Susan Chalela, MPT
I am the founder of The Chalela Physical Therapy Institute for EDS and CCI/Cervical Instabilities. I received my Master of Physical Therapy degree from the Institute of Physical Therapy in St. Augustine, FL (now the University of St. Augustine), and have over 20 years of clinical practice experience as a licensed physical therapist. I have worked with patients with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome for over 10 years and integrate decades worth of relevant clinical experience including outpatient, orthopedics, sports medicine, aquatic therapy, ergonomics, neurological rehabilitation, industrial medicine, osteoporosis, APPI Pilates, dry needling, and the Graston Technique.
I have devoted myself to the study and treatment of patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other hypermobility disorders. I work closely with Dr. Sunil Patel, one of the premier neurosurgeons specializing in UCI/CCI and other EDS-related spinal complications including Tethered Cord Syndrome and have successfully helped his patients avoid surgery while regaining function and reducing pain. I lecture nationally and internationally for the Allied Health Professionals ECHO Series, the Bobby Jones Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation, and Bauerfeind Bracing. I have also spoken on several podcasts, including EDS Awareness/Chronic Pain Partners and Conquer Chiari.
As someone who lives with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome myself, I understand the experiences of this patient population and work tirelessly to advocate for and advance the treatment of my fellow zebras. My unique approach to physical therapy is based on my own experience surviving a stroke – while relearning to walk, talk, and reestablish immediate memory, I learned about the importance of biomechanics, neuroplasticity, and proprioception using biofeedback.
Today I combine my expertise in biomechanics and neuroplasticity to successfully treat patients and zebras of all stripes.