The PT Patient/ PT Team #3

By Rebecca Lowe August 11, 2015
Leah Sawyer
Leah Sawyer

Leah Sawyer and I are a great team!  I am going to let her tell most of her story, but I can say that for me this has been one of the most enjoyable teams I have been on.  For some reason, we as PTs can be difficult patients.  Is it because we think we should know everything?  Is it because we don’t like to admit that we are in need of PT?  Do we think it means we are weak or that we aren’t good PTs if we can’t fix ourselves?

Well, as in this case, when both PTs openly share what they know AND what they don’t know, it is easier to work toward a solution together.  This is one of the reasons why being on her PT patient/PT team has been so stimulating.

And here are the other reasons that I have enjoyed getting to know Leah.  Leah is as nerdy as I am.  I believe that she finds OMPT, and other areas of PT, as interesting as I do.  She studies when she doesn’t have to.  She loves to help solve her patient’s issues.  She cares about doing her best.  She doesn’t think about retiring; why would you give up one of your passions?

Now, let’s hear from Leah.


Leah, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to see Rebecca Lowe?

There are certain themes that define a person. For me, a few have been constant throughout my life: I have always been active, I have always been a competitive athlete, and I have always had an interest in how the body functions and heals. Sometimes these things complement each other, and sometimes they do not.


Leah Sawyer
Leah Sawyer

As a physical therapist I held a false sense of superiority once I crossed the threshold of “hurt” to “injured.”  Surely I didn’t require actual rest?  Couldn’t I just implement the latest research on tendinopathy and eccentric exercise?  I thought that all of my knowledge and experience somehow protected me from needing the things I really needed. I didn’t want to give up my favorite hobbies.  I didn’t want to give up my outlet for stress relief.  I was my own worse patient.


Over a year of being significantly injured passed, and I finally came to see Rebecca in a state of complete emotional and physical desperation. She confirmed things I knew and had not been able to address alone, such as asymmetrical psoas tension, decreased internal range of motion of one hip, and spine and ilial mobilization.  She addressed things I DIDN’T know I needed with honesty and kindness, like the need to internalize the fact that competitive athletics do not define me.  I am a more diverse and resilient human being than that!


Leah and friends
Leah and friends

An obstacle always seems more surmountable when I feel like I have someone who is wholeheartedly routing for me and believes that I can conquer it.  Rebecca was this from the beginning.  At one point, I participated in kickboxing class before my injury was appropriately ready to withstand it.  And by participate, I mean I punched and kicked the #$@! out of that bag like my life depended on it.  I was frustrated and felt I deserved the outlet.  I had convinced myself that it would be ok because it was “cross training.”  When I confessed to Rebecca, she exclaimed, “Whose team are you on?!?”  She was right.  How could I seek her expertise and then expect to get better while deviating from it?  Teamwork isn’t something to partake in just out of convenience.  We were a team, and I needed to play my part.  I needed to be held accountable.

It’s been nearly a month of being on team Lowe-Sawyer, and I can honestly say that for the first time in a year I am getting better.  I am turning a corner.  I do not have pain during daily activities and I know that I will run, hike, bike, and play again without pain.  I’m committed to being patient, being diligent and being deliberate because I know Rebecca is committed to me.

Go Team!


Leah Sawyer




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