Super Bowl XLV 2011 – Sports Medicine Saves the Game

by Tera Tuten on February 2, 2011

You may not be thinking about physical therapy, and sports medicine in particular, when you turn on your television February 6, but you should. Without a physical therapist on the team, just how many of those players would ever make it to the Super Bowl? Considering the amount of damage a player takes each season, the answer is: not many. In fact, even with physical therapists and doctors available before, during, and after each game, some players are still unable to play through the entire season. For all of those players that are on the field during the Super Bowl, however, you can thank their sports medicine team.

Maurkice Pouncey

If you are a Steelers fan, this name is already familiar. Pouncey suffered an injury during the Championship game, which is being reported as either a significant ankle sprain or possibly a break. Rumors started flying immediately about whether or not he would be able to play in the Super Bowl game. You can bet that he will be spending every free minute working with his physical therapist to make him ready for the game if it is at all possible.

Dwight Freeney

Just before the big game last year, Freeney was in the news with a similar injury. Reporters were saying he had sprained, if not broken, his ankle during the Championship game. He was not able to practice for the game but was able to play after extensive therapy prior to the Super Bowl.

While the injuries suffered by the two men are slightly different, they both involve the ankle and both occurred in the championship games that thrust their respective teams into the Super Bowl. Both received a great deal of media attention leading up to the Super Bowl and speculation abounded over the impact the injury would have on the game.

While many people are talking about the individual players and these specific injuries, there is hardly any mention in the media about the profession that will patch the injury and that keeps the players on the field. If Pouncey makes it onto the field, it will be because of his sports medicine team. On the other hand, if he doesn’t, or if the Steelers lose, perhaps the lack of media attention will be a blessing.

Are you looking forward to the Super Bowl? Do you practice sports medicine and if so what made you interested in the field?


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Harris 02.03.11 at 6:47 pm

I would have to say that I agree. I have been active in sports all my life. I have also had back problems for the last 20 years and if it wasn’t for a good Physical Therapist, Massage therapy and sports medicine team then I probably would be an incapable of a normal life. Thanks for the post!


George Pulliam 02.03.11 at 8:57 pm

PTs and Sports Medicine professionals do a great job of keeping atheletes off the bench and on the playing field. Thay don’t get enough credit for keeping players healthly and ready for action. Thank you Soliant for posting this great blog!


Thomas Gary 02.03.11 at 10:26 pm

I’ve been a PT with Soliant Health for years and have been on many great travel assignments. I highly recommend.


Jesse McCall 02.04.11 at 12:23 am

Touchdown! Thanks to sports medicine, Super Bowl players will be able to perform to the best of their abilities this Sunday! Thanks for all that you do!


Corey Marcel 02.04.11 at 7:38 am

Thanks for shining a spotlight on the deserving men and women of therapy that work behind the scene to get these players in peak shape! I would love to see an article about team physicians that also play a critical role in player health. Great article!!!


Alycia Rivet 02.04.11 at 9:44 am

My interests in the SuperBowl mainly lie in the areas of food and advertisements, but even for non-enthusiasts, you have to admit that there is a crazy amount of athleticism involved on the field. For someone who would falter under the weight of the pads alone, it’s obvious to me that professional athletes would be hard pressed to meet game-day expectations without an equally dedicated sports-medicine team. Even if the physical therapist, massage therapist, orthopedist, etc. don’t get the credit in the media, I’m sure the players know how critical a role they play–like the pit crew in NASCAR. Too much “sports” cross-over?


Erin Carter 02.04.11 at 9:59 am

Wow, its easy to to just get angry when your favorite player is riding the pine…It seems like I just count down the days until they get off the injured list, but I never think about the process that gets them back on the field. Thanks for shedding some light Tera!


Erin Carter 02.04.11 at 10:00 am

Oh and….GO PACK GO!


Lauren Tarpley 02.04.11 at 11:00 am

It is so easy to forget how dangerous of a sport football is. Especially the Super Bowl. Like Alicia said, most of my attention is on the grub and commercials and little of my time is spent watching the game. A family member of mine plays in the NFL and after the National Championship he didn’t get to play in due to an injury, you can imagine my family was so thankful for the therapists that helped him recover from that. While the therapist was a hero in our eyes, little attention was made about him. It is a shame and more gratitude and recognition should be paid to those who make it possible for the athletes we love to watch play to recover as quickly and as smoothly as they do.


Meredith Stone 02.04.11 at 11:12 am

A huge thank you to all of the PT’s and PTA’s that help keep the athletes healthy! It is a BIG part of the best sport on earth. Thanks and go Packers!


Millie Simpson 02.05.11 at 11:49 am

I don’t have much to do with football (actually nothing), but have a son who played baseball from the time he was 3. We spent a good bit of time with physical therapists, as my son was a pitcher. I was ever so grateful for their help and caring. Sports are all a bit of a double-edged sword; the workouts are good for you, but there is always that risk of injury. Thanks to all of you for all you do!


Austin Gooch 02.05.11 at 5:43 pm

In such a rough sport as professional football, all-pro therapists are the unsung heroes! I don’t know about you but I would be far less interested if half of my favorite team was stuck on the bench due to an injury. Lets go Falcons!


MJ Rub 02.06.11 at 3:01 pm

Sports medicine has come such a long way, now days all pro teams have needs and jobs for PTs. They use to be an afterthought. This shows how important PTs have become to the rehabilitation process.


Bree DeLoache 02.07.11 at 10:13 am

Not only are athletic trainers a needed commodity within the sports community it is a fun job!!! Tera thank you so much for the recognition!


Patricia Robinson 03.02.11 at 10:48 am

Watching the games are always enjoyable, however seeing a player injure himself is not. I often think about how fragile our bodies truly are when I see the players tackled so hard or crunched in between several players. I always think I hope he will get up and be ok. We football fans can take some rest in knowing there is a good team looking out for the players. There to assist when they do injure themselves. In there business they must take injuries serious. One bad injure can put them out for the season or the worst extreme end their career. I have watched my cousin’s career and feel very grateful he has had minium injuries. I have always liked the Patriots, but became a fan since Vince is on this team. I do think Tom Brady is a great QB.


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