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Movement Series #1 Posture

Posted on August 11, 2016 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I have already had a few blog posts regarding posture. But with this new movement series, I strongly feel that it's the best place to start. Everything begins and ends with posture resulting in overall strength, range of motion, joint mechanics and possible injury (or injury prevention). Initially when thinking about posture, think of being stacked like blocks. Head held high, ear over shoulder, shoulder over hip, hip over knee, knee over ankle. Basically one big straight line. At rest this allows even tension on each joint as well as the muscles firing synergistically and working well together.

 

 

So this is all well and good, but what happens when you add in life? Sitting at the computer, fixing vehicles, washing dishes, caring for children and even sports all put people in a position of repetition in the same motions causing some muscles to over time become over stimulated while others are under stimulated. In addition, our bodies are created for motion. So if our day does not require much motion such as sitting at a desk all day, driving for long periods, etc. trigger points (and other tender points) set into the muscles causing pain and dysfunction.

 

 

Try to create an awareness in your environment. Place things further away in your office space so that you have to get up to get supplies /throw away trash or adjust your rear view mirror in your vehicle so that you can only see out of it when you are sitting in good posture. When starting a walking program, make sure you add in posture walking. Pull your head up high, stack your major joints and do not forget to engage your core. This is always the best starting place and I don’t think that everyone realizes how much our everyday lives factor into our posture and that in a domino effect poor posture can result in dysfunction, pain and injury. How are you stacking up?

To Tape Or Not To Tape

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

To tape or not to tape? That is the question. Athletes come in preparing for competition and want a magical tape job on the joint of choice. There was a time I even taped the water boy’s wrist only because it made him feel included, part of the team. And while circumstance made that o.k., there are several taping requests that I have denied. So here is the scoop.

 

Just for clarity, there are several kinds of tape, all with separate purposes and techniques. This particular article is specifically on the use of athletic tape, its purpose and best use. So many athletes, coaches and parents are under the impression that athletic tape is for stability. It sort of is, indirectly. Those asking for the tape usually feel the tighter the better and that if they can’t move, then they have a much smaller chance of injury or reinjury. This is completely untrue. Injury prevention is specifically about maintaining proper joint mobility, joint arthrokinematics (function) and muscle balance/recruitment. If any joint has been stretched beyond its normal limit and become lax, athletic taping may be an option. However, not because the tape is tight and restricts normal motion.

 

Athletic tape is cotton tape that has a strong adhesive on the back. There is no elastic quality about this tape. Several studies have been done regarding the stability and how exactly this technique works. When regarding the ankle, it has been shown that athletic tape does not provide stability, as in lack of range of motion. The tape, however, does provide some kinesthetic awareness. It allows receptors to determine where our body is in space, reducing the chance of the joint to go beyond its normal motion. Plus the actual feeling on the skin, gives a feeling of support, which many people like. This tape, when worn will loosen with motion and possibly when warmed with body heat.

The criteria I use when choosing to use athletic tape:


It must be a small joint. This seems a little restrictive, but I do not tape for knee ACL, PCL or MCL, shoulder dysfunction and elbows are iffy. Our muscles are strong, long and mobile. Joint dysfunction or powerful trauma is often the cause of injury. These joints are more powerful than a bit of tape. Often times even using a strong metal brace is not enough to prevent a ligamentous injury in these larger joints. Tape just is no match. I will tape fingers, wrists, hands, feet and ankles.


It must be able to maintain normal motion.  While we hope to reduce excessive motion, we do still need to maintain normal motion.  Running or jumping would be hindered if you could not plantar flex your ankle.  Taping a finger into extension without having any flexion is an injury waiting to happen because it would leave the joint(s) vulnerable not only to possibly poking someone or  getting jammed, but if it got caught on anything you may not only end up with a finger injury, but a hand injury as well.  Everything needs to remain functional.


It must be a joint. Now of course if I need to I will use it to cover a wound/bandaid so that play can continue without blood. In this case I use it loosely. Often only half way around the extremity at a time, until it is secure. There was a time when we were taught to use athletic tape (or other barbaric methods such as plastic wrap) to prevent the pulling away of muscle from the bone during medial shin splints. This, however, causes a physiological issue for the muscle tissue (and other soft tissues), as it does not stop the muscle from pulling away from the bone. Now the muscle does not have the space it needs to contract, but gets compressed (athletic tape is does not have an elastic componet to it), often times causing more damage to the muscle tissue.


The joint must be ready for competition. Swelling, bruising, range of motion, strength and balance must all be in check. The athlete needs to be able to show that athletic tasks can be performed without compensation (such as limping, for example).  Please note that applying athletic tape does not provide healing or reduce the injury you have already sustained.  It just helps keep things in check, a little protection.

 

If you are covering a game and not regularly working with the team everyday, taping of the smaller joints probably won’t hurt anyone. However, when you have a team that is getting consistent treatment, it is very important to treat the dysfunction. Injury prevention is about maintaining normal joint motion, proper muscle recruitment and improved posture of every joint.  Please feel free to check out these studies regarding ankle tape for stability.

 

How Can I Treat Minor Sports Injuries

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Every sport has an element of risk to it that can lead to an injury.  When there is minimal swelling and bruising it is recommended to use the R.I.C.E principle.  Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  The sooner this can be implemented, the sooner healing can start and in theroy--minimize the damage.

Rest     Resting an injury is important to prevent further injury.  Stop doing what you are doing and take it easy.  This may mean not walking if a lower extremity is causing a limp or to avoid activities that cause pain to an upper extremity.

Ice     Ice is recommended as it is an analgesic to reduce the pain.  It will also decrease the swelling.  Keep in mind that swelling causes pain, so by reducing the swelling we are reducing the pain twice with this one.  Heat has a tendency to bring in swelling, so for the first 78 hours after injury, do not heat the injury.

Compression      Providing some gentle compression will assist in decreasing the swelling and pain.  You can use an ace wrap or a compression sleeve.  Always remember to make sure it is even across the skin so that you don't get pockets of swelling.  Make sure that it is not too tight (a compression wrap should be pulled about 50% of its tension) so that you do not hinder good blood flow to the area.

Elevation     Raising an extremeity above the heart will slow down the swelling and keep it from throbbing.

Depending on the injury this is great to do immediately.  Always make sure that any injury is properly assessed by a professional to make sure nothing serious has occured and been overlooked.


For other great tips and to see how my anwsers stack up with other health care providers check out our answers here.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/sports-injuries/treat-minor-sports-injuries


Fuel Your Athletic Development

Posted on December 6, 2015 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (3)

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?  While there are several variables to be super specific, there is some great technology out there that can really be helpful in taking all the guess work out.

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 through me on dotFit, we can accurately calculate your calorie demands.  By logging your food daily and accounting for timing and amount of food intake, we can clearly see what may need to be modified to keep your calories, protien, carbs and fats working for you and not against you.

In addition to seeing your calories, protien, carb and fat ratios, you will also have access to menues, shakes, protien bars and boosters that are all certified to be NSF safe.  You will be able to check up on things like sodium, cholesterol and sugar intake.  Managing your nutrition should not be difficult, but you should definately be aware.  Always fuel your body to meet your demands.  This progam enables you to effortlessly do just that. 

In order to fuel your athletic development you will need to:

  1. Set proper nutritional goals.  This means that while everyone needs to know their starting point, in order to get to the end point each program will be tweeked just a little bit differently.
  2. Always log your nutrition.  This provides accountability but also lets us see how close we are to our target.  Make sure to note the time as well as the amount.  You never know what tweeks will help the most and sometimes its just the timing.
  3. Choose your foods carefully.  The more demands you place on your body the more you will want to make sure you are feuling it with high quality nutrients.  Foods that are nutrient dense are always a good choice like nuts, avacados, fresh fruits and veggies.
  4. Download the app right to your phone so you have quick easy access where ever you are.
Fuel your athletic development! Use dotFit to stay on track, meet your goals and stay accountable.  Remember the NSF certification is not only to show that this is a top product but is a product that you can take safely.

Enhance Your Athletic Development

Posted on December 6, 2015 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been in this industry for a long time and its amazing to watch both the training trends change as well as the science behind it.  For the longest time, athletes have watched other athletes train and they take away bits and pieces that have worked for others in hopes it will also work for them.  While there might be some merrit in striving to be like those who are successful, it is also very random and non specific.

Regardless if you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, your goal is to perform your best while minimizing damage and injury.  Methods are slowly changing, but the science behind it is stong.

More and more are finding stong athletes.  Who doesn't like a good day of lifting?  But the movement patterns are not so strong.  Poor movement patterns, regardless of how stong you are will at some point lead to overtraining and predictable injury patterns.  Have a professional check out your movement patterns and see what might need to be worked on.  Always include a program that will help balance these issues into your warm up and cool down.  Sometimes your workout may only focus on problem areas, until you can get things working properly.  Even then, we are creatures of habit and will go right back to the activities that got us out of whack in the first place, so it is a good idea to rotate a corrective plan into your regular peridization.

Contact me for questions, assessments and solutions to enhance your athletic development.

Can massage help your neck pain?

Posted on November 20, 2015 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Neck pain is a common for most adults. There are several causes why your neck may be causing you problems, but it has been found that massage therapy can help relieve that pain.

 

 

Our necks are at a bit of a disadvantage, as it has the smallest vertebrae, all stacked upon one another and then we want it to perfectly balance a 10 pound head on top of it. It doesn't necessarily have physics on its side. It is easy to sleep in an awkward position and have a sore neck due to soft tissue irritations. Some of us just like to play hard and have joint dysfunction that can cause pain. Regardless of the cause, massage therapy may help to find you relief.

 

 

During a massage session you will be stretched and muscles balanced (even though the longer they have been in a state of dysfunction the longer it will take to return them to their normal state). While this makes the soft tissues feel better, massage will bring in fluid, oxygen/nutrients, increase joint space and relax the muscles. This will also help to make the joints themselves feel better. Lets not forget to mention that the relaxation state and the chemical endorphins that are released during your massage will also create healing and natural pain relief.

 

 

 

Here is a really quick study that shows that people with chronic neck pain showed relief using massage therapy.

Fit Gadgets

Posted on September 14, 2015 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

So recently  I have been urged by my clients and friends to try a fitbit.  I have seen them popping up everywhere and find them very intriguing.  I have much experience with regular pedometers.  Non-techy.  The ones you wear on your hip and have to measure your stide length to make sure it counts your steps accurately.  I am very definitely a fan of getting your 10,000 steps a day in.  I think that is important regardless of your fit level or goal.  I have been part of a few programs where we have given out the old school pedometers, taught how to use them and even provided challenges.

The fitbit is a little different.  And I like it.  I did not really get much for instructions.  You just turn it on and sync it to your device and off you go.  I have been using the fitbit charge which will track my steps, milage, average calories burned, flights of stairs, active minutes, sleep and water/nutrition.  I find it to be accurate and handy.  Except that when you meet your goals the watch looking device will vibrate, when I am not expecting it and while I am at the store or where ever, my eyes get a little huge wondering why my watch is angry with me.  Then I look and see that I made a goal and immediately I am excited again.

The best part--the fitbit will sync to my dotFit page!  This means you too can use fun gagets that require you to log info less will show me what you have been doing and I can still provide your individualized program.  Its difficult to create a safe and healthy program to everyone when there are many unknowns.  That's where I come in.  I will know your goal, fitness level and any past or current injury.  Your workout will be perfect!  So once a day you look at your workout and get it done and once a day you sync your fitbit to your page and vola...You are making your goals and feel great too.

Now I would also recommend the fitbit HR.  The charge that I use does not track heart rate.  I not only find heart rate to be very important, but I do like to create cardio programs for you that include heart rate.  Your resting heart rate will tell you in general how effecient your heart is working.  The fewer beats per minute, the healthier your heart is.  It should be between 60-75 beats per minute.  If you are a competitive elite athlete you might be down to 45-60 beats per minutes.  This means that your heart can pump out enough blood with one pump to all parts of your body well.  If you can't get enough blood out per pump then you have to pump more which can over time lead to an enlarged heart.  So keep an eye on your over all resting heart rate and if it starts to regularly go down, you are NOT dying!

Also a good cardio program is based on your heart rate recovery time.   The less time it takes for your heart rate to come back down after an intense bout of exercise is good.  So my workouts vary quite a bit, but includes you watching your heart rate.  This is great for weight loss as well as sport specific training.  Each sport has its own demands and this program can accomodate that. 

 

How to get more from your workout--Massage Recovery

Posted on September 3, 2015 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

We have decided to make the time for the gym.  We sweat it out on the cardio machines and pump out our favorite weight training exercises.  As goals start to be met, we have to remember the full effects of training on our bodies and how to keep things in check so that we get the most out of our workouts.  We need to prevent overtraining and injury.

Overtraining is "A general term for any practice of, or training for, a particular sport which is in excess of that necessary to effectively participate in the sport. Overtraining increases the physical stress on specific parts of the musculoskeletal system, and increases the risk of injury" as  defined by the medical-dictionary.  When we work out, our bodies produces metabolic waste products that cannot be rid of quickly.  This along with tissue breakdown is what causes soreness and muscle fatigue.

Massage therapy is a hands on technique that can help rid the body of waste products while not contracting the muscle.  In addition to the waste products being pushed out, massage therapy also brings in oxygenated blood and nutrients to help heal the tissues from your favorite workouts.  This increases the healing process so you can recover quicker from your favorite workouts.  Athletes, fitness participants and others engaged in strenuous physical activity will also benefit from integrated manual therapy such as myofascial release, trigger point therapy, lymphatic drainage and deep transverse friction to keep muscle and surrounding soft tissue mobile and free from adhesions.  Receiving a massage in between workouts will not only reduce recovery time but also increase force production for those that enjoy lifting.

We need to keep working out and pushing our bodies to their potential, but reward your body with a regular massage.  Recover faster, push harder, reduce your chance of injury and keep those muscles balanced for your best workout yet!

Bring on the new season

Posted on August 12, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I just want to say that the seasons are very quickly changing and I absoutely love it!  The weather is amazing and bring on the sports.  Here in Gillette we just got our college Pronghorn season and high school seasons underway.  Plus my own kids are going to be starting up their sports next week.

The energy of it all is great.  I just can't believe that it is coming and changing so fast!  Bring it on.  Stomp some ground.  Go out there and be fierce.

4 Easy Steps to Your Fitness Goals

Posted on August 10, 2015 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes its nice when the plan just comes to you.  No guessing.  No over thinking things.  Just log in and look at the plan.  This is a nice one stop shop to meet any health goals.  All exercise, nutrition, supplements and support in one easy location.

1. Nutrition

Nutrition is the food choices we consume.  Everyone needs to eat, so this is important.  We all have basic energy needs to be met in order to breath and other maintenance of our bodies.  Add the energy that we require for activities of daily living like washing dishes, vacuming, grocery shopping and of course our workouts.  That total is how much energy we need to eat to maintain our current status.  When you enter the site, you will answer health questions that determine your average daily expenditure.  When you click on your goals, then we can determine if you need to consume more calories or less calories to meet your goals.  At this point you can also start logging your food.  This is super important to see where you are starting at.  Sometimes you really don't need to make several large changes, but just a few small alterations.  These alterations are easier for me to modify when I can see what is going on.  Please log your food accurately everyday.  It makes you accountable for your choices.

2. Exercise

It doesn't matter if you are a veteran athlete or just starting.  I use the Optimum Performance Training Method created by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  It supports injury prevention, working up to your goals (not just jumping right in).  Each program is designed by me and cusotmized just for you.  You need to run faster and throw harder--we can do that.  You need to lose some weight and tone muscles--we can do that.  You need new exercises or over come a plateau--we can do that.  I provide the workout.  You can see it on any device or print it out.  Also, if you like gadgets, you can sync your fitbit or jawbone to the system so I can see how many steps you have taken, monitor your heart rate and whatnot.  You have the opportuity to workout at your favorite gym, outside, at home, with a friend--whatever works for you.  Just know you will be held accountable to get it done.  I will meet you, but I will check on you.

3. Supplementation

Supplementation is an interesting topic.  Always pros and cons.  But this is a really great way to stay on track.  If you are losing weight and cutting calories, then you need something to fill the gap.  You need a reliable multi vitamin to give you what you need to keep you strong, but something that does not have calories.  I have shakes and snacks that keep you on track with easy on the go options as well as easy calorie tracking.  Looking to get that  little extra boost to recover from workouts or need a great post workout snack/drink.  I have that.  These are great choices to keep you on track supplement the food choices you are already eating.

4. Support/Coaching

Please remember that there is always support for you here.  I can help with any question you may have whether it is about the site itself or you are just having a tough day.  Access via facebook and skype will lead you directly to me.  If you have questions there is also a fitness vault that you have full access to with recipes, question & answer, FAQs and webinars by exerts in their field.

This 4 pillar progam is a one stop shop to meet your health and fitness goals.  Just log on and take the guess work out.  Let the fitness plan come to you.  Just add determination and attitude.