Ty Cox, patient, in the sports therapy gym

Feb 13, 2020 / Sports Medicine

What is a Bridge Program?

Getting back to sports after an injury or surgery can be a long road. From the beginning of rehabilitation, the team is actively considering the best path for the athlete to get back to play safely with the lowest risk of re-injury. 
 
Depending on the condition and treatment, the natural course of recovery may take as long as 12 months. Formal physical therapy may last three to six months, but when that is over, what’s next? There are several options to “bridge” the gap between discharge from therapy and safe return to sports.  
 
The idea is to continue training in an environment where the instructor is familiar with young athletes and aware of the challenges associated to returning to sports after an injury. For some, a high school athletic trainer may be well-suited to collaborate with the athletic program’s strength and conditioning coach. The best option is to stay with a program that understands your child’s history and goals. One that is led by a qualified professional familiar with post-injury and post-surgical recovery timeframes. 
 
We are pleased to introduce this option to our current and former patients. Keep reading to learn more about this program at Scottish Rite for Children Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center. 


Top Things to Know About the Bridge Program 

What is it?   
The Bridge Program is specially designed for the young athlete who has completed their physical therapy sessions but is still needing focused training to help them return safely to their sport. 
 
Why was the program created? 
When physical therapy ends, patients are often not ready to return to sport, but do not know where to turn. The purpose of the program is to offer additional resources to the patient who completes physical therapy and is in search of continued training with returning to sports as their main goal. Our team is well-equipped to direct the program development and care in this stage of recovery. 
 
What is the difference between physical therapy and performance training? 
In therapy, physical and occupational therapists are movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and patient education. Once the patient is pain free and exhibits quality movement, performance training is the natural next stage.  Performance training can be offered in a small class setting under the direction of a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). It is not covered by insurance, but some guarantors have HSA/FSA funds that may qualify for this program. Learn more about this kind of coach in an earlier blog [here]. 
 
Who can participate in the Bridge Program? 
Like many of our other resources, this service is offered to our current and former patients. The athlete must be cleared from all restrictions except the final clearance by their physical therapist or doctor to return to sport and to be considered for this program. 
 
How will the program help an athlete in their sport? 
With an overall focus on where your child is in his growth pattern, our coaches can address each athlete individually and customize programs that work on weaknesses which may protect him from injuries in the future. We look to provide a starting baseline, progress and discharge summary for the athlete and family to view results throughout our eight-week programs.  
 
How do you sign-up?  

Call 469-515-7150 or email BridgeProgram@tsrh.org to request more information. Classes are offered with rolling admission.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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