Gary P. Austin, PT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT, FAFS


Associate Professor

Professional Interests

  • Manual Therapy, Orthopaedic and Sports Rehabilitation
  • Spine Care
  • Foot Care
  • Functional Training and Conditioning

Dr. Austin has more than 25 years of experience in the orthopaedic, sports, and occupational medicine settings. He joined Sacred Heart University in 1998 and teaches in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the areas of: Musculoskeletal Examination and Intervention; Manual Therapy; Exercise Prescription; Evidence Based Physical Therapy Practice; Differential Diagnosis. He developed the Sacred Heart University Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program and in addition to being the Program Director he teaches coursework in: Advanced Orthopaedic Management; Evidence Based Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice; Differential Diagnosis; and Musculoskeletal Imaging.

Dr. Austin is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists and The Gray Institute. He is also Board Certified in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and practices at the Sacred Heart University Physical Therapy Specialists in Fairfield. Dr. Austin has expertise in Orthopaedic and Sports Rehabilitation, Spine Care, Foot Care, and Functional Training and Conditioning. Additionally, he is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists and the American Physical Therapy Association (Orthopaedics, Sports, and Research Sections).

Dr. Austin has authored 4 book chapters, multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts and has presented at state and national meetings. His research interests are in the areas of: manual therapy interventions for disorders of the hips, lumbar spine, and thoracic spine; and functional testing and exercise. Awards include the 2003 APTA Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member and the 2007 Outstanding Physical Therapy Professional Award from the Neag School of Education Alumni Society of the University of Connecticut.

Degrees and Certifications

    • Ph.D., Philosphy in Sport Science, University of Connecticut
    • MA, Sport Biomechanics, University of Connecticut
    • BS, Physical Therapy, University of Connecticut

    Specialty or Specialist Certification/Training

    • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual  Physical Therapists. 2009 
    • Orthopaedic Certified Specialist, Diplomate, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. 2009 
    • Fellow of Applied Functional Science, Gray Institute, Adrian, MI. 2007 
    • Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Titleist Performance Institute

Teaching Responsibilities

    • PT 631 - Evaluation and Intervention I
    • PT 734 - Evaluation and Intervention IV
    • PT 901 - Advanced Management of Orthopaedic Disorders of the Lower Extremity
    • PT 911 - Advanced Principles of Evidence-Based Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice
    • PT 902 - Advanced Management of Orthopaedic Disorders of the Pelvic Girdle, Vertebral Column, Thoracic Cage, and Cranium
    • PT 912 - Advanced Principles of Differential Diagnosis and Medical Screening for Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice
    • PT 903 - Advanced Management of Orthopaedic Disorders of the Upper Extremity
    • PT 913 - Diagnostic Imaging for Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice

    Teaching Areas:
    Orthopaedic Physical Therapy; Evidence Based Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice; Medical Screening and Differential Diagnosis.

Research Interests & Grants

    • Manual Therapy 
    • Hip-Spine Relationships 
    • Thoracic Spine Dysfunction 
    • Functional Testing and Exercise 
    • Physical Therapy Residency Training

Honors, Awards & Fellowships

    • Outstanding Physical Therapy Professional Award. Neag School of Education Alumni Society, University  of Connecticut 2007 
    • Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty. American Physical Therapy  Association 2003 
    • Outstanding Contribution to the Athletic Training Program. Sacred Heart University 2001
    • The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. 1996

Publications and Presentations

    Short-term response of hip mobilizations and exercise in individuals with chronic low back pain: a case series. Burns SA, Mintken PE, Austin GP, & Cleland, J. Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy. 2011. 19(2):100-107.

    Clinical decision-making in a patient with secondary hip-spine syndrome. Burns SA, Mintken PE, & Austin GP.  Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2011 Jul;27(5):384-97.  Epub 2010 Aug 26.
    A Comparison Of High-Profile And Low-Profile Dynamic  Mobilization Splint Designs. Austin, GP, 
    Slamet , M, Cameron, DA, and Austin, NM. Journal of Hand Therapy, Vol. 17(3), pp. 335-343, 2004

    The Effect Of Added Mass On Human Unipedal Hopping At Three Frequencies. Austin, GP, Tiberio, D, & Garrett, GE. Perceptual and Motor Skills. Vol. 97, pp 605-612, 2003

    The Effect Of Frequency On Human Unipedal Hopping.  Austin, GP, Tiberio, D, & Garrett, GE. Perceptual and Motor Skills. Vol. 95, pp 733-740, 2002

    The Effect Of Added Mass On Human Unipedal Hopping.  Austin, GP, Garrett, GE, & Tiberio, D. Perceptual and Motor Skills. Vol. 94, pp 834-840, 2002

    Thoracic Pain In A Collegiate Runner: A Case Report.  Austin, GP, & Benesky, W. Manual Therapy. Vol. 7, No. 3, pp 168-172, 2002

    Kinematic Analysis of Obstacle Clearance During Locomotion. Austin, GP, Garrett, GE, & Bohannon, RW. Gait and Posture. Vol. 10, 109-120. 1999

    Effect of Upper Trapezius Taping on Electromyographic Activity In the Upper and Middle Trapezius Region. Morin, GE, Tiberio, D, & Austin, GP. Journal Of Sport Rehabilitation. Vol. 6, No. 4, 1997

    Best Evidence for Examination and Treatment of the Thoracic Spine, Austin, GP, in Orthopaedic Section Independent Study Course 21.1 Cervical and Thoracic Pain: Evidence for Effectiveness of Physical Therapy. Hughes, C (Editor). 2011

    Exercise. Chui, KK &. Austin, GP. In Health Promotion Throughout the Life Span, 7th Edition. Edelman, C & Mandle, C (editors). Mosby. 2010

    Functional Tests, & Return to Activity. Austin, GP. In Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation: Scientific Foundations and Principles of Practice, Magee DJ, Zachazewski JE, and Quillen WS (editors). Saunders, 2007.

    Mechanical Principles. Austin, GP & Jacobs, ML. In Jacobs, ML & Austin, NM (Eds.), Splinting the hand and upper extremity: principles and process. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp 59-72. 2002

    Motor Control of Human Gait: Dynamic Systems Perspective. Austin, GP. In Lusardi, M (Ed.), Orthopaedic  Physical Therapy Clinics of North America. Vol. 10 (1), pp17-34. 2001


Contact Information

Office Location & Hours

  • Location:
    Physical Therapy
    Cambridge 1-P-29
    College of Health Professions
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