Therapydia Pearl physical therapist Ryan Eckert, PT, DPT CSCS, takes some time to talk about how he knew physical therapy was the career for him, how he stays active and the importance of communication with his patients.
Move Well and Move Often.
When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?
I knew physical therapy was the career for me while in my undergraduate program at UCSD. After gaining the experience of problem solving my own pain and limitations while being a college athlete along with volunteering at a PT clinic helped to spark the passion. From there it has been just part of my life learning more and more about the career and aspects of it.
What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?
My girlfriend and I’s song to get us motivated and going on weekend mornings is New Light by John Mayer. If you watch the music video it will help to understand.
What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?
The biggest challenge I think is that you are working with a human being. That means is that every single one of us is different and unique so there is no one way that a specific injury or surgery needs to be treated. This makes it a challenge but also makes it fun and constantly different day to day.
How do you like to stay active?
I like to keep a minimalist strength plan to allow me to always try new and different outdoor activities that spark my interest. The newest one I am getting into is rock climbing and I’m excited to explore Portland trying it.
What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?
How important communication is with all aspects of physical therapy. Without correct and efficient communication it does not matter how skilled or smart you are the communication is the deciding factor in the patient’s level of improvement.
Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?
I am currently taking the functional capacity screen (FCS) online course to help understand and work with higher level patients in returning to sport and more demanding life and work tasks. I also plan on taking some additional manual therapy, pain science, and StrongFirst courses.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
Freshly ground pour over coffee made into bulletproof coffee with some collagen protein. If I need extra food I will have fried eggs with cheese and avocado.
What do you wish everyone knew about PT?
I wish everyone knew that you do not need pain to need PT. If you have any movement limitations affecting your life we are the experts to help work with you to correct those impairments to achieve your goals no matter how big or small.
What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?
The need to be a good listener and quick thinker. I think these two go together to be able to fully listen to what the client is telling you and to be able to process that information quickly.
What do you do to de-stress/unwind?
Some movement or activity that requires complete focus like rock climbing and mountain biking to help clear my mind and reset.
Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…
Hiking or Paddle Boarding with my girlfriend.
What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?
Move Well and Move Often from Gray Cook and the group at functional movement systems.