Madden PT - Dauphin - October 2019

October 2019


There are plenty of great stories about physical therapists who were inspired to join the field after fighting their way back from an injury. They often have harrowing experiences that give them empathy and compassion for the patients they see every day. I was fortunate enough to never experience a season-ending injury that led me to physical therapy. I was recruited to play football for Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, and while I always knew I wanted to help people improve their quality of life, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do or study in college. But through football, I began to learn more about physical therapy. After that, everything just kind of fell into place. As I learned more about the profession, I became passionate about what it represents. I soon learned that physical therapy was so much more than helping people overcome their injuries so they can get back to golfing or running. Instead, I spend hours with patients each week, building them up from a low point and celebrating their progress. My compassion and empathy for my patients may have grown organically, but my drive to help others reach their success has been continually fueled by physical therapy and what it can do. Right now, our country is battling a tough opioid epidemic. Physical therapists have joined swaths of law enforcement agencies, rehabilitation clinics, and devastated families who say, “Enough is enough.” In fact, this summer, Oklahoma won a critical battle in the crisis, as the court sided with their request for compensation from medical This is not one of those stories.

manufacturer Johnson & Johnson for the pain, damage, and costs associated with high-volume opioid dosing. As a physical therapist, I have an opportunity to be at the forefront of this fight. Instead of expensive surgeries, painful injections, costly MRIs and tests, and addictive and deadly drugs, my team and I encourage the body to heal from injury through movement and strength training. Trying physical therapy first can save patients and their families money and months of heartache and confusion. October is National Physical Therapy Month, but I could talk about the power of physical therapy at any time of the year. I’m passionate about what

I do, and the massive health struggles we have in our country light a fire within me. I am grateful for the opportunity to help people heal. As our aging population continues to grow, I hope more people will turn to physical therapy for healing and relief. There’s proof that physical therapy can be one of the best treatment options for pain, discomfort, and chronic joint problems. I may not have ever walked in a patient’s shoes, but in the years I have spent helping patients find a natural solution to healing, I know there’s power in physical therapy.

–Dan Hinnerschitz

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