Alumna uses physical therapy to begin sports faster; How PT process aided athlete in recovery

Matthew Ledford, Video Editor

Alumna Greer Strine graduated in 2022. Strine played for the varsity field hockey and tennis teams while she attended NHHS. In her senior field hockey season, she “tore [her] labrum in [her] hip and had a stress fracture to [her] femoral head.” In total, the athlete has been in physical therapy for eight months at McLaughlin Physical Therapy, located in Jarrettsville.

   “For [her] first stint of physical therapy, [she] was working on healing the stress fracture, as well as strengthening [her] leg and hip. [She] was on crutches for four weeks, ranging from November to December, where [she] started PT around Christmas time,” Strine says.

   She continued PT all the way through August. She had found out in mid-March that she needed hip surgery, so she had continued physical therapy, and knew that her road to recovery had just begun. She took a three-day break from her surgery to getting back into the swing of PT.

   “Going back to physical therapy right after surgery was tough. It took a lot of perseverance, willingness to work, and a positive mental state,” Strine states.

   During physical therapy, she did many strengthening and stretching exercises, as well as a lot of cycling. Before every session began, she used a stimulation machine for 10 to 15-minutes. There are two pads that are placed on the targeted area, where it adds gentle electrical currents, which stimulate the nerves, to provide pain relief.

   Following stimulation, the physical therapist will often massage the area, loosing up the muscles and relieving tension. With a lot of pushing, pulling, and stretching, slow progress is made.

  Strine  then moved out to the gym area where she went on the stationary bike for anywhere between five to 10 minutes. She would do a lot with the resistance bands that were wrapped around her legs, where she then had to walk in certain ways. She would also use the resistance bands to regain motion in her hip as well.

   “PT felt very repetitive, and it was an extremely long and defeating process. There were many times where [Strine] felt like no progress was being made. [She] also started to lose hope that [she’d] return to the field anytime soon,” Strine comments.

   With the support of the staff at McLaughlin, she felt that she was being well taken care of, and they truly knew what was best for her. They worked with her to create a unique PT regimen that allowed her to get back onto the field as quickly as possible.

   While working alongside her surgeon, the physical therapists were able to read his plan of recovery that was individualized for Strine. The surgeon often recommended taking a step back to see what progress had been made, and what else was needed to continue forward. He had been trying to find a way to help her back onto the sports field as quickly as he could, so she was able to perform a lot of exercises that were unique to her sport.

   At PT, the therapists were able to replicate the movements she often made in games and in practice and allowed them to specialize in those areas.

   Things didn’t always go as quickly as she’d hoped, but looking back, Strine has noticed significant progress from where she started to where she is now.

   Currently, Strine is playing club field hockey at High Point University. She states, “[She] has to sit out of a lot of the conditioning and sprints, since it still puts too much pressure on [her] joints, which [her] hip still cannot handle, but is working with [her] coach to ease her way back to playing the sport that [she] loves.”