Joanne Macza, PT, OCS, Cert. MDT, CKTP, Physical Therapist

Joanne earned her Bachelor of Physical Therapy and Physical Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. She has since been awarded the distinction of Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists and gained certification in McKenzie Diagnostic Treatment (Cert. MDT). Joanne is a Women’s Health Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP), and manager of the St. Louis clinic. She is experienced with The Schroth Method for treating scoliosis as well as Functional Dry Needling. Joanne has 13 years of experience treating Broadway performers in New York and is skilled at integrating Yoga and Pilates movements with manual therapy. 

  • Licensed Physical Therapist in the State of Missouri
  • APTA/MPTA Member
  • Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS), American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists
  • Certification in McKenzie Diagnostic Treatment (Cert. MDT)
  • Schroth Scoliosis Physical Therapy Trained
  • Women’s Health Therapist
  • Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP)
  • Functional Dry Needling, Level 1
  • St. Louis Clinic Manager

Schroth-Barcelona Institute

  • C1 Certification 

Institute of Physical Art:

  • CoreFirst® Strategies
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation I
  • Functional Gait: Component Assessment & Treatment
  • Functional Mobilization Upper Quadrant
  • Pelvic Girdle Puzzle
  • Functional Manual Therapy Foundations 

Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute:

  • Pelvic Floor Level 1
  • Pelvic Floor Level 2A
  • Pelvic Floor Level 2B 

The McKenzie Institute International®:

  • Part A-MDT: Lumbar Spine
  • Part B-MDT: Cervical and Thoracic Spine
  • Part C-MDT: Advanced Lumbar Spine and Extremities – Lower Limb
  • Part D-MDT: Advanced Cervical & Thoracic Spine and Extremities – Upper Limb 

Upledger Institute International:

  • Craniosacral Therapy I
  • Craniosacral Therapy II 

KinetaCore:

  • Functional Dry Needling Level 1
  • Functional Therapeutics

University of Saskatchewan

  • Bachelor of Physical Therapy, 1994
  • Bachelor of Physical Education, 1991

What Joanne Has to Say

Why do you work for Body Gears?

Body Gears is one of the few companies that provides more one-on-one treatment with a PT. Focusing on the patient experience allows us more time to share our expertise in movement mechanics and re-training.

What aspect of physical therapy do you find the most fascinating?

I am passionate about cueing into the most important item a patient wants to change and being able to educate patients to understand what is dysfunctional, how to change it, and then demonstrating to them how quickly this change can be made. I find treating patients extremely rewarding.

Which patients are your favorite to work with?

I really don’t have favorite body parts that I like to treat. My approach is global, which is essential to the outcome. I most enjoy working with patients who are committed to their care as the right mental connection is essential to the success of treatment.

What certifications do you have?

I am an Orthopedic Certified Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists, a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, and I am also certified in McKenzie Diagnostic Treatment. Additionally, I have training in The Schroth Method for treating scoliosis, Functional Dry Needling, Women’s Health, and I was a Dance Therapy Specialist for 13 years treating performers and actors on Broadway.

How do you stay active?

I perform yoga 4-5 times a week, jog, and never really sit much during the day…I’m lucky I don’t have a desk job.

Describe your perfect Saturday.

Wake up for a 7:30 Hot Yoga class, grab a coffee on the way to class, sneak my coffee in my water bottle to class, dream about what I want to eat for lunch during Shavasana, take my daughter to lunch and maybe the art museum before relaxing for the night at home, peacefully with a book and a cup of tea.

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

I have had back problems for many years.  I was also unable to find much relief.  It was my good fortune to meet Joanne Macza at Body Gears Physical Therapy. I literally and figuratively put myself in her hands.  She immediately understood my problem and knew what needed to be done.  After a few hands-on sessions, she gave me some home exercises to follow and the relief I now feel is unbelievable.  I just wish I had met her 10 years ago.” 

 

– Branka S. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

I called Joanne the shoulder whisperer! I was in pain at a level 8 on a scale from 1-10. My health was going as fast as I wasn’t sleeping due to the pain. I had been misdiagnosed even after an MRI. Joanne went right to the heart of the problem and within a few weeks, my pain was drastically reduced. I have never encountered a medical specialist of any kind that could explain the body and how to work to fix the issues the way that team can. My life has been enhanced greatly just after a few therapies. I can now hold my grandson pain-free!

Thanks, Body Gears for the time and effort you give and for the extreme knowledge you have attained about the human body! It’s a gift to have this level of talent and I’m blessed to know your team! 

 

– Debra B. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

I absolutely love this place! Joanne and her staff have given me my life back. After back surgery and diastases, I had lower back pain for months. Joanne and her team don’t just treat the symptoms, they find out why your body is functioning that way and fix your whole system.

Now not only do I have a stronger core and no back pain, but I have also learned the skills and tools to help keep myself in shape and pain-free for the rest of my life. I have been to other PT places with very little results. I had excellent positive results right away with Joanne and her team. Highly recommend everyone go here!!!

During my visits, once the issue had been determined, Joanne worked on other small symptoms that my body had started doing to try and correct itself. Correcting all the little issues has made such a huge difference. My time with them has been life changing and I feel like a whole new person without pain. 

 

– Mandi S. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

I was referred to Joanne at Body Gears through an acquaintance. I knew after talking to her that they were a different kind of physical therapy place. After my first visit, I was completely confident that she could help me get back to my usual activity. What I love most is that her focus is on figuring out what caused the pain in the first place and helping me correct the problem so that it does NOT keep happening. This is invaluable to me.

I love Joanne and her welcoming spirit. The staff is just as welcoming and helpful. Everyone there is always smiling and in good spirits and helpful when needed. 

 

– Denise P. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

I came to Body Gears with an ongoing foot problem from a running injury that just wasn’t getting better. I had tried different approaches, including months of therapy with another physical therapist. From the first minutes I spent with Joanne, Body Gears was different – they looked at my body as a whole, versus just trying to fix my foot, working with me on the way that I stand, walk, use my muscles, and carry myself in general.

With their help, I have been able to walk and run with little to no pain for the first time in almost a year. I would highly recommend Body Gears Physical Therapy. 

 

– Courtney C. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“Joanne and the entire staff really take the whole body into consideration when trying to heal you. They don’t just fix what is broken, they backtrack to see why it is broken and what is causing it. It is a whole-body fix. 

 

– Body Gears Graduate

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

I absolutely recommend Body Gears Physical Therapy St. Louis with all of my heart and soul. Joanne Macza and her team have truly, literally, made me a better person. They not only helped me become pain-free and put me back together, they also gave me the knowledge, skills, and tools I need to help keep myself pain-free, strengthen my body, and should I injure myself in the future, how to put myself back together.

The human body will wreck itself trying to fix itself. After two kids and a slipped-disc back surgery, I had diastasis recti and a continual sore lower back. I would dread going to bed every night because I knew in the morning when I woke up my lower back muscles would be in so much pain. Some mornings I was not even able to bend over to touch my toes, but on my own pants, or sit on the floor to tie my shoes. After being an athlete all through high school and college, I knew this was not how the body was supposed to be, and not how my core nor my back should behave. I knew something was wrong with my core. I did not accept the idea that “this is how it is after two kids”. TAKE THE TIME TO PUT YOURSELF BACK TOGETHER.

Joanne not only helped me work to heal my diastasis recti and teach me isometric core exercises to continually keep my core strong for life, but also worked with me to release scar tissue from my back, and retrain my body to use the proper muscles for movement instead of the “workaround” my body had created when my abs didn’t work. My back muscles were doing all the work for my abs. She then retrained me how to sit, stand, walk, get out of bed, pick up my children, and finally how to hold myself and stay strong during workouts so I don’t repeat any of these injuries again.

Joanne and her team have literally given me my life back and also given my husband his wife back, and my boys their mother back. For that, I will be forever thankful.

During my visits to physical therapy, I have watched Joanne teach a ballet dancer how to dance better, a baseball pitcher how to throw a ball better, a weightlifter how to lift better, and then me, how to do daily life things better. I’m convinced there is nothing Joanne doesn’t know. She listens to what injuries you have and then backtracks through your whole body to find the reason for the pain, and not just cure what hurts. She is concerned with making your body the best machine it can be, and how it can work in the most proper form.

I highly recommend you go visit Joanne for anything that bothers you. She is a fantastic human being and great at her job and honestly wants to help make you better. 

 

– Mandi C. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“Body Gears is amazing! I started seeing Joanne at Body Gears for a running injury, and she had me back to running in no time and addressed other issues. She knows the human body better than any doctor, PT, etc I have ever met. The whole team is respectful, punctual, and patient. I highly recommend Body Gears; you will not be disappointed! 

 

– Carrie L. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“I started going to the Body Gears in St. Louis after tearing my supraspinatus in jiu-jitsu. I’m very impressed. Joanne definitely knows her craft, and in three weeks the difference is night and day. Highly recommended. 

 

– John S. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“I had foot pain for 6 months. I had previously seen an orthopedist that offered surgery on my foot as an option and another physical therapist for 6 weeks that could not figure out the source of my pain. Joanne at Body Gears is amazing. Treated the source of my pain and not the symptoms. She was able to assess my needs during my first free evaluation. She also does dry needling which has been extremely helpful. I am now back to my regular workouts and wearing any shoes I want! Body Gears is incredible. Life changing for me. 

 

– Jill S. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“After seeing 2 reputable surgeons I was told I needed shoulder surgery. I had been in physical therapy for a month before at a different location and wasn’t seeing any progress. Somebody referred me to Joanne and I decided to give it a try and I am so thankful I did. Joanne had a clear plan of how we were going to first try to stop my pain and then regain my strength. She was so professional and warm. I enjoyed my time with her, and it was a time commitment to get better. She also performed dry needling which I think really helped me. Joanne sent updates to my surgeon and when I saw him for a follow up he couldn’t believe my progress and told me I no longer needed surgery. I was just released from PT after 4 months with Joanne and I am feeling great! The entire Body Gears office is well run, very professional. Highly Recommend! 

 

– Betsy K. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“Body Gears Physical Therapy offers a unique experience incomparable to any other health care provider I have come across. I am continually impressed with the dedication, passion, and knowledge the Body Gears staff gives in genuinely caring for patients. In every aspect of the job, the Body Gears staff goes above and beyond to treat their clientele. I am grateful for Body Gears and recommend their services to anyone searching for physical therapy.

Here is my story:

I was involved in a bike accident in September of 2016 that has severely impacted the use of my upper body, specifically my right shoulder and neck. I suffer radiating pain from the neck down to hand that I was not able to get rid of. Over the past year, I have worked extremely hard in different therapy techniques to decrease pain and regain strength.

While I found some techniques to alleviate pain, I could not figure out how to regain consistent mobility in the shoulder/neck area. Any basic arm movements I attempted, whether it was schoolwork, chores, or work-related, caused significant pain on the right side of my body impacting every aspect of my life.

I extensively searched treatment options while home from college in the summer when I came across Body Gears Physical Therapy. I was hesitant to start a third round of physical therapy due to not making the progress I had set out for in previous experiences. However, I can say it was one of the best decisions I have made in the past year.

As a dedicated triathlete and college student, I chose to schedule a FREE injury consultation with Body Gears because I felt the marketing and reviews spoke to my symptoms.

I met with Joanne who from the start possessed an abundance of positive energy, dedication, and calm confidence in working through my shoulder/neck problems. She explained my symptoms in a way I could understand making me feel comfortable. Because of my therapists, Joanne’s and Esther’s attention, I trained mentally and physically to give physical therapy another chance with the hope of getting better.

I am now over a month into physical therapy sessions meeting with Joanne and Esther 2-3 times per week in attacking my shoulder/neck related issues. I have seen much improvement on the right side of my body and in substantially less pain. It is the first time in 10 months I feel that I am on a path to recovery.

I am grateful for the care I have received and will do everything in my power to give back to Body Gears. Therefore, I recommend Body Gears Physical Therapy to anyone searching for physical therapy options. 

 

– Cal W. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“I met Joanne one day as I was working the register at Manhattan Express down the street from her office. She saw I was studying anatomy for massage therapy school and inquired about what I was learning. I gave her my spiel and she said she was opening up a physical therapy office right across the street. I told her some of my ailments from Crossfit, Olympic lifting, and general life woes that had me twisted up. I contacted her office to set up a free consultation, and have been going as much as my insurance will allow.  After a few weeks of treatment, the exercises assigned to strengthen my shoulder have made a huge impact. I’ve been to chiropractors and massage therapists, so this was a whole new experience in bodywork. Joanne is very knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions you might have based on your treatment plan. I also hope to stay in contact with her and her staff long after my problems subside. I would definitely recommend Joanne! 

 

– Bradford C. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“I had worked with several physiotherapists before coming to Body Gears and I never felt like I received long-term solutions.  Body Gears felt different from the beginning. My first session with Joann was entirely focused on figuring out the source and the reason for my problem. In subsequent meetings, Joann honed even more tightly on the issues. With every session, she would ask about symptoms, other treatments I was having and any updated test results. I have now been seeing Joann for about 5 months and I feel a real improvement in my mobility and a reduction in pain. She is practical and realistic in the expectations she sets, entirely professional, and warm and thoughtful in the way she works. I have recommended her to a number of friends! 

 

– P C. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“My daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis last year, and her curvature was progressed enough that doctors gave us little option besides “wait and see” with the possibility of a spinal fusion in her future. In doing my own research about what I could do to help my daughter, I came across something called the Schroth method, which seemed to have promising potential, yet it isn’t something widely practiced by therapists or doctors. When I mentioned it to my daughter’s spine doctor, he said he had heard of it, admittedly didn’t know much about it, but he encouraged us to look into it. And he referred us to Body Gears. Since then, we have been working with Joanne, and I am so thankful she is educated in this method of therapy. I can’t tell you the relief I feel as a parent to know we have a plan of action to do SOMETHING about this scoliosis besides wait, hope, and resign to surgery. It isn’t a cure, and it won’t undo all the damage that has already been done, but it has helped my daughter learn how to train her body to compensate for her curve, to be strong in spite of it, and hopefully to stop it in its tracks. We have seen a difference in how she holds herself. She even said to me the other day, with tears in her eyes, that for the first time since being diagnosed, she looked in the mirror and didn’t immediately see the curve. Our hope is that with a continued commitment to her Schroth exercises, my daughter can keep herself in a manageable state that she will not need to have the spinal fusion. We are so lucky that Joanne and Body Gears offer this Schroth therapy, something that I was initially afraid we would have to travel to another city to find. If you or your child has scoliosis, I highly recommend coming in to talk with Joanne to see what she can do for you. 

 

– Kelly S. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“I cannot say enough about Body Gears (bg) Physical Therapy; they are simply the best.
Four years ago I had back surgery for severe lumbar spinal stenosis. It helped some for about a year, but then I periodically started having pain and somewhat limited mobility. I lived and functioned through the symptoms. But last August while traveling I had a real crisis, associated with the development of scoliosis, severe pain and inability to walk. I had a September – October commitment at the University of Oxford, which I decided to keep. Upon arrival in Oxford (I had to use wheelchairs at airports) I purchased a bicycle, which became my salvation and only mode of mobility. After returning to the US, I met with the surgeon who operated on me 4 years ago. He was pessimistic about the progression of my condition and symptoms, and would not consider another surgery as an option.


Here comes bg! I heard about them from a friend who just started therapy there. They perform miracles and Joanne, who treats me, is a wizard. I truly enjoy going there (twice a week); the atmosphere is friendly, happy and projects positive feelings and attitudes. The organization is exemplary – starting and ending the visit with Amanda’s kind and friendly smile at the front desk. The therapists are very well trained; they know the anatomy and physiology of movement and pain. The treatment plan is logical, starting with manipulation by hand based on an understanding of your pathology, then working with you to correct your body posture and motion (standing, sitting, walking) and help you unlearn damaging habits (not an easy task!). Finally, you perform a set of exercises under supervision, aimed at strengthening and learning to engage important muscles to support the correct movement. A set of exercises that changes as you progress is then prescribed to you to perform at home (I repeat it twice daily). 


My therapist and manager of the clinic is Joanne. She is amazing – warm, positive, caring and full of energy. Joanne knows her stuff and is blessed with intuition beyond the formal knowledge of bone – muscle – nerve anatomy and physiology. This intuition (and her strong hands) helps guiding her in her work – a true miracle worker! Importantly, the whole Body Gears people place the patient at the center of what they do (this is not a cliché) – they truly CARE about their patients and make it a personal challenge and goal to help them achieve a better quality of life. As to me – after 2 months at bg I am walking again and suffer pain less frequently; I can walk for about 30 minutes and am working to increase this range and improve my standing/sitting habits during the work day. Most importantly, I am seeing fantastic results and have a very optimistic outlook on continued progress. Thank you, Joanne and everyone else at BG for making it happen!
 

 

– Yoram R. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

“I finally found my way to Body Gears through my trainer and it’s hands down the best referral I’ve ever received. Joanne is brilliant. Her knowledge of body mechanics– and the precision with which I’m instructed on how to execute my exercises properly–is what makes my recovery so unique. I’ve been living with a torn hamstring and persistent pain. Joanne’s hands-on treatment combined with strengthening exercises is simply exceptional. The exercise tech follows up with a breakdown on exactly how to perform these exercises so that the muscles you are trying to strengthen fire off properly. I would never consider going anywhere else with an injury after experiencing this particular treatment modality combined with the genuine caring and kindness I’ve found at Body Gears. 

 

– Kate A. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Joanne

I can’t say enough good things about the treatment I’ve received from Body Gears Physical Therapy. I knew within 10 minutes of arriving for my first appointment that I’d made the right decision.

Brief summary for anyone who’s short on time:

  • Five-star plus: PT’s willingness to listen to everything I say, then ask a lot of questions to make sure she understands what’s going on with me – not just at the first initial appointment but at EVERY SINGLE appointment
  • Five-star plus: PT’s knowledge of the body and her ability explain things to me so I understand a) the cause of my pain and b) what I can do to improve my movement patterns to heal and reduce the risk of further injury
  • Five-star plus: PT Technician’s patience in working with me on my exercises, demonstrating how to make corrections when I don’t do them properly and ongoing willingness to find the right verbal cues to help me isolate the right muscles
  • Five-star plus: Friendliness of the entire staff
  • Five-star plus: Follow-through on all my questions (PT-related, exercise-related, billing/insurance, appointments)
  • Five-star plus: Timeliness of my appointments (I’ve NEVER waited in the lobby past my appointment time)

Longer version:

When knee and leg pain forced me to first give up running, then give up fast walking and hiking, and then made even yoga impossible, I was depressed and frustrated. Daily cardio exercise has been an important part of my life for decades. After chiropractic care, rest and stretching failed to give me any pain relief, I saw an orthopedist. She referred me to PT Joanne Macza at Body Gears. I resisted because the location is not convenient to my home and I was skeptical that it would do any good. The doctor told me that if anyone could get me back in the “game,” it would be Joanne, and she encouraged me to at least see her a few times for treatment.

My plan was to see Joanne a time or two and then if I thought the physical therapy was beneficial, I was going to transfer my PT prescription to a location closer to my home in Wildwood to avoid the time and traffic headaches of getting to Clayton. However, I recognized within 10 minutes of meeting Joanne that I would not be going anywhere else. I have not had a medical professional pay this much attention to what I have to say in a long time.

This knee and leg pain has plagued me for a while, but for the first time, someone heard what I was saying. Joanne listened to me so carefully and asked so many questions about my daily activity, my movement, my pain (when, where, how, how often) and my goals. She quickly theorized that most of my problem wasn’t in my knee (that an MRI had shown to have arthritis). Again, I was a little skeptical regarding her theories about my movement pattern and my weak versus strong muscles, but her approach made me willing to listen. Over and over, she takes the time to SHOW me what she means, and she helps me make adjustments so that I use the right muscles in a movement or yoga pose, illustrating that when I do it properly, I can do it without pain. She’s very perceptive, and when she suspects I don’t feel or see a difference, she helps me make adjustments and she walks me through isolating the right muscles in the right order so that the movement protects me from pain and gets me closer to proper movement patterns.

Joanne also always checks back in with me one more time after my exercises and before I leave, doing another evaluation and reiterating what I need to be doing until I see her again.

Finally, the staff’s assistance in explaining my insurance benefits and helping me get questions answered about a confusing EOB or bill has impressed me throughout my treatment. And the fact that I never wait in the lobby is a big bonus. The professionals at Body Gears seem to recognize that my time is also valuable.

The most important thing Joanne has given me, however, is optimism about getting back to doing the things I love. I am so glad I followed the doctor’s advice to give Joanne a chance. And I’m very grateful for her patience and knowledge and expertise. 

 

– Michelle C. (Body Gears Graduate)