Apr 20, 2016
SDSU Develops PT-ATC Partnership

With almost four decades of experience under his belt, San Diego State University Head Athletic Trainer Tom Abdenour has relied on evidence-based science throughout his career. Last spring, Abdenour was given the chance to take that inclination a step further when Sara Gombatto, an assistant professor in SDSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, suggested working together.

According to an article from the SDSU Newscenter, the resulting partnership has spawned an innovative collaboration. As part of this project, a former concession stand was revamped into a rehabilitation biomechanics lab, complete with five force plates.

“Tom and I started working together, because there is a lot of evidence in the (sports medicine) literature to support what kind of things can contribute to injury,” Gombatto told SDSU Newscenter. “What are the risk factors? But the problem is, it isn’t often translated into practice. So I approached Tom and said, ‘What do you say we start a program where we can start screening our athletes to compare their measures to those in the literature and see who’s at risk, identify those people and then decide on maybe changing their strength and conditioning program or change things during their rehab? Then, when we do have an athlete who’s injured, who’s gone through rehab, let’s test them and see what their measures are again and see if they’re ready to return.’”

Currently, Gombatto and Abdenour are working to complete initial testing for the men’s basketball team, after which strengths and weaknesses can be passed along to the team’s strength and conditioning coach. Moving forward, the long-term vision for the program is to expand its coverage to all of the teams at SDSU.

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