Antonio Varela, PT, DPT, PhD

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy

Dr. Varela brings 20 yrs of experience in musculoskeletal health including pain management to the School of Physical Therapy. His professional and teaching principles were paved through residency and fellowship, grounded in rich patient experiences, and reinforced by serving those surviving chronic pain, cancer, and war. Dr. Varela believes there is a better version of our selves ready to push through. This working philosophy is underscored when helping people aspire toward specific goals despite managing pain, dysfunction, and disability. He brings the mind-body connection and the positive psychology of discipline, resilience, and self-efficacy to the classroom.


  • Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy – The University of North Florida
  • Master of Health Science – The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy – The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
  • PhD in Human Behaviors – Capella University


  • Member of The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (FAAOMPT)
  • Manual Therapy Certified (MTC)
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT)
  • Certified Cancer Specialist

Areas of Expertise/Interest

  • Positive Psychology (self-efficacy)
  • Musculoskeletal Health
  • Meditation
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Functional Exercise and Activity
  • Efficient Healthcare

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