Recently I read yet another article about Carlos Beltran of the Mets and how difficult it's been for his trainers to get him back out on the field. Due to a knee injury... and another injury... and more pain... he just can't seem to get his form back. Is this surprising? It shouldn't be. Go back and read my three posts about the Trauma Reflex and hip pain (all of which applies to the knees as well). You'll see more clearly what I mean. In many cases of injury, a player isn't able to regain his earlier form, because the contraction pattern of the original injury hasn't been fully cleared up.
Carlos Beltran is a $100 million player. The Mets are losing their money, yet spending much of it on therapies that aren't even hitting the mark. Surgery for a micro-fracture was successful; his follow up, however, could use a different approach. A Hanna Somatic approach.
Carlos Beltran is suffering from a classic case of Sensory Motor Amnesia. According to one article,
"The 33-year-old developed the tendinitis while overcompensating for the right knee that underwent surgery last January. He was shut down for more than a week but resumed baseball activities last Wednesday and had a cortisone shot..."
He had surgery on his right knee for a micro-fracture, then developed tendinitis in his left knee. This is a classic case of injuries criss-crossing in the body. It happens not only to athletes, but to anyone who suffers a one-sided injury. It's called the Trauma Reflex. It contributes to back pain, shoulder, neck and hip pain and an uneven gait.
When athlete suffers an injury, the muscles on the other side of the body are instantly recruited to stabilize the injured limb. The original injury is "fixed" (in the case of Beltran), and the area goes through rehabilitation. The athlete is told that he's to good to go, except he's not. Not until the opposite side of the body - the one that learned how to "help out" as the injury healed - learns to relax and regain its original function.
Many players who suffer this kind of injury find that they just can't play (or pitch, run or catch) the way they once did. Their stats start to slip. What they're not aware of is that their finely tuned form - the "movement memory" that enabled them to perform at an elite level - now has a glitch in it. Read the article, Somatics and the Professional Athlete to learn more about how and why this occurs.
The keys to extending one's playing life as a professional athlete are simple:
- Teach athletic trainers about the nature of injury and how the brain and muscular system respond to it.
- Employ Hanna Somatic Educators to work with injured athlete
- Teach the athletes a simple daily routine of Somatic Exercises as a "warm-up" and "cool-down" for their entire sensory motor system.
Why wouldn't you want to do that?
It wouldn't cost the Mets $100 million, though in my humble opinion, that would be what Hanna Somatics is worth to these teams.