Finding Balance With Therapy

You don’t have to live an active lifestyle to know what it feels like to get hurt. Being on a team or just living sometimes demands everything you can give. But when you’re hurt what’s the best way to getting back to play? Rehabilitation therapy is there for you physically and mentally to help get you back into the game of life.

You’ve been benched due to an injury. Your team carries on and you watch your teammates finish the game without you. And all you can think about is getting back into the game. You have two options: let your body heal on its own or seek help through rehabilitation therapy.

“The best way to rehab an injury is to stop it before it starts,” Jordan Cook, UMPI athletic training major, said.

Allowing an injury to heal on its own could lead to worse injuries down the road. Through therapy you retrain your body to reach the point where it was before your injury.

“We keep the athletes healthy and playing as long as they can,” Cook said.

You decide to seek therapy instead of letting nature take its course. You can expect to do more than just stretching in your daily routine. Therapy is about finding balance within the body and that balance returns you to stability.

Prepare yourself for activities that warm up your muscles and increase your range of motion. And rehabilitation therapy doesn’t stop at the physical aspect of getting you back in the game. Advancements in therapy have shown that an injury can affect your emotions as well.

“We’re being pushed now to look at more than just the physical signs,” Katie Dow, UMPI athletic training major, said about injuries. “You can treat an athlete and get them where they were (before the injury), but if you don’t treat their emotions, they may be back to where they started.”

Sitting on that bench and feeling like you’ve let your team down is an injury to your feelings. Dow said it’s important for athletic trainers to get to know their athletes and listen to problems outside sports.

Rehabilitation has gone from slapping on an ice pack to stabilizing your emotional state. People are more than a muscle. Thanks to evolving science, athletic trainers know that injuries go deeper than tissue. Along with recommending a good workout they need to stay in tune with their patients’ emotions.