Erich Steinmetz, MS, ATC, LMT

Sports Medicine Practicum Supervisor

Erich Steinmetz

Hometown: Salem, Oregon

Graduation Year: 2018

Prior Education or Experience: University of Western States – MS in Sports Medicine (2017-18); Oregon State University – BS in Exercise and Sport Science with focus in Athletic Training (2005); East West College of the Healing Arts – Massage Therapy (1998-99); Naval Nuclear Training Series – ‘A’ School, Power School and Prototype (1993-94)

Bio: Steinmetz has been practicing massage therapy since 2000 and has extensive experience in clinical, orthopedic, rehabilitation and sports/performance-based massage. He has a bachelor’s in athletic training from Oregon State University and a master’s in sports medicine from University of Western States. Steinmetz has further broadened his knowledge base and skill-set by becoming certified in the use of the Fascial Abrasion Technique Tool, Rocktape and Corrective Exercise.

Steinmetz was an instructor for the University of Western States massage therapy program from 2011-2016, where he taught kinesiology and treatment based massage, and helped revise the sports and rehabilitation massage course. He has also developed and taught continuing education courses for UWS and has supervised massage students at sports massage outreach events.

Steinmetz has been fortunate enough to work several marquee events such as the Prefontaine Classic and the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials in 2012 and 2016, having worked on a number of world champion and Olympic medalist athletes. He has also worked in China with several track and field athletes, enabling them to perform well in the 2018 Asian Games.

He hopes to continue his involvement in world-class sports medicine. Steinmetz has been selected to serve as a member of the sports medicine team for the 2019 Pan Am Maccabi games, and has been invited back to China to continue working for the Chinese Athletics Association. His goals are to continue to enhance his skill set to become a well-rounded sports physiotherapist.

Why did you choose to work with athletes?

Working in athletics requires the provider to be very well-rounded and knowledgeable in many areas.  This is a challenge that I enjoy because it keeps me engaged and motivated to learn more. Athletes are also more disciplined and motivated than the general population and I typically see results happen faster because they put my advice into practice. 

Most rewarding part of your job at UWS and in your clinical practice?

The most rewarding aspect of my job at UWS is being able to pass on my knowledge to eager and receptive students. I know they will apply any concepts and suggestions I have given them. I find the doctor of chiropractic (DC) interns in the sports medicine program have incredibly sharp intellects and I really enjoy talking to them and learning from them as well.

My clinical practice provides me an opportunity to continually learn and grow. I am always looking to improve my diagnostic skills, learn and apply new treatment and exercise techniques to help my clients get out of pain and back to pursuing their physically active lifestyle.

Advice for current students who want to work with athletes?

Athletes are very sensitive to confidence. You must project a sense of confidence in order to establish good rapport with an athlete. Athletes can tell if you know what you are doing based on your fluency of assessment and treatment. Listen to what an athlete has to say about what they want, how they’ve injured themselves, what their training regimen consists of and current competition schedule. Your treatment will be heavily informed by these factors. Also, remember that working with athletes is about the athlete. It’s tempting to let your ego go to an unhealthy place when working in athletics, so you need to constantly remind yourself it’s not about you, it’s about them.

How do you think your work aligns with the UWS philosophy on integrating disciplines?

My work aligns harmoniously with UWS philosophy on integrating disciplines. No one provider is capable to caring for every need than an athlete has. I feel that my background as an ATC and LMT is very complementary with the knowledge and skills the DC and sports medicine program has to offer. It fills in the gaps in several areas and it provides the DC interns with a different perspective. I believe it can help the DC interns become a well-rounded chiropractic physician.