John Santosuosso, Jr., PT, Clinical Director Bacharach Outpatient Physical Therapy and Hand Center Galloway
Soccer enthusiast John Santosuosso, Jr., PT, knows firsthand what it’s like to be sidelined with a sports-related injury. John’s hopes of playing soccer in college were dashed after dislocating his kneecap the summer before his senior year of high school. A goalkeeper, he was not wearing the proper footwear. This led to several surgeries over the years, predominantly due to soccer injuries.
“The most important part of a uniform is proper footwear,” says John.
Footwear needs to be the right size and shoe type for the sport. A shoe that is too big or too small can result in ankle or leg injuries. For example, John specifically recommends ¾ top or high-top sneakers for basketball players.
“The cutting, jumping and running aspects of each sport are major factors that can contribute to these specific sports injuries.”
During winter playoff season, Bacharach physical therapists see a pattern of similar injuries caused by the three most popular South Jersey winter sports: basketball, volleyball and wrestling. Along with ACL tears and sprains and back issues, they see an increase in knee, ankle, and shoulder injuries.
Know When to Contact a Doctor
So, when is it the right time to get help for an injury? Depending on the severity of the injury, John urges patients to speak up if they are feeling discomfort. “Don’t try to play through an injury, especially if it feels like it’s at a point where it can get worse and lead to bigger issues down the road.”
John notes that leg injuries can be influenced by the surface you’re running on which can cause different stress fractures in your leg. “Physical therapy programs can help athletes recover the right way and eventually return to the sport they love- the right way,” he adds.
How to Treat Sports-Related Injuries
John offers these tips:
- Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (PRICE) – for acute injury issues, this ice compression acronym can help a sports-related injury before it gets worse.
- Hands-on-work, soft tissue mobilization/massage to help restore range of motion and strength to the injured area.
- Modalities- these include applying hot and cold packs and electric simulation to the affected area.
- Physical precautions- depending on the extent of the injury, a doctor may limit a patient with non-weight bearing precautions.
From college athlete hopefuls to those playing intramurals, John can “empathize with the athletes who come to Bacharach. I went through it myself and understand what it feels like to be shut down from a sport you love. I’m able to relate to what young athletes are feeling and going through.”
For more information on Bacharach’s Outpatient Physical Therapy and Hand Center Galloway, call 609-404-4600.