|(Photo: Christopher Evans)|
Direct current (DC).
You know, the same stuff that powers the Duracell Bunny from the 1980's?
Steven Wright injured his shoulder in August of last season while pinch running for the Red Sox in a National League game.
This led to a longer rehab than just your normal disabled list could handle, with a setback taking Wright out of the Red Sox rotation for the remainder of the season.
Rob Bradford talked to Wright about what the process was for his eventual recovery during the off season and uncovered an unusual technique the was employed to get his shoulder back on track.
It started right after Wright had realized that coming back in the 2016 season was not going to happen. Wright was in Florida rehabbing but headed out to Oakland to talk to a former high school teammate, and A's reliever, Ryan Madson.
"I had known he had done something that was out of the box," Wright said. "I started talking to him about it. I told him we would see what the outcome was, but I might hit him up."
The 'out of the box' solution was from a company called Premier Neuro Therapy, based in Florida and started by former Penn State football player Evan Lewis in 2015. The company website touts the references from the likes of Daniel Murphy (Nationals), Matt Belisle (Twins) and Ben Revere (Angels).
To get some idea of what his shoulder felt like in this period of his rehabilitation, we look to how Wright described if during an interview with masslive.com
"When I would get ready to throw the ball with intensity, it was just like a sharp pinch at the top of my shoulder to whereas I had to compensate and change arm angles," Wright explained. "And basically your body is just trying to do anything it can to not hurt but still throw the ball."
He felt fine playing catch.
"But the moment I would try to throw it with some force on the mound, my shoulder felt like it was moving in the socket. So basically it was pinching and just producing a sharp pain on top of my shoulder."
Wright waited until January 2017 to try the Primier Neuro Therapy, a decision that came while working out with Braves pitcher Rex Brothers in his off season home of Nashville.
"Rex brought it up to me and asked me if I had heard about it," Wright recalled. "I said, actually, I had. I knew a little bit. So I told him what I knew from talking to Ryan. He asked me if I was willing to do it, and at that point I was like, 'I'll do anything.' I might as well."
The idea of the therapy, as Lewis explains it, is to, "supply direct stimulation to reeducate the muscles to work properly." He adds, "There's a disconnect with the brain and the muscles, which results in strength loss. We locate that spot where it's not working correctly and turn it back on."
"It uses a direct current that brings out compositions in your body. For me it was my shoulder," Wright said. "So I was using to find out which muscles were firing. What it does is brings it out. Everything that they found was the same thing the team found. What it does is help train your brain to tell that muscle that it's OK to start working again. It's basically like a stim unit."
It was a two week program that Wright completed with the group from Premier, with the machine used sending direct currents into the area in question. The focus was the supraspinatus muscle, which was at the heart of Wright's problems.
This triggered a recovery that led to him starting spring training on time, getting ready for his first regular season start and back in to the Red Sox rotation.
Now after last nights start you might think that his shoulder was not fully functional, but this is not the case ensured manager John Farrell in the post game interviews. This is nothing more than the combinations of temperature, humidity, and too much spin on the ball all leading to not being able to find his release point consistently.
Red Sox Nation has not given up on the knuckleballer as is shown in the barrage on social media remaining extremely positive.
There is always advice for the manager to consider.
It looks like Wright's shoulder has benefited from the same DC current powering the Duracell Bunny, something we all can be grateful for.
Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.
More by Eric D. Schabell