Amy J. Zipp, MS OT/L
I have been a licensed clinician since 2005. Early in my career, I focused in the areas of pediatrics, orthopedic trauma, burns & spinal cord injury. I also spent some time working in homes with developmental issues in the first few years of my career. I eventually landed in a wonderful clinic where I grew a diverse case load of pediatrics, aquatic therapy, adults-especially those with neurological conditions (Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis) as well as orthopedic upper extremity issues. I became fully Pilates certified in 2007 (Body Art & Science International-BASI), and started a Pilates based rehabilitation program at the clinic at that time. My certification as a USA Triathlon coach started in 2004, which led me to at the University of California- Davis as well as privately. Around this time, I also became certified in the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). All of these different movement approaches helped in various populations—from working with the fire department for screening and reducing worker’s compensation costs, to coaching sports or in traditional outpatient rehabilitation.
I recall a time period where I had a female college-aged runner, as well as a patient with multiple sclerosis, both tell me on the same day that what we were doing in working together was resolving their urinary leakage and giving them more confidence in reaching their goals. I knew very little at the time about the role of the pelvic floor in overall movement and musculo-skeletal issues, but my interest was piqued.
While taking a Pilates continuing education course in 2007 about diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA), I learned there was a specialty in women’s health and pelvic health within the physical and occupational therapy world. I knew I had to try to learn more because people got so much better—& faster when I integrated the few techniques I knew at that time. As soon as it was known in my local running group that I was specializing in this area, every single week, I’d have another friend come up and ask me if they could be seen. At only about 27 years old, I had truly no idea what an epidemic it was for women to be so ignored with these symptoms.
Being an athlete & having progressed in my career, I still find myself frustrated at what seems to be a disjointed way to address pelvic health with the gap in care that exists between rehabilitation & return to sport in the fitness world. I am fascinated with the complex movements that our bodies are capable of producing —from infants throughout adulthood. And I’m so thankful for all the patients, athletes and mentors that I have been able to learn from in my career thus far. I strive to assess & treat patients incorporating what is called the biopsychosocial model and appreciate working with other clinicians to help individuals reach their goals—whether for rehabilitation or for fitness.
I have a strong interest in helping women (or children!) return to what they find joy in doing; whether in elite sport, fitness goals or getting through daily life pain free & moving well. I strive to teach in the community, in higher education programs for other clinicians, & with other fitness instructors in order to spread evidenced based information so we can slowly improve care for women & children.