Augusta Business Daily

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Local business owner offers patients alternative treatment for chronic pain

Lara Bridges knows what it’s like to live with chronic pain, which is why she devotes her time to helping people find relief from their pain.

Bridges, a licensed neuromuscular therapist and owner of the Aiken Center for Neuromuscular Therapy, located at 104 Florence St. Southwest, was diagnosed with a spinal disorder from an injury she received while snow tubing in 2020. Her doctor gave her steroid injections, which didn’t work, and wanted to perform surgery to fix the problem. The only effective treatment she found was neuromuscular therapy.

Neuromuscular therapy is a type of medical massage therapy that provides pain relief by manipulating a patient’s muscles. It’s much different from a spa massage and is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including migraines, multiple sclerosis, scoliosis, and sciatica, as well as injuries.

“I focus on helping people live a more pain-free, normal life,” said Bridges, who launched her business on Monday, March 20. “My treatment is nerve and muscle-based.”

Neuromuscular therapy works by a pain-relieving massage which manipulates a patient’s muscles.

She said the therapy can complement treatments provided by other specialists, such as physical therapists and chiropractors. So far, Bridges has about seven patients, and some of them can’t even turn their heads.

“Some come once a week, and some twice a week,” she said. “I enjoy the reward of giving them mobility and not having pain every day.”

Bridges completed a two-year neuromuscular therapy program in one year at Southeastern College in Columbia. As part of her training, she received medical massages from other students and found they really helped to alleviate her pain.

“I feel like it’s a very effective treatment,” Bridges said.

Besides being a new business owner, she has worked for UPS for the last seven years. Bridges doesn’t plan to give up that job until the business takes off.

The Aiken Center for Neuromuscular Therapy is located at 104 Florence St. SW.

She said there are very few therapists in the CSRA, and the only one she found was in North Augusta. But Bridges said the treatment is becoming increasingly popular, so she expects to see more clinics like hers open in the future.

Treatment costs are based on the amount of therapy a patient needs, but she strives to keep her prices affordable. Bridges currently has two employees: her mother, who serves as her office manager, and her 16-year-old daughter, who serves as a part-time technician.

After dealing with chronic pain, she wants to offer her patients relief.

“I’m really passionate about listening to the patient,” Bridges said. “I want to get them to their end goal and then some.”

The Aiken Center for Neuromuscular Therapy is open Monday through Friday, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 803-262-5407.

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