TherapydiaSF physical therapists have extensive clinical experience, studied at top schools, and are highly trained in a variety of wellness practices. Learn more about our amazing San Francisco physical therapy team and how they can help you start your path to lifetime wellness. We have two locations in San Francisco to better serve our patients.

One Embarcadero Center

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Sydney James, PT, MS, OCS

Owner, Physical Therapist
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“I strive to do my best for every patient by drawing from a variety of techniques, staying current with research, and learning from other rehabilitation specialists. My expertise is in observing and assessing movement, choosing treatment strategies to improve dysfunctional patterns of movement, and educating patients on causes of and ways to avoid injury. I develop treatment plans based on the concept of regional interdependence–impairments that seem to be unrelated in a separate part of the body may contribute to, or be associated with, the primary complaint. In order for physical therapy to be successful, patients must be active participants in the rehabilitation process. This collaborative effort ensures the best possible outcome of improved health.”

Professional Licensure and Certifications:
Licensed Physical Therapist, State of California
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist (OCS)
Pilates Instructor—ITT and BASI trained
Master Instructor—TRX Sports Medicine
CPR Certified


Education:
Masters of Science in Physical Therapy, UCSF/SFSU, 2003
California Teaching Credential, California Polytechnic State University
Bachelors of Arts, Liberal Studies, California Polytechnic State University


Techniques:
Postural Restoration Institute (PRI)
Dynamic Neuromuscular Stability (DNS)
Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)
Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Certified
TPI Level 1 Certified
Gray Institute Applied Functional Science Method
Maitland (Australian) Approach
Graston Certified
RockTape Certified-FM1, FM2
RunRx assessment


Activities and Community:
Trains and participates in running events—half-marathon and marathon distances
Enjoys cycling and swimming
Teaches and practices Pilates and TRX
Community lecturer for local groups including Team in Training, lululemon athletica, The San Francisco Marathon, Luna Chix, San Francisco AIDS Marathon, See Jane Run, The Run Center at UCSF
Contributing writer to various physical therapy publicationsMember of the U.S. Open Wellness Team
Member of The Loose Interpretations a cappella group
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Joe Cicinelli, DPT, PRC

Physical Therapist
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"As a physical therapist, I feel privileged to be in a position to influence a person’s health and well-being—a commitment I do not take lightly. I have moved to several states across the country solely to learn from highly skilled therapists and have been a part of interdisciplinary healthcare models at EXOS (formerly Athletes’ Performance), I-FAST (Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training), the Hruska Clinic (Lincoln NE), and the Cantrell Center (Warner Robins GA). After a short college football stint at Florida State University, I decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. My treatment process has a neuroscience foundation through principles taught by the Postural Restoration Institute and modern pain science. All body systems must be accounted for to make the most informed clinical decision for each patient. I have also previously worked as a vision therapist, strength coach, and have had the pleasure to learn from several talented dentists across the country. I am passionate about how healthcare professionals can work together to help the patient achieve their life goals.”

Professional Licensure and Certifications:
Licensed Physical Therapist, State of California
Postural Restoration Certified (PRC)
Myofunctional Therapist (AOMT)
CPR Certified

Education:
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Washington University in St. Louis 2015
Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science, Florida State University 2012

Techniques:
PRI
formal training in Active Release Technique (ART)
treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
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Marianne Arild, PT, MPT

Physical Therapist
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“I believe each patient’s “story” is unique and I love developing an individualized treatment program specific to their needs and goals. I enjoy teaching patients about their body and their injuries and I find patient education to be essential in the overall success of the patient’s rehabilitation. I use an eclectic approach based on the skills and experience I have gained through 28 years of patient care, continuing education, and peer collaboration. My background in Nutrition as well as my medical knowledge as a Physician Assistant allows me to give my patients a comprehensive approach focusing not only on their rehabilitation but their overall health and wellness. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the highest level athletes through USA Track and Field, USA Decathlon, San Jose/Cleveland Ballet, United States Figure Skating Association, and MLB – San Francisco Giants and it has helped me to fine tune my clinical skills.”

Professional Licensure and Certifications:
Licensed Physical Therapist, State of California
Licensed Physician Assistant, State of California
ACLS certified
CPR Certified


Education:
Master of Physical Therapy, Chapman University, 1989
Primary Care Physician Assistant Certification, Stanford University School of Medicine, 2011
Bachelor of Science, Nutrition, Montana State University


Techniques:
Biomechanical Assessment and Video Gait Analysis
Orthotic fabrication – Casting, heat molding (Vasyli)
Graston/IASTM techniques
K-T and McConnell taping techniques
Myofascial Decompression (Cupping)
Maitland (Australian) and Stanley Paris Approach



Activities and Community:
Former NCAA Division I collegiate gymnast
MLB 2nd opinion Physical Therapist
USA Track and Field, International Medical Team member
Medical Mission (as a Physician Assistant) in the Philippines with Remote Area Medicine (Typhoon Yolanda)
Medical Team volunteer for Alonzo King Lines Ballet
Enjoys traveling, photography, skiing, cycling, Pilates
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Amy Aguiniga

Office Manager
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I was born and raised on the Peninsula and currently live in San Francisco. I love it! I've always been active, starting with competitive, year-round swimming when I was 9 years old. Fast forward a few years to high school when I began playing water polo year-round, an aggressive sport that led to several injuries, including my first (and second) torn meniscus in my right knee. I had two very different physical therapy experiences during my recovery from each surgery and quickly learned the importance of proper rehabilitation. My first PT experience was very poor. I wasn't given any information about how to manage my recovery or avoid future injury. Without a plan or any direction from my therapist, I naturally re-injured myself. I faced the same diagnosis, same surgery, and same path of rehab. I was frustrated! All I wanted to do was to get better and be able to play water polo. My second experience with physical therapy was completely different. I spent one on one time with the physical therapist, had a plan for my recovery and was taught the importance of staying strong to avoid future injury. This experience is what sparked my interest in physical therapy and I began to take Sports Medicine courses in college. I continued my path in physical therapy and became a physical therapy aide. I enjoyed this role because I was able to empathize with patients. I continued my role in healthcare working in patient safety at Genentech but found I missed my physical therapy interactions with patients.I love being a part of TherapydiaSF and everything the company believes in. I enjoy being able to be a part of getting patients the care they need! Outside of work I enjoy going to the beach, listening to music, and going to concerts. I'm always up for an adventure, hanging out with my 100Lb puppy, Teddy and enjoying yummy food!
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Paula Palomarez

Client Care Coordinator/Benefits Coordinator
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Paula Palomarez, a native of San Francisco, has worked in the health field for almost a decade. She helps patients navigate the complicated world of health insurance as well as handling the various tasks that accompany patient care. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her fur baby, Bella.

Market Street

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Sydney James, PT, MS, OCS

Owner, Physical Therapist
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“I strive to do my best for every patient by drawing from a variety of techniques, staying current with research, and learning from other rehabilitation specialists. My expertise is in observing and assessing movement, choosing treatment strategies to improve dysfunctional patterns of movement, and educating patients on causes of and ways to avoid injury. I develop treatment plans based on the concept of regional interdependence–impairments that seem to be unrelated in a separate part of the body may contribute to, or be associated with, the primary complaint. In order for physical therapy to be successful, patients must be active participants in the rehabilitation process. This collaborative effort ensures the best possible outcome of improved health.”

Professional Licensure and Certifications:
Licensed Physical Therapist, State of California
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist (OCS)
Pilates Instructor—ITT and BASI trained
Master Instructor—TRX Sports Medicine
CPR Certified


Education:
Masters of Science in Physical Therapy, UCSF/SFSU, 2003
California Teaching Credential, California Polytechnic State University
Bachelors of Arts, Liberal Studies, California Polytechnic State University


Techniques:
Postural Restoration Institute (PRI)
Dynamic Neuromuscular Stability (DNS)
Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)
Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Certified
TPI Level 1 Certified
Gray Institute Applied Functional Science Method
Maitland (Australian) Approach
Graston Certified
RockTape Certified-FM1, FM2
RunRx assessment


Activities and Community:
Trains and participates in running events—half-marathon and marathon distances
Enjoys cycling and swimming
Teaches and practices Pilates and TRX
Community lecturer for local groups including Team in Training, lululemon athletica, The San Francisco Marathon, Luna Chix, San Francisco AIDS Marathon, See Jane Run, The Run Center at UCSF
Contributing writer to various physical therapy publicationsMember of the U.S. Open Wellness Team
Member of The Loose Interpretations a cappella group
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Andy Tsui, PT, MS

Physical Therapist
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“I love my job! I’m lucky to have a career in which I get to help people be the best version of themselves. Having an integrated body is key—it’s true whether you want to be a top-performing athlete or just want to go up the stairs after surgery. With over 14 years of experience, I’m able to assess the areas where dysfunction and compensatory patterns affect optimal movement and/or causing pain. Having had many injuries in the past from being active, I can attest to the frustration of figuring out how to return to sports and daily life. Using a comprehensive approach that includes manual treatment, neuro-reeducation, movement repatterning, and specific corrective exercises, I am able to help patients return to their preferred level of activity and wellness.”

Professional Licensure and Certifications:
Licensed Physical Therapist, State of California
Licensed Physical Therapist, State of New York
CPR certified


Education:
Masters of Science in Physical Therapy, Columbia University 2002
Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Planning, SUNY Binghamton 1998
Bachelor of Arts in Physical/Environmental Geography, SUNY Binghamton1998


Techniques:
Postural Restoration Institute (PRI)
Maitland Australian Approach
Australian Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Yearlong Course
Stanley Paris Manual Therapy
Active Manual Release with Manual Stabilization
Linda Joy Lee’s Thoracic Ring Approach
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Ashley Sommers, DPT

Physical Therapist
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"As an active person, I understand the impact an injury can have on your quality of life. I want to help you get back to doing what you love! I use a whole body approach to facilitate optimal movement patterns to decrease tissue irritation, promote healing, and prevent injury. With a strong understanding of neurology and biomechanics, I will address the root cause of your symptoms while emphasizing patient education. Working collaboratively with you, we will develop a plan of care involving manual techniques and exercises that best suit your individual movement goals and lifestyle. I look forward to working with you!

Professional Licensure and Certification:
Licensed Physical Therapist, California and Oregon
CPR certified

Education:
Doctor of Physical Therapy, UCSF/SFSU
Bachelors of Science in Biology, UC Davis
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Laura Sako, DPT

Physical Therapist
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"I have always enjoyed viewing physical therapy as an anatomical puzzle and deducing where the source of the pain may be rooted. Every body is unique, and I strive to make sure that my evaluation and treatment are tailored to each person’s specific presentation. As a physical therapist, my background is primarily in orthopedics. I recently completed a residency at MGH/Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital that focused on honing my manual techniques, utilizing the most current research, and preparation for becoming an orthopedic clinical specialist. I enjoy working with patients with all types of musculoskeletal conditions, and as a former collegiate athlete, I know the frustration of being sidelined with a nagging injury or consistent pain. From treating the weekend warrior to just getting out of bed pain free, I want to ensure that my patients have the tools to complete their goals."

Professional Licensure and Certification:
Licensed Physical Therapist, California and Washington
CPR certified

Education:
Clinical Residency in Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Massachusetts General Hospital IHP
Doctor of Physical Therapy, The George Washington University
Bachelors of Arts in Biology, Oberlin College
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Lauren Opatrny, DPT

Physical Therapist
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“I love helping people and I feel privileged to be in a profession where I can have a positive impact on a person’s health and quality of life. I want to make your goals a priority and I am here to guide and tailor your rehabilitation process to ensure you meet those goals. Blending my experience in physical therapy with my personal background in competitive athletics, injuries, and training, I strive to provide efficient and effective care to aid in each person’s unique recovery process. I understand the frustration and impact pain and injury can have on daily life, having gone through it myself, and it is my intention to make your physical therapy experience productive and enjoyable.”

Professional Licensure and Certification:
Licensed Physical Therapist, California
CPR certified

Education:
Doctor of Physical Therapy, UCSF/SFSU
Bachelors of Science in

Professional Licensure and Certification:
Licensed Physical Therapist, California and Oregon
CPR certified

Education:
Doctor of Physical Therapy, UCSF/SFSU
Bachelors of Science in Human Science, Georgetown University
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Bethany Pianca, RDN

Nutritionist
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“I left my job in the corporate world to pursue my passion for good food and good nutrition. I love being a part of the ‘aha’ moment clients have when they realize that eating healthfully and enjoying what they eat go hand in hand. As a mother and former CPA, I understand the challenges busy schedules and long hours pose to a healthy lifestyle. I specialize in finding ways to overcome these challenges, so clients can make eating well a priority in any situation. I also enjoy working with athletes, whether your goal is your first 5K or you are a seasoned triathlete, I can help tailor a nutrition plan to meet your individual training needs.”

Professional Certifications:
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Education:
San Francisco State University, Bachelors of Science with honors in Dietetics
Graduate Certificate in Dietetics

Activities and Community:
Pilates, swimming, and yoga
Community lecturer on nutrition
Travel
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Nicole Mitchell

Director of Client Services
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Originally from Maine, Nicole Mitchell has been a Bay Area resident since moving to Marin to attend Dominican University of California, where she graduated with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Art History. After graduating she worked in various fields, but quickly realized that she had a strong interest in health and wellness. She chose to pursue this by becoming a Certified Yoga Instructor for kids, a Certified Infant Massage Teacher and a Certified Postpartum Doula to promote health and wellness in the pediatric population. Nicole is excited to be a part of TherapydiaSF and, when not at work,enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, cooking and spending time with her husband and daughter.
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Sarah Ruiz

Office Manager
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Sarah is California girl born and raised in the Central Valley. She graduated from USF with a Bachelors in Kinesiology and plans to continue her education by going into a Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. Her extracurricular activities involve playing soccer and volleyball, running in the park, Netflix binges, stuffing her face with food, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.