Erin Winfrey PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy helping patients get back to their daily routines. In high school, Erin injured her ankle multiple times while playing sports and later learned that physical therapy treatment would have prevented many of them. Erin wanted to share with us her experience and passion for Physical Therapy (PT). Here is what she told us:
“I love my job, helping people get back to living life!”
What certifications do you have?
I have recently completed my fellowship in manual therapy and orthopedics, for which I have earned the specialty/certification of Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapists (FAAOMPT).
What makes you happy in physical therapy?
Just being able to help patients along their path of healing and achieving their goals makes me very happy. The best thing is to see the excitement of a patient when they are finally back to doing what they love!
What are some non-clinical skills you have developed from being a PT?
I have become a much better listener which allows me to empathize better with my patients and I really just enjoy getting to know them. I feel that you really can learn just as much from your patients as they are learning from you!
What are common myths about PT in general?
I think that a lot of people come into therapy thinking Physical Therapy (PT) is going to hurt! Actually, PT is here to make you feel better, not make the pain worse. Many people think that PT has the mindset of “no pain, no gain” and that is not the case at all! I tell my patients you can leave that saying at the door! You have to feel good to begin moving better.
What is your go-to phrase to motivate your patients?
“It’s a team effort!” It takes work of the PT to guide the patient correctly and work of the patient to stay motivated and perform exercises/lifestyle modifications to get them back to where they hope to be with everyday life.
What advice would you give someone not sure about PT as a treatment option?
I say why not! PT is a great conservative route of treatment that really can give patients results in terms of reducing their pain and returning them to daily life. We really collaborate with patients when setting goals and tailor their treatment towards achieving their goals. In PT, everything we do has a purpose and in the end, we tie everything together to allow a patient to return to a functional level whether it be walking normal again or returning to their sport of choice.
What would you say to someone that might be considering Physical Therapy as a career path?
I think this is such a great profession. I love coming to work every morning probably because it’s not work to me! It is such a rewarding field helping people get back to doing what they love and seeing their joy makes everything worth it. I also find that this profession is in a constant state of advancement which allows for so much variety that there is always something else to learn so you can never get to a point of being complacent.
For patients that want to visit the 281 & Evans Clinic, what can they expect?
Here at the 281 & Evans clinic, we really are a family and I think the patients can see that. We like to have fun while still getting patients healthy which makes for such a cheerful environment for both us and the patients. We really try to just be positive for the patient and give them the encouragement they need to get better!
What are the most common sports injuries patients get treatment for?
We can treat just about any sort of muscle, joint, or movement problems people are having. Many people come to see us when they have problems with their knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, as well as neck and low back pain. We do not see a concentration of any one body part and the regions people hurt sort of ebb and flow through the different times of year. The most common problem areas that we see include low back pain, hip/knee issues and shoulder issues.
What are some ways that athletes could avoid sports related injuries?
Athletes can avoid injuries by listening to their body, maintaining their overall fitness through the year, and following the general rule of ‘if it hurts you should probably stop!’ Another main factor is allowing proper rest periods that are necessary to allow your body to build up tissues after workouts. Proper nutrition, including fluid intake, also plays a big role in muscle building/recovery as an athlete. Lastly, a common misconception is that static stretching before you play or workout should be done. Actually, it is better for the athlete to perform a dynamic warm-up such as a light jog or agility work while also working in some dynamic stretches or movements, which briefly move the joints and muscles into end ranges, to ensure that tissue is properly warmed-up.
If you are experiencing pain, ask your doctor if Physical Therapy is right for you. Call or visit any of our 12 Momentum Physical Therapy locations in San Antonio and surrounding areas and we will get you the help you need.