Dr. Alexis Sams, DPT of ansfpt.com on Treating Performance Artists

Rehabilitation to prevention and education

Dr. Alexis Sams is the owner and lead physical therapist of ANS Fitness and Physical Therapy, which specializes in providing total injury care for dancers – from rehabilitation to prevention and education.

We recently asked Dr. Sams about her experiences treating different types of performance artists. Here’s what she shared:

Tell us about your practice. What sets you apart from other practitioners in your area?

ANSFPT was created in 2014 to answer the fitness and wellness needs of performance artists including dance, music, gymnastics, cheer, ice skating and martial arts. I combine years of clinical physical therapy practice with my experience as a dancer and instructor to assist other artists through the injury experience. We provide rehabilitation following injury and specialize in programming and education for injury prevention and wellness for young artists, parents, professional artists and instructors.

We’d like to talk about a patient success story you’re especially proud of. Tell us about the patient. How did they learn about your practice?

Most of my patients are referred via word of mouth. This particular patient was a dancer who I came to know while teaching at her studio. At a community fair performance she sprained her ankle and had to be carried off stage. She was in pain, her ankle was swelling, and she was nervous about how this injury would effect her dancing, particularly the competition she had six weeks later. In just three weeks she was back to dance without pain and by the day of competition she was ready to dance with no problem.

What advice would you give PT students today? For instance looking back at your own career is there anything you would do differently?

1. Don’t doubt their knowledge when they first start their career. They’ve passed the licensing exam so they know something. Don’t be afraid to practice what you know.

2. Be resourceful – don’t worry about knowing all the “right” answers immediately, but start to know where you can locate them when you need to.

3. It’s not about making mistakes; that’s inevitable. It’s about how you resolve them and what you learn from them.

Please talk about any ways you are trying to impact the community you’re a part of:

Mentoring/Teaching? I accept volunteers for high school and college students interested the the PT profession.
Community involvement/awareness? I support area dance studios, dance companies and fitness gyms through injury prevention screenings and seminars.

Anything (that you care to admit) that you would never do again?

I will NEVER believe someone who tells me that I’m not a good therapist.

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