There’s a new face at Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center; Dr. Luis Lopez, DPT, LPT, holds a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and specializes in Outpatient Orthopedics. He’s worked with patients recovering from surgery, joint replacements, and sports and fitness injuries. He’s also an avid athlete himself (Warrior Dash, Spartan races, City Challenge, half marathons, sprint triathlons) and understands from both the clinical and athletic perspective what it takes to quickly rehab and recover from sports and fitness injuries.
Dr. Lopez likes a good mystery. ”Being a physical therapist is actually a lot like being a detective” explains Lopez, “every patient is different, and you have to look at each of them individually in order to get to the bottom of what’s going on so you can help them get back to their previous level of function.” He continued, “A patient might come in with symptoms that don’t always point to a clear-cut diagnosis, so that’s where a lot of the problem solving comes into play.”
When Dr. Lopez started college he knew he wanted to pursue a career in the health sciences, but wasn’t very familiar with the physical therapy profession at the time. “I was always interested in the medical/health sciences as well as fitness and wellness. When I learned more about physical therapy, I saw that it combined elements from all of these areas and brought them together into one profession.” Lopez said. After doing more research about the profession and volunteering at different physical therapy clinics, it just reaffirmed to him that that’s what he wanted to do.
He chose Randolph Pain Relief because of their approach with their patients. “As a physical therapist, I feel like I’m in a partnership with my patients. It really is a two-way street,” he explained of his own treatment philosophy. “I can help them get better, but in order to get the most out of their treatment they need to do their part as well, such as adhering to any recommendations or exercises that I prescribe for them to do at home. Patients don’t usually mind that, though”, he continued, “I always explain as clearly as possible how each component of their program will help them get better, and most of the time they’re fully on board once they understand how important it is for their recovery.”
Dr. Lopez is passionate about what he does. “I’ve been really fortunate in my ten years as a physical therapist. From the very beginning of my career, I was immediately exposed to a wide variety of patients with very different diagnoses and conditions, including post-surgical, sports injuries, chronic pain, and even some neurological cases.” This early exposure allowed him to gain valuable experience and confidence in his ability to treat different types of patients.
“One thing I learned right away is that when it comes to this profession, you can be book-smart, but unless you know how to work with and relate to different types of patients, you might be limited in your ability to help them recover from their injuries,” Lopez said. “Each patient will present with different personalities, life experiences, and ways of coping with pain, all of which will influence how they recover – so you can’t assume that everyone’s the same.”
Lopez feels he has been lucky to have worked alongside other very talented, experienced physical therapists over the years. “So whenever I’ve come across a patient with a diagnosis or condition that I’m not familiar with, I’ve been able to tap into the knowledge and expertise of my colleagues and work together with them to help our patients get better,” he explained
As someone who advocates a healthy and active lifestyle for his patients, Dr. Lopez knows how important it is to practice what he preaches and be active himself. “I’m always trying to find different ways to stay active and physically fit. I regularly do strength and cardio training at the gym, but I’ve also trained for and participated in several endurance and obstacle races including Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, and City Challenge,” he explained. He has also completed a few half marathons and sprint triathlons. “Training for these events has given me an appreciation for my athlete patients who have suffered a setback in their training due to an injury, and it has allowed me to understand how important it is for them to recover from their injury and get back to competing and doing what they love to do,” said Lopez.
The Randolph Pain Relief & Wellness Center provides injury rehab and chronic pain management tailored to each patient’s priorities with physical therapy, chiropractic care, medical massage, acupuncture and chronic pain management.