Maddie Girardi, PT

Updated: May 26, 2021

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Brain Injury, PT, Performance and More.

Physical therapy (PT) has been a game-changer for me over the years. Whether it's injured knee, shoulder, or back, PT gives you tools and keeps you moving, doing things so other issues of mood and health don’t crop up as you heal.

Maddie Girardi and I have a relationship different than everyone else I have interviewed in all my podcasts so far. In addition to her managing a large, high-profile Chicago physical therapy clinic, being a pretty extraordinary person in her field, an advance reader of Brain Dance, she is also my physical therapist.

You will love this episode. It's a short, funny, and fascinating conversation that will lift your day. You'll learn about physical therapy today, who can benefit from it, brain injury, why people don’t get treatment for it. You'll also get a sense of what it's like to live in downtown Chicago during the pandemic and location of protests and riots, being newlywed, and having a husband who works in the restaurant industry during shutdowns.

Here are some of the takeaways available for you in this episode:

How to recognize you have brain trauma, even if no one else sees it.

How important these brain awareness conversations are for helping ourselves and the people we love.

Just a little background on my injury we make reference to in conversation. It’s what I refer to as a “pandemic injury.” I had shoulder pain that got pretty severe after the pandemic moved into full swing. Little by little, like many people, my posture had gotten worse from days of telehealth. At night, I seem to have slept like a tightly wrapped little cocoon under stress. My body was telling the story.

By the way, if you are lucky enough to have health insurance, chances are likely it will be cover physical therapy for posture pain and other injuries. Do check. If you don’t have insurance, it may still a worthy investment for even a few sessions. It doesn’t just take away your pain, it gives you your life back.


Maddie Girardi is a PT in the downtown Chicago area and has been practicing for almost 8 years. She attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science and attended Northwestern University in Chicago, IL where she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree and licensure. She works and manages a high-profile clinic in River North and specializes in treating patients with chronic pain and performing arts-related injuries. She is one of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago physical therapists and helps them recover and maintain their bodies to be able to perform at high levels throughout their season both in Chicago and touring across the world. She maintains certification in manual therapy and dry needling that continues to help her patients throughout their care.