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Athletic sports care

Sports Specific Care

How can Athletic EDGE and Wellness HELP an ATHLETE?

Here at Athletic Edge and Wellness we understand and specialize in the treatment of the youth, high school, collegiate, and professional athlete. 

Is there a difference between regular physical therapy and a sports physical therapist? THE SHORT ANSWER IS YES! If you owned an expensive sports car, would you take it to be serviced at a Tesla dealership? NO! The same principle applies here. Sports physical therapy is NOT simply putting a runner on a treadmill and calling it sports physical therapy. Sports physical therapy involves a multi-pronged approach to understanding the sport, the position played, symptoms, and ultimately the progression and time frame needed for return to play. 

First, one must have a working knowledge and understanding of the sport's particular "jargon". For example, what is a releve' in ballet? One must also understand the biomechanics of a releve' and what constitutes correct form. It is critical to understand the athlete's position (e.g., catcher versus pitcher), their role (e.g., opening pitcher versus closing pitcher, in addition to hitting and playing as an infielder), their current mobility, strength, movement patterns,  previous/current injuries, and recent performance levels when implementing a care plan.

Other factors in SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPY include:


  • Are you in-season (and at what point in the season) versus off-season?

  • What is your individual training schedule? (How many hours per week are you training?)

  • What is your practice schedule?

  • What is your competition or tournament schedule?

  • Are we aiming to achieve rehab goals within a specific time frame or for a particular competition?

  • Which activities or skills or activities exacerbate or alleviate symptoms?

  • What treatments have you been doing at home, at school, or another provider?

  • Are your symptoms impacting daily activities or only sporting activities?

  • Are you participating in another sport?

  • What other coaching, personal training, or individual workouts are you doing? Specifically,  what exercises are involved? 

  • Are you lifting? Are you doing exercises correctly?

  • Is there bias in training?

Bias in training may include coaching bias ("We really need you to play next weekend"), parental bias ("We've invested so much money in sports"), and personal bias ("I've been doing these exercises for a long time without a problem"). Each of these individual factors may contribute to pain/symptoms, and often it is a multifactorial problem that needs to be dissected. Even small factors can significantly impact pain and impair performance. Pain levels and behaviors must be questioned and pinpointed (Does it occur immediately upon activity, during practice, or afterwards?). Pain does not always manifest where it is felt and may be coming from another location. Pain, discomfort and soreness will disrupt movement patterns and these changes can hinder performance. Therefore, it is essential to consider the way the whole body moves, not just the affected body part.

These factors make designing a physical therapy program more challenging and complex. An office worker with low back pain requires a completely different plan of care than a football lineman who must be in a 4-point stance for 4-quarters of football, maintain various positions/loads against other linemen, and tackle other players (or two) to the ground. These positions and skills need to be practiced and replicated for an effective and safe return to sports. Very specific exercise programming is the key to restoring and optimizing mobility and strength and developing appropriate load and capacity for the player's sport and position.

It is crucial to incorporate full-body movement patterns into the care plan. For example, if you have a wrist injury and you are a tennis player, it is the lower body that generates the force that travels up through the spine, up into the shoulder, and finally down into the forearm and wrist. The forearm and wrist must be able to withstand those forces, manipulate the racket with different hand positions, and react to the ball. All of these variables must be trained with various equipment, exercises, and positions. Being handed off to an unskilled technician who is "running you through your exercises" isn't sports physical therapy. Unlike big box clinics that only treat the injured body part, we take a 360-degree approach to your sports care. As a
CHAMPION SPORTS PERFORMANCE THERAPIST, we have the advanced training and equipment needed for your athlete to return to peak performance. 

Finally, training must be ramped up, which involves managing the intensity and duration of activity while progressing the speed of movement to a game-like intensity. This must all happen while continuing to manage any symptoms. It is similar to building a puzzle; you start with the corners, then build the edges, and finally start to fill in the center. 

Do you have questions about how sports physical therapy may be right for you?


Call us at 224-505-3343 to schedule an evaluation with us today!

Flightscope in Algonquin, IL

Baseball Therapy

  • 11 and Under

  • Youth 11-14

  • High School

  • College

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Softball Therapy

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Ankle Sprains

  • Knee Sprains / ACL Tears

  • Lower back, hip & thigh pain

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Rotator Cuff/ Labrum

Elbow-UCL injuries

Biceps Tendonitis


Throwing Assessment

  • Slow motion video analysis

  • Draw and track exact angles

  • Identify good form

  • Find areas for improvement

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Golf Therapy

  • Work on swing mechanics

  • Improve follow through

  • Build stability, strength & power

  • Increase indurance

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Infielders/Base Runners

Knee/Ankle Injuries

Hamstring Strains

Performance Arts

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Contact Athletic Edge & Wellness Physical Therapy for elbow or wrist pain relief

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