My name is Andreas Saltas, I am a licensed Physical Therapist practicing in the state of New York. I attained my B.S. in Physiotherapy and my M.S in Sports Medicine overseas in Greece and in England. Prior to my entry in the PT program, I was fortunate to work alongside and shadow PT professors at private offices as well as volunteer work at the 2004 Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece. During my studies, I obtained my Certification in Kinesio Tape application and IASTM technique. I continue to improve my knowledge in physical therapy and sports performance undertaking as many continuing education courses as possible such as Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, Postural Restoration Institute, Mulligan and Maitland Concepts, Reflexive Performance Reset, Functional Range Release and Neurokinetic Training. My dream of working on both professional Bodybuilders and Powerlifters became a reality once I moved back to the United States. I have also been fortunate enough to break into the NFL working with players from the NY Giants, Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills.
I do not view my line of work as a passion but as my PURPOSE to provide the best care possible to all patients/clients. I see the human body as a fascinating complex puzzle. An injury that the human body sustains will lead to other dysfunctions and compensatory patterns later in life regardless of when the injury originated. Identifying those patterns is what makes my line of work both exciting and challenging. The challenge is what drives and motivates me every single day. I will do whatever it takes to solve every single puzzle that is placed in front of me because I truly believe that is what is best for my patients/clients.
My history of becoming a PT is quite interesting. In 2003, I suffered a horrific motorcycle accident in which I fell off a 50 ft. cliff during my summer vacation in Greece. I sustained multiple injuries that left me partially paralyzed from the waist down. For 3 months, I was unable to walk, stand or feel my legs. My thighs eventually atrophied to the extent that they became the size of my wrists. I remember times when I could not feel a thing even when I would stab my leg with a fork. I wanted to feel a small SENSE of pain in my legs. The surgeons told me that I would probably never walk again. I was so depressed, I could not even look down on my own legs to witness how small they were and how useless they became.
Yet, I remember one day while a nurse helped me onto my wheelchair, I felt a tingle in the tips of my toes. I was then able to feel rubbing sensations as well as a sense of hot and cold. There was hope!! Eventually what gave me even more hope was that when I exercised my upper body, my lower extremities started to respond. Slowly but surely I could feel my legs and toes, and then, somewhat miraculously, movement came back to my legs. No doctor in Greece was able to explain to me what was going on. They just kept on encouraging me to train. However, I needed answers. I needed to know how the body worked and how was it possible that the more I trained my upper body, the more I would gain more sense and movement on my lower body.
Fast-forward to the first time actually trying to stand. I faced challenges of balance, coordination, endurance, and strength. And still, the doctors were unable to give me a solid explanation of how my body was developing. My orthopedist would give me his opinion about my joints and muscles; my neurologist told me his version of what my nerves may be doing; and my urologist would tell me his explanation but no one could ever tell me the root cause of why I was feeling all these new responses. Eventually, I decided I had to seek the answers myself so I applied to a PT school in Greece. I studied everything I possibly could yet the information was not enough. I attended a masters degree in sports medicine and that is where a few pieces of the puzzle came together. I then attended many continuing education courses such as PRI, NKT, Graston and DNS and I finally felt I was getting the answers I needed. Finally, when I was able to fully walk, run, squat and jump, I moved back to my hometown in New York. And I still wanted to continue to learn the intricasies of the human body.
With the continuing education courses, books, articles and DVDs, I came to realize that ALL systems of the body have to work together. My breathing system; my balance system; my visual system; and above all my nervous system all had to synchronize and integrate. All these systems had to “talk” to each other. No one system should be required to overcompensate for another failing system. This is what makes my job so freaking hard but, also, so exciting. I am fascinated with the human body and its functions and seeing how my patients/clients respond to the different methods I apply. I am able, as well, to educate them into viewing their injuries and functions through a different lens.
Others focus too much on biomechanics. They see foam rollers, lacrosse balls, foot orthotics, funky athletic shoes, belts, wrists straps, posture belts and so many other things out there that focus too much on our biomechanics (movement of joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments). Others rely solely on what the orthopedist says when he/she looks at the MRI scan and are led to believe that what they see on those scans is the root cause of the pain. THAT COULD NOT BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. We must realize that without addressing the king of all systems of the body, which is NEUROLOGY, biomechanics is insufficient. Without a functional respiratory system, biomechanics is insufficient. Without a good balance system (vestibular system), biomechanics is insufficient. Without addressing your personal Psychology, biomechanics is insufficient. That is how I think. In my profession, in order to help my athletes, I need to be more open minded to everything. Because everything can affect your performance. The more I know about my athletes’ history, the better I can analyze them to give my athlete PERMANENT rather than short term results.