Put Me In Coach: Concordia Rehab Helps Butler Coach Regain Strength After Injury

Below is a story published in a previous issue of Faith in Caring magazine (click here to see the January 2015 issue!) on how Concordia helped a Butler High School coach and teacher get back to life after severely tearing his shoulder while playing football in college. To be added to the mailing list or e-mail distribution list, contact us here or call the Concordia Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266. Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment below!

Bill Elliott has always been one of the guys picked first in gym class.

Growing up, he was heavily involved with sports, playing baseball, basketball, football, soccer and track & field. His natural athletic abilities, paired with an interest in health and physical fitness, made his decision to teach those very topics to high school students an easy one.

While attending Slippery Rock University to earn his bachelor’s degree in education, Bill played defensive end for the football team. Ironically, after an odd shoulder injury during the annual spring game, his love for the sport put his future in jeopardy.

That day, Bill suffered a severe tear of the labrum in his left shoulder. After undergoing surgery in July 2010, he wasn’t sure what the future held for him.

“I just didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I’ve always been involved with sports, I was just hired as a health and phys ed teacher at Butler High School and I didn’t know what I would be able to physically do again.”

Based on recommendations from his father and sister, who both rehabilitated from injuries at Concordia, he chose Concordia Outpatient Physical Therapy in Cabot. After surgery, his shoulder had lost 95 percent of its strength and flexibility. He had two physical goals, which seem modest to a person in good health: regain enough strength to once again 1) play golf and 2) swim.

He would be with Concordia for the next seven months, working to get back to life.  Because of his teaching and coaching schedule, he usually started his rehab at 6 a.m.  He said he was greeted every morning with a smile and the TV set to his favorite show, ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning.

“I remember struggling with the workouts early on, but the staff was like a personal cheering squad,” he said. “Their motivation definitely pushed me through the tougher times… Even when there were several people in the gym at once, the staff made me feel like I was the most important patient in the center. “

After the seven months, he was back to full range of motion, and with continued work, his strength has totally returned as well.  Today, swimming and golfing are officially pain-free activities for the Butler resident, as well as pretty much everything else.

“With teaching and coaching (Bill coaches football, basketball and track & field), I’m now able to demonstrate things and work out with the students if I want,” he said. “Without successful rehab, that never would have been possible.”

Since going through the recovery process, Bill said there are three things people should consider before choosing a physical therapy provider:

1) Availability/flexibility in scheduling
2) How the staff interacts with patients
3) Resources/equipment available

His last piece of advice: choose Concordia.

“The staff wasn’t just arriving at work and getting through the day; they were actively involved in my recovery, offering support and care for my needs. I felt like I was in great hands during my treatment. “

For more information, to arrange a personal tour or to schedule an appointment with Concordia Outpatient Physical Therapy, please call 724-352-4535. You can also message us through the Contact form on our website 24 hours a day.

(Click photos to enlarge)

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