Care Providers

We are a group of medical professionals committed to keeping ourselves updated with cutting edge research and developments in order to provide our patients with the highest level of medical care.

We take pride in educating our patients and their families, staff and referral sources so that we can thoroughly explain and discuss our treatment recommendations and their journey to wellness.

Care Providers

The health center is under the medical direction of James Gruft, MD.Dr. Gruft  has run effective pain management programs in Chicago area for over 20 years.

James Gruft, MD, FAAPMR, DABP 

Medical Director

Dr. Karina Kennedy

Physical Therapist Manager

Dr. Karina Kennedy is a graduate from Midwestern University where she attained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  She received her BS in kinesiology and minor in Spanish at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

She is passionate about creating comprehensive treatment plans that incorporate evidence based research interventions with a positive and motivational attitude to ensure optimal patient care.

Dr. Kennedy practices the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, is a certified provider in the Graston Technique, a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, and also practices many other forms of physical therapy treatment.

She believes in working together with her patients to establish the best method of treatment that will suit their individual needs and goals.  Dr. Kennedy’s method of evaluation and treatment allows her to provide superior care for patients experiencing both chronic and acute medical conditions.

Dr. Esther Kaplan

Clinical Psychologist

Dr.  Esther Kaplan is a licensed clinical pain psychologist.  She is trained in various forms of feedback, relaxation therapy, and counseling.  Her approach is geared toward improving an individual’s ability to cope with pain and stress, improving mood and thinking habits.

Dr. Kaplan received her PhD from the University of Illinois, Chicago specializing in psychology.  She completed her internship/residency training and her fellowship in clinical psychology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  She has also received special training in Mindfulness Based on Stress Reduction/Relaxation and Guided Imagery.  She has been featured on the radio, and published in the area of health psychology and treatment outcome.

Dr. Kaplan is a compassionate and kind psychologist.

Karen Hendrickson, PT 

Physical Therapist

Karen Hendrickson, PT graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Medicine and later earned her Masters in Education at NIU. She has worked in physical therapy for more than 45 years specializing in the treatment of chronic pain. Specialties include manual therapy, visceral and nerve mobilization, craniosacral therapy, MFR, taping and instruction of  pain management techniques for improved patient care.

Margaret Kuchan, PTA has been a practicing Massage Therapist for 25 years. She returned to school and completed her Physical Therapist Assistant degree in 2011. She has additional training in The Total Control Program because of her interest in women’s health issues. She is also trained in the Classic Pilates Method.

Dr. James Gruft, founder of From Pain To Wellness LLC, received his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine. He was the medical director of one of the oldest pain management programs in the Chicago for more than 14 years before establishing his pain-management practice From Pain To Wellness LLC.

Dr. Gruft is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM & R) and Pain Medicine (DABPM). Voted as Best Doctor for the years 2002 to present via a nationwide survey of doctors, Dr. Gruft is respected by physicians throughout the country as “one of the premier pain specialists practicing today.”

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, a diplomat of the American Board of Pain Medicine, and a member of the following medical organizations:

The American Congress of Rehabilitation

The Illinois Society of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

The International Association for the Study of Pain

The American Pain Society

The Midwest Pain Society

The American Academy of Pain Medicine

The American Academy of Pain Management


In his practice, Dr. Gruft uses a hands-on, integrative system of care that he developed to expand the (primarily physical) focus on pain. His system thoroughly explores the components needed to effectively address and treat a patient’s suffering – both the physical and emotional elements.

Margaret Kuchan, PTA

Physical Therapist Assistant 

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