Specialty Programs

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Audrey Maloney
Audrey Maloney
During my college winter break, I came to PREP for help with a non-operative ACL tear, hoping to recover in time for my senior season. Working with Mary Kate was a game-changer. As a former college lacrosse player and skilled PT, Mary Kate's knowledge and ability to relate were unparalleled, and I loved every minute of working with her. Mary Kate's exceptional skill to identify the source of pain or discomfort and address it head-on has been invaluable. Her expertise and intuition helped me identify my areas of weakness and thanks to Mary Kate's guidance, I became more mindful and educated about my body, enabling me to take a more active role in my recovery. She has helped me come up with an individual treatment plan that suits my needs and concerns, equipped with exercises and tools that I could use at home. I highly recommend PREP Performance for any physical therapy needs. The entire staff at PREP is committed to taking care of and supporting their clients while providing individualized treatment. Scheduling was easy, and the environment was professional, friendly, and motivating. With Mary Kate and the PREP Performance team's support, I was able to return to the lacrosse field with confidence and am feeling great!
Samantha Korb
Samantha Korb
As a hyper-flexible ex-gymnast of 16 years, I frequently experience daily back pain. Instead of just living with it, like I’ve been used to for so long, I now know I can count on Mary Kate’s expertise and magic hands to fix my ailments! Not only does she “fix me up,” but she also gives me tools and exercises to utilize at home since, unfortunately, I can’t take her home with me every day 🙂 I owe Mary Kate MUCH thanks for helping me live my life without back pain. DO NOT SLEEP ON MARY KATE @ PREP PERFORMANCE!!!
Rachel Lavin
Rachel Lavin
As an older athlete, who practices martial arts and engages in other rigorous activities, I’ve learned over the years to identify the real deal. Mary Kate at prep performance center is the real deal and has become my go-to healer. Im so grateful for her expertise. If you have a physical problem she is definitely the one to see. One more thing, the whole environment at PREP is warm and friendly and welcoming. Yes, PREP Performance Center gets high marks from me! Rachel Lavin
Jane Thomsen
Jane Thomsen
Dr MC is an outstanding Dr of Physical Therapy, extremely intuitive and she listens. Has helped me with various issues, resolving most in a short time
Grace Ronan
Grace Ronan
Jack taught me how to do my favorite exercise- the paloof press- now i incorporate that into my daily workouts! If I could give 6 starts I would but there were only 5!
Meghan Keefer
Meghan Keefer
After struggling for months with heel pain, I finally have my sanity back after just two visits with MK. Previous home therapies, a couple attempts at PT, a cortisone shot, and custom orthotics couldn’t fix what she tackled through targeted stretches, hands on manipulation, and dry needing. My only regret is not seeing her sooner!
Erin Purdue
Erin Purdue
Mary Kate, Jack, and Nicoletta are so friendly and personable. Mary Kate is great at holding me accountable to doing exercises (and doing them correctly!) and challenging me in the midst of recovery so that I see results. The whole staff clearly care a lot about each patient and their progress.
Kristin l
Kristin l
Mary Kate was incredible to work with! My daughter was having some leg pain…Mary Kate got to the bottom of it, was able to make resolve the issue and give her exercises, etc to prevent it from happening again! She is wonderful with children, so an added bonus. Highly recommend Mary Kate @ PPC.
Sidera Corry
Sidera Corry
Prep Performance has done a great job of helping me regain strength after surgery and get to the position I need to be in for sports!
Joe Perez
Joe Perez
As an athlete it is crucial to have a network and connection of professional physical therapist/performance enhancement specialist to help maintain an healthy physical condition. The entire staff at PREP Performance does an excellent job of taking care and assisting their clients. They are very meticulous on the details for their patients in assisting you for your recovery. Additionally they all have a great understanding that every client all have different needs for recovery and go above and beyond to help cater for each individual and not just putting together a universal plan that is sufficient for anyone. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.
Physical Therapist in Chicago Running Analysis Checklist

Running Analysis Checklist

Running Analysis Checklist – Our team of Physical Therapy has always been proactive in giving each patient the best treatment possible. In this regard, we are pleased to share another useful information for you, the running analysis guide from the Prep Performance Center in Chicago. You may use our checklist to analyze your running mechanics. And, remember to watch your video in slow motion to capture as much data as you can.

We also share the Running Analysis video for you to figure out how running efficiency can be increased in order to improve overall performance and reduce your risk of injury. Anyways, don’t fail to download our Running Mechanics Guide for more information regarding these concepts. Check further details and click the button below. Hope this helps!

Running Analysis Checklist - Prep Performance Center

Use this guide to help track your progress and improve your running mechanics.

Download Our FREE Running Analysis Checklist Today


If your score doesn’t change, call today or schedule your individual phone consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. You may also book for an appointment today.

Book an Appointment Today

Download Our Lacrosse Return to Run Program at Prep Performance Center Chicago Illinois

Download Our Lacrosse Return to Run Program

Lacrosse – Are you an athlete and planning to go back into sports training? First, we need to consider several programs before hitting back to the court.

Program Goals

  • Cardiovascular fitness and strength improving running economy and fuel utilization varying physiological response allow time for recovery.
  • Progressing Speed and Intensity.
  • Complete 6-7 x/week.
  • Progressive Tissue Loading for optimal tensile strength.
  • Training Variety to reduce overuse and improve endurance and tissue resiliency.
  • Active Rest Day: Foam Rolling/Stretch
  • Functional Strength: Glute, Core, Balance and Stabilization


Lacrosse Return to Run – Downloadable Programs


Download Our FREE Lacrosse Return to Play Program

Online ACL Rehab Program_Prep Performance Center

Online ACL Rehab Program

Online ACL Rehab Program_Prep Performance Center

We are excited to offer our new ONLINE ACL Rehab program.  This is an adjunct to working with your physical therapist, and a great way to keep yourself motivated, on track, and pushing the boundaries to stay ahead of the curve. By now you have realized this ACL rehab stuff is NO JOKE… Speaking from experience, it is hard work compared to what your uninjured teammates have to do.

You wake up early, stay late, and put in extra hours almost every day, but you do it alone.  Joining this group will make sure you don’t have to do it alone. We have an online group where you can share stories, ask for advice, and even challenge each other to commit to the workout schedule.  It’s the team you wish you had when rehabbing your ACL!!! 

Online ACL Rehab Program comes into 5 phases

Each phase comes with a different home exercise program, balance and stability activities, and progressive strength workout and conditioning guidelines to help you with a gradual evidence-based return to run and return to sport program.  Our goal is to help you cross the finish line safely and make sure you are as strong as possible getting back in the game. 

In order to move on into the next phase, we ask that you treating Doctor of Physical Therapy assess your strengths and weaknesses (using our app) and then allow you to move onto the next phase of the program.  

The coolest thing about this program… It is Lacrosse Specific.  We have worked with high school, college, and pro-level lacrosse players who have been in your shoes.  We plan to have videos of previous players sharing their stories to help you through the process. 

We not only provide you a therapy home exercise program but have various mental skills challenges, nutritional content and chat access with our team to make sure you stay on track. This specialty program we also offer via our Online ACL Rehab Program, kindly click the button below so you will know.

Purchase 1 year Rehab Program

Designed by Doctor Mary Kate Casey, National Champion Lacrosse player who experienced two ACL injuries and was a member of Four National Championship teams, Dr. Casey knows what it takes to get back to the top.  Her inside knowledge into the game of lacrosse paired with her medical experience brings you the first and only program of its kind. She developed it while treating various lacrosse players throughout the city of Chicago and was often left sending PDFs, home videos, and pictures.  She wanted to be everything for her patients; their PT, their trainer, their lacrosse coach, and their confidant. She understands firsthand the isolating feeling of rehabbing an ACL on your own, sitting on the sidelines, and missing team bonding experiences on bus rides to away games.  This program is designed by a female lacrosse player, personal experience with ACL rehabilitation and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, how much better can we get. 🙂 

Last but not least, with this program comes more accountability, more consistent and effective workouts, evidence-based home exercise program, progressive strength program, conditioning guidelines, along with sports psychology and nutritional content that leave you knowing you are in the right place, doing the right things at the right time. 

Now make sure you get your PT on board.  We have an onboarding process to help your PT understand our app and help you progress your best. We have a great chat system in the app and you can always chat with a Doctor of Physical Therapy for any questions, comments or concerns. 

Purchase 1 year ACL Rehab Program


*** This should be utilized in conjunction with a regular in-person PT protocol and your PT’s individualized home program. 

*** Please follow the guidance and direction of your treating provider.

Goals of our Protocol

Phase 1- 0-1 month post-op 

– Protection of healing graft fixation. 

– Reduce swelling, minimize pain.

– Restore full extension (0°), gradually improve flexion (1st week 0°-90°, 3rd week 100°-120° of flexion)

– Restore patellar mobility. 

– Restore quadriceps function and leg control. 

– Adherence to Home Exercise Program (HEP)

– Gait training

Phase 2- 1-3 months post-op

– Continue to protect graft site.

– Maintain full ROM.

– Safely progress strengthening. 

– Promote proper movement patterns.

– Avoid post-exercise pain/swelling.

– Avoid activities that produce pain at graft donor site.

– Normalize gait.

– Closed chain leg control for non-impact movement control. 

– Begin sub-max sport-specific training in the sagittal plane.

– Bilateral PWB plyometrics progressed to FWB plyometrics.

– Adherence HEP.  

Phase 3- 3-4 months 

– Introduce jogging and light running. 

– Introduce agility drills (Low amplitude, low velocity)

– Proprioceptive and coordination exercises. 

– Progress to plyometric.

– Normal double-leg landing control without side to side differences or compensations for sub-maximal squat jump.

– Adherence to HEP. 

Phase 4- 4-6 months 

– Maximize endurance and strength of knee stabilizers.

– Optimize neuromuscular control (Plyometric exercise)

– Sport specific exercise.

– Acceleration and deceleration. 

– Variation on running, turning, and cutting manoeuvers. 

– Normal multi-planar high vel without side to side differences or compensations.

– Normal double leg landing control without side to side differences or compensations.

– Adherence to HEP

Phase 5- 6+ months

– Continue strengthening and proprioceptive exercises.

– Symmetrical performance with sport specific drills.

– Safely progress to full sport.

Purchase 1 year ACL Rehab Program


Custom orthotics are devices that are individually created to uniquely fit your feet.

Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotic is a good idea to provide extra support and relief for your feet.

Custom Orthotics. Have you ever experienced sore feet? As you age your feet will often change. Changes in the shape of your feet, the support of your ligaments, and complications from previous injuries can all cause strain and pain. This is why a custom orthotic is a good idea to provide extra support and relief for your feet. Contact PREP Performance Center in Lincoln Square, Irving Park, Lakeview, Horner Park, Roscoe Village & Ravenswood Chicago, IL today to learn more about how we can help relieve your foot pain.

What are the Causes of Foot Pain?

Foot problems are often treated with shoe inserts called orthotics, as mentioned by hss.edu. Problems with your feet can be caused by several conditions directly related to the feet. General ailments and diseases that affect the body as a whole can also lead to foot pain. The following are several examples of conditions or diseases that can be the cause of foot pain. These conditions can all be treated with physical therapy.

  • Plantar Fasciitis – This is a painful condition along the sole of the foot; and in particular, the area that connects the heel bone to the toes. This is due to thick tissues along the bottom of the feet becoming tightened or inflamed. Pain can occur in the heel or the arch of the foot. It can be caused by obesity, age, and standing for long periods of time on your feet.

  • Heel Spurs – This is a bony protrusion on the heel that is usually made of some sort of calcium build-up. While the actual spurs are not painful they can poke the tissues in the heel and potentially cause severe pain. Many of the same risk factors that cause plantar fasciitis can also cause heel spurs.

  • Diabetes – Diabetes can lead to foot problems because of restricted blood flow and nerve damage. When nerves are damaged through diabetes this is referred to as neuropathy. When the muscles in the foot no longer function together properly this can cause unequal pressure on the foot. Unequal pressure can result in sores, infections, and even amputation in extreme cases. Proper footwear can help prevent foot problems related to diabetes.

  • Arthritis – Arthritis is a debilitating joint disease that can affect the joints throughout the foot. Stiffness and swelling in the joints can eventually lead to permanent damage. This can affect the way you stand or walk.

  • Metatarsalgia – This is a painful disorder that affects the joints and bones along the ball of the foot. This condition is often caused by ill-fitting footwear or restrictive footwear. Orthotics are usually recommended to help reduce pain caused by metatarsalgia.

Other potentially treatable conditions include patellofemoral knee pain, shin splints, achilles tendonitis, and bunions, as well as numerous systemic pathologies that (like diabetes) affect the function of the lower limbs. Physical therapy services can provide treatment to relieve pain and improve whatever condition you’re suffering from.


Custom orthotics are devices that are individually created to uniquely fit your feet.

What are Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are devices that are individually created to uniquely fit your feet. They resemble insoles but are specifically crafted and made of materials that will last longer than prefabricated orthotics. They are sometimes referred to as prescription glasses for each of your feet. There are generally three types of custom orthotics.

  • Therapeutic – If the shape of your feet is irregular, these types of orthotics can assist heel support, forward movement, and general stability.

  • Accommodative – These are created to help you relieve the stress on joints that is often caused by conditions such as arthritis.

  • Functional – These will help your feet to move in a more desirable way or bear weight in a way that will help you move and walk better.

Although custom orthotics are more expensive than off-the-shelf devices, they last much longer and provide more support or correction. Orthotic inserts will improve how your feet and lower legs feel and function. Quality orthotics can alleviate pressure, eliminate pain, and promote stability. It’s important to receive custom orthotics that are created to fit the exact shape of your foot in order to receive the maximum benefits.

How Can Physical Therapy Services Help?

Physical therapists are specifically trained in musculoskeletal movement. They have extensive knowledge of gait analysis and biomechanics of the lower extremities. They can provide you with orthotics that uniquely fit the contours of your feet, giving you the maximum amount of function, support, and comfort.

A trained physical therapist can give you a comprehensive orthotic evaluation. He or she will provide a custom fitting to determine what will work best for your feet. The physical therapist will take into consideration your current medical conditions and activity level when providing the best custom orthotics. After your evaluation and fitting, it will likely take a few weeks for your custom orthotics to come back from the lab.

After you have received your orthotics it will likely be necessary to provide an ongoing assessment of how your orthotics are working. Fine-tuning may be needed to provide the best results possible. Contact PREP Performance Center in Lincoln Square, Irving Park, Lakeview, Horner Park, Roscoe Village & Ravenswood Chicago, IL today to learn how our customized orthotics can benefit you. We will have you feeling your absolute best and light on your feet!

Book an Appointment Today

Return to Play Assessment_Prep Performance Center

Return to Play Assessment


Return to Play Assessment_Prep Performance Center

Have you sustained a recent injury in your sport, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear? Have you undergone rehabilitation treatments for your sports injury? Do you feel ready to get back into the game? If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, you may be ready for a “Return to Play Assessment.” These assessments will evaluate your physical performance and function to determine if you are ready to return to your activity or sport. For more information, contact PREP Performance Center today.

ACL injuries are some of the most common sports-related injuries that our Chicago physical therapists treat. Such complex injuries always require a Return to Play Assessment, as there is a lot of recovery and rehabilitation that needs to be taken into account. Also referred to as “Movement Assessments,” Return to Play Assessments evaluate the symmetry, power, strength, balance, and readiness of the affected body part in relation to returning to the desired sport.

Return-to-Play Criteria Following Sports Injury

Return to Play Assessments have proven successful in determining patients’ preparedness for returning to the demands of certain physical activities. For example, a study titled “Self-Reported Fear Predicts Functional Performance and Second ACL Injury After ACL Reconstruction and Return to Sport: A Pilot Study,” from the National Institutes of Health focuses on that very topic.

In the study, it states that 23.5% of participating patients sustained a second ACL injury just 12 months after their ACL reconstruction, while 37.5% sustained a non-contact tear just 24 months after their ACL reconstruction. These statistics demonstrate why Return to Play Assessments are so important – far too many athletes return to the demands of their sports before they are ready!

If you are finishing up your physical therapy treatments for a sports injury you recently sustained, contact PREP Performance Center in Lincoln Square, Irving Park, Lakeview, Horner Park, Roscoe Village & Ravenswood Chicago, IL today to schedule a Return to Play Assessment. Our Chicago physical therapy office is dedicated to helping athletes regain their function and get back to doing the activities they love!

Book an Appointment Today