Sports and Physical Therapy: Andrew Hawkins Treats a First Round Pick

Sports and physical therapy go hand in hand, and we have experience in both. The demand on an athlete’s bodies makes them prone to injuries, meaning physical therapy plays a crucial role in their recovery.

We heard from Manhattan Physical Therapist, Patrick Hansen, now let’s hear what Topeka and Manhattan Clinic Director and Physical Therapist, Andrew Hawkins has to say about it.

What is your sports and athletic background?

I am a certified Athletic Trainer, completing my training at Emporia State University. There I worked primarily with the college’s football, track, softball and soccer teams. Following graduation, I was hired to work as the Rehabilitation Coordinator for the Los Angeles Angels, where I worked with the organizations’ major and minor league players for 5 years.

What are some of the more common sports injuries?

The most common lower body injuries are ankle sprains, hamstring strains and ACL ruptures, while the most common upper body injuries are rotator cuff and labral injuries.

Why do you enjoy treating athletes?

I enjoy the challenge of getting athletes back to high performance. Since sports require high conditioning and complex movements, it requires a lot of problem solving to figure out the best loading strategies to recover quickly.

What is different about treating athlete’s vs the general population and how is ARC Physical Therapy+ equipped to help them recover?

Since athletic seasons are shorter, usually there is a much greater time component associated with returning athletes to competition, and it requires recovery that is focused on regaining sport specific conditioning as well as healing from the injury.

ARC Physical Therapy+ is positioned well due to our focus on longer treatment sessions, one on one care and experience working with high performance athletics.

What is your favorite athlete success story?

I had a first round pick that I was working with for a labral tear in his throwing shoulder, and he was trying to transition from catcher to third basemen. His rehab had to work around all the extra work he had to put in to learn a new position, but he was able to get back to hitting and throwing pain-free. Later that year, he was called up for the first to the majors as a third baseman. His hard work and belief in the process paid off for him in a big way.

Anything else we should know about sports and PT?

When the athlete has a sports medicine staff that he works with, the staff should be able to communicate between all the stake holders- player, coaches, strength and conditioning staff, and athletic trainers. The ability to communicate about an athlete’s rehab is vital to a successful return to sport process.

ARC Physical Therapy+ prides itself in its communication, and I have a great deal of experience in working with coaches, trainers and strength and conditioning staff to successfully reintegrate an athlete back into full activity.

At ARC Physical Therapy+, we work with athletes of all ages and abilities, contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment. You can reach Andrew and the Topeka clinic at (785) 273-1379.

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