About dr. gregory shea, dpt

Gregory Shea is a Doctor of Physical Therapy & Osteopractor who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal pain and orthopedic & sports medicine conditions.

Dr. Shea received a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from American International College and a post-graduate Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University. He earned his diploma in Osteopractic physical therapy through the Spinal Manipulation Institute and American Academy of Manipulative Therapy.

Additionally, he holds a certification in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He specializes in spinal manipulation, western trigger point dry needling, and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization for a variety of neuromusculoskeletal & sports medicine conditions. Dr. Shea completed a two-year certification in spinal manipulation through The Spinal Manipulation Institute & American Academy of Manipulative Therapy in 2013.

Dr. Shea has lectured on high-velocity low amplitude manipulation of the cervical spine, foundations and principles of spinal manipulation, non-contact knee injury prevention in female athletes, trigger point dry needling, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, lumbosacral differential diagnosis and kinesiology taping. He has practiced throughout the United States and has treated many professional athletes including members of the NFL, US Ski Team, Olympic level rowers, Nordic skiers, biathletes, professional cyclists, and triathletes. He served as the team physical therapist for Team USA at the world championships in Edmonton, Canada. He is currently in training with The RockTape continuing education company to become a master instructor.

Dr. Shea has special interests in the diagnosis and treatment of migraines, tension type and cervicogenic headaches, sacroiliac joint dysfunctions and neuromyofascial trigger point pain syndromes. He caringly approaches each patient as a unique individual, and is an expert in treating pain and dysfunction quickly and effectively. He has a background as a competitive alpine ski racer, cyclist and triathlete. When he is not at work he enjoys mountain biking, paddling, swimming, skiing, exploring the mountains, and relaxing on the beach with a good book.

My Story

At age two I learned to alpine ski. Mom pulled me up the hill and I would ski back down.  At age thirteen I made the varsity ski team and in January of that year broke my femur, severed my femoral artery and spent 6 weeks in the hospital, departing with the addition of some new piping, one big stainless plate and fourteen screws holding my leg together. Welcome to the world of physical therapy and eight months of intensive rehab.  

As a testament to my therapist, I competed in the Junior Olympics the very next season, racing against superstars like Chip Knight who went on to race for the US Team. I entered college unsure of my career path, still alpine ski racing against stars like Bode Miller, but I was very aware that I would need to work for a living. I was no Bode Miller.

It was time to revisit the world of physical therapy and pay it forward. After completing physical therapy school,  I practiced for ten years and spent thousands of hard earned dollars on continuing education to enhance my practice. I wanted to be the best. I was fairly successful for most of this time, but there was still something missing.

I was struggling to solve some of my most difficult cases.  In 2007, while performing a kneeling abdominal cable crunch exercise in a low budget gym in southern California, the cable snapped resulting in a neck injury the would haunt me for the next five years. Despite ongoing sessions of traditional physical therapy, I continued to suffer from cervicogenic headaches, particularly after being in the drops on my road bike or after swimming. 

I was convinced I was doomed to a life suffering from headaches, lack of sleep, and piercing gnawing “take me out back and shoot me” type of pain. The headaches were the one sided piercing pain in the back of the eye, behind the ear on top of the shoulder type that forced me to take regular ibuprofen, utilize analgesic creams & gels, massage, trigger point canes and balls, buy new pillows, and even avoid doing the things I loved most including riding my bike and swimming. They made it hard to concentrate, difficult to sleep and socializing became a chore.

Five years later in 2012 I went to a Spinal Manipulation training course through the Spinal Manipulation Institute and volunteered as a subject for the instructor to perform an upper cervical manipulation. There were multiple audible cracks & pops and without pain and to my amazement my symptoms improved by 90%. Life was once again enjoyable and I was convinced I needed to pursue full certification.

I  committed the next two years to an intense Osteopractic diploma program which included certification in dry needling, spinal and extremity manipulation and other advanced treatment techniques. I was not convinced I wanted anything to do with needles at the time, but knew for sure I needed to learn spinal manipulation. During my first dry needling course however, I once again volunteered to be a subject and the instructor treated the remaining active trigger points in my neck and shoulder which addressed the remaining 10% of symptoms.

I got my life back, free from headaches, pain and limitations. In 2015 I completed the diploma in Osteopractic and became an Osteopractor. I have since been able to help my patients in ways I never thought possible which has renewed my passion for this amazing profession of physical therapy. It’s time to pay it forward once again.