Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keeping The Body Going.

Over my tenure at Cal I have experienced two major injuries outside of your standard knicks and bruises. Both injuries required reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation. My recoveries from both could not have been done without the assistance of our medical and training staff.

Both my injuries have healed to a hundred percent and I have seen no difference in their functioning thanks to our hardworking staff. For my ankle injury, our head athletic trainer and training group worked with me religiously three times a day, every day for about a year, to make sure the ankle and the areas around it were in superb condition for the rigors of football. They did this with a more "hands on" approach. This style allowed for them to feel and judge my strength on a daily basis. The trainers could then make decisions on my progress and manipulate my rehabs to best fit my needs.

A technique, one that is much more painful than your standard rehab, is called Grastin (I don't know the exact spelling, pronounced grasstin). Grastin is a style of rehabilitation that breaks up the scar tissue with the use of metal tools. These tools are nothing short of torture tools, but they work. The trainers basically scrape the metal tools along the athletes injuries which helps to break large portions of scar tissue for increase range of motion and increased blood flow to the area to help in the healing process. If you ever walk into the training room, look around, and you happen to see what looks to be a trainer stabbing an athlete with metal tools and the athlete gripping the table trying to escape , don't worry, its rehab.

For my second injury, my pectoral tear, the training staff took a different approach by letting me control the amount of rehabilitation I did. I still came into rehab multiple times a day, but they took a more "stand back" approach and observed my work habits, similar to a coach observing and critiquing his player's technique. I think they took this approach because of the lack of severity in comparison to my ankle injury. Yes, tearing a ligament is severe, but I was in an environment doing a specific lift to work out that specific muscle. The ankle injury was an incident that damaged the whole area and demanded that style of attention.

Both methods were extremely affective and I can not thank them enough for their hard work in getting me back on the field.

(Dont worry SMIs and HTs you're coming soon!)

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