Good Shepherd Helps Student Athlete Rebound from Knee Pain
For most serious athletes, staying healthy prevents injury and keeps them at the top of their game.
So when Spencer Hay, a basketball player and track and field athlete from Palmerton High School, started to have pain in both knees from tendonitis, he was concerned.
An athlete since age 5, Spencer first experienced knee pain during his junior year basketball season.
“At first, I tried to play through the pain,” says Spencer. But as the season progressed, the pain started to slow down the 6’3” athlete. “It really limited me,” he says.
“I couldn’t run as fast as I could when I was healthy. I couldn’t jump as far, and I just wasn’t playing and competing as well as I could have,” he says.
For an athlete like Spencer, who plans to compete on a college level, slowing down was not an option. He did the stretches recommended by his trainer, tried knee braces and took anti-inflammatory medication, but the pain persisted.
Fortunately, Spencer knew just where to go for help. “I came to Good Shepherd Physical Therapy – Palmerton because my family recommended it,” says Spencer. He is actually the third generation of his family to go to Good Shepherd. “My grandfather came here for his knees, and my mom and dad both came here for their ankles,” says Spencer.
Good Shepherd - Palmerton physical therapist Susan Lawfer, PT, DPT, certMDT, CBIS, developed an individualized treatment plan for Spencer. “Sports is really important to Spencer,” says Susan. “He wants to continue competing in college, so keeping his knees healthy was crucial.”
Spencer was suffering from a type of tendinitis known as patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, which is an injury to the tendon connecting the shinbone to the kneecap. Susan worked with Spencer twice a week for a month doing exercises to stretch the joints and muscles around the knee. Spencer’s therapy also focused on leg strengthening, proprioception (limb awareness) and balance exercises.
Today, as Spencer starts his senior year with college not too far off, he says he feels great and is ready to compete again.
“The physical therapy program here at Good Shepherd helped increase my flexibility and strengthen my legs,” says Spencer. “Susan worked with me and showed me stretches that would decrease the pain. I would definitely recommend Good Shepherd to other athletes. I didn’t think I would ever be able to jump liked I used to, but after this I’m jumping even better, and I feel great,” he says.
“Good Shepherd has definitely taken me Beyond Limits,” says Spencer.