Michael Z Aquino

“I believe that optimal care is centered around listening to the patient’s story and providing empathetic care that validates their individual experience and empowers them to be active participants in their recovery. I love that as a physical therapist I have the time to develop a therapeutic relationship with my patients and I can be facilitator of healthy change for my patients by teaching them the tools they need to recover.”

Michael’s first exposure to physical therapy came by chance, when he decided to volunteer at a physical therapy clinic and developed a strong affinity to the profession. While attending University of California, Santa Barbara where he attained his BA of Sociology, he developed a passion for helping communities in need and saw physical therapy as the perfect avenue for accomplishing this goal, by combining his love of exercise from his history as a tennis player with his desire to help others. Michael obtained his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Chapman University where he acquired experience with a variety of populations ranging from individuals with chronic pain conditions, injured youth athletes, work-related injuries, to the post-stroke and spinal cord injury population for return to optimal health.

Michael practices both orthopedic and pelvic health physical therapy, with a special interest in population health. In order to serve organizations and address health at a population level, he went through further education to become a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist (CEAS I) through The Back School and a Certified Applied Prevention and Health Promotion Therapist (Cert-APHPT) through the Institute of Clinical Excellence.

Michael has a passion for working with people suffering from complex chronic pain conditions. Due to his firsthand experience with chronic chest and pelvic pain and the lack of answers and optimal care he received, he went through further specialized training and education in chronic pain and pelvic health. Michael underwent a chronic pain mentorship at Rehab Specialists Inc., a clinic affiliated with the California Pain Medicine Center and their multidisciplinary pain program led by Joshua Prager, MD, a leader in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, where he worked with conditions such as CRPS, severe chronic low back pain, and amplified pain syndrome. He also went through further mentorship with the Modern Pain Care group, where he received tutelage from a variety of healthcare providers that specialize in a modern evidence-based approach for the treatment of chronic pain. He currently is in route to attaining his Therapeutic Pain Specialist certification through the International Spine and Pain Institute, a program developed by Adriaan Louw, Phd, a leader in research for the treatment of pain. Michael loves to share his specialized knowledge in pain with his patients and the general public through teaching pain workshops and lectures.

Michael also provides inclusive care for the LGBTQIA+ community and has a specialized in background and training in providing inclusive care for this population. He received further education specifically in preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative physical therapy care for the transgender and gender non-binary population.

Treating patients with:

  • University of California, Santa Barbara – BA of Sociology
  • Chapman University – Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • >120 hours of continuing education for Chronic Pain
  • 90 hours continuing education in Pelvic Health
  • Certified Applied Prevention & Health Promotion Therapist
  • Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist
  • Preoperative and Postoperative Gender Affirmation Surgical Care

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