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.
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.
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?