For most of us, our career choices revolve around our own quality of life. We ask for raises, work flexibility, accept promotions, negotiate extra vacation days or benefits. But for some, careers revolve around other people’s quality of life – like healthcare. Meet Bradley (Brad) Webb, PT – one of our own physical therapists right here at Axes Physical Therapy, who spends his time bettering the conditions of others. From elderly retirees suffering back pain to athletes attempting to recover from unexpected injuries, Brad specializes not just in understanding how the human body works, but also how that body helps them achieve their goals and live their lives.
Brad has almost 30 years of patient care experience in the Greater St. Louis area, on both the Missouri and Illinois side. With that amount of exposure to healing the body and mind, we thought it was important to sit down with him to share some of his background and pearls of wisdom.
Brad, tell us a little about your background!
“Well, I could tell you, but I’d have to…..” HaHa! Everybody knows how that sentence ends! Ok, we’ll just leave that part of my background out of the interview. I’m an outpatient physical therapist with 27 years of experience spending most of my career in a private practice setting in the St Louis Metro East area. After serving my country in the United States Air Force, I attended the University of Illinois at Chicago graduating in 1995. So, this is when the readers are doing the math in their heads…. Yup! I’m “middle-aged” but young-at-heart! I joined the Axes Physical Therapy Team in September of 2021 and I love getting up and going to work every day!
Wow, thank you for your service. That’s incredible. How did you become interested in physical therapy?
My uncle, Don Lowe, opened a private practice clinic in Florence, SC in the 1960’s and my cousin, his son, Phillip Lowe, continues to operate that practice today. At a young age, I witnessed the joy and job satisfaction they experienced helping others rehabilitate injuries, achieve personal goals, and return them to functional active lives.
What are the most and least satisfying aspects of your work?
Certainly, the most satisfying is exactly what I mentioned in the previous answer. Helping others overcome injury and disability to achieve their personal functional goals. Least satisfying… gosh, I guess one of them would be when I am limited by third party payers (visit limit maximums, high copays and such) that often don’t allow us to continue a course of medically necessary skilled therapy and the patient is left on their own to “finish” their rehabilitation. BUT – this is a challenge I accept, and knowing this, we focus from the very first visit on patient education, home exercises, and empowering the patient to work as a team with me and my staff, in order to get the most out of every treatment visit.
What did you not expect about the profession that you have found to be true?
Three things come to mind, in no particular order. The first, the number of lifelong friends and relationships that I have made with patients over the years. Next, the amount of education we, as physical therapists, provide for our patients about disease, injury, surgery, and healthy lifestyle habits. We spend more time than most other health care professionals can – often 3 or 4 hours per week – with a patient for 1 or more months, actively engaged in advice and conversation. Lastly, the role physical therapists have as an extension of our physicians and referral sources practice.
How do you balance your career with other commitments and interests (e.g. family, community engagements, hobbies)?
Work/life balance is very important for all of us no matter our profession, and I must admit, it’s difficult to not be a physical therapist 24/7. Believe me, your friends and family are lifelong “patients.” Lol! But Axes takes pride in providing time to get away from the clinic, being outdoors, spending time with family certainly helps with the balance.
What do you love about being a physical therapist at Axes Physical Therapy?
Axes Physical Therapy is locally owned and operated by therapists in the Greater St. Louis Area. With leadership that understands the clinical process, as they are all also physical therapists by trade, Axes is committed to excellence in patient focused care. Getting patients back doing the things they love is what we do! For me, working for an organization that shares my values was of the utmost importance. We have highly satisfied patients, employees, and clients… I can honestly say that I love being a member of this kind of team!
What experiences contributed to your success in this career? What would you have done differently?
Certainly, my family connection, great mentors, and leaders. What would I have done differently? Heck, I guess, invested more in my 401K. HaHa!
What do you recommend that someone do during their undergraduate career to prepare for this profession?
If someone is interested in physical therapy as a career, I recommend as much exposure to the clinical world as possible. While still in high school, definitely job shadow, volunteer, work as a patient care tech in a clinic. Most physical therapy programs now offer freshman entry into their programs. If you’re in the Greater St. Louis area, Axes offers paid entry-level positions, shadowing, student programs, and more!
What do you love outside of the clinic?
Anyone that knows me can answer this question… I’m 100% an outdoor enthusiast! I love to hike, camp, hunt, and fish! No matter the season, I will always find a reason to spend time in the great outdoors. In fact, if you’re a bow hunter, check out this article my colleague and I wrote about preparing your body for bow season here! Those are my avocations, but my three greatest loves, that are equally most important in my life, are Faith, Family, and Friends. My grandson, Cooper, and my pup, Greg, are the lights of my life!
Ok, then, one more question. Tell us something that “not everyone” knows about you.
My life partner Greg (he’s an black and white Chihuahua) has 8 million views on one TikTok post! Seriously! And if you’ve made if this far, I thank you for wanting to know more about me! Here are some bonus photos of Greg and Coop…
At any age, with almost any degree of pain, physical therapy can improve your condition. If you, or someone you love, is suffering from chronic or acute pains, Axes Physical Therapy wants to be there for you.
Need a prescription for physical therapy?
We can help with that, too! Contact the Axes nearest you!