How Can I Help You?

“How Can I Help You?

What Are Your Sports Medicine Questions?

These five simple words can be the difference between someone living a life of pain and limitations compared to a energetic life with great health.

Medical issues can be confusing and intimidating.  I’m entering my 24th year as a certified athletic trainer/physical therapist in the NFL and I have moments when this big medical world is confusing.  So no need to feel isolated, you’re not alone with your unanswered questions.

I’ve been getting amazing emails from Mike Ryan Fitness readers with great questions about sports injuries, tips on enhancing their recovery, injury prevention, knee strengthening tips, what was wrong with me volunteering to Run with the Bulls in Spain, tips on recovering after a surgery,…etc.

Commenting after my Sports Medicine Blog is always a great way to ask me a question while helping others who may have the exact same question.

Now it’s your turn.  What sports medicine questions do you have for me?  Let ’em fly and let me help you get back on the field where you really want to be.


Author: Mike Ryan

After 26 seasons as a full-time certified athletic trainer and registered physical therapist in the National Football League, Mike Ryan has outstanding first-hand experience. His unique professional and athletic background has sharpened his skills in the arts of sports injury management, elite rehabilitation, performance enhancement and injury prevention. Mike is now taking his experience to mainstream America. His mission is simple: Sports Medicine advice that is easy to use and brings fast results. Learn more about Mike Ryan

5 thoughts on “How Can I Help You?”

  1. Mike,
    I have been struggling in the past few weeks with plantar fasciitis. I have increased my running mileage in preparation for an upcoming marathon, and now my foot is talking back to me! I’ve tried a few different things for relief including icing, stretching, anti-inflammatories and (some) rest, but it is still painful. Do you have any other suggestions? Thank you very much.

    Colleen

    1. Hey Colleen,
      Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a common injury for runners and it’s a painful injury, as you know. I’ve had a few rounds with it and it forced me to experiment with new ways to treat it FAST. The Good News: I know its weaknesses and I can decrease your pain by 75% in one (1) week!
      Trust me on this one and because “this is going to hurt…”
      Here’s the plan:
      1. Warm up your foot in a hot bath or a 15 minute bike.
      2. With you laying on your injured side on a treatment table or bed, ask a physical therapist or trusted friend to put a pillow on your shin, sit on your leg and hold your painful foot at a 90 degree angle or in the “neutral position”.
      3. This is the tough part….Tell, don’t ask, your trusted friend to perform an aggressive 3 minute Transverse Friction Massage (TFM) to your sore heel while ignoring your verbal onslaught. This TFM is performed, as the name describes, transverse or perpendicular to the arch or across the front of your painful heel with his/her index finger and thumb. They need to have strong fingers, bad hearing and a sincere interest in helping you no matter how badly it hurts.
      4. There’s no other way to say it other than it will be very painful. The objective of the foot treatment is to breakup the massive amounts of scar tissue that has randomly built up across the base of the heel where the plantar fasciitis originates.
      5. Immediately following the torture session, Ice massage the entire arch (here’s the key) while holding the foot and toes in a stretched position up towards the shin for 15 minutes. This important because icing the now-mobile scar tissue in an elongated position will significantly decrease the pain from the plantar fasciitis.
      6. Be consistent with performing a daily TFM, calf stretching, ice massaging in the position noted above, avoid running, stay in padded shoes, and sleep in any type of an AFO or night splint to help maintain the stretching of the arch for 3-5 days in a row. The good news: The TFM get much less painful every time that you do it.

      This sounds extreme but if you’ve made the acquaintance of PF, you know that he’s an extremely painful workout partner! I hope you feel great soon, Colleen. Please provide our readers with your feedback on this advice and share your experience in your big marathon.
      With Healthy Regards, Mike

  2. Hi Mike,
    Now I understand why you recommend the teeth-gritting pain of the 3 minute Transverse Friction Massage to treat PF, since that made the pain of the 26.2 mile marathon seem very minor in comparison! I’m happy to report that even though the pain of the TFM was off the charts, it was just the ticket to start my healing process. Once I followed your advice on the TFM, immediately followed by the icing, calf stretching and using padded shoes leading up to the race, my pain was significantly better! I believe if I had seeked your advice sooner, I may have been close to pain-free by the start of the race. I’m thrilled that that the techniques you recommended enabled me to get to both the starting line AND the finish line of the historic Boston Marathon. The good news is I’ve already qualified for the race next year, but the bad news is I’ve already qualified for the race next year! I plan to adhere to your advice during my future training and I am extremely grateful for your awesome advice. THANK YOU!
    Colleen Clarson

  3. I’ve got what I think is tendonitis in my hamstring but I’m not sure. I recently broke my toe, which sidelined me for two weeks (little to no running), and upon returning to Ultimate frisbee Ive had pretty serious pain in the back on my knee. It generally doesn’t hurt while I’m running/warmed up, but the next day/that night its very stiff. I have no swelling or tenderness. After rolling out my upper lateral calf area about 2 inches below my knee I can bend it easier. I don’t get this pain and stiffness from regular running only when I play a sports that require me to juke and stop quickly. I tried taking a week off, but the pain returned. I’m icing it now, but im really not even sure where i should be icing or stretching? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

    1. Hi Dan,
      I understand your confusion. This is a fun one that I can help you resolve. Look down…below your knee. That toe Fx created a sort of “wheel alignment” problem. Bravo on the use of a roller, stay with that plan both above and below the knee. Start rolling and deep massaging your peroneal muscle & tendon on the lower outer calf all the way down to the side of your lateral foot. As your physical therapist to add traction and mobilization (mobs) to your ankle/arches to increase your ankle range of motion (ROM) especially dorsi flexion, which is the motion that brings the top of your foot towards your shin. Could you have a knee meniscal tear in the back of the knee? Sure but I think when you get your wheels more mobile and stronger while progressing back to change-of-direction movements in a slow to fast progression, this issue will be a thing of the past. PS – include some easy barefoot balance and running exercises and do all of the above for both sides. Enjoy…

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