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A Power Hitter Heals with an Assist from YRMC Physical Rehabilitation Services

Legend has it the first Louisville Slugger was built by teenager Bud Hillerich in his father’s woodworking shop to help a major league baseball player who was in a hitting slump.

More than a century later, another innovator – engineer Martin Martinez – added to the bat’s folklore by applying computerized simulation to build a better baseball bat through his company’s Impact Sports Division.

“I have a need to build things,” said Martinez, president and founder of Engineering Science Analysis Corporation (ESA) in Tempe. “Engineers have a tendency to talk themselves out of doing things. There’s always lots that can go wrong. You need to analyze, test and move forward.”

In addition to the Louisville Slugger, Martinez and the ESA team worked on golf clubs to enlarge the “sweet spot” and perhaps improve many a golfer’s swing. ESA also was hired by the Department of Homeland Security to develop the Safe Quick Undercarriage Immobilization Device (SQUID). Used by numerous law enforcement agencies, SQUID helps prevent or halt dangerous high-speed car chases by spreading tentacles of fabric straps over the street. The straps tighten around a speeding car’s undercarriage and bring it to an immediate stop.

 

Attitude is All

Innovative thinking, hard work and a positive attitude have factored into Martinez’s success. All of these no doubt played a role in his recovery from a complicated ankle fracture that happened while Martinez was renovating his family’s Prescott home. Martinez – who divides his time between Prescott and Tempe – needed two surgeries on the ankle. He selected Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s (YRMC’s) Physical Rehabilitation Services for the important physical therapy that would ultimately get him back on his feet.

“YRMC Physical Rehabilitation was the right pick,” Martinez said. “My therapists always explained why we were doing certain therapies. They also gave me targets. That’s important to me. You need to measure progress to monitor how you’re doing.”

 

YRMC Physical Rehabilitation Offers More Services

Goal setting is key to the individualized patient care plans created by the Physical Rehabilitation team. Located at both the YRMC Wellness Center in Prescott and the YRMC Del E. Webb Outpatient Center in Prescott Valley, Physical Rehabilitation Services is the only area provider that offers a comprehensive menu of services under one roof. Those services include:

  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Women’s Services

“Physical Rehabilitation programs associated with medical centers like YRMC care for people with injuries and illnesses at all levels,” said Rich Tenney, PT, DPT, PRC, senior therapist at YRMC Physical Rehabilitation Services. “Our patients benefit because we can call on experts from throughout YRMC to help them.”

The first phase of Martinez’s therapy plan focused on expanding range of motion. During therapy, Physical Therapy Assistant Deb Cashen noticed Martinez was retaining fluid in his ankle, a problem some people experience after surgery.

YRMC Occupational Therapist Donna Hannah, OTR/L, CLT-LANA, who is certified in lymphedema care, was called in for a consultation. She recommended special ankle wraps that reduced Martinez’s swelling in approximately three weeks.

Soon Martinez was undergoing physical therapy two times a week for up to 45 minutes a session. This individualized attention may have given Martinez the knowledge and confidence to pursue exercise independently between therapy sessions. He even built a rocker board, like the one used during his therapy sessions, to work on balance and strength.

 

AlterG: A Game Changer

Martinez’s therapy plan also included the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, originally developed by NASA so astronauts could experience weightlessness before space travel. YRMC Physical Rehabilitation Services has the area’s only AlterG Treadmill.

“Martin benefitted from the AlterG,” said Tenney. “The equipment took away any weight-bearing pain so he could exercise in comfort and gain strength.”

Today, Martinez and wife, Kathy, continue to renovate their Prescott home. Martinez recently installed flagstone in the house and is adding “the gingerbread stuff” to warm up the home’s exterior.

Martinez still churns with ideas and energy, just as he did when he updated the Louisville Slugger. And the recovery from his injury? That’s a homerun with the help of YRMC Physical Rehabilitation Services.

By Bridget O’Gara

Visit YRMC Physical Rehabilitation Services online (yrmc.org/services/physical-rehabilitation-services/services) or contact us at either location:

YRMC Wellness Center 930 Division Street Prescott, Arizona 86301 928-771-5131 YRMC Del E. Webb Outpatient Center 3262 North Windsong Drive Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314

928-759-594

Photo caption:

Martin Martinez and his wife, Kathy, at their Prescott home, which they’re in the process of renovating.

Courtesy photo

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