Faculty

Smita Rao

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

Smita Rao

Phone: 212-998-9194
Email:

Curriculum Vitae/Syllabi

Dr. Smita Rao is a clinician-scientist, who trained as a physical therapist and earned a Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) and Master of Science (Orthopedic Physiotherapy) at the University of Mumbai, India. She obtained her academic doctorate at the University of Iowa in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. Her dissertation examined foot and ankle changes in patients with diabetes. She completed a two-year post doctoral fellowship funded by the Arthritis Foundation, at Ithaca College's Movement Analysis Lab in Rochester, NY. Most recently, she reveived a Rheumatology Scientist Development Award from the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation. 

Her work is uniquely translational, and explores the mechanisms by which human movement contributes to patients’ symptoms, physical function, and ultimately, quality of life. Specifically, her research agenda seeks to: 1) Identify impairments contributing to patients’ symptoms, 2) Develop and implement interventions that target specific impairments. Ongoing projects span a number of clinical populations including individuals with osteoarthritis and individuals with diabetes. She uses a number of innovative methods, from self-report outcomes and clinical evaluations to 3D motion analysis, electromyography, plantar pressure, ultra-high field MRI imaging and molecular biomarkers in her research. 

 

 


Degrees Held

  • Ph.D. University of Iowa 2006
    Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
  • M.S. Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, University of Bombay 2000
    Orthopedic / Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy
  • B.S. Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, University of Bombay 1998
    Physical Therapy

Awards

  • 2012 : ACR REF Rheumatology Scientist Development Award
  • 2009 : Invited Poster, Annual Meeting, Orthopedic Research Society
  • 2008 : Best e-Poster Award, Annual Meeting, American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society
  • 2006 : Honorable Mention, Outstanding Graduate Student as Mentor Award, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • 2005 : Nominee, Young Investigator Award, International Society of Biomechanics
  • 2004 : Whitaker Student Award, Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society
  • 2003 : Whitaker Student Award, Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society
  • 2003 : Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, The University of Iowa
  • 2000 : KC Mahindra Trust Scholarship for Post Graduate Studies in the US, Bombay, India
  • 1998 : Sir Dorab Tata Merit Scholarship, Bombay, India

Selected Publications

  • S Rao, Quantifying foot function in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis – recent advances and clinical implications. Invited Editorial, Arthritis Care & Research.
  • S Rao, J Riskowski J, M Hannan. Musculoskeletal conditions of the foot and ankle: Assessments and treatment options. Invited Review, Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 2012 Jun;26(3):345-68. (view)
  • S Rao, Carter S. Regional In-shoe Plantar Loading during Walking, Stair Ascent and Descent. Gait and Posture, 2012 Jun; 36(2):265-70. (view)
  • S Rao, Dietz F, Yack HJ. Estimates of Gastrocnemius Muscle Length during Simulated Pathological Gait. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Epub 2012 July 6.
  • S Rao, F Dietz, HJ Yack. Kinematics and Kinetics during Gait in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Limbs of Children with Myelomeningocele. Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. 2012; 32 (1): 106-112. (link)
  • S Rao, Song J, Kraszewski A, Backus S, Ellis SJ, Deland JT, Hillstrom HJ. The Effect of Foot Structure on 1st Metatarsophalangeal Joint Flexibility and Hallucal Loading. Gait and Posture. 2011; 34 (1):131-7. (view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer JF, Nawoczenski DA. Is Barefoot Regional Plantar Loading Related To Self-Reported Foot Pain In Patients With Midfoot Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2011; 19 (8): 1019-25. (view)
  • Wilken JM, S Rao, (corresponding author) Estin M, Saltzman CL, Yack HJ. A New Device for Assessing Ankle Dorsiflexion Range of Motion: Reliability and Validity. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. (In Press) (view)
  • Wilken JM, S Rao, (corresponding author) Saltzman CL, Yack HJ. The Effect of Arch Height on Kinematic Coupling during Walking. Clinical Biomechanics. 2011; 26: 318–323 (view)
  • S Rao, Ellis SJ, Deland JT, Hillstrom HJ. (Invited Review) Nonmedicinal therapy in the management of ankle arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2010; 22(2):223-228 (view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer JF, Tome J, Nawoczenski DA. Orthoses Alter In Vivo Segmental Foot Kinematics during Walking in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2010; 91: 608-615. (view)
  • S Rao, Saltzman CL, Yack HJ. The Relationship between Segmental Foot mobility and Loading in Individuals with and without Diabetes and Neuropathy. Gait Posture. 2010; 31(2): p. 251-5. (view)
  • Patel A, S Rao, Nawoczenski D, Baumhauer J. (Invited Review) Midfoot Arthritis: Nonoperative Options and Decision Making for Fusion. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2010;18: 1-10 (view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer JF, Tome J, Nawoczenski DA. Comparison of in vivo segmental foot motion during walking and step descent in patients with midfoot arthritis and matched asymptomatic control subjects. J Biomech. 2009;42:1054-1060. (view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer JF, Becica L, Nawoczenski DA. Shoe inserts alter plantar loading and function in patients with midfoot arthritis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2009;39:522-53. (view)
  • S Rao, Nawoczenski D, Baumhauer J. Midfoot arthritis: nonoperative options and decision making for fusions. Techniques in Foot & Ankle Surgery. September 2008;73(3):188-95. (view)
  • S Rao, Saltzman CL, Yack HJ. Segmental foot mobility in individuals with and without diabetes and neuropathy. Clin Biomech. 2007;22(4):464-71. (view)
  • S Rao, Yack HJ, Wilken JM, Saltzman CL. Increased passive ankle stiffness and reduced dorsiflexion range of motion in individuals with diabetes mellitus. Foot Ankle Int. 2006;27(8):617-22. (view)
  • S Rao, Saltzman CL, Yack HJ. Ankle rom and stiffness measured at rest and during gait in individuals with and without diabetes and neuropathy. Gait Posture. 2006 Nov;24(3):295-301. (view)

Selected Presentations

  • Smita Rao, Invited Keynote. Midfoot Ostoearthritis: Evidence and Opportunities. ISPO-Sweden, Stockholm 2012
  • Smita Rao, Betty Chow, Scott Silverling. Early Rehabilitation for Hip and Foot OA: Opportunities and Challenges. (Instructional Symposium) American College of Rheumatology / Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, Washington DC, 2012
  • S Rao, K Gross, J Niu, M Nevitt, J Torner, C Lewis, J Hietpas, D Felson, H Hillstrom. Are pressure time integral and cumulative stress related to 1st MTP pain: The MOST Study. World Congress on Osteoarthritis, Barcelona, Spain 2012
  • S Rao, H Hillstrom, M Hannan. Foot Structure, Footwear and Foot Pain. Translating Evidence into Practice (Instructional Symposium) Americal College of Rhumatology / ARHP Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2011
  • Smita Rao, Renata Ripa. Gluteus Medius, Rectus Femoris, Peroneus Longus and Medial gastrocnemius Activation is Influenced by Footwear and Activity. International Society of Biomechanics, Brussels 2011
  • J Park, K Mroczek, C Chapman, S Sheskier, G Civarra, J Weatherall, Smita Rao Reliability of Radiographic Grades Used to Assess 1st Metatarsophalangeal Joint Osteoarthritis. Summer Meeting, American Foot and Orthopedic Society, Denver, CO 2011
  • S Rao, C Neville. Mechanisms Underlying Effectiveness of Foot Orthoses – A Translational Perspective. (Tutorial, Accepted) American College of Sports Medicine, Denver, CO 2011
  • S Rao Comparison of Plantar Pressure sustained during Activities of Daily Living. (Invited Speaker) NY / NJ APTA Conference, Atlantic City, NJ (view)
  • S Rao, J Song, A Kraszewski, S Backus, S Ellis, J Deland, H Hillstrom. The Effect of Foot Structure on 1st Metatarsophalangeal Joint Flexibility and Hallucal Loading. 2nd Congress of the International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics Community, Seattle(view)
  • S Rao, O Lo, L Iannuzzi, K Mroczek. Symmetry of Plantar Pressure during Self-Selected Walking, Fast Walking, Heel Raise and Sit-to-Stand Activities. American Society of Biomechanics, Providence, RI, 2010 (view)
  • S Rao, A Miana, H Hillstrom et al. Effect of Plication on Gleno-humeral Translation – A Preliminary In Vitro Study. American Society of Biomechanics, Providence, RI, 2010 (view)
  • S Rao, S Carter, Y Chen, K. Mroczek. Reliability of Regional Plantar Pressure during Walking, Stair Ascent and Descent. American Society of Biomechanics, Providence, RI, 2010 (view)
  • IK Saha, AE Dirik, U Topkara, N Memon, GM Gutierrez, S Rao. Reliability and Validity of Accelerometer-based Smartphones to Assess Physical Activity. American Society of Biomechanics, Providence, RI, 2010 (view)
  • S Rao, D Nawoczenski, J Baumhauer. Functional Metatarsal Length in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. (Podium Presentation) JEGM Miami, 2010 (view)
  • O Lo*, L Iannuzzi, K Mroczek, S Rao. Comparison of In-shoe Plantar Loading During Walking, Heel Raise and Sit-to-Stand Activities. JEGM Miami, 2010 (view)
  • Y Chen*, J Baumhauer, D Nawoczenski, H Hillstrom, S Rao. Principal Components Analysis to assess Plantar Pressure Patterns in Individuals with Midfoot Arthritis compared to Control Subjects. JEGM Miami, 2010 (view)
  • D Nawoczenski, S Rao, C Neville, J Houck. How do Orthotic/Bracing Interventions Really Work? (Instructional Course, Accepted) Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association, San Diego, CA, 2010(view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer J, Nawoczenski D. Barefoot plantar loading in patients with midfoot arthritis during walking. Annual Meeting of the European Society of Movement Analysis for Adults and Children, London, UK, 2009
  • S Rao, Understanding Functional Movements in Patients with Arthritis (Study Group with D. Stiskal, PT, PhD) American College of Rheumatology / Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Scientific Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 2009 (view)
  • S Rao, A Miana, H Hillstrom. et al. Comparison of Gleno-humeral Kinematics obtained using Bone Pins and Surface Markers - A Preliminary Analysis. American Society of Biomechanics, State College, PA 2009 (view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer J, Nawoczenski D. Factors contributing to Impairments in Self-Reported Outcomes in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. American College of Rheumatology, San Francisco, 2008 (view)
  • S Rao, Nawoczenski D, Houck J. Optimizing Conservative Intervention for Patients with Midfoot Arthritis (Instructional Course) Pedorthic Footwear Association Meeting, Nashville, TN, 2008 (view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer J, Tome J, Nawoczenski D. Comparison of In Vivo Segmental Foot Mobility during Walking and Step Descent in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. 1st International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics Congress, Bologna, Italy, 2008 (view)
  • S Rao, Baumhauer J, Nawoczenski D. Shoe Inserts Alter In Vivo Segmental Motion in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. Summer Meeting, American Foot and Orthopedic Society, Denver, CO, 2008 (view)
  • S Rao, Becica L, Baumhauer J, Nawoczenski D. The Effect of Foot Orthoses on Three-Dimensional Segmental Kinematics of the Foot in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. Annual Meeting, Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society, Richmond, VA, 2008
  • S Rao, Becica L, Baumhauer J, Nawoczenski D. Uncovering Mechanisms Underlying the Effectiveness of Shoe Inserts in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association, Nashville, TN, 2008 (view)
  • S Rao, Nawoczenski D, Baumhauer J. Uncovering the Effects of Shoe Inserts on Plantar Loading in Patients with Midfoot Arthritis. Summer Meeting, American Foot and Orthopedic Society, Toronto, Canada, 2007
  • S Rao, Saltzman C, Yack HJ. The Relationship between Segmental Foot Mobility and Loading in Individuals with and without Diabetes and Neuropathy. Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association, Boston, MA, 2007
  • S Rao, Arthur A, Fancher B, Hentges L, Massman J, Vierling A, Yack HJ. Understanding Foot Structure and Function: The Relationship between First Ray and Ankle Stiffness and Plantar Pressures. CSM, APTA, Boston, MA, 2007 (view)
  • S Rao, Saltzman C, Yack HJ. Segmental Foot Mobility in Individuals with and without Diabetes and Neuropathy. Annual Meeting, American Society of Biomechanics, Blacksburg, VA, 2006 (view)

Copyright and Attribution

Unless noted otherwise, all components of this document and the accompanying source code and binary files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/; or, (b) send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 2nd Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Photo copyright Raj Sarma. www.rajsarma.com.

Research Interests

  • Translational research in diabetes and osteoarthritis
  • Gait analysis, plantar pressure
  • Self-reported outcomes, musculoskeletal imaging
  • Evidence-based Practice, Sports Medicine
  • Kinematic and computational models of the foot