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Taking Care of Collegiate Athletes

Keeping UNCC in the game --John L. Colville, DPT, CSCS, Physical Therapist to Charlotte 49er Athletics

For eight years I have been providing physical therapy services for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Athletic Department, three mornings per week during the fall and spring school semesters.  My work and patients includes athletes from every varsity sport UNCC offers. Like OrthoCarolina’s other outreach programs, patient care at the collegiate level of athletics is a team effort. Each sports team has one or more athletic trainers with whom I work in tandem on rehabilitation of injured athletes that may benefit from physical therapy (PT). These can be both post-surgical and non-surgical injuries. As the official sports medicine physicians for 49er Athletics, I also work closely with Drs. Fleischli and Dockery.

Partnering with collegiate teams provides an important benefit to both 49er athletes and the athletic trainers. As an OrthoCarolina physical therapist, I have a direct relationship with our physicians and can easily relay communication between the doctors, trainers, coaches, student-athletes and their family members. The addition of PT services towards the rehabilitation process provides a unique skill set, particularly expertise in injury rehabilitation, which complements the athletic trainers’ skill set.  Interestingly, the NFL Players Association mandated a few years ago that all NFL teams have a PT on staff as part of the medical team, to work in coordination with the athletic trainers on the rehabilitation of injured players.  OrthoCarolina’s relationship with UNCC is often used as a recruiting tool for potential incoming student-athletes.

I feel very blessed that I am provided the opportunity to work with athletes in a college setting. This was the primary reason I decided to pursue a career in physical therapy (being a former injured athlete myself) and I’m very passionate about working with the athletic population.

John L. Colville, DPT, CSCS, is a physical therapist with OrthoCarolina University.

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