Hitting 50… Hitting the Gym..Heading to Physical Therapy

For 20 years Abe, a resident of Huntington Beach, has been involved in professional sports and currently has a job as a professional baseball scout. Athletically inclined and a fitness enthusiast, working out and lifting weights was part of his regular routine. Approaching his 50th birthday, he wanted to reach a higher plateau. The popular CrossFit program offered him an intense strength training and conditioning regime that would “raise his game.”

He enthusiastically joined a local club. Pushing himself a bit too hard and admittedly not listening to his body, he sought the help of physical therapist Laurie Vigen, DPT with a quad strain in December 2012. She successfully worked with him to rehab the injury and educate him on flexibility conditioning, which needed improvement.

Injury-free for a year, he returned in Jan. 2013 with a strained hamstring. In conjunction with his rehab program, Laurie worked with him on strength and conditioning exercises he could do at home to hopefully prevent another over use injury.

Pushing too hard can be counterproductive 

“CrossFit is done at a very high level and can be very challenging,” Laurie said. “When people start this training regime, they have to be aware of their limitations and not push so hard that they injure themselves, which becomes counter productive.”

He was back again in 10 months when he reinjured his calf. He was feeling really good and then just felt a pop.

“It was my own fault,” Abe said. “I over did it and pushed too hard. Like most athletes I overtrained and it took its toll. I started to get worried that this was going to become a chronic problem.”

A variety of treatments along with a home exercise program and new warm up and cool down programs helped with the recovery process

At Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Vigen used deep tissue manipulation, electrical stim, low level laser treatment and ultrasound. Home exercises were also prescribed to increase range of motion and flexibility along with quad and abdominal strengthening.

“Even though Abe came back, his injury wasn’t as severe as it could have been,” Vigen said. “I was very impressed with how his flexibility had increased, but he still has a way to go. Being around professional athletes, Abe has an appreciation for what they go through and is learning first hand the rigors involved with working at such a high level.”

As part of his rehab and conditioning program focus was put on his core and hip abductors. A warm up and cool down routine was designed to prevent further injury. This is often an overlooked step when exercising, but it helps maximize the workout and prevent injury, especially as people get older.

“Athletes whether they are professional, elite or recreational all have a few things in common,” she added. “They need to listen to their bodies, because overtraining can have negative consequences and can diminish any gains made. Flexibility is also important. Learning how to stretch properly along with warming up and cooling down are just as important as the actual activity or exercise. People often underestimate these crucial elements that can set someone up for failure.”

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