Spine Specialty Program

Members of EXCEL’s Spine Specialty Program are certified in the McKenzie method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment and as Spinal Manual Therapists.

Our clinicians specialize in impairments of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

Spine Specialty Program

Members of EXCEL’s Spine Specialty Program are certified in the McKenzie method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment and as Spinal Manual Therapists.

Our clinicians specialize in impairments of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

In order to participate in our in-house Specialty Program, our distinguished clinicians must have demonstrated a passion for providing the very best care for patients suffering from impairments of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

EXCEL’s spine specialists dedicate themselves to a rigorous track of continuing education, including becoming certified in the McKenzie method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment and as Spinal Manual Therapists. In addition, we collaborate with leading local physicians, surgeons, and rehabilitation experts to set up in-services (in-house seminars) where our therapists can learn about new procedures, cutting edge techniques, and emerging rehab protocols and best practices.

When a particularly difficult or complex case arises, our Spine Specialty Program provides a venue for clinicians to collaborate, ensuring that every patient receives the benefit of the best, most advanced knowledge that EXCEL has to offer.

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Additional Resources


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No Prescription? No Problem.

Learn more about EXCELDirect -- our direct access program that allows you to get physical therapy without a prescription. Even better, it's typically covered by insurance.

Patient Stories

We take great pride in helping patients get back to the everyday activities that they love. Here are some of the stories we've had the privilege to be a part of. 

Julio Cabrera, PT, DPT, CSCS

Physical Therapist // Mahwah

Julio graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercy College with a B.S. in Health Sciences, and Cum Laude with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. He developed an interest in Physical Therapy while working as a personal trainer and coordinating with physical therapists on clients’ post-rehab training. Julio was a two-sport high-school athlete, playing football and basketball. While Julio enjoys treating all patients, he has a particular interest in working with long distance runners, high school athletes, and post-concussion syndrome. Julio takes great pride in improving his craft by taking multiple continuing education courses in his leisure time, learning new techniques to better serve his patients.

Heather Graham, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist // Hackensack

Born and raised in NJ, Heather grew up actively involved in competitive figure skating, gymnastics, and dance. While working through recovery from an ankle surgery during high school, Heather’s interest in the field of physical therapy was piqued. She went on to earn a B.S. in Psychology and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University. Heather achieved a certification in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy from the McKenzie Institute, and is certified in Selective Functional Movement Assessment and as a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist. Heather’s athletic background attracts her to sports-related injuries, but she enjoys treating a full spectrum of injuries.

Jen Kuffel, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist // Oakland

Jen received a B.A. from Hamilton College, where she played basketball, volleyball, and softball. After graduating, she served as assistant coach for a Division 3 women’s basketball team in upstate New York. She quickly realized that she wanted to follow her dream and pursue a career in physical therapy. She graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Columbia University. Jen joined EXCEL in 2006 and has been a mainstay in the Oakland office ever since. Jen particularly enjoys treating post-surgical hips, knees, and shoulders. She aims to build a good rapport with each patient and tries to gain a clear understanding of their therapeutic goals. With compassion and diligence, Jen pushes her patients to their maximum potential, while providing exceptional patient care.

Vincent Luppino, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist // Cresskill

Vinny earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Touro College in Manhattan. While in graduate school, he did a rotation in California working with professional NFL players and high-level college athletes at EXOS Sports Performance, in addition to working with post-surgical cases at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. While earning his doctorate, Vincent took post-graduate classes through North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT), where he is currently working toward becoming credentialed as a Certified Manual Physical Therapist. Vincent is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA and an EXOS Performance Specialist.  

Woojae Sung, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist // Fort Lee

Jae earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Dominican College of Blauvelt, NY and a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Ramapo College. While at Ramapo, he was involved with many organizations including Chapter President of Psi Sigma Phi Multicultural Fraternity, President of Ballroom Dancing Club, and a member of two National Honor Societies. Jae first developed an interest in Sports Medicine when he ran varsity track in high school.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing basketball, weight training, powerlifting, and watching the NY Knicks play.

John Thievon, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist // Hackensack

A graduate of Ithaca College’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, John believes that his role goes beyond just rehabilitating a client from injury or surgery. He works to enhance his patients’ understanding of ideal human movement, whether it be taking a dish out of the cabinet, transferring from the floor to a standing position, or bending down to pick up a child. He believes that the majority of non-traumatic orthopedic conditions are the result of people simply having never learned how to move properly. He wants every patient to understand why their injury occurred and how to reduce the likelihood of future injuries.

No prescription? No problem.

You can start physical therapy without a prescription or referral from a doctor, through a program called "direct access." Even better, it's usually covered by insurance. Give us a call, we're happy to check your coverage for you.