A treatment developed by ChristianaCare physical therapists has been adopted by numerous NFL teams. This comes after physical therapists Brian Catania, MPT, SCS, ATC, and Travis Ross, PT, DPT presented a published study on its success to the NFL’s Professional Football Athletic Trainer Symposium as well as the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association.
The treatment starts with an assessment called the “core sling screen” which tests the strength of the participant’s core muscles. Then, a qualified screener creates a treatment plan to address which key muscles that don’t meet strength standards. Weakness in core muscles can lead to common athletic injuries. Core muscles targeted by this series of techniques include the groin, lower back, abdomen, and quadriceps.
“We reasoned that if we could identify ways to improve the strength of the core muscles, common lower extremity injuries would be less likely to occur,” said Catania, who also is the program manager at ChristianaCare’s Rehabilitation Services location in Glasgow. “But it had to be a two-part approach. We needed to develop a reliable screening tool to examine the core muscles and then also come up with a targeted exercise program to strengthen those muscles.”
In addition to special presentations on the study underpinning its effectiveness, Catania and Ross have provided further instruction to both the LA Rams and Baltimore Ravens. In May, they visited the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills, MD, to personally instruct their athletic trainers and physical therapists on how to perform the treatment.