Kristin Holbrook, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS is the Athletic Reconditioning Specialist and Physical Therapist for Olympic Sports at The Ohio State University. She’s been involved with the Ohio Physical Therapy Association (OPTA) since she was a student, and by the age of twenty-five, served on OPTA’s Board of Directors.

You may have seen Braxton Miller’s heartfelt letter to Ohio State fans in the Player’s Tribune, Derek Jeter’s online newspaper where the athletes themselves take on the role of reporter and tell their own story. If you read that piece, you also may have noticed this paragraph:

“As an athlete, there really is nothing scarier than suffering a serious injury that you don’t fully understand. And that’s why I can’t thank the training staff at Ohio State enough for their guidance after the injury happened. The school served as my support network throughout — setting me up with some of the best doctors in the world to make sure that I got healed up properly. I also owe a lot to Kristen Holbrook, my physical therapist, for personally assisting me throughout my rehab and constantly encouraging me the entire way. I always knew I was in great hands, and I’m very thankful for all of the hard work that everyone at school put into helping me get better.”

It’s a heartfelt letter from a guy who puts a lot of his success on the people around him, including the team of PTs at Ohio State.

Kristin Holbrook-pt“For me, that’s embarrassing,” Holbrook says with a shy smile. “I don’t like attention. But he’s a great person. And I think … to write that letter, he did it so eloquently, I think for him to open himself up a bit, that’s the person I got to see every day. And he’s just a great guy and I wish him nothing but the best. He’s got great things ahead of him.”

And while she won’t comment on any particular player’s training, she points out the close bond that forms between players and the physical therapists. “My three years at football, you just get close with people. You’re there every day with them. They become part of your family. And, you know they become reliant and kind of superstitious on who provides their care.” She points to the former OSU players who return for care, and says, “Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.”

In her new role, as Athletic Reconditioning Specialist and Physical Therapist for Olympic Sports, she most enjoys “seeing athletes get back to the sport that they’ve either been missing because of time lost from injury, or they just haven’t been able to perform in the way that they would like. And seeing them get back to that, or get to the level that they would like to achieve — whether that’s getting them to the level where they can get the score to get to the Olympics trials, things of that nature, or just doing their personal best, whatever it may be, that’s exciting… An athlete’s never alone on their journey. It takes a full team to get them there. They know that we’re a team and we’re going to get there.”

Holbrook wants physical therapy to take a larger role in more people’s lives — not just injured athletes. “Physical therapists have a role in prevention.” She likens routine car maintenance to routine trips to the PT. “You see your physician every year, for an annual checkup — why not see a physical therapist every year for a checkup? Just to make sure that we’re able to get ahead of some of these injuries that we get as we become more sedentary in our life. Our tissues start to get more stiff. I think that’s the greatest preventative model that we can get into — get ahead of it before we start to get injured. I don’t think there’s ever an end to PT.”

She highlights some of the benefits of OPTA membership, beyond the Find-a-PT directory (http://aptaapps.apta.org/findapt/index.aspx) and newsletter. She cites OPTA’s advocacy efforts for the PT scope of practice, rallying support for legislation that allows PTs to do what they do, and to expand their practice as new skills are brought to the forefront. “As our education continues to expand, it allows us to continue to expand as a profession.”

“There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes at OPTA,” she says. Aside from political support, she mentions discounts on continuing education classes, networking and high-level education at conferences.

Learn more about OPTA at OhioPT.org and check out the #makePThappen campaign at makePThappen.com.

 

To learn more about Kristin, watch our video here