The rehab factor: Injury treatment crucial to success
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 23:09
Indiana State University senior Brandon Pounds established a career in track and field from as early as high school and continues the tradition as a division I athlete on the ISU men’s track and field team. His success as an athlete is typically attributed to the work and hours within the thrower’s circle and weight room. However, there is an unsung champion to Pounds’ success: rehab.
“Rehab was tough, it was long, and it was boring but it does work,” Pounds said.
Pounds has been in rehab for multiple injuries. He said he spent one year recovering from a wrist injury and another year for his lower back. However, those injuries were not a set back, as Pounds earned All-American titles both indoor and outdoor in his storied career at ISU. Even now he continues to visit the clinic for rehabilitation.
“After treatment, it’s just a process of getting it stronger and building up the stamina and keeping up with the treatment,” Pounds said. “The hardest thing for me was when I got to feeling better I would stop doing my treatment. So the important thing was to stay on the plan and make sure it continues to work.”
As athletes continue to compete in their respective sports many of their bodies begin to break down and injuries start to occur more commonly than before. Many athletes may have reported for rehabilitation for a predetermined period before returning to competition. On ISU’s campus, many athletes receive their treatments at the physical therapy and rehabilitation clinic located on Fifth Street.
“Terre Haute is kind of a limited area and it really depends upon what you are looking for,” athletic trainer and rehabilitation specialist Carrie Anderson said. “We pride ourselves on giving the hour to hour and a half treatment sessions and one on one care.”
Anderson said some of the more common injuries are knee injuries or ACL tears and shoulder injuries (mainly in the rotator cuff).
“We have several ACL tears. We have a few rotator cuffs injuries and those sorts of pathologies,” Anderson said, “We work on the maintenance of things, maintenance of back pain and working on posture.”
When injuries accrue athletes go under different forms of treatment to help the recovery go smoothly and to regain any strength and flexibility that they may have lost. Different trainers have their own methods when approached with different injuries. Anderson said she is very functional clinician. She believes in movement and any kind of movement as long as it’s done correctly.
“Flexibility is extremely important and active in general,” Anderson said. “Getting out and walking every day or going on the stationary bike at the rec can help. Doing some sort of activity is not only going to work on cardio, but strength as well.”
The use of ice baths can vary between athletes. Pounds said he would sit in cold baths and warm whirlpools. To build strength into his core, he would do band work, stretching and stemming.
According to runnersworld.com, ice baths constrict blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity; this reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Once the skin is no longer in contact with the cold source, the underlying tissue warms up, causing a return of faster blood flow.
Anderson said recovery time can vary depending the level of athlete. For example, higher level athletes will recover faster from an ACL or knee injury and return to their sport within four to five months, while the normal day to day active person can take up to six months.