Packers players visit new clinic in Mosinee, discuss laser therapy Submitted: 12/12/2017
Allie Herrera
Allie Herrera

Packers players visit new clinic in Mosinee, discuss laser therapy
MOSINEE - Professional athletes tend to develop scar tissue, suffer from arthritis, and wear out their joints at a fast rate.

For the Green Bay Packers, that's a reality players face after games and even practices. 

"I feel like I've been in a car crash at the end of the day, said offensive tackle David Bakhtiari. "Pretty much do that once a week."

That's why Bakhtiari wants to do everything he can to keep his body at 100 percent. For the last few years, Bakhtiari has been seeing Dr. Curt Draeger.

"He helps re-adjust, re-align my hips, my knees, my ankles, my feet. [He] keeps my back in line because that's obviously where I take a lot of stress," said Bakhtiari.

Draeger, the owner of Integrated Pain Solutions, uses high intensity laser therapy to decrease inflammation, soften up scar tissue, and block pain. The therapy could help professional athletes heal faster, recover better, and maintain overall physical health.

"When our laser reaches the nerves, it actually erases the pain memory in the nerves so the muscles start to let go," said Draeger. 

Draeger says he treats all kinds of people dealing with different forms of chronic pain. More than a dozen of his patients are Packers. They receive treatment at a clinic in Green Bay. 

"A lot of my 60 and 70-year-olds have had four or five surgeries. A lot of my athletes have had four or five surgeries," said Draeger. 

Cornerback Josh Hawkins says since starting treatment a few months ago, he's seen improvements.

"I could feel it tearing, and I could actually feel the new tissue growing and how it's just helps my foot feel the next morning," said Hawkins. 

Draeger says making sure his patients are healthy enough to compete is a priority, but his main focus is making sure they'll be active even after their final game.

"Being in the NFL is like a drug. When you've got 80,000 screaming and hollering for you, it's like an adrenaline rush. But when those guys are done and they've played their last game and they're totally beat up, they don't have the adrenaline rush anymore and their bodies can't perform," said Draeger. 

"I like to say that he's definitely on my side and on my team and I'm glad he's in my corner," said Bakhtiari.

On Tuesday, some Packers players toured a new clinic that's working to develop and manufacture its own lasers in Mosinee. The new clinic is scheduled to open in early January.

Draeger and his team will also be taking these new lasers to the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. They'll travel with USA's decathlete team.

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