Q&A with Jared Mannello, Director of Rehab at Ivy Rehab in Somers Point

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Jared Mannello is a former high school athlete who, as luck would have it, became interested in the world of physical therapy after suffering injuries. He’s made a career out of a passion that was born during his teenage years and has been the Director of Rehab at Ivy Rehab’s Somers Point location for the past four years. He recently sat down with Glory Days Magazine publisher Dave O’Sullivan to talk about the rehab business in 2016, some common injuries among high school athletes, and why he loves what he does for a living.
Sully: How did you get into physical therapy?
The whole reason I got into this was because I got hurt playing ball when I was in high school, and our trainer was also a PT and I spent some time with him learning what it was like. And a lot of people do that. That’s how a lot of people get into this. We’ve had patients who come through here as high school athletes, then when they get to college they are looking for part-time work and that’s what they want to do. The prevention is a really important part. I work here, I live here, my family is in the local school districts here, so if there is a way I can give back to the community that’s great, but I also want to try to prevent injuries. This prevention program is so well studied and there are so many positives that come from it. Sometimes I see an athlete come in here with an injury and I think to myself, “man, could we have done something to prevent that?” That’s what frustrating. So that’s a service that we can provide, and we’re trying to get out there more and more to let people know about it.
Sully: Is there anything new in the physical therapy world? Are there any new approaches that you are really starting to push forward with?
Specific to our clinic, we are sort of revamping and redesigning our prevention programs — specifically our ACL prevention programs and our overhead throwing injury programs. So we are revamping that, hopefully for the beginning of next year. We want to be able to roll those out and get them into as many schools and start working with athletic trainers as much as possible. I think one of the biggest things we are doing as well — particularly our offices (in Somers Point and EHT) — we are very hands-on with all our diagnosis, which I think sets us apart. Every year we are required to take more and more education classes, and I think that’s going to continue to grow. And all that ties back into prevention.
One of the other things, too, is the way we are streamlining our care with insurance companies. Healthcare is changing every day, both on the federal level and on a commercial level and everything in between. We are seeing that the way we are going to be paid is going to be different. It’s not so much getting paid to provide the service, but to provide the service that works, which puts more on us. In the past, things have been abused by people, particularly the healthcare industry. So what we want to try to do is provide better, more streamlined care that will get people better faster. We are working specifically with groups like Blue Cross Blue Shield to develop plans that work on a team approach. For example, surgery is going to be paid and reimbursed on what they call an “episode of care.” So, basically, the physician gets X amount of dollars to take care of everything — that’s for the surgery, the care by nurses, the rehab, everything. So we’re involved in helping that program advance as well.
Sully: What’s the most common injury among high school athletes that you rehab?
It’s a wide range. Back pain injury is probably one of the biggest. A knee injury, such as a meniscus, or an ankle sprain is probably a close second. Ankle sprains are pretty common and a knee sprain is fairly common. Sadly, we are seeing more and more athletes with back problems. It raises a lot of questions about training and supervision, among other things. We are also seeing a lot more overuse injuries in one-sport athletes because there is no variation in their training. They are doing the same thing 50 weeks out of the year. More and more experts are coming out and saying you have to be a multi-sport athlete. And if you look at a lot of the professional athletes, a lot of them aren’t playing what they were better at in high school, and most of them didn’t play just one sport. That goes back to Bo Jackson and some of those guys.
Sully: Anything new on the horizon in the PT world that high school parents or kids should know about?
There are definitely new techniques coming out. One of the more popular ones is dry needling. I don’t know a whole lot about dry needling. It’s not my cup of tea. It’s one of the first things we are doing as a profession that’s an internal type of treatment where you’re breaking the skin. I need to learn more about that. Anybody who saw the Olympics noticed the cupping, and that’s been around for awhile. It’s stirred up a conversation. All these things are just different ways of manipulating soft tissue, but conversations are definitely coming up and hopefully our profession will take advantage of that. As far as local athletes are concerned, you should never have pain. We see 13-year-old pitchers whose shoulder hurts. Your shoulder should never hurt, barring a trauma. Parents should know, if anything hurts, talk to your doctor or your physical therapist. If you’re having pain, call us or talk to your school’s athletic trainer. They are a great asset and we work closely with them. Ask questions before it gets too far down the road.
Sully: Any kind of preventive programs you guys have launched or are considering?
We have the ACL program, which we are revamping for next year, and the overhead throwing program we are revamping. Golf is another area in which we are working with some of the area pros. One local area pro is doing junior camps, and I think it’s very valuable for us to get involved with that. The golf program is something we have been doing and we’re going to be looking to upgrade.
Sully: What’s the feeling like when you’ve treated somebody and they get back to where they were before? That must be a great feeling.
It’s outstanding. It’s very rewarding because we are able to help them. I love going to a baseball or basketball game and see some of the athletes we’ve had and see them back out there playing and not being nervous about hurting themselves again. It’s extremely rewarding. It’s why we do what we do. Sure, it’s a job and you get paid, but there’s nothing like seeing a person get back to doing what they do.
Contact Dave O’Sullivan:; on Twitter @GDsullysays


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