Physical therapy teaches fitness trainer how to be mentally in-tune with his body - Ivy Rehab

Physical therapy teaches fitness trainer how to be mentally in-tune with his body

Physical therapy has helped me to mentally be in-tune with my physical body. I now listen to my body more and give it the necessary time it needs to rest.” – Coach Ray, fitness trainer, athlete, and former Ivy Rehab patient

When fitness is a way of life, an injury can quickly bring everything to a halt. As a seasoned athlete, Ray works out 5 days per week. He challenges himself with HIIT (high-intensity interval training), CrossFit, Olympic Lifting, heavy squatting, and occasional field activities like ladder drills and flag football. Not to mention, he makes his living as a highly sought-after fitness trainer.

physical therapy for knee injury

During a flag football game, Ray collided with another player and landed awkwardly on his knee. That one quick action caused quite a bit of pain in his knee, especially when he walked or stood too long, and there was a constant clicking that made it feel as though his knee was out of place. 

Overnight Ray was forced to slow down and cut out all high-intensity movements and heavy lifting on his lower body. Needless to say, the injury was devastating to Ray’s workout regiment, fitness routine, and daily life. For a person who’s used to moving at full speed and constantly staying busy, having to pause and listen to his body was something completely new. 

A local knee specialist performed X-rays and strength tests on Ray’s knee, and to his surprise, everything came back clear and there were no structural concerns. This is when the specialist recommended trying physical therapy at Ivy Rehab. An evaluation with Dr. Anne Throckmorton in our Charlotte, NC clinic showed signs of quadricep strain along with early signs of patellar tendonitis that were adding stress to Ray’s knee.

Like many injuries, the root cause wasn’t isolated to just one area. Dr. Throckmorton showed Ray how having pain or discomfort in one area can be elevated by issues in other areas of the body. Ray’s knee was the problem but Dr. Throckmorton noticed he had very tight quad muscles, which was adding to the issue.

Initial treatment included work on mobility and flexibility of both the hip and knee and the use of manual therapy to help restart the healing process and help Ray’s muscles get out of an inflammatory state. At the initial visit, Dr. Throckmorton did instrument-assisted soft tissue release and cupping. She also utilized dry needling in later sessions and worked on endurance strength of Ray’s quads with wall sits, lunges, step-ups, etc. 

Throughout therapy, Ray’s primary goal was to get back to a pain-free life and to be able to pick up the fitness regime he was used to, including heavy lifting and CrossFit.

Ray was motivated from the first visit. He took notes, was an active participant, asked questions, and relayed concerns,” explained Dr. Throckmorton. “He was awesome to work with. Being so active in his care and recovery is a large part of why he is back to doing what he loves without any issues within a matter of 6 weeks. Our relationship, communication, and participation from day one allowed us to make sure we were both on the same page and it made all the difference in his recovery and status post-discharge.”

physical therapy for knee injury

Coach Ray is pictured with Charlotte clinic director, Dr. Tanya Sotillo-Pennix on the day he was discharged.

It’s been two months since Ray was discharged and because of his physical therapy treatments, he’s back to living life, working out, and has full range of motion in his leg. But once his sessions were complete, Ray left with a little more than he expected.

Physical therapy has helped me to mentally be in-tune with my physical body. I now listen to my body more and give it the necessary time it needs to rest. I alter my workouts as needed to take pressure off certain areas if I feel they’ve been overworked. My knee injury forced me to resort to lower impact movements and more stretching/yoga, which helped me prioritize my flexibility and mobility,” explains Ray. “I’ve also learned the importance of being patient with myself. Rehab was a very humbling experience. The mental aspect is even more important. Listen to your body and give it the time and patience it needs. It will pay off in the long run.”

About Ivy Rehab & Our Charlotte Clinic

Dr. Throckmorton is certified in dry needling and currently studying for a vestibular specialization certification. She, along with Charlotte, NC clinic director Dr. Tanya Sotillo-Pennix, frequently participates in local run clubs and is actively involved in the Charlotte community. Their team prides itself on challenging each patient to reach their goals through hands-on techniques that will strengthen patients and get them back to doing the activities they love. To schedule an appointment online, visit our Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy NoDa page.

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