About Us 2017-01-04T17:23:11+00:00


Function1st Physical Therapy is dedicated to providing the most advanced techniques available, in a warm and caring environment that is positive, nurturing and progressive.

We work closely with all our patients physicians to ensure we are treating the “whole patient”, and not just isolated components. Our staff is compassionate, educated, intelligent and sensitive to the many situations and issues that arise in the lives of our patients and clients.

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We specialize in orthopaedics, and pre and post surgical conditions, as well as more specialized medical issues including:

  • Work Injuries
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Pre/Post Surgical Rehabilitation
  • Back & Neck Pain
  • Joint Stiffness and Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Orthopaedic diagnosis
  • Chronic Pain
  • and much more

See our Conditions Treated page for a more complete list.


Al Flores, PT, CFCE

Physical Therapist, Director, and Owner
Bilingual: Spanish

Al Flores is the owner and director of Function1st Physical Therapy, LLC. He received his bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and his physical therapy degree from the prestigious physiotherapy/manual therapy program at University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Al is fluent in Spanish and has been treating patients in the Chicago area for 14 years. Through the years he has successfully directed staff physical therapists, athletic trainers and exercise specialists and has personally treated thousands of patients since 1998.

Al’s continued education course work includes a number of manual therapy courses; muscle energy, myofacial release, and plyometric and core stabilization techniques. Having a particular interest in the treatment and prevention of work-related and athletic injuries, Al integrates functional movement patterns into his rehab programs for all injuries and dysfunction. Recent coursework includes training in Functional Capacity Evaluations and Work Hardening/Conditioning Treatments. He recently received the Certified Functional Capacity Evaluator Certification (CFCE) through Occupro and has been WorkWell Certified in FCE’s and Work Rehabilitation for 14 years.

Al lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Leslie, who is also a physical therapist, and two daughters, Amanda and Kylie. He enjoys a variety of hobbies including travelling, reading and P90X/core stabilization workouts.

Marcin Cwikla, PT, MOMT

Physical Therapist, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Functional Therapy Evaluator
Bilingual: Polish

In 1994, Marcin began his career when he received his Masters of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Physical Education, Cracow, Poland. In 1996, he received a diploma from the completion of five level Manual Therapy program from the Polish Society of Manual Therapy, Tarnowo Podgorne, Poland. Marcin also received a Certificate for the completion of Spinal Mechanical Therapy program from The McKenzie Institute, Poland in 2000. Marcin continued his education at Roy Matheson and Associates, Inc. where he received a Certificate for the completion of Functional Capacity Evaluation program in 2006. At Progressive Rehab Concept, Marcin completed a workshop for Kinesio taping Fundamentals and Kinesio taping for upper and lower extremity. In 2008, he became Certified as an Orthopaedic Manual Therapist after a 12 month program at Ola Grimsby Institute. Not stopping there, Marcin received Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo training at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in 2009. In 2012, Marcin received a Functional Capacity Evaluation Certification Training at OccuPro Systems and Solutions. He enhanced his expertise there by obtaining a Comprehensive Industrial Rehab Training as well as an Advanced Functional Capacity Evaluation Training in 2012.

Career Interests/Goals: Sports injuries, manual therapy, & work injuries.

Fun fact: Enjoys skiing, and biking.

Stephanie Perez, Patient Care Coordinator

Administrative Supervisor
Bilingual: Spanish

Stephanie is a graduating senior at DePaul University who will obtain a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Human Development, with minors in Creative Writing and Anthropology. In addition to being a committed employee at Function1st, Stephanie is also a Jumpstart Corps Member through an AmeriCorps program that concerns itself with offering equal opportunity to under-resourced communities by partnering with community preschools and providing session plans to their preschoolers, aiding in their social, emotional, and literacy development. Through this program Stephanie has been certified as a DCFS Mandated Reporter. Moreover, Stephanie is also a Research Assistant in a Psychology Lab at DePaul University which focuses on Emotion and Cognition in younger and older adults. Stephanie’s paved career path is to utilize her passions, her education and her experience to become a creative Psychological Therapist and serve as a resource in under-resourced communities.

Fun fact: Stephanie is passionate about writing and performing poetry. You can find her on YouTube!

Gloria Vergara, Billing Supervisor/Patient Care Coordinator

Billing Supervisor/Patient Care Coordinator
Bilingual: Spanish

Gloria is a certified Medical Assistant through Everest College. Gloria has also received certifications in Employment Testing & Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) Training, Functional Job Analysis Training, CPR Training and Mastering the Medicare Maze Certification. She plans on going back to school in August of 2014 to receive her PTA.

Career Interests: Gloria has worked in the world of Physical Therapy since September of 2010. She completed her externship at OrthoCare PT, and shortly after was hired at a Physical Therapy Clinic as the Industrial Rehab Coordinator, where she assisted the Physical Therapist in conducting pre-employment testing, fit-for-duty testing and FCE’s. She was later introduced to the billing aspect of Physical Therapy and is utilizing her skills effectively.

Fun- Fact: Raised on the north side; however, she is a die HARD White Sox Fan!

“Great staff. Love the one on one attention from the therapist, he’s awesome. The message therapist is amazing. Clean and friendly facility. I would definitely recommend to anyone..”
Kisha L.• Patient