On The Ball

Physical therapy helps injured soccer player return to pitch.

Jordan Bowling has been a broker in the group benefits division of a Daytona Beach insurance company since his graduation from Stetson University 2½ years ago. Jordan’s job involves matching clients with health care and benefits packages for their employees.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Jordan Bowling

“It’s been very interesting learning about our health care system across the board,” Jordan shares. “I had an opportunity to experience that system firsthand after I was injured playing soccer in early March.

“I was running back to defend my goal and stuck one leg behind the other. In the time it took to turn and shift my body weight to run in the other direction, my toe caught in the turf with the studs of my cleats. All my body weight shifted onto my back leg and my Achilles tendon ruptured.”

Within days, Jordan underwent surgery to repair the torn tendon. Afterward, he knew he would need weeks of physical therapy just to get back to walking normally, but Jordan wanted to go beyond that. He wanted to play soccer again, and he knew exactly where to go to get the care he required.

“My parents grew up with Jacob Barr at Barr & Associates Physical Therapy, and I’ve known Dr. Barr my entire life,” Jordan relates. “There was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to his clinic because they do great work, I went to Barr & Associates the day after I was released to physical therapy.”

One-On-One Therapy

The therapists at Barr & Associates provide one-on-one physical therapy, which is proven effective at improving patient outcomes.

“The one-on-one approach allows the patient and therapist to build a strong rapport, so the patient feels more comfortable and confident in the therapist,” explains physical therapy assistant Brock Lawson, PTA. “This rapport draws the patients out of their personal comfort zone, making them more compliant with the therapy, and that leads to better results.”

In taking that approach with Jordan, Brock started with manual techniques such as range of motion exercises and massage. He also performed stretching exercises to loosen up tissue, reduce pain and improve movement in Jordan’s ankle.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without physical therapy from Barr & Associates Physical Therapy.” – Jordan

“The therapists performed a lot of muscle work, a lot of stretching on my leg,” Jordan confirms. “They stretched everything from my hip to my quads to my hamstring and calf. My ankle was super weak because it had been in a cast and boot for a couple of months. They were able to isolate the weaker muscles, and worked to strengthen them.”

During their hour-long therapy sessions, Brock increased the intensity of the therapies he used with Jordan. This approach had a positive effect on Jordan’s recovery.

“As Jordan advanced, we took advantage of our anti-gravity treadmill, the AlterG®,” Brock relates. “Using this treadmill was a good way for Jordan to work on his gait mechanics while taking away the bulk of his body weight. He started out walking and progressed to light jogging. By the end of his treatment, Jordan was running.

“As part of Jordan’s therapy, we had him dribble a soccer ball through the gym and take shots on goal into a large net that we have in our clinic. This way, we can simulate in-game scenarios. This is part of the sports-specific therapy we used to help Jordan return to playing soccer.”

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Following physical therapy for a torn Achilles tendon, Jordan is back to kicking a soccer ball.

“The anti-gravity treadmill is one of the coolest things they have at Barr & Associates,” Jordan recounts. “It took away my body weight, so when I ran, it was like running on the moon. I started out low, at about 50 percent of my body weight, and worked my way up to 100 percent.”

Jordan responded well to his one-on-one physical therapy sessions and he’s happy with the results he’s achieved thus far.

“I’m more than seven months removed from my surgery, and I’m doing very well,” he reports. “I’ve been running under my own power for a little less than a month, but my leg isn’t full strength yet. It’s about 70 to 75 percent, so if I wasn’t trying to play a sport, it would probably be fine.

“It will take time to restore my ankle to where it was before the injury, but I’ve been going to the soccer field and kicking the ball around, shooting and passing with my brothers and my dad. I wouldn’t be where I am now without physical therapy from Barr & Associates Physical Therapy.”

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