While most people see physical therapy as treatment after an injury, the staff at Applied Physical Medicine want you to know that maintaining strength and flexibility is as important as treating it once it’s become a problem.
Applied Physical Medicine has the unique privilege of sponsoring the University of Arizona’s TriCats. These hardworking triathletes come to see the professionals at Applied Physical Medicine to treat and prevent injuries.
I had the chance to talk with Ben Kanute, one of our former University of Arizona triathletes who qualified for the Summer Olympics in Rio last week. We are excited to support him and the rest of the USA teams later this season. All the athletes have worked hard to secure a spot representing their respective countries and we look forward to seeing them perform.
Since Ben’s training schedule is rigorous, (learn more about triathlons and the TriCats : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nH5gqE2OJA ) I wanted to know how physical therapy impacts what he does during training. I also wanted to know if he found it helpful to see his physical therapist before an injury.
According to Ben, one of the primary challenges in being a competitive triathlete is to ensure that there is balance and focus for each of the three sports. Overlooking important endurance and strength components for any one of them could result in some noticeable performance deficits at competition time.
Planning workouts to maximize development of skills is one strategy that Ben employs to stay focused on all areas. His coach helps to manage the planning and Ben uses massage and physical therapy to maintain top form.
Physical therapy is used to address minor pain before it becomes major and before it interferes with function. With regular visits to his physical therapist at Applied Physical Medicine, Ben is able to improve his work in areas that need strengthening, get to know his recovery needs, and also avoid injury.
Most of all, Ben says, it’s important to remember that recovery is as important as performance, and that balance and focus are vital to success.