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  • From Move Forward Radio: Motivated by Physical Therapy Experience, Woman Is Inspired to Give Back

    Sometimes physical therapy doesn't just heal an injury, it changes the course of a patient's life for the better. Colleen Rapp, a press operator for the Denver Post, thought her physically demanding job was exercise enough—until she got a wholistic view of her health status from her physical therapist (PT) after a shoulder injury. Her experience even inspired her to raise funds for doctor of physical therapy students at the University of Colorado.

    Now available from APTA's Move Forward Radio: an interview with Colleen Rapp and her PT Tami Struessel, PT, DPT, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy. "I wasn't taking care of my body the right way," said Rapp. "I thought exercise was my work."

    One day at work, Rapp slipped on some water on the press floor and injured her back so badly that she couldn't stand, walk up stairs, or get out of bed without pain. That brought her to Struessel, who "wove in" education about sleep hygiene and nutrition. "[Rapp] needed to come to a place where she realized she needed to do the hard work, because making lifestyle changes is not easy," Struessel said.

    Rapp said her "aha!" moment came when she realized "this was an opportunity to make this count in my life, and [become] the person I needed to be when I was older." In addition to changing her diet, getting more exercise, and sleeping better, she achieved a better work-life balance. "I learned I want to be the best I can be and do the best I can do, but I don't want to do it incorrectly," she told Move Forward Radio. "Physical therapy has taught me a broad spectrum of things—it changed my life."

    Move Forward Radio is hosted at MoveForwardPT.com, APTA's official consumer information website, and can be streamed online or downloaded as a podcast via iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify.

    Other recent Move Forward Radio episodes include:

    NASCAR and the Role of Physical Therapy
    Jena Gatses, PT, DPT, was the first full-time female PT and strength coach in NASCAR. She discusses her experiences with these specialized athletes and other high-profile clients, including actor Mark Wahlberg.

    Still Dancing: A Woman's Story of Doing What She Loves While Living With Spinal Cord Injuries
    Marka Rodgers envisioned spending her life in the world of dance, even after sustaining and working hard to overcome not 1 but 2 devastating spinal cord injuries. With the assistance of a wheelchair, a service dog, and some primo leg braces, Marka not only continues to dance but also to teach dance.

    Headaches and Physical Therapy
    There are headaches, and then there are headaches. Denise Schneider, PT, DPT, discusses the causes and red flags for more serious headaches, how physical therapy may help, and when referral to another health care provider is the best option.

    Young Woman Shares Experiences With Juvenile Arthritis and Physical Therapy
    Christina Iversen shares her experience with juvenile arthritis, having dealt with it since the age of 2. Now a young adult, she knows well what it's like to contend with the physical, emotional, and social effects of growing up with a condition that's typically associated with older adults.

    Retreat for Injured Veterans and Families Adapts Activities and Helps Them Reconnect With Each Other
    Since 2017, selected veterans who have been injured in active duty or as a result of their service have come to Maine in the summer, along with their families, for an all-expenses-paid vacation courtesy of the Travis Mills Foundation, founded by a veteran who experienced amputation and directed by Kelly Roseberry, PT, DPT.