Blog from ‘Lo stivale’ or ‘The Boot’
It’s been 4 weeks now since I arrived in Italy and it is amazing! From the day I stepped off the plane to today, I continue to make new memories and realize how fortunate I am to have this opportunity.
Isokinetic Sports Medicine Group
I am doing my clinical in an outpatient sports clinic where I have treated patients from 8 years old to 87years old. Many of the patients are high level or professional athletes, including volleyball players, basketball players, Olympic skiers, and most importantly: “futballers” (or soccer players as we would say). The clinic is certified by FIFA, the regulating body for all international soccer, so players from all over the world are sent to our clinic to complete their rehab. Since the clinic treats professionals and “regular people” it is not uncommon to see a 60 year old women doing exercises right next to an Olympian, which I find to be incredible as I can’t imagine Kobe Bryant or Michael Phelps ever doing this!
The entire building is “one stop shopping” for the patients, as their doctor is just down the hall from the PT gym. There is also a swimming pool and many soccer fields at the clinic which are used by the patients Treatment consists of a certain number of sessions in the pool, gym, and field, dictated by the doctor and the patients progression. As for specific treatment, this is also dictated by the doctor with a detailed list of modalities (and they use a lot of them!), massage, type of strengthening and stretching. Due to the many modalities used and the high number of reps for TE’s (8×20 or 6×30), patients are at therapy for at least 2 hours, often 3 hours, which I guess is necessary at the cost of 80 euros per session. (Many patients don’t have insurance and pay out of pocket.)
Today I got to spend the morning on the field, playing soccer with some of the pros – ‘the Azzuri’. Including time on the field as part of the PT treatment is very interesting and beneficial to the patients. It allows the patient to get back into sport while still under the treatment of the doctor and the PT. The treatment progresses as any other treatment we are familiar with: starting off with basic running and walking exercises, then advancing to sport specific exercises with the ball, including shooting and agility drills. I was told the average time spent on the field after an ACL reconstruction is 6 weeks, ensuring the player is completely ready to return to competition with the team
Life the Italian Way
Life in Italy is seemingly much more relaxed: 2 hour lunch breaks, wine and limoncello during work , and laid back evenings with dinner not until 10:00! I’ve spent my weekends trying to soak up everything Italy has to offer: Saturday morning market in Bologna, going to the beach in Rimmini and exploring Rome. My next stops will be Cinque Terre, Florence, and Venice.
The family I’m renting my apartment from is extremely nice, always making me feel welcome. They invite me over for drinks and delicious homemade Italian meals. As for the language, learning some more Italian would have been a good idea but it’s amazing what simple hand gestures and google translate can do!
I can’t believe how fast the time is going, but I miss everyone back home in Pittsburgh! Hope everyone is enjoying clinic!