Progress Physical Therapy

The Team



Learn about the Progress Physical Therapy team and discover the difference.


The Progress Team

Lori von Alten

Dr. von Alten has been a practicing physical therapist for over 30 years. Her list of satisfied clients include everyone from professional athletes who have been able to extend their careers to retirees who are able to remain active and enjoy their golden years.

Lori, as her patients refer to her, has a passion for helping her clients find the “driver” for their pain and getting them back to being their best. She founded Progress Physical Therapy in 2002 in order to be able to treat her patients with a hands-on, comprehensive, whole body approach that is not generally practiced at traditional physical therapy facilities.

Lori has extensive experience working with athletes. She has worked with many National Hockey League players, helping them to rehab from injuries, remain in the game and extend their careers. She assisted in treatment with the Carolina Hurricanes from 2001-2007. And from 1999 to 2013 she served as the physical therapist for the Carolina Ballet, an internationally acclaimed professional ballet company. She continues to provide physical therapy services to all genres of dancers and treats students from multiple ballet schools in the Triangle area. She has also served as a consultant for North Carolina State University athletics and as an athletic trainer for the Wake County high school football program. Most recently, she has had the opportunity to work with a 2021 Track and Field Canadian Olympic athlete as well as other collegiate and professional track and field athletes in the Triangle area.

Lori has a strong interest in analyzing and improving posture and walking/running biomechanics in her clients and determining when custom foot orthotics can be of benefit to improve function. She has taught courses on gait analysis and retraining gait biomechanics. Lori has worked with recreational, elite, and professional athletes in swimming, tennis, track and field, hockey, golf, running, soccer, football, ultimate frisbee, and dance (ballet, hip hop, jazz, breakdancing, modern, contemporary).

In 2013, Lori began studying and practicing in the models of the Integrated Systems Model (ISM) (Lee & Lee), ConnectTherapyTM (Lee, LJ), and The Thoracic Ring ApproachTM (Lee, LJ). These treatment models focus on treating the cause of dysfunction as opposed to simply managing symptoms. Through her studies, Lori has become more efficient in solving her patients’ issues by making proper connections between current symptoms, old injuries and compensation patterns, along with developing exercise programs to help her clients return to healthy and efficient movement patterns.

Lori has also learned visceral manipulation with the Barral Institute, implemented dry needling to compliment her ConnectTherapyTM approach to treatment, and taken extensive coursework through the Institute of Physical Art where she learned how to assess all regions of the body while her clients move functionally, and then apply her manual skills during functional movement. Lori continues to seek out training from these and other organizations who offer innovative treatment options that can ultimately benefit her patients.

Lori received her BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed the curriculum for her athletic training certification at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University.

Outside of the clinic, Lori loves to travel, cycle, hike, backpack, kayak, paddleboard, downhill and cross-country ski, and walk her pup, Hachiko (Hachi). Most of all, she loves doing all these activities with her two boys, Austin and Hiatt. Lori and Hachi also volunteer with “Pets at Duke” in adult radiation oncology and pediatric oncology and with PetPalsNC, where they provide comfort and emotional support to students at the North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM). There is nothing more rewarding in Lori’s mind than the gift of giving to others!

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Cindy Douglass

The first person you will meet at Progress Physical Therapy is our amazing Office Manager, Cindy Douglas. Cindy joined Progress PT in the summer of 2013 and has become an indispensable team player. She enjoys meeting and greeting our clients, and tenaciously handles the daily responsibilities associated with managing our clinic to keep it clean, safe, and operating smoothly. Clients often comment on how efficient, organized, and polite Cindy is and how much they enjoy interacting with her.

Cindy has also been a patient at Progress PT, so she is very empathetic to all of the patients she deals with. She understands the stress persistent pain puts on a patient. She is accustomed to talking to clients who have been in pain for a long time and who have grown frustrated after failing to get relief after seeking treatment from many other health care professionals. She works diligently to manage Lori’s schedule to get new patients in as soon as possible.

Cindy grew up at Carolina Beach, NC and considers herself a beach girl at heart. Cindy graduated from East Carolina University Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Prior to joining Progress PT, Cindy worked as a legislative assistant to a North Carolina State Congresswoman.

Outside of work, Cindy enjoys spending time with her husband, her two god-daughters, and her two cats. She also likes walking, reading, and collecting sea glass.

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Hachi the dog

Hachi is our furry, four-legged staff member who provides amazing emotional support to all our clients and puts a smile on the face of everyone entering our clinic (including the mail carrier and other tenants in our building). Hachi is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier who has the most comforting demeanor with every human and animal he meets. He LOVES everybody! Hachi is a certified pet therapy dog through Love on a Leash and is “employed” by Pets at Duke and PetPalsNC. He provides comfort to patients at Duke Hospital in outpatient adult radiation oncology and inpatient pediatric oncology several times each month. As his handler, Lori can say that seeing the joy he brings to those who are suffering is extremely heartwarming. Through PetPalsNC, Hachi provides emotional support to students attending the North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM) boarding school in Durham.

Outside of his pet therapy duties, Hachi LOVES to walk/run, hike (he kills the rock scrambles), swim, kayak, paddleboard, chase squirrels and rabbits, and spend time with his two brothers, Austin and Hiatt. He especially enjoys his walks with Cindy as she always gives him a treat afterwards. 😊


Progress Physical Therapy