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Professional sport and necessity of having own physical therapist

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  • Derek Miles
    I would say this is more of an ethical question to the individual therapist versus a right/wrong from a physiological standpoint. If you are familiar with our stance you know that we do not support efficacy of dry needling or passive modalities as there is no go evidence to show that they expedite recovery. If an athlete has the funds, and wishes to have whatever done to them, so be it. That being said, the bigger issue is that those modalities are what are shown in social media posts and the lay athlete then often expects that as a standard of care. If a recreational athlete comes in with the expectation that their treatment should be primarily passive, that is problematic and due to the reach of professional athletes, it leaves other clinicians fighting Brandolini's law. I would say the problem in general is not with the professional athlete per se but rather it does stagnate progress in the evidence as for every new treatment method/modality that is "years ahead of the research," a critical mass has to be achieved before the researchers take the time to look at it. Instead of conducting studies that would likely impact clinical decision making; say a prospective trial of resistance training for bone health in adolescent runners, we are faced with underpowered, unblinded trials of said modality.

    The "it worked for me" gambit is problematic on multiple fronts and recent history has shown that modalities that were once cutting edge, now occupy the back of closets in training rooms. From ultrasound, the manipulations, to k-tape, to IASTM, to dry needling something gets popular, everyone does it, then the science catches up and shows it is no better than placebo. I would personally like to think I received a doctoral level education and completed residency to be something more to my patients than the fidget spinner du jour.

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  • Professional sport and necessity of having own physical therapist

    It is common for professional athletes to have "personal" physical therapist who does not engage in training process in therms of monitoring AC:WR etc. but do some passive modalities like massage dry needling and all that stuff. They are convinced that it influence their recovery, helps them to reduce pain sensation which could let them to train or participate in their sport sooner - is it something wrong with that "dependance"?