Karen Eckardt

Karen Eckardt, PT, ECS, COMT, is an accomplished leader and caring Physical Therapist serving as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Panetta Physical Therapy. With a history dating back to 1992, Karen has been an integral part of the company’s growth and success.

Karen’s journey as a Physical Therapist began in high school when her experience as a gymnast sparked her fascination with human movement and a desire to assist individuals in retraining their bodies for improved function. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College in 1990. Following graduation, Karen worked as a staff therapist at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, where she provided comprehensive patient care in both acute care and rehabilitation settings. While she gained valuable experience in various areas, her true passion lay in working with orthopedic and sports-related injuries.

Karen’s path aligned with her passion when she joined Christina Panetta’s private practice. Over 30 years, she has accumulated invaluable experience in empowering patients to enhance their mobility and regain joy in their activities. Karen’s dedication has made her a cornerstone of Panetta Physical Therapy, helping to bring Christina’s vision to life.

With advanced skills in manual therapy, biomechanical analysis of movement, neuromuscular re-education, and functional training, Karen is recognized as a Golf Performance Specialist with FitGolf, a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Level 2 Medical Professional Certified practitioner, and a Functional Movement System (FMS) Certified professional. She excels in analyzing and re-educating movement across a wide range of sports, including gymnastics, ballroom dancing, soccer, lacrosse, skiing, tennis, running, track and field, and volleyball.

Continuously expanding her knowledge, Karen holds advanced certification as a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT). She has been a leader in developing the diagnostic program at Panetta Physical Therapy, which includes musculoskeletal ultrasound and electrodiagnostics. In 2016, she earned her board certification in Clinical Electrophysiology from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, making her one of just over 200 physical therapists in the USA with this distinction. Additionally, Karen is a Point-of-Care Ultrasound Musculoskeletal (MSK) Certified practitioner, utilizing these advanced techniques both on-site and off-site to collaborate with physicians in establishing accurate diagnoses and effective treatment approaches.

As the COO, Karen has been a driving force behind Panetta Physical Therapy’s growth, overseeing patient care, clinical staff supervision, training, and upholding high-quality care standards. Her approach seamlessly integrates meticulous attention to detail with her extensive expertise, ensuring that patients receive exceptional care in a friendly, professional, and welcoming environment. Karen’s leadership, compassion, and thoroughness make her an invaluable asset to the practice and the patients she serves.

Fun Fact

I love to travel and have a goal to see every national park in the USA.

Karen's Tip

When suffering from an injury, don’t rest completely. Instead, protect your injury but maintain an active rest. Continue any activity that doesn’t affect your injury. This will help to maintain your overall fitness and produce endorphins which helps to decrease pain and improve your mood.