• News New Blog Banner

  • From PT in Motion Magazine: The Power of Adaptive Sports

    Adaptive sports are on the move as a popular way for individuals with physical disabilities to reclaim—and, sometimes discover—their love for physical activity. Do physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) need to catch up?

    In "The Competitive Edge of Adaptive Sports," featured in the June issue of PT in Motion magazine, Associate Editor Eric Ries examines the ways participation in the modified sports has changed the lives of several individuals—some of whom are PTs—who believed their injuries would forever prevent them from taking part in their favorite activities, such as basketball, cycling, and surfing. When they discovered the possibilities available through adaptive sports programs and leagues, a world they thought was closed to them was reopened.

    However, despite the growing prominence of adaptive sports, many feel that PTs and PTAs are behind the curve when it comes to having sufficient experience and understanding to help patients participate in the programs, according to the article.

    "Still in its infancy" is how Katie Lucas, PT, DPT, chair of the APTA Academy of Sports Physical Therapy's Adaptive Sports Special Interest Group, describes the profession's role in adaptive sports to PT in Motion. "There's a lot of room for growth in research and in terms of identifying and taking advantage of all the ways in which adaptive sports fit into physical therapist practice, enhance wellness, and expand opportunities for patients."

    The article plumbs the possible reasons behind the general lack of awareness, with PTs familiar with adaptive sports offering ideas for changes in physical therapy education programs that would familiarize students with the potential value of the programs. Some of those changes could be as simple as merely exposing students to an adaptive sporting event, they say, but the payoff could be significant for patients and providers.

    Maria Thomassie, PT, DPT, can attest to the benefits of understanding adaptive sports. She tells PT in Motion that being involved in adaptive sports has shed light on "how far we've come in creating an accessible world but how much further we have to go," adding that "there are insights to be gained by PTs and PTAs regardless of practice area."

    "The Competitive Edge of Adaptive Sports" is featured in the June issue of PT in Motion magazine and is open to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them 1 of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Also open to all: "Let Her Roll," a look at how PTs help roller derby athletes compete in the rink.