How One Baseball Player Used Cold Compression Therapy for Tommy John’s Surgery Recovery
Noah Rinehart has played baseball for 17 years. He started in little league and has worked up to his third year of D1 baseball. As a right-handed pitcher, Rinehart’s conditioning included strength training in addition to repetitive motion associated with baseball.
And, as many athletes know, repetitive motion can lead to injury.
“I noticed I was injured when my body took much longer to recover,” said Reinhart. “Not only was it longer to recover, but I often found myself in pain or struggling to do regular activities or workouts that I was able to complete before with no pain.”
Between extreme tightness to burning or itching pain, the start of an injury eventually led Reinhart to not be able to flex or extend his elbow. Ultimately, he tore his UCL due to overuse.
“My last outing was March 18th,” says Reinhart. “I felt two pops in my elbow while pitching in a game.”
The cure: Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, or Tommy John’s surgery. This surgical procedure involves taking a healthy tendon from an arm or leg and using it to replace a broken tendon in the elbow.
“Personally, I had never undergone any type of surgery,” says Reinhart. “I remember feeling a whirlwind of emotions from scared to excited and everything in between.”
Training Prior To Surgery
Reinhart has played baseball for nearly two decades and has played at Rancho Cucamonga High School in addition to California Baptist University, Mt San Antonio College, and now he pitches at California State University, Sacramento.
“Being a pitcher, I am really into functional strength training,” says Reinhart. “This means being able to translate the movements I am making in the weight room to them correctly when I’m on the field.”
Combining workouts with rest is how Reinhart would recover and build strength prior to tearing his UCL.
Recovering from Surgery
It’s difficult for any athlete to face surgery, especially knowing there is a long road to recovery ahead.
“Luckily everything went smoothly,” says Reinhart. “I am now on the road to recovery!”
Recovery from Tommy John surgery is slow and takes most patients between nine months to a year to recover. Reinhart expects to be back on the field 12 months post-op. However, there are things that Reinhart is currently doing in order to have a faster recovery.
“From the second I got home from surgery the doctor has stressed the importance of cold compression to help manage the inflammation post-surgery,” says Reinhart.
“It is a huge relief to be able to have my own portable cold compression device to help manage and keep away inflammation that has come along during my rehab process,” says Reinhart. “Without my powerplay I believe I would struggle to manage on the recovery and inflammation side of things, and I wouldn’t be making the huge strides that I am.”
After a successful surgery and recovery, Reinhart has returned to working out to help him stay in shape for next season. And, while he is ready to return to the pitcher’s mound, Reinhart plans to change up his recovery routine adding in functional movements, mobility, and motor patterns to avoid future injuries. In addition, he plans to continue to use PowerPlay’s cold compression kits.
“I am certain that Powerplay has made a huge impact in my recovery,” says Reinhart. “It has also given me a piece of mind moving forward that I have a piece of equipment that I can depend on to help me with recovery even if I am on the road!”