Local Chiropractor Matt Porche Gives Youth Athletes the Pro Treatment
Over the past 16 years, chiropractor Dr. Matt Porche has helped patients of all ages, from infants to seniors, in their quest to improve their health. One of the aspects of his work that he is most passionate about is sports medicine.
¨What I love about athletes is that when they are injured, they want to be back on the field as quickly as possible,” shares Porche. “Nobody wants to get better faster than an athlete, so they’re working with you, theyŕe doing everything they can.¨
Porche has worked extensively with athletes at Nicholls State University for the past 10 years, taking care of them on campus as well as in his office, and traveling with the football team. Throughout this experience he has noticed that trainers have become increasingly more focused on performance enhancement and preventing injuries rather than treating them after they happen.
This past month, Porche has been applying this same focus on preventative care in a new setting: working with youth athletes at the Louisiana Baseball Academy (LBA) training facility in Schriever.
The opportunity to work with the LBA athletes grew out of Porche´s personal connection as the parent of an LBA athlete. His 13-year-old son has practiced at the facility for several years and has played on the Naturals team since last year. Porche said he and LBA Owner Josh Constant had talked for a while about how he might get involved from a sports medicine perspective. Before deciding what his role would be, though, Porche said he took some time to just observe how the kids worked.
¨Youth sports have changed drastically over the years,” explains Porche. “Youth athletes are training and pushing their bodies like collegiate athletes more now than ever before.¨
Seeing this intensity got Porche thinking about how he could offer something beyond simply treating injuries as they happened. And so the idea was born for a special recovery program that would help these kids maintain their bodies like the pros.
The new program, called The Naturals Recovery Zone Powered by Dr. Matt Porche, gives these young athletes access to the same types of treatment and equipment you would find in a college or professional training room. Each session lasts about 30 minutes, and during each session, Porche addresses the needs of the individual athlete and works with the coaches to decide what kind of approach he will take.
¨Itś not set up to just be a cookie cutter kind of thing. Every kid is going to have their own different type of treatment,” says Porche. “Catchers, for example, want their legs worked on more than their arms because theyŕe squatting and doing so much more with their legs.¨
One of the more popular treatments Porche uses is a kind of compression therapy using something called the NormaTec Recovery System. It consists of lightweight nylon sleeves or boots that fit over the arms, legs, and hips to deliver a high-tech massage to flush out the muscles.
¨The concept is to get fresh blood to the areas that are sore,” explains Porche. “You get a build up of old blood and lymph that are causing the muscles to stay sore and over time if things stay like that in the body, it can lead to injury. That new blood promotes healing to the area, reduces inflammation, and allows the muscles to work properly.¨
Although Porche had seen the benefits of this therapy in his work with the Nicholls athletes and in using it on himself, he was curious how using the NormaTec with younger athletes would translate.
He decided to use his son as a guinea pig. ¨He was having some throwing issues and chronic soreness, and I started using the NormaTec on him in combination with some other therapies, and he responded great.¨
This led Porche to start using it on other Naturals team members, which also resulted in success. ¨The kids love it. They’ve all said their arms and legs feel fresher after and not as sore.¨
In addition to the NormaTec system, Porche uses other kinds of treatments in the recovery zone sessions, such as various stretches, electric stimulation and soft tissue techniques like Active Release Technique (ART). The ART, he says, is especially popular with the pitchers because it loosens up adhesions on the muscles to help the arm or leg perform better and prevent injury.
LBA participants who want to try out one of Dr. Matt´s recovery sessions at the Schriever training facility can schedule an appointment online through a link on the LBA Naturals Facebook page. And Porche also offers these same recovery sessions, along with many other chiropractic services, at his clinic in Thibodaux.
Porche is enthusiastic about this new venture. ¨To work on an athlete and then to see them perform at a high level afterwards is extremely rewarding for me,¨ he said. ¨I love it. And itś really fun to watch the youth level because their excitement is so high.¨ •