In my previous post, I gave 5 tips for helping teenage athletes avoid anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Now I’m going to discuss specifically what a physical therapist can do for you.
As a physical therapist and former competitive soccer player, one of my passions is working with teenage athletes to develop training plans to prevent the type of injury that affected my soccer career. I also enjoy rehabilitating those who have sustained an injury to get them back to their sport.
Physical therapists are uniquely qualified to address muscle imbalances and impaired movement patterns. We have extensive education in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and kinesiology. These are fancy science words that mean we know a lot about the body and how it moves.
I have taken my education a step further by learning how to use the Redcord suspension system. This “zero-gravity” environment helps me assess how the athlete controls their own bodyweight in space. I can break it down further to see how they control their weight (load) through specific joint motions, without any interference of pain or compensation. I also use it to rehabilitate my clients by teaching them how to properly move, balance and stabilize their body with assistance from the bungee cords. Redcord is a game changer!
If you are the parent of a teenage athlete, please have them get evaluated by someone like me. You want to find a qualified professional who will examine the whole body to find the underlying source of any potential injuries.
It's essential that you get the physical therapist's undivided “one-on-one” attention at every session. They should give you their expert opinion about your teenager’s movement patterns, biomechanics, alignment, and compensations. Then they should work with you and your teenager to implement a clear, sustainable plan of care.
Once the athlete has progressed past the initial few PT sessions, a physical therapist or fitness professional can continue their training into the offseason in order to maintain and build upon these improvements to prevent future injury and to develop skills for optimal performance.
To learn more about how a physical therapist can help, click here
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.