Jennifer Hungate, PT, DPT, MS
Co-Owner and Physical Therapist
Board-Certified Specialist in Women's Health Physical Therapy
The co-owner of Vitality, Jennifer brings over a decade of advanced experience to the clinic. She is a board certified clinical specialist in women's health physical therapy, and has dedicated her career to treating women with complex pelvic and back pain pain, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and everything in between. She is passionate about helping women restore their health, confidence, and vitality through physical therapy. Jennifer’s clients appreciate her deep understanding of women’s health, her ability to break down complex concepts, and her nurturing approach to treatment.
While working at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, she developed a special interest in the management of prenatal and postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction and musculoskeletal pain, and worked closely with Northwestern's Integrated Pelvic Health Program. She also taught courses for various organizations, and trained Northwestern obstetrics and gynecology residents.
Jennifer served as an item writer for the national board examination on women's health and currently serves as Vice President of the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, A Component of the APTA.
Why I practice
women’s physical therapy
My first women's health patient was a woman in her early 30’s who was unable to have intercourse with her spouse due to a long history of pelvic pain. After that experience, I started treating new mothers unable to care for their children and women unable to continue their jobs through pregnancy due to pain. I also treated grandmothers who were nervous to lift their grandchildren due to urinary leakage and marathoners unable to run distances due to urinary urge and frequency.
Helping these women care for and build their families and return to their favorite activities became so much more than rehabbing injury. It became a means to restore the vitality of women. For the past decade, I advanced my training to specialize in musculoskeletal dysfunction that affects women through the lifespan. My mission is to educate women and health professionals that this level of care should be standard and available to all women from childbearing to advanced years.
When I first met with Jennifer at Vitality, I was so frustrated by my inability to do the activities I loved. For years I had run long distances, had completed multiple marathons, and worked out regularly. By the time I sought out a specialist in women’s physical therapy, I could barely walk without pain let alone exercise. I am a busy working mom, so I did let this go for a very long time. My advice to anyone having this pain is to go to Vitality. Jennifer was able to quickly address the issue and put me on the path to healing. Her understanding of the pain I was experiencing and why helped me to finally see what was happening. Amy spent time with me teaching me to breathe, which also was very helpful in calming my pain. The techniques I have learned at Vitality have allowed me to return to the activities I love pain free. Only a pelvic floor specialist like Jennifer could have helped me to do this. Thank you Vitality Women’s Physical Therapy & Wellness for helping women recover from these injuries with the knowledge and understanding that will allow us to return to busy lives pain free.
Doctor of Physical Therapy: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science: 2003
Masters of Science Kinesiology: University of Colorado, Boulder: 1999
Bachelors of Science Exercise Science: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: 1997
Women's Health Physical Therapy
McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) completed all levels of training
Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic PT (CAPP-Pelvic)
Certificate in Women’s Health: Rosalind Franklin University/The Chicago Medical School: 2008
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Section on Women's Health, APTA
Director of Practice (2013-2019)
Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, APTA
Vice President (2019-2021)
Elmhurst Area Moms