Get to Know Our LA Therapists: Abbie Bell, PT, DPT
Meet Our Los Angeles Team
By Lily Beltran
Why do you love LA?
I’m from Rhode Island and moved here for grad school. It wasn’t a hard sell to get me to stay. The things that I love to do all involve nature and being active. In California, you can get outside and enjoy every day of the year. You have the ocean, desert, mountains, and forest to explore, all within driving distance. I also love the people in LA. They’re very like-minded, and it’s nice to be surrounded by people who are into the same things you are.
Tell us a bit about your professional background.
I got my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a specialization in exercise science from the University of Rhode Island. I came to California to earn my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California. I had the opportunity to work with patients with neurological disorders, but my real passion is outpatient orthopedic. My first year out of school, I worked in an orthopedic and sports physical therapy clinic in the South Bay with athletes. Now, I work in an outpatient clinic and wellness center, mostly with older adults.
What made you get into physical therapy in the first place?
Growing up, my parents both worked in the healthcare field. My mom worked for a cancer doctor and my dad is a social worker. I’ve always been inspired by them and wanted to do something in healthcare where I was helping people. I got really interested in physical therapy during high school when I was running track. I had some friends that got injured and I was able to shadow a physical therapist. I remember thinking it was amazing that you could help people recover from their injuries in a holistic way.
"I was excited when I heard about @getlunacare. It seemed like the perfect way to make a little extra money on a flexible schedule that works for me.” #physicaltherapy #LA
What about being a physical therapist inspires you?
I think it’s the ability to make a real impact on people’s lives. It’s not easy to have an injury where you’re unable to do all the things you love to do—the things that give you a sense of meaning in your life. To be able to help people overcome these injuries and live the life they want to live really motivates me.
What’s the greatest challenge?
I guess it’s the other side of that coin. It’s hard to see people really struggling, especially if they’re not getting better quickly. Sometimes that stems from a lack of motivation. A big part of my job is trying to figure out what really drives and motivates a particular person so they can help themselves succeed. The job itself can be very energy draining. You put your heart and soul into helping people every day, so it’s important to find ways to give some energy back to yourself. It’s helpful and grounding to remember that what you’re doing is helping people, but I also have to find things outside of work to recharge my batteries.
Speaking of, what do you like to do for fun?
I like spending time with my friends. I also love trail running. I actually ran a marathon for the first time this year. I also enjoy hiking, biking, surfing, and yoga. I live pretty close to Manhattan Beach which is a really nice spot to hang out. If you’re ever in the area, I recommend checking out the aquarium and the restaurants and shopping around the pier.
Do you think Luna will be well-received in the LA area?
I think this is a great place for the Luna platform. The people in LA are very motivated to be active and well. There are so many ways to stay active here, and a lot of people need physical therapy to be able to participate in all those things. It’s a crazy busy lifestyle in LA, so the idea of making PT easier by offering it at home is really enticing.