Sports Physical Therapy


You and Your Injury

The staff at Great Northern PT understands athletic injuries can not only be painful and traumatic, but can also have significant psychological and social implications for injured athletes.

When an athlete has been removed from competition, has had to alter training goals, or is no longer able to participate in activities with their team and friends, it can and often does have an impact on quality of life.

For these reasons, we believe it is paramount to effectively treat the injured athlete to understand not only the injury but the psychosocial effects of the injury as well.

We will design very personalized treatment plans to meet your needs and goals.

By choosing Great Northern PT, not only will you be choosing Bozeman’s  Sports Physical Therapy experts in athletic rehabilitation, but you will be choosing the most effective and personalized care for your injury.

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Our expert team of physical therapists have over 65 years of combined expertise.

I highly recommend Christian Appel and Great Northern Physical Therapy. Over the last decade I have struggled tremendously with overuse injuries in various sports, many times taking me out of sport for months and even full seasons, year after year.

I have had many frustrating experiences with misdiagnoses and have been recommended treatment ranging from needing to give up doing sports I love to having major surgery. Christian has accurately diagnosed and effectively treated me through several injuries and has helped me to rethink how I approach training and recovering. After years of feeling discouraged, I am doing more than I have been able to do in years and feeling confident that I can continue to do the sports I love.

– Lauren

Great Northern PT offers injury prevention training and rehabilitation for individuals and teams participating in soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball / softball, basketball, cross-country and track & field.
The Musician as an Athlete
A member of the marching band, the orchestra, a pianist, etc. all possess extraordinary motor control, neuromuscular skills, and cognitive skills that are unique to their performance and rival the skills of any other athletic performance. Great Northern PT recognizes the demands placed on a musician’s  body during the hours of skill development and training which goes into preparation for a musical performance. Repetitive strain and postural stress injuries are common in musicians. 

By choosing Great Northern PT, not only will you be choosing Bozeman’s experts in rehabilitation of the musical athlete, but you will be choosing the most effective and personalized care for your injury.

The Outdoor Athlete
Alpine, Nordic and backcountry skiing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, cycling, triathlons, trail running, climbing, water sports, kayaking, fishing, hunting, ice skating, Paralympians; just to name a few, likely compose the largest group of athletes in Bozeman. The outdoor athlete has skill sets unique to each activity. Like all athletic injuries, injuries to the outdoor athlete greatly impact ones’ life.

By choosing Great Northern PT, not only will you be choosing Bozeman’s experts in rehabilitation of the outdoor athlete, but you will be choosing the most effective and personalized care for your injury.

The Female Athlete
We have team members who are highly trained in treatment of issues unique to the female athlete. Please see our Women’s Health section 

Our Expertise In This Arena

Our staff are considered experts in the field of sports physical therapy and have been invited speakers / presenters at local, state, national and international conferences. Kate and Kara are teaching assistants for Herman & Wallace, the leaders in Women’s Health education, including treating issues unique to the female athlete.

Some of our staff previously competed in NCAA division 1 Football, Cross-country, Track and Nordic skiing. We all continue to be involved in outdoor pursuits.

A list of some (not all) of the sports injuries we treat:


  • Knee Pain
  • ACL tear
  • ACL reconstruction 
  • Torn Meniscus
  • Meniscus Repair
  • MCL Strain
  • Arthroscopy
  • Patella femoral pain


  • Ankle sprain
  • Ankle pain

Back & Neck:


  • Shoulder Pain 
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Labral Tear / Labrum Tear
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Throwing Injuries


  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfers Elbow


  • Hip Pain
  • Labral Injuries
  • FAI



I have come to Great Northern off and on for several years but this past year I had two knee replacements 6 months apart and had many appointments during that time. My recovery was outstanding both times but I also appreciated the personal care and the way my sometimes-changing challenges were addressed. I thought there a great balance between understanding where I was at but pushing me to do a little better. I worked with Kara mostly over this past year but have also worked with James and a couple others. I think all the therapists were knowledgeable and helpful and I would definitely recommend them. As I age, I’m sure I will be back but I’m confident they will be there for me.




I had a wonderful experience working with Kate Dolan in 2021. I was experiencing urinary "urgency" and signed up for Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy with Kate. Kate is a fantastic teacher. Within a few sessions, I had no more episodes of "I'm going to pee my pants, now." As a bonus, Kate also helped me a lot with lifelong constipation issues. I really think every woman should do a few sessions of pelvic floor PT--you learn so much. At Great Northern, I've also had great experiences working with Christian Appel for my frozen shoulder and knee arthritis, and with Jim Sykes for bike fitting (a much-needed service in Bozeman). I will return to Great Northern for any PT needs in the future. (So many activities, so many joints, so many years behind me; the next injury can't be too far off, haha.)



Started PT with Christian Appel here for strengthening a-three-times-operated-on left shoulder that hurt just about all the time whenever I moved it or lifted anything. Christian commits his full time and attention to me each time I've been in. He is patient and kind. My shoulder is much stronger and more functional. It feels really good and solid. We're close to ending our sessions but more range of motion and strength apparently is available. The gym is spacious, airy and bright, and the equipment in it covers a broad range of needs. The administration is great, keeping me well-reminded of my appointments and being available and helpful when I need to reschedule or have other questions about my care. I have had plenty of interactions with others on staff and all of them have been wonderful. I've had PT at several Bozeman providers and I place GNPT at the top of them all by a wide margin. Highly recommend.



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