Our Friends in Atlanta


Meet Tony Davenport from Atlanta, GA!
Lead Activity Based Therapy Specialist & Program Director at Next Step Atlanta
Chapter leader for Rolling Together Atlanta – United Spinal Chapter

While serving 12 yrs in the Marines I earned my B.Sc. and M.Sc. but I ended service sooner than expected May 2007 due to an injury. I did odd jobs until I found work in a physical therapy clinic in March 2008 doing exercise rehab with clients living with spinal injury. While there, someone mentioned Project Walk and after viewing their website I became infatuated with the training program they offered. I flew out to Carlsbad for one week in Aug 2011 to be trained. The therapeutic environment always had my interest so I re-took all the prerequisites for the DPT program only to run short of funds with the VA Post 911 GI Bill by 3 classes to apply. Devastated, I remained focused on working in neurological recovery and soon began laying out my own business plan to create a fitness studio. Unknowingly, Paul Pickard, owner of Project Walk Atlanta, now NextStep Atlanta, had been to Carlsbad following my departure back home and he brought the business to Georgia. After a phone call with him in Sept 2011 we agreed to work together to launch the business. His son Chris Pickard had sustained a C6 SCI to which I began working with him in the garage of Paul’s home, a beginning to a magnificent journey. Eventually, Paul found a space and I helped him move the equipment into the space for what began as Project Walk Atlanta, a 6500 sq ft facility with 3 specialists. Our grand opening was March 2012.

Currently I am a PhD of Health and Human Performance student, have a massage therapy license focusing on orthopedics and pain management, I have held 13 active certifications at one point from personal training to medical fitness, and I’m planning to do craniosacral therapy training, neurokinteic therapy training, more training with the Neuro Recovery Training Institute and possibly a second doctorate following graduation of my first in 2020.

In Sept 2016 we joined forces with NextStep Los Angeles, a Neuro Recovery Network facility. This affiliation with the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation added advance training and use of current research supporting Activity Based Therapy (ABT). In Jan 2017, we downsized our facility to optimize operations for 4500 sq ft and focus on advancing client recovery using the tenets of activity based therapy. We have a suite of equipment from Restorative Therapies, can apply FES and NMES,  we are capable of body weight support treadmill training, over the ground gait training, vibration training, wide tables, and the array of exercise machines to facilitate activity based therapy in the chronic stages following paralysis. We each bring aspects from our fitness background to the table to create diverse exercise sessions not predicated, only, on therapeutic exercise. Our accomplishments host both physical and occupational goals improving peoples capabilities for daily living, not just in exercise.

I love making an impact on people’s lives using the knowledge I’ve acquired. Someone’s quality of life is hinged on the willingness of the Practioner to believe activity based therapy will make a difference.

Along with Activity Based Therapy, we host a monthly peer support group meeting on the 2nd Thursday at noon, we have contracted services for massage therapy, tissue regenerative therapies, some chiropractic with functional neurology, and basic nutritional support.

Tony has also visited Washington D.C. on multiple occasions to advocate for disability rights. Thanks for all you do for people with spinal cord injury physically, emotionally and through advocacy!

Visit NextStep Atlanta

Leave a Comment