ABOUT

Being located in a La Palestra facility means a great deal to the 70 Pine Street team. This historic landmark building, once the tallest structure in downtown Manhattan, is remarkably intact, welcoming patients through a beautiful lobby with high ceilings and marble floors. Exposed brick and a moder...

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MEET OUR PHYSICAL THERAPY STAFF

Joshua Rieders, PT, DPT, CSCS

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

imgJoshua Rieders, PT, DPT, CSCS

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

Josh Rieders is the Clinical Director of SPEAR’s Financial District – 70 Pine Street location. Josh received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from New York University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Health & Exercise Science from Syracuse University. Josh’s clinical experience includes orthopedics, sports rehabilitation, acute rehabilitation, and adult neurological rehabilitation. Josh focuses on manual therapy techniques and neuromuscular reeducation to maximize translation to functional movement patterns. He has experience in lower extremity rehabilitation with a goal to return to impact sports as well as experience in rehabilitation of the throwing athlete. In addition to a passion for treating high level athletes, Josh has developed an interest in the treatment of primary headaches which include migraine and tension-type headaches. He is currently researching the treatment of post-concussion syndrome. Josh is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. When Josh is not treating patients at SPEAR, he is training clients looking to improve their fitness and reach personal goals. Josh enjoys staying active with resistance training, running, basketball, and hiking. During his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, cooking, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.

Justin Aquino, PT, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

imgJustin Aquino, PT, DPT

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

Justin Aquino became interested in physical therapy during his senior year of high school when his brother required rehabilitation for his knee. His goal of becoming a physical therapist grew during his junior year of college when he fractured his ankle that required surgery. He experienced firsthand the effects of PT and the type of relationship a patient has with a therapist, which he wanted to provide to others as a career. Justin earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at New York Medical College (NYMC) and his BS in Applied Kinesiology from Rutgers University. During his time at NYMC, Justin has had exposure to outpatient orthopedics, vestibular rehabilitation, and inpatient rehab on a brain injury unit. Justin’s clinical interests involve orthopedics, sport-specific training, vestibular rehabilitation, and injury prevention. With a focus on working with athletes at all levels, he strives to assist individuals to perform at the highest level possible in all sports. Being a runner himself and having participated in a running analysis project during his graduate education, Justin hopes to make an impact in the running community for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Justin was born and raised in New Jersey. When Justin is not in the clinic or classroom, he enjoys playing basketball, exploring for new and popular food spots, playing guitar or cajon, or simply relaxing with his friends and family. He is always eager to try new activities to reach new personal goals.

Naeema Haq

No Credentials Or Degree Added

N H

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

None listed

Rachel Gofman, PT, DPT

PT, DPT

imgRachel  Gofman, PT, DPT

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

None listed

Brian Esterle

No Credentials Or Degree Added

B E

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

None listed

Timothy Caputo, PT, DPT, TPI L1

PT, DPT

imgTimothy Caputo, PT, DPT, TPI L1

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

Tim earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Stony Brook University and his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Rhode Island. During his time spent at the University of Rhode Island, he was a member of the NCAA Division I baseball team, for which he served as team captain. Upon graduating, he was recognized by the faculty for his hard work and dedication to the profession in the clinical setting and was a recipient of the Clinical Excellence Award. While at Stony Brook he had exposure to various different settings, including outpatient orthopedics, sports rehabilitation, acute care, and adult neurological rehabilitation. Tim’s interest in physical therapy stems from an active lifestyle and years of playing sports. His clinical interests include orthopedics, return to sport training, injury prevention and post-operative rehabilitation. His treatment approach focuses on improving functional deficits and elevating athletic performance through functional manual therapy and strategic therapeutic exercise to allow his patients to return to peak performance. Tim is originally from Long Island and has embraced the vibrant culture that New York City has to offer. Outside of the clinic, he enjoys playing intramural sports, surfing, playing golf, travelling, drawing, and watching the Mets.

Dana Ballis, PT, DPT

PT, DPT

imgDana Ballis, PT, DPT

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

Dana earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Stony Brook University. During her time there, she was inducted into the Alpha Eta National Honor Society for academic excellence among allied health professionals. She also earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in Nutrition and Biochemistry from the University of Delaware. Throughout her clinical experiences, Dana was exposed to a variety of patient populations and settings. She has experience in a mixed outpatient orthopedic and neurologic clinic that focused on a variety of musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. She commonly worked with patients returning from orthopedic surgeries and sports injuries, as well as patients with neurological issues, including return-to-play athletes, cerebral palsy, and patients recovering from strokes. Dana also attended a clinical that specialized in vestibular rehabilitation and in the management of complex inner-ear disorders, including hypofunctions, acoustic neuromas, and particular forms of vertigo. Dana has a passion for maintaining an active lifestyle stemming from her love for dance and running. She has competed in half marathons and triathlons, and just completed her first marathon last year! She also enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, and biking.

Phil Jennette

No Credentials Or Degree Added

P J

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

None listed

Justin Lugtu, PT, DPT, CSCS

No Credentials Or Degree Added

imgJustin  Lugtu, PT, DPT, CSCS

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

Justin received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Rutgers University after receiving his Bachelors of Arts in Biology from Kean University. While completing his studies, Justin performed hands-on patient care through Rutgers’ pro-bono Physical Therapy clinic. During clinical rotations, Justin performed inpatient and outpatient care on patients of all ages, from high level athletes to those at risk for falls. He gained experience treating various orthopedic conditions, athletic injuries, post-surgical procedures, and vestibular dysfunctions. Justin’s approach to Physical Therapy is simple: treat everyone as if they were your family member. Justin always makes sure that everyone under his care receives the individualized attention and best treatment possible for healing. In 2019, Justin became a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, which has provided him with extensive knowledge in performance training and enhancement for athletes. When he is not working with patients, Justin enjoys playing basketball, hiking, running, weightlifting, and watching New York Knicks games.

Merin Thazhathukunnel, PT, DPT

No Credentials Or Degree Added

imgMerin  Thazhathukunnel, PT, DPT

PHYSICAL THERAPIST BIO

Merin earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical University, also graduating cum laude with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from The City College of New York. During her time at SUNY Upstate, Merin participated in research involving LSVT BIG and impacts on individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. While completing her studies, Merin served as a teaching assistant and took part in a global service trip in Ecuador, providing physical therapy services and creating assistive devices with household equipment. Merin is passionate about physical therapy and believes each patient should receive individualized treatment to reach their rehabilitation goals. Merin has clinical experience in outpatient orthopedics, outpatient neuro rehabilitation, aquatic therapy, and acute care settings treating a variety of conditions. In her free time, Merin enjoys dancing, traveling, singing, hiking, and going on food adventures throughout the city.

CLINIC CONTACT INFORMATION

70 Pine St, La Palestra
New York, NY 10005

CANCELLATION POLICY

We kindly ask that you notify us no later than 24 hours in advance for all rescheduling and cancellations. Thank you.

THIS CLINIC OFFERS VIDEO APPOINTMENTS

If you're not sure you can make it into the physical therapy clinic for an in-person appointment, you may be interested in requesting a TelePT video appointment. A session with a certified telehealth physical therapist could help you receive treatment from virtually anywhere.

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Request an appointment

Submit an appointment request with this clinic! The clinic will contact you within one business day to confirm the requested time or a more convenient time that works for both parties.