Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants – as well as their patients – can benefit from influencers with a strong social media presence who are leading the way in terms of innovation and thought leadership in sports medicine and rehab science. Listening to podcasts, watching videos, and reading blogs posted by popular physical therapy influencers is an inexpensive yet high-value investment in practice improvement.
Here's our list of the best physical therapy influencers to follow for tips on patient care, private practice management, online marketing and brand awareness, patient education, and more in 2023 and beyond.
Top Physical Therapy Influencers on Instagram
Instagram is an image-based social platform with over 2 billion active monthly users, according to SproutSocial, making it easy for influencers to share images and stories with their followers. Physical therapists can use Instagram to share before-and-after images of their patients, write captions about the rehabilitation process, and even answer questions from followers in the comments section.
The Prehab Guys
The Prehab Guys are a group of doctorate-level physical therapists who focus on preventative rehabilitation, or “prehab.” Instead of waiting for athletes to become strained or injured to rehabilitate them, prehab takes these same techniques but teaches how they can be applied in a proactive manner to help prevent injury and improve endurance.
According to Forbes magazine, prehab is a rapidly growing subspecialty within the physical therapy and athletic training field, and the Prehab Guys are on the forefront of the movement with engaging videos, blogs, free educational resources, and much more. PTs who want to incorporate prehabilitation into their practices can get a lot of value from the Prehab Guys’ content.
Instagram Handle: @theprehabguys
YouTube Handle: @ThePrehabGuys
Mike Reinold, DPT, ATC, C-PS
Mike Reinold has over 10 years of experience in physical therapy, athletic training, and performance enhancement. He uses a unique “grow and become better” strategy to help clinicians become better physical therapists and personal trainers. Reinold discusses performance therapy and training on his Instagram profile, showing how he performs specific evaluations and highlighting the upcoming trends he’s seeing in the field.
Instagram Handle: @MikeReinold
Podcast: The Ask Mike Reinold Show
Zach Cogen, PT, DPT, SCS, XPS
As a sports clinical specialist and the director of rehabilitation for DC United, Zach Cogen provides easy-to-follow videos that help anyone from athletes to the everyday person learn exercises that help care for the body and strength-train specific areas. Both his “Why This?” and “What’s This For?” video series give clinicians ideas they can use to help their clients grow stronger, and the content is broken up by which training is needed for different sports for ease of use.
Instagram Handle: @TheSportsPhysio_
Podcast: The Talking Shop Podcast
Dr. Lisa, PT, DPT, FMSC
Dr. Lisa is a passionate runner and physical therapist with a proprietary rehabilitation program designed for runners like herself. The hip, foot and knee, and ankle programs combine traditional rehab with mobility exercises and strength training to help runners recover from injuries or build their endurance. Clinicians who want to work with runners can benefit from Dr. Lisa's informative and engaging content and use her techniques to help their own patients run for longer periods pain-free.
Instagram Handle: @Dr.Lisa.DPT
YouTube Handle: @drlisadpt
Nicole Cozean, PT, DPT, WCS
Nicole Cozean focuses on helping pelvic physical therapists make improvements in their practices and personal lives. Clinicians can explore solutions for pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic pain, low back pain, recurring UTIs, constipation, urinary urgency, and many other conditions that commonly come pre- and post-pregnancy.
Cozean is an entrepreneur and trailblazer for other physical therapists who specialize in pelvic health. She offers a wide variety of resources to healthcare professionals interested in staying at the forefront of pelvic medicine.
Instagram Handles: @pelvicsanity and @nicolecozeandpt
Podcast: The Pelvic PT Rising Podcast
Bobby Esbrandt, PT, DPT, CSCS, PES, USAW, CERT.DN
Bobby Esbrandt isn’t just another conditioning specialist or sports performance coach – he was one of the first two clinical providers in Maryland to receive a certificate in blood flow restriction (BFR) training. He’s also the owner of Impact Sports, which provides physical therapy services primarily for injury rehabilitation and works to bridge the gap between medical rehabilitation, athletics, and impact sports physical therapy.
Esbrandt’s videos are designed to help athletes build strength and prevent injury, and he specializes in spinal manipulation, cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine dysfunctions.
Instagram Handle: @BobbySportsPT
Veronica Velasquez, DPT
Veronica Velasquez is a physical therapist and former nurse who shares stories about her journey through PT school as a Filipina immigrant on Instagram and other social media. Velasquez is especially passionate about how mental health plays a significant role in patients' recovery and in their daily lives.
Her content gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how Velasquez gained financial independence by obtaining her doctorate in physical therapy and working as an acute care therapist at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in Carson, California. Clinicians and physical therapy school students can learn a lot from Velasquez's unique position within the field and approach to client care.
Instagram Handle: @ThisPTLife
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/veronica-velasquez-pt-dpt-459382118
Read about Dr. Velasquez's life as an undocumented immigrant in America working as a well-known hospital physical therapist.
Top Influencers on Twitter
Twitter allows influencers to share short excerpts, images, and videos with their fans and followers. Physical therapists can use Twitter to share quick tips and helpful advice with their patients or to share news and articles with colleagues. Collaboration on Twitter is easy, and the platform allows physical therapy influencers to connect with other medical professionals and build a community of PTs who are interested in improving the quality of their care.
Julie Wiebe, PT, DPT
Julie Wiebe is a veteran physical therapist with more than two decades of experience under her belt. She currently has a Los Angeles-based clinical practice, but she doesn't share her expertise with only the patients in her LA practice alone.
Wiebe publishes engaging, highly readable blog posts that offer up-to-date information and cutting-edge practical techniques that can be used in a wide variety of personal and clinical settings. Users can subscribe to her newsletter for even more helpful tips and deep discussions on health, wellness, and fitness.
Twitter Handle: @JulieWiebePT
Sarah Haag, PT, DPT
Sarah Haag is a physical therapist and avid runner with a passion for pelvic rehabilitation. She graduated from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science with a doctorate of physical therapy and master’s of science in women’s health. She went on to co-found Entropy Physiotherapy & Wellness with Dr. Sandy Hilton, the former director of programming for the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Haag is also a board-certified women's health specialist and was certified by the McKenzie Institute in medical diagnosis therapy. When not practicing physical therapy, Haag is teaching yoga as a registered instructor with more than 200 hours of training under her belt. Clinicians who want to emphasize the quality of care provided to women in their practice can learn a lot from Haag's specialized approach.
Twitter Handle: @SarahHaagPT
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-haag-79156219
Josh Funk, PT, DPT
Josh Funk became interested in physical therapy after undergoing his own rehabilitation following a serious sports injury. Since then, his passion has been to provide rehabilitative and preventive services that help improve people’s lives, whether they are athletes or are recovering from surgery. In 2016, he founded Rehab-2-Perform, a physical therapy practice that focuses on making patients stronger and educating them on how to maintain their physically improved state.
Twitter Handle: @DrJoshFunk
Podcast: R2P Academy Podcast
Jason Silvernail, DPT, DSc
Jason Silvernail is an active U.S. Army military officer who has been a practicing orthopedic physical therapist for more than 20 years. Silvernail has published many articles in several renowned medical journals and has an active presence online where he posts relevant content and frequently engages with users.
Silvernail is particularly adept at working with patients who have chronic pain, neurological problems, and conditioning issues. In addition, he provides these educational techniques to clinicians and physical therapy school students for use with their own patients.
Twitter Handle: @JasonSilvernail
Podcast: Soma Simple
Published Articles: ResearchGate.com
Top Influencers on TikTok
TikTok is a growing social platform that offers PTs a great way to gain a large audience. With over 500 million active users, TikTok has a vast potential reach. This is especially valuable for physical therapy influencers who are looking to establish themselves as authorities in the rehabilitation and sports medicine industries. Influencers can also use the platform to promote PT-related products and services to generate additional income.
Dan Ginader, DPT
Dan Ginader, who generally goes by "Dr. Dan," is an Indianapolis-based physical therapist with a robust social media presence on multiple platforms. His TikTok videos feature helpful tips for both patients and clinicians and receive tens of thousands of views each.
Ginader's relatable content shows how physical therapists can break out of the cookie-cutter mold and become reputable influencers themselves. He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with his doctorate in physical therapy, and, as a former baseball player and athlete himself, Dr. Dan takes a special interest in helping sports players improve their performance.
TikTok Handle: @dr.dan_dpt
Instagram Handle: @dr.dan_dpt
YouTube Handle: @Dr.DanDPT
Twitter Handle: @DrDan_Dpt
Annie Pilates, PT
Anabelen Aranton, who goes by "Annie," is a thriving online physical therapy influencer with multiple forms of content, including short- and long-form videos, guides, and educational courses. Annie specializes in Pilates and yoga practice, focusing on healthy living tips, pain relief, women's health, and much more.
Clinicians can obtain continuing education by attending Annie's masterclass, a six-part course with over 70 videos on Core and Back Immersion (CBI). The CBI method combines Pilates and yoga to safely strengthen core and back muscles.
TikTok Handle: @anniepilatespt
Instagram Handle: @anniepilatesphysicaltherapist
YouTube Handle: @AnniePilatesPhysicalTherapist
Masterclass: The Back Masterclass
Juanito Reyes, PT, DPT
Juanito Reyes is a board-certified physical therapist with a special interest in vestibular rehabilitation. Reyes, who goes by "Doc Jun" on TikTok, creates funny and informational videos about pain relief, vertigo treatment, and stroke rehabilitation that patients and clinicians can save to use at home or in the office.
Reyes owns a physical therapy practice in Baldwin, New York, with his wife, Charina Reyes, who is also a physical therapist. Together, the pair set high standards for PTs, physical therapy assistants, athletic trainers, and other professional service providers.
TikTok Handle: @docjunreyespt
Jen Esquer, DPT
Jen Esquer, also known as just "Dr. Jen," is the founder of two major rehabilitative programs, the Mobility Method and the Optimal Body, as well as an internationally recognized physical therapist. Dr. Jen's innovative and revolutionary techniques have been featured in multiple magazines and publications, including Shape, Oxygen, Self, and more.
Dr. Jen specializes in mobility and pain relief and produces engaging, high-value content that can be used by students, trainers, doctors, and other movement professionals.
TikTok Handle: @docjenfit
Instagram Handle: @docjenfit
Podcast: The Optimal Body
Top Influencers on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a site used mostly by businesses and professionals, making it an excellent place for physical therapists to connect with other medical professionals, find mentors, collaborate on research, and develop new business relationships. It's also an invaluable resource for networking and keeping up with industry news and developments.
Karen Litzy, PT, DPT
Karen Litzy is the founder and owner of Karen Litzy Physical Therapy, which provides physical therapy treatment to patients in their own offices or homes. She specializes in physical rehabilitation, sports medicine, injury prevention, and modern manual therapy, and clinicians can find her proprietary techniques on her website to use in their own practices. Litzy’s main goals are to help patients get stronger, move better, and remain pain-free.
LinkedIn Profile: Karen Litzy, DPT
Podcast: Healthy, Wealthy and Smart
Read Litzy’s story on starting her own physical therapy concierge business.
Nick Hannah, PT, DPT
Nick Hannah is a movement specialist who combines advanced manual therapy with strength and conditioning techniques to improve movement and help patients achieve greater physical performance.
With a history of playing professional football in the NFL and numerous certifications in reflexology, golf fitness, performance enhancement, strength and conditioning, and corrective exercise, Hannah brings a unique set of skills and expertise to the industry. He also offers life coaching and talent development services, and he provides a wealth of helpful resources for physical therapists that can be printed out for in-office use.
LinkedIn Profile: Nick Hannah, DPT
Akanni Salako, PT, DPT, FMSC
Akanni Salako is a doctor of physical therapy and sports rehabilitation specialist, having graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He's also the owner and CEO of Salako Fitness, an author, and a mental health advocate. Salako's focus is to help patients learn how to become better versions of themselves by properly eating, exercising, and using body mechanics to achieve their fitness goals.
He offers the same education that he provides to his patients to PT students across the country so they can help their own patients become healthier and more present in their daily lives. Salako was also featured by ABC News in a segment discussing his journey to the United States from Nigeria in search of a better life and to pursue his educational goals in medicine.
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/akanni-salako/
PTs and other clinicians in the fitness and wellness fields can benefit substantially by following and engaging with reputable online influencers and content creators who have extensive experience offering their own clients with athletic training, sports performance, and physical therapy services.
The above listed influencers come from diverse backgrounds and are doing many great things within the physical therapy field. By following them, you can gain valuable insights, make important connections, and learn more about this field.
If you want to become a physical therapist or are a provider interested in improving the services and support you offer patients in your local community, this list of top physical therapy influencers on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and more is a great place to get started. Becoming a physical therapist can help you improve people’s lives, mental health, and daily activities, while it provides you with a greater level of personal satisfaction and financial independence.
Image courtesy of istock.com/FG Trade