- Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA Level 1)
- Neurokinetic Therapy (Level 1 & 2)
- Active Release Technique of the Spine (Spine & Lower Extremities)
- Herman & Wallace Female Pelvic Floor Internal Assessment & Treatment (Level 1)
- Comprehensive Pilates Instructor Training through Balanced Body
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Orthopedic Section Member
- California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA)
- Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)
Dr. Christine Pieton, DPT, MBA
Dr. Christine Pieton is a Southern California native who grew up along the coastline of Corona del Mar in Orange County. Her love for sports and exploring the outdoors began at an early age through swimming and running cross-country. As she became more involved with her academic pursuits Christine discovered her appreciation for science, human physiology most specifically, thus guiding her to further explore such interests as she went on to college. While attending UCLA, Christine earned her bachelor’s degree in Physiological Science while also serving as a sports medicine intern for UCLA’s division one collegiate teams (Women’s and Men’s Cross-Country & Track and Men’s Water Polo). Christine’s time in the training room sparked her passion for orthopedics and sport-specific rehabilitation, ultimately leading her to pursue a degree in physical therapy. Christine went on to attend Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where she completed both her Doctorate in Physical Therapy and Master’s of Business Administration concurrently, receiving high honors in both programs.
While in graduate school, Christine deepened her passion for long distance running. She signed up for her first, and foolishly thought would be her only, marathon as a way to combat the stresses of her challenging academic course load. After finishing the Chicago Marathon she quickly realized her love for high mile challenges. A few months later she completed a 50km Ultra Trail Marathon in Berkeley, CA, followed by the New York City Marathon that same year. Throughout these running adventures, Christine came to understand the unique needs of endurance athletes and the commonly associated injuries that result from participating in these activities. She herself developed Achilles tendonitis as a result of poor training plans, inconsistent cross-training, and limited recovery time between workouts. While being sidelined for several months, Christine’s role shifted from therapist to patient providing her with the important opportunity to learn from her mistakes - albeit frustrating and humbling, simultaneously. These experiences prompted her to dive head first (both literally into the pool for cross-training, and figuratively into sports medicine research) into learn best practice management for this unique patient population.
During Christine’s rehabilitation process, she returned to an old [strengthening] friend, mat Pilates. She had previously found this movement practice beneficial for strength and conditioning and now began to appreciate it from a rehabilitative perspective. After finally being able to return to running after three months of therapy, Christine noticed how much stronger and more efficient she had become due largely in part to her Pilates cross-training. This realization served as a catalyst prompting Christine to embark on her Pilates teacher-training coursework; a path that would later influence her clinical practice more than she could have ever imagined.
In January of 2014, Christine interned with Back2Motion Physical Therapy in Atlanta, GA, where she integrated best practice management of orthopedic conditions for triathletes while incorporating Pilates mat interventions for therapeutic exercise prescription. She developed the skills needed to address frequently occurring injuries by way of conducting video gait analyses, bike fit assessments, and the development of individualized Pilates programs to improve athletic performance and decrease risk for injury. This unique experience enabled Christine to blend both her physical therapy and Pilates expertise across multiple sport disciplines to successfully address movement dysfunction. It was then that Christine became confident this complimentary treatment approach of blending physical therapy and Pilates could be applied to a much broader patient population to achieve positive outcomes.
After four years in Atlanta, Christine relocated to Santa Barbara in June of 2014. She continued to use Pilates as her foundation for movement re-education and therapeutic exercise prescription. Her patients benefitted greatly from her multidisciplinary approach. It wasn’t long before Christine realized how integral Pilates principles had become to her treatment style across all patient populations, regardless of age or injury. She also noticed those who continued with their Pilates practice after completing physical therapy had better long-term outcomes and reported decreased recurrence of injuries. It was so encouraging to see such incredible transformations.
Inspired by her work with her patients, Christine decided to open her own practice, Pieton Physical Therapy & Pilates, in November of 2015. She offers one-on-one physical therapy and private Pilates instruction utilizing both mat and apparatus equipment. Christine tailors her instruction to meet the needs of her clients: movement re-education for specific injuries, cross-training to enhance athletic performance, or maintaining general health and wellness.
In addition to seeing patients at her Montecito office, Christine also treats students at The Cate School who are recovering from sports-related injuries and return-to-play programs. Prior to opening her own clinic, Christine practiced locally at Hayashida & Associates Physical Therapy and Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital. Through her work in these various settings, Christine continues to learn and grow as a clinician, thus enabling her to stay actively involved with best-practice management of sport-specific and orthopedic pathologies, as well as women's health conditions.