Get To Know Your PT: Jonathan Lim Sze How, PT, DPT

Jonathan Lim Sze How PT, DPT

Physical therapist Jonathan Lim Sze How takes some time to share his favorite ways to stay active, how he knew physical therapy was the career path for him and what he listens to to get pumped up.


“Gradually challenge yourself to do more and more, you will be able to achieve anything.”


When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I always knew I wanted to be in a profession where I could be actively help people, while not having to sit behind a desk all day long. I realized during my undergraduate education how amazingly complex and resilient the human body is while learning about anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. This pushed me to learn more, become a human movement expert and help others, thus pursuing physical therapy as a career.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

Any classic 90s rock song!

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

One of the challenges we face, in my opinion, is that our patients often take too long after sustaining an injury to come in for a consultation with a physical therapist. Often this can delay their recovery process while causing other compensating issues to surface and complicate things.

How do you like to stay active?

I became quite an avid runner over the past several years. I love the feeling of just being on my own and challenging myself both physically and mentally. When I moved to San Francisco, I got into trail running and started exploring the countless number of beautiful trails the Bay Area has to offer.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

I was gladly surprised by how far reaching our profession is. You can find physical therapist’s working with newborns and their parents in the in neonatal units, or getting ICU patients who hooked up to several machines up and moving.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

I am really interested in public health and health policy making and may pursue this path in the future.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

A nice cup of black coffee in the morning.

What do you wish everyone knew about PT?

We are not the “torturers” you think we are. We will always motivate you to do more and challenge yourself because we are your “cheerleaders”.

What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?

In my opinion, patience is a very important trait for any physical therapist to have. Patience to really listen to and empathize with our patient’s issues, as well as having the patience to work with each patient at their own pace.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

Playing some tunes on my guitar.

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…

In a perfect world, I would be up early and laced up, ready for a morning run, or on my way to a good fishing spot.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

Get Moving!!! I know it is easier said than done, but if you pick an activity you like, have a solid plan, start easy and gradually challenge yourself to do more and more, you will be able to achieve anything.


On the Run with TPSF: How to Avoid Running Injuries

This issue of On the Run is written by Lindsay Haas, PT, DPT, OCS.  Lindsay is a physical therapist at TherapydiaSF and enjoys working with runners, dancers, and all athletes for rehabilitation from injury and improved sport performance.

The good news is that you signed up for a race.  It may be your first or your twenty-fifth, but you are ready.  Of course you want to stay healthy.  Especially when you are gearing up and looking forward to completing your upcoming race!  The bad news is that rates of injuries in runners is high, and its even higher when training for an event.

The #1 risk factor for injury in running was a history of injury, usually within the past 12 months (1).  Most injuries in running are caused from overuse, which is defined as repetitive microtrauma to the musculoskeletal system.  Increased training loads (such as running more when training for an event) can exacerbate an old injury.  Also, you may have changed your running pattern to compensate for your previous injury and as a result overloaded another part of your body and created a new injury.

The second highest risk factor was the weekly distance.  Runners who complete more than 40 miles per week were found to be more likely to sustain an injury (2). When you run more, you can overload the musculoskeletal system to the point where it can’t recover, thus creating an injury.

So how do you stay healthy throughout your training?

1.  Change it up.  Since most running injuries are caused by overuse and repetitive strain, its important to introduce variety to your training.  You should already be active in strength training (shown to decrease the risk of injury and improve performance!) but you should also be changing up your runs.  Try running on trails, or try altering your pace.  Even if you’re not participating in a training program that incorporates tempo runs and speedwork, there should be some variety in your runs.

2.  Watch your form. It is important to have good running form.  Your cadence is the number of steps taken per minute, and should be more than 170 steps per minute on both feet.  If its too slow, you may be putting too much stress on your body.  Increasing your cadence will help with over-striding.  Focus on taking short quick steps and keeping your feet under your hips.

3.  Treat injuries before they start.  Don’t wait until something hurts.  Using ice and self-myofascial release (such as the foam roller) are good tools for when you are sore, but there are ways to be proactive as well.  Listen to your body, if you need to adjust your workout or take a day off its okay.  When you are running keep track of your heart rate and level of fatigue to know if you need to slow the pace or even stop for the day.  If you are feeling sharp or stabbing pain, you need to stop. Avoid the ‘three too’s’: too much, too soon, too fast.  Pushing yourself too hard can compromise your ability to recover.

Still worried about getting injured while training?  Schedule a Fitness Screen with one of TherapydiaSF’s physical therapists.  We will identify any potential risk factors to injury or decreased performance and create a customized exercise program to help you meet your training goals.


(2) Walter SD, Hart LE, McIntosh JM, et al. The Ontario cohort study of running-related injuries. Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:2561–4.