Dr. Jordan Tingson, a physical therapist with a specialty in athletic recovery and sport conditioning, said seeing a physical therapist doesn’t mean you have to be injured or in pain.
For the ordinary person, a physical therapist conjures up images of rehabilitation after debilitating injuries or those with specialties in need of those services. While that's true, a physical therapist is there for everyone.
“Anybody can see a physio if they have goals they want to achieve,” he said. “If there is some type of physical pain or discomfort you feel, a physio can help rule out any serious issues and provide some strategies to reduce that discomfort.”
Growing up on Guam, the words “suck it up” might be a common phrase that many who exercise have heard, but there’s a difference between pushing past boundaries and stressing the body beyond to the point of pain or damage.
Tingson, a PT with Sports, Orthopedic and Active Rehabilitation (SOAR) Physical Therapy in Tamuning, said it’s important to understand the role a physical therapist can have, not just in athletic recovery, thought that is a big role for them.
“We work with people from all walks of life – high school level athletes, veterans, general population, competitive and recreational fitness enthusiasts, and recently thanks to (Dr. Julienne Duenas), the postpartum population as well,” he said, “If there is some type of function that you’re having trouble performing like walking, balance, throwing, etc, physical therapy may be beneficial for you.”
Duenas has opened the doors to a new specialty – improving and strengthening pelvic health. In a recent interview with The Guam Daily Post, Duenas dispelled misconceptions of peeing while laughing as a normal occurrence for some, most especially women who have had children. Her new focus at the clinic allows her to reach out to that segment of the population to address pelvic-floor issues.
Tingson stresses that one doesn’t have to be injured or in pain, but those who experience lingering issues, aches or soreness while performing daily tasks should consider the benefits of physical therapy with those are considered the “mechanics of the human body.”
It’s simple, Tingson said, comparing the body to a car.
“When something is funky with your car, you go see your mechanic to try to get it fixed,” he said, adding “Hopefully, you have a good mechanic, so you don’t have to go back.”
A physical therapist has a unique understanding of the human body, in terms of how it moves, interacts with and performs certain movements,
“We use that understanding to create strategies that help people achieve their goals whether they be health, wellness, or athletic,” he said. “To be a mechanic of the body means to be able to understand and identify things that need to be addressed so your body can operate smoothly.”
Tingson elaborated that pain doesn’t necessarily mean damage, a fear that all of us have, especially as we all get older.
“Pain is a weird thing. Pain doesn’t always mean there will be damage and damage doesn’t always mean there will be pain,” he said. “What I’ve found in my experience and in the literature is that when an injury occurs, it can occur because the forces placed upon it are greater than the body’s ability to handle that force. From there, we calm stuff down, and build it back up to handle everything it needs to be able to do.”
The internet makes it so that everyone has more information at their fingertips. Sometimes that information can overwhelming to sift through, he said.
However, it’s important to remember not one treatment or therapy fits all.
“But, a physio can help find what fits for each person,” he said.