Brian Prax, MA PT, grew up in Faribault, Minnesota, and graduated from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth in 1994 with a master’s degree in physical therapy. He began his career as a traveling physical therapist, taking short-term contract positions in a number of different practice settings around the country. In 1996, the lure of the Tetons brought him to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At the end of his short-term job, he decided to stay on. He’s lived here ever since.
Looking back, Brian realizes that it wasn’t the climbing and skiing that kept him here, but rather the people. “I found treating patients here more rewarding than anywhere else in the country,” he says. “People here have a good body sense. They provide precise, detailed information, enabling an accurate diagnosis. Because they value their physical well-being so much, they’re extremely motivated to follow the advice you give them in order to get better.”
In the past 20 years, Brian has treated a wide range of elite athletes, from members of Teton Gravity Research and the U.S. Ski Team to world-renowned visiting dance companies, such as the New York City Ballet, Gallim, Cedar Lake and Hubbard Street. But he invests just as much energy into healing Jackson locals of all ages and backgrounds, from paragliders to cowboys, artists to bankers. As a testament to his skills, he’s the physical therapist of choice for Jackson medical professionals, including orthopedic surgeons.
Whereas many health care providers shy away from back and neck cases – the most difficult problems to solve in orthopedic medicine – Brian has dedicated much of his continuing education and clinical practice to developing his expertise in this area. He often receives referrals of patients suffering from a wide range of orthopedic problems who have failed to respond to treatment elsewhere.
Besides his passion for physical therapy, Brian is a loving husband and stunt dad. A former Exum mountain guide and avid rock, ice and expedition climber, he has achieved such feats as a solo ascent of Cho Oyu in Tibet, the sixth-highest peak in the world. He co-wrote Jackson Hole’s original guide to mountain biking and also raced sport bikes for a number of years. Brian shoots competitively in national, long-range precision rifle events – and he’s become a long-distance runner in an effort to keep his wife happy.