Student Athlete Returns to Volleyball after Physical Therapy

If you were (or are) a student athlete, you already know the rewards of participating in athletics. You probably tell war stories about the excruciating practices that developed your fitness, discipline and commitment. You reminisce about the confidence building victories and the resilience building defeats with your tight knit team.

You may also remember another part of being a student-athlete....injuries.

According to a study by SafeKids Worldwide

  • 90% of student athletes report some sort of sports-related injury.

  • 54% confessed to having played while injured and

  • 42% of these kids and teens said that they’ve hidden or downplayed an injury during a game so they can keep playing.

So let's take away any shame associated with being hurt and empower student-athletes to face their injury head on so they can get back out there and do their thing!!

Well, here's the story of one of our favorite student athletes who understands that partnering with the right physical therapist early on during your injury (big or small) will get you back to your sport stronger and more confident than ever.

Meet Iron PT's Patient of The Month: Katie Lonergan

Katie is a high school student in the prime of her volleyball career! The season was going well until she dislocated her patella which required surgery. Dr. Castania, Katie's PT at Iron, was blown away by her incredible dedication and hard work. Here's a little more about Katie's experience in her own words:

Here's a little more about Katie's experience in her own words:

1) So, what brought you into physical therapy? I dislocated my patella playing volleyball which required surgery but I was very excited to start physical therapy because I was eager to get back to playing.

2) What position do you play in volleyball? What is your favorite part of the game? I'm a right side hitter and outside hitter. My favorite part of volleyball is the adrenaline rush I get from the fast gameplay and celebrating every play with my team.

3) How would you describe physical therapy to your volleyball teammates who don't know what it is? I would describe it as sport rehabilitation to get you strong enough to get back to your sport as soon as possible.

4) What PT exercise or technique (ie., ART, Graston, McKenzie etc.) helped you feel your best after your injury/surgery? The techniques that helped me the most were definitely the Active Release Technique and the Graston Technique.

5) Any advice for others who are recovering from an injury/surgery like yours? What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? Start your recovery process as soon as possible, make sure do your exercises at home, and trust your physical therapist! Some big lessons I have learned from physical therapy is are trust yourself, your therapist, and the process.

6) What lessons from PT do you think you can bring to the volleyball court? I've learned that you get out what you put in, so you need to give every play on the volleyball court your all!

7) What accomplishment in PT are you most proud of? I'd say I'm most proud of being able to run with correct form again after physical therapy, and being able to get back to jumping so I can play volleyball.