For physical therapist Eric Edwards, the best part of the job is helping patients get back to doing what they love.
“It’s about identifying what is really important to a patient: what activity is really important to who they are and how they cope as a person,” explained Edwards, a PT at Rebound’s North Clinic in Bend.
“Physical therapy is not always a fun or comfortable process, but the end goal — whether that’s getting back to running or hiking two miles — is worth it.”
Edwards’ background as a collegiate distance runner has informed his work as a therapist. “Being an athlete is a level of education that really does help you (as a PT),” he noted. As a runner, he said he has seen firsthand the importance of setting short-term goals to gauge physical progress.
The same principle can be applied to physical therapy, said Edwards, a Michigan native who obtained his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. “I explain to patients, ‘Here’s what’s going on and here’s how long this is going to take — (a patient’s condition) isn’t something that’s going to change overnight.’”
Edwards is board certified in orthopedic physical therapy and specializes in treating the lower back, hip and lower leg. He is also working toward a manual therapy certification through the North American Institute of Manual Therapy.
Once a month, Edwards volunteers at the Bend running store FootZone’s Ask the Experts, a drop-in Q&A event where customers can consult with a local physical therapist.
When he’s not working with patients, Edwards enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters. He also finds time to explore Central Oregon’s many trails, whether by foot, mountain bike or cross-country skis.