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Abbigail_Fietzer
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Phone: 2550
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E-mail: afietzer@msmu.edu

Abbigail Fietzer - PT, DPT, PhD

Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy

PhD, University of Southern California, Biokinesiology (Biomechanics and Neuromotor Control emphasis)
DPT, Mount St. Mary’s University, Physical Therapy
BS, Occidental College, Biology (Biochemistry emphasis)

Biography

Dr. Fietzer is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. She also serves as the Wellness Coordinator for the MSMU undergraduate student athletes. Dr. Fietzer graduated from Occidental College with an advanced bachelor’s degree in Biology (biochemistry emphasis) and a minor in Classical Studies. She achieved her DPT from Mount Saint Mary’s University. After four years in a broad range of clinical practice settings, she returned to school with a keen interest in biomechanical and neuromotor control-related research. She earned her PhD in Biokinesiology from the University of Southern California.   

Dr. Fietzer received several poster and platform presentation awards at various conferences, and is a two-time funding recipient of the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Her research focuses on the influence of altered biomechanical and neuromotor control factors related to the development and recurrence of overuse injury. Her recent studies employed uncontrolled manifold analysis to examine differences in the sources and types of movement variability in those with and without a history of Achilles tendinopathy. She has also explored the capacity for verbal cues directing attentional focus externally to alter this variability structure in these two populations. Her studies seek to inform interventions to prevent symptom recurrence and injury progression.

Dr. Fietzer maintains a small private practice in sports and orthopedic physical therapy. She has provided medical coverage for Cirque du Soleil, the Lucinda Childs Dance Company, and the Association of Volleyball Professionals. She previously served as a representative of the Greater Los Angeles District to the California Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Research interests:

The influence of altered biomechanical and neuromotor control factors related to the development and recurrence of overuse injury.

Courses taught in the program:

PT 402 Biomechanics
PT 471 A Musculoskeletal Client Management Part 1
PT 491 Research II: Research Design & Statistics
PT 493 Research IV: Survey & Outcomes Research
PT 494 Scientific Writing
PT 495A Research V: Research Development
PT 495B Research VI: Research Development
PT 495C Research VII: Capstone Project

Publications:

  • Rowley KM, Jarvis DN, Kurihara T, Chang YJ, Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Toe flexor strength, flexibility and function, and flexor hallucis longus tendon morphology in dancers and non-dancers. Medical Problems of Performing Artists. 2015;30(3):151-155.
  • Fietzer AL, Chang YJ, Kulig K. Dancers with patellar tendinopathy exhibit higher vertical and braking ground reaction forces during landing. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2012;30(11):1157-1163.
  • Kulig K, Fietzer AL, Popovich JM Jr. Ground reaction forces and knee mechanics in the weight-acceptance phase of a dance leap takeoff and landing. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2011;29(2):125-131.

Scientific Presentations:

  • Baquet A, Ho KY, Chang YJ, Fietzer AL, Evers M, Strassberg CE, Bashford G, Kulig K. 2D ultrasound-based characterization of Achilles tendon micromorphology in runners using spatial frequency parameters. American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting LXV, Minneapolis MN USA, 2018.
  • Strassberg CE, Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Limb and joint stiffnesses differ between tendinopathic and uninvolved limbs in unilateral Achilles tendinopathy. American Physical Therapy Association combined sections meeting XLIII, New Orleans LA USA, 2018.
  • Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Tales from the uninvolved limb: motor control in unilateral Achilles tendinopathy. American Society of Biomechanics annual meeting XLI, Boulder CO USA, 2017.
  • Fietzer AL, Koyama Y, Kulig K. Changes in movement variability with increased mechanical demand may be influenced by limb preference. International Society of Biomechanics congress XXVI, Brisbane Australia, 2017.
  • Fietzer AL, Koyama Y, Kulig K. Symmetry of intra-limb variability response differs between internal and external foci. North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity annual conference L, San Diego CA USA, 2017.
  • Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Attentional focus manipulation alters variability response to increased mechanical demand in hopping. Society for the Neural Control of Movement annual meeting XXVII, Dublin Ireland, 2017.
  • Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Motor control differs between tendinopathic and uninvolved limbs in unilateral Achilles tendinopathy – Preliminary results. American Physical Therapy Association combined sections meeting XLII, San Antonio TX USA, 2017.
  • Fietzer AL, Koyama Y, Kulig K. Shifted focus of attention alters the structure of variability during hopping. International Scientific Conference on Motor Control V, Wisla Poland, 2016.
  • Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Increasing task demand shifts the structure of variability in hopping. American Society of Biomechanics annual meeting XL, Raleigh NC USA, 2016.
  • Fietzer AL, Solnik S, Babikian S, Kulig K. Variability structure measures differ between uninvolved and tendinopathic limbs; typical kinematic measures do not. American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting LXIII, Boston MA USA, 2016.
  • Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Application of uncontrolled manifold analysis to overuse injury. Motor Control Summer School XII, Ligonier PA USA, 2015.
  • Rowley KM, Jarvis DN, Kurihara T, Chang YJ, Fietzer AL, Kulig K. Toe flexor strength, flexibility and function, and flexor hallucis longus tendon morphology in dancers and non-dancers. International Association for Dance Medicine and Science annual meeting XXV, Pittsburgh PA USA, 2015.
  • Fietzer AL, Chang YJ, Kulig K. Knee joint angular stiffness during landing in males with and without patellar tendinopathy. American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting LVIII, Denver CO USA, 2011.
  • Fietzer AL, Popovich JM Jr., Cabot A, Ickes D, Shrier G, Tyler K, Hemphill S, Kulig K. Ground reaction forces during the landing phase of a saut de chat: a comparison of healthy dancers and dancers with patellar tendinopathy. International Association for Dance Medicine and Science annual meeting XIX, The Hague Netherlands, 2009.
  • Fietzer AL, Asami D, Pollard CD, Arya S, Souza RB, Popovich JM Jr., Kulig K. Ground reaction forces and knee moments during the takeoff and landing phases of a saut de chat. California Physical Therapy Association annual conference, Pasadena CA USA, 2009.
  • Fietzer AL, Popovich JM Jr., Cabot A, Ickes D, Shrier G, Tyler K, Hemphill S, Kulig K. Ground reaction forces during the landing phase of a saut de chat – comparing healthy dancers and dancers with patellar tendinopathy. California Physical Therapy Association annual conference, Pasadena CA USA, 2009.
  • Fietzer AL, Asami D, Pollard CD, Arya S, Souza RB, Popovich JM Jr., Kulig K. Ground reaction forces and knee mechanics during the takeoff and landing phases of a grand jeté. American Physical Therapy Association combined sections meeting XXXIV, Las Vegas NV USA, 2009.