10 Questions with Sean Magee

10 Questions with Sean Magee

We’re giving you a peek into what makes Orthopedic Institute (OI) tick by shedding some light on our best and brightest.

Today’s featured team member is Sean Magee, one of our physical therapists (PT). Sean graduated from the University of North Dakota. He has a rich 26 years of experience evaluating and treating the spine with mechanical diagnosis and therapy.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what motivates Sean and keeps him passionate about treating patients at OI. 

1. How did you decide to become a PT?

I read a job description about physical therapy in a career magazine, and I was hooked.

2. What led you to join the OI team?

I was recruited to come to Orthopedic Institute. They were looking for a physical therapist that was certified in mechanical diagnosis and therapy to start up its Spine Physical Therapy Program.

3. What is your favorite part of your job?

Utilizing mechanical diagnosis and therapy to evaluate and treat patients

4. What makes your spine therapy program different from other general physical therapy options?

Our Physical Therapists in the Spine Physical Therapy Program are certified in Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy of the Spine through the McKenzie Institute USA. There are only three Physical Therapists in the state of South Dakota certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine, two of which are at Orthopedic Institute ( the skilled Ryan Otto, and myself).

5. What is the best part about working with patients?

Educating and empowering them to participate in their treatment plans, to achieve their goals and to prevent future exacerbations

6. If you could tell every patient one thing before they came in, what would it be?

Our highly trained staff of doctors, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists are here to serve you and your individual orthopedic needs with the most up-to-date orthopedic care in the region. 

7. What do you feel is your number one strength as a PT?

I think my two biggest strengths are: 1. My 28 years experience in evaluating and treating spine patients, and 2. Being certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine since 1994. That certification allows me to assess patients with a standardized mechanical evaluation. Based on the results of that evaluation, I am able to infuse the patient with knowledge about their mechanical diagnosis. After that, I am able to instruct them in things such as: improving their posture, correcting their dysfunctional movement patterns, preventing future exacerbation, and developing an individualized home exercise program to decrease their pain. All of these factors work to increase their limited range of motion, to improve their strength deficits and to decrease their functional disability.

8. Why should a patient come to your spine therapy program as opposed to another program?

At the Orthopedic institute, they will be evaluated by a one of our Physical Therapists certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine. Certified clinicians take a detailed history of the patient’s symptoms and how these symptoms behave with different activities and positions throughout the day and night. Using repeated end range movements or positions and observing how their range of motion has changed, my team will be able to create an individualized treatment plan for the patient. The patient will be prescribed specific exercises and given guidance for appropriate postures and behaviors to adopt or to temporarily avoid outside of the clinic (at home & work). By learning how to self-treat their current problem, patients gain hands on knowledge to minimize the risk of recurrence and to rapidly deal with symptoms if they recur. This program is amazingly individualized and complete unlike anything else in the area.

9. How do you spend your time when you’re not at OI? 

Doing outdoor activities; spending time with family; playing with my 15-month-old grandson Lewi; reading physical therapy journals; listening to Christian music; reading the bible daily; praying for family, friends, colleagues and patients; and going to church as often as I can.

10. What is your ideal way to spend your birthday?

Spending time with family.

Experiencing spine pain? Meet with Sean and the rest of our experienced team. Make an appointment today!