AthletiCo Physical Therapist Provides Rehabilitation to Chicago Blackhawks and Community
Tinley Park physical therapy center also boasts athletic trainer who works with Chicago Cubs and local high school
AthletiCo physical therapist, Patrick Becker, watched this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs with more than just a fan’s eye. As the team physical therapist for the Chicago Blackhawks, Becker has spent the last two seasons providing rehabilitation to injured players to get them back on the ice.
Becker, who lives in Lockport, works for AthletiCo at our Tinley Park center located at 17837 S. 80th Avenue. Under the guidance of head athletic trainer, Michael Gapski, assistant athletic trainer and AthletiCo employee, Jeff Thomas, and head strength and conditioning coach, Paul Goodman, Becker provides physical therapy and strength and conditioning services at the United Center to injured players who are unable to travel with the team. Through AthletiCo’s relationship as the official provider of rehabilitation, fitness, and performance for the Blackhawks, Becker has been fortunate to have the opportunity to utilize his rehabilitation expertise to assist players in what can sometimes be a long recovery process.
“Daily rehabilitation can be very challenging, especially for severe injuries where a player may be out of the lineup for an extended period of time. I give players a lot of credit to be able to come to the rink day in and day out and maintain a level of focus and motivation, knowing their return could still be two or three months away in some instances.”
Becker’s experience working with the Blackhawks translates into multiple benefits for the patient population of Tinley Park and its surrounding communities.
“The more that I work with the Blackhawks and provide rehabilitation for their injuries and ailments, the more I discover that they are human just like anyone else,” says Becker. “Yes, their level of fitness and job demand will be greater, but many of the concepts with rehabilitation and healing within the body are the same. Even professional athletes experience the same pain, fear, and frustrations from injuries and surgeries that patients I treat in the clinic experience.”
Jason Hall, a certified athletic trainer and performance enhancement specialist who lives in Tinley Park, also works out of AthletiCo’s Tinley Park center and is in his second season as the Chicago Cubs athletic training intern. Working with Cubs head athletic trainer, Mark O’Neal, and assistant athletic trainer, Ed Halbur, has given Hall the chance to observe and learn new techniques to treat a variety of injuries, knowledge he takes back to Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, where he also works as the head athletic trainer.
“I use a lot of what I’ve learned on stretching, treatment protocols, and specific exercises to help my high school athletes and patients in the clinic get back to their level of function. It may not be as heavy, hard, or as fast as it would be working with professional athletes, but the same principles can still apply.”
This June, AthletiCo Tinley Park will celebrate its 10th anniversary providing physical therapy and athletic training services to the community. Both Becker and Hall are thankful for the support they receive from their co-workers at the Tinley Park clinic in making their experiences in both the professional and patient settings so successful. For Becker, working with professional athletes has even lead to an increased satisfaction working with his patients in the Tinley Park center.
“I have realized that even though I am lucky enough to have a position as a team physical therapist, I haven’t fallen out of love with treating the non-athletic, elderly, and weekend warrior. In fact, I enjoy the change of pace from the training room to the clinic.”