The Effects of a Desk Job.

I am lucky to work in the midst of Crossfitters, individuals undergoing intense strength and condition in order to improve health and fitness. One of the biggest ‘complaints’ I here is that people tighten up after a hard good workout. My first question back to them is, “What did you do immediately after the workout?”

Frequently the response is, I had a long meeting and was sitting in a chair until lunch. YIKES! Humans were not designed to sit. The butt is not a weight bearing surface. The bottoms of our feet were designed to sustain load and our hands are made tough to work in the fields. Today’s job market has asked our body to do things it was not designed to do. If you sit in a chair all day (even an ergonomically “good” designed chair) your hip flexors will get tight, your back will be rounded, your shoulders will be forward, your hamstrings will shorten and inevitably you will hurt by the end of the day.

Unless you have a really nice boss, don’t care to look weird while standing at your desk, or are one of the lucky ones out there that get to stand all day (don’t complain about this!), it is IMPERATIVE that you stand up every 15 minutes and get the blood flowing back to your glutes, stretch out the legs, correct your posture, and raise your arms above your head. This will help eliminate some of the aches and pains you feel from staring at a screen all hunched over for 8+ hours a day.

Undoing the days muscle tightness is important. If you do have to sit all day, be sure to stretch out at night. Lay flat on the floor and reverse those positions you were glued in the majority of the day. This is also important for students! Learning is hard work… but it is harder on the body! Stay as active as possible!

For anyone out there with hip problems check out a more in depth video and way to fix those tight hips here. Compliments of mobilitywod.com and PT, Kelley Starrett.

???

Why did you want to be a physical therapist?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get when treating patients is, “Why did you want to be a physical therapist?” Though this is a very hard question to answer, it all comes down to being able to help individuals return to a full life. Whether that is picking up their child, competing at a high school/elite level, fixing dysfunction to decrease daily pain, or helping a child reach their milestones, there is a sense of achievement.

Spending time with each individual and really getting to know them and their passions in life helps drive their recovery and allows THEM to reach higher and exceed their own expectations. My job is to increase their confidence, to improve their physical being in order to enhance their mental being. There is nothing greater than when a patient gets off of crutches for the first time, plays soccer for the first time after a traumatic injury, or tells me they were able to play with their kids on Saturday without any pain. Everyone should have goals in life. ANY goal. We need drive. We thrive to meet, and hopefully exceed, any standards we set for ourselves. This is no different in the recovery phase, maybe more important.

However, the biggest job I have is to keep each and every patient in a positive mindset. I will rarely ask about the negatives (pain, hard times, etc), instead, overemphasis the positives. I will always find at least one change from our previous meeting to show the patient progress. This keeps things moving forward. Any recovery process is a rollercoaster ride. Ups and downs. Whether you have more ups or downs greatly depends on your mindset. STAY POSITIVE!

I also have to give credit to my family, in particular my grandmother, mom and aunts. These women do nothing but help others. Almost to a fault, saying no is not in the vocabulary. But I live by the thought that if I have the knowledge and skills to help someone, why would I not WANT to do that. I will not always have the answer, but I do have the skills to find the answer and that is something that I will do for anyone.

I love my job and the opportunities I get from being a physical therapist. My goal, one of them at least, is to always strive to be better than I was yesterday, in life and as a therapist. To push myself the way I am allowed to push patients. To give them a reason to trust in me to get them back on the field, or play with their kids, or walk again.

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - Physical Therapy Graduation

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio – Physical Therapy Graduation