Get to Know Our Therapists: Katie Bacarella, PT, DPT, ATC, CF-L2
Meet Katie: a Luna physical therapist based in Monroe, Michigan, who's a certified CrossFit Level 2 trainer and a busy mom of two young girls.
Even from a young age, Katie knew physical therapy would play a significant role in her life. Having an older brother with cerebral palsy, she volunteered at her brother's special needs school when she was only ten years old. The experience opened her eyes to physical therapy, and she was enthralled. From then on, she dedicated her educational and professional endeavors toward health, wellness, and the betterment of people's physical abilities. Not only is Katie a highly experienced Luna therapist, but she is also a wife, a mom to two young girls (one of which is a newborn), and a CrossFit trainer. Helping people gain (or re-gain) strength is what drives her. It's not a shocker that physical therapy is a rewarding part of her life. Her vast knowledge gives her the ability to care for almost any patient, but her specializations are in sports therapy, orthopedics, and pelvic floor.
Let's find out what led Katie to become the fantastic therapist that she is today and a proud part of the Luna team.
The "K" in Katie stands for knowledge
Katie graduated from Albion College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training. While she loved working in that field, the hours didn't mesh well with her lifestyle. To gain more flexibility, Katie pursued a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Michigan-Flint. There she graduated with honors in 2014. You'd think she'd take a break at this point, but you'd be wrong. Katie soon went on to earn her CrossFit Level-2 Certification. Then, after she became pregnant with her first child in 2017, she joined the Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism movement, where she became a certified coach. That endeavor put her on the path to specializing in pelvic floor physical therapy -- an area of expertise that helps women adapt to the physical changes and challenges associated with pregnancy and postpartum.
Speaking of the pelvic floor...
One of Katie's most rewarding physical therapy cases was from a woman suffering from pelvic floor issues. The patient, who had a passion for running, couldn't run two feet without having an accident. She was despondent and thought she would never be able to run again. Luckily, she came to Katie, who taught her specific pelvic floor strengthening exercises and other helpful therapeutic tips. Within a few sessions, this patient ran a mile without a single accident. A year later, she had a second child. Using what Katie taught her, was back to running again in no time flat.
What Katie find most rewarding about physical therapy
Success stories like the one above, and many others, are inspirational fuel for Katie. She works hard to achieve high levels of success for every one of her patients. She thrives on their progress and achievements. Even when her patients start with a poor mindset, she's able to turn their frowns upside-down. She finds ways to get them into a positive place -- one where they can both conquer the patient's PT challenges together as a team. And no matter who she's working with, Katie gets a kick out of seeing each person thrive. It could be helping a patient recover from surgery, assisting an athlete return to their favorite sport, or helping a grandparent gain strength to play with their grandkids. Most think their recovery will take forever, but with Katie at the helm, recovery and wellness are expedited in a healthy and safe way. Her patients love her for it.
What Katie loves about Luna
Katie has been part of the Luna team ever since it began offering PT service to the Detroit, Michigan area. She loves how the app makes it easy for patients to connect with physical therapists. Katie also appreciates how it has modernized physical therapy services overall. She mentioned that it's a huge time-saver for everyone -- patients, therapists, and physicians too. Her favorite tech feature is the Luna Exercises library. With it being so expansive, she can quickly prescribe the perfect exercise regimen for her patients and easily monitor their progress.
What Katie has learned from the pandemic
When it comes to COVID-19, we've all had to change and adapt to new ways of doing things. Since Katie is the mom of two girls (a three-year-old and a three-month-old) and wife to a CrossFit gym owner, the situation was crazier and more stressful than ever for her family. But it also inspired them to slow down and gain new perspectives. While careers and business endeavors were important, they realized that cherished family time was even more so. Both she and her husband saw that their girls were growing up fast. Spending more quality time with them became a priority during the pandemic -- a practice that continues to this day. It's another reason why Katie admires Luna. Like other Luna PTs, she can set her hours at will, giving her the flexibility to work and enjoy family time on her terms.
Whether you're a physical therapist who would love more control over your time or a patient who needs on-demand physical therapy, Luna can help. Don't wait -- learn more about Luna today