Kelli Brizzolara, PT, Ph.D., OCS

Associate Professor

Physical Therapy

Kelli Brizzolara, PT, Ph.D., OCS

IHSD 8814

View CV


Kelli Brizzolara, PT, PhD, OCS is an Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Texas Woman's University. Her professional experience in physical therapy has focused on orthopedic manual physical therapy working with adults in various out-patient settings. Her research has examined the efficacy of therapeutic interventions for those with spinal pain. More recently, she is also interested in the effect of mindfulness on physical therapy students. She is currently serving as a Dean's Distinguished Fellow and is a member of the Research Committee for the American Academy of the Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT). This year, she was selected to be a member of the American Council on Education's (ACUE) Course in Effective Teaching where she is studying best practices for teaching in higher education.


Ph.D., Physical Therapy, Texas Woman's University, Dallas, Texas, 2013
M.S., Physical Therapy, Texas Woman's University, Houston, Texas, 2003
B.S., Exercise Physiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 2001

Research Interests

Low Back Pain; Manual Therapy; Therapeutic Exercise; Deep Abdominal Muscles; Physical Activity; Mindfulness

Latest Articles

The validity and reliability of the Vail Sport Test™ as a measure of performance following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
Physical Therapy in Sport (2019)
Joseph Hannon, Sharon Wang-Price, Chad Swank, Kelli Brizzolara, Craig Garrison

Psychometric properties of pressure pain thresholds measured in two positions for adults with and without neck-shoulder pain and tenderness
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (2019)
Sharon Wang-Price, Jason Zafereo, Kelli Brizzolara, Brendan Mackin, Larry Lawson

Assessment of abdominal muscle thickness in post-partum women who have undergone cesarean section as compared to vaginal births: a pilot study
Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy (2019)
Kelli Brizzolara, Sharon Wang-Price, Jason Zafereo

Regional manual therapy and motor control exercise for chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial.
Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy (2018)
Jason Zafereo, Sharon Wang-Price, Toni Roddey, Kelli Brizzolara

Effects of tactile feedback on lumbar multifidus muscle activity in asymptomatic healthy adults and patients with low back pain
Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (2018)
Sharon Wang-Price, Jason Zafereo, Kelli Brizzolara, Elizabeth Anderson

Head control changes after HeadpodTM use in children with poor head control: a feasibility study
Journal of Pediatric Physical Therapy (2018)
Julie Brown, Mary Thompson, Kelli Brizzolara

Effectiveness of adding a pelvic compression belt to lumbopelvic stabilization exercises for women with sacroiliac pain: a feasibility randomized clinical trial
Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy (2018)
Kelli Brizzolara, Sharon Wang-Price, Toni Roddey, Ann Medley

Effects of different verbal instructions on change of lumbar multifidus muscle thickness in asymptomatic adults and in patients with low back pain
Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy (2017)
Sharon Wang-Price, Jason Zafareo, Kelli Brizzolara

The effect of pelvic compression on deep abdominal muscle thickness during the active straight leg raise
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation (2015)
Kelli Brizzolara, Sharon Wang-Price, Toni S Roddey

Current Projects

I have 3 current projects. The first is examining the use of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in those with recurrent low back pain. The second is determining if a cluster of special tests can be used to predict those patients with low back pain who will respond positively to mechanical traction. The third is assessing the feasibility of a brief mindfulness program in Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

Externally Funded Projects

Effects of Spinal Stabilization Exercises on Dynamic Balance and Functional Performance in Adults with Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial Year 2 of 2
Texas Physical Therapy Foundation | 2019
Role: Co-Investigator

Internally Funded Projects

Protokinetics Zeno Walkway
Texas Woman's University TARGET | 2018
Research Grant

Predictive validity of lumbopelvic stress tests to determine those who benefit from lumbar traction: a pilot study
TWU Research Enhancement Program | $10,000.00 | 2016
Research Grant

Professional Affiliations

  • Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, APTA
  • Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA)