What is physical therapy?
Physical therapists evaluate movement to determine the source of pain or injured body part. Athletes require a specific skill set to identify faulty movements that have or may cause an injury.
Evaluations typically involve a functional movement screen, flexibility and strength testing, as well as assessment of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Based on this evaluation, the physical therapist will discuss your specific physical therapy diagnosis, how long your recovery should take, and what steps you need to take to bring about a resolution to your injury.
Keep in mind that some injuries and people have a quick relief of pain with treatment, it is not always a straight forward path from day one for everyone. As long as you are successfully moving toward your goal, your therapist should help you along that journey and answer any questions you may have.
How can physical therapy help me recover from an injury?
Physical therapists use an assortment of treatment techniques including manual therapy, exercise, tool-assisted, or machines (ultrasound, e-stim).
Your specific injury may require all or only a handful of these techniques for successful treatment.
Early treatment usually revolves around pain management. Once you are independent with understanding your injury and how to self-treat, the second phase often consists of balance and coordination. Think of this as the “quality over quantity”. You don’t want to just start moving, but moving well. A good therapist will correct poor movement patterns. Good alignment means more powerful movements. The third step will begin a sport-specific strength training program to ensure a safe return to sport.
Sometimes there needs to be some sort of modification of training to prevent the athlete from “slipping backwards”.
The plan then, should follow a somewhat purposeful course to getting you back to doing what you love.
A word of advice: don’t put all your eggs in the “one treatment” basket. Allow ourself the opportunity to work with professionals who can draw from a wide range of treatment options.
How do YOU help athletes get back to playing their sport?
My background in exercise science, a handful of personal training certificates, coupled with my doctorate in physical therapy and post-doctoral training as a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist and emergency medical responder, offers me a unique “birds eye” and microscopic view of how a successful injury should be managed.
I have found that athletes that subscribe to the plan of care do significantly better overall and enjoy the rehab process despite being frustrated from having to take time off.
The first step is to avoid doing the things that cause the pain. Once you can break that cycle, you can gradually load the injured body part and progress to returning back to full activity.
Then we have you move around, gaining confidence “on your feet” so to speak. At this point we often have the athlete begin to perform some lower-intensity sport-specific activities. Once you have better movement literacy, have returned to (modified) sport and have a good control of pain, then we begin strength training.
Strength training is the bread and butter of injury prevention. A carefully designed program will help reduce the risk of reinjury and improve performance.
Who do you work with?
Literally from the second the injury happens to the point where you are stepping foot back onto that stage, court or mat, proper medical care is very important. Therapy is a “team” endeavor- communication with the athlete, their coach(es), medical doctor and other treating professionals is integral to a successful return to sport.
I network with health care professionals all over Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Massage therapists, orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians and coaches from all sport disciplines.
In my clinic, I am a solo practitioner. I treat patients one-on-one from start to finish. No “PT mills” where four or five patients are assigned to one therapist.
You have my undivided attention every single session. I want you to feel like you’re in the drivers seat and all of your concerns are addressed before you complete your treatment.