Jun 27, 2013

Mobilizing Your Ankle, 2 Variations: Video Update

Hey Readers! Here is a quick video that I made a week or so ago on how to do a Mulligan Mobilization With Movement technique to increase ankle dorsiflexion. Ankle dorsiflexion seems to be a common theme on my blog but it is a common restriction but a very important motion to have! In this video I show you a way to do it this alone or with a partner/patient. This won't be a new concept for some but I hope those who have never heard of it find it useful! Enjoy!

Jun 26, 2013

12 Random Reasons To Try Trail Running

I love trail running. If I had trails close enough to me I would have force myself to not run 100% of my miles on trails. I don't think enough people know about the fun that is entailed with running trails and I don't think enough people have given it a try. I wouldn't be surprised if most people assume that its a run filled with blood, bugs, steep hills and sharp rocks. Well, sometimes it is(I consider that a plus). On the other hand, here are twelve random reasons to give it a try.

1) It is a dirty, adventurous, and thrillingly fun time.

2) Trail terrain is so dynamic it takes the monotony out of running. This means your body experiences a more varied array of forces and not the same repetitive stresses associated with road running.

3) Trails are easier on the mind than most roads. I sometimes get bored of my road routes and feel like time drags on. Trails are so jam packed with turns, obstacles, nature and picturesque views that you might not be able to keep up.

Jun 25, 2013

5 Quick and Interesting Finds!

4) Dr. Stephan Guyenet of www.wholehealthsource.org, tweeted a link with a mini synopsis of this interesting new study!

5) Professor Tim Noakes and his Colleague Peter Brukner take to the airwaves by being guests on the British Journal of Sports Medicine Podcast! See his tweet below for the link!

Jun 23, 2013

Sunday Funday: Runner's exercise of the day.

Here is a quick video highlighting a great exercise for runners. This is an exercise that I like using with athletes that are struggling with overcoming issues with glute inhibition and proper core stabilization. Keeping your pelvis level and equal is very challenging and can be great as a corrective exercise for something like the rotary stability test on the FMS. You don't a TRX do to this either...any suspension trainer, sturdy rope, a plyobox, or a chair can work as well! Enjoy!

Jun 20, 2013

Building Bridges: Inter & Intra-Profession Collaboration

Somehow, someway during my initial years of schooling I developed this idea that the profession of athletic training needed to compete heavily with other professions. I used to think that I needed to boycott the teachings of other professions like physical therapists, strength and conditioning specialists and person trainers.  I also had an urge to compete against others within my own profession and try to be most intelligent or most competent clinician/academic. Finishing school and starting my professional career has definitely changed my thought processes.

While some level of competitiveness is necessary in a world where multiple professions compete for patients or clients from the same pool of people due to similar skill sets. However, I have begun to realize that this previous thought process hurt three groups of people. Thinking and behaving the way I did disadvantaged myself (the clinician), potential patients, and the different professions.

Recently, I have worked to open myself up to the ideas of others and other professions. Just think, where would human intelligence even be now without the collective body of knowledge that is shared between individuals? We might be able to think the same but the accumulation of knowledge that is passed around and down through time is what makes it special.

Jun 18, 2013

Putting The "soft" Back Into Soft Tissue: Video Post

Hey all! New video for you all today that follows the same theme as my last blog post regarding foam rolling. I hope you all learn something and sorry for my amateur videography. I forgot to comment on it in the video but it is important to note that these gains in mobility are only temporary.

However, this treatment can and should (in this case, she as she is still restricted in terms of mobility) be combined with other treatments like joint mobs, Mulligan MWM's and repeated end-range plantar flexion. This will produce a synergistic effect and reapplication can help lock in the temporary gains.

Jun 16, 2013

Two Quick New Videos

Hey Everybody,

Here are two new videos that I made this weekend. I am going to start making videos with stuff related to blog content, rehab exercises, running form, random reviews and et cetera. You may notice near the top that I now have a direct link to my YouTube page as well. The first video is an easy test to check your ankle mobility, specifically ankle dorsiflexion.

The second video is for a common exercise for runners. This is intended to be a hip extension and glute activation exercise but ends up being something else entirely! It makes me cringe to watch people do it improperly!

Hope you all have a great father's day and hope you had a great weekend! Here comes Monday...

Jun 14, 2013

Are you foam rolling too hard?

These no longer need be modern torture devices for the physically active!

I just had an idea come to me as I was working to correct a few dysfunctions of my own. I don’t always have another person or practitioner to perform soft-tissue mobilization on myself and I’m sure you don’t either. When this is the case I turn to items like foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and variations of “The Stick”. In the past, I used to think that if I wasn’t wincing and sweating from the self-inflicted pain then I wasn’t going hard enough. I also used to spread this masochistic premise to my patients and athletes. I used to believe that I was deforming the fascia/collagen/soft tissues or causing ischemic compression to “trigger points” and often left myself and others with bruises!

More recently, I have been finding that less is best sometimes when it comes to soft tissue work. I now use a model based on stimulating the central nervous system. This stimulus to common patterns results in transient reductions in tone and improved mobility. There are several advantages to using the “less is best” approach.

Four Finds For Your Friday Morning

 Here are a few quick links to articles, a video and a podcast that I recently found to be of interest.

This first article is by Peter Larson of RunBlogger.com. Peter discusses the term "natural running", how it is used, and what it means to him.

The second link is to a video shared on Facebook by Dr. E of TheManualTherapist.com. This video highlights a quick trick to help people with movement patterns. This trick is especially to help people with the exercise that I know as "Toe Yoga" which was coined by Jay Dicharry, PT I believe.

Third link is to a quick video produced by Kelly Starrett, DPT of MobilityWOD.com. This video gives a little secret to help avoid back pain from airplane seats. I know I find airplane seats to be uncomfortable so I can't wait to try this one out. (Who knows how long that will be...)

Last, but not least we have a link to a recent podcast by Jimmy Moore. Jimmy is the author of both the blog and podcast aptly named "Livin' La Vida Low Carb" and this podcast is a real touchy back and forth between Mr. Moore and Vegan Doctor, Dr. John McDougall. The gloves were off for this discussion.

Have a great Friday, a great weekend and a wish your dads a happy Father's Day!

Jun 11, 2013

The 10% Rule of Running: My Experience and Thoughts

Ah, the 10% rule of running for increasing mileage or run time. A very specific and objective piece of conventional wisdom handed down from each running generation to the next. Many have voiced both praise and disdain for the rule and it has even been used in some research studies.

I am currently in the process of rebuilding my running base after letting it dwindle to near zero over a 4-5 month span. I wanted to avoid doing too much too soon when I returned to running regularly and I like to experiment with ideas so I figured I would put the 10% rule to the test.

My rules for this were to run no more than 10% longer per longest run of the week or per week total. I was allowed to run less if needed and would only be running 3-4x a week. So far, after following this rule for several months I have been able to increase my total time very easily in terms of both aerobic and musculoskeletal comfort. There have been times of slight soreness but the kind you embrace or expect from a workout plan that gradually imposes increased demands or loads.

I must say that so far this base building has gone far easier than previous base building efforts. Previous attempts were plagued with issues like chronic compartment syndrome, plantar fasciosis, Achilles tendinopathy, Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, and other common but nagging running injuries. My girlfriend has also been rebuilding her base alongside me. In the past she had a history of IT Band Syndrome/Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome issues and repeat stress fractures in high school. So far she has not had any problems arise either.

That is me in the white shirt and shorts on the far left, when I first started running. I definitely used to over-stride!

Jun 10, 2013

Two Exercises I Do Before Every Run: My First Video Post!

Hey everyone, I was about to go for a run today and I thought of the idea of highlighting some of repeated-end range exercises that I have mentioned in some of my recent posts. Today I will show you two of them that I do try to do before every one of my runs. I learned these from Dr. Erson of TheManualTherapist.com so I can't take credit for thinking of them! I must say that incorporating these two exercises has helped me resolve any lingering heel stiffness/pain that I previously had.

It is very easy to find out if these will do anything for you by giving them a try and checking your mobility to see if benefit from them. If you do, great! If not, you might want to try some soft tissue to assist you reach your true end range or maybe just find something that does work for you!

Jun 6, 2013

Neck Pain and a Wedding: Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

I am back in my hometown for my little sister’s wedding this weekend. Yesterday, my dad spent the day preparing and setting up for the wedding. He was lifting and carrying around a lot of awkward and heavy objects for most of the day. This morning my dad awoke with debilitating neck pain with radiating pain down into his right shoulder. His neck mobility was very poor with limited rotation and side bending to the right.

A year ago, I may have suggested Tylenol, Ice, Rest and perhaps some slight stretching. If I had access to modalities I may have wanted to use electrical stimulation to help control his pain. This was the type of neck pain that would have sent him running to the chiropractor’s office in the past.

Recently, I have been working to incorporate a lot of stuff that I have learned from my OMPT Channel subscription from The Manual Therapist and from the content on his blog as well. If any of you are regular readers of my blog you probably know this little fact already. One of the biggest things that I have learned about is how a large portion of injuries or pain fall into a “rapid response” sort of category. Specifically, this means that there was a good chance that I would be able to make significant and quick changes with my father’s neck pain.

Another concept that I learned and have written about previously is the use of repeated-end range joint loading. This is done into the direction of preference to increase function, centralize pain and improve mobility. This was a concept I used to produce rapid changes in my dad’s neck pain this morning.

Specifically, I did some very light Instrument-Assisted Soft Tisse Mobilization (IASTM) to the right side of my dad’s neck. I followed specific tissue patterns that I learned in the subscription section of the OMPT channel from Dr. Erson but he has some related videos for free on YouTube. I spent 3-4 minutes working these patterns with the goal of helping my dad reach his end-range. After the light tissue IASTM I showed my dad how to do repeated side bending to the right (side of unilateral pain) and cervical retraction as well. I had him do about 2 sets of 12-15 of each of these repeated movements.

Once or twice I had to stop him and help him reach his end-range more effectively. After he finished, the shoulder pain had centralized and his neck rotation and side bending was now normal. These effects are transient so I gave him instructions on how he would need to repeat these exercises for 10-12 reps once a hour. He gave me a look of incredulity but about an hour and a half later while trying on our tuxedos his neck stiffness started to return.

Jun 5, 2013

Three Laps and Three Cues to Better Form Running

Well, today is national running day here in the US so I hope you all get a chance to get a run in! Today's post goes back to a personal event from about three weeks ago...

I work at a small private college as a certified athletic trainer and I was covering some end of the year practices for the football team as they prepared to go on an overseas trip. Like many football fields, there was a track around the outside perimeter and the public would use this to run laps during the day and even during practice.

In the midst of a lull during practice I looked up and noticed a college-aged male running laps with form resembling that of the "Don't Be That Awkward Runner" video from YouTube. I watched him run a few laps in horror. He carried his arms completely extended and at his waist, had a major crossover gait (meaning that both feet ran on one straight line and there was no distance between potential foot prints in a medial/lateral fashion), and he was running directly on his toes without letting his heel touch the ground.

Jun 2, 2013

My Newest Experiment: Homemade Kefir and Kombucha

Kefir and Kombucha are fermented drinks and are packed full of probiotics or "beneficial" bacteria for your body. Both of these drinks have seen big increases in popularity in the last few years in the United States, despite being a long time staple for many cultures around the world. Chris Kresser wrote a great article about kefir and highlighted many of its benefits here. Richard Nikoley, author of "Free the Animal: how to lose weight and fat on the Paleo diet" is also crazy about Kombucha and Kefir and had an extensive blog series about his experiment with a raw milk kefir diet.

Even though these drinks are not "perfectly" paleo they are still gaining popularity as of late within the paleosphere. I would attribute this to several different factors. First, the paleosphere is hip to the importance of a healthy gut biota which probiotics can help establish. Secondly, the fermentation process of kefir eliminates something like 99% of the lactose in milk which makes it much more paleo-friendly.

Also, we are all different and there is no one "best" diet that fits all of us. Dairy is actually tolerated by a lot of individuals. Anecdotally, many are finding that a paleo and/or gluten-eliminating diet has helped fix their intolerance to dairy. I attribute this to helping with issues like endotoxemia or a "leaky" gut and increasing the amount of gut bacteria that can produce lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that digests lactose which is missing in those that are lactose intolerant. These are some reasons why there is an acceptance of dairy by paleo dieters.


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All content on this blog is meant as instructional and educational. The author and guest authors of this blog are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Always consult a physician or another proper medical professional for medical advice.
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