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From low back pain and chronic running injuries, to hip and knee replacements, to exercise regimens, stretching, muscle strengthening and much more, physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy assistants (PTAs) are skilled professionals who examine a patient’s needs and create an individualized treatment plan using techniques that help restore proper function.

October is National Physical Therapy Month, which recognizes the physical therapy field and therapists who work with patients of all ages and abilities to help them heal from injuries and chronic issues and to restore, maintain and improve function and mobility.

Kristine Royen, PT, DPT, is a former high school volleyball player who received her BS in Biology and doctorate in Physical Therapy from East Carolina University. She offered a peek at her profession and why she chose to become a PT:

How long have you been a PT?

  • 5 years

What made you want to go into physical therapy?

  • I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. I liked orthopedics and liked the idea of helping people get back to the normal lives they had before their injury or surgery.

In your words, why is physical therapy is important?

  • Physical therapy looks at a patient’s function. We help to make sure they can do the things that are important to them in their daily lives. We address their issues here but also give them a plan to continue to improve or manage their issues on their own after PT is completed.

What do you like to do outside of work, and what’s one thing people might not know about you?

  • I like to run a few times a week, and enjoy going to see live music, trying out new restaurants, and traveling when I get the chance. If money and family weren’t an issue I would move to Europe for at least a year and have the time of my life!

What’s your favorite sports team?

  • For College the East Carolina Pirates!! For pro, the Carolina Panthers! 

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