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Karen Yanelli PT, DPT, Cert. MDT

Karen Yanelli received her Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from New York Institute of Technology, graduating with distinction.  She specializes in the treatment of spine, orthopedic, rheumatological, and neurological conditions.

Karen received her spine certification in McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) through the McKenzie Institute International (MII).  Since the 1950’s MDT has been an internationally recognized method of effective, evidence based, conservative treatment of spine pain.  Since receiving her certification Karen has evaluated and successfully treated hundreds of patients using the Mckenzie method with excellent results.  She is an adjunct lecturer for New York Medical College's physical therapy program annually teaching students the Mckenzie method theory and manual techniques.  

In addition to her spine certification, she is a certified ergonomics assessment specialist (CEAS).  Being a CEAS qualifies Karen to perform ergonomics analysis applicable in the industrial, healthcare, and office workplace.  All assessments follow the standards and guidelines set by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the federal government.
Before opening a private practice, Karen worked in multiple settings such as home physical therapy, sub-acute rehabilitation centers, acute care rehabilitation and out-patient facilities.  Most recently she worked as an advanced clinician at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in NYC.  While at HSS Karen worked closely with some of the world’s best physicians and gained invaluable experience treating a wide variety of orthopedic conditions at various stages of recovery.  She has expertise in the pre and post-operative rehabilitation process involved with joint replacements, spine surgeries, as well as a variety of additional orthopedic operations.

In 2006 Karen began to gain extensive experience within the neurological sector of physical therapy.  Since then she has specialized in the treatment of chronic conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, ALS, forms of muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease (PD).  At HSS Karen founded the hospital’s first out-patient adult neurological physical therapy program.  In 2009 she began working with Hospital for Special Surgery’s chief neurologist as the physical therapist for the muscular dystrophy association funded ALS/MD clinic.  Karen has presented at multiple professional neurological conferences on topics such as Parkinson's Disease and peripheral nerve damage as well as representing the role of physical therapy in treating PD at the Michael J Fox Foundation annual Therapeutics Conference.   

In 2010 Karen began a sub-specialty in treating rheumatological disorders and more specifically all forms of Myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.  Karen works closely with leading Rheumatologists to promote the role of physical therapy and wellness within their patient population.  People from the tri-state region have sought out Karen's expertise in this area due to the rare experience and knowledge she holds within this patient population.  Annual presentations throughout NYC's auto-immune disease support groups are just one way Karen hopes to educate this underserved community. 

Karen has put education at the forefront of her professional life. She has successfully completed over 40 post-doctoral courses in topics ranging from the treatment of spine disorders, orthopedic extremity disorders and neurological conditions.

Since the beginning of her career Karen has made educating her peers, physical therapy students, resident and attending physicians, and the public a focal point.  She has been a keynote speaker and guest lecturer for universities, medical conferences, national organizations, professional education courses, auto-immune disease support groups, and patient and public education seminars.  Karen has also served as an author for chapters in educational monographs for the American Physical Therapy Association and as a contributor for the newly published book Multiple Sclerosis for the Non-Neurologist.


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