Nicholas Vasilis Karayannis, MPT, PhD

Physiotherapist and Clinical Scientist
Board certified in Orthopaedics
Fellowship Trained in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy
Fellowship Trained in Interdisciplinary Pain Research
Certified Yoga and Tai Chi Teacher
Center for Mindfulness Qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher

Educational Background

Dr. Nicholas Karayannis (Pronounced KA-ruh-YAH-nees) is a lead Physical Therapist within the Division of Pain Medicine. He completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship within the Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory at Stanford in 2017. Before receiving his PhD degree in Physiotherapy from The University of Queensland (Australia) in 2013, Nicholas trained as a fellow in orthopaedic manual therapy in the USA and Canada (North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy). He graduated with a Master’s in Physical Therapy degree in 2000 from Ohio University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences in 1995 from the same institution. Nicholas is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, board certified as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, a Certified Yoga and Tai Chi Teacher, Leader in the Stanford Chronic Pain Self-Management Program, and a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher through the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society. 

Specialties and Interests

Dr. Karayannis has practiced within the outpatient orthopaedic physical therapy setting for over 17 years. Nicholas’s primary role at the Stanford Pain Management Center is to collaborate with the interdisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists and nurses to formulate and implement comprehensive treatment plans for our patients, and provide people living with persistent pain with education and tools to improve their knowledge about pain - and what therapeutic and mindful movement can do to assist with improving movement quality, restoring function, enhancing self-care, and reducing pain-related fear and distress. His work as a clinical and research physiotherapist follows a threefold path: developing a better awareness of how posture, movement, and physical function adapts to a persistent pain state; making wiser decisions in choosing a targeted treatment approach; and in further refining meditative movement, and participatory-based therapies in order to optimize self-care strategies. Fundamentally, Nicholas is interested in reducing the suffering associated with pain, and promoting mindfulness of the body. 

Personal Background

Nicholas enjoys travelling abroad, hiking/backpacking, Nordic skiing, playing squash, Aussie Rules football, cycling, swimming, fly-fishing, yoga, and Tai Chi. He also enjoys reading fiction, watching independent films, listening to jazz, meditating, gardening and cooking, riding his vintage motorcycle, and playing with his beloved Siamese cat, Mai. He was born and raised in Ohio within a Greek-immigrant family, and has lived in South Africa, the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Mountain West, and Australia before locating to the Bay area in 2012.