Wednesdays with the Women of Vitality: Amy

Every Wednesday over the next month, we’ll be featuring our very own women at Vitality on our blog.


Because we get how awkward it can be to meet us for the first time and have to describe what you’re experiencing - how vulnerable you feel when you admit that it hurts during sex or how embarrassing it is to concede that you need a diaper more than your 2-year-old daughter.

Visiting a physical therapist that specializes in women’s health is so personal that you should absolutely know more about who’s going to be treating you other than the fact that they have 20 years of experience, wrote a book with words you can’t pronounce, and have a lot of letters behind their name.

That’s why we’re turning the tables on the women of Vitality. Here’s your chance to get to know us and the stories behind all those years of experience, the real-world learning that came with those degrees and certifications, and everything in-between, including our top Mom tips for the communities we live and work in.

Meet Amy Pawlik: Super PT

Why did you decide to pursue physical therapy as a career?

It all started in high school. I loved running and reading, so naturally I read Runner's World magazine where I learned a ton about injuries and runner rehab. That’s where it first occurred to me that there were actually careers that revolved around exercise and helping heal injury.

That peaked my interest and in college, I majored in Exercise Science with a pre-physical therapy emphasis. I wasn’t sure if I could get into PT school and was advised to look into other options, but there was nothing else I wanted to do. I applied anyways and, as they say, the rest is history.

What did you do before starting Vitality?

I practiced physical therapy at the University of Chicago Medical Center, which was such a great opportunity because it exposed me to all aspects of PT. I literally did anything and everything I could get my hands on as it relates to physical therapy. For example, I've taught in local physical therapy programs and in continuing education courses; I’ve contributed to textbooks and published research; I’ve presented at physical therapy and medical conferences.

Given all the different things I was doing, my husband nicknamed me “Super PT.”

But I was just having fun and learning a ton at the same time. I still do some of those things, including teaching in Northwestern University’s physical therapy program, but my focus is on Vitality and my family.

What is your most memorable moment as a physical therapist?

All of those projects paved the way for some amazing experiences, but there is one experience that tops them all. In 2015 as a result of my work in the intensive care unit here in the U.S., my colleagues and I were invited to work in a hospital abroad for a week.

To be invited was amazing, but the experience itself was such an honor.

Describe Vitality in 3 words.

  • Women
  • Empowering
  • Rejuvenating

I love the idea of meeting women's needs they don't even realize they can receive care for. Specifically, understanding the needs of women and addressing those needs in an effective, comprehensive way. However, it’s been a really powerful experience to see firsthand how my work impacts my patients’ lives for the better - it’s really been an experience my patients and I have gone through together and found empowering and rejuvenating.

What was the most surprising thing about starting your own clinic?

It’s probably no surprise that I jumped head first into my next professional challenge: opening Vitality with my best friend Jennifer. But, I didn’t realize how major this was until we met our accountant and I made a comment like, “Now that I’m kind of like a business woman, I have to know about bookkeeping,” to which he replied, “You ARE a businesswoman.”

Jennifer and I know how to be physical therapists...we've been doing that a long time. But running a business and being an entrepreneur, that's a whole different ballgame, requiring new skills and fearlessness at every turn.

What makes Vitality different from some of the other physical therapy clinics in town?

There are some great clinics in town, many of which have their own strengths in terms of patient care.

Our strength and focus is really understanding the needs of women and trying to work with women to help address those needs in an effective and comprehensive way. There are very few clinics that just focus on the needs of women throughout their lifespan and none in Elmhurst.

To that end, we’ve gone out of our way to put women first in everything we do. For example, our space was created with women in mind- unlike other physical therapy clinics, which can feel clinical or sterile, our clinic is inviting and comfortable.

And, we are committed to one-on-one care. We want to make sure that our patients get the attention they need and deserve.

Finally, we understand how challenging it can be to schedule appointments or how hard it can be to keep up with your therapy when you’re chasing around your kids all day, so we’ve made a point to welcome children at your appointment and to create exercises that are incorporated into your daily activities.

What's your best-kept secret about Elmhurst?

The beginning of the Elmhurst St. Patrick's Day parade is the place to be as it’s easier to get in and out. I’ll see you there next year!

At Vitality, we help women be at their best by specializing and treating disorders related to pelvic and back pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and restricted movement. Together, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan to help you relieve your aches and pains, and support your body.

Contact us today!