Sports Performance Physical Therapy

Are you an athlete looking for an edge over your competition? Or are you an older athlete concerned about what your body can and can not do as it ages? Maybe you don't even consider yourself an "athlete" per se, but having the ability to perform solid strength training, or CrossFit workouts (WODs) everyday is important to you. Whether you're a new athlete looking for an edge or an older athlete trying to keep up with your workouts, physical therapy for sports performance and this patient's success story may resonate with you.

Kim is a 46-year-old woman from N. Olmsted that wasn't exactly athletic in her younger years but has found CrossFit in her later years as an enjoyable way to strengthen muscles, stay active and feel better as she ages. For the past four years she has been enjoying her daily 5:00AM CrossFit workouts, slowly adding more weights and gaining the strength to perform more movements (pull-ups, handstand push ups, rope climbs, etc.). However, the remainder of her day is spent at a sedentary desk job. It’s important to her to maintain and build upon her workout skills into her 50’s and 60’s, being able to lift heavier loads, improve her pull-ups and is looking forward to building the strength and balance to learn how to walk on her hands. Kim worries about aging, getting injured and how her sedentary work life affects her physically.

Physical Therapy for Sports Performance: Keeping You Active

Kim has seen family members immobilized by pain, suffer from severe weight gain, and ultimately atrophy and depression into their last uncomfortable years. She hopes to stay active by avoiding injury and hitting the gym each day with a lightly challenging, consistent workout pace she can sustain for decades to come. However, in the past four years she has seen other CrossFit athletes from her gym decrease their workouts because of an injury and fade off entirely, eliminating fitness from their daily routine. It’s very important to Kim to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle well into her 80’s and 90’s. Her biggest fear is suffering an injury that will force her to give up her workouts and impact her ability to live an active lifestyle.

Initial Physical Therapy Consultation: Lifts Were Off-Balance

Kim was not in intense pain but came to see us because she had a continuous, dull, shoulder pain that was keeping her from performing certain movements. She hadn’t felt comfortable doing pull-ups for months and was being told by coaches that many of her lifts were visibly off-balance. (see the comical image she sent us of a very off-balance sumo deadlift high pull which she gave us permission to use)

Physical Therapy Treatment for Sports Performance

The initial physical therapy evaluation revealed that her pain was related to a lack of core activation including glutes, quads, lats, and abdominals. She was maintaining lumbar extension through all of her movements which required the muscles of her shoulder to over-compensate. This led to pain and a feeling of weakness during her workouts. Dr. Josh prescribed exercises to keep the targeted muscles engaged and strengthened.

After just a month, two treatments and regular exercises on her own, Kim reported less imbalance, less pain, and new PRs (personal records) at the gym. She is back to doing her pull-ups and continues to schedule check-up visits to improve her performance. We are now working on keeping her lower abs engaged which will help her reach several gymnastic goals - like walking on her hands.

“Before I found out about Breaking Through, I was spending almost $200/ month getting massages just to feel less worn-down and achy. Now I realize that was turning my muscles off - which was counterproductive to what I was going for. I’m so happy I found Breaking Through. I spend less money and consider my visits way more effective for my recovery from the gym and ability to keep performing and living an active lifestyle.“


What do our sports rehab and physical therapy patients say about Breaking Through?


To arrange an assessment for sports injury rehab and physical therapy, contact us.