Keys to Managing Your Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a game changer. A painful shoulder can quickly limit the activity level for athletes and non-athletes alike.

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in your entire body.  With that being said, eliminating the pain in such loose joint is no easy task.

7 Sports Medicine Tips to Manage Your Shoulder Pain.

Pendulum Swings – With the hand of the pain-free shoulder resting on a chair and a 10-15 lbs weight in the other hand, slowly move the weighted hand in a slow circular motion.  This will distract and relax the muscles surrounding the painful shoulder joint. Swing the hand/arm like a pendulum in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions.

Pliable Chest Muscles – Longer and more flexible chest muscles are vital for a happy pain-free shoulder. Start by aggressively massaging the deep chest muscles with fingers or a baseball (warning; it hurts but it works). Next, stretching the superficial chest muscles in a door frame is a simply way lengthen your broad, strong chest muscles.  By doing so, the more flexible chest muscles will now allow for greater mobility of three (3) bones which make up your shoulder girdle (upper arm bone, shoulder blade & collar bone).

Strong Shoulder Blade Stabilizers – You have 17 muscles anchored to each of your shoulder blades.  Keeping your upper back strong helps protect the shoulder joints by controlling the intricate motions of the shoulder blade.  To do so, seated rows, bent-over flies, cable “T’s” and good ol’ scapula squeezes need to be part of your shoulder plan.

Enduring External Rotators – Of the four (4) muscles forming your rotator cuff, the two external rotators are the most important when it comes to prevent shoulder injury.  The key factor with shoulder external rotators is not just strength. Hence, having great endurance of the external rotators should be your goal.  Doing high repetitions (>15 reps) using cable weights or simple exercise bands will help accomplish this.

Overhead Stretches – Add low-intensity pain-free overhead stretches to your routine. Examples include 25-50% body weight hangs from a pull-up bar/door frame or bend-over stretches with hands on a high counter.

Limited Overhead Strengthening – Anytime you perform strength work above your shoulder level, you’re increasing the stress on your rotator cuff. You can sufficiently strengthen all your shoulder, back and chest muscles without ever elevating your elbows above your shoulder.

Strong Posture – Daily tasks like driving, working on a computer and carrying objects all contribute to poor posture and shoulder pain.

Strong posture = Shoulder blades “back and down” + chin over ribs

The Quest for Happy Shoulders

Most of the painful shoulder joints I treat have key problems related to their shoulder girdle. These 7 sports medicine tips will help you protect two very important joints.

Remember this simple formula: Happy shoulders have mobile shoulder girdles, great endurance of their external rotators and strong upper back muscles.

The Myths and Truths Inside a Painful Shoulder

Because it is one of the most mobile joints, the shoulder joint is also one of the most injured joints in the human body. This is because joint mobility and stability are inversely related.

Simply stated; The more motion a joint has the more instability of inherits.

Because of the high stress on the shoulder joint during a demanding and active lifestyle, it gets injured often.  A painful shoulder may have multiple sources of pain including tendons, muscles, bursas, labrums, loose bodies, rotator cuff or arthritis.

Learn the top 3 myths of shoulder pain and the simple solutions to manage your painful shoulder.  The recovery doesn’t have to be complicated.   During my past 30 years as a physical therapist, I’ve learned the patients with a simple plans and a consistent routine typically have the best outcome.

Click Here For My Spartan Race Article Titled: SHOULDER PAIN? 3 MYTHS & 3 SOLUTIONS

As the Sports Medicine Expert for Spartan Race, I write posts for fellow Spartan racers and SGX coaches related to helpful sports medicine topics.

How Sleep Impacts Injuries

  By Sarah Westgreen at Tuck Sleep

When you don’t sleep enough, you’re not at the top of your game. Sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to injuries — and make it more difficult to recover from existing injuries.

Sleep and Injury Prevention

Sleep deprivation makes physical and mental activities more difficult to complete, as your cognitive and motor skills are diminished. When you’re short on sleep, your muscles don’t respond as quickly as they would if you were well rested, and your concentration and attention suffers. Sleep deprivation can affect your balance and motor skills. A lack of sleep can lead to injuries, as you aren’t physically or mentally prepared to perform at your best.

According to a recent study of adolescent athletes, when athletes slept enough each night (eight or more hours), they had a 68 percent lower risk of injury than sleep-deprived athletes. The decreased likelihood of injury was significantly associated with the number of hours of sleep per night. Rest was a greater factor than how many sports the athletes played, whether the athletes played year-round, and the trend toward athletes specializing in a particular sport.

💤💤💤 and Injury Recovery

Skeletal muscles can regenerate after a muscular injury, but your body needs support to do so. Sleep is an integral part of the process of regeneration, and when you’re sleep deprived, your ability to repair and regenerate muscle tissue is weakened.

A recent study suggests that sleep has a permissive role in damaged muscle tissue regeneration and that sleep loss impairs recovery from muscular injuries. Subjects who were sleep deprived showed lower indications of muscle repair and indicated deficits during recovery.

Injury Rehabilitation and Prevention

Sleep is one of the most effective tools for supporting athletic wellness. When you get enough sleep, you’re less likely to become injured during athletic activity, and you support better recovery from existing injuries. Athletes should always get the recommended amount of sleep each night: generally, adults need about seven hours of sleep. However, during intense training or recovery periods, up to 10 hours of shuteye may be beneficial. Adolescents typically need about nine to 10 hours of rest every night.

Use these tips to maximize your recovery and reduce the likelihood of sports injuries with sleep:

  • Prioritize Your Rest – Sleep is a more significant factor in preventing injuries than the number of practice hours. Don’t sacrifice sleep for training. Plan ahead and make sure you have enough time each night to get the sleep you need. Figure out what time you need to wake up in the morning, and count backward to determine your bedtime.

  • Mattress Meeting Your Needs – Choosing a mattress that supports your preferred sleeping position can help you sleep better and feel better when you wake up. With the right bed, you’ll be well supported and take pressure off of pain points on your body. Some mattresses offer features that may reduce inflammation and aid muscle recovery.

  • Avoid Late Night Exercise – Exercise is generally beneficial for sleep, but when you exercise late at night, you may feel too energized to get to sleep. It’s best if you finish activities at least a few hours before bedtime.

  • Practice Healthy Habits – Good sleep hygiene can help you make the most of your sleep hours. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine, and make your bedroom a healthy sleep environment that’s cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable. Avoid pitfalls that can interfere with quality sleep, such as late-night caffeine, eating heavy meals before bed and using electronic screens in bed.

💤
Tuck Sleep is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and organizations across the web.

 

Pain Management Made Easy

For most, the term “pain management” creates haunting visions of pain medicine, drastic lifestyle changes and expensive doctor bills. In the sports medicine world, that same phrase paints a much rosier image.

“Not all pain is created equal.”  Different types of tissue in your body can generate varying types of pain. Here’s a list of body tissues, which can all be located in the same small part of a joint, and the different types of “pain” sensed in each:

Nerves – Burning, numbness, shooting, weakness.

Bone – Stabbing, deep ache, shooting.

Muscle – Cramping, stabbing, shooting, aching.

Ligament – Instability, snapping, stabbing.

Cartilage – Catching, stabbing, pinching.

I never really thought about how many different type of pain I can feel“, you’re probably thinking.

One of the biggest challenge facing a physical therapist, athletic trainer and doctor is asking the right types of questions and interpret their tests to find the source of pain in their patients.  Pain management starts with finding where the pain is coming from.

Think about it this way: If we, the sports medicine specialist, can quickly determine that 90% of your pain is coming from, say, your supraspinatus muscle of your shoulder’s rotator cuff, we can quickly develop a rehab plan to reduce your specific pain.

Pain Management Plan

It’s time to stop focussing on pain pills as the solution for reducing pain in orthopedic injuries.  Sure, check with your doctor to get his/her thoughts but know there are many safer, cheaper and effective ways to use physical therapy to reduce your pain.

Ice

Ice will reduce pain and swelling.  Ice will hurt at first but it works.  Toughen up and try icing your pain for at least 6 times before judging it’s results.  Ice can change your life.

Methods of icing:

Ice Bucket – Place the injured/sore body part into a bucket of ice water. It’s an aggressive way to ice but the benefits are quick and lasting. Timing: 10 minutes max.

Ice Bags/Packs – Wrap with an ace bandage to add compression.  Timing: 15 minutes max.
Ice Massage – Peeling down a paper cup filled with frozen water is the best way to ice a localized area of pain.  Timing: 10 minutes max.

Massage

Massage will increase blood flow into a body part while increasing the lymphatic drainage out of an area of discomfort.

Flexibility

Good old stretching will lengthen tissue such as muscles, joints and fascia to reduce the pressure on nerves and painful soft-tissue while enhancing the blood flow into your entire extremity.

Hydro Therapy

When it comes to reducing pain, hydro therapy can consist of using a hot tub, cold tub, hot show, cold shower, cold mountain stream or a combo of both hot and cold water. The benefits of hydro therapy can range from relaxing painful tissue, numbing a body part, tricking the nervous system, altering the blood flow to an extremity and/or blocking the sensation of pain.

That last sentence may sound out of character or even barbaric when discussing a “medical” topic. The truth is I’m a huge fan of hydro therapy because it has a way of healing the body in a peculiar manner when other more scientific techniques fail.

Ending Ice Bag….

In closing, pain doesn’t have to be part of your day. Challenge yourself to find safe and effective ways to put pain in your rearview mirror. Initially, eliminating your pain completely may not be a realistic option.  But just think how much better your lifestyle will be if you used these techniques to reduce both the intensity and the frequency of your pain by just 50%?!

NOW is the time to rewrite your Pain Management Plan.  Let me know how I can help you to beat your pain the smart way.

Lifestyle Matters: What I Learned from my Physical Therapy Patients This Week

“Educate your physical therapy patients” was the message my fellow classmates and I heard as we polished our healthcare skills in the outstanding physical therapy program at UConn.

30 years later I know the truth is this: My physical therapy patients teaches ME something every day, as long as I’m truly listening…with my ears, eyes, hands and heart.

What’s the most important message I learned from my rehabilitation patients this week?  Their lifestyle matters.

The professional physical therapist and certified athletic trainer in me is trained to help my patients restore important skills such as muscle strength, joint range of motion, flexibility, balance, endurance and coordination.  That all sounds important to me but those same skills are not always a top priority for my patients.

I learned a valuable lesson this week, thanks to my awesome physical therapy patients.

I had four high level patients from completely different sports all tell me, in various ways; “I want my lifestyle back!”  Their passion and pain was raw and honest.  I would have been a fool to not hear their pleas.

What Were My Physical Therapy Patients Really Saying?

My patients were telling me: ‘Instead of you focussing on strength numbers, fancy orthopedic tests and big medical words, just help me get back to doing what makes me happy!’  It’s just that simple.  Their words and body language made it clear:

“Stop trying to make me move like the perfect athlete.  Instead, help me get back to the same active lifestyle which made me excited to jump out of bed every day!”

How cool is it that we, as trusted partners of those in pain and body limitations, have the ability to restore someone’s lifestyle?!  That role is so important to those in our care.  As a physical therapis or athletic trainer, it’s our job to listen to them and respond accordingly.

My Take Home Points

    • People need to live the lifestyle which makes them happy and it’s my job to help that happen.
    • Ask those in pain better questions, then shutup and listen.
    • Teach others how to listen to their body.  Our amazing bodies are much smarter than we think.

To my patients, thank you.

MDR

 

 

How Valuable are the Medical Exams at the NFL Combine?

The medical examinations at the NFL Combine are extremely valuable.

A huge part of the annual NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week is the medical evaluations of the 336 former college players invited to attend the event. “The NFL Combine Medical Examinations may be the most important aspect of the Combine and the Draft process,” says James Collins, President of Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) and Director of Football/Medical Services for the Los Angeles Chargers.

The NFL Combine is the only time of the year when all 32 NFL teams’ medical staffs and NFL medical committee members are located in the same city. Besides the medical examinations, the NFL athletic trainers, physical therapists, and physicians participate in daily professional meetings discussing crucially important topics such as concussions, injury management, emergency procedures, rehabilitation protocols, surgical techniques, and football injury trends.

NFL Combine Medical Exam

The physical exam for each player is extensive. Hundreds of doctors, athletic trainers and physical therapists representing all 32 NFL teams evaluate all the players’ major joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They also have a comprehensive medical history for each player for the opportunity to perform a more in-depth evaluation of previously injured body parts. Typically over 1000 X-Rays and 500 MRI’s are performed during the four days of medical exams.

The medical examinations include orthopedic (bones, muscles & joints), internal medical (brain, blood, and organs), cardiac (heart), eye and hearing testing.

Typical Medical Questions Asked at the Combine

       Is his ACL reconstructed knee still stable?

       How many concussions did he have in college?

       Does his swollen knee from the bowl game have a torn cartilage and/or arthritis?

       The scouts tell me his shoulder hasn’t looked right since he hurt it in week X. Does he have a shoulder labral tear or a small rotator cuff tear?

       Does his ankle, which he sprained 3 times last season, have loose ligaments and instability?

It All Comes Down to One Grade

All the Combine joint jiggling, scar poking, ligament imaging, bone X-raying, medical question asking, blood work analyzing and crystal ball gazing culminates into one thing: One medical grade per player.

That one medical grade will greatly impact when, and if, that player is selected in April’s NFL Draft.

I’m often asked: “With every team evaluating the very same players, how does each team medically grade the players so differently?”

It’s a great question with a complicated answer. Some teams grade the players based on their RISK of injury. Some team grade based on the likelihood of DOWNTIME. Meanwhile, other teams will base their medical grades on projected LENGTH OF CAREER.

The bottom line is medical grading for elite athletes is far from an exact science.  With that being said, no two injuries will respond in the same manner when exposed to the demanding rigors of professional football.

How it Helps and Hurts

The medical grades coming out of the Combine in Indy are crucially important for each team’s success, both short-term and long-term. A team’s ability to Draft healthy players on their roster with the ability to stay healthy is a common trait of successful teams in the NFL.

Rounds 2

A second NFL Combine takes place in April, approximately 2 weeks prior to the NFL Draft. Unlike this February Combine, the 2nd Combine is for medical examinations only. No coaches, scouts or workouts are included in the 1 day Combine.

Final Word

In closing, the medical exams at the NFL Combine are a valuable part of ever-changing NFL rosters. The results of the medical exams can give teams peace of mind knowing a player is healthy…..or send teams running away from a badly injured player.

 

Closer Look at Aaron Rodgers’ Clavicle Fracture

Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season added another painful chapter to the venomous rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.

Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers left the game in the 1st quarter with a fractured clavicle involving this right throwing shoulder following what Green Bay fans are calling an unnecessary hit by Viking LB Anthony Barr. Four days later Rodgers had surgery to repair his collarbone and the likelihood of his return to the Packers starting lineup this season is very much in question.

How Did THAT Fall Fracture his Collarbone?

Unlike his 2013 left clavicle fracture when Chicago Bears’ Shea McClellin used Rodgers as a human surfboard, last week’s injury didn’t look nearly as violent. With that being said, how could such a routine fall result in such a devastating injury for the two-time MVP?

The answer is simple: A high load was applied on a long crooked bone.

The clavicle, commonly referred to as the collarbone, is the only joint connecting the entire arm to the human torso via the sternum. The contoured shape of the clavicle makes it a perfect ‘guardrail’ to protect the dozens of nerves and blood vessels which pass under the collarbone on their way to the chest and arm.

Looking from above, the clavicle bone is “S” shaped. Therein lies the problem.

The other 44 long bones in the feet, legs, hands and arms are straight and solid. In contrary, the collarbone’s skinny and twisting structure makes it very vulnerable when suddenly forced to bear weight from the outside of the shoulder.

Lets all put on our Mechanical Engineer hats for a quick test to demonstrate the physics of a crooked bone.

  • Push your straightened index finger aggressively into your thigh muscle.
  • Now do the same aggressive press with your index finger slightly bent.

How much weaker was you bent finger? Your “S” shaped clavicle, much like your bent finger, is weaker and more prone to bending/breaking when a high load is applied at one end.

I’ve been asked at least 30 times: “Why didn’t Aaron’s shoulder pads protect his shoulder?” With lightweight QB pads, they provide very little protection against a hard impact to the side of the shoulder.

Factors Impacting the Need for Surgery

Three key factors are evaluated when considering a surgery for elite athletes:

  1. Location – Most clavicles break in the middle third of the bone. A fracture involving the AC joint laterally (outside) or the SC joint medially (inside) are much more concerning and typically merit surgery to protect the joint surfaces. A joint fracture is more likely to result in a stiff and painful joint. Aaron posted a picture on Instagram following his surgery.
  2. Fracture(s) instability – Unstable pieces of bone overlying important nerves and blood vessels are not a good thing when it comes to athletes playing contact sports. If a fracture site(s) is unstable and/or involves multiple bony fragments, a surgically implanted contoured plate is commonly used to pull the damaged bone together to promote proper healing.
  3. Recovery Time – If return-to-play time following a clavicle fracture is important, surgery is often the best option. Friendly reminder: Surgery does nothing to heal the bone.  The purpose of surgery is to position the bony fragments closer together to improve the body’s ability to fill-in the gaps between pieces with new bone.

Rodgers’ Road Back Lambeau

Return-to-Play Date – Hold on cowboy!  TBD.

Accelerated Healing – The Packers medical staff will utilize every healthy option necessary to optimize Rodger’s ability to heal quickly. Options include bone growth stimulators, physical therapy, supplements, hyperbaric oxygen, and good ol’ sleep.

Rotator Cuff Jump Start – When deemed safe by his surgeon, Packers’ team doctor and athletic trainers, Aaron will start exercising his vitally important right shoulder rotator cuff.

Return to Throwing – When X-Rays and MRI’s show enough healing has taken place, #12 will return to progressive throwing. After getting the “green light” to throw, he will slowly progress from slow motion “air throws” to tennis balls to footballs under the watchful eyes of the highly skilled Packers’ athletic trainers.

How Aggressive Will His Rehab Protocol Be? – The intensity of his rehab protocol is typically based on his surgical procedure, fracture healing rates and his daily symptoms.

In closing…

Aaron Rodgers has a great deal of work to do until we see #12 back on the game day gridiron. The good news for Packer Nation is a full recovery from this clavicle fracture is expected. The only remaining question is: “When?”

Checklist for Surgery: Rehabbing Like a Pro Athlete

I’m often asked: “How do pro athletes heal so fast following a major surgery?”

My answer is two-fold: “They lock into a positive attitude before they go under the knife and, more importantly, they take an active approach to jump-start their recovery immediately after surgery.”

Successful elite athletes never take a passive approach following any surgery.  An active game plan going into and coming out of a surgery is a secret trick used by professional medical staffs.

On the eve of my 7:30 AM hernia surgery tomorrow, I already started my recovery game plan exactly like I did for the Jacksonville Jaguars players when I was their Head Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist.  If this checklist proved to be a successful for my players during my 26 years in the NFL, I’d be a fool not to utilize this powerful recovery tool for myself!

Let me share with you my Checklist for Surgery: Rehabbing Like a Pro Athlete.

  1. Pre-Surgery Treatment – Consistent flexibility and massage of every muscle impacted by the upcoming surgery.  This provides relaxed, blood-filled and healthy tissue for the surgeon to work his/her surgery magic.
  2. Medical Team On-Call – Surgeon, primary care doctor, physical therapist, massage therapist and the all-important spouse are all on the same page AND available 24/7 if a problem or question arises.
  3. Written Rehab Protocol – Not assumed, guessed upon or TBD’ed….the rehab game plan, aka “the protocol”, is in writing and in the hands of everyone on the medical team.  No aspect of that rehab protocol will be changed without the direct approval of the surgeon, period.
  4. Ice Pack, Cups and Tanks – Every form of ice therapy is in place and easily accessible for the athlete before they arrive home after the surgery. Trust me; hammer an ice block at 2 AM to make an ice bag is not a fun option for a post-operative athlete.
  5. Mind Management – The mind of an inactive athlete in pain is not pretty. Having mental projects to solve, books to read, game plans to write,…etc. are all beneficial tools to help to stimulate an athlete’s brain during the long boring days immediately following a surgery.
  6. Written Physical Goals – Writing out the goals for the athlete before the surgery provides great focus and motivation for an athlete in pain who yearns for physical challenges.
  7. Fuel the Machine – Starting a week before the surgery, hydrating aggressively with good ol’ water while eating a balanced diet along with extra antioxidants will optimize your body’s ability to heal quickly.

This checklist proved to be a valuable tool for hundreds of professional athletes I’ve rehabilitated to help them “win today” as they rebuild their status as an elite athlete ASAP.  I know it will help me starting tomorrow.

I’m ready.  Let the healing begin!

MDR

 

 

Athletic Training Student Tips for Football Training Camps

For every athletic training student, this time of year is one of great excitement and stress.  Football training camps in the NFL and college are almost here.  Hundreds of student athletic trainers are preparing for the biggest career-altering opportunity of their lives.  Taking care of NFL and college football players is no easy task.

I spent four summers as a athletic training student so I know exactly what these young dream-filled men and women are going through. While earning my athletic training and physical therapy degrees at Central Connecticut State University and UConn respectively, I worked one football training camp at Columbia University and three training camps for my mentor Ronnie Barnes with the New York Giants.  Every one of those long days taught me valuable professional lessons.  The camps opened the door to pursue my childhood dream of a career as an athletic trainer in the NFL.

I want to help every football training camp athletic training intern to succeed during their upcoming camp this summer.  To do so, I went to the top of the athletic training food chain.

I surveyed all 32 NFL head athletic trainers and 12 top college football athletic trainers with one simple question:

“What is the one trait or skill you view as most valuable for your best athletic training intern?”

Dear Athletic Training Student, Here’s what your new bosses are looking for:

Work Ethics – This was by far the #1 most valued trait. Athletic training students are the workhorses for athletic training departments at every level. If you truly want a career in athletic training, NOW is the time to prove it.  It’s time to work hard, work fast and work long….7 days per week.

Passion – The “head guys” want people around them who are truly passionate about their daily tasks, their careers and their lives.  They don’t want you to just put on a happy face.  Training camp passion is much deeper.  Full-time athletic trainers want their interns to have positive energy and excitement about being exactly where they are right now!

Strong Listening Skills – Master the ability to hear directions from the staff the first time you’re told and to be disciplined enough to do your job with accuracy.

Strong Knowledge of Anatomy – As I always told my assistants and interns: “It all comes down to anatomy.” Having a strong understanding of human anatomy makes you a better taper, evaluator, rehabber, strength coach, athlete and communicator.

Hands-on Skills – Helping with massages, joint mobs, flexibility techniques and manual therapy will quickly showcase your value to both the medical staff and the players themselves.

Attitude of Gratitude – Being grateful for the opportunity to work with elite athletes in a high-intensity work setting is a gift.  Grateful souls always appreciate those rare blessings.

Endurance – Being lively during the first few days of camp is easy. Your boss is looking for a rock star student athletic trainer who will be strong, focused and energetic in weeks 2, 3 & 4 when everyone else is tired, irritable and sore.

An Interest to Learn & Grow – Do you want to be a full-time athletic trainer in college or the NFL? If so, embrace your training camp role, no matter how basic the tasks may be.  Show a sincere willingness to learn about the profession and grow as a valuable member of your staff.  Be a learning sponge!

Focused – “The intern that can work without being distracted is the intern I want.” is a quote from an NFL head athletic trainer.

Skills to Be Left at Home

These were traits/skills none of the top athletic trainers saw in their top students….the very same students they look to when hiring assistant athletic trainers in the future.  Therefore, smart athletic training interns will avoid these common mistakes.

Social Media – “..they are not here to post, tweet, Instagram or Snapchat… you are here to work and make an impression that could change your career and life as an athletic trainer.”

Cell Phone Lovers – Leave your cell phones in your hotel/dorm room.  Your sweetheart, BFF, FaceBook and email can wait until 11 PM for an update.

Self-pity – With 90+ athletes to worry about, the medical staff can’t be concerned with your sore feet or tape cuts. How you handle yourself during the next 4-5 weeks working this very challenging camp will show your boss and assistants if you’re just looking for a cool summer job or the start of a long-term exciting career.

Closing Message to Athletic Training Interns

Training camp won’t be easy for you, the medical staff, the players or the coaches; nor should it be.  Training camp is a weeding-out process for anyone not willing to outwork and outperform others vying for a limited number of roles with their football team.  Training camp is an opportunity to find out who really wants to be there.

This August is your training camp. If you’re willing to work hard and apply the above priceless advice from leaders in the world of athletic training, this training camp may prove to be your launch pad for the career of your dreams!

Cold Truth About Ice Therapy

To convince my patients, fellow #SpartanRace athletes and friend that ice therapy works, I simply tell them: “Ice is your best friend”!

Ice is cheap, easy to use, mobile, effective and, most importantly, ice therapy works!  Its time we all stop complaining how “ice hurts” and “it makes me stiff”.  Sure it hurts and it requires some warmup after the 10-15 minutes of ice treatment.  But if ice therapy works, isn’t 4 minutes of discomfort (that’s how long it usually takes for the area of treatment to go numb) a mild sacrifice to feel better?

Smart athletes put pain medicine down and pick up ice to manage their pain.  Follow their lead.

As a Sports Medicine Expert for Spartan Race, I write posts for fellow Spartan racers and SGX coaches related to important sports medicine topics.  Recent posts include topics such as wrist injuries, injury prevention, rehabbing an ankle injury, injury management, and resolving low back pain.

Here’s a link to a recent post I wrote on Spartan.com to keep you “In the Game”!

Click Here For:  THE COLD TRUTH ABOUT ICE THERAPY

Keeping you healthy, happy and a helluva lot easier to live with, Mike