Kim Elia, DPT is a double graduate from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology, and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2012. Kim’s specializes in treating patients with complex medical histories, working to quickly get them out of pain and back to full function and activity levels that they expect. Kim’s clinical skills excel in three focus areas: sports medicine, pediatric and adult oncology, and TMJ.
Kim has developed a rabid following in the runner community.
Her clinical skills in sports medicine have evolved to helping runners, because she is one, and knows the last thing a runner wants to hear is “you need to take time off”. Kim competed as a Division 1 college level distance runner and has been racing at the marathon level since 2017. Kim enjoys helping runners get back on the road quickly, knowing a runner’s need to stick to their training plan. Kim’s scope of treatment includes complications from muscle tears and strains, tendon and ligament damage, shin splints, stress reactions, and a variety of others.
Kim has vast experience working with clients of all backgrounds and medical complexities. She takes the time to listen to the patient and works through a diagnosis and plan of care that will be individualized to that patient. Based on progression towards goals the plan of care is constantly changing with the patient in order for gains to be made. She has worked with orthopedic cases across the board including: sprains, fractures, radiculopathies, spine pain, and much more. Neurological cases include: Lyme disease, cerebral palsy, MS, stroke.
Kim is equally passionate about working for the pediatric and adult cancer patient. She has experience supporting patients recovering from a broad range of treatment regimens: from leukemia to brain tumors. She knows the importance of regaining strength and overall functional ability so children can quickly return to normal daily activities and play with kids their own age, and helping adults regain full functional movement and strength. Kim understands the limitations that come with cancer treatment including the effects that steroids cause, general fatigue, drop foot, and difficulty with ambulation/stair
climbing. She focuses on helping her patients overcome those limitations, and coaches both the patient and the family to ensure that her treatment is as well rounded as possible. Kim understands the importance of education which she plugs into her PT sessions, in order to discuss the plan of care, update her patients and the family about what to expect with PT, and reviews home exercises that should be done in between sessions.
TMJ can be a very painful diagnosis that limitations your overall basic daily function including eating, brushing your teeth, and even speaking. TMJ is not typically treated in physical therapy, and frankly it is not well treated most medical settings. Many patients are given the options of mouth guards, surgery, or injections that don’t address the dysfunction happening at the joint itself. Kim performs manual therapy that enables muscle relaxation and better joint movement to help reposition your jaw and return it to its neutral position in your mouth. Understanding the importance of self-management, Kim prescribes exercises specific to enable you to maintain neutral jaw position to prevent locking and pain from returning.