From Chronic Sports Injuries to Physical Therapy

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From Chronic Sports Injuries to Physical Therapy

I was born and raised right here in the Mascoutah, IL area. I love the community, and with the Air Force base so close, there’s always an opportunity to meet new and exciting people! Through keeping busy with sports in high school and from my dad’s experiences, I saw the power of physical therapy early on in life.

Due to my athleticism growing up, I was in and out of physical therapy for chronic ankle sprains. I went to Mascoutah High School where I played a variety of sports, including softball, basketball, and volleyball. Through my injuries and those of my peers, I saw the impact the medical field had on our community. So, after finishing high school, I started as a pre-med major at Maribell University. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I made the change to physical therapy.

My dad spent a lot of time doing post-injury care as a coach for my softball and basketball teams in high school. But it wasn’t just the players who needed to recover; my dad had four knee surgeries of his own to worry about. Knowing what Dad went through, I was able to see just how impactful physical therapy is not only for healing sports injuries but for the recovery process outside of organized athletics.

I’ve worked at various clinics from my college career onward, which has given me a wealth of experience and skills to utilize. During college, I worked as a physical therapy tech at Fenton Physical Therapy in Saint Louis. I learned a lot during my time there, but one of my primary takeaways was how to handle a busy work environment. This included a lot of basics, like directing patients in their care and multitasking with several patients at once. At Acute ICU, I started to do more clinical work, but I didn’t feel I was getting what I needed out of the program. It was a great place, but I just wanted to learn more of what I felt was necessary to be successful.

I worked in inpatient rehab for spinal cord injuries at Mercy Hospital and Missouri Baptist. This role was very intensive and extremely educational, as well. I worked with patients on improving their mobility so they could perform tasks many of us commonly take for granted. Not only was I teaching patients stretches and exercises, hopefully improving their quality of life, but I learned how to educate them best. I also have some fantastic ISU experience from working in sports clinics in Normal, Illinois.

But it wasn’t just through work that I was able to gain such invaluable physical therapy knowledge.

I’m from the area here near ApexNetwork Physical Therapy, and I get to know our patients on a personal level. It means that much more to me when I see them progress session after session! I’ve had the opportunity to treat patients with a variety of injuries, but we primarily treat orthopedic injuries and do a little ACL rehab. Due to my background, I will take neuro patients, and age is no issue because I’ve treated patients anywhere from 12 to 90 years old. When I’m not having fun at work, my kiddos keep me busy. I have one daughter and one son. My 3-year-old daughter does gymnastics, and my 6-year-old son just started to wrestle. When I’m not cheering them on, we love to go fishing or boating to relax. So next time you’re at the clinic, tell me about your kid’s favorite hobbies! Mine love staying active, so I’m always looking for pastimes to keep them busy.