This week I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Zach Ray, a sports certified, physical therapy specialist, with whom I have had the ultimate pleasure of working with since my ankle surgery in May.
Right from our very first meeting, Dr. Zach told me that he treats all people who walk into his “Live Athletics” facility like athletes, regardless of their ages or careers. That he is fully committed to getting his clients in and out of physical therapy and back to whatever they were doing prior to their injuries. Dr. Zach emphasized that his favorite part of his job is being connected to his client’s progress as they strive for and reach their personal goals and that being a witness to people's success, as they regain lost aspects of their lives, namely the transformation of immobility to mobility, is inspirational.
At my first session, Dr. Zach asked me what my dreams were and I answered, simply, "Jumping on the trampoline with my girls, once again, and hiking with my husband.
Zach's response, “Alright then, let’s get you there!”
The combination of Zach’s positive attitude, as well as the amazingly supportive vibe in his facility, has made the past months of grueling physical therapy become motivational stepping stones and defined benchmarks towards my best personal life and ultimate goals. I can’t wait to get back to where I wanna be!
Dr. Zach Ray was kind enough to share some amazing pro tips with me:
The Best Ways to Prevent Injuries:
*Cupping - a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.
* Muscle Stimulation - Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation, is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses. The impulses mimic the action potential that comes from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract.
Ways to deal with pain management at home:
Dr. Zach does not recommend using Advil or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs block the natural cascade of healing that occurs in your body when there is pain. Additionally, Advil and other NSAIDs are harsh on the liver and kidneys.
Dr. Zach recommends using Turmeric, Vitamin C, and Astaxanthin as anti-inflammatories. The only time to use pain relievers, according to Dr. Zach, would be at night, or when rest is necessary and you are in too much pain to sleep or rest. Since your body won’t heal without sleep, taking Tylenol may be necessary.
The final question to Dr. Zach:
Where do you hope the implementation of physical therapy in people's’ lives will be in the next 10 years?
Dr. Zach hopes that there are more points of entry for physical therapy, and the practice of going from Doctor to Doctor before insurance companies pay for physical therapy will be eliminated. He hopes that there is increased appreciation for patient's' prior level of functioning and that insurance companies recognize the positive effects physical therapy can provide.
Dr. Zach foresees a future in which physical therapy will be prescribed more often than bottled prescriptions for the treatment of physical ailments. He visualizes a time when a prescribed number of physical therapy visits will become objectively measured for patient recovery and, additionally, patients will be educated as to the why and how in the methodology and physiology of their personal physical therapy recovery paths. Consequently, patients will possess the motivation required to be on the fast track to unwavering recovery!