How I found Physiotherapy as a career – MICHAEL AZZOPARDI
How I found Physiotherapy as a career
It was the start of my second year on the University of Waterloo Warriors men’s soccer team. Training camp couldn’t have gone better and I had secured a spot in the starting eleven. I was feeling good as the game got under way but could not foresee what was about to happen. Not much happened really. I just planted and pivoted except this time there was a pop.
I had torn my ACL in my knee along with medial and lateral meniscal tears. My season over before it really began. Two months later I had ACL reconstruction surgery and bilateral meniscal repairs. Nine months of hard rehab and I was back for the start of the following year’s training camp. Three games into the regular season I ended up re-tearing both sides of my meniscus, which required another surgery and put an end to another season.
Throughout my two bouts of rehab, I saw many different therapists including a head athletic therapist, a chiropractor and a physiotherapist. I felt like I was improving and was able to get started with the basics however never really felt like I was on track to return for training camp at the level I once was. It wasn’t until I went to work with another physiotherapist out of Toronto that I truly found someone that could help me reach my goals.
I was hesitant to put weight on my injured side still 3 months after my second surgery. My physiotherapist had put two quarters in the freezer and told me put one on the outside of my heel and the other on the ball of my big toe while in bare feet. The cold sensory sensation I felt immediately allowed me to maintain even weight bearing during a body weight squat. This blew my mind and opened my eyes to what is possible through physiotherapy and rehabilitation, specifically the connection between the brain and muscles. It was then and there I knew I wanted to become a physiotherapist.
Despite these two injuries limiting my time on the field, I will always be grateful for them as they helped spark a new passion for rehab. Those experiences helped me to understand what it is like to be on the sidelines, the benefit of finding quality care, and how to put in the work in order to get back to the game you love.
PT, MSc.PT, BSc KIN, FDN
Okotoks Summit Physiotherapy