Sports Medicine: An Athlete's Appreciation

By: Tyler Gates, 2018 Summer Intern, Pitcher UAB

When playing sports or doing some type of physical activity, there will always be a risk of injury. Some injuries come and go as they do not disrupt our activities of daily living, while some require more attention because they may impose a threat to your daily living habits. Being injured can be a rough and troublesome time for anyone to go through. Whether the injury might have resulted from a fall, sports injury, car accident, or another major injury, they all leave us in disarray. Orthopedic specialists like Lemak Health, will literally put the pieces back together and get you on the road to recovery and rehabilitation.

During the recovery process, you might feel hopeless, angered, frustrated, and even isolated while injured. This is where physical therapy steps in to help you through this burden. Lemak Health is proud to have Drayer Physical Therapy working alongside their injured athletes as an extension of services for all types of physical therapy needs.

I remember going through physical therapy, and it is a grueling process. From going multiple times a day, to staying up to 2 hours a session on some days, the workload can be a lot on a person physically and mentally.

Over my life involved in sports, I have had sports-related injuries requiring 4 major surgeries that have temporarily prevented me from getting to play the sports I love. Each injury was different but in the end, they all resulted in surgery and long physical therapy sessions. Every time I got injured I would ask myself, ‘Is this really worth it?’ All the pain, discomfort, and time away from sports really makes you think. 

I chose to take those opportunities to see how tough I really was. I challenged myself. As I stated before, injuries wear down on you mentally and that’s the hardest part. I had to adjust my mindset to stay committed to healing by telling myself every day that I was going to use physical therapy to work on my strength and endurance in order to come back stronger than before. 

I think back to the first physical therapy visit I had and remember the therapist talking with me about my injury. He was very personable and made me feel comfortable during my time of frustration. He came up with a plan and told me I would come back better than before IF I followed the plan he installed. That therapist is the only reason I am still playing baseball today. Every time I got injured I went in thinking as long as I followed the plan I could get back to pitching and back on the field doing what I love to do. 

If any athlete or injured person is struggling with an injury, my advice, athlete-to-athlete, is to push through the ups and downs of recovery and always stick to the therapist’s plan, no matter how long it takes.

The end result is worth it every time!