Rehab clinic helps athletes, others

March 16, 2011

Luke Harris, a running back for the Indiana State University football team, is on the mend thanks in part to the university's own Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic.

"I've progressed how I'm supposed to be. I'm actually sometimes ahead of where I'm supposed to be so it's worked out really well for me," said Harris, who had surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. The sophomore from Whiteland, Ind. expects to be able to fully resume practice with his teammates later this spring.

Hailey Tinsman, a utility player for the ISU softball team, has also utilized the clinic following shoulder surgery last fall. She has progressed to the point of being able to return to action with the team this month.
Having the clinic on campus has helped Harris and Tinsman stay on track with their rehabilitation and return to normal activities.

"Between classes and practice, there's not much time, so it's easy to walk over here," Tinsman said, noting the athletic training students - both graduate and undergraduate - who staff the clinic are knowledgeable.

"It's really helpful," said the Mattoon, Ill. freshman. "I can go to anybody pretty much and ask them any questions I have and they'll answer me."

Rehabilitation is one of the most important, yet too often neglected aspects of sports-related surgeries, said Shecanna Seeley, a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer who serves as director of the rehabilitation clinic, part of the department of applied medicine and rehabilitation in the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services.

It's important that each individual progress through rehabilitation as their injury allows because progressing too quickly or too slowly can be detrimental, Seeley said.

That's where the clinic's staff comes in, she said, by monitoring patients' progress and ensuring that they are on track with their own prescribed course of therapy.

"We work with a person's primary care physician and develop a plan of care that is based on individual needs and goals," she said. We also follow surgeon protocols as needed after surgical intervention.

People need not be ISU athletes to take advantage of the clinic's services, Seeley said. In fact, they need have no affiliation with the university whatsoever.

"Anyone can take advantage of our services. We have a screening process where you can come in and talk with one of us and see if physical rehabilitation is appropriate for you," she said. When therapy is prescribed by a primary health care provider, the clinic is able to bill most major medical insurance policies for its services.

We are able to treat more than just post-surgical issues, frequently we see postural dysfunction, sprains, strains, recovering broken bones, joint pain, chronic pain, back pain and other movement disorders.

Formerly housed in the Health and Human Services Building, the clinic moved in January to newly renovated facilities on the first floor of the Student Services Building on the ISU campus, where it shares space with the athletic training room, also operated by the department of applied medicine and rehabilitation.

"This partnership allows us to work with our clients in a modern, cutting edge facility," Seeley said. "It's a benefit to the community in that we are on campus with education and clinical experience together so we use research-based methods. We often have many options and can change a program on a daily basis for individual needs."

In addition to Seeley, the clinic is staffed by graduate assistant and undergraduate students from the university's athletic training program, and will expand as other programs are added.

"The students are able to apply directly what they learn in class and they get more than hands-on experience," Seeley said. "We work on critical thinking skills and critical application skills so they're getting the direction and the guidance that they need to succeed professionally."

Graduate assistant Andrew Neimann, also a certified athletic trainer, said working in the physical therapy clinic has been a great experience.

"I get a lot of hands on time and see a variety of populations - not just the athletes. I really enjoy that experience and it's been a great hands-on learning experience," Neimann said. "Shecanna and I work together very closely to provide the best care that we can. At the same time we get to mentor our undergraduate students. It's a great all around experience for everyone that's involved."

Athletic trainers are educated in rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise as a science, not just exercise for athletes," Seeley said.

"We tailor exercise regimens to each person's ability level and goals," she said. "Everyone is an athlete; our sports are just different than traditional athletes. We provide a great service to the athletes and want to open those services up to everyone in the area to give them a choice for rehabilitation needs."

Equipment in the facility includes a new adjustable medical-grade treadmill, new treatment tables, mechanical traction tables, stair-stepper, an upper extremity bike, and two bikes with interactive displays allowing users to "race" one another or even chase imaginary dragons to give them goals to strive for during therapy.

More information about the clinic is available online at http://www.indstate.edu/amr/rehab-clinic/rehab-clinic.htm or by calling 812-237-9613.

Photos:
http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1205756012_nkXZq-L-1.jpg -
Tyler Fehringer, a pitcher for the Indiana State University baseball team, performs a dynamic exercise for scapular and trunk endurance at the university's Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic. He is assisted by Andrew Neimann (right), a certified athletic trainer and graduate assistant at the clinic, as student Bobby Vallandingham looks on. (ISU/Holley Hiatt-Myers) http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1205754901_zwisE-L-1.jpg - Shecanna Seeley, director of the Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic at Indiana State University, applies a manual muscle energy technique to ISU student-athlete Tyler Fehringer, a pitcher for the Sycamores baseball team. (ISU/Holley Hiett-Myers)
http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1205756379_uyTBx-L-1.jpg - Loni Mackinson, an Indiana State University volleyball player, warms up by "chasing dragons" using an interactive bike at the university's Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic. Looking on is Shecanna Seeley, director of the clinic, and Sycamore volleyball player Molly Murphy. (ISU/Holley Hiatt-Myers)

Contact: Shecanna Seeley, director, Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic, Indiana State University, 812-237-2765 or shecanna.seeley@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu