Wounded warriors can follow a number of different paths toward recovery, but adaptive sports are one of the most popular options. From basketball to lacrosse, slight variations on sports have helped many injured troops regain their physical strength after sustaining serious injuries, and experts say they have also been an effective way to heal emotional wounds, reports the Army's official website.
Much of this recovery takes place at Military Adaptive Sports Program (MASP) which is located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The program is open to all wounded and ill troops, and offers opportunities to participate in a wide variety of activities including cycling, running and swimming. While the physical benefits are certainly substantial, officials say the program goes well beyond lowering blood pressure and managing weight.
"Mentally and emotionally, service members benefit from the camaraderie and support of a team environment and participation allows them to focus on contributing to a team's success," Amanda Kelly, Adaptive Sports site coordinator, told the website.
Adaptive sports have also proven to be particularly affective at managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and traumatic brain injuries, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).