I have given dozens of tours of the new Children’s Hospital and Medical Center’s Sports Physical Therapy clinic. The responses have been unanimously positive, but one of the most interesting comments given by most is some variation of, “this is like a gym . . . I could workout here!” The design and impression is by design and speaks to our philosophy:
- Provide evidence-based, age- and sport- specific rehab to allow a safe, quick return to sport and activity.
- Do all we can to maximize an athlete’s potential and to reduce the risk of future injury.
- Do not “experiment” with our athletes.
While we have many of the modern modalities, machines, and equipment, given our philosophy and given the overwhelming research to support it, exercise is the basis of our treatment approach. We have exercise equipment to target specific motions and injury-specific muscle groups, we have several tools to monitor alignment, and we have instruments to fine tune the proper speed of movement. Certainly there are other types of treatment approaches–many of which hold some promise–but until they are supported by research, you will not find cult-supported, trend-of-the-day treatments here. Many practitioners have latched onto some of these approaches and while I appreciate the passionate support offered by their proponents, they are simply too experimental for us to use.
So is the clinic “like a gym?” Yes, and that’s by design.