Super Bowl LIV is upon us, but as viewers and fans we take the road that led its professional athletes there for granted. You see, the 54th edition of the NFL’s crown achievement as we know it would not have been possible without physiotherapy. Here’s why.
Why the Super Bowl 54 Matchup Between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs Would Not Have Been Possible Without Physiotherapy
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo Leaned on Physio for His Post ACL Tear Return
All-star quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has led his team to Super Bowl 54 after a very successful season, but his wins didn’t come as seamlessly as they may have seemed. Garoppolo plays on a surgically repaired left knee after sustaining an ACL tear back in Week 3 of the 2018-19 NFL season. Most players don’t come back to play the same after that kind of injury, much less make it to the final day of the playoffs a season later. In fact, the repaired ACL was tested over a week ago in the NFC Championship when Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark hit Garoppolo hard and low in the left leg where the surgical scar exists, but thankfully Garoppolo was wearing his physio-prescribed knee brace which he credits for surviving the blow. Yes, the 49ers QB got up with a limp, but quickly returned to form to send the Packers packing, winning the NFC by a final score of 37-20.
“I didn’t really know what it was because I didn’t see the guy. Was throwing it and felt it all in my left leg. It annoyed me for a little bit, but it didn’t take long to go away. Thankfully, I’ve got the brace on.” (San Francisco 49ers QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, after NFC Championship win)
Beyond strong mental fortitude and competitive drive, the difference maker for Garoppolo’s Super Bowl worthy return to the league was due to a staunch rehab regime of physiotherapy. In advance of the 2019 preseason 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reaffirmed at the NFL Scouting Combine that their star QB’s ACL rehab was coming along ahead of schedule, noting that Garoppolo would be primed for the season ahead. Apparently we was right.
Chiefs’ QB Pat Mahomes Recovers from In-Season Injuries to Make Super Bowl
All-star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has delivered his team to the big dance after a 50 year draught. That’s right – five decades without a Super Bowl appearance! But there were a few stumbles on the path to their AFC Championship win and subsequent Super Bowl berth. In Week 1 of the season, Mahomes sustained an ankle injury. While he kept playing, there was a notable statistical drop-off in play in the weeks after. Then, in October Mahomes suffered a right knee patellar dislocation. Team trainers jumped to his aid and attended to the knee on the spot (locker room) but he received immediate and extensive physiotherapy and stabilizing training which skirted the need for surgery and allowed him to return to action within 3 weeks. What about the Week 1 ankle strain? It turns out that the 3 weeks of rest, concurrent with physiotherapy, helped to heal his prior ankle injury too.
Interestingly, Mahomes’ knee injury wasn’t worse due to the fact that he has “loose ligaments” – or more aptly, hypermobility syndrome. While the lack of tightness may have kept most of his ligaments from being injured on that fateful October day, ligament laxity (increased range of motion) and joint instability are actually a real concern. For this reason, Mahomes must rely on ongoing physical therapy and chiropractic treatment to correct biomechanics, restore normal function, and prevent future injury. Kansas City Chiefs and Pat Mahomes fans will also be pleased to know that the QB has in house support for hypermobility syndrome – his longtime girlfriend Brittany Matthews, is a licensed physical therapist.
The respective Super Bowl 54 teams’ star quarterbacks both credit physiotherapy for injury repair and optimal physical functioning throughout the playoffs, but every starter on the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs has a similar story. After all, football is the most body-taxing professional sport in North America and no participant should go without it. If you or a loved one plays football at any level (amateur or otherwise) and they reside in the Greater Vancouver area, find out what Absolute PhysioCare can do for you/them. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.