Dr. Kathleen Darley

Dr. Kathleen Darley, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Kathleen earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She also graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Movement Science degree from the University of Illinois Chicago. Her special interests include pelvic health, pre and postnatal patients, as well as dancers. Kathleen is an accomplished ballet dancer, having performed over the past 15 years with regional and national companies such as the Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera of Chicago. In her free time, she teaches ballet, yoga, and dancer wellness classes at Hubbard Stree Dance Chicago. Kathleen is experienced in manual therapy, women’s health, and visceral mobilization.

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Licensed Physical Therapist by the State of Illinois
  • APTA/IPTA Member
  • Women’s Health Therapist
  • Pilates Body Balanced Mat Certification
  • Hatha Yoga Therapy College Certification
  • Lincoln Park Clinic Manager

Institute of Physical Art:

  • CoreFirst® Strategies=
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation I=
  • Functional Mobilization I
  • Functional Mobilization II
  • Pelvic Girdle Puzzle 

Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute:

  • Pelvic Floor Level 1  

Barral Institute:

  • Visceral Manipulation 1 

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

  • Doctorate in Physical Therapy, 2014

University Illinois Chicago, Magna Cum Laude

  • Bachelor of Movement Science, 2008 

What Kathleen Has to Say

What sparked your interest in physical therapy?

As a professional ballet dancer, I was reliant on physical therapy to keep me performing at my best.  I learned how to take care of my body and ultimately had a long career and with minimal injuries. I want to empower people, in the same way that I was, by giving them a set of tools to stay healthy and active.  

What aspect of movement do you find the most fascinating?

Movement is fundamental to healing and health. Physical therapy is about teaching people how to move. There are so many different variations on movement (Pilates, yoga, Feldenkrais) that are similar in certain underlying principles which contribute to healthy movement patterns and muscle activation. 

Which patients are your favorite to work with?

Anyone who is open to learning!! However, I love working with dancers and my prenatal/ postnatal patients. It allows me to draw on my own personal experience of being a dancer and mom.

How do you stay active? 

My love for dance is lifelong and you can find me at ballet class or practicing yoga and pilates. As a new mom, I am also appreciating how walking with a stroller against a Chicago wind is a workout in itself!

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“I have been to four different PT practices in Chicago over the years for back and neck pains as well as post-natal care and Body Gears is so above and beyond the others in their professionalism, knowledge, care and time spent. I came during my second pregnancy and worked with Kathleen. The way I felt physically in my second pregnancy because of PT, was like night and day compared with the first. I gained the same amount of weight (a lot) but felt so much better because of my strength and stability from PT. Now I am a week after delivery and again my recovery and strength are so much better I can’t believe it. I can’t wait to go back for post-natal care in two weeks. Thank you to the entire team at Body Gears!”


– Erin K. (Body Gears Graduate)  

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“At the end of January this year, I tore my left hamstrings pretty bad. Exercise has always been a huge part of my life, and after going through some pretty tough times this injury was really tough. I worked with Kathleen and Dan and appreciated the fact that I was always treated like an athlete. I felt like they always worked with me to get back to the goal that I wanted, instead of just saying that I shouldn’t work out or run anymore. I always appreciated their knowledge and friendliness, and their ability to teach me things that I still work into my warm-ups today. I am back to my full lifting routine, just surpassed deadlifting my body weight a couple weeks ago. So thankful to Kathleen and Dan because without their help, I would not have been able to get back to this point!”


– Lily A. (Body Gears Graduate)  

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“I’ve tried physical therapy with a number of different companies over the years, and this was by far my best experience. Body Gears offers a comprehensive holistic perspective on the factors that contribute to pain, rather than just treating the symptoms themselves. I’d been told by a friend that it was different from other PT and that was absolutely correct: a hundred times better, with better educated and more caring staff! The difference was clear after only one session.

I worked primarily with Kathleen and Dan, who listened closely to my history and descriptions to provide highly tailored care. They made sure that I understood the causes of different kinds of pain and why each type of treatment was recommended. I began to experience pain relief after only a few sessions and finished the cycle with optimism that my condition is temporary and can be controlled if I can maintain the new alignments and strength training exercises I have been taught.

The company accepted my insurance and direct billing was seamless. I hope to never need PT again, but if I do this is definitely where I’m going!”


– Sally F. (Body Gears Graduate)  

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“Body Gears at Lincoln Ave is a great spot for PT. Kathleen was my therapist and she is a star. Very knowledgeable and a sweet person. I came in with bilateral knee pain and I had not been diagnosed by a doctor yet because it takes so long to get in with a specialist but Kathleen knew what to do. By the time I saw the doctor pain had significantly reduced. After a few sessions I regained normal mobility and I was recently discharged pain-free. Like everything, you get as much as you put in. You need to be good about the home exercises to see quick progress. Thank you Body Gears team!


– J P. (Body Gears Graduate)  

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“A great PT clinic with extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff. This was my first time getting physical therapy, and right when I walked in I felt comfortable and at ease. Working with Kathleen and the rest of her team, I had learned techniques to alieve back pain I was experiencing in less than 2 months! I highly recommend this BodyGears if you’re looking for a physical therapist.


– Jake S. (Body Gears Graduate)  

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“I cannot speak highly enough of the staff at BodyGears, specifically Kathleen. I started going to alleviate pregnancy aches and pains and it was hands down the best decision I made. I was thrilled to find a PT facility that caters to women and found The Wiggle Room program + targeted exercises kept me strong, stabilized my growing core and prepared my body for the best possible outcome during labor and post-natal recovery. Any and all concerns were immediately addressed and left each appointment feeling confident and energized (even at 38+ wks, which I didn’t think was possible). Kathleen’s knowledge and personal attention is top-notch and would recommend to anyone (pregnant or not).


– Allison L. (Body Gears Graduate)  

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“Body Gears is the most effective, knowledgeable and professional physical therapy practice. Kathleen is the best PT I have had, ever! Solid one-on-one attention without the distraction of juggling multiple patients. They work not only on the source of pain/problem, but they also address all related areas for whole body healing. Kathleen is also an amazing physical therapist who understands the healing, strong and effective. Very motivating, great energy and focus. They will change your life.


– Erin M. (Body Gears Graduate)  

What Patients Have to Say About Kathleen

“Wow. I’m completely blown away by how knowledgeable these PTs are. Kathleen and I have been working together to improve my performance in powerlifting and I can already feel a difference in just 2 sessions. I am so lucky to have been referred to her and cannot wait to see how my competition goes. Thank you, Bodygears!!!!! Kathleen is INCREDIBLE.


– Hannah N. (Body Gears Graduate)