Athletes understand that they are different than most people. The limits they push their bodies to are far beyond what most people do in a lifetime.
Athlete’s understand that injuries are a part of sport. By getting your ankle rolled up on by the big boy’s up front, but sometimes just jumping and cutting will cause a tweak in the knee. Constantly wear and tear from what the sport demands.
When this happens, it is imperative that you find the right provider to get you back to your high level of training and activities. This is important in all aspects of your care, but especially for your physical therapist.
Long story short because they are the ones that are going to be with you and help you load/progress back to your sport!
You wouldn’t go to your primary care doctor for a torn ACL. They may be able to recognize it, but they aren’t the ones skilled at helping you fix that. They will send you to the orthopedic and sports specialist. And, not even just the orthopedic who performs the hip and knee joint replacements on your grandma, but sports and orthopedic doctors who work with the athletes and active adults all the time.
You aren’t going to go to a steak house and order chicken. Sure, they may have it, but that is not what they are known for.
You won’t take your dog to see the veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. Again, at some point they have been taught about treating dogs, but they aren’t the expert in mammals. They haven’t worked with mammals in a very long time.
The expert you seek out matters for your care.
I don’t think any of my colleagues would have any quarrel when I say that physical therapists should be specializing more than what we traditionally have done.
I have worked in clinics where I would be seeing a 3 month old patient with Torticollis and then seeing a 96 year old patient with balance issues 30 minutes later. Even I struggled trying to stay up to date with my perfect patients I want!
This was tough and unrealistic.
Just as the saying goes “Jack of all trades, master of none”, and physical therapists should not be exempt.
On top of all of that, I have had experience working in traditional PT clinics that had me seeing 16-20 patients in a day. If a patient was running late, it didn’t matter, I would get double and triple booked at times. If I were to guess, it was really only 15 minutes I had with every patient. Not being able to give the care that the patient deserved!
One more thing, I can recall clinics pushing for athletes and active adults come to the clinic. You would think I would have been really excited for the opportunity to work with them! But, I knew I was not equipped for them. I distinctly remember working with patients using a 5LB dumbbell because that was the heaviest weight I had. I can be creative, but if you want to get an athlete returning to their prior level of form, you need to prepare them for it. Those pink 5LB dumbbells might have been fine for a start, or accessory work, but should not have been used towards the end of their plans of care with us.
Talk about stacking the odds of working with such a unique population when there were unrealistic productivity standards placed on therapists, expectation that they should know everything about every diagnosis, and being severely limited on the equipment I had with the athletic and active population.
All of this is the reason why Spark Performance and Physiotherapy was developed. I knew athletes and active adults valued the one-on-one time with a specialist in working with athletes and active adults. This would help them get back on the field faster, stronger, and with more confidence!
At Spark Performance and Physiotherapy we spend one-on-one time with all of our athletes. You get our undivided attention, and we know exactly what to do to get you back on the field. When you are injured, you need to find someone that is willing to do that for you and give you the time you need and deserve.
The best investment that a physical therapist can give you is their time and attention. You want someone to be able to look at you and see you, and where you are right now, and understand your injury, be able to develop the plan to get you where you want to go, and have no distractions. From there, you and your PT can embark on that journey together of getting better.
It’s Important That Your PT is a Specialist in Your Injury
You want your physical therapist to be a specialist in your injury. Not somebody who sees your injury every once in a while. You should see someone who has seen it all and dealt with your kind of injury or surgery numerous times. That way, they know the ins and outs of your surgery or injury. They will know when and how to progress you safely.
There is something to be said about knowledge and experience with your recovery. Things happen and proper progression is critical to get you back to playing as fast as possible!
At Spark Performance and Physiotherapy, we specialize in orthopedic and sports injuries and recovery from those injuries. Some examples are: ACL injuries, meniscal tears, Achilles ruptures, Tommy John Surgery recovery or prevention, biceps tear, etc.
We focus on getting athletes back on the field to be as confident as possible and have performance be at the highest level.
Your Physical Therapist Should Understand the Demands & Stress That Your Sport or Position Requires
Having a physical therapist that understands your position you play in your sport is crucial. Someone who can break down the movement and is able to create a plan to get you back to your normal techniques and demand for your position.
If you are a quarterback, your recovery process is going to look different than the linebacker.
The recovery for a pitcher is different than for those who play the outfield.
There is importance in the details when you start competing at higher levels.
You Need to Put Yourself in an Environment That Will Help You to Excel as an Athlete
When you walk into our clinic at Spark Performance and Physiotherapy, you’re going to feel like you’re walking into a gym, because that is what we want you to feel like!
When you are injured, that part of you that feels like an athlete is being ripped apart from you. Since being an “athlete” is your identity, when this gets taken away from you due to an injury, you don’t feel good about it. That’s why the environment for recovery to get you back to feeling your best is so important!
I’ve had patients come to me after leaving a mill clinic because they were younger athletes who realized they were doing the same exercises as their grandma’s friends, Betty and Ethel.
When you walk into a physical therapy clinic, you want to feel like you are there to work. Approaching your injury and recovery with the same tenacity as training for your season is imperative.
The environment you’re in dictates how you are going to be as an athlete.
We have spent a lot of time building this exact culture and environment at Spark Performance and Physiotherapy.
We get a lot of athletes in the gym, so that way when you come in and you’re injured, you can look over your shoulder and see another athlete working. Pushing you to work even harder! If the other athletes that you see in our facility are out-working you and you’re both injured, you will be striving to match each other’s energy and push yourselves.
Creating that competitive, yet friendly and encouraging, environment helps you grow! You will be pushed to do your best and return to your sport better than when you left it!
Are you interested in the next level of physical therapy for your active and athletic needs? Give us a call at (480) 452-9191 or email us at email@example.com.