Tim's experience working with athletes started as a student Athletic Trainer in the Springfield College Sports Medicine Program.  Tim was a former High School athlete who went to Springfield College to be a Physical Education Teacher and Coach, with the goal of being a College Basketball Coach.  He was introduced to the Athletic Training Program his Freshman year and applied to the program.   Tim was accepted into the program and graduated with a Degree in Physical Education and Athletic Training in 1987.  At Springfield College Tim had team assignments with Varsity Soccer, Basketball, Football, Lacrosse and was involved in treating athletes from many sports.  In the summer of 1986 Tim was asked by the new head coach at Springfield to be the Athletic Trainer for a Summer Professional basketball team, the Westchester Golden Apples of the United States Basketball League.  He returned his  Senior year and completed an Internship in Athletic Training at Deerfield Academy under the guidance of Hall Of Fame Trainer Chuck Demers.
After graduation Tim took a job with ATRA Sports Medicine in Paramus NJ and worked at their Physical Therapy clinic and was placed as the Athletic Trainer at Elmwood Park High School.  The following year Tim took a job as a Teacher and Athletic Trainer at Lakeland High School in Wanaque NJ.  He worked there for 3 years before getting into Old Dominion University's Physical Therapy Program. Tim also worked in the summers gaining a broad range of experiences.  He worked at The Cosmos Soccer Camp, The Berkshire Hockey School, and one summer he worked for a group of Orthopedic Surgeons in New Jersey.
Tim continued to work with Athletes once he became a Physical Therapist.  In 1996 he was invited to work at the First Round of the 1996 Olympic Soccer Tournament that was held in Washington DC.  At Sports & Spinal Physical Therapy Tim worked with The Washington Ballet, The Junior Tennis Champions Center bellama testi http://www.bccbaseball.com/bcc/index.html, vesa testi http://www.jtcc.org/coaches.htm, Bethesda Chevy Chase Baseball http://www.bccbaseball.com/bcc/index.html and denise gorham testi, and Xtreme Acceleration Sports Performance http://www.xtreme-athletes.com/ssp/about/ & testimonial.  He also had the opportunity to treat WNBA and NBA players.  Tim was involved in community outreach programs for many sports including Running, Rugby, Youth Basketball and Ultimate Frisbee.


Tim McCullough graduated with a Health and Physical Education Teaching Degree from Springfield College in 1987.  Springfield College is considered one of the top schools in the country in this area of education and produces some of the finest Teachers and Coaches in the United States.

Tim taught Health and Adapted Physical Education at Lakeland Regional Hiigh School in New Jersey,  where he developed his skills in teaching Physical tasks to people with cognitive, behavioral, and physical disabilities.  Tim learned how to carefully progress people of all learning abilities in physical skill acquisition.    He honed his teaching techniques, using verbal cueing, visual and tactile inputs, and other specific methods he was taught at Springfield.

In Physical Therapy School Tim worked in the Student Health Center at Old Dominion University as a Health Educator.  At his first two positions as a Physical Therapist he helped teach Courses with both Carole Lewis PhD (Geriatric Specialist) and Peter Boyle (Manip Therapist), two highly respected Professionals in their specialty.

Tim has done many Educational out reach programs in the community including Baseball, Tennis, Golf, and Basketball Injury Prevention presentations, Running clinics, and inservices on Low Back Pain, Headache and Jaw pain.  He has also done guest lectures at Colby Sawyer's Athletic Training Program.

Tim is an avid reader of the latest research, attends advanced courses and conferences, and enjoys teaching and learning from other Therapists. It is our responsibility to stay up on recent advances in our field. Tim has studied under Peter O'Sullivan PhD, who is a leading researcher in the area of chronic low back pain.  His research in Cognitive Functional Therapy is showing encouraging results in the treatment of chronic spinal conditions.  The changes in healthcare make it even more important that clinicians teach clients effectively to allow them to manage their condition and implement their treatment plan more independently reducing the number of visits necessary to achieve successful outcomes.

Teaching is the most important part of being a Physical Therapist.  This skill is what allows a person to  learn to help heal themselves.

Spine Care

Most acute spinal pain injuries are simple tissue injuries that calm and heal pretty much on their own . 

Some disorders of the spine do not settle within expected healing time and there are many factors that may contribute to one's pain experience.

  • Structural injury or pathology (only in 10% of cases).  A disc injury would be an example.
  •  Issues in your daily life such as lack of sleep, decreased activity and stress, home and work environmental factors
  • Poor control with posture and the way you control your spine with daily activities
  • Nervous system changes that result in lowering your pain tolerance - meaning that things that wouldn't normally hurt you do cause pain now!
  • Poor conditioning, strength and endurance of different muscle groups
  • Psychological factors such as excessive attention on pain, fear of movement, anxiety, negative beliefs regarding your pain and mood changes
  • Genetic factors - these can actually be influenced by what we do throughout our lives.

The combination of these issues are different for every patient who presents with pain. At SMART Physical Therapy we are focused at looking at the YOUR whole story and trying to find the underlying cause of your pain rather than treating symptoms.
 We will develop treatment and management approaches for improving your function and managing your pain .
  The emphasis will be on teaching you to care for yourself and be in control of your own health.

 Why SMART Physical Therapy for your Low Back Pain?

1.  At SMART PT you will receive care from an experienced Physical Therapist who has trained under some of the worlds leading clinicians in this area and is trained in the latest approaches such as Peter O'Sullivan's Cognitive Functional Therapy.  Tim has had the opportunity that only a few have had in this country, being trained by one of the leading clinicians and researchers in Low Back Pain in the world today, Peter O'Sullivan of Curtain University.  Tim has witnessed Peter assessing and treating clients during these courses which significantly impacted his approach and success in treating spine patients.  Tim has been to the last two Interdisciplinary World Congresses on Low Back Pain and Pelvic Pain, in Barcelona in 2007 and in Los Angeles in 2010.  He attended presentations on  the latest research and clinical approaches to treating Low Back Pain from the worlds experts and had opportunities to speak and form relationships with these experts. 

2.  You will be treated by a Physical Therapist every visit (No PT assistants)

An article in the September 2008 Physical Therapy Journal found that clinics that used  Physical Therapy Assistants less were:

  • 6.6 times more likely to be in the highly effective category
  • 6.7 times more likely to be in the low utilization category (takes less visits to succeed with patient).
  • 12.4 times more likely to be classifeied in the best performance group

3.  You will be treated by a Therapist with significant Manual Therapy skills and experience.  Tim McCullough has the ability to assess joint motion and treat with soft tissue work as well as perform joint mobilization and manipulation.  At Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy in Washington DC, Tim's patients were often people who had chronic Low Back Pain and had failed with other Physical Therapy or other medical approaches.  With the help of his mentor, Peter Boyle and other spine experts at the clinic, Tim developed advanced treatment skills in the treatment of Low Back and spine pain.            

At SMART Physical Therapy you will get SPINE CARE from a multifaceted approach that considers all the possible causes of your condition.

Research Based Care

SMART Physical Therapy will provide care based on the latest research in the field of Physical Therapy.  Tim reads Physical Therapy Research journals regularly learning the latest Assessment, Treatment and Exercise approaches being used by experts in the field.  He attends conferences consistently where leading experts present research and teach updated clinical assessment and treatment approaches.  He forms relationships with researchers and clinical experts so he can stay on the cutting edge of Physical Therapy and get guidance with difficult cases or questions he may have.

In the Medical Community we treat clients everyday with techniques that have yet to be  "proven" to cure the patients problems, but the research gives clinicians the background to choose treatments that are more likely to produce succeesful outcomes.  At SMART PT we utilize the information from research to guide our care: especially in the following areas:

1.  Chronic pain

In chronic pain the research has given us a framework to treat the "person" not the condition.  It has shown we need to keep the patient as active as possible, help them understand their pain with effective patient education, and to have a multifaceted approaches in the self-management of their chronic condition.  The work of David Butler and Lorimer Moseley has made an impact on Tim's approach, especially their book, "Explain Pain".  Tim also took David Butler's course of the same name and has had the opportunity to hear Lorimer Moseley speak at Low Back Pain conferences.  Their work helps the clinician find ways to reduce fear, improve their coping skills, and use graded exposure techniques to improve their tolerance to physical activity.  They have done significant research with Mirror Therapy and Graded Motor Imagery which are used to help people manage their pain.

Lorimer Moseley, Author of Explain Pain, on what pain is.

David Butler videos on Graded Exposure with exercise

2.  Low Back Pain:

Tim has spent significant time reading and studying spine research, taking courses by expert clinicians abd even attending the last two Interdisciplinary World Congresses on Low Back Pain and Pelvic Pain, in Barcelona in 2007 and in Los Angeles in 2010.  There he attended presentations on  the latest research and clinical approaches to treating Low Back Pain from the worlds experts and had opportunities to speak and form relationships with these experts.  

3.  Sports Medicine:

Tim has maintained his certification as an Athletic Trainer and has attended several National Athletic Training Conventions to take mini courses and listen to the latest Sports Medicine Research.  Tim constantly reads articles on Sports Rehabilitation and specific sports injuries.  He has done presentations on many topics such as Tennis, Golf, Rugby, Baseball, Basketball, and Running injuries in which he researched the topics extensively.  He does not rely on personal experience only in his treatment or teaching.  He believes each clinician should take advantage of all the hard work and information provided by researchers.

At SMART PT you will get treated in a personal and intuitive manner but research is still the basis of how we treat our clients.