How do you describe physical therapy? What should people know about it?
Physical therapy is a tool to help people restore their function, reduce their pain and allow them to go back to do what they love to do. It is a treatment that includes exercise, movement restoration, manual therapy and various therapeutic modalities such as electrical stimulation, ultra sound, use of ice and cold treatment.
What are the biggest misunderstandings?
A lot of time people think physical therapy causes more pain but quite the contrary. It is used to reduce pain in order to restore someone’s ability to get back to their daily activities. Some people think physical therapist often consists of 100% percent exercise which isn’t always the case. It includes passive exercises, therapeutic modalities. But given by an expert physical therapy is a combination of exercises, manual therapy, therapeutic modalities and education.
How should patients communicate with their physical therapist?
Physical therapy treatments are very personal. Therapists work one on one with their patients.
From a patient point of view, does a relationship matter in physical therapy? What difference does it make where one goes for the service?
Absolutely. A patient has to gain confidence and comfort with the physical therapist they are working with because they will be sharing their inhibition… there are inhibitions, there is pain, there is fear and in order the treatment to be 100% effective there needs to be a bond or trust between the PT and patient.
What difference does it make where one goes for the service?
The treatment is only as good as the physical therapist that is providing it. So you want to look for someone who is an expert in the specific diagnosis the patient has. So someone with back pain should go to a physical therapist who specializes in back or spine care. Likewise with sports medicine.
What drove your interest in physical therapy? How’d you get into the field?
I personally like the concept of sports medicine and returning an injured athlete back to sport. And I personally was injured in college and used physical therapy to help me get back to playing at the collegiate level. I got into the field after being hurt playing hockey and meeting the athletic trainer from the New York Rangers who was a physical therapist and athletic trainer and a graduate from the University of Connecticut. I had the utmost respect for him and pursued a career after meeting him. I was interested in what he was doing and sports medicine.