Chris’ Philosophy & Bio
Chris’ philosophy has been shaped by his rich history as a clinician, researcher, and coach, which he combines with his extensive experience as an elite multi-sport athlete.
During the early part of his athletic career, Chris sustained various injuries and underwent a handful of surgeries, which stemmed from repetitive microtrauma, poor nutrition, and improper training. Consequently, he found himself in physical therapy on a number of occasions and fortunately fell into the hands of talented PTs. After completing the rehabilitation process, Chris consistently returned to sport at a higher level relative to his pre-injury status and felt mentally tougher knowing that he was able to overcome such hardship. In addition to the musculoskeletal dysfunction associated with these injuries, Chris became acquainted with the emotional and psychological elements related to injury and pain. Chris draws on these experience when working with patients to exude a genuine empathy in their experience.
Chris’ approach to physical therapy is multi-faceted in nature, but is centered on working with each patient in a customized manner to create the optimal environment to protect and heal injured tissue(s) while educating them on pain science and reducing any actual or perceived threat to their brain. Chris makes sure to anticipate the needs of his patients while taking the time to address their questions or concerns to reduce any potential anxiety during the rehabilitation process. Specifically, Chris focuses on addressing musculoskeletal dysfunction, functional limitations, and pain by blending manual therapy, movement retraining, evidence based therapeutic exercise and pain education.
The combination of Chris’ background as a competitive, multi-sport athlete and patient coupled with his extensive professional experience as a clinician and researcher puts him in the ideal position to help you.
Chris completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware, where he earned a bachelor of science with distinction while completing a senior thesis in the physical therapy department under Dr. Lynn Snyder-Mackler. Chris was a member of the varsity men’s tennis team, scholar athlete, captain in 2000, and recipient of the Lee J Hyncik award for excellence in athletics and academics. He remained at the University of Delaware to earn a degree in physical therapy while completing an orthopedic/sports graduate fellowship under Dr. Michael J. Axe of First State Orthopedics. Following graduation, he relocated to New York City to work at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma of Lenox Hill Hospital as a physical therapist and researcher. He remained there for the ensuing eight years until 2010 at which point he decided to open his own physical therapy facility, Chris Johnson PT. In addition to being a physical therapist, Chris is a certified triathlon coach. Outside of his professional work, Chris races triathlons at the amateur elite level and has earned All American honors by USAT. Chris is also extensively published in the medical literature and currently has a monthly column on Ironman.com and is known as “The Tri PT.” Chris has also teamed up with Bruce Wilk PT, OCS to launch a continuing education series for medical and fitness professionals focused on Post Injury Running.