“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
Our physical therapists at Axes Physical Therapy play an integral role in overall rehabilitation to help our patients maximize long-term health benefits. It’s is a way for patients to improve movement, manage pain, and prevent or recover from injuries, chronic ailments, or other physical conditions.
Therapists examine each patient, and with them create a treatment plan that over time can help them experience less pain, move more freely, and restore proper function. By teaching individuals how manage their own conditions and injuries, physical therapists are able to give them more flexibility to continue healing outside of the clinic. Therapists also work on range of motion, balance and posture, strength and coordination, mobility, fitness and obesity, sports injury prevention, enhancing and improving sports performance, manual therapy and body mechanics.
In celebration of October as National Physical Therapy Month, here’s what some of Axes’ physical therapists and staff say about why they chose physical therapy as their career and what they love most about it:
“I have the most joy as a PT when a patient achieves a personal goal because of the therapy program I helped create.”
-Emily Helton, PT, DPT, CMPT, Astym Cert., Clinic Director, Washington, MO
“One of the things I love about being a physical therapist is celebrating all the little victories with a patient while, we work together towards their return to the activities that bring them joy!”
-Candace Cunningham, PT, DPT, St. Charles, MO
“I enjoy not just working with a client to get them back to their life, but also working with a team of like-minded people who want to have a positive impact on the lives of others.”
-Jeff Hunter, PT, Cert. MDT, MBA, Clinic Director, Wentzville, MO
“I chose to be a PT because I LOVE Coaching and preaching an active lifestyle. It is a chance for me to see the immediate progression of my rehabilitative plan while getting to establish a lifelong relationship with my patients. I love when my past patient’s tell “their physician” that I want to go see “my physical therapist.”
-Ernie Goddard, PT, Owner, Festus, MO
“The therapists have an awesome job by being the healing hands for the patients. But being the first smiling face they see every time they walk through the door is what does it for me. The patient knows, without fail, they will walk in the door for their appointment each time and I am going to be there for them same as their therapist.”
-Katee Strunk, Front Office Team Lead
“PT provides me with an ability to help people feel better without dealing with blood or needles! I love getting to know people of all walks of life and helping restore their function. Since I am a float therapist and go to multiple clinics, I get the chance to give patients a set of fresh eyes on their ailments and hopefully a different perspective into their recovery. Axes is such a wonderful company to work for, they truly care about the employees and patients!”
-Meghan Gravlin, PT, Wentzville, MO
“I love working in the PT world, because I love seeing this patients get back to their old selves. Being able to get back to doing things they love, that make them happy. It’s so rewarding!”
-Helen Zeigler, Front Office Supervisor, Arnold, MO
“The impact we have on people’s lives is what makes this profession so great. I’ll never forget the look on my first patient’s face when he came in for his final visit and told me that he was now able to perform his daily walking without any issues. He was as happy as can be, but little did he know that I was more excited than he was.”
-Drew Dudek, PT, DPT, ATC, O’Fallon, MO
“I love being a PT because of the positive impact I have on individual’s lives. I work for the moments when a patient has done something for the first time in several years, has been able to return to their sport/hobby, or simply feels they are healthier, stronger, and more stable from participating in physical therapy.”
-Samantha Bixby, PT, DPT, Astym Cert., St. Charles, MO
“I enjoy being a physical therapist because I can help empower individuals and give them the tools to get back to doing what they love.”
-Katie Bader, PT, DPT, Arnold, MO
“I love my job as an athletic trainer because I have always loved sports and have always been interested in how the human body works. Having the ability to relieve their pain and keep them playing the game they love is a reward like no other.”
-Megan McKenzie, ATC, Wentzville School District
“I chose to become a PT because I was involved in sports as a young adult and had the vision of continuing to work with athletes. I had no idea where my professional journey would take me. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to work with so many amazing people of all ages and abilities over the course of my 20 plus years in this field. I enjoy the relationships that I build with my patients every day that help them to move better and get back to doing whatever it is they love to do.”
-Jennifer Urnikis, PT, Clinic Director, O’Fallon, MO
“When I was 17 years old, my life revolved around sports. I had no clue what I wanted to do when I “grew up”. I dislocated my shoulder in a wrestling match and the injury lingered throughout the season. I was eventually referred to PRORehab in Festus. I had a great experience and recovered quickly with excellent care. I realized in the therapy profession I could help others return to what they love to do. From that point forward, there was never any doubt.
Fun fact: Bill Franzen was the owner of PRORehab and Ernie Goddard was the Clinic Director in Festus. Now the three of us are partners at Axes. Funny how this small world works.
I became a PT and went from having an Athletic/Sports based mindset to having a more broad view of the profession. Now, I love helping anyone return to the activities that bring them joy and improve their quality of life. I’ve been blessed to work with thousands of patients. I’ve worked with professional athletes, teachers, assembly line workers, farmers, lawyers and even politicians. I sincerely enjoy helping people and making their lives better.
A mentor once told me about the principle of emotional contagion. Basically, positive energy in a room is contagious. If I can bring my best every day with a smile on my face; it can positively impact others as well. I try to do it every day. It’s pretty easy at Axes. I love our team. We are a tight-knit group which is unlike anywhere else I have worked. Our patients can sense it and you can feel it in our company meetings. We’ve got people singing their college fight songs, fun/embarrassing pictures of owners include in slideshow presentation, and a ton of smiles. I’m truly blessed to work here and help others recover; most of the time with a smile on their face.”
-Derrick Wolk, MPT, CMPT, Owner, Farmington, MO
If you are in need of pre or post surgical care, general re-conditioning, or help returning to sport/daily activities in the wake of an injury, schedule your appointment at one of our 11 Greater St. Louis area locations or via a Telehealth injury screening.