Contact sports involve physical activities where athletes come into bodily contact with one another. Some examples include football, rugby, boxing, mixed martial arts, karate, hockey, lacrosse, and soccer.
There is an inherent risk of injury associated with participation in contact sports. The physical demands placed on these athletes are uniquely different from the general population who do not engage in similar activities. Likewise, physical therapy for this special population should not be given a conventional approach.
An accumulation of physical and physiological stresses as well as direct blows to the head and/or body can set the athlete up for injury. Concussions, in particular, have become a major concern. Most people think that a concussion occurs when the brain comes in contact with the skull, but this simply is not the case.
Our brains are floating in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid keeps the brain in constant motion during all of the activities throughout our lives. When we are impacted on the field, the brain tissue is sheared in multiple directions. When the neurons within the brain are sheared, they become more permeable for fluid and nutrients to flow within the cells. They are then taking in more energy than is available in the surrounding fluid, leaving little energy remaining for future use.
Because of this, a concussion is an issue of energy use and availability rather than just an issue due to direct impact. This depletion of available energy is what causes both the fatigue and the inability to tolerate basic activities (e.g., reading, television, academics) for extended periods of time. Until the neurons are healed, you might continue to have the hallmark signs and symptoms of concussion.
Proper training habits along with the ability of the athlete to perform the desired movements (from head to toe) in a strong, efficient, and safe manner are essential for optimal health and pain-free performance.
What happens when your head and/or body get in the way of playing your sport?
While these conditions are common for athletes who engage in contact sports, they are not normal and should be addressed by a qualified practitioner.
If this sounds like you, click here to find an Activcore location to get help now.
Returning to school, work or sports after sustaining a concussion can be physically and mentally demanding and frustrating. If balance is not returned to the brain cells following injury, your ability to read and analyze objects moving in space may be distorted. This is why returning to sports and daily life can be so difficult for so many.
Typically people are instructed to rest or stay inside a dark room after a concussion. Research shows this can actually create negative consequences. Depriving your senses for long periods of time increases the likelihood of having prolonged post-concussive symptoms. Gradual exposure to activities can help speed up your recovery.
At Activcore, we will assess your unique symptom profile and tailor a program for you. We apply a multi-sensory approach that advances the healing process and optimizes how your brain and muscles communicate, for a safe return to sports and a peak level of performance.
Treating athletes who participate in contact sports is typically not a big part of a physical therapist’s education. It is a specialty area requiring much further study, training, and practice following graduation.
At Activcore, you will be matched with a physical therapist who specializes in contact sports injuries and concussions. Unlike the "typical" PT who may not fully understand your sport, you will have a specialist PT who knows exactly what you are going through.
Activcore physical therapists are also recognized nationally as a leading authority in the application of Redcord, a suspension exercise system designed to help you develop a smarter, balanced body through the power of neuromuscular activation.
Your physical therapist will assess how you move as it relates to your sport. This is a holistic approach to identify not only the site of injury, but the true source of any pain, weakness and dysfunction. Addressing the underlying cause is absolutely essential for healing an injury, preventing recurrence, and keeping you healthy and at a peak level of performance. The progression of your physical therapy treatments should be a reflection of the type of activity you are trying to get back to doing.
When it comes to concussions, how can we most effectively heal the neurons and stabilize the energy flow within the cerebrospinal fluid? When a concussion does occur, the approach to healing should be multifaceted. A treatment plan that incorporates a diet high in the proper nutrients, graded exposure to aerobic conditioning, and neural exercises that don’t exacerbate any symptoms has been proven to be most effective. The exercises we employ at Activcore combine neuromuscular activation training with an integration of multiple senses like visual, vestibular and cerebellar.
You will feel the Activcore difference from your first visit. A highly personalized experience delivered by a passionate movement expert fully dedicated to getting you back and keeping you in the sport or training activity that you love. Once your pain has been addressed, you will have the opportunity to continue honing your movement through performance training at Activcore.
I spent about five months dealing with post-concussive syndrome after a minor head injury. I was almost house-bound waiting to recover, until I met with Nick Passe at Activcore. With his help, I finally started to make progress, and I was able to regain confidence in physical and mental activity. My symptoms have drastically lessened since I worked with Nick and I've been able to return to school and all my old routines. I'm extremely grateful for his help!
As a athlete, even the smallest injury can be devastating. This past summer I was training through a shoulder separation and was in a great deal of pain. After starting PT with Nick at Activcore, I have been able to compete in my sport again and have even won two championships! None of this would have been possible if I hadn't found this place! Thank you for teaching me how to use the right muscles and become even stronger than I was pre-injury!
Great space, great people, great service! I’ve been to many healthcare professionals for chronic back pain - doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists - and I have found that there are very few that are willing to devote the attention and effort required to reduce pain, improve mobility, and increase strength in your body. Activcore is absolutely one of those few. One-on-one services allow them to truly study your body and the way it moves before jumping to any (potentially inaccurate) diagnoses and strategies. Amazing! For anyone looking to improve their body functioning, I would definitely recommend Activcore.
Activcore is unlike anything I have ever experienced. One patient, one provider, one hour – one at a time, every time. If you’re serious about your physical therapy and recovery, this is the only place to go!