Rehab, Stretching and Building Strength through Innovation

November 7, 2017

 

According to the NCAA®, nearly eight million high school students currently participate in athletics—and 480,000 of those athletes will continue on to the collegiate level. The sheer number of participants requires athletic trainers and coaches to be more and more innovative in how they prepare, protect and rehabilitate these athletes. Struggles with space limitations, transitioning athletes back after injury and providing personalized exercise programs challenge athletic trainers and coaches to find new ways to help athletes succeed.

Setting up cutting-edge exercise equipment that will be helpful to all athletes, while working within the space limitations of their facilities, can be especially difficult. Using a compact system, such as a TheraBand® CLX™ Wall Station, is a win-win solution for many schools that are strapped for space. The 45-inch, vertical wall-mounted slide track provides adjustable anchor points for a large variety of exercises without a large footprint.

As more athletes begin to focus on one sport, high school athletic trainers are seeing a rise in injuries due to repetitive use.  In fact, a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and public health and funded by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Foundation found that athletes who specialized in one sport were twice as likely to report previously sustaining a lower-extremity injury while participating in sports than athletes who did not. It is important that athletic trainers work with the physicians of these athletes to ensure a safe, smooth transition back after injury. By continuing in-clinic exercises, including a progression in strength and range of motion, athletes can come back stronger and better.

Schools that can provide the same equipment used by many physical therapists enable their athletes to seamlessly transition from rehab to game preparation. The TheraBand® CLX™ Wall Station features prescription markers for tracking, and it uses the familiar color progression and resistance levels of Theraband® CLX™. The anchors allow flexibility of use so it can serve as a comprehensive system for both upper and lower extremities.

Many schools have developed strength and conditioning programs that focus on core strength and sport-specific exercises to do in the off season, so the whole body (and especially the sport’s key muscle groups) is better prepared to stay strong and injury-free during the season. When many athletes from many different sports are using the same facilities, it can be difficult to personalize exercise programs that stretch and strengthen the muscles critical to each individual sport.

A piece of equipment that is flexible enough to adjust to the needs of each athlete benefits not only the athlete, but the bottom line. Strengthening and improving range of motion in the shoulder muscles of volleyball players will prepare them for repeated overhead movements. On the other hand, football players need to build the explosiveness and stability in their lower body. A machine that addresses the needs of athletes of all sports, like the TheraBand® CLX™ Wall Station, gives athletic trainers and coaches the ability to personalize fitness programs.

As the needs and responsibilities of athletic trainers and coaches grow, but the resources become more limited, it is important to make equipment decisions that benefit all of the athletes using them. A flexible system with a small footprint that enables in-clinic exercises for a smooth transition of care during rehab and training is an ideal solution.

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