Hard Knocks: Jaelan Phillips Achilles Recovery and the Lumbar Roll Advantage

The captivating HBO series Hard Knocks In Season is covering the Miami Dolphins. The show captures the narratives of triumph and hardship often associated with NFL teams during the season that extends far beyond the field. This season has been a great treat as we see an inside look of the Miami Dolphin’s coaching staff and key role players.

In the second episode of the season the show highlights Jaelan Phillips, a promising NFL talent. His unparalleled skills, agility, and football acumen positioned him as a beacon of hope for his team and he was becoming a real sensation among fans and analysts alike. Yet, destiny took an unforeseen turn, derailing Phillip’s soaring career trajectory with a catastrophic injury—an Achilles tear.

This devastating setback didn’t just challenge Phillips physically; it tested the very essence of his resilience and character. The torn Achilles, a formidable adversary for any athlete, thrusted Phillips into a realm of uncertainty and doubt. However, with a successful surgery taken place this past Wednesday things are looking promising for the young rising star. He has a long road to recovery with a 9-12 month rehabilitation plan in place.

During the episode, Phillips had a funny moment during the game on the sidelines where he plugged a lumbar roll, a seemingly simple yet pivotal tool, that he uses for lower back health throughout the season. The McKenzie Lumbar Roll is the particular lumbar roll that Phillips showed the camera during the game against the New York Jets. This funny moment triggered a deep dive into lumbar rolls and the possible benefits of pairing it with his achilles rehabilitation.

Lumbar strength might not directly impact Achilles tendon injuries, as these are located in different parts of the body—the lumbar spine in the lower back and the Achilles tendon in the lower leg. However, we did find some indirect connections or influences that strong lumbar muscles might have on the prevention or rehabilitation of Achilles injuries:

  • Overall Body Alignment: Good lumbar strength often signifies better overall core strength and stability. A strong core can contribute to better overall body alignment, posture, and balance. Proper alignment can reduce stress on the lower extremities, including the feet and legs, potentially decreasing the risk of certain injuries, including Achilles tendon issues, by promoting better movement patterns and weight distribution.
  • Kinetic Chain: The body operates as a kinetic chain, where different parts are interconnected. Weakness or instability in one area can affect other areas. While the lumbar spine isn’t directly related to the Achilles tendon, improved overall strength and stability through the core might contribute to a more balanced kinetic chain, reducing compensatory movements or imbalances that could impact the legs and feet during activities or sports.
  • Rehabilitation and Movement Patterns: When an individual is recovering from an Achilles injury, having a strong and stable lumbar region might assist in maintaining proper form during rehabilitation exercises. Strong core muscles can help provide better support and stability to perform exercises correctly, reducing the risk of compensatory movements that might put additional strain on the injured Achilles tendon.
  • Functional Movements: Some exercises that promote lumbar strength also engage muscles throughout the body. Exercises like deadlifts, squats, or lunges that target the lumbar region also engage the muscles of the lower extremities. Strengthening these muscles might indirectly support the lower leg and foot, potentially contributing to a well-balanced musculature system that could aid in preventing injuries or supporting recovery.

While lumbar strength might not directly prevent or treat Achilles tendon injuries, it can contribute to overall body stability, alignment, and muscle balance. Of course, it’s essential to address any specific concerns or injuries under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional or physical therapist to ensure a comprehensive approach to injury prevention and rehabilitation.

As Phillips persists in his relentless pursuit of recovery, the lumbar roll remains a quiet hero, illustrating how even the simplest aids wield immense influence in an athlete’s journey back to glory. Join us as we trace Jaelan’s compelling journey, a narrative woven with shattered dreams, unwavering determination, and the pivotal role of the lumbar roll in his triumphant comeback to the NFL.

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