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Specializing in athletic health care.

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Fit Body Sport Medicine~~ To Ice Or Not To Ice

Posted on February 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been seeing much chatter about the topic of icing injury lately. Being an athletic trainer for several years, I am probably pro icing as well as the whole R.I.C.E. principle. I have blogged about R.I.C.E. in the past for acute care. But of all the things I have seen, I will always remember being a student athletic trainer at the high school level. One of the boys basketball athletes had a moderate ankle sprain. Our protocol was R.I.C.E., but as I have his swollen ankle elevated and activated the Cryocuff, the coach comes in and tells this athlete to “put a warm sock on it and walk it off!” All I could think at the time was “Man is he off his rocker! Good thing the trained ATs are here!”



So am I (or you) practicing evidence based medicine? Was the coach off his rocker or smarter than the medical professionals I learned from? Here’s the scoop!


I first learned of the inflammation process (and the histology of it) in college. Every place I have ever studied, has emphasized to enhance the body’s own healing process, create a positive environment for your body to heal itself. Inflammation is the first response your body produces when something is wrong and healing needs to begin. It is generally marked by redness, swelling and pain. It has two main purposes 1) to tell you to stop (so you do not cause any further damage and inflammation) and 2) to send healing chemicals your body needs to begin repair. No one wants to stop this process, nor can we.


Cryotherapy is a modality of cooling the body using various forms of water ( and ice).    It causes vasoconstriction as well as acts as an analgesic.  Just like any other modality, it is best to understand how it works as well as indications vs contraindications.  Using different forms requires different variables.  Different forms can consist of an icebath, real ice vs chemical ice or a machine like the Game Ready or Cryocuff.  Timing of each will depend on the body part being treated, the stage of the injury and the form of cryotherapy being used.


I have not personally seen any athlete directly harmed from this modality, but you do need to be cautious as I have heard of athletes that have had cold placed over superficial nerves. That is not really a good idea. I have also heard of cases where tissue damage was avoided due to the use of cold modalities.

Ice is not a cure and does not prevent injury. It reduces symptoms so that we can break the pain/swelling cycle and move forward in the therapy and healing process. I don’t doubt that ice can be overused in a busy athletic training room, but we all know that the inflammation will not resolve until the source of the inflammation is removed regardless if it is trauma, allergy or poor mechanics.


Use ice as needed to relieve the symptoms of inflammation. I was not able to find any modality that stops the inflammation process and I do feel that managing a situation to relieve pain or excessive swelling is treating an injury responsibly. While the body is amazing, we do need to be responsible and not let inflammation get into small extremities/digits due to gravity, enhancing further soft tissue damage. When treating an injury or working on increasing your performance do not be afraid to find the science of that particular modality. See what the research says. Most modalities need to be used responsibly and as a tool to assist recovery. These modalities on their own or not within the specified parameters for the timing and injury type will not be as productive. Balance is always necessary.

 

Fit Body Sports Medicine ~New Techniques To Reach Your Goal

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

It is no secret, movement is my favorite. I have been studying it for 20 years. Movement is amazing. It can be easy. It can be difficult. It can cause pain or completely relieve it. Through the study of motion, I have seen connections, that while staring me in the face, I couldn’t always understand.

My most recent adventure has taken me to California. It's been so long since I have traveled much, that this was a wonderful journey for me. I have been watching health care, sport performance and the general art of human movement evolve. Our vision seems to be starting to expand in a positive way. I have been on a path of investigating better methods of reducing pain, promoting proper mobility and just having better outcomes regardless of goal. Some of this comes from working with my son, who has seen several doctors that were stumped, stuck and were completely unsure, unable to help him to reach his goals. It's just hard to hammer in a nail when all you have is a screwdriver. I then came across thehttps://www.anatbanielmethod.com/about-abm/neuromovement-2" target="_blank"> Anat Baniel Method Neuromovent®. She is able to use her techniques for special needs children, elite athletes, aging adults and those with pain. Getting the chance to meet her and learn from her was amazing.



I always find it interesting how disconnected we all are. Disconnected from others, but also from ourselves. As I work with clients I bring about awareness to their body and oftentimes remind them that they are one body, one person, one unit. Just as I remind my clients that you cannot separate your joints and extremities from the rest of your body, Anat reminds us the same is true for the brain. You cannot separate your brain from your body or vice versa. One cannot exist without the other.


When I work with clients, a great place to start is getting in your 10,000 steps a day. I remind them it is not just about the steps and random uncontrolled movement. As I take my client around the track, we focus on movement with purpose. We pull our head to the ceiling, putting our ears in alignment with our shoulders. We hold our shoulders back so the weight of the world does not hold us back. We focus on our core, making sure that it is engaged. Ensure the back is not painful and that we are propelling our bodies from our core and hips, then through the extremities. We are always so focused on the world around us, that we often put the motion of our body on autopilot. I will have a client perform a movement and require them to feel it. Simple motion to bring everything back in from the universe. My clients want to stretch or use certain mechanics ( which can be important) but at this moment I want them to feel the movement. To feel their spine, their ribs, their scapula and their breathing. This is and has been very challenging for many of my clients. As we focus on our motion we can provide information to our brains as to what is going on inside our body. The outcome has the potential to be incredible!


These movements are different from exercise because their purpose is different. Therefore it can also be integrated into any program you are currently using. Certain forms of manual therapy will help with this awareness and help to bring about improved, more efficient motion. Once the brain has become aware of pain/dysfunction that should not be disregarded, it can be easily changed. This healing power is found within us, by treating our body as one whole unit.  The way we choose to move, to exercise, to train and how we integrate it all together will create how our goals fall into place.


Fit Body Shop ~~Specializing in Athletic Health Care

Posted on October 9, 2017 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (2)

Fit Body Shop promotes mechanics, fuel and sport performance.  Athletic health care can really mean a variety of things, as I have worked in several different platforms of sport.  When I work with youth, I love to teach.  Kids are learning what it feels like to be competitive.  Differences between bumps and bruises and actually having an injury.  Most importantly I hope they are learning to take care of their body.  Address those bumps and bruises before they become tendonitis, strains, spurs, calcifications etc.  It may also mean to rest from full participation to heal.  At the youth level they are not paying their bills or earning their next job, but need to maintain their health so that they can pay their bills and find thier next job. 

I have found that the higher the level of competition the higher the break down of the body.  I know that sounds intense, but its true.  Working harder with less recovery time results in dyfunction occuring more frequently.  However, always remember that exercise and sport are supposed to keep you healthy and feeling your best.  So always make sure you focus on mechanics, fuel and sport performance to minimize your chance of injury and keep you performing at your optimal potential.  Here is a breakdown of how I treat the body as a whole unit to make sure you can compete at high levels, while keeping away from the dreaded dysfunction.

Mechanics is top on the list.  How your body moves is highly important to improve and maintain strength, speed and agility.  Most importantly, having good biomechanics is what prevents us from having pain and keeps us injury free.  While movement assessments are a great place to start, treatment and maintenance with bodywork to nervous, fascial and muscular systems is essential!

Fuel.  Always fuel for success!  There is nothing more important to properly recover, rebuild, maintain bodyweight,  and to stay focused and energized.  Always choose a wide variety of whole fresh foods.  While I don't like to ever cut out specific food groups or macronutrients, I do believe that the more specific the goal, the more specific the program.  To fill in any gaps, make sure you find supplements that are third party tested such as dotFIT NSF Certified For Sport products.  These products are tested to be free of both contaminants as well as banned substances, as stated by the world anti doping agency, NFL, NHL, MLB and the NCAA.

Sport Performance is everyone's favorite, right?  Who doesn't want that extra edge over their competitor?  My sport performance not only covers sport specific aspects but also cardio for sport.  This is specialized training designed just for you.  We take your goals and events and add in training that will have you peak at the right time for your goals and events.   I also provide athletic training and injury recovery to bring you back safely and quickly to full participation status.  Always making sure that you are performing at your optimal potential!

Fit Body Shop ~Your one stop, head to toe, body shop.  Specializing in athletic health care.

Fit Body Shop~~ We are all connected

Posted on September 20, 2017 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (1)

It is the official possition of Fit Body Shop that we are all one unit, one body, one person.  Our body functions as one being and for a while I have known this but had trouble putting it into words.  I could tell you why if you stubbed your toe, your back hurt, but not always why when I'm working on your shoulder, you can feel down to your toes.


Often I would remind my client that we are all connected.  You cannot seperate any body part and give it to me for the afternoon.  Its not like dropping off your car at the shop.  Well, our body is very well connected.  Not only do muscles and joints directly affect other muscles and joints, but we also have an extremely amazing fascial system.  The fascial system is very detailed connective tissue holding together every cell and system of our body.   It is quickly becoming known as the largest sensory system of the body.  Because it directly touches each system and it is one seamless piece of tissue, it has drastic effects on the body when damaged, traumatized or over stressed.  It can restrict motion, cause nerve pain, stiffness, weakness and muscle imbalance.  This system needs to be treated with myofascial release, a slow, easing treatment that will restore proper tension in all tissues.  I integrate this with other techniques for full recovery.


Just because you hurt in one spot, doesn't mean another area isn't causing the pain or isn't being stressed.  Treat the whole body as it all has to work together.  Mechanics, Fuel & Perform at your optimal potential!

Do Powerlifters Need Massage Therapy & Bodywork

Posted on July 9, 2017 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Do powerlifters need massage and bodywork?  This is a question that does not get visited often and definitely has many view points. I have worked with a large variety of competitive athletes. Some seem to like it and could never go without, while some just don’t seem to prefer it. So here are my personal thoughts on how massage and bodywork affect powerlifting performance.


Every person, everybody needs a starting point. Most people can agree that a healthy point would be that of neutral posture. We should be able to stack our kinetic chain as building blocks, in this case, knees over toes, hips over knees, shoulders over hips, and ears over shoulders in the sagittal plane. While in the coronal and transverse planes making sure the knees track between the 2nd and 3rd toes and shoulders are rotated to turn the thumb out. So while static posture is all great and wonderful we (especially competitive athletes) are very dynamic in nature. Not only that, but everything we do all day long is in front of us. We can ergonomically make things better, but we cannot change this. Take into account that some powerlifters have jobs and may be lifting when they are working too. Now we are combating activities of daily living and the possibility of sitting for long periods possibly being at a computer, life stress and followed by the trauma of a workout. Poor posture and myofascial considerations will lead to the cumulative injury cycle. This cycle needs to be broken to keep all points of the kinetic chain working in harmony (joints, muscles & nervous systems).



There are many techniques that can be used by your practitioner. These techniques are designed to restore fascia, inhibit overactive muscles, stimulate underactive muscles, restore muscle balance, improve circulation, decrease pain and improve recovery. Overall leading to improved performance. I could probably tell you massage is good for everything. So why would someone not utilize this precious tool?


First time trial and error. Unfortunately, I don’t know a great way around this but you have to find someone you trust and can have great communication with. They need to understand your goals for each session. Also, a first session is a starting point for the therapist to just find where the deep issues are and how you respond. So first times are kind of a learning curve for everyone.

Timing. Massage and bodywork needs to be scheduled around workouts and competition. Never get a deep massage right before heavy lifting or competition. This will break down tissues as well as make receptors less responsive, possibly leading to a feeling of weakness or even increased chance of injury. You can still get in a session, just make sure that you both are on the same page so that proper techniques can be used. A pre-event massage can be very helpful,effective and keep you focused, but it won’t be deep.

Touch. Some people do not like to be touched for so many reasons from sensitivity, trauma, vulnerability, to being apprehensive of a healing injury. Always communicate with your practitioner what your goals and concerns are and treatment will be adjusted. Consider options like reiki or strain-counter strain, as they are very non-aggressive and work even if you do not like to be touched. If things cannot be adjusted to your level, try a foam roller.



So think of your body as an important tool. This tool is what wins competitions. It needs to be properly used and taken care of. Proper exercise, nutrition, sleep & rest and bodywork are needed to maintain optimum performance. Just as you need the right exercise prescription, healthy nutrients and the proper balance of rest, you also need bodywork that will promote performance in your phase of training. This is why so many athletes take advantage of the massage therapy at the OTC. Because they need it:)


Some Renovations

Posted on June 9, 2017 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Soost Outdoor Fit Biz is going to be undergoing some renovations.  I am going to be providing the same services at the same locations, just reorganizing them and the look for easier accescibility.  When I originally started Soost Outdoor Fit Biz, I encompassed to many areas that were not really in my wheelhouse.  I now have a more detailed vision that is less compartmentalized.

I often get asked "Which do you like better, massage or personal training?" and "Don't you miss athletic training?".  As it turns out I AM an athletic trainer that specializes in performance enhancement and I utilize manual therapy in my practice.  So I am creating a shop that does just that. The Fit Body Shop~   Specializing in athletic health care.  This is a place to stay on track and meet your goals.  From mechanics, to fuel to sport performance, I have a solution for that!

All are welcome.  You must be older than 10 years of age.  It does not matter the school you attend, the sport ( including life) that you play, the fitness center you workout at or if your goals are big or small.  My Fit Body Shop will provide the maintence and tools you need to meet your goals.

Thank you for your support

Soost Outdoor Fit Biz

(Now hosting: The Fit Body Shop)

Mallet Finger

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Mallet finger is a common finger deformity, that I just happened to recently experience. I have injured my fingers when I was younger and playing ball, but usually I experienced some pretty intense bruising and swelling without loss of function. That did not happen this time, so needless to say I was in a bit of denial at first.



Mallet finger is a disruption of the extensor tendon (back side of the hand) over the distal interphalangeal joint. When the extensor tendon is disrupted there is no structure left to extend the joint, resulting in a fingertip that does not straighten and remains in a flexed position. This occurs when the joint experiences trauma, forcing the joint into a flexed position and tearing the tendon. This is seen in athletics when a ball hits the ends of the finger tips (a kickball in my case). It can also be common for the tendon to remain intact, but instead to pull away at the bone resulting in an avulsion fracture. If this injury is left untreated, it will heal in the flexed position and cause difficulty with certain activities such as putting on gloves or putting your hand in your pocket.



In general, the treatment process consists of splinting in neutral or hyperextension for 4-8 weeks. Splints can vary depending on your provider. However, if there is an open injury (such as a cut or laceration), the structures may need stitches. Regardless if there is a fracture or dislocation, treatment will start with splinting and if the injury is deemed unstable or splinting options have failed, surgery may be an option.


Now I am not down and out for 4 to 8 weeks. I am not sitting around and hoping for the best. As long as the injury is properly splinted activity can resume as tolerated. Things like my grip strength have decreased because I am now gripping with two fingers and my thumb versus my whole hand which is not an issue until I try to pour from a gallon of milk or swing kettlebells around my waist. I am still working out and only have to modify a few exercises (but there are so many to choose from anyway that there is just not a reason to quit!). Always make sure your healthcare provider and you are on the same page. While many activities can still be maintained, proper modifications will be made based on how many structures were injured and how much grip the activity requires.


So the injury site is splinted, should it be massaged? Well, yes and no. The injured site right at the joint should not be massaged during the early stages of healing, as we need the scar tissue to be the natural glue to hold everything together. In the early stages of healing with the splint on, motion is restricted causing other joints and muscles to compensate. While I do not recommend the finger to be massaged, I very much recommend the hand ( with modification), wrist and upper extremity ( at least up to the shoulder) to be massaged. This will help bring in healing nutrients and keep the muscles balanced from both the trauma and compensation.

 

After initial splinting has ended, then your healthcare provider will help you to ween out of the splint. It will be determined which activities are ok and not ok out of the splint. Exercises will be given to regain normal motion. If everything goes well, you will avoid surgery. Always ask questions and understand where you are in your healing process. This is what your healthcare provider is for and your fingers are important. Take care!

How to improve agility

Posted on February 6, 2017 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Many sports require impressive agility. “Agility is the ability to accelerate, decelerate, stabilize and change direction quickly while maintaining proper posture.” Some of the top agile sports include American football, handball, gymnastics & boxing just to name a few. I love watching sports that require high levels of agility. The NFL tests agility during their combine to determine explosive power and ability to change direction with 3 cone drill and shuttle run (5-10-5). This is what allows football receivers to catch a football anywhere along the average distance of a two car garage, a gymnast to hurl through space with twists, turns and back again.


 

So how do you begin to make your agility noteworthy? This is going to start in exactly the same place as all my other posts--- posture and great muscle balance. Great motion and movement patterns always come from posture and core. When starting a warm up program always include a foam roller plan. Some athletes feel this is a tedious process. Foam rolling large muscle groups, especially those that sit in a short position for long periods of time restores neuromuscular activity to normal. In order to be your best, keep those muscles balanced. If you find a tender spot while using the foam roller hold that spot on the roller for at least 30 seconds or until the tender spot releases. By doing this before your workout you will be able to train with your muscles in better, proper balance, creating healthy movement patterns. Now you are ready to stand tall. Use good posture pulling your head toward the ceiling and pulling your belly button gently toward your spine.


 

Now that you have properly prepared your body, we are well on our way! Exercises that will enhance agility will include cone drills and ladder drills. Drills like this will begin to provide repetition and body awareness. When starting these drills it can be easy to watch your feet and make sure you are not tripping on the ladder. However, as you gain awareness of your feet, as well as the ladder you can look ahead to where you are going, just as you would in actual competition. It’s not as much about watching the foot placement as it is having the confidence of knowing where you are going before you get there. Foot placement is important, making sure you are not crossing (and tripping over) your own feet. All motion needs to come from the core. This means keeping the core engaged and directing the body with the lumbopelvic hip complex. By guiding your body with the core, your extremities will become much more explosive.


 

For those who keep their feet on the ground with running type sports, drills such as: LEFT Drill, M-Drill, 5-10-5 Drill and the 4 cone drill.  Adding in ladder combinations will be helpful as well including in/in/out/out, side shuffle and backwards in/in/out.  


 

However, some sports don’t keep their feet firmly planted such as swimming, gymnastics or pole vaulting. Other drills may need to be included such as tumbling or suspended trampoline tasks that safely reproduce the required movement.


 

When acquiring improved agility for sport, nothing reproduces the movements you need like playing your sport. However, a few drills can help progress you from beginner to more advanced work. If you are not sure what drills to start with always work on posture and core. Without posture and core your body will not be working at its fullest potential and eventually slow you down.


 

Make sure to sign in and start your enhanced program today!

 

Fuel Your Athletic Demands

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Time to fuel your athletic development!  How do you know how much energy you burn each day?  How do you know if you are matching this with your food intake?  Nutrition is what drives our energy and repairs our body to keep competing.   Poor nutrition can bring down any athlete.

It takes much energy to train, compete and rebuild.  It is important to know how well you are refueling your systems to rebuild damaged tissues as well as maintain energy stores for the following day.  When you register on my dotFIT platform, we can accurately calculate your calorie demands.  By logging your food daily, accounting for timing and amount of food intake, we can clearly see what may need to be modified to keep your calories, protein, carbs and fats working for you and not against you.

In addition to seeing your calories, protein, carb and fat ratios, you will also have access to menus, shakes, protein bars and boosters that are NSF Certified for sport.  This means that a third party tester comes in and tests every batch to make sure there are no banned substances in these products.  When you are an athlete who is competing at top level, taking a product that is not tested can contain banned substances and you will not be allowed to compete.  In order to maintain your status, it is always a good idea to check any supplement label to make sure that it is third party tested as NSF Certified for Sport.

Many college athletes tend to fall short on nutrition requirements due to so many changes.  Tracking your food is a great way to make sure you are staying on the right path.

Start your program today!





2017 Starting Fresh

Posted on January 2, 2017 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I know that starting fresh is always a state of mind, but ringing in the new year feels so good.  I have been working to clear out the old clutter from last year to start 2017 as simple as possible.  I definately have things I wish to accomplish this coming year and setting these goals now can be very important.

You don't have to be big into setting a new year's resolution, but taking some time to reflect on where you have been, where you are and where you would like to be is always a good place to start.  Once you decide on the direction you need to go, get out that pencil and paper.  Let's go old school and write down those goals.  This makes it official and much more real.  Once you have specified a goal for the year, then write down why this goal is important to you.  Why is this your goal and what does it mean for you?  Next, decide how you are going to meet this goal.  I know this seems like a lot of writing, but it IS worth it!  You may need some help with this part as it helps determine the path you will need to follow in order to meet your goals a year from now.  It will include smaller goal setting, how to overcome daily challenges and creates an actual plan for you to follow.  At this point, don't be afraid to ask questions, may be even debunk some myths that may be holding you back.

Place this paper in a place where you will see it everyday.  These are goals that should not be placed on the back burner, but focused on everyday.  If habits need to be changed in order to reach these goals then you will need these reminders.  Reminders that there is a point and something bigger than just this moment.

I recently heard a quote that I quite like. "Don't worry about what you eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Worry about what you eat between Christmas and Thanksgiving."  I find this to be so relavant and important not just for eating but for most anything we need to accomplish.  We are not going to have perfect days and things come up to throw us for a loop sometimes.  Its really not a big deal.  However, during the long haul, for the majority of the time stay focused, see your goal and go get it!  You are the change you wish to see.

Soost Outdoor Fit Biz wishes everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.  If you have any questions on how to set your goal for the upcoming year regarding weight loss, health, fitness or sport performance do not hesitate to contact me.


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