A lot of people ask me why I became a physical therapist.
The simple answer is that I want to help others and in a way that they learn the skills to help themselves to prevent and recover from injuries themselves. I want to teach you to maintain yourself and keep doing what you love to do.
I feel that this is my journey because I had a whole host of medical issues that were mismanaged until I discovered a PT that did not use a cookie cutter solution and actually tried to help me figure out what was wrong with me and tailored a plan specifically to me to help me overcome my injuries.
PT helped me personally:
And continues to help me everyday. I injured myself while on active duty with the Army. I broke my Talus (the bone directly below your lower leg bones and the first one in the ankle) I spent years being told by surgeons and other medical doctors that I should not run anymore, I should probably limit my walking, and should get used to my new normal activity level which included a lot of sitting and being miserable. I was 23 (2006) and I was heartbroken that these professionals, leaders in their field in knowledge on the human body and their capabilities, were telling me I was now severely limited forever. I continued for years trying to do as much as possible while being prescribed as much Ibuprofen (Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) as I could tolerate, and eventually I was prescribed opiates such as Tramadol and Percocet to control my symptoms. I continued to remain at a very low level in function and I was miserable. This went on for years until I found a physical therapist (Dr. Rachel Snell) who introduced to the resources that started helping me help myself. Specifically, Rachel introduced me to Dr. Danny Matta and Dr. Kelly Starrett and their bodies of work which specialize in empowering their clients to help themselves. These tools helped me, create a plan, and progress toward my goals of being able to run, hike, bike, swim, and be outside as much as possible. These helped me achieve a level of performance I only dreamed of for years. I am not going to lie, it took a long period of a concerted efforts to correct my issues but it has paid off. I operate at a high level of function now and I completed my first Ironman 70.3. in October of 2019. This was something that I was told was impossible, but taking better care of myself and performing simple but consistent maintenance in the areas I need helps me perform.
I witnessed PT transform people around me:
In the Army I commanded a 126 wounded warriors. These servicemembers were wounded, ill, or otherwise injured while in the service. They had conditions that would not allow them to return to active duty after they recovered due to the severity of their illness. I worked closely with many medical providers ranging from medical doctors, physician assistants, physical therapists, behavioral health specialists, therapeutic recreational coordinators, and the national Paralympic team to create and manage plans of care that addressed the whole person rather than just the injury at hand. During this I noticed and my solders reported to me that they felt significant increases in function, less need for pain medications, and overall increase in self reported function and happiness. Several of the soldiers were able to recover to the point that they could return to duty, while most were in better positions to be functional once they left the military. The soldiers that adhered to the plans lost weight, increased their function, and told me that they felt better about themselves. This helped them prepare to transition to their post military lives, or even a few returned to duty with the Army despite being told that would not be possible when they started in my company. Those that put in the consistent efforts made consistent gains, and were better for it.
I use my experience with my recovery and coaching the recovery of others to assess your potential individually, collaborate with you to create an individual progression plan to achieve your goals, and coach you to achieve and maintain your highest level of performance.
If you want to hear more I went on the Jerry Gerken show and stop about this topic for about a half an hour.