Interview with Sejal Vyas, Director of Waterside’s New Physical Therapy Facility!

Smiling person wearing a blue top and gold earrings in front of greenery

As of last month, Metro Sports Physical Therapy has been providing services onsite at Waterside in the space immediately north of the Lewis Davis Pavilion.

We spoke with Sejal Vyas, PT, director of this newest facility and a founding partner of Metro Sports. Sejal brings over 23 years of orthopedic and sports medicine experience to the community.

Hi Sejal, we’re so excited to have you here at Waterside!

Now, some people may be wondering: “If I’m not a marathon runner who’s injured herself, is physical therapy for me?”

Absolutely. Physical therapy is really there for anyone experiencing a limitation.

A limitation in what you want to do in your life. Everybody has a different lifestyle, a different activity level, but if there is something physical that is limiting you from being able to accomplish your daily activities or your goals, whether it be, “I used to be able to walk to the grocery store. Now I’m having a little bit of trouble.” Or, “I used to be able to sit at my desk for six hours a day, but now when I sit for thirty minutes my knee starts to ache.” That’s not an injury, but it is a physical limitation. And that’s what physical therapy can address.

What happens in physical therapy? If you’re never been, it can be a bit of a mystery.

Sure. So the first visit is an evaluation. At the evaluation, the physical therapist is going to ask a bunch of questions. Like, “What hurts?”, “What are you having problems with?”,  “What activities contribute to this limitation or the pain coming on?”, “What sort of things are you limited in doing that you would like to do?”, “What are your goals?”

So we really take a good subjective history first and then we look at you. I have to see what is moving well, what isn’t moving well, what causes pain.

I look at the whole body. Let’s say it’s a shoulder issue, I have to look at posture, I have to look at how your neck moves, how your shoulder moves. I see what you’re limited in and that allows me to make a good treatment plan. Everything I do is tailored to the specific person based on what they’re having trouble with.

What makes Waterside stand out as a location for your work?

Waterside has a very diverse population in terms of where you come from in the world, and a diverse population in terms of age. There are little kids and families, older folks that have been here for forty years. And, everybody at some point in their life is likely going to have some kind of issue with mobility or limitations in that mobility. And sometimes accessing the care, or finding it, is a challenge. “Where am I going to go?”, “Who’s good?”, “How far is it?” By the time you go through all the questions, sometimes months have gone by. If you have it right here, it’s at your doorstep. You don’t even need a coat.

Yes, that’s a real advantage!

You just come right down here. It’s easy.

Whereas before if you had an appointment that lasts, say, forty-five minutes, you’ve got twenty minutes to get there, and then you have the appointment, then twenty minutes getting back. But here, takes one minute to get here, one minute to get home. So the majority of the time that you’re spending, you’re actually doing something for yourself.

That’s wonderful. And much needed right now.

It can be such a barrier, the research to find the person, and then the commute, particularly if you have an injury.

Right. Access to physical therapy is very much location dependent. If it is something that is convenient to you, you will go.

Makes sense. And you know the neighborhood!

Yes, I’ve already been in this neighborhood for so many years. I’ve been a P.T. going on twenty-four years, and I have worked in the same zip code just about my whole career – and there are many Waterside residents that I’ve treated. My other office is on 23rd and Park. I’ve had Waterside residents there for several years. Now it’s just closer.

We’re glad to have you closer. Do you have any suggestions for people right now?

I think what people really at this time should be thinking about is it’s really important to just keep moving. Just get a little bit more mobility. Consider doing some exercises at home, walking more. I feel as though a body in motion stays in motion. I’m a firm believer in exercise, no matter what level, what intensity. If you stay moving, everything else works better. Your brain works better. You eat better. You interact better. You sleep better. All of those systems in your body work better if you are moving. And moving is different to everyone. You can you be a triathlete or you could be a walker. Those are equally as important and equally as helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

But you don’t have to be a triathlete to go to Physical Therapy?

No, physical therapy is not just for athletes. People may say, “Oh, I didn’t tear ligaments” or, “I didn’t, break a bone”. There are many different ways that physical therapy can help – from posture, general aches and pains, but also now that we’re all working from home, people may be starting to feel the effects of potentially using their dining table as their desk. So that is also another area physical therapy that I work with – ergonomics and posture and positioning.

How can Watersiders make an appointment with you?

You can email: Waterside@metrosportspt.com, or call (646) 742-0165. Also something to note: Now, in New York State, you don’t need a prescription from a physician to access physical therapy care. You can access with your insurance without a doctor’s prescription for ten visits or thirty days, whichever comes first. If you have Medicare, then you do need a doctor’s prescription.