by Malcolm Butler
When former Louisiana Tech pitcher Cade Gibson underwent elbow surgery in September of 2019, he knew he had his entire collegiate and possibly professional baseball career in front of him.
And Gibson knew he needed to get back to 100 percent.
That’s when Gibson turned to Jereme Johnson and the team at Johnson Physical Therapy for his rehabilitation.
It was a move that proved to be as successful as Gibson’s nasty arsenal of pitches that helped him lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances the past two seasons.
“Jereme has been a lifesaver for me,” said Gibson. “That guy works his tail off. He has been there every second I needed him. Whether it is little pains throughout the season or after my elbow surgery, he really helped me out when I had some setbacks. After this past season I had some shoulder fatigue, and he worked his tail off to get me to where I am right now.”
And where is Gibson now? Well he is only a member of the Miami Marlins organization after being selected in the 10th round of the 2022 MLB Draft.
Johnson and his gang of highly-skilled physical therapists at Johnson Physical Therapy believe in finishing the job.
“I think what sets us apart is our vision for doing more than just the traditional of getting someone out of the bandage and working them on a PT table for eight weeks,” said Johnson. “As a profession, historically, I don’t believe we have done the best job at getting patients to 100 percent. What I mean by that is the loads that go with every day movement or athletics are not being applied during end stage treatments. These are the types of stresses that were there when we were healthy and they will be the same we we attempt them after. So we better be ready.
“If you look at a person who has an ACL tear, they have been removed from everything that basically defines them. All the activities. It has both psychological and physical effects on the patient. When we are rehabbing them, we are looking at it from what does the end goal look like. What type of stresses, what kind of forces, what kind of loads are those tissues going to have to appreciate when they get back on the field. We have a responsibility to progressively mimic those factors so the patient develops the physical and mental tools to safely and confidently return.”
Johnson Physical Therapy, located at 304 East Reynolds Drive in Ruston and 2519 North 7th Street in West Monroe, believes in staying up to date with the “latest and greatest” tools of the profession.
“Not only by applying interventions that can complete the training, but utilizing technology that assesses it,” said Johnson. “We use the G-Flight to assess the patient’s readiness for sport. It has the ability to measure an athlete’s explosiveness by comparing their ability to drop down onto a single limb and jump up off the ground (i.e. receive and deliver force).
“The structures involved have to not only decelerate the load down into the leg, but stop it, absorb the shock and then push off of it. The G-Flight gives us a measurement of time spent on the ground to vertical distance placed off the ground. It measures it in speed and time so you get an idea of explosiveness. We call that the reactive strength index (RSI).
“A lot of other facilities don’t take it to that depth. I think we take it to a depth where we appreciate a complete recovery. And we can teach an athlete that ‘Hey, you may look and feel good at 14 weeks out, but your left leg has an RSI of 1.0 where as your right leg has an RSI of .40. So, you are at 60 percent reduced explosiveness.’ To be able to show that to a patient gives them an appreciation and idea for what the end goal looks like and where they are at in the process.”
Johnson said one of the reasons for JPT’s success with its patients is the team approach. The team of therapists include Bryan Moore, Brett Jones, David Hall and Cameron Cupp as well as a highly qualified team of support staff members.
“Every therapist shares the same knowledge of where we are trying to get to with a patient,” said Johnson. “Each therapist at our clinic knows where the patient has been taken in the previous session and follows programming developed by the team for future treatments. There is a continuity of care that takes the patient all the way to the end goal.
“Making the patient … from a psychological standpoint … appreciate the fact that my therapist has taken me way beyond where I may have been even before the injury. So now I am ready to get back on the field or to life without any hesitations or thoughts of deficiencies.”
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