PT Spotlight: Nate Hadley, DPT
Q: How did you become a physical therapist?
A: I always thought physical therapy was an interesting profession, but it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I sustained a knee injury while playing football. Going through the rehabilitation process was a really valuable experience. I learned a lot about myself and finished the process wanting to help others in the same way that my physical therapist had helped me. I graduated from of Whitworth University with a Bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in psychology. After many hours of observation, I returned to Seattle and received my Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Washington.
Q: How would you describe your treatment style?
A: I would say that I spend a lot of time listening. Everyone’s pain is unique and everyone has a story before they see me. Understanding details, such as hobbies and occupation, can provide a good starting place. After that, I like to understand my patient’s goals for therapy. Patient goals are the basis for our plan of care. Some people have really big goals for therapy, like running a race or getting back to playing in a rec league. Other people have more basic goals, like putting on a shirt or being able to sleep at night. Either way, I love finding what is important to my patients and partnering with them to work towards meaningful change in their life.
Q: You recently finished the year-long mentorship program at MSPT. How has this influenced your practice?
A: I have a whole new appreciation for the complexity of the movement system. Being able to identify movement patterns, both efficient and inefficient, has been tremendously helpful in the way I practice. I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a knowledgeable group of therapists. There’s a wonderful spirit of collaboration at MSPT and everyone is committed to providing the highest caliber of care. It makes for a tremendous learning environment. Being able to glean some of their expertise has been invaluable in assessing and treating the movement system.
Q: Do you have any areas of special interest?
A: I’m fascinated by pain. The human body is tremendously complex, but researchers are discovering new ways to understand and explain pain. I believe that everyone in pain, whether acute or chronic, can benefit from pain education. Pain can be scary. However, understanding our body can reduce fear and anxiety. I love empowering my patients with strategies they can use to take control of their symptoms.
Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not in the clinic?
A: My fiancée and I got engaged in September, so we have been busy with wedding planning lately. Otherwise, autumn is a great time of year for sports. I’m a Husky football season ticket holder, so on most Saturdays you can find me at the UW rooting for the Dawgs. I also enjoy following the Sounders and Mariners.