Tag Archives: Ryan Howard

Phillies’ Ryan Howard re-habbing with Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

5 Jul

The Phillies are languishing in last place in the National League East with a 37-46 record, their worst start since 1997.

The preseason favorites are now twelve games behind the Nationals-that’s a lot of ground to make up. A big part of that disappointing record is due to injuries, which reads like an All-Star team lineup: Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Vance Worley, Jim Thome, and a multitude of others.


Howard in Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs uniform


Ryan Howard still struggling with achilles tewndon injury

Ryan Howard’s last major league appearance was in the Phils’ final game of the 2011 season against St Louis. That was the dreaded night that he tore his Achilles tendon. Since then he’s been rehabbing his way back, first through the Class-A Lakeland Blue Claws and now with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Last season the leftie hit 33 home runs and knocked in 116 RBI’s for the Phils.

By all reports, Howard seems to be getting his groove back.  His main priority is to find his rhythm again with his swing and body coordination.  “A lot of it’s just getting used to the game speed and just kind of getting the reads off bats defensively and getting my feel and timing back defensively,” said Howard.

A torn Achilles tendon means a lot of downtime before the physical conditioning actually starts. Unfortunately, players tend to gain weight during this period and lose muscle tone, making the challenge of returning to fighting form even tougher.

In Ryan Howard’s case, the rehab appears to be right on schedule as he re-adjusts to the game and strengthens his muscles and playing skills a little at a time. In his third game for the Iron Pigs on Tuesday night, Howard had his best game of 2012’s rehab stint. He not only played seven innings at first base for the first time this season, but he also blasted his first home run, going 2-for-3 with the two-run homer and four RBIs. He did however exit the field in the eight inning for a pinch runner.

Patients are always anxious to get back to their pre-injury level of activity as soon as possible, and I’m sure that professional athletes are no different. Howard has yet to play a game for the Phillies in the first year of his five-year, $125 million contract. Naturally, the Phillies are anxious to get him back in the lineup… but not too fast, or he’ll risk a re-injury of his Achilles tendon, which could very well mean the end of his career.

As of today, the Phillies are hoping that Howard can return to the lineup after the All-Star break, July 9-12. But as Howard said, “It all depends how I feel and how quickly I can get back to the flow of the game. I’m just taking it one game at a time here and keep playing games.”

Phillies’ Ryan Howard still struggling with Achilles tendon injury

14 Jun

Remember when Phillies first baseman and heavy hitter Ryan Howard crumpled on the field last October during a game against St Louis? He ruptured his left Achilles tendon, which required surgery soon after the injury.

ryan howard falling due to achilles tear

Ryan Howard within milliseconds of rupturing his left Achilles tendon, October, 2011. Notice how his left leg is collapsing under his weight

ryan howard achilles tendon injury

Howard had to be helped off the field

As any Phillies fan knows, Howard is still rehabbing from that injury. In part, the long rehab time is due to a second surgery he required when an infection developed at the site of the first surgery.

Trade rumors are running rampant, as Howard’s Achilles injury could permanently hamper his performance and spell the end of his amazing career. But I’m sure Charlie Manuel and the rest of the Phils’ staff won’t make any decisions on trading Howard until they see how he performs on the field.

But boy, do they need the pre-injury Ryan Howard now. The Phils have been plagued with injured superstars this year, including Chase Utley and most recently Roy “Doc” Halladay. Meanwhile, they’re in the cellar of the NL East  – 8 games behind 1st place Washington.

Today I saw this on Rotoworld, which didn’t give me any comfort:

Ryan Howard (Achilles) went 0-for-4 in a simulated game Wednesday against Yankees minor leaguers. Howard did not run the bases, but he swung freely and continues to make steady progress in his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery. Assuming no setbacks, the first baseman should be back in the majors by mid-July

July-that’s about nine months since he injured himself.

Ryan Howard was in superior physical condition when he ruptured his Achilles tendon. This shows how easily you can injure yourself and how important it is to keep your legs, feet and ankles in as good physical condition as possible. You probably won’t be putting strain on your Achilles to the degree that Howard did, but if you jump back into running, softball, basketball, touch football, tennis, skiing, or any sport after laying off for awhile, proper conditioning is absolutley critical to protecting all of your working parts.

How to protect your feet and ankles

Remember to stretch before and after physical activity – beforehand to warm up your muscles, tendons and ligaments and afterwards to cool down those same areas. Warming up helps to reduce muscle stiffness which is thought to be directly related to muscle injury and cooling down helps dissipate waste products from your muscles, reduces adrenaline, and allows your heart rate to return to its resting rate. Check out these basic stretching exercises which are really simple and effective.

As always, if you experience any pain or unusual stiffness in your feet, toes, or ankles make an appointment with PA Foot and Ankle Associates for a thorough examination and diagnosis. PAFAA is expert at treating sports injuries and will develop a custom treatment plan specific to your injury.

Phillies reliever Chad Qualls: “A knife was going at the back of my heel”

13 Apr chad qualls pitching phillies

It appears from press reports that Phillies reliever Chad Qualls did some damage to his right foot last Saturday and was benched for Sunday’s game. Even though he continued in the lineup this week, he may be playing with pain.

According to an April 9 story in the Philadelphia InquirerQualls said it felt like a “knife was going at the back of my heel” when he was walking around in his spikes Saturday afternoon. The Phil’s training staff are mum, but I believe that Qualls’ pain might point to an Achilles tendon injury, one of the less frequent injuries among MLB pitchers, but a very serious one.

chad qualls pitching philliesWhen a pitcher fires a pitch off the mound, his whole body is twisting and turning with incredible force. Qualls is a right hander, which means as he begins his pitch, his right foot is planted on the mound with his left foot leading the way. That right foot, his dominant foot, is where the pitch begins. With his weight on his right foot, he winds up, cocks his arm, and then turns his entire body towards home plate as he unloads the ball. During this turn, his right foot starts parallel to home plate, turns in sync with his upper body until his toes are pointing towards home plate, and then comes off the ground as he releases the ball. If any part of his movement is out of sync even a little, he can cause serious injury almost anywhere in his body.

From Chad’s description of his heel pain, the first thing I would look for is a strain or possible tear of the Achilles tendon. Usually the most common place of damage to the Achilles tendon occurs about 3-5 cm above where the tendon is joined to the foot at the insertion of the Achilles tendon.  This area is called the watershed area due to poor blood supply, causing it to be the weakest part of the tendon. It’s an injury similar to the one that Ryan Howard experienced last season, but not as severe.

An injury to this area can be extremely painful and if he continues to play with an injury like that, he is possibly risking serious damage to that right foot if it goes untreated and continues to be symptomatic. The most common way to correct damage to the Achilles tendon is with Rest, Ice, Elevation and strengthening of the Achilles tendon.  A review of his biomechanics during his pitching rotation would also be helpful to find the cause of his injury.

Injuries to the Achilles tendon are extremely painful and must be evaluated as soon as possible after feeling pain. Dr Adam Teichman at East Penn Foot And Ankle is expert at treating sports injuries to this area and will recommend the best course of treatment for you, with surgery only as a last resort

Do you think East Penn Foot and Ankle Associates could have prevented Ryan Howard from rupturing his Achillles Tendon?

12 Apr
Ryan Howard Injured his ankle

Ryan Howard Injured his ankle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ryan Howard of the Phillies had been having problems with his ankle for weeks preceding his season ending injury. He had been trying to continue to play, but his ankle pain was making it difficult for him to remain on the field. Without time to rest before the playoffs, Howard opted for an injection of cortisone in the area of the Achilles tendon. The injection was given 2 weeks before his tendon ruptured.

Injecting a steroid such as cortisone around the Achilles tendon is very controversial. Injections into the tendon or around the tendon are known to increase the likelihood of tendon rupture. Usually, if an injection is considered, a lengthy period of rest and avoid major physical activity for a period of time to avoid tendon ruptures will follow the injection.

At EPFAA we would have suggested EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology) for his injury to alleviate his Achilles tendon pain. EPAT is a new technology introduced to the Lehigh Valley by Dr. Adam Teichman. EPAT, is a painless treatment used to treat chronic pain such as Achilles tendonitis. The mode of action during Pulse Therapy is to stimulate the chemical process providing improved blood circulation in the pain regions to promote natural healing without restriction of any activity.

Benefits of EPAT:
• Patients are immediately fully weight-bearing without restriction of activity.
• Over 80% successful outcomes [Published Data–Long-term pain relief (Results retained)].
• Non-invasive so bio-mechanics are not affected–future treatment options are not limited.
• Fast, safe and effective.

To learn more, visit our website. If you are interested in the EPAT program, schedule an appointment.  Here at East Penn Foot & Ankle Associates, we are committed to your health.

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