Five former professional football players, including Ricky Williams, recently participated in the five-day intensive manual therapy concussion program and preliminary pilot research project at the Upledger Institute Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens. The intensive program was designed for football players with a predisposition to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
The players were treated by 23 therapists from around the U.S., Canada, France and Australia. Therapies utilized during this program were primarily CranioSacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation and Neural Manipulation.
The objective of this study was to demonstrate that advanced therapies administered by certified, licensed manual therapists would help to alleviate the symptoms of post concussion syndrome.
Ricky Williams, who played professional football for 12 seasons and, like all players, suffered repeated trauma to his head and body during his career, strongly supports this pilot program. In describing one of his best seasons as a player, Williams said, "During the summer before the 2009 football season, I went through the CranioSacral Intensive Program at The Upledger Institute looking to deal with some nagging physical complaints I had from past injuries. I ended up getting the relief I was looking for and much more. I credit much of my well-being and my 1000 yard season to the multi-modality manual therapy program I experienced at Upledger."
The Ricky Williams Foundation is teaming up with the Upledger Institute Clinic treatment using Upledger CranioSacral Therapy, Barral Neural Manipulation and Barral Visceral Manipulation. The results from this study are far reaching – not only can these manual therapies help people with sustained repeated trauma, such as with professional football players, but also those who have been in many types of accidents.
"With all the talk about it, let's talk about prevention and what we can do and early detection signs. But no one is talking about treatment," Williams said. "And I think I'm in a very interesting position because I've been a player but I've also studied this - and so I know from my own experience that it works and it can really help a lot of players."
Sally Fryer, tDPT, CST-D, SIPT Certified
Melinda Roland MA, PT, LAc, OMD, Dipl-Ac, CST-D
George Visger, BS, Wildlife Biologist, TBI Consultant, National Football League Athlete (Retired)
Sally, Melinda and George did a Poster Presentation showing the results from The Ricky Williams Concussion Project that was conducted at the Upledger Institute.
The Poster Results were prepared by Gail Wetzler, PT, DPT, EDO, BI-D.
The 4th Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference was held February 5-7, 2015 Santa Clara, California. In attendance was an audience of around 500 rehabilitation professionals representing a variety of disciplines as well as individuals with brain injury, family members, and caregivers.
Sally, George and Melinda setting up the Poster Presentation.
Melinda, Forensic Pathologist Bennet Omalu, MD., and Sally. Dr. Omalu coined the term Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Will Smith will be playing him in upcoming movie called "Concussion." Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a form of encephalopathy that is a progressive degenerative disease in individuals with a history of multiple concussions and other forms of head injury.
Stephanie Mckenna, MD (coordinator for the event and head of Santa Clara Valley Brain Trauma Center), Melinda, and George... after hours. It was a great conference!!!
Feedback from Sally Fryer:
I think the conference went GREAT!!! And actually we had a lot of interest!!! I was talking to people non-stop about the project... so many seeds planted. It was interesting to me how few people even knew what "manual therapy" was, let alone CST, VM or Lymph work... so lots of education. I gave out the website and phone # to many people!!! I didn't get any skeptics questioning me on treatment or results... people mainly just seemed impressed and wanted to learn more.
Come to Beyond The Dura Conference to hear more about the Ricky Williams Concussion Project - how the participants are doing - and what we will can all do next!