An Athlete's Setback Becomes a New Opportunity

13-year old Cianna Tomasi loves spending her time learning about training dogs and playing soccer. After she was injured on the field, Cianna didn’t know if she would be able to continue playing the sport that she loves.

Why She Entered PT

Cianna was playing her first soccer game of the season on a day that was especially hot. While dribbling down the side of the field, she shot from the 18-yard box with so much momentum that she jumped and landed on the outside of her ankle. She went to a doctor who was unsure of exactly what was happening but assumed it was a fracture, so Cianna was sent home with a boot and crutches.


But with time, Cianna was growing concerned that she wasn’t getting any better. Upon visiting a new doctor, she was told that there was no sign of fracture, but it was instead diagnosed as a sprain. After an MRI showed that she had strained 3 different ligaments, her ankle was cast for 3 weeks. She then transitioned to a boot and physical therapy treatment.


An Athlete’s Journey

Since Cianna has always been involved in sports, she was no stranger to physical therapy. In her previous experiences with PT, she didn’t find it enjoyable and struggled to find the motivation to continue. But when she worked with Dr. Erica Manchester at the Performance Physical Therapy clinic in Middletown, she noticed such a difference in the experience! Although she was experiencing a lot of pain in the process, she was also noticing the progress she was making. Dr. Erica Manchester would help by reassuring her that certain discomforts were normal when Cianna felt concerned. She would explain Cianna’s progress to her by showing how much better she felt when doing her exercises.


Keeping Her Motivation

There was a time when she didn’t know if she would ever be able to play again. Now with the confidence she gained from her physical therapy treatment, she can continue to grow as an athlete. Although Cianna was nervous as she walked into her first PT appointment, she now believes that her treatment will open opportunities for her and give her the knowledge she needs to take care of her body as she continues to play soccer. Dr. Erica Manchester noted that she is proud of Cianna for “leaving the fear behind and moving forward in her recovery.”


Cianna’s Advice for Patients

Cianna’s best advice for people who find themselves suffering from a sports-related injury is to “keep your head up.” She remembers the struggle of not playing the sport that she loves but advises patients to keep working at their physical therapy treatment. “I know it was really difficult for me to do stuff. It felt like you could only sit on the couch, but it does get better – even when it’s a slow and long process. You’ll get better and stronger.”



If your story sounds like Cianna's, contact Performance Physical Therapy for a free 15-minute evaluation with a physical therapist. You can also visit one of our 13 locations serving Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts or schedule a telehealth appointment.

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