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Football Trainers up Their Recovery Game

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sports trainers have the challenge of not only rehabbing players from injury but also managing players training to prevent injuries. A lot of pro football teams have increased their focus on proper recovery in order to optimize on-field performance and decrease injuries.

Rick Burkholder, Head Athletic Trainer Kansas City Chiefs, said, "We like to take the approach that we're more on the preventative side than on the treatment, rehabilitation side. Certainly with the trial of the game, you're going to get injuries, but we would like to keep those numbers down." He added that "The big component on my end was the recovery room. We gave our players a place where they can come get their bodies flushed out, get their legs back for the next day. That room includes massage therapy and some other tools but the main component is the NormaTec recovery system and our days lost for practices is way down."

Other Football Head Athletic Trainers are echoing the same sentiment, like Steve Saunders, Director of Performance and Recovery for the Baltimore Ravens who said "Injuries are muscle imbalances. They're overuse or fatigue. How can we look at that, get ahead of it, monitor it, and really try to stop the nuisance injuries?" Saunders facilitated the construction of a NormaTec Recovery Room for the Ravens players. The NormaTec system is a key component of our recovery focus. It's effective, results driven, and easy to use, especially in a team setting.  I have been impressed by the player feedback and regular usage of the many NormaTec units that we have."

The movement to focus on recovery includes nutrition, sleep and active recovery techniques that promote rapid, effective recuperation of the body. NormaTec’s technology helps reduce athlete’s pain and soreness which ultimately speeds up recovery, thru the use of pneumatic compression and a patented massage sequence to rejuvenate muscle tissue, increase circulation. Trainers rely on this for post-game recovery and like the added help for recovery flush massages.

Other teams which utilize the NormaTec technology include: Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Florida Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, and the Los Angeles Rams. Many other professional and elite institutions also utilize similar spaces for recovery, including: Olympic training facilities, IMG Academy and the US Tennis Association Player Development program.

Professional Athletic Trainers are emphasizing rehabilitation and recovery as a means to heighten the ability to perform and to minimize injuries. A player’s greatest asset is their ability to play, so rehabilitation and recovery are essential.

Source: Training & Conditioning