and far for their expertise in pelvic health physical therapy.