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SportsFit Therapeutic Massage | Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Orthopedics is a branch of medicine focused on the muscular and skeletal systems. At SportsFit Physical Therapy our orthopedic Physical Therapy Specialists treat various types of disorders and injuries affecting muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Physical therapy in this area deals with diagnosing, managing and treating injuries and problems from the muscular and skeletal methods as well as rehabilitation right after orthopedic operations.

Doctors of physical therapy, who specialize in orthopedic physical therapy, function particularly in treating acute injuries due to sporting activities, post operative joints, and arthritis. Techniques and approaches involved in orthopedic physical therapy are utilized to make recovery faster, some of these techniques include strength training, manual therapy, graded passive mobilizations and evidence based modalities.

Orthopedic physical therapy is truly essential to restore the patients' activity, strength and motion right after injuries or surgery. Its importance is two folded. Orthopedic patients typically have deficiencies and weaknesses, which could be eliminated or at least alleviated via particular targeted therapeutic exercises and only a specialized physical therapist can determine the cause and source of pain/injury and show/teach the patient the appropriate interventions and therapeutic exercises designed to restore and enhance functions or, at least minimize the problems.

Furthermore, orthopedic physical therapy specialists at SportsFit Physical Therapy, have extensive knowledge regarding surgical procedures, the aims of remedies, and anatomy from the muscular and skeletal perspectives. As a result they are able to adapt and adjust their knowledge within the efforts to treat the patient.

Meet our Doctors of Physical Therapy:

J Rick Rafael

J Rick Rafael DPT, OCS, CSCS Owner, President Doctor of Physical Therapy Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Dr. Rafael is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist and a graduate of the Kaiser Permanente Orthopedic Residency Program. He has served as clinical instructor for several physical therapy universities, and previously served as an adjunct professor at the Santa Monica College movement science department. Dr. Rafael has been awarded for his presentation and research on "Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome". As a private practice owner, Dr. Rafael takes pride in his work and has volunteered at the Venice Free Clinic treating underprivileged patients. During his martial arts practice, Dr. Rafael endured debilitating injuries, which required knee and foot surgery with extensive rehabilitation. Having gone through these injures, he knows firsthand the challenges that patients face when attempting to return to their desired sport and lifestyle. Dr. Rafael is dedicated to utilizing his knowledge and experience to facilitate a quick and complete recovery for each and every patient. He enjoys practicing martial arts, yoga, cross training, mountain and road biking, hiking, and spending time with his family and friends. Treatment Philosophy: My goal is to find your source of injury, correct movement impairments, restore optimal posture and recreate balance in the body in order to treat the injury and prevent future recurrences. I believe it takes a team with a holistic and individualized approach to treatment, keeping in mind each person's individual goals, background, and body type that will lead to optimal recovery.
Jared Vary

Jared Vagy DPT, OCS, CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Dr. Jared Vagy received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of Southern California (USC). As a Doctor of Physical Therapy in clinical practice, he completed a one-year residency program and became a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. He then completed an additional one-year fellowship program in Movement Science at Kaiser Permanente Hospital, totaling 9 years of academic and clinical study. Dr. Jared Vagy is a professor at USC in the DPT Program, has published numerous articles on injury prevention and delivers lectures and seminars internationally on the topic. He is a mentor for both the USC Physical Therapy residency program and the USC DPT program. He is on Academy Faculty for the TheraBand Academy and is on the Editorial Board for ADVANCE Physical Therapy magazine. He is the youngest physical therapist in the country to achieve the level of fellowship training in movement science, publication status and University teaching credentials.

Treatment Philosophy:
Dr. Jared Vagy served as team physical therapist in China for the Chinese National Track and Field Team in 2015 as well a physical therapist for Team USA at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials in 2016. He has rehabilitated several world champions, gold medalists, NCAA champions and Olympic athletes. His assessments and treatments are rooted deeply in an understanding of the movement system. He is a firm believer in an active approach to rehabilitation and works with clients of all ability levels to achieve their maximal function.

Lauren Freitas

Lauren Freitas, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Selective Functional Movement Assessment Specialist

Dr. Lauren Freitas graduated from the University of San Diego in 2010 with a B.S in Communications and Biology. Dr. Freitas earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California in 2014. Throughout her career, she has had experience working with and developing treatment programs for patients with a wide range of conditions including sports injuries, arthritis, cardiovascular conditions, headaches and migraines, and general orthopedic pathologies. Lauren has completed multiple continuing education courses and seminar series covering running analysis and mechanics, management of chronic pain, treatment of the overhead athlete’s shoulder and upper extremity, and is a certified Selective Functional Movement Assessment specialist. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, snowboarding, traveling, and reading on the beach.

Treatment Philosophy:
I empower my patients with knowledge and information, correct faulty movement mechanics, address strength and motor control impairments, and work with my patients as a team to achieve functional goals, getting them off the treatment table and back to living their lives to the fullest.

Lyssa Cleary

Lyssa Cleary, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Lyssa Cleary grew up on the east coast living in both New Jersey and Maryland before she graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English. After working in advertising sales post-graduation, she changed careers to pursue her passion for physical therapy at the University of Southern California. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from University of Southern California in 2014. Working at USC Physical Therapy Associates, Dr. Cleary continued her professional development by completing the one-year USC residency program in Orthopedics. In addition to treating patients with orthopedic pathologies, she has experience working with patients with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. She has specialized experience working as part of an interdisciplinary medical team for the treatment of patients with migraines and chronic headaches. She has completed multiple continuing education courses on a variety of topics such as spinal manipulation, the analysis and treatment of running, treatment of the athlete’s and swimmer’s shoulder, and analysis, treatment, and taping techniques of the foot and ankle. In her free time, Dr. Cleary enjoys playing tennis, running, going to concerts, travelling, and being active outdoors.

Treatment Philosophy:
I concentrate on retraining the mind and body through manual interventions and exercise focused treatment in order to both restore and optimize mechanically sound movement patterns so that my patients can return to doing the activities they love without pain. By sharing knowledge and educating my patients, I empower them with the resources they need to continue to return to their favorite activities without recurrence of their symptoms.

Jared Vary

Rebecca Pitts, DPT, OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Pitts knew from an early age that she wanted to be in medicine, shadowing family friends at hospitals and clinics, and learning how to perform basic field triage when she trained for a search and rescue group. She watched as some of her friends and family went through rehabilitation after injuries, including personal experience recovering from sports injuries. During schooling—including her Ortho based residency—she spent time researching how manual therapy affects the autonomic nervous system, non-operative treatment of small meniscal tears, and shoulder stabilization in the overhead athlete. Dr. Pitts has helped all spectrums of individuals, from those having difficulty with everyday living tasks to Olympic level athletes, and believes no issue is too small to address. She has taken further education courses for Therapeutic Taping, and is a preferred provider for utilizing the Graston Technique. She is an avid sports follower for the University of Arizona, and in her spare time she likes keeping active with outdoor activities such as running and hiking, and spending time with her family.

Treatment Philosophy:
I believe in utilizing manual therapy in conjunction with targeted exercises to decrease pain and maximize function. The main focus of treatment will be to find the source of the problem, as opposed to only looking at symptoms. This will make sure the strength and movement patterns encourage healthy maintenance after our sessions are complete.

Kyle Brown

Kyle Brown, DPT, OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Brown grew up in the Napa Valley. He attended graduate school at Loma Linda University, earning his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2010. In 2012, he completed a year-long orthopedic residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center, which emphasized the management of complex and chronic orthopedic problems. Immediately after residency, he completed the year-long Kaiser Permanente Sports Rehabilitation Fellowship, one of the few sports fellowships in the nation. During this fellowship, Dr. Brown received extensive mentoring and training in rehabilitating both common and complex sports injuries in order to efficiently and safely return athletes back to their desired sport. He is passionate about sports. He played high school and college basketball and is currently a semi-professional skateboarder. In his free time, Dr. Brown enjoys playing basketball, golf, skateboarding, and traveling with friends and family.

Treatment Philosophy:
I take a multi-faceted approach to client care, combining manual therapy, movement re-education, and re-training the brain in order for each individual to reach their desired goals.

Samuel Franklin

Samuel Franklin, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Dr. Franklin grew up in Sarasota, FL, before attending the University of Miami for his undergraduate and graduate education. He received his B.S. in Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology, followed by his Doctorate of Physical Therapy. He then pursued his specialization through the Orthopedic Residency program at University of Southern California. He is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Clinical Physical Therapy in the USC Doctor of Physical Therapy program. He has also given professional seminars on the topic of Movement Analysis and Treatment of CrossFit athletes. Dr. Franklin grew up heavily involved in ballet, until his interests shifted to competitive Olympic weightlifting. In his free time, he enjoys weightlifting, running on the beach, yoga, and meditation.

Treatment Philosophy:
I believe in developing individualized treatment plans to reduce pain and correct underlying movement dysfunctions allowing patients to maximize their functional potential and reach their goals.

Samuel Franklin

Chris Zipser, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Dr. Chris Zipser received his M.S. in Kinesiology, Exercise Science from California State University, Long Beach working with NCAA Division I athletes in the realm of strength and conditioning. He then went on to receive his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of Southern California (USC). During his time at USC, Dr. Zipser worked in a variety of research labs, became a published author in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, and established an injury prevention clinic at the local rock climbing gym. Chris is always looking for ways to connect his passions of injury prevention and his love for the outdoors — enjoying activities such as hiking, rock climbing, surfing, and snowboarding.    

Treatment Philosophy:
I work with my patients to develop a personalized and holistic treatment plan that suits their lifestyle. I strive to facilitate active learning in all of my patients so that they can (re)discover what their body is capable of, and return to the activities that are most meaningful to them.