Therapydia Lake Oswego physical therapist Nick Hadinger, DPT, USAW, takes some time to talk about swimming, reading the emotions of his patients, and the variety of treatment styles in PT.
“I think changing the perception of our profession is important to really reach those who are active and need our help.”
When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?
I started thinking about PT during my swimming career in college. I was frequently in and out of the training room with shoulder injuries and I once I dove into it, I loved that I could apply what I was learning about the body to myself and different activities I was doing to not only improve my health but my performance. After I saw the difference PT made in my brother’s life following a brain injury, I knew that I wanted to help people in the same way using all of the cool knowledge I’d learned.
What surprised you the most about the physical therapy profession?
How many different treatment styles there are was pretty surprising. Every practitioner has different strengths from past experiences or maybe it’s even just different heights and this can cause them to gravitate toward one treatment technique over another. At the end of the day, there are several ways to approach an injury and being able to educate your patients on what and why you’re doing something is most important.
How do you like to stay active?
I workout and/or swim most days of the week and enjoy hiking and snowboarding when I can.
What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?
I think the biggest challenge is that the general public does not fully understand what it is that a PT really does so they aren’t sure if they would benefit from it or not. If you have a body and you have an injury, PT can most certainly help and we really want to help because it’s what we love to do!
What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?
This changes for me all the time! Right now I’m into “The Sticks” by The Cadillac Three.
Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?
I’d like to become SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) certified in the near future.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
Eggs over medium, bacon, hash browns, and maybe a smoothie.
What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?
I wish everyone knew that PTs are equipped with the knowledge and skillset to address any muscle, tendon, or joint injury and that if they come to us first they could very well avoid that surgery, injection, or medication that they dread taking. In Australia, if your back hurts, everyone knows you go to see your physio but in the U.S., it doesn’t happen like that. I think changing the perception of our profession is important to really reach those who are active and need our help.
In your opinion, what is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?
You have to be patient and you have to be able to listen effectively to not only hear what your patients are saying but read their emotions about what they’re saying as well. Creating a trusting patient-provider relationship is #1.
What do you do to de-stress/unwind?
I have to get in a pool. Swimming is a place for me to be alone and in my own thoughts and to problem solve and sort things out. Being underwater has always had this effect on me for some reason and helps bring clarity to a lot of issues.
Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…
Searching for a spectacular Bloody Mary with brunch at an undiscovered restaurant in downtown.
What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?
If you had one vehicle to last you the rest of your life, how would you care for that vehicle to ensure it lasts? That vehicle is your body and you only get one of them.
Learn more about Nick and the other Therapydia Lake Oswego physical therapists.