Posted on Posted in All Posts, Classes & Courses

Thrive! is hosting a University of St. Augustine continuing education course September 28-29, 2019.

Interested in learning more about cranio facial techniques?  Physical Therapists please join us for CF2 – Intermediate Cranio Facial (prerequisite CF1- Basic Cranio Facial available online).



Tuition: $495

Hours: 15 Hours, 1.5 CEUs

Prerequisite: Basic Cranio Facial (available online)

Who Attends: Physical Therapists

This seminar will primarily be focused on displacement of the intra-articular disc of the TMJ, but will also cover the role of the subcranial spine in the causation of craniofacial pain and the association between detrimental oral habits (parafunctions) and craniofacial pain. Medial and lateral disc subluxations will be carefully examined, as will disc-condyle and disc-eminence subluxations. The progression of disc subluxation and other intra-articular pathology will be demonstrated by the use of clinical examples and all disorders will be illustrated by imaging. The imaging methods used in the diagnosis and management of the TMJ will be explained; this includes transcranial radiographs and tomography, as well as MRI, used for diagnosis and clinical management of intra-articular disc displacements. The lab sessions will focus on assessment of intra-articular pathology, as well as preparations of the TMJ and subcranial spine for reduction of the intra-articular disc.  Finally, participants will have the chance to practice disc reduction and subsequent stabilization of the disc in the reduced  position.

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this seminar the attendee should be able  to:

  • Explain the concept of progression of intracapsular temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc pathology as an initial stage of  dysfunction.
  • Discuss how a medial or lateral disc can progress to an anterior disc subluxation.
  • Predict the effect of oral bad habits in children and adults.
  • Describe the process of craniomandibular parafunction (teeth grinding) as a cause of micro repetitive  trauma.
  • Explain the loaded gliding of the TMJ with systemic joint laxity as a cause of progressive joint disc pathology and degenerative joint  disease.
  • Apply examination and treatment techniques to soft and hard tissues of the maxillofacial region with special emphasis on proper force and direction to avoid injury.
  • Explain the major cause of condylar height loss and consequential facial assymmetry.
  • Identify the signs and symptoms of vascular irritation for the TMJ.
  • Apply manual and muscular techniques for disc subluxations.
  • Discuss the use of removable interoclusal appliances for joint stabilization

Register today and save 10% with coupon code Thrive10 at checkout!  Offer valid through Monday, September 2, 2019.

CLICK HERE for full course information and to register.



Posted on Posted in All Posts, Let's Get Technical, Stay in the Game

Personalized Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Rehabilitation is a type of Physical Therapy treatment that integrates the use of a personalized tourniquet system to restrict blood flow to an injured limb during active recovery training.

Often, after an injury or surgery, a patient does not have the ability to lift heavy weights/loads thereby slowing down their overall recovery.  Studies find BFR rehabilitation allows the patient to begin strength training using lesser weights/loads that won’t stress their joints or soft tissues, while still being able to gain the muscle strength, hypertrophy and endurance comparable to that of a heavy load lifting program. (Slysz et al 2015)

While initially used in the treatment and recovery of service members who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is now being used with the training and rehabilitation of elite athletes and in orthopedic clinical settings. Clinical trials have shown advancement in the rehabilitation of total knee replacements, wrist fractures, tendinopathies, cartilage injuries and chronic weakness after surgery.

This technique is particularly successful in assisting injured and/or post-surgical patients who are struggling with muscle mass loss and weakness. When a limb is injured, it cannot tolerate the heavy lifting necessary to prevent and reverse the loss process. BFR rehabilitation training, however, allows the patient to achieve the same benefits of heavy lifting while using light weights. BFR has also been demonstrated in the research to significantly reduce pain in the early stages of rehabilitation. (Giles 2017)BFR - blood flow restriction therapy

The basic process involves application of a tourniquet to the injured limb, that is then inflated (similar to a blood pressure cuff) to occlude blood flow to a limb, blocking veins but not arteries, while performing light load exercises.

While exercising with the tourniquet, the patient feels as if they are exerting a lot more force to perform what is typically considered an “easy exercise;” although it is anything but easy. During exercise with the tourniquet, the muscle fatigues and swelling occurs as fluid accumulates and lactic acid builds up. This reaction is what helps stimulate protein synthesis, stem cell proliferation and triggers hormonal responses in the body including increased growth hormone.

It is important to let your health care practitioner know your medical history prior to beginning this exercise program and discuss with your physician if you are a candidate for this rehabilitation.

If you are curious is this type of rehabilitation would be good for you, schedule an appointment and speak with your physical therapist. A thorough evaluation and medical review will be necessary before a determination can be made.

For appointments please call (212) 254-7750 or email


1. Sylsz, Joshua et al “Efficacy of blood flow restricted exercise: A systematic review and meta analysis,” The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (2015)
2. Giles L, Webster K, McClelland J, Cook J., “Quadriceps strengthening with and without blood flow restriction in the treatment of patellofemoral pain. A double blind randomized trial,” Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 20S (2017 e67-e105)





Posted on Posted in All Posts, Classes & Courses

Thrive Integrated Physical Therapy, in partnership with Dominican College, is proud to announce that Mark Comerford, author of Kinetic Control: The Management of Uncontrolled Movement and a highly regarded international educator is going to teach a course at our facility this fall.  This will be a course open to physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers.

Dynamic taping was originally developed for Sports Physiotherapy, Dynamic Tape is proving extremely effective for both orthopedic , sports medicine, dance and neurologic conditions.

Dynamic Tape is highly specialized and designed to contribute genuine mechanical force into the kinetic chain. Working like a bungee cord, the unique, strongly elastic Dynamic Tape aims to absorb load, contribute to force generation, improve biomechanical efficiency and modify faulty movement patterns. Load reduction combined with powerful neurophysiological effects may provide prompt pain relief, reduce metabolic demand, facilitate recovery and improve function.

Please see below for full course description and registration information:

  • Dates: October 12-13, 2019
  • Time: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Instructor: Mark Comerford
  • Location: Thrive Integrated Physical Therapy. 611 Broadway, Suite 503. New York, NY 10012.
  • Cost: $600 per person ($50 discount offered to HSS Rehabilitation Network Members & Dominican College Students)
  • Contact: or call (212) 254-7750 to register or for additional information
  • CEU’s:  Dominican College  is a New York State Education Department approved provider for physical therapy continuing education. This course has been approved for 1.4 CEU’s.







COURSE INTRODUCTION:  This two-day masterclass builds both clinical and performance practitioners’ skillsets in contemporary techniques of taping alongside developing a strong rationale for the use of these strategies in the management of uncontrolled movement (UCM). Innovative taping strategies are delivered that assist in the management a wide range of presentations. The taping interventions covered are used in conjunction with movement retraining strategies that target UCM as identified by its site, direction and threshold of uncontrolled movement®.

COURSE OUTLINE: These 2 days will explore the value and potential of taping to optimize the management of uncontrolled movement based on ‘Site & Direction and Threshold®’. It will supply the rationale behind the application of techniques of taping for a biomechanical and/or a neurophysiological effect and identifies the differences (and therefore the advantages and disadvantages) between Rigid tape, Kinesio tape and Dynamic tape. It helps develop a reasoning framework to support clinicians’ and movement practitioners’ decision making of when to use Rigid tape versus Dynamic taping options.

Ultimately, the course supplies innovative taping techniques specifically matched to a classification of UCM and develops the skill of application of Rigid tape or Dynamic tape. To achieve this outcome, the course considers the value of taping to provide mechanical control of the site and direction of UCM, enhancing sensory feedback for cognitive motor control training, facilitating the efficiency of global stabiliser role synergists, inhibiting global mobiliser role synergists and helping optimize the efficiency of recruitment between stabiliser and mobiliser role synergists.


kinetic control



The course will present a variety of Rigid and Dynamic taping strategies, including:

  • Providing passive, biomechanical control of provocative uncontrolled movements
  • Increasing proprioceptive feedback for cognitive movement control training
  • Improving sensory-motor recruitment of inefficient stabiliser role synergists
  • Unloading stretch-strained synergists to decrease strain and reduce trigger point symptoms
  • Positively the length-recruitment relationship of synergists possessing a stabiliser role throughout their range of motion and enhance their eccentric deceleration properties
  • Assisting restore efficient recruitment of global mobiliser role synergists


At the end of this course the participants should be able to:

  • Display the ability to apply a range of taping approaches to a high standard
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for the application of differing styles of tape with respect to their influence upon aspects of biomechanics and neurophysiology
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the clinical advantages and disadvantages of a range of taping interventions with respect to a clinical presentations or performance deficits
  • Demonstrate an ability to utilize taping as an intervention strategy alongside the management of uncontrolled movement to meet a clinical or performance outcome


  • Examines the principles of taping techniques, including the biomechanical and neuro-sensory uses of taping
  • Explores the differences between rigid tapes, dynamic tape and kinesio tapes and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different tapes.
  • Identifies the goals of applying taping, including: the biomechanical control of movement for movement protection and to manage pain and issues associated to what is traditionally described as ‘joint instability,’ neuro sensory stimulation to manage pain and enhance proprioceptive feedback for movement protection and motor control retraining, facilitation of global stabiliser role synergist recruitment and inhibitory strategies for global mobiliser role synergists to recover recruitment efficiency altered in the presence of recurrent pain and injury
  • Develops clinical/performance reasoning processes to best match taping options to the goals of management
  • Practical workshops demonstrating and applying taping solutions using both rigid and dynamic taping options for a large variety of uncontrolled movements
  • Practical workshops using taping solutions to manage the site and direction of uncontrolled movements in the lumbar spine, thoracic spine (including specific rib impairments), sacro-iliac joint, hip, knee and foot, shoulder girdle, and cervical spine

This course offers all movement clinicians another effective tool to fast track the path to optimal Movement Health. It provides additional skills to better manage a large range of clinical presentations of uncontrolled movement. These range from acute presentations of musculo-skeletal pain, through to recurrent pain and injury, and compromised function performance deficiencies.


the taping solution with Mark Comerford


Introduction to Movement Control & Movement Health:
o   Diagnosis of Site & Direction and Threshold® of uncontrolled movement (UCM)
o   Global stabiliser & mobiliser recruitment synergies
o   Value of taping to accelerate movement control retraining
o   Taping augmented exercise therapy
o   Goals of Taping: taping for Rehab vs taping for Performance vs taping for Prevention (risk management)

Advantages and disadvantages of different tapes:
o   Rigid tapes
o   Dynamic tape
o   Kinesio tapes

Taping principles:
o   Biomechanical taping
o   Neuro-sensory taping
o   Mechanisms & Influences: mechanical, recruitment physiology, pain physiology, proprioception

Taping application – the basic ‘rules’

Taping for Uncontrolled Movement Workshop (practical & demonstration) using rigid & dynamic tape solutions:
o   Lumbar Uncontrolled Movements (Lumbar: flexion, extension, rotation)
o   Sacro-iliac Uncontrolled Movements
o   Thoracic Uncontrolled Movements (Thoracic: flexion, rotation)
o   Rib Uncontrolled Movements (anterior-posterior shears & upward-downward rotations)
o   Cervical Uncontrolled Movements (Low Cervical: flexion)



Taping for Uncontrolled Movement Workshop (practical & demonstration) using rigid & dynamic tape solutions:
o   Scapular Uncontrolled Movements (Scapular: downward rotation, forward tilt, + Cervical: rotation / sidebend)
o Gleno-humeral Uncontrolled Movements (G-H anterior glide, G-H rotation)
Hip Uncontrolled Movements (Hip: flexion, medial rotation / addiction, extension)

Taping for Uncontrolled Movement Workshop (practical & demonstration) using rigid & dynamic tape solutions:
o   Knee Uncontrolled Movements (Knee: ‘valgus’ & ITB issues; Tibial: lateral rotation)
o   Patello-femoral Uncontrolled Movements (Patellar: lateral glide / tilt, inferior glide)
o   Foot Uncontrolled Movements (Foot: pronation, inversion, dorsiflexion; Hallux: valgus) including: tendinopathy issues; ankle instabilities; plantar fascia)
Taping to facilitate global stabiliser recruitment

Taping to inhibit global mobiliser overactivity



For additional information, or to register, please contact: or call (212) 254-7750




CNN Staying Well: Thrive PT Segment on Manual Therapy

Posted on Posted in All Posts, Let's Get Technical, Stay in the Game, Take Control of Your Health

The CNN segment that we filmed at Thrive a few months back is now online. Have a watch as practice owner Tamar Amitay, PT, MS and physical therapist Amy McGorry, PT, DPT, MTC, talk about and demonstrate manual therapy techniques on a patient.

Here at Thrive Integrated Physical Therapy, PC, our physical therapists identify the faulty mechanics and movement patterns that contribute to and drive one’s pain. We’ve found that manual therapy coupled with an appropriate therapeutic exercise program really makes a difference. At Thrive we look for the root cause as well as underlying movement dysfunctions to base our interventions. We are dedicated to getting our patients back quickly in the game of life!



Posted on Posted in All Posts, Stay in the Game, Women's Health


Seeking to Become Your Women’s Health and Wellness Destination at All Stages of Life

Thrive Integrated Physical Therapy has, for many years, been serving with diligence and passion our friends and neighbors in lower Manhattan.  We pride ourselves on being a comprehensive center for the orthopedic management of nearly all musculoskeletal injury.  Over the past few years, consumers have been vocal about wanting more directed care in one specific area: services targeted around maintaining health while pregnant and returning to safe activity after child birth.  This movement in patient awareness is well timed and is consistent with a shift in our collective understanding of child birth recovery.  In the spring of 2018, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist revised its postpartum care guidelines to suggest that women should be followed for an extended period of time after giving birth.  The guidelines state that mothers need ongoing support beyond the initial healing stage and well into the “fourth trimester,” ultimately concluding with visits around the 12 week mark post-birth.   The intent is to more fully help women re-integrate into their lives, including their roles as mothers, earners, partners, and hobbyists.  It also reflects that the medical community is becoming more aware of what persons with children implicitly know…having a baby is physically radical and rehabilitating afterwards is often more in depth and complicated than many are led to believe.

We at Thrive are ready to help meet the needs of pre and postpartum women and are launching a comprehensive rehabilitation and wellness program.  We are looking forward to helping women stay strong and pain free during pregnancy, maintain safe exercise practices pre and post birth, and rehabilitate from injury.  Our services will include a full musculoskeletal evaluation and examination for a wide variety of issues relevant to women, including:

physical therapy for pre and postpartum care

  • Pelvic muscle function screen, including internal and external muscle assessment
  • Urinary continence management and education
  • Scar management
  • Diastasis recti screen and care
  • Orthopedic care for pain and dysfunction related to physical demands of pregnancy
  • Orthopedic care for pain and dysfunction related to physical demands of child care
  • Return to exercise goal setting and planning post delivery

We are thrilled to be expanding our services, and so looking forward to partnering with other hard working medical and fitness professionals in this space to bring to the downtown community the best possible care.  So, whether your baby is 3 months or 3 years old, consider us as a place for healing, recovery, and return to dynamic activity!


Elizabeth D'Annunzio Shah Physical Therapist New York CityElizabeth D’Annunzio Shah, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC works with patients of all ages and abilities including recreational athletes, professional dancers and performing artists. She has a special interest in vestibular and balance disorders, movement theory and creative solutions for both neurologically and musculoskeletally impaired persons. Elizabeth is passionate about exercise as a means to maintain health, manage stress and enjoy life! She practices yoga in the Iyengar tradition, is an avid surfer, and participates in distance running events whenever possible. (more)



Thrive! is Hosting and Participating in Threes Physiyoga Method for Physical Therapists

Posted on Posted in All Posts, Classes & Courses

If you’ve been following along with our Instagram, you may have noticed that Thrive has had a few in-services with the amazingly smart and talented Giulia Pline. Giulia introduced our entire staff to the Threes Physioyoga Method, which merges physical therapy principles with yoga. What more could we ask for? We were so impressed that we wanted to know more, so we decided to host, and have our staff participate, in their Intro Course for Physical Therapists which will take place right here at Thrive on February 23rd and 24th. We can’t wait to bring all of this new knowledge to our patients!

Threes Physioyoga Method Workshop

About Threes Physiyoga Method for Physical Therapists

This introductory weekend consists of foundational knowledge regarding the teaching of yoga as a mind-body-spirit wellness modality and how this modality can be integrated into traditional physical therapy for the benefit of the patient and the clinician.

Yoga is a multi-limbed practice that unites movement with breath. Having an understanding of the influence and benefits of this practice on the body is a powerful, efficient tool for physiotherapists.

Physiotherapists will be introduced to the Threes Physiyoga Method of assessing suboptimal and dysfunctional movement. They will understand the mechanics of breath, the neurological considerations of re-training the musculoskeletal system, and how the deep integration of fascia and connective tissue impacts the body.

We will illustrate how to integrate a yoga movement based assessment tool and yoga movement/posture prescription including specific cueing, modifications, and pose transitions into a traditional physical therapy treatment regimen. This knowledge will provide physiotherapists the foundation to integrate mindfulness, breath work and yoga postures as a therapeutic modality.

The course will give you 13.5 hours of practical learning including case studies, a comprehensive movement assessment tool, therapeutic techniques and yoga sequencing.

Foundational topics to be discussed include:

exploring how multiple systems may impact dysfunction and how to address them

understanding the influences of the breath and thorax on the body

how mindful awareness facilitates neuromuscular re-education for optimal, safe, and efficient movement.

For more information or to register CLICK HERE!
Hurry, there are only a few spots remaining.


Please Welcome Jari, the Newest Member of the Thrive Team

Posted on Posted in All Posts

Hello Everyone! My name is Jari Haile and I’m so excited to be joining the team at Thrive Integrated Physical Therapy! With experienced and skilled clinicians, amazing patients and a beautiful clinic located in downtown, what more could I ask for!

I am an east coast native – born and raised in Maryland. After high school, I moved to Pittsburgh to study Athletic Training at Duquesne University. I was ready to trade in the east coast winters for the sunny beaches of Los Angeles, so I moved across the country to obtain my Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California. After practicing in healthcare for nearly a decade, I decided to move back east and relocate to New York City.


People often ask me, “Why in the world would you leave Los Angeles?” Being from Maryland, I always felt as if the east coast was calling for me. I missed the hustle and bustle, the daily interactions with new people, and most of all the proximity to my family. However, there are things that I dearly miss about LA: nearly perfect weather year-round, easy access to amazing hiking trails and mountains, and an abundance of delicious international cuisines.

In order to provide a smooth transition to NYC, I decided to try to find my favorite things about Los Angeles in NYC. First, is my love for hiking. In LA, there are many canyons, mountains, parks and scenic overlooks. My favorite hikes included the Solstice Canyon and Temescal Canyon Trails in Malibu. I enjoyed the ability to get an amazing workout, be nestled amongst the trees, and also get a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean.  Through my research, I was pleasantly surprised that I can explore the great outdoors not too far from the Big Apple. I am excited to check out Breakneck Ridge Trail which offers coveted water views and an almost 1,400 feet elevation gain. Also, it is accessible via train, which is an added bonus!

Another thing I will miss is the amazing diversity of global cuisines that can be found in Los Angeles. I will miss getting Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio from my favorite Vietnamese place, Shoyu Ramen from my favorite Japanese spot, and Korean BBQ from so many great locations in K-town. I have found that the diversity of cuisines located in LA can actually be rivaled in NYC. I am quickly developing “new favorites” that will replace my lost favorites of Los Angeles. However, there has been no competition that rivals the amazing tacos and Mexican cuisine from Los Angeles. That is one thing that NYC cannot replace.

If you have any suggestions on your favorite hikes, places to eat, or local tips please let me know! I’m excited to start a new journey and to explore this vibrant city.


PLEASE NOTE: Jari’s schedule is now open and accepting both new and established patients. Give us a call to get set up an appointment (212) 254-7750 . READ HER FULL BIO HERE.


Thrive! is Hosting a University of St. Augustine Continuing Education Seminar

Posted on Posted in All Posts, Classes & Courses



Thrive! Integrated Physical Therapy is hosting the following upcoming University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences continuing education seminar.

PTs please join us for the S1 – SPINAL EVALUATION AND MANIPULATION: Impairment Based, Evidence Informed Approach, a seminar instructed by Larry Yack, PT, DPT, MTC, August 10-12th, 2018 in New York, NY.  These seminars combine pre-seminar webinars with a face-to-face lab experience.

This is a three-day seminar emphasizing interpretation of basic science knowledge toward the development of clinical skills needed for differential evaluation and effective treatment of spinal dysfunction. General principles of functional anatomy, tissue and joint biomechanics, pathology and treatments are applied to clinical examination and treatment. Includes instruction and techniques of evaluating structure, active movements and palpation for condition, position and mobility of the spine. Manipulation techniques are instructed at all levels of the spine except the subcranial area. Supportive treatments, such as exercises and distraction, are instructed and practiced to a limited degree. At the conclusion of the seminar, the student should feel confident to examine and treat most common spinal conditions.

Register today to secure your spot! CLICK HERE.


Pilates And Physical Therapy: A Two-Part Approach

Posted on Posted in Fitness, Let's Get Technical
Pilates and physical therapy. Two separate disciplines with different objectives, right?

In truth, Pilates and Physical Therapy (PT) have much in common – including a history rooted in building strength and maintaining mobility. Although the approaches may differ based on skill sets, pain free function and individual attention are two of many common threads that link the disciplines.

Pain Free Function

Joseph Pilates’ first innovation was attaching springs to hospital beds to help bedridden patients build strength.The most important connection between Pilates and physical therapy: freedom from pain.

For physical therapists, the approach to pain begins with pathology: searching for the structural drivers, both neuromuscular and articular, of a patient’s pain. PTs can then use techniques like manual therapy, strength training and movement re-patterning to help eliminate pain.

Somewhat surprisingly, the practice of Pilates was also born out of a desire to help individuals recover from painful injuries. In fact, Joseph Pilates’ first innovation was attaching springs to hospital beds to help bedridden patients build strength. Still today Pilates maintains a place in the physical rehabilitative community for addressing pain.

Both modalities look to improve alignment, joint articulation and mobility and movement control and fluidity as means to becoming pain free. Because of this major overlap in objectives Pilates acts as an ideal transition out of PT and back into movement and sports.

Individual Attention

Another link between Pilates and physical therapy? They’re built on the idea of a close relationship.

A physical therapist is a licensed medical professional. They diagnose and treat injuries – with the goal of eliminating pain. Of course, this calls for an open and intimate relationship with their patient.

Likewise, Pilates instructors are frequently tasked with developing new movement strategies and approaches based on observing their client’s unique movement patterns which also requires a very individual and personal relationship with their client.

A Path Towards Better Health?

When practiced together, Pilates and physical therapy can truly be the cornerstone of an overall recovery and health plan. With a shared focus on eliminating pain and restoring function through personal attention, the two modalities are not just complimentary but collaborative. When both practitioners are working in collaboration they can more effectively re-educate patients away from movement compensations that may cause a return of pain and dysfunction. We have found at Thrive PT and Mongoose Bodyworks Pilates that an open dialogue between PT and Pilates instructor has guaranteed the success of our patients and clients.

Halle Clarke and Elizabeth Shah of Thrive PT going over Pilates moves on the reformer
Recover And Rebuild With Experts

If you are interested in exploring Pilates or physical therapy, you need guidance from comprehensively trained professionals. Professionals from Mongoose Bodyworks Pilates and Thrive Physical Therapy have been working together over the years to help patients and clients recover and rebuild, even in the wake of an injury. With open atmospheres, and highly qualified staff, there are few better places to begin your recovery or fitness journey. You’ll be able to build strength, increase flexibility, and enjoy a more mobile life.

To get started with a consultation, contact us and Mongoose Bodyworks Pilates.


Diastasis Recti Treatment: Emphasizing an Individualized Approach

Posted on Posted in All Posts, Take Control of Your Health, Women's Health

Hello all!  I’m writing today as a person inspired by new information and am compelled to share with you what I’ve learned.  For those of you familiar with my writing, you’ve seen me post previously on diastasis recti (DRA) and it’s management.   In general, it is an area of great interest for me, helping pre and post partum women (no matter how old their children) recover function, return to activities they love, and feel their best.   Many women, and some men, have been coming to Thrive concerned about the look of their DRA.  As a mom myself, I understand this concern…adjusting to our post baby bodies is effortful and knowing what is in our power to change and how to do it is ambiguous.  As a physical therapist, I look at DRA from another perspective as well: how can we clinicians enable our patients to move with ease, support load through the abdominal wall, and ultimately participate in life fully?  I want for my clients to, without pain, return to activities they love while feeling good about how they look.

Elizabeth D'Annunzio Shah, PT, DTP, MTC, OCS,at course: The Abdominal Wall After Pregnancy & Diastasis Rectus Abdominis
Elizabeth D’Annunzio Shah, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, and classmates at The Abdominal Wall After Pregnancy & Diastasis Rectus Abdominis.

If you are reading this post, it means that you’re doing the internet deep dive into DRA treatment.  As a clinician, I’ve done that too…spent hours on the computer trying to find a consensus on care.  Do we use a brace?  On which muscles do we focus our intervention?  How do we know when to advocate for our patients to have further medical evaluation by a physician or surgeon?  Who in the community can I send my patients to when they’re done with PT and want to begin more rigorous exercise?  Ultimately, I found that I was in need of a more in depth exploration of the topic, so I took it to the source.  I went to Akasha Studios in Vancouver for a course created by Diane Lee & Associates entitled The Abdominal Wall After Pregnancy & Diastasis Rectus Abdominis, taught by physiotherapists Tamarah Nerreter and Leigh Fortuna.1   Diane Lee is a leader in the field of physical therapy and has, through extensive research and experience, developed the definitive text and related professional educational courses on the management of abdominal wall dysfunction.2

I’m not going to get into the weeds with you on specifics of treatment, but there are a few really important points that I wanted to relay to our readers and persons interested in DRA recovery in general:

1. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ONE SIZE FITS ALL APPROACH TO DIASTASIS RECTI MANAGEMENT.  Just as no two persons are the same, no two DRAs are either.  The separation of the linea alba often times reflects dysfunction, but what generates and perpetuates said dysfunction is different in all people.  While this may seem obvious, many people come to me seeking a quick fix, or looking for the internet resource, book, or exercise DVD that will solve all their problems.  While there are some wonderful resources out there, ultimately creating an individualized approach to DRA management based on the patient’s unique physical attributes, activity requirements, and goals is the best way to enable healing.

2. THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE DOING GREAT WORK IN THIS FIELD.  At the course, I was surrounded by physical therapists and fitness professionals seeking to bring to their patients and clients the most current information and nuanced care possible.   Meeting these people in person, networking and drawing regional connections, and combining our shared experience is essential in distributing information and encouraging the best possible practice as we approach our post partum clientele.   Similarly, I am a part of a wonderful network of women practitioners in the New York metro area the includes doulas, PTs, OTs, group fitness professionals, and personal trainers who’s job it is to know the best care providers are in our region for women’s health, rehabilitation, and fitness.   When you are seeking care for your DRA, regardless of where you live, your care provider should be approaching you with a nuanced, whole body perspective and be informed on the resources available in your community, online, and on paper that might serve to round out your care and exercise experience.

Sometimes, the correct answer to a posed question is vague and yields more questions.  Is there a one-size fits all fix to DRA?  No.  Can person improve the overall health, function, control, and aesthetic of the abdominal wall post DRA?  Yes!  Partner with a passionate practitioner that’s eager to problem solve, and get to work!  In other words, seek out professionals with specific expertise in this area of treatment, readers.   You will be better served this way, and you are worth it!


1. The Abdominal Wall & Diastasis Rectus Abdominus. (2018). The Abdominal Wall.  Surrey, BC: Akasha Studio.
2. Lee, D. (2017). Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: A Clinical Guide For Those Who Are Split Down the Middle. Surrey, BC: Learn with Diane Lee.


Elizabeth D'Annunzio Shah Physical Therapist New York CityElizabeth D’Annunzio Shah, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC works with patients of all ages and abilities including recreational athletes, professional dancers and performing artists. She has a special interest in vestibular and balance disorders, movement theory and creative solutions for both neurologically and musculoskeletally impaired persons. Elizabeth is passionate about exercise as a means to maintain health, manage stress and enjoy life! She practices yoga in the Iyengar tradition, is an avid surfer, and participates in distance running events whenever possible. (more)