SportsFit Physical Therapy & Fitness | Sports Rehabilitation | Santa Monica CA

Sports Rehabilitation

SportsFit Physical Therapy specializes in the rehabilitation of the athletic patient population. Clients injured during sports performance with or without operative corrections, will benefit from our hands on interventions and state of the art facility. At SportsFit our goal is full return to sporting activities for all athletes in the least amount of time possible.

At SportsFit we believe, sports rehabilitation can have a superb contribution towards the general state of wellness in the athletic population. If patients are committed to their rehabilitation and apply what's learned at SportsFit in their future athletic activities, they not only recover from current injuries, but will be better prepared physically and mentally upon their return to sports.

About Sports Rehabilitation:

Sports Rehabilitation is an association and combination of physical therapy and sports medicine. The goal of sports rehabilitation at SportsFit Physical Therapy is to diagnose, prevent or/and treat physical, physiological and other difficulties and illnesses that may occur especially in sports and sporting activities. Regrettably, physical inactivity is growing each day, which leads towards the development of a wide variety of chronic illnesses and health-affecting difficulties like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, coronary artery disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, anxiety and depression, to mention just a few.

Sports rehabilitation aims to improve patients' overall wellness, and treat/prevent chronic illnesses. This is accomplished through knowledge, interventions, as well as specific techniques and approaches performed throughout the rehabilitation process.

Meet our Sports Rehabilitation Doctors:


J Rick Rafael

J Rick Rafael DPT, OCS, CSCS

Owner, President
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Dr. Rafael is the president and founder of SportsFit. Dr. Rafael obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California in BioMedical Engineering. After several years of working as an engineer and consultant to Fortune500 companies, he decided to pursue a career in physical therapy in order to follow his passion in health and fitness. Dr. Rafael received his doctorate in physical therapy from Mount Saint Mary’s University and completed a yearlong orthopedic residency program at Kaiser Permantente. He established SportsFit in the year 2010 with the intention of providing the highest quality of service to every patient. Dr. Rafael is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist and has served as clinical instructor for several physical therapy universities. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Santa Monica College movement science program. Dr. Rafael takes pride in his work and has volunteered at the Venice Free Clinic treating underprivileged patients.

Dr. Rafael’s vision for SportsFit has always been to lead a healthy and happy environment optimized for the offering of excellence in the service provided, and the professions created for employees. Under Dr. Rafael’s leadership, SportsFit has been able to provide more than 70,000 treatment sessions as a team. During this time SportsFit has been accredited and earned a rating of A+ with the Better Business Bureau, awarded the patient’s choice award, and selected 3 years in a row for Best of Santa Monica Awards for Physical Therapy. SportsFit has been recognized by many as the premier physical therapy clinic in Santa Monica and is known by colleagues as the gold standard for a physical therapy clinic. SportsFit has been the referral of choice for several of UCLA, Cedars Sinai, Saint John Providence, and Santa Monica physicians. In fact, Dr. Rafael has been consulted by many of such physicians for their own physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Treatment Philosophy:
To constitute a facility apt to provide optimal recovery for all patients by implementing an individualized, multi-disciplinary and holistic treatment approach for each patient based on patient's unique background, goals, and injury.



Jared Vagy

Jared Vagy DPT, OCS, CSCS

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Dr. Jared Vagy received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of Southern California (USC). As a Doctor of Physical Therapy in clinical practice, he completed a one-year residency program and became a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. He then completed an additional one-year fellowship program in Movement Science at Kaiser Permanente Hospital, totaling 9 years of academic and clinical study. Dr. Jared Vagy is a professor at USC in the DPT Program, has published numerous articles on injury prevention and delivers lectures and seminars internationally on the topic. He is a mentor for both the USC Physical Therapy residency program and the USC DPT program. He is on Academy Faculty for the TheraBand Academy and is on the Editorial Board for ADVANCE Physical Therapy magazine. He is the youngest physical therapist in the country to achieve the level of fellowship training in movement science, publication status and University teaching credentials.

Treatment Philosophy:
Dr. Jared Vagy served as team physical therapist in China for the Chinese National Track and Field Team in 2015 as well a physical therapist for Team USA at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials in 2016. He has rehabilitated several world champions, gold medalists, NCAA champions and Olympic athletes. His assessments and treatments are rooted deeply in an understanding of the movement system. He is a firm believer in an active approach to rehabilitation and works with clients of all ability levels to achieve their maximal function.



Lauren Freitas

Lauren Freitas DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Selective Functional Movement Assessment Specialist

Dr. Lauren Freitas graduated from the University of San Diego in 2010 with a B.S in Communications and Biology. Dr. Freitas earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California in 2014. Throughout her career, she has had experience working with and developing treatment programs for patients with a wide range of conditions including sports injuries, arthritis, cardiovascular conditions, headaches and migraines, and general orthopedic pathologies. Lauren has completed multiple continuing education courses and seminar series covering running analysis and mechanics, management of chronic pain, treatment of the overhead athlete’s shoulder and upper extremity, and is a certified Selective Functional Movement Assessment specialist. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, snowboarding, traveling, and reading on the beach.

Treatment Philosophy:
I empower my patients with knowledge and information, correct faulty movement mechanics, address strength and motor control impairments, and work with my patients as a team to achieve functional goals, getting them off the treatment table and back to living their lives to the fullest.



Lyssa Cleary

Lyssa Cleary DPT, OCS

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Lyssa Cleary received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from University of Southern California in 2014. Working at USC Physical Therapy Associates, Dr. Cleary continued her professional development by completing the one-year USC residency program in Orthopedics and went on to become a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. She is also currently adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California and teaches in their orthopedic curriculum. She has specialized experience working as part of an interdisciplinary medical team for the treatment of patients with migraines and chronic headaches and has given lectures nationally on the treatment of patients with headaches. She has completed multiple continuing education courses on a variety of topics such as spinal manipulation, the analysis and treatment of running, treatment of the athlete’s and swimmer’s shoulder, and analysis, treatment, and taping techniques of the foot and ankle. In her free time, Dr. Cleary enjoys playing tennis, running, going to concerts, travelling, and being active outdoors.

Treatment Philosophy:
I concentrate on retraining the mind and body through manual interventions and exercise in order to both restore and optimize my patients’ abilities to move well so they can return to doing the activities they love without pain. By sharing knowledge and educating my patients, I empower them with the resources they need to continue to return to their favorite activities without recurrence of their symptoms.



Rebecca Pitts

Rebecca Pitts, DPT, OCS

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Pitts knew from an early age that she wanted to be in medicine, shadowing family friends at hospitals and clinics, and learning how to perform basic field triage when she trained for a search and rescue group. She watched as some of her friends and family went through rehabilitation after injuries, including personal experience recovering from sports injuries. During schooling—including her Ortho based residency—she spent time researching how manual therapy affects the autonomic nervous system, non-operative treatment of small meniscal tears, and shoulder stabilization in the overhead athlete. Dr. Pitts has helped all spectrums of individuals, from those having difficulty with everyday living tasks to Olympic level athletes, and believes no issue is too small to address. She has taken further education courses for Therapeutic Taping, and is a preferred provider for utilizing the Graston Technique. She is an avid sports follower for the University of Arizona, and in her spare time she likes keeping active with outdoor activities such as running and hiking, and spending time with her family.

Treatment Philosophy:
I believe in utilizing manual therapy in conjunction with targeted exercises to decrease pain and maximize function. The main focus of treatment will be to find the source of the problem, as opposed to only looking at symptoms. This will make sure the strength and movement patterns encourage healthy maintenance after our sessions are complete.



Kyle Brown

Kyle Brown, DPT, OCS

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Brown grew up in the Napa Valley. He attended graduate school at Loma Linda University, earning his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2010. In 2012, he completed a year-long orthopedic residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center, which emphasized the management of complex and chronic orthopedic problems. Immediately after residency, he completed the year-long Kaiser Permanente Sports Rehabilitation Fellowship, one of the few sports fellowships in the nation. During this fellowship, Dr. Brown received extensive mentoring and training in rehabilitating both common and complex sports injuries in order to efficiently and safely return athletes back to their desired sport. He is passionate about sports. He played high school and college basketball and is currently a semi-professional skateboarder. In his free time, Dr. Brown enjoys playing basketball, golf, skateboarding, and traveling with friends and family.

Treatment Philosophy:
I take a multi-faceted approach to patient care which combines manual therapy, movement re-education, and re-training the brain in order for each individual to reach their desired goals.



Samuel Franklin

Samuel Franklin, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Dr. Franklin grew up in Sarasota, FL, before attending the University of Miami for his undergraduate and graduate education. He received his B.S. in Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology, followed by his Doctorate of Physical Therapy. He then pursued his specialization through the Orthopedic Residency program at University of Southern California. He is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Clinical Physical Therapy in the USC Doctor of Physical Therapy program. He has also given professional seminars on the topic of Movement Analysis and Treatment of CrossFit athletes. Dr. Franklin grew up heavily involved in ballet, until his interests shifted to competitive Olympic weightlifting. In his free time, he enjoys weightlifting, running on the beach, yoga, and meditation.

Treatment Philosophy:
I believe in developing individualized treatment plans to reduce pain and correct underlying movement dysfunctions allowing patients to maximize their functional potential and reach their goals.



Adam Paicely

Adam Paicely, DPT, OCS

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Paicely grew up in Thousand Oaks, California. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which he completed in 2013. While at Cal Poly, he discovered his love of physical therapy and decided to pursue it as a career. From there, he went on to Western Kentucky University where he received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2017. In 2018, he completed a year-long orthopedic residency program at Loma Linda Medical Center, which provided him with a strong foundation in managing chronic orthopedic conditions. He enjoys athletics, particularly basketball and ultimate Frisbee. He continues to compete in ultimate Frisbee and has competed as a semi-professional athlete in the sport. In his free time, Dr. Paicely enjoys spending quality time with his friends and family as well as being outdoors, whether it is at the beach or hiking.

Treatment Philosophy:
My approach to patient care emphasizes the identification of movement faults and utilizing pathomechanics to establish a treatment plan that combines movement retraining, therapeutic exercise, and manual therapy to empower the patient throughout the rehabilitation process.



Cooper Lee

Cooper Lee, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Dr. Cooper Lee knew that his passion in life was to help people. During his undergraduate years at California State University of Long Beach, Dr. Lee pursued photography and used the media of art to display social injustice. However, in 2015, Dr. Lee’s course of life changed when he became interested in helping people through the medical field while volunteering his time in India. Dr. Lee received his Doctor of Physical Therapy at Loma Linda University in 2016 and completed a year-long orthopedic residency program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, which concentrated on diagnosing and intervening various complex chronic orthopedic injuries. Dr. Lee is interested in all sports but grew up playing tennis since he was 5 years old. He continued to play tennis in high school, for two years in college and is still competing competitively in the United States Tennis Association leagues. In his free time, Dr. Lee enjoys playing tennis, basketball, football, and volleyball.

Treatment Philosophy:
I take the time to understand how and why the patient’s movements are causing their pain, which gives me the platform to treat my patients, specific to their needs.



Erik Nelson

Erik Nelson, PT, MPT

Master of Physical Therapy

A California native, Erik Nelson received his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Mount Saint Mary's College in 1999. Erik’s clinical experience has been focused in the realm of orthopedic and sports physical therapy, which includes a strong emphasis on manual therapy and biomechanical analysis. Erik consistently designs innovative and highly individualized programs for his patients, creating an interesting, productive, informative, and enjoyable rehabilitation and fitness regimen which carries into each individuals post recovery lifestyle.

Erik’s talent and commitment have created an enthusiastic demand for his teaching services as well. In this capacity he has served as Clinical Instructor to students from Physical Therapy graduate programs across the country. Having mentored many beginning practitioners as an instructor, Erik is widely respected among practicing clinicians and has developed strong relationships with academic and research professionals.

Erik’s passion for health and fitness is also well represented in his personal life. A prior certified ski instructor at Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Erik has not limited himself to the snow, participating in competitive soccer and water skiing. Erik’s favorite hobbies also include mountain biking, surfing, and scuba diving in addition to spending time with his wife and daughter.

Erik’s personal history of competitive and recreational sports and a variety of occupational positions prior to physical therapy has, on more than one occasion, been interrupted by his own injury and rehabilitation. Far from regretting this history of injury, Erik draws upon it daily, relating to and understanding the experiences of his patients from a very personal point of view.

Treatment Philosophy:
My approach to patient care emphasizes the identification of movement faults and utilizing pathomechanics to establish a treatment plan that combines movement retraining, therapeutic exercise, and manual therapy to empower the patient throughout the rehabilitation process.



Kimberly Kenyon

Kimberly Kenyon, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Kimberly Kenyon, DPT received her doctorate in physical therapy from Saint Louis University. She originally became interested in physical therapy after multiple injuries as a ballerina. Her experience is in outpatient orthopedics and she continues to work with an emphasis on manual therapy and sports injuries. She enjoys treating patients of all levels including sports injuries, sprains, and strains, post-operative and degenerative conditions. She has a special interest in a hands-on approach and education to continue exercise at home to improve function and prevent further injury. Kimberly loves to help patients transition from rehabilitation to wellness and helping patients return to the activities they love and their previous level of function in activities of daily living, sports, and recreation.

Treatment Philosophy:
Kimberly was raised in Chicago and went to school in St. Louis but always dreamt of living in California. In the summer of 2017, Kimberly relocated to Los Angeles. She loves embracing the active lifestyle of the community. and in her free time, Kimberly enjoys spending time outdoors including hiking, relaxing at the beach, and exploring the city.