Research plays an important role in keeping athletes in peak condition
By Craig Garrison, PhD, PT, ATC, SCS Research Physical Therapist
The word “research” often brings to mind the idea of a scientist working in a lab with test tubes and mice, with no real-life application. However, research in sports medicine can also include everyday experiences such as physical therapists and athletic trainers taking range-of-motion, balance, and strength measurements in order to determine how a patient is progressing or to predict future return to sports.
The clinical research performed at Ben Hogan Sports Medicine focuses on using clinical measurements to identify a patient’s function. For example, we know that after a surgery to fix an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, the earlier after surgery a patient is able to recover his or her motion, the better their function will be later on in their recovery.
Other information we have gathered from our clinical research includes the importance of balance after ACL surgery. Ben Hogan clinicians look at balance on a regular basis and use it to gauge progress of their ACL patients. If balance is diminished, this alerts the clinician to incorporate more or different exercises to address the deficit. If balance measurements are good, then the clinician knows that the patient is progressing appropriately and their function is on target.
These simple research measurements provide objective data that allow clinicians to provide the best possible care for their patients. Ben Hogan Sports Medicine is using science to improve the rehabilitation process for athletes.