Returning from a torn ACL

Thomas has been active most of his life and had an unfortunate accident when playing tennis. He jumped and reached back to go for a shot and fell awkwardly on his planting back leg and tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

From asking questions during assessment, he mentions that he also tore both his hamstrings playing squash in his younger days.

Yikes… I think it is about time he takes his rehabilitation seriously otherwise he will barely be able to function.

In a nutshell:

His neck, lower and upper back are in chronic pain and he walks with a limp. He cannot touch his toes if his life depended on it.

Alright… well it is obvious we have a work in progress.

Pretty simple approach to starting his return to his sport:

Pain is the absence of healing. Therapy is not supposed to be painful. Discomfort yes… absolutely, that happens in treatment. What’s to avoid is any sharp increase in pain through movement that stays afterwards. That is just making things worse.

Wearing a proper buoyancy vest he got in the pool in a vertical position in the deep end. This is perfect for any mobility work in the upper extremities and now with only 10% of his bodyweight, pain is reduced and he can move in a greater range of motion.

Breast strokes forwards and backwards in a vertical position followed by horizontal position side stretches and overhead reaches.

The drills for the upper body all designed to give his upper body the mobility and flexibility work it needs.

Instead of being completely inactive he did 45 minutes of intense work and only helped his recovery. By avoiding any direct work after trauma and working other areas in the environment of the pool, his leg gets the added circulation to get the knee faster to pain free zone where he can then do movement re-education in the pool and on land.

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