Kari Smith has been a practicing physical therapist since 2008. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University in 2003 with a double major in Biology and French, and then graduated at the top of her class with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Since graduation, she has specialized in rehabilitation of patients with orthopedic conditions including spine and peripheral joint pain, total joint replacements, and arthroscopic joint surgeries.
Kari spent five years working in an outpatient orthopedic shoulder clinic developing a strong foundation of manual therapy skills related to the shoulder girdle, as well as the cervical and thoracic spine. Here, she participated in clinical research aimed to develop new techniques in shoulder rehabilitation, and she gave multiple presentations to her professional peers regarding physical therapy treatment of shoulder pathologies including glenohumeral joint instability, rotator cuff tears/ repairs, and scapulothoracic joint dysfunction.
At Run Raleigh PT, Kari incorporates dry needling and manual therapy techniques to address biomechanical dysfunction. She has evaluated run form for hundreds of athletes throughout the Triangle area, ranging from competitive runners and elite high school athletes, to those training for the Olympic trials.
Growing up as a competitive swimmer, Kari is also well-versed in swim stroke analysis. She works with swimmers and triathletes to improve efficiency and reduce injury risk in the water. Whether the goal is to improve swim times or to reduce post-swim fatigue in a triathlon, Kari can assist you in achieving this through detailed video stroke analysis, in-water drills and corrective home exercises.
Kari is certified in Red Cord, has completed training in Core Align and Reformer. She uses this state-of-the-art equipment to re-educate the neuromuscular system through precise core stabilizing exercises. These strength training techniques help differentiate areas of core muscle weakness and imbalance, and Kari uses them to help her clients establish better functional movement patterns.
Outside of work, Kari enjoys running, biking, swimming, yoga and Pilates.
Functional Dry Needling Certified
Red Cord Instructor
2D and 3D Gait Analysis
Swim Stoke Analysis
Maitland Manual Therapy
Treatment of spine and pelvis