Wednesdays with the Women of Vitality: Christi

If you’ve been following our blog reboot, you’re probably familiar with “Wednesdays with the Women of Vitality” series.

Up until this point we’ve featured our owners Jennifer Hungate and Amy Pawlik, as well as our recent staff additions. Now it is time to bring it back to the therapists who helped us grow our family in more ways than one.

This is your chance to get to know the Vitality team 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.

Next up: Christi Christian, women's health veteran and mom extraordinaire. It’s not often that you find a PT who has experience both with orthopedic conditions and women’s health... that’s Christi. There’s nothing this woman can’t do, and we’re so glad that she has been part of the Vitality team since 2016.

Meet Christi Christian: Mom on a Mission

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

As a child, I was very active in sports and dance, and in high school I suffered a severe ankle sprain that required me to use crutches for a week.

During this time, the doctor explained the anatomy of the ankle, what had happened to my ankle in the injury, and the exercises I needed to do to strengthen it so that I could make a swift and full recovery.  I was intrigued by the human body and the entire experience. I knew then that this was something I wanted to study in college.

How and why did you decide to specialize in women’s physical therapy and orthopedic PT?

During undergrad, I attended the University of Michigan’s Kinesiology Program and was a student athletic trainer for two years.  My original plan was to work in outpatient orthopedics after physical therapy school.  My first job out of school involved rehabilitating employees so that they could return to work.

One day, a pregnant woman came into the clinic seeking care for lower back pain. I was fascinated by the physical changes that happen to a woman’s body during pregnancy and how this can contribute to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. This is where my journey into women’s health began.

What did you do before starting at Vitality?

I worked as a physical therapist at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) for nine years. I met Jennifer Hungate, co-owner of Vitality, at RIC, where we shared patients, trained, and taught together. I also enjoyed serving as a course/lab instructor and student mentor during my time there.

What is your most memorable moment as a physical therapist?

I am so proud of passing the Americian Board of Physical Therapy Specialty examination to become a Women's Health Certified Specialist (WCS) in 2009.  Not only was that a huge professional accomplishment, but I did it while being a wife and new mom to my one-year-old daughter.  This defining moment made me realize that I could balance a career with being a mom.  I now have three kids and a fulfilling career as a physical therapist.

Describe Vitality in 3 words.

  • Specialized
  • Individualized
  • Team Approach
  • Female-Focused

I know that's more than three, but the combination of the above is what makes Vitality so unique.  We are the only PT clinic in the area that focuses on females, we develop specialized programs for each individual; and our team-based approach ensures that you're going to get the best care from us and that we'll work with you until you are ready to take on the world.

What makes Vitality different than other places you have worked?

Vitality offers a comprehensive approach to women's health, and our team-based approach ensures that you are going to get the best care.

What advice do you have for women who are experiencing achiness, numbness, and/or radiating pain in their back or pelvic area, incontinence, or restricted movement?

There is no need to wait.  We are here to get you back to living and loving life.

When not in the PT clinic, you can find me…

Running around with my three kids, fitting in my favorite workout at Orangetheory Fitness, or practicing yoga.

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!