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Baseball catchers take a tremendous pounding on their body. Not only do they handle the pitchers and control the running game of their opponent, but they spend the course of each baseball season in a squatting position, crouched behind home plate. Most baseball catchers aren't prepared for the toll it will take on their knees. Read on to see how physical therapy was essential both before and after a hip and knee replacement surgery for Jerry Eskew, a former Clemson Tiger baseball catcher:
Former Tiger Hits Home Run with St. Francis
Jerry had been living with pain for many years derived from his time behind the baseball plate. When pain medication was no longer relieving his discomfort, James E. Jennings, MD, Joint Replacement Specialist at Piedmont Orthopaedic Associates, recommended that he have both of his hips and knees replaced. However, for a successful and quick recovery after surgery, Jerry would have to start physical therapy even before he had surgery. Pre-hab, exercise-based physical therapy prior to surgery, can help get patients back on their feet faster. Cathie Joyce, physical therapist at St. Francis Therapy Center, adds, "It's important to participate in a physical therapy program prior to surgery in order to build up strength and to increase mobility."
In addition to Jerry's pre-surgical physical therapy at St. Francis Therapy Center, he also participated in therapy as part of St. Francis' award-winning Joint Camp program. The goal of therapy post surgery is to help patients gain mobility, strength and independence. It also helps to ensure a successful surgical outcome. All therapy sessions are individualized to meet the specific needs of each patient.
"All those years of getting your body beat up on the baseball field took its toll, but now I'm back," Jerry says. He is now able to enjoy the Clemson University alumni baseball games, travel with his wife, and get back on the golf course!
Watch Jerry's story >>
St. Francis Therapy Center offers comprehensive services for patients before and after surgery, which is important for a quick recovery. To schedule an appointment at any of our locations, please call 864-255-1756.
4 Ways Physical Therapy Gets You Back in Action
"The rehabilitation process is just that, a process," says Kenny Cabe, St. Francis Certified Athletic Trainer. "Each patient's rehabilitation is unique to him/her and the severity of the injury. No two injuries and no two patients rehabilitate exactly the same way." General guidelines or protocols are followed, but each patient must be treated specifically, dependent on his/her injury and his/her response to that injury.
1. Pain Control
Initially, after the injury, the main focus is to control the patient's pain. The amount of pain is dependent on a couple of factors: the amount of damage done and the individual's perception. Ice, heat, and other therapies such as electrical muscle stimulation and ultrasound may be used to assist in controlling and managing the patient's pain or discomfort. It is vital that the level of discomfort be controlled, thus not to prevent therapeutic exercises.
2. Regaining Range of Motion
As the patient's pain begins to come under control, range of motion exercises are begun. With most soft tissue and joint injuries there is some degree of lost motion. This may be due to the immobilization of the area, tissue stiffness due to the trauma, or inflammation in and around the area. Regaining the patient's range of motion as quickly as possible is vital to a speedy and successful recovery.
3. Regaining Strength
Along with regaining range of motion, regaining strength in the affected area is critical to returning the patient to functional activities. Strengthening exercises are started as soon as the patient can tolerate the exercise and will be increased as the patient's tolerance, range of motion and strength increases.
4. Introducing Functional Activities
As the patient's strength begins to increase, more functional activities are added. These exercises are designed to mimic many of the activities the individual must perform to participate in his/her activity. These activities are important in restoring neuromuscular control, or the ability to produce coordinated movements. They also increase the athlete's ability to determine the position of a joint in space and ability to detect movement. Without these concepts, the athlete would not be able to perform his/her chosen activity appropriately, or more importantly, to his/her satisfaction.
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