File under "hardly startling": Quick access to a physical therapist (PT) and availability of cutting-edge rehabilitation equipment are 2 of the biggest reasons why professional athletes seem to mend so much more quickly than their amateur counterparts, says a recent article in the Washington Post.
The story, which appears in the November 13 issue of the Post, looks at the attention given to pro athletes' injuries within seconds of an incident, compared with amateurs who take a wait-and-see approach or who have trouble locating an appropriate provider quickly. Reporter Laura Hambleton writes that "for many pros, it is the hours of intensive daily attention from highly experienced physical therapists, along with specialized rehabilitation equipment and exercises, that make their rehab and yours quite different."
Hambleton's story quotes APTA members Jason Craig, PT, DPhil, MCSP, and Kala Flagg, PT, 2 Washington, DC-area PTs who have worked with elite-level athletes. Craig described how waiting for treatment can make an injury worse, while Flagg pointed out that in addition to the availability of services and level of personal investment in home therapeutic equipment, professional athletes are constantly training their bodies to prevent injury in the first place.
The issue of the Post that featured the pro athlete story also contained a report on muscle imbalance that includes quotes from Robert Gillanders, PT, DPT, OCS, who describes the tendency of people to do "exercises they like, rather than exercises they need." This kind of lopsided exercise can lead to muscle imbalances that can cause ongoing pain and discomfort.
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