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Physical Therapists & Staff

Mike Koch | PT, OWNER

Michael graduated from Marquette University in 1991 with his BS degree in Biology as well as in Physical Therapy.  He has since practiced as an outpatient physical therapist for the past 30 years.  He has worked with pro athletes from the Milwaukee Brewers as well as college and high school athletes in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, New London, and Waupaca.

Michael specializes in the manual treatment of the spine, as it relates to neck and back pain. He has extensive training in the Osteopathic approach to evaluating and treating the spine through Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. This approach looks at the entire person to come up with the source of their pain.  Using manual therapy techniques such as muscle energy, myofascial release, massage, and joint mobilizations he treats those restricted regions first. This approach avoids chasing pain around the body. 
Michael is also experienced in Cranial-sacral techniques that allow him to treat difficult diagnoses such as fibromyalgia, migraine headaches of a muscular nature, and head and face pain such as temporal mandibular disorders.

Michael has a special interest in treating the common worker and is a contractor in numerous treatment programs in the area such as the "Stretch It Out" program for industrial injury prevention and intervention at Hillshire Farms. He also works extensively with the Waupaca Foundry in creating Job Descriptions but more importantly, creating their pre-work stretching program, and early intervention program that aims to prevent injuries.  
He is certified through the DSI Work Solutions method of job evaluation and classification and is also certified in ergonomics through the Back School of Atlanta. 


Michael is trained in the dry needling of chronic muscular trigger points. Dry needling provides a way to treat chronic trigger points when they don't respond to traditional techniques.  This is especially useful in treating athletes because it treats strained muscles, allowing athletes to get back to their sport quickly.

He is also trained in the Nasal Release technique for the treatment of concussions and headaches. This makes him one of two people in the state of Wisconsin certified to perform this technique.


Elizabeth Gross | DPT

Elizabeth Gross, DPT graduated in May of 2012,  from Carroll University in Waukesha, WI with a doctorate of physical therapy. She  completed her undergraduate at Carroll, receiving her bachelor of science in exercise science with a minor in psychology in 2010. She joined the staff of Spine and Sport Physical Therapy of Waupaca in June of 2012.  “Since staring my career in Waupaca, I have learned so much from co-workers and patients. I strive to treat each patient as a whole person, not just their diagnosis. Treating a patient holistically is very important to me. I look forward to coming to work because I am passionate about my job and dedicated to the well-being of my patients.”

Since starting her career as a physical therapist, Liz has had the opportunity to further her  knowledge and skills.  She is trained in work site analysis and job function analysis and testing which helps her evaluate and treat the injured worker.  She has attended Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine to further develop her skills in manual therapy.  With this training, she uses a more hands-on approach to address a patient's condition and impairments, especially dysfunctions in the spine and lower extremities.  In addition, she has training in treating Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) using manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and lifestyle changes to reduce jaw pain and increase jaw range of motion. Her most recent certification is in trigger point dry needling which she finds very effective in treating myofascial trigger points.


Kelsey Abendroth | DPT

Kelsey joined the team at Spine and Sport Physical Therapy of Waupaca in November of 2021. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Sports Nutrition from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 2015. She continued her education at Carroll and eared her doctorate degree in 2017 in Physical Therapy. 

Kelsey believes in helping patient's get back to living the life they love and functioning without pain. She has experience working in outpatient, inpatient, and pediatric physical therapy. As a former athlete, Kelsey especially enjoys treating athletes, and younger kids. Kelsey has completed training with the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association for manual based physical therapy. She is looking forward to expanding her knowledge and expanding her manual therapy skill set here at Spine and Sport.  



Nikki Galante | Physical Therapist Assistant

Nikki joined the staff of Spine and Sport Physical Therapy of Waupaca in 2013. Nikki graduated from Suomi College in Hancock, MI in 2000, and has spent the last 22 years working in both Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Nikki has worked in diverse settings in physical therapy, including inpatient, home health, sports medicine, wound care and outpatient physical therapy.


Nikki loves people and her patients, as an assistant she is always looking for ways to help her patients as well as the therapists in anyway. She has focused her continuing education on manual therapy, postural restoration and treatment of the nerve related injuries. This includes training in Graded Motor Imagery which incorporates Mirror therapy, which is as a way to address chronic pain, specifically CRPS. Nikki’s philosophy on physical therapy is that it is the clinician’s job to assist the patient to attain and maintain their optimal function. 


Deb Jalling | Athletic Trainer


Deb Jalling, LAT joined the staff of Spine and Sport Physical Therapy in 2013.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science and a Major in Athletic Training.  Deb has experience with working with Emergency Medicine, Prevention of Care and Rehabilitative Services in her experiences with collegiate athletes from UW-Oshkosh along with Lawrence University and various high schools.  She has spent the last 4 years working in a Secondary Education environment at Hortonville High School as the Head Athletic Trainer, along with teaching various exercise classes to include being a Certified Pilates Instructor and a Certified Silver Sneakers Instructor. She has experience with program design and strength and conditioning training for numerous sports to include, basketball, volleyball and her favorite soccer.


Deb has joined the Spine & Sport Physical Therapy team as the Industrial Medicine Representative to Waupaca Foundry (Plants 1,2 and 3), along with patient care in our Spine & Sport Physical Therapy Clinic.  “I’m excited to be given the opportunity many Licensed Athletic Trainers hope for and that is to provide diverse care and to broaden the scope and recognition of my profession,” states Deb. 


Chelsea McKeen | Licensed Massage Therapist

Chelsea joined the staff of Spine and Sport Physical Therapy of Waupaca in November 2021. Chelsea graduated from SPASH in 2007. She worked as a certified nursing assistant until decided to go to massage school at Fox Valley Technical College, graduating in 2015. She has been working for the last seven years and has trained in different modalities such as relaxation, deep tissue, hot stone and prenatal massage as well as  cupping.

Chelsea feels that, "From our hectic lifestyles to the forever changing Covid-19 protocols, I am a firm believer in self-care. Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety, depression and stress, improve concentration and energy, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness and more."


Stephanie Eich | Office Manager

Stephanie has worked for Spine and Sport Physical Therapy since 2009.  Stephanie handles all of the insurance and billing questions or concerns.  She also makes sure the daily clinic operation runs smoothly. 


Lori Bodoh | Front Desk 

Lori is our small town Weyauwega girl who will greet you at the front desk with a friendly smile!  Lori’s job here at SSPT is in part to help you go through your paperwork, gather some information from you , and schedule your therapy appointments.  Lori loves people, and will do anything she can to make you feel welcomed and comfortable at our clinic.
Lori has worked in the medical field for 12 years now, and has been with SSPT since it opened in 2008.  She loves her job and is proud to have helped owner Mike Koch build his dream.


Mandy Duberstein | Front Desk 

Mandy is a Waupaca Native that joined SSPT family in 2017. Mandy has worked in customer service for the last seven years. She enjoys assisting the patients and staff, and looks for ways to make their days brighter. 


Odie Koch | Office Dog

Odie is a 5-year-old Bernease Mountain dog who loves to go to work with his dad Mike, and is known for his Thursday visits to SSPT. Unfortunately, Odie is not trained in Physical Therapy, but he is trained in "sit", "paw", "lay down", and "come".  In his free time, he loves to go on walks, play with his brother and sister, and take rides in the car. Book on Thursdays to have a better chance meeting Odie!

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