ATHLETES

Athletes are a different breed of cat.

Excuse the length. I feel athletes and even my everyday patient responds better when they have an understanding of what we are trying to do.

We run and work out for many reasons including physical health, mental health, to lose weight and feel better about ourselves along with of course the love of competition.

Many run and compete for several or all of these reasons.

We all have several things in common. These include injuries such as “piriformis syndrome” (far too over diagnosed), IT band injuries, hip pain, hip flexor pain, achilles tendon issues, back issues and the list goes on and on.

We also have a similar cause, repetitive movement. We typically put our bodies through the same movement and postures thousands of times each year when we exercise and compete.

The movements are in the same planes. The body doesn’t like this and tells you all about it at some time.
It only makes sense that we would accumulate injuries.

 

So, how do these injuries occur?

The human body is quite amazing. It has many fee back loops to protect us from injury or heal injuries, either perceived or real.

When we perform an action such as running repetitively or remain in the same posture for extended periods of time, blood flow becomes compromised. The muscle and fascia becomes short and tight and compress on the capillaries which deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissue and removes wasted products such as lactic acid and carbon dioxide.

Several things happen once this process begins. The drop in blood flow leads to a drop in oxygen which creates free radicals (super oxygen) which attracts special cells, fibroblasts. These special cells lay down collagen (scar tissue) in a very random fashion.

Running and exercise creates movement, but always in the same plane of movement. Hydration as you know is extremely important, even more so when you understand the following physiological properties of the body.

We hydrate through fluids and some foods. These fluids must be delivered to the tissues or the tissues essentially change from a sirloin steak to a piece of beef jerky.

Movement and proper capillary function accomplishes this. Always going through the same movement planes creates the aforementioned scar tissue but also dehydrates the tissues. So, no matter how much you hydrate, it must still be delivered to the tissues.

Muscle and fascia (the white stuff in a roast) has a substance, hylauronic acid (HLA) which is like the oil in the cylinder of an engine. When we become dehydrated from previously mentioned causes, it turns to a gelatinous state. HLA’s job is to allow proper gliding and sliding of muscle, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascial over each other during movement. Tissues want to slide and glide over each other, not stretch. When this happens, you create inflammation, scar tissue and more of the same upstream causes to your pain.

While actual injuries require new collagen to heal damaged tissues, that is not the case here. After 2-4 weeks, the scar tissue begins to go through a contraction phase to pull damaged tissues together like the closing of a cut on your skin. However, this is not a normal injury and the bodies response is protective and typically overdone.

In this case, it simply creates a very big problem. The scar tissue does not align itself in the same plane as the tissues it attaches to. It is able to pull different muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia together. When this happens, these tissues can no longer act alone or properly. They lose their ability to slide and glide over each other. This creates more tension, more capillary compression, less oxygen, and I think you get the picture. It is a repetitive stress cycle that only worsens, causes your body to compensate to continue running and you accumulate the conditions mentioned above.

Essentially your tissues become like the sticky side of scotch tape instead of the slippery side trying to slide on each other. Again, this leads to more compression, oxygen depravation and inflammation.

 

So, what makes NCRC different regarding the assessment of your problem and it’s treatment?

First and most importantly, while we care where you hurt, often it is the last thing to be looked at. We care most “WHY” your hurt. What the upstream cause is to your downstream symptom.

The best method of care in the wrong place or wrong time is at best beneficial temporarily. The wrong method is always of little value.

A typical first visit will involve a 20-30 minute functional exam to assess how you move and why you move that way. This will lead us to WHY you hurt and what methods are needed to achieve success.

We utilize the FMS (functional movement screen) (www.functionalmovement.com) and SFMA (selective functional movement assessment) (www.sfma.com) along with the work of Stuart McGill (www.backfitpro.com), one of the leading authorities world wide on back pain and assessment.

However, once we find the “WHY” we will need gold standard methods of care to achieve success.

Nearly all health care facilities are methods driven. They have a favorite method or two of care and simply hope that is what you need.

This truly lowers outcomes because success is left up to chance.

We are principle driven. The body in all of it’s splendor functions from a perception and behavior neurological standpoint.

In other words, the body perceives information from internal (itself) and external forces and applies what it believes is the appropriate behavior, muscle contraction or relaxation.

We tap into your body using the screens and assessments to find WHY you hurt.

While we have the gold standards for methods including manipulation, active release technique (www.activerelease.com), graston (www.graston.com), corrective exercises based on your individual findings along with several passive therapies such as light therapy, ultrasound etc., it is all still based on your personal assessments.

All of these assessments, screens and methods are used at the Professional levels such as the NFL, NHL, Olympic training centers, high end performance centers and Division One programs. In other words, our screens, assessments and methods based on findings are used on the BEST by the BEST.

 

So, after an assessment to find YOUR upstream cause of YOUR downstream symptoms, what is next?

We treat you with the proper methods based on your screens, assessments and principles of how the body works.

It is very common to have a provider look up the treatment plan for IT band for example and simply use that on everyone with IT band. However, you are an individual and require individual care based on YOU and YOUR screens and assessments.

The body works based on a hierarchy of function.

The body needs mobility/movement first.

Then, it requires stability, both static and dynamic (your bodies ability to ward off outside forces and remain functional).

Next, we must make sure you have proper movement patterns during different functional tests and screens.

Movement occurs in the joints, but movement patterns occur in the brain.

After injuries and periods of compensation due to injuries, your engram of movement develops a virus in your movement software and this becomes your pattern. Not being original, it is inefficient and puts you at risk for more injuries based on continued compensations.

We must give you proper functional exercises to return you to your original operating systems movement patterns.

From here, we work on strength, endurance, power, coordination, balance etc.

Think of how many times when you have been injured, a provider gave you some stretches and other exercises for strength right away and you continues to have pain and dysfunction. Why was that? Think about what we have been talking about for a moment.

Loading improper patterns “locks in” a dysfunctional pattern, like hitting save on a word document before you spell check and the need to compensate continues.

So, if you are looking for a more complete experience to fix your injuries and increase your performance, give us a call.

We have jumped on the new wave of movement screening and assessments, you should too.

This IS the paradigm shift in the analysis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system.

Do what the best of the best are doing.

ALWAYS REMEMBER. MOVE WELL FIRST. THEN MOVE MORE.

It’s how the body works.