Sports Physical Therapy
Elite Sports Medicine’s sports physical therapists have extensive experience in rehabilitating all conditions whether caused by wear and tear, by an unrelated health event or by a serious athletic injury.
In collaboration with Connecticut Children’s sports medicine specialists and patients’ physicians, we work to develop personalized treatment plans to help athletes return to the playing field as quickly and safely as possible.
Our state-of-the-art facility is a motivating environment that allows close interaction between athletes and physical therapists. In addition to treatment, we provide ongoing education to athletes, families, coaches and physicians, and encourage active patient and family participation during the rehab process.
To treat a variety of conditions, Elite Sports Medicine physical therapists are specially trained in several sophisticated rehabilitation techniques such as the Graston Technique®, prolotherapy and stretching.
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Graston Technique is a treatment for soft tissue injury that incorporates the use of stainless steel instruments designed to amplify any soft tissue restrictions. Using this technique, Elite Sports Medicine physical therapists are able to detect problem areas and treat specific soft tissue aggressively, with better penetration than the hands provide.
Graston Technique is beneficial for people with:
- Fascial syndromes
- Ligament sprains
- Post surgical/traumatic scar tissue
- Muscle strains
Graston Technique is often used in combination with other rehabilitation techniques. After using instruments to break up scar tissue, physical therapists can lead patients in stretching and strengthening exercises to encourage proper realignment of the connective tissue.
Stretching improves overall muscle elasticity, which increases muscle control, flexibility and range of motion. It is an important part of injury rehabilitation because it helps alleviate muscle spasm, decrease adhesions or scar tissue, decrease mechanical restrictions, and decrease general aches.
Increasing flexibility through stretching is one of the basic attributes of physical fitness. Three common stretching techniques are dynamic, static and ballistic.
Dynamic stretching readies the body for physical exertion. During dynamic stretching, an athlete increases their range of motion and blood flow to muscles, improving the elastic ability of the muscle. This is the most common form of stretching used by athletes before and after exercise.
While at rest, static stretching is used to gradually lengthen a group of muscles. This technique involves elongating a muscle to a point of slight discomfort (strong stretch) and then holding that position for a given period of time.
Ballistic stretching utilizes the same principles as static stretching, but in a bouncing motion. The idea is to force a muscle group into a maximal range of motion prior to relaxing the muscle enough to allow for the motion.
Vestibular rehabilitation is physical therapy used to treat and manage symptoms or impairments caused by a concussion. Symptoms may include headaches, blurry vision, dizziness, decreased ability to focus and concentrate, decreased balance, and oculomotor dysfunction.
Concussion rehabilitation begins by reviewing a patient’s medical history and current symptoms, with an assessment of mobility, strength, sensation, and coordination, and evaluation of balance, vestibular and visual systems.
Patients and families receive educational materials about concussions and the recovery process along with a detailed home exercise program. Progress is assessed in a follow-up visit.
Elite Sports Medicine’s Interval Throwing Program is a physical therapy strategy used to gradually rebuild ball players’ throwing ability after an injury. Baseball and softball field players, pitchers and catchers follow a multi-week treatment plan to regain range of motion, strength and endurance.
Connecticut Children’s throwing program is intended to work in conjunction with a structured Elite Sports Medicine rehabilitation program and a home exercise program.
Returning to sports from surgery of the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, or ankle can be a difficult transition for patients and their family. Elite Sports Medicine staff and Connecticut Children’s physical therapists created a complete functional exam to test each patient’s readiness to return to sports. Each functional test assesses range of motion, strength and mobility to ensure a safe return to sports or activities.
An isokinetic test on our state-of-the-art HUMAC compares a patient’s operative site to the opposite non-operative site to accurately gauge muscle strength.