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Dr. James Lee


Born and raised in Chicago, James has been a physical therapist since 2010. He has a strong background in treating all orthopedic conditions. In 2017 James received his Fellowship title by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT). This is a national organization committed to excellence in physical therapy practice, education and research. This title serves to recognize his competence and expertise in the highest levels of advanced clinical, analytical, and manual therapy practice for the treatment of musculoskeletal orthopedic problems.


James has been rock climbing since 2009 and has been to various parts of the world to climb. Naturally, He came to specialize in treating many climbing injuries from tendon strains, pulley injuries, shoulder pain, nerve impingement, medial epicondylopathy, etc. James is passionate in educating and mobilizing people to keep doing what they love to do in a safe manner.


AAOMPT Fellowship

Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists - 2017

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science - 2010

  • What is manual therapy? What differentiates you from other clinics on the market?
    Manual therapy is a specialised area of physiotherapy / physical therapy for the management of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, based on clinical reasoning, using highly specific treatment approaches including manual techniques and therapeutic exercises. It might make sense to associage deep massage or the use of expensive tools with quality recovery, but these are temporary solutions that leave you wanting more. You don’t need to fight your pain with more pain. We want to help provide longer lasting changes that gives you independence. We use our hands to manipulate joints to reduce stiffness. We help relax your muscles and train your nervous system to decrease its hypersensitivity to your injuries. Manual therapy ultimately guides your movements to increase mobility and restore function.
  • How many visits will I need?
    A lot fewer than you think. You’re looking for expert advice and skilled hands, not someone to watch you do exercises 3 times a week for 6 weeks.
  • What’s the quality of each session like?
    There will be a full hour with your PT focused on you. Get treated with hands-on manual work and then be guided through exercises to get you moving and feeling better. You will get to understand the reasoning behind the treatment and exercises and have time for all your questions answered.
  • Where are you located?
    First Ascent Arlington Heights First Ascent Avondale Telehealth Your home You have the option of coming into First Ascent gyms in Chicagoland , online telehealth or choose to be seen in the comfort of your own house.
  • What is telehealth?
    Are you looking for expert advice but unable to meet in person? Telehealth is a service you can use to have all your questions answered remotely. Your therapists will watch your movements and guide you through activities or exercises that will help to resolve your specific issue. Find the comfort of knowing you have access to your physical therapist wherever you are. There is no need to download any app or program. Once your telehealth appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email and you’re one click away from starting a virtual therapy session.
  • Do you accept insurance?
    We take HSA cards (Health Savings Account) and other forms of payment e.g. credit card, cash, venmo, zelle, etc. We are considered to be an “out-of-network” provider to all insurance companies. We are a direct fee for service practice. However, upon request, we can provide the proper documents for you to submit claims to your insurance company to possibly receive reimbursements. Without having to meet the demands of insurance companies, our therapists can focus on addressing your individual needs 100%. There are no hidden fees, no unexpected bills. The investment you make to your body is our primary focus.
  • Do I need a physician’s prescription to see you?
    No. You do NOT need a prescription. The Illinois Physical Therapy Practice Act now allows patients to seek physical therapy without a prescription from a healthcare professional. On August 16, 2018, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 4643, which allows consumers to pursue and begin physical therapy services without a doctor’s referral while still ensuring professional medical oversight safeguards. Patients in Illinois can go directly to a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment.
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