Physical therapist Dr. Laura Wilson, PT, DPT recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with Back in Action. To celebrate, we thought we’d share a bit about her.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Laura: I grew up around the Concord area of North Carolina, and spent a lot of time playing sports as a kid: soccer, basketball, volleyball. I got my undergraduate degree from UNC Wilmington and went to Elon University graduate school in physical therapy before moving to the Fuquay-Varina area. I still play competitive sports like soccer and volleyball.
Q: What inspired you to pursue physical therapy as your career?
Laura: I always said I wanted to be a sports medicine physician because I liked sports. But I changed my mind my junior year of high school. That’s when I tore my ACL and ended up in physical therapy. My physical therapist was just the best and the one who got me through the ordeal. That’s when it hit me that I wanted to become a physical therapist. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.
Q: What does DPT stand for?
Laura: Doctorate of physical therapy.
Q: What are your specialties or focus areas?
Laura: I have a couple that I am focusing on right now. Because of my history with ACL injuries, I have a strong interest in prevention and rehabilitation of ACL injuries. We have come a long way even in the last 10 years with our understanding of ACL tear prevention. There’s a lot of new research that shows what you can do to avoid ACL injuries. It’s frustrating to know that this information may have helped me avoid my ACL tear so I feel passionate about helping other young athletes. Another area I enjoy is working with is vestibular rehab and concussion rehab. This summer (2017) I am going to the top certification program in the country to become a vestibular rehab specialist. Treatments for concussion are quickly changing, and more evidence is suggesting rehab and activity should be implemented sooner for quicker return to normal. It is all pretty exciting!
Q: What do you love about Back in Action?
Laura: I love that it’s one-on-one patient care. You get a full hour with each person, so you really get to know them. In some clinics, you only get 30 minutes or you have multiple patients at the same time. I like that I have time to let people know I care.
Q: A lot of people are nervous about physical therapy. What do you tell people who feel that way?
Laura: I’ve been there multiple times. You come in, you’re injured. You’re in a vulnerable position. I understand you’re in pain so I’m not expecting you to have a smile on your face all the time. I’m here to make you feel better. I’m not going to try to make you feel worse. We’re going to agree on everything.
Q: What advice do you give people that you also follow?
Laura: Set yourself up for success. Avoiding injury is easier than recovering from one. Now all of my workouts are based on what can I do to protect my knee. My knees have been through a lot and it’s a continued effort to keep everything strong and keep my knees working as long as possible. So that’s my advice: do what you can to stay healthy; do your warm-up, continue getting strong to support your activities, keep your joint mobility, that is the key.
Q: What do you do for fun or what are your hobbies?
Laura: I try to stay as active as I can. I’m playing some type of sport most nights of the week. I’m also a water girl, at the lake or beach, fishing or wakeboarding or paddle boarding. Outside is my happy time.