Performance 2

NMT APPLICATION IN WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

Chiara Barbi
Physiotherapist to the Italian National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team
Italy
31/3/2010

My experience of NeuroMuscular Taping in wheelchair basketball began in October 2008, after I attended a seminar on this technique conducted by the teacher David Blow.

What immediately struck me about the technique was its versatility and the practical nature of its application in various contexts, whether in sports or in the field of rehabilitation. With the experience I have acquired over the years I have understood that most of the complaints and accidents reported by athletes in the context of a particular sport such as wheelchair basketball may be prevented or have their severity limited by adopting a ‘conservative’ or ‘preventative’ approach. Because of the kind of disabilities they have, these athletes are more prone to overload pathologies, especially of the upper extremities this even outside of their athletic activities. It therefore becomes a priority to deal with these problems from their very beginnings both to avoid compromising their sporting performance and their independence in everyday life.

The most widespread approach is to prescribe and apply braces or guards or application of traditional functional bandages, to be worn especially during the greatest physical effort such as during competition. Nevertheless, the athletes themselves increasingly refuse to apply these methods, saying that such braces and strapping are “cumbersome” and disturb their playing ability. They prefer to reserve their use for non-training and non-competitive situations, thereby exposing themselves to the risk of further injury.

NMT, on the other hand, has offered an approach that guarantees full freedom of movement during play, especially such joints as the shoulder, where it is difficult to use any other kind of aid. The benefits of the application can also be extended over time, depending on the application criteria selected by the therapist.

Another aspect that should not be underrated is the relative speed and ease of application – once one has acquired familiarity and dexterity in the technique.

CLINICAL CASE

E.R. Age 49Captain of the Italian National Woman’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. Affected by PPS (post-polio syndrome, with damage to the lower limbs only, she has been playing wheelchair basketball for around twenty years. Before she was successful in track and field and fencing.

For at least nine months now, she has suffered from ‘periarthritis scapulohumeralis’. Approximately seven months ago, she underwent a cycle of infiltrative therapy, followed by a cycle of physiotherapy with an osteopath. These were of temporary benefit. At present, following a day of training with the national team, she requires intramuscular anti-inflammatory therapy.

Technique Used

  • During training: support of the deltoid + re-centering of the head of the humerus
  • Following training: double fan (anterior and posterior)
  • At end of three days of training: she took part in practice without having to stop due to pain, and she no longer required anti-inflammatory drugs.

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