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Dr. Santiago Sits down with other local Oceanside business owners.

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

1. Before we get started, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do?

I'm a doctor of Physical Therapy and have been practicing for the past years. I decided to do be one when I discovered that I wanted to help people after helping a stranger. I considered nursing and medicine but once I got into the PT program of my choice, I forgot about everything else, and love the choice I made 11 years ago. I decided to open my clinic after having struggled to visit my family in NJ and taking vacations for 4 years and never having enough time. I decided I wanted to own my time.

2. From your perspective, what impact has this extended quarantine had on people’s physical wellness? And how can a visit to a chiropractor help?

I think you meant to ask the Physical Therapist. However, I can make a contrast between the two. This drastic change in daily activities, ways of life, increased stress, changes in the ergonomics of the workplace, and in many cases, the financial strain to afford housing and proper dietary needs affect the body and mind. This forced stay home without a proper desk and tools forced people to use what they have but affecting their posture, not being able to go to the gym changed the way people had the habit of working out, and many of them were forced to interact with their families all day long. This deconditioning creates weakness, poor postures weakness and tightness, stress increases hormones that create inflammation or make it worse, etc. The reasons why this sudden change in lifestyle affects everyone are vast. This is also where a visit to a Physical Therapist makes a great difference compared to a chiropractor. Most chiropractors treat the physical impairments only by aligning the body, treat the pain with modalities, and, recently, some are engaged in improving their patient nutrition. Physical Therapists also engage in correcting the physical impairments, use modalities to improve pain, and some are also engaged in improving their patient's nutrition. In addition, we engage in correcting their ROM due to tightness, spasms or trigger points, postural habits during work such as proper ergonomics of their work stations, cars, and activities of daily living, and any impairment that affects their function. Although chiropractors can do the same, most of them do not spend the amount of quality time required to achieve real results, and to listen to their patients. Much less to get to know them and find out if there is any emotional stress that can also be influencing his body. Physical Therapists get to know their patients more and that makes a huge difference.

3. Can you describe what ergonomics is and why it is important?

ergonomics are all the factors that make a workplace or station which can influence a worker's productivity and efficiency, as well as prevent or cause injuries due to inappropriate positioning and repetitive movement. This is highly important since most people spend every day for at least 8 hours doing the same activities. If they constantly do the same activities inappropriately, their bodies will eventually start to fail. In addition, due to the stresses of life and the need to continue to be productive at their workplace, most people push through the pain making the injury chronic, and only seek help when the pain is unbearable and starting to affect their and/or other activities. If correcting or designing the appropriate ergonomics unique to each individual can prevent a lifetime of pain or the loss or avoidance of activities one enjoys doing; then, it is my opinion that good ergonomics are not just only important but essential.

4. What tips do you have for people that are working from home for perhaps the first time? Invest in a good work station, whatever that may be, headphones so your hands are free, and internet that provides you with the appropriate speed to avoid frustration. If you do not have an idea of what to do, contact a Physical Therapist. We can definitely help.

5. What advice do you have for employers/businesses regarding office ergonomics? Just like the answer from before, invest in equipment that will help your staff be and remain productive, and efficient, and that keeps them injury-free.

6. Anything else on your mind that you think would be important for small businesses or employees to know?

For employees, please know that your boss or small business owner at this time they are putting everything on the line to make it work. They are putting you and their patients/clients first before themselves. We want to make our small business succeed and know it is like our newborn baby that we are trying to raise. Help us take care of it. For other business owners, I can only pass on the advice other well-established business owners have given me, "keep going."

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