Moving home: Columbiana native opens PT Solutions in hometown

Published 1:51 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2022

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By MEG HERNDON | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – It has always been a goal of Tommy Ponder’s to practice in his hometown, and on Wednesday, May 18, that goal became a reality for the Columbiana native.

“From day one I wanted to be here in my hometown practicing,” Ponder said.

Ponder, who graduated from Shelby County High School in 1998, held a grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Columbiana branch of PT Solutions on May 18, surrounded by local friends, family and officials.

PT Solutions is a physical therapy practice that provides personalized treatments for a variety of conditions.

“One of the owners of the company sat across from me and asked me if I wanted to practice in Columbiana, and I said, ‘Absolutely,’ and he said, ‘Give us a couple of years and we’ll put you there,’” Ponder recalled at the ribbon-cutting. “To be with a practice who believes in my dream and didn’t give me an empty promise was something that I’ll never forget. I’m grateful for them.”

Ponder is a board-certified orthopedic specialist in physical therapy. He provides subspecialty care for patients who deal with an array of the neck and back-related pain disorders.

He has also developed a special interest in the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries. Ponder’s passion lies in helping athletes return to the sport or hobby they love, no matter their age.

PT Solutions Director of Critical Operations Dylan Elliot said that PT Solutions is particular when it decides to go into a small-town market like Columbiana. First, there’s the matter of making sure that the community will be receptive, but also that someone local to the area can lead the clinic.

“Columbiana is different than every community we’ve been in because of the hometown feel,” Elliot said. “Because of how much people are invested in relationships and seeing each other succeed.”

At the grand opening, Columbiana Mayor David Mitchell expressed his excitement to have a local healthcare facility in the town for workers and residents.

“So often, unfortunately, our folks have to go outside of the city to find work, and it’s just absolutely great to have an opportunity for people to start a business and work here in Columbiana,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell also explained that small rural communities in Alabama are in desperate need of healthcare facilities that are closer to them.

“A lot of people do need physical therapy, and it’s helpful that we have it here,” Mitchell said. “It’s great.”

The positive reception from the community is something that Ponder said he is extremely grateful for.

“Plugging into the community has been very important, which being from here, I know the importance of that,” Ponder said. “(The support) means a ton. I go to church with these people, I sit at ball games with these people, I walk the streets with these people, I know them. So being able to be here and serve them, because really and truly the why of what I do, and the why of PT Solutions, is people. It’s helping and caring for people. It’s good to be able to do that in your own town,” Ponder said.

PT Solutions of Columbiana is located at 209 West College St. Columbiana, AL. Reach them by calling 205-210-4980 or emailing