|Posted on May 6, 2019 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
Recovery from all your daily activities keeps us ready for more activity to come. Giving us the ability to play longer and harder. This leads to a few questions. What helps our body recover daily and how do we know we are keeping up? We are not a bunch of bits and pieces, but one unit, one person. For this reason it is important to use a holistic approach to daily recovery. It boils down to refuel, rest and restore. These three things focus on our body’s physical, mental and hormonal states, making sure that the reset button has been pushed daily and that we are always ready to go.
We need to refuel our bodies to rebuild and repair after bouts of different intensities of exercise and stress. Refueling means eating meals at regular intervals that include fresh whole foods. These foods should be meeting the general guidelines for active people. This allows the body to repair itself to maintain healthy tissues and can even prevent overuse injuries. Good pre/post activity snack are also recommended as we deplete our energy stores. There is a rhyme and reason to keeping these stores full and ready to go. It does include using a smoothie (from dotFIT) that has the right blend of cals and nutrients, as well as being easy to digest and absorb. Staying properly hydrated helps the body to work better overall but also to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Do you sleep well at night? Rest is one of the most important factors in recovery and readiness. This is the best time for your brain to process and make sense of everything that has happened during your day. It can literally be like pushing the restart button for all our hormones and regulatory systems. By monitoring our sleep quality and quantity we can make sure we are not just alert, but also mentally sharp and on top of our game. There are many factors that can affect our sleep including pain, travel, or stress.
In order to restore our body, we need to take a look at how we are feeling. Are we stressed? Are we feeling pain? Are we doing things during the day to counter the physical and mental stress such as our self care plan, getting a massage, proper warm up/cool down or seeing the athletic trainer? It's easier to be proactive and have a routine.
I provide online tools to allow you to track and monitor how well you are refueling, resting and restoring your body for recovery. You can then see not only your daily recovery and readiness number, but we can also look at your trends and see if we spot any patterns that can be improved. We can see how the team is recovering as well as the individual. This can be important for athletes that travel often, athletes that are recovering from injury or athletes that are going through some big changes. Anytime you can improve your recovery and readiness, it will give you an advantage, for both you and your team. If you are interested in improving your recovery and readiness for yourself or your team, please give me a call.
|Posted on August 14, 2018 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
Fall sports are officially underway! It is so exciting starting fresh and getting back to the grind. But fall sports can bring some risks as well. Regardless of your athletic level, you need to make sure you are prepared. This season can bring rugby, football, soccer, golf, volleyball and others. Many outdoor sports and some indoor as well. Here is what needs to be on your list to have a healthy, strong and fun season.
1. Make sure your physical is updated with your physician. You may feel this is only for youth athletes, but getting a physical can prevent many difficulties before they are an issue and many times before you realize there may be a problem. Everything from heart issues and kidney function to diabetes. It has saved lives.
2. Drink water and stay hydrated. Regardless if you are practicing indoors or out, a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day is needed to be consumed. This is pretty general and needs to be tweaked individually by location and how much you sweat. Your best bet is to ( in addition to the 8 glasses) weigh yourself before and after each workout. Drink one cup of water for each pound lost. This will prevent dehydration during warm weather, prevent heat illness and keep your body ready the next day’s workout.
3. Know when to also drink electrolytes. Water keeps you hydrated and is very important especially if you have been in the heat or working out for less than an hour. However, if you have been working out in practice or competition for more than an hour at one time you need to replenish electrolytes. There are several drinks to choose from and each is formulated just a bit different. Some can cause stomach upset, so there could be some trial and error till you find a drink that meets your need. Or just drink what your athletic trainer is serving that day!
4. Timing of meals can be important. I am not talking about what you should eat right before competition but making sure you are refueling for the next day. By eating within an hour after your workout you can replenish your energy stores for your workout the next day. This allows you to perform with the same effort each day. In addition this also allows your body to make sure there are enough building blocks available to repair any damage (microtears) from your workout. This can prevent overuse injury.
5. 7 hours of consecutive sleep. This is an average of what most people need and for competing athletes it is very important. Having a set sleep schedule puts your body in a functioning rhythm and allows your body to reset, refresh and heal from the the day before. It helps the brain to function properly. When we get out of the proper rhythm, fatigue can set in at the most inappropriate times. This especially important for those athletes that travel long distances, across times zones or have long flights that can also cause jet lag.
I hope everyone is ready for their upcoming season. Stay healthy! Be Strong & have FUN:)
|Posted on March 20, 2018 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
1. We are NOT personal trainers. I know the names sound similar, so they can be easy to mix up. Personal trainers are used to help increase fitness levels of clients. Athletic trainers are responsible for the prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries.
2. We are recognized as a medical profession by the American Medical Association & are mid-level health care providers.
3. We do more than hand out ice and water. While hydration is very important, so is the overall health and well being of each athlete. We make sure that each venue is safe and has an effective emergency plan that includes plans for the spectators as well. We also handle administrative duties such as health forms, budgets, scheduling and other tasks.
4. We work long hours. A majority of events are held during evening and weekend times. We are the first ones there to prepare the athletes and the lasts ones to go home to make sure everyone has been treated and that everything is taken care of before we leave.
5. We love our front row seats! There is no better place to cheer on our favorite teams and athletes.
6. Being an ATC requires a minimum of a masters degree. We are also required to pass a national certification and be licensed within our state ( with the exception of Alaska & California).
7. ATCs work in a variety of settings. It is the most common to see an athletic trainer in a high school, college or professional sports setting. However, now athletic trainers can also be hired to work in physician’s offices, the military, physical therapy offices, law enforcement, fine arts and theater.
8. ATCs get just as excited about game day as the athletes! We are there to feel the energy change from an empty venue to the full energy of competition with the athletes we have been working with and preparing for this competition. This is what we work for.
9. Athletic trainers are skilled in manual therapy techniques to prevent injury and recover from injury/competition.
10. We love our job. At times athletic training can be difficult work, but it is also the most rewarding job I have ever had. Athletic trainers are some of the most dedicated people you will ever meet.
|Posted on February 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM||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.
|Posted on February 16, 2018 at 12:30 AM||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.
|Posted on October 9, 2017 at 2:10 PM||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.
|Posted on September 20, 2017 at 8:50 PM||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!
|Posted on May 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM||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!
|Posted on February 6, 2017 at 6:20 PM||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!
|Posted on December 12, 2016 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
One of the best parts of my job is sports massage. Most days athletes are happier to see me as a massage therapist than an athletic trainer. I don’t think it has much to do with how uncomfortable treatment can be as much as their mental expectation. Plus, I’m not determining the amount of their participation time with their coach.
I see a large variety of athletes from weekend warriors, runners, high school athletes, college athletes, hockey, rugby, weight & power lifters. The techniques I use are varied and integrated based on client injury, goal and sport. Some injuries are more repetitive in nature and some are just due to contact and direct trauma. I firmly believe that each athlete is one body, one unit, one person and therefore treat the body as a whole. By ensuring that all movement patterns are functional and eliminating even small dysfunctional patterns, injury can heal more quickly or even be prevented.
Massage therapy is a great way to keep your body in check. By providing movement assessments, we can see right away which muscles need to be activated, lengthened, inhibited and integrated. This keeps your body working at its optimal potential.
Don’t feel that sports massage will make you soft, even if you are feeling good. Really, you should want to maintain that “feeling good”. While maintenance to support your body’s health is imperative, it does not mean that your treatment will be specifically relaxing or super comfy. It can still be uncomfortable to release those knots, regain joint motion and strength. It does depend on what the goal of the session is and where you are at in your training program. So talk with your sports massage therapist about movement assessments, past and present injuries, workouts and competitions so that proper techniques can be used at the right time.
By consistently utilizing sports massage, you will be able to maintain health, strength, speed, agility, and dodge potential injury at the same time. Perform at your optimal potential!
https://www.sharecare.com/health/massage-therapy/what-is-sports-massage" target="_blank">Sharecare: Massage therapy