Research

Athletico’s core values of patient/client satisfaction, accountability, continuous improvement and teamwork are at the forefront of our company and culture. Athletico clinicians live these values every day in the work they do for the communities they serve. The content featured below highlights our clinicians’ commitment to continuous education and improving the profession through thought-provoking research and clinical commentary.


Travis_profile_circleTravis Orth, PT, DPT – Athletico Wheaton East

Education: BA in Biology, Lawrence University
Masters in Cell and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University
DPT, University of New England

Research: Current Concepts of the Genetic Factors in Rotator Cuff Pathology and Future Implications for Sports Physical Therapists

      Publication: The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy

“I collaborated with a cell biology professor and sports physical therapist to draft a review paper summarizing the current literature on how genetics influences rotator cuff pathology and post-operative rotator cuff recovery. Having a greater understanding of these cellular mechanisms can help therapists better treat patients with shoulder pain. Additionally, the recent research on the influence of genetics with post-operative recovery may soon be able to be used to better categorize a patient into an optimal post-operative rehabilitation program to help minimize the chance of complications such as stiffness or re-tearing of the repair.”


Rachel_profile_circleRachel Herrera, PT, DPT – Athletico Wheaton East

Education: Graduate of Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

Research: Influence of Neck Laceration Protectors on Cervical Range of Motion

Publication: Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine

“My colleagues and I investigated the effects of neck laceration protectors worn in hockey on cervical range of motion (ROM) in high school players. We found that all protectors negatively impact cervical ROM in all planes, but the thicker models were more restrictive and perceived by athletes as more uncomfortable. With these findings, we challenged manufacturers to make protectors in thinner models with materials with high cut resistance to maximize safety, compliance, and minimize cervical ROM loss in hockey players.”


For Low Back Pain, Physical Therapy Can Save Money

The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) engaged The Moran Company (TMC) to assess different initial treatment interventions and total costs for beneficiaries newly diagnosed with low back pain, within the Medicare program. The study shows early initiation of physical therapy for low back pain leads to a decrease in healthcare costs through less subsequent utilization of other types of services. Click here to read the study.


Athletico’s Athletic Trainer, David Heidloff is featured in MOR’s new Research Article on ACL Functional Sports Assessment

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR) has developed a functional sports assessment (FSA) to evaluate ACL injury risk factors on postoperative patients. The assessment has been valuable in identifying weaknesses and risk factors at the 5-6 month time period. Read more here.


Athletico Physical Clinician, Jessica Fulton, PT, DPT, HFS, Published Two Articles 

Athletico clinician Jessica Fulton, PT, DPT, at our Hyde Park Clinic had one article published on Injuries Seen During Intensive Dance Training in the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science and a different article published about Previous Injuries Causing Neuromuscular Re-Injury Risk Factors in The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. Read both here.


Athletico Clinician Publishes First Book

Athletico clinician and blogger, Liz Hoobchaak, PT, DPT, published her first book Taking Control: Ways to Minimize Your Lower Back Pain and Prevent Future Episodes by Changing How You Move. The book is available through Amazon.


Athletico Clinician Authors Chapter in Book

Athletico St. Charles’s John Honcharuk, ATC, CSCS, authored a chapter, “Injury, Rehabilitation, Fitness and Optimum Health,” in the book Results Fitness.


Justin Payette, PT, is Published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy

Justin Payette, PT at Athletico Berwyn, has completed his sports certification residency.  As part of his residency he helped with a research study on concussions, ” Prevalence of Neurocognitive and Balance Deficits in Collegiate-Aged Football Players Without Clinically Diagnosed Concussion” published in Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.


Dan Gutierrez, OT,  Nicole Kauppila, OT and Kathy Vucekovich, OT Contribute to New Book

Athletico Occupational Therapists Dan Gutierrez, Nicole Kauppila and Kathy Vucekovich contribute to the new book from the American Society of Hand Therapy, Tendon Injuries in the Hand and Upper Extremity: a Masters Skills Publication.  Click Here for more information on this book.


Jeannie Hopf (Hartley), PT, Publishes Research on Upper Extremity Impairment

Athletico Portage Park physical therapist, Jeannie Hopf (Hartley), recently contributed to a research article in Disability and Rehabilitation Journal entitled, “Three-dimensional shoulder complex kinematics in individuals with upper extremity impairment from chronic stroke.”


Amy Knuppe, PT, Publishes Research on Stiff Knee Gait

Athletico’s Amy Knuppe, PT, and several colleagues recently completed research regarding stiff knee gait in children with cerebral palsy.  Their paper, titled Prolonged Swing Phase Rectus Femoris Activity is Not Associated With Stiff Knee Gait in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Retrospective Study of 407 Limbs, will be presented in April.


Daphne Scott, PT, DSc, Publishes New Research

Athletico’s Daphne Scott, PT, DSc, recently published a case study in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy examining the relationship between low back-related leg pain and treatment options. The case study, Application of a classification system and description of a combined manual therapy intervention: a case with low back related leg pain, addresses the multiple factors that can cause low back-related leg pain and the importance of identifying the source of symptoms in order to develop an appropriate intervention program.

AthletiCo's Daphne Scott publishes a case study on low back-related leg pain and treatment options.Scott was interested in this case specifically based on the lengthy duration of the patient’s symptoms, as well as her previous clinical knowledge of these cases existing in the literature.  She found that this case study may benefit clinicians in identifying patients who meet this specific clinical presentation as well as by supporting some options for treatment intervention.  In addition, by identifying the clinical pattern discussed in the case study earlier, a patient may benefit from more accurate intervention to support resolution of symptoms.


Athletico PTs to Present Case Studies at APTA Meeting

Julie O’Connell, PT, ATC, Director of Performing Arts Rehabilitation, will be presenting a case study at the upcoming Combined Section Meeting for the Performing Arts Special Interest Group of the American Physical Therapy Association on February 12 in New Orleans.  Jennifer Janowski, PT, will also be presenting a poster for the research she has done with students from Northwestern University.

Other Research News

  • Recent research has focused on subjects such as Lumbar Spine outcomes and concussions.Daphne Scott, PT, DSc, presented at the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting under the Orthopedic Section Programming.  Scott presented a platform presentation on the Use Of Treatment-Based Classification Groups Produces Significant Outcomes In Patients With Low Back Pain. In addition, Scott also presented under the Research Section of the APTA within the Biomechanics Special Interest Group.  For this presentation she discussed the pilot information from her current project regarding patellofemoral pain in females and explaining the use of biomechanical analysis in the clinical setting.
  • Mary Ellen Bulow, PT, DPT, Clinical Education Coordinator, Athletico Glenview, had a research article published in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.  To view the full published article, “A New Measurement Method for Spine Reposition Sense,” please click here.
  • Athletico announces Orthopedic Residency and Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship training program with Evidence in Motion.

Athletico’s Research Mission
Athletico’s research mission is to investigate aspects of sports and non-sports injury evaluation, treatment, and prevention in order to provide optimal treatment interventions.  Recent work has addressed such subjects as Lumbar Spine outcomes and a concussion program.  In addition, the Research and Education Department privded support for a research project titled “Athletic Trainer’s and Physical Therapist’s Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Psychological Skills within Sport-Injury Rehabilitation Programs.”

Additional projects within the Research and Education Department include a post-surgical protocol database allowing our therapists immediate access to physician’s post-surgical protocols.  This provides our patients with effective physician/clinician communication before the patient is even seen, leading to increased quality of care.

Contact Information
For more information regarding Athletico’s Research and Education Department, please e-mail continuing.education@athletico.com.