Cynthia Chiarello, PT, PhD, MS


Assistant Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine at CUMC
Program in Physical Therapy

Dr. Cynthia M. Chiarello joined the Program in Physical Therapy at Columbia University in July, 1989, contributing substantial knowledge and experience as a clinician, researcher and academician. She served the program as Associate Director from July 2005 through the Spring of 2012. In 2016 Dr. Chiarello became the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, the official peer reviewed publication of the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association. She has established collaborations with colleagues both in clinical and acadmemic settings while mentoring students in several aspects of reserach.


PhD, Pathokinesiology, New York University
MS, Physical Therapy, Duke University
BS, Biology and Psychology, SUNY Fredonia

Professional Expertise

Kinesiology and Biomechanics
Orthopedic conditions specific to women and prepubescent females
Orthopedics of the spine

Honors and Awards

Research Award, Section on Women's Health, American Physical Therapy Association

Research Interests

Understanding the interplay between trunk muscle function and spinal stability
Diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA)
Relationship between DRA, low back pain and abdominal muscle function in pregnant and post-partum women

Teaching Responsibilities

Kinesiology and Biomechanics I
PT Management of Orthopedic Conditions III (spinal orthopedics)
Teaching Practicum, Kinesiology and Biomechanics

Scholarly Productivity

Recent Publications

Chiarello CM. Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain and diastasis rectus abdominis, J Woman's Health Phys Ther: 2017;41(1): 3-9. doi: 10.1097/JWH.0000000000000068

Chiarello CM, McAuley JA, Hartigan EH. Immediate effect of active abdominal contraction on inter-recti distance, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther: 2016;46(3):177-183. Epub 26 Jan 2016.doi:10.2519/jospt.2016.610

Chiarello CM, McAuley JA. Concurrent validity of calipers and ultrasound imaging to measure inter-recti distance, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2013;43(7):495-503. Epub 30 April 2013. doi:10.2519/jospt.2013.4449

ChiarelloCM, McAuley J. Concurrent Validity of Caliper and Ultrasound Imaging to Measure Inter-Recti Distance, Submitted to JOSPT, June 2012

Chiarello CM, Zellers JA, Sage-King FM. Predictors of Inter-Recti Distance (IRD) in Cadavers. Submitted to JWHPT, November 2011.

Costello AR, Alanna Grey A, Chiarello CM. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Laxity and Strength of Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Hip Abductors in Young Pre-pubescent Female Soccer Players Over Time: A Three-year Prospective Longitudinal Pilot Study, Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice, 23 (1), 2011.

Chiarello CM, Falzone LA, McCaslin KE, Patel MN, Ulery KR. The effects of an exercise program on diastasis recti abdominis in pregnant women. JSOWH, 29(1):19-24, 2005

Chiarello CM, Falzone LA, McCaslin KE, Patel MN, Ulery KR. The effects of an exercise program on diastasis recti abdominis in pregnant women. JSOWH, 29(1):19-24, 2005

Books and Book Chapters

Chiarello CM, Stiskal D. Mastering Kinesiology: An Online Learning Experience. Electronic Educational "Textbook" Product; Saunders, Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, work in progress

Chiarello CM, Spinal Disorders, Chapter 8 in Cameron MH, Monroe L, Physical Rehabilitation for the Physical Therapist Assistant, St. Louis, MO, Saunders Elsevier, 2010

Chiarello CM. Spinal Disorders, Chapter 8, pages 140-193, 293 refs. In M Cameron (ed.) Physical Medicine Assessment and Intervention: An evidence Based Approach. In Press, Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2007

Book Reviews

Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations of Rehabilitation, Ed 2. By Neumann DA. Mosby Elsevier. Review Published in JOSPT 41(4)285, 2011

Kinesiology: the Mechanics and Pathomechanics of Human Movement, Ed 2, By Oatis CA, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Review Published in JOSPT 39(10)767-8, 2009

Pelvic Pain: Diagnosis and Management by Howard FM, Perry CP, Carter JE, El-Minawi AM. Lippincott Williams & Willlkins, 2000. Review published in J Section on Women's Health 26(1)15,2002

Recent Presentations - Posters

McAuley J, Chiarello CM, Ohlsen S, Verma L. Factors associated with the Presence of Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: A Pilot Study. Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA 2012, Chicago Illinois, February 11, 2012.

Chiarello CM, Costello AR, Grey A. The change in strength in selected hip and knee muscles as it relates to ACL laxity in pre-pubescent female soccer players over time. Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA 2010 in San Diego, CA from February 17-20, 2010.

Chiarello CM, Gomez CL, Evander R, Bertsch NC, Brown LK, de la Bruyere J, Hadrovic E. Diastasis Recti Abdominis in cadavers. Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA, Las Vegas, Nevada, February, 2009

Gomez CL, Chiarello CM, Evander R. Linea Alba Length and Width Measurement in Cadavers. . Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA, Las Vegas, Nevada, February, 2009

Chiarello CM, Hirsch D, SPT, Stetkevich R, Gardner TA, Ahmad C. The Effect of Exercise on the Quadricep/Hamstring Ratio, Anterior Tibial Translation and Knee Joint Stiffness in Prepubescent Females. Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA, Boston MA February 2007

Grant Activity

2001: The relationship between hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle and anterior cruciate ligament laxity. Irving Center for Clinical Research, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Google Scholar Link

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