Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicago Bears' Brian Urlacher loves OT!!!

So, if you've been keeping up with football you know that the Chicago Bears defensive linebacker, Brian Urlacher, has dislocated his right wrist. I didn't watch all of the game on Sunday nor have I looked into this much (I AM a grad student with FIVE exams next week, after all) but I do know that this is the perfect opportunity to discuss OT!!

Sports players injure themselves all the time and many people know about the physical therapy they go through but they don't know that sports players also go through intensive, but extremely ENJOYABLE AND FUN, Occupational Therapy. Because OT is waaaaaaay more fun and enjoyable than Physical Therapy!!! :-)

So, first, I did some research and discovered that a dislocated wrist injury is pretty common for defensive players. Who knew? I've included a picture of the wrist bones so you can see how it's all connected with the hand and how it's possible to injure your wrist. The purpose of the wrist is to allow movement of your hand and fingers; without it you wouldn't be able to turn or move your hand or fingers. The wrist is what gives your hand and fingers great motion and range.
You see all the tiny bones in the wrist photo?? They are all joined by various types of connective tissues (I'll be dissecting this in Anatomy soon..). Because of these bones and their connections the wrist is very flexible. As a result, you can dislocate the bones and knock them out of position.

Depending on the extent of the injury, which seems pretty serious if you're going to miss an entire football season, Urlacher may need Occupational Therapy to resume full functionality of the wrist and hand. Obviously, Urlacher uses his hand for many things outside of football. An Occupational Therapist would evaluate the severity of his situation and work with Brian to develop a plan that meets his functional, and occupational, needs.

Perhaps, just work with me here, Brian LOVES to cook when he's not training for football. Well, cooking requires quite a bit of manual dexterity and wrist motion. You have to measure, pour, hold pots and pans, chop herbs, spices, vegetables and meats, hold various utensils, turn the heat on and off and so on. Physical therapy is not enough in this situation because Brian would need someone to work with him to mimic his normal, frequently used cooking motions. Phsyical Therapy would help him resume motion but who's going to help him continue to cook those flavorful, down-home meals? An Occupational Therapist!!!! that's who! OT is awesome!

I'm sure Brian plays with his kids. His kids probably ask him to pick them up or play games with them, like cards, video games (Wii anyone?) or coloring/drawing. An OT would work with Brian in this actual setting or one similar to it, so that he can regain the fine motor movements in his wrist and hand that are required to perform these activities with his children.
So, I'm sorry Brian had such an unfortunate injury that's going to put him out for the season but at least now you know how Brian will feed his children after they've played as a family. :-)This is the wonderful world of OT!!
I hope you understand how OT is applicable!

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