Q&A with Ryan Flatt, Physical Therapist at Elevate Rehab

Elevate Rehab‘s Physical Therapist, Ryan Flatt has been practicing in Lander for over 8 years. Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.Recently, he sat down with County 10 and told us a little about himself.

Meet Ryan Flatt PT, DPT, OCS:

What made you want to become a physical therapist?
I spent much of my time growing up playing sports including football, wrestling, and track. Turns out I was pretty injury-prone and ended up spending a lot of time rehabbing with our local therapist in my hometown. He was great and definitely influenced me in my decision to go into the PT field.

What do you love about what you do?
I love allowing my patients to return to the activities they love to do. Unless you’ve had a fairly serious injury you don’t know how much it can affect your daily living and activities.

What does your work entail?
Working with a patient can include assessments of motion, mobility, strength, and pain patterns. Then being able to take that information to develop a unique plan for that patient to allow them to recover through exercise, modalities, and hands-on manual therapy.

How did you get started as a physical therapist?
I did my first clinical rotation in Fremont County while I was in graduate school. I fell in love with the Winds and Lander and always thought I could return to start my career here. I moved to Lander two weeks after graduation and have been here for over 8 years now.

What area do you specialize in?
I am a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedics. I also am certified in dry needling and I’m LSVT BIG certified for treating those with Parkinson’s disease.

What is most challenging about what you do?
I think there is still a large gap in knowledge in what we do as physical therapists and what the general population thinks we do as a treatment option. The profession has progressed dramatically over the past 2-3 decades and there are so many ways we can treat musculoskeletal injuries.

What is most rewarding?
It is rewarding being able to first see a patient who is in a lot of pain and significantly limited in what they can do through the day and then watch them progress through their plan of care. Watching them regain their functional ability and return to normal life affirms why we as therapists go into this field.

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
We don’t just put you through exercises. Treatment sessions include many more resources to eliminate pain and improve mobility and are developed uniquely for each patient.

What are some of the most common things patients come in for?
Spine injuries are probably the most common diagnosis seen in the clinic. 80% of the population will have back pain at some point in their life and is a huge burden on our health system.

What do you wish you could tell every patient (and they would actually do) and why?
Drink more water and get more sleep! They are two of the simplest things you can do for your health but also have some of the most dramatic effects as far as improving your health.

List the services that you provide.
I do focus on manual therapy to supplement exercise in the treatment of my patients. Soft tissue massage, joint mobilizations, myofascial release, and trigger point release are common techniques I use. I also use dry needling and cupping treatments. Other than the hands-on treatments I provide custom orthotic fabrication, LSVT BIG treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and post-operative treatment of orthopedic surgery.

What brought you to Elevate Rehab?
I was excited to be part of a team that not only works together to provide the best treatment for our patients but also works to ensure we are also getting what we want out of our careers and our lives outside of work. The well-rounded approach provides for a much better experience for everyone. I also was attracted to the idea of having one on one treatment sessions with every patient to allow myself to give each patient the best care I know I’m capable of providing.

What is the best advice you’ve ever given to a patient?
Try to take care of your injuries early before they become a long-term issue that takes longer to recover from.

What simple exercises do you tell every patient to do every day to stay healthy?
Any exercise that involves improved posture. Every aspect of our body can be traced back to the spine and our daily posture and the better you are at maintaining it the better you’re going to feel overall.

Background, hobbies, family…
I grew up in northeastern Montana in a small town more remote than even Fremont County. I live in Lander with my wife, my 2-year-old son, and our two dogs. When I’m not working we’re usually trying to be out hiking, camping, hunting, or fishing.


Elevate Rehab’s dedicated team of highly skilled and specialized therapists will help you on your journey back to better health & mobility. To schedule an appointment with Ryan or any of our therapists, click here.