“Its the Indian, not the arrow”

Assorted Arrows

I was recently flipping threw one of my GolfDigest magazines when I stumbled across the “What’s in My Bag” section. OK, I’ll admit it…I don’t enjoy reading about what clubs a player hits and how far he can hit them. The article did get me thinking again about the quote, “It’s the Indian, not the arrow” tho.

The clubs aren’t what make or break scores as much as you may want to think (or blame). Golf is more of a mental game than anything and if you’re going to think your clubs are holding you back, then your mind will allow that to happen. You will start to shank shots and push putts. If you just play loose and don’t worry about what’s in your bag, then you will play fine not even realizing how expensive or inexpensive your clubs are.

The first step to becoming a solid golfer is to perfect the basics. Buying $1,000+ in clubs isn’t going to instantly transform you into Dustin Johnson or Jordan Spieth. If that were the case, then if I switched bags with Cristie Kerr before we played a round…then I’d be the one earning 1.4 million a year.

OK, now back to the “It’s the Indian, not the arrow” quote…The saying has been frequently applied to sports equipment (such as golf, tennis, etc.). It all comes down to a individual’s ability to do the job and not relying on tools.

I have clients and people every month who ask me things like:

  • What are your thoughts on getting acupuncture?
  • What do you think about dry needling?
  • I see that you do Kinesio Taping, how come you’ve never taped me?
  • What do you think about Cryotherapy?
  • I could go on…

I understand what they are asking and then I tell them that it all comes down to the practitioner.

For example, I had someone come into my office the other day who was experiencing a great deal of neck pain and numbness in their entire arm (not even sure if “train wreck” quite described their condition).  The person explains to me how they have been to their chiropractor, “Deep Tissue” massage therapist, and have even seen a ‘doctor friend’ about their condition.  Since none of these have worked, they go on to say that they were ‘desperate‘ and then heard about me.  Is that really supposed to be a compliment to me???

As this person goes on to explain in detail how their “deep tissue gal” had “worked and worked and really dug into their nerve pain until it bruised him” I winced. When the person saw this, they asked…”so, you don’t believe in deep tissue massage?” Needless to say, this was NOT the time for me to break out my ‘soapbox’ and give my usual speech on chasing symptoms.

I responded, “Not exactly, its more the Indian and not the arrow” that bothers me. It’s all about how someone uses tools that makes the difference in the outcome.

I’m glad to report that this person left my office that day without pain or numbness. Their last comment to me was “You never went after the pain or my nerve today.  You addressed other areas in my body and then pain and numbness just went away. How did you do this?”

I answered…“it’s the Indian, not the arrow” and smiled.

Indian quote.png

We have all been there.  Golf is a frustrating game.  As you’ve probably been told before, a great Pro can help you develop your game. You are the Indian, clubs are your arrows, and your Pro is the Chief.  A great Pro can analyze your swing in a few minutes and then set up a sequence of lessons to improve your game.

In my experience…lessons are money well spent, especially if you find the right Pro.

Golfball pumpkin

Cheers and Happy Halloween!

drock

 

 

Form and Function: Two sides of the Same Coin

As I reflect upon my trip to Las Vegas NBA Summer League 2017, I was astounded at how this event has changed. ESPN broadcasting games, media coverage on the Internet, and the entire game schedule has been changed so that the games do not conflict with other games. The event is so much more organized and operates like a well-greased machine now.

Two side coin

All this change got me thinking about “Form and Function” and how the body is merely the sum of it’s individual parts. I say this because I worked on some of the most incredibly fit men’s basketball players and still found asymmetries even in their elite bodies.

Now you may ask, how can issues in tissues happen to athletes at a professional level? It’s because their nervous systems are no different than anyone else’s. Our brains and nervous systems all work the same way. Whether in their practices, strength and conditioning workouts, or games, professional athletes bodies are stressed in what they do. It’s this same body stress that takes a toll on even the most extremely fit athletes.

Over time, their brains figure out body movement compensations too. Its called the ‘Path of Least Resistance” referred to as Motor Learning Efficiency within the brain. Either way, this all boils down the way our brains figure out how to ‘cheat’ in body movement. It doesn’t just happen to you, it happens within everyone’s body. No exceptions.

Simply put, our brains actually don’t want to do much work.

When you go to pick something up or move something your brain says to itself, “Self…let’s use every joint and every muscle that can help get this task done. Let’s not stress any one particular thing in the body. Instead, let’s spread the task out throughout the body so no one muscle has to work very hard to do this job. “ And while your brain is processing this information, it’s even trying to figure out if there’s any way it can make this even easier to do…such as utilizing momentum. “Yeah, this makes it even easier to do!”

For example, your trying to strengthen your biceps and you are doing dumbbell curls for this.   You pick up some dumbbells that are a little heavier than your biceps can actually lift (after all more is better, right?). Plus, those bigger numbers on the end of those dumbbells really make you look really impressive at the gym!

Now, when you go to execute that bicep curl with this extra weight that your biceps are not capable of lifting, your brain has already realized this factoid before you. Your brain starts to figure out ways to get the curls done despite the fact that this is just a “little too heavy” for you. Your brain then begins to “cheat” by adding some momentum to your bicep curl in order to lift the dumbbell. Now instead of a bicep curl, you’re doing more of a “clean and curl” movement by incorporating a little momentum…get my drift?

Newton's Law of physics

Well, here’s the difference. If you do bicep curls in a somewhat slower robotic fashion you are better isolating the muscles that you want to strengthen. If your biceps can only lift a certain amount of weight and you try to lift more than you actually can (bigger numbers make you ‘feel’ like your making faster progress too), your brain is going to use other muscles to get this bicep curl done. Understand?

When your brain turns that bicep curl into a “clean and curl” movement, then some other muscles are making up the difference in the added weight. If you can only curl 20 lbs. and you add another 5 or 10 lbs., then your biceps are not going to be lifting these additional lbs. Not only that, but because your brain has now added momentum to get the job done, you’re probably not even lifting 20 lbs. with your biceps now. There’s no way to know for sure once momentum is added into the movement.

Why do you see everyone doing this in the gym? Well it’s because we have this crazy mindset that ONE: “More is Better” (instead of realizing slower curls with better form is really better). TWO: “Everyone else doing it this way, so it can’t be wrong”. In reality….it’s WAY harder to keep our brains from cheating.

Our brains are figuring out ways to do things easier and with less effort all the time. Our brains prefer NOT to work so hard and do so in everything we do in life by dispersing the load. By reducing effort and adding in momentum, your brain gets the task accomplished and you “feel” like your making great progress-WOW, I’m lifting bigger dumbbells!

Everyone’s brains work the same way…even in elite athletes. Matter of fact, their brains are some of the best cheaters I’ve ever seen when it comes to compensations. They don’t do this on purpose. It’s just that their bodies are so highly developed that their brains have so many options when it comes to dispersing the loads in their bodies. This is why professional teams training centers now use biomechanical screening software to detect asymmetries within their athletes.

AND it is why performance therapists are becoming so valuable to professional teams these days. We have the ability to quickly assess these asymmetries without the use of a camera and software hook up on a player. We have the ability to correct asymmetries within athletes so they can train harder, longer and recover faster. Together with Strength and Conditioning Coaches, PT’s and other medical staff we help reduce injuries and keep players playing WAY longer than ever before.

LIam Neeson speech in "Taken"

We are more the Liam Neesons of sports performance enhancement. We “have a very particular set of skills. Skills we have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make us a nightmare for” ….asymmetries within the body.  Yep, we are NOT your average therapists.

Cheers, drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports  performance?  Then follow Dianne on her blog  https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Athletic Performance Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practitioner. She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

 

 

Fall From Grace: After Surgery or Injury

Daily Life Activities (such as texting, sitting, walking on hard surfaces, etc.) in our modern world is undermining, if not eroding everyone’s ability to maintain biomechanical integrity and correct joint and tissue function in body movement. In short, our modern lives are beating our bodies up every day. Now…to add to this situation, you’ve just had surgery or are recovering from a trauma to your body tissue.

Replacing bed rest is the concept of “early mobilization” or “active rehabilitation.” The idea is to get you moving as soon as possible — short of actually reinjuring you. A great deal of science-based evidence suggests that stimulation of movement, especially in the early stages of healing, is a big component to recovery from injuries and surgeries.

Marathon cartoon

I AGREE with this philosophy. However, sometimes an active rehabilitation or training after a surgery or injury can be can be a bit “TOO ACTIVE.” I routinely see clients who find that their rehab therapy after surgery or trauma didn’t seem to work. They’d been educated that they could exercise their bodies back to health and so they relentlessly challenged their muscles at every turn only to find that it made them WORSE.

What many people are not also made aware of is that long before breaking under a strain, tissue often gets “sick” — because of a failure to keep up with maintenance and repair to match the strains of daily life.  Once this happens within the body, the tissue loses it’s ability to tolerate even minor stresses.   Regular activities that used to be just easy to perform are suddenly now a problem.

I see many people in this predicament.  They have suffered years of chronic pain simply because they never recovered adequately. (They may believe that they have, but “taking it easy” for a few days or a couple weeks is really not actually enough sometimes). Then, they wonder why they continue to have pain and discomfort.

Newsflash: Your body will most certainly go to pot if you do not allow it to heal.

A balance needs to be struck when it comes to recovery. On the one hand, it’s clear that early mobilization and general activity is valuable. On the other hand, it’s just as clear that you can aggravate and even re-injure yourself by trying to do too much, too soon. If you feel that your PT or doctor is pushing you too hard, there’s a good chance that they are.

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 1.59.09 PM.png

 

I say this because I had two very different clients (one man and one woman) bring me a copy of their at home rehab sheets. Their theraband workouts were exactly THE SAME. Yes, they both were recovering from shoulder surgery but their individual abilities and muscle contraction integrity were entirely different because they were two different people. The woman was seeing me wondering why her shoulder had frozen after her physical therapy and the man who made a full recovery and was seeing me for maintenance for his post surgery.

I explained to my female client that her “active rehab” program was TOO active and actually re-shaped her body for the worst, and that at times lessened her body’s ability to function properly. Thankfully, I was able to address this issue for her and unfreeze her shoulder. My client learned the hard way that re-injury and collateral injuries are a REAL risks and this is why she is on a regular maintenance program with me now.

2nd and LAST Newsflash: People get hurt trying to get over being hurt all the time.

Keep this in mind…Cheers,  drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports  performance?  Then follow Dianne on her blog  https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Athletic Performance Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human Performance: When It Becomes Game of Dominoes

Dominoes Falling

Have you ever felt that your fitness or rehab program isn’t producing the results you had hoped for or that you’re not progressing as well as you should be? You do everything that your coach, physical therapist or personal trainer is telling you to do, yet you’re making very little progress or even worse…you feel more pain or are weaker than before you started your program.

Well, you are not alone.

It’s all about figuring out a person’s correct progression. In a previous blog, I mentioned that if you are unstable and are training on a Bosu ball for stability, then the end result is just more instability. Why does this happen? Well, its because you started with the end goal. You started with the toughest thing to do in stability training. It’s as if you were training to get better at bench pressing and you could only successfully bench press 150 llbs. Then, in your first session your trainer puts 300 lbs. (your goal weight) on the bar and says, “Bench press this. You’ll get to where you can do it.” Well, that’s the same kind of poor progression that happens when you start with standing one legged on a Bosu Ball.

Bosu Ball Stand

You had to learn to crawl before you learned to walk didn’t you? Yes. That’s the point I’m making here – proper progressions. You don’t start with the hardest thing to do. Instead, you start with what you can do and then increase the challenges from there. THAT is how you reach your goals successfully.

For example, I had one of my athletes come in and complain to me of knee pain. When I asked him if he had been doing anything different lately in his training, he replied, “Yeah, we’re doing stability training this week.” When I asked him what exactly he was doing in stability training, he replied, “we’re standing on one leg on Bosu balls” (Now, you can just imagine what I was thinking).  With athletes who are continually pushing their bodies to their limits,  training like this before assessing if their muscles can handle the stress load is reckless!

A prerequisite to any training or rehab is having all of the needed muscles functioning with a degree of integrity. In other words, your body can’t use something that is not available. The brain cannot build solutions to the challenges you give it with contractions that don’t exist or muscles that cannot handle the load being placed upon them to get the job done. When you train or rehab and put demands upon your muscles that are not capable of at that particular time, then your end result is compensation. When compensation occurs, the overworked, tight muscles and inflamed joints are being subjected to the same exercise as the weak underused joints.

Unfortunately, when these changes go uncorrected or undetected, compensations and their associated movement dysfunctions can and will eventually disrupt human body movement. Even slight changes can increase injury risk and damage the body (even if the individual is unaware) and it can happen to anyone…even elite athletes.

With human movement, various patterns of compensation and their associated movement dysfunctions could be limiting your progress. Most compensation patterns are very subtle. Over time, they grow into larger scaled compensations. This ‘domino effect’ is harmful to a person’s biomechanical integrity and overall quality of movement.

Here’s a list of common Patterns of Compensation and Movement Dysfunctions:

Pronation Distortion Syndrome
Valgus Knee
Patellofemoral Tracking Syndrome
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
IT Band Syndrome
Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Lower Cross Syndrome
Sway Back – Excessive Lordosis
Upper Cross Syndrome
Rounded Shoulders
Excessive Kyphosis
Forward Head Posture
Shoulder Impingement
Winged Scapula
Elevated Shoulders
Uneven Shoulders

Tight Quads or Hamstrings

Any of these sound familiar to you?

The solution is to recognize the dysfunction in your body, not mask it with purchasing another “copper fit” or some sort other kind of compression gimmick. Instead, find a qualified performance therapist or qualified strength and conditioning coach and invest in your health. It’s way better in the long run and cheaper too than ending up on a surgeon’s table.

golf-tennis-strap

Can you imagine what happens to your body after surgery or an injury? You guessed it…the topic of my NEXT Blog!

Cheers, Drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Athletic Performance Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

 

Kinesthetic Sense and Symmetry: “Use the Force Luke”

Jedi training

Ahhhh…the classic movie (and one of my faves), “Star Wars,” features a scene in which a blindfolded young Luke Skywalker attempts to use a lightsaber to deflect energy bolts from a floating drone. This scene is a Jedi training exercise supervised by the wise Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan calmly instructs Luke to “trust the Force.” Luke attempts to feel the energy bolts before they strike, but Luke gets zapped frequently in his lesson.

As Obi-Wan repeatedly presses Luke to “…trust the Force,” Luke eventually manages to successfully deflect a few of the energy blasts. THIS is an important step for Luke: In order for a Jedi to exercise their powers, they must be able to feel the Force and trust it. If they can’t trust the Force, all their tricks collapse like a cheap special effect.

In my previous blog entry, I gave a similar example using Klay Thompson’s video appearance on John Brenkus’ show, Sports Science. This episode featured how our brain and nervous system is involved in every body movement we make. He made 8 out of 10 3 point shots in the dark.  Relying only on his Kinesthetic Sense.  That’s exactly what “kinesthetic sense” is. It’s our brain’s ability to sense movement , sense of tension and sense of muscle effort.

OK, so what’s the big deal about “Symmetry” then?  Well, with the return to Symmetry (or proper body alignment) our kinesthetic sense improves and increases. Tadah!!!!

When clients start therapy sessions with me (especially if they haven’t done anything like performance therapy before), their kinesthetic sense is often blunted or gone slightly numb. They don’t know where their weight is when they stand. They can’t see or feel that one shoulder or hip is higher than the other. They can’t tell what muscles they are using to do what. Their bodies may have even become desensitized globs down there below their heads. Kind of reminds you of this scene from “A Christmas Story” (yes, another of my faves!). You can’t really “feel” your body through the layers.

Christmas Story Coat scene.png

And just because you play sports or exercise regularly doesn’t necessarily me you are immune from this. Most of us don’t want to hear this, but many people put their bodies through their paces without being totally conscience of them. As I said in a previous blog…training on a Bosu ball for stability when your muscles are unstable, only results in more instability.

Part of improving your kinesthetic sense is recognizing the process. So rather than blaming anything you can’t do on an inherent deficiency or getting older, simply tell yourself that certain muscles are weak, certain areas are tight and that when you correct these things, you will be able to do it.

The truth is that there are NO quick fixes or short cuts to improving performance and symmetry (or to anything else worthwhile, for that matter). It’s human nature to look for the quickest, easiest way to get what we want. We tend to look for the one size fits all solution to our problems that will “Fix Us” and make everything all right in one shot.

If we recognize THAT, maybe you’d save a lot of time, reduce pain, prevent injuries and save money in the long run.

Use the Force Luke

No, it’s not easy and you won’t experience the immediate feedback of being able to block blaster bolts while blindfolded. Far too many people give up tho, dooming their bodies to under performance. If you can succeed, though, the performance of your body and your quality of body movement will increase dramatically!

Cheers and May the Force be with you,

drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Athletic Performance Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

Does Movement Quality Really Matter?

As a follow-up to my last blog…YES! Quality movement matters and is being weighed heavily on by experts in professional sports to help predict injury risks and to help prevent injuries in athletes. Being able to identify movement dysfunctions as it relates to player biomechanical screenings in the draft process was also big topic at this year’s NBSCA Educational Conference in Chicago.

Last year, in the NBA alone, player injuries cost teams $400 million dollars. This was $400 million in salaries paid to players during time they were unable to play basketball. It doesn’t even begin to cover other losses a team might incur when an athlete is unable to play due to injuries. Can you imagine the revenues deficit the Cavs experienced after their loss in the 2015 Championship? It goes way beyond player’s salaries…Loss in profits from apparel/merchandise sales, tickets sales, advertising and sponsorships, etc.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 5.34.29 PM.png

This year’s conference focus was on strategies for optimizing movement quality and injury prevention.  So, how can these “injury risks” be identified in athletes? Through player biomechanical screenings and you can bet every player being drafted by an NBA team this year will go through one. The Single Leg Squat (SLS) is a movement used to identify dysfunctional movement patterns and asymmetries.

SLS test

Fundamentally, the SLS motion measures stability and control during different movement phases (triple flexion and triple extension). Movement predominently takes place in the sagittal plane. However, coronal and transverse planar movement in this motion can be used to identify movement dysfunction. The control and stability of the movement provides useful information. For example, measuring the frequency and amplitude of COM osilations over the duration of a squat can provide information about the subtle fluctuations in stability throughout the movement. Both higher frequency and higher amplitude of oscilations could indicate compromised control under load. Thus, the athlete might be limited in stabilizing and attenuating ground reaction forces demanding maneuvers in sports (changing directions, landing and pivoting).

Quality movement requires efficient gathering and processing of sensory information by mechanoreceptors in the body to the brain. If you read any of my previous blog entries, then you know how important the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems are in movement. Here’s a very cool explanation why they are all important in athletic performance. John Brenkus and Sports Science ROCKS!

Check out this episode on Klay Thompson:

Klay Thompson

Nuf said…Cheers,

Drock

Player Health: How Injuries Affect the Team

In 2015, without a doubt player injuries were an influencing factor in the NBA playoffs and a lot of Cavs fans were left wondering “what if’’s?” What if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were injury free? Would the Cavs have been the NBA champions? The answer is that we will never know.

As I take a look at today’s NBA injury report, it remains to be seen if J.R. Smiths injury will have an impact on his team for the remainder of the Cavs/Pacers series. Right now, Golden State appears to be the team with the most player injuries in their series with Portland. The fact is…there are 12 of the 16 NBA teams in the playoffs who have injured players. Many of which, are listed as “Day to Day” for their status.

canstockphoto3657311

In sports, injury prevention is paramount to both player and a team’s success. More and more professional sports teams are utilizing biomechanical screening assessment tools in their training facilities to assist them in efforts to achieve this goal. The results gathered from movement capture screenings allow teams identify risk factors in a proficient way. The objective of testing is to identify potential injury risks early and to resolve issues before a player can become injured.

I just got back from working the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) where I was the tournament’s sports therapist. My job? Help keep players’ bodies together so they can perform their best in the event. You can imagine just HOW busy and popular “Miss Dianne” quickly became at PIT.

2 Game

Imagine finishing a tough college season, and then having to play against the best seniors in the country in an All-Star tournament. To make competition more intense, 5 players from this tournament will be sent to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. Considering that this year’s NBA draft combine is not scheduled to have any college seniors in it, PIT is a last chance for some of these guys to have a shot at the NBA. (No pressure there!)

During PIT, I had the pleasure of working along side a biomechanical screening assessment company called Kitman Labs. I was thrilled to see the amazing “Before” and “After” results of my players right after they got off my table! The guys at Kitman Labs are processing reports now for the NBA teams and will be sending me my data results as well. I’ll share my results on a blog entry soon!PIT CollageNow that I’m back in Texas…I’m looking forward to seeing many of my players again for a “tune-up” in my office in San Antonio during their NBA team visits!

Cheers and Good Luck Guys,

“Miss Dianne”

Pain….the “Fifth Vital Sign”

Leg pain

All of you who like getting injured, please raise your hands.

Right. No one does.

If you’re an athlete, then you’re always on the edge of getting hurt. Life beats us up and because you play sports it comes with the territory. So unless you have a big “S” on your blue undershirt right now, then you need to read this blog entry.

So why do most people wait so long before doing something about their discomfort and pain? I suspect it’s because most people think of pain as “bad” or “abnormal”. I’ve had clients tell me that they expect to never hurt; that they should be able to do whatever they want and never have an ache or pain.

Our conversation usually goes something like this…

Client: “All I was doing was tossing my laptop case into the back seat of my car the other day and –wham! – I guess that did something to my back and now, my back won’t stop hurting”

Me: “I see. And when did all this happen? When did you toss your bag?”

Client: “Well, I guess it happened about 3 or 4 months ago…it’s used to only bother me a little bit, but now the pain is all the time. Who would have thought that something so simple as tossing a laptop case could throw your back out, huh?”

Me: “Yes, but that’s not really the case here. Actually, tossing your bag is more like the straw that broke the camel’s back”

Client: “So, you’re saying that my tossing the bag had nothing to do with it? I never had this pain until I did that.”

Me: “Yes, let me explain.”

And at this point in the conversation, I explain how the paradigm has shifted – that some movement limitations and discomforts are not OK. More is not OK. Not doom and gloom. Just that we all need to be more proactive when it comes to taking care of our bodies and noticing when our “check engine” lights are flickering on the dashboard (my clients all know my auto comparisons well).

Pain is sometimes referred to as the fifth vital sign. Vital signs – blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature – are indicators of your body’s function. But, they have to be interpreted within a certain context and not ignored.

For example, if I take your heart rate and it’s 135 beats per minute (BPM), without knowing why your heart rate might be that high, I could arrive at a false conclusion. If you said that you had just run up three flights of stairs, then a heart rate of 135BPM seems reasonable. If however, you had just walked in to my office and your resting heart rate was 135 BPM, I would be much more concerned.

Pain requires the same kind of interpretation. And the general rule is this (and I’m speaking of musculoskeletal aches and pains): if the pain alters your ability to function, then you should stop the activity and monitor your symptoms closely for 48-72 hours. If the symptoms are still present and your function is still compromised, it’s time to get help.

Runner lacing

Let’s look at two scenarios…You go for a run and notice some pain in your knee afterward. It’s mild but something you’ve not had before. You can walk fine, get up and down from a chair, and climb stairs okay. But, you’re wondering if you should run or not; should you ice the area? Take Advil?

Instead of ice or Advil, you decide to wait and watch. The next day, you feel okay but choose not to run for a few more days. You go out after four days of not running, and complete your usual 3 mile run. To your surprise, you feel great. And this continues through the next day and the next day, you still feel fine every time you run. No more pain or discomfort when you run.

Contrast with a slightly different scenario…You go out for a run, notice knee pain afterward and just shrug it off as “over doing it”. You have a run scheduled with a friend the next day and are determined to do it. After all, you feel fine now walking around, going up and down stairs.

The next morning, you meet your friend and take off together for a 3 mile run. Then 10 minutes into the run, you notice that your knee hurts again. And by the end of the run, you notice it even hurts a little to walk. But, by the time you get home, walking is okay.

So, the next day you go out for a run and now you hurt almost as soon as you start running. And you have to stop. And walking hurts. And stairs hurt. Get my drift???

Two different outcomes from two different choices here.

So, in your enthusiasm to get healthy and fit this 2017, when you go full tilt and hurt some joint or muscle or tendon…think wisely before you choose to keep going anyway.  It’s at that moment in your choice to keep going and to “tough it out” that your problems will begin to escalate.

The truth is, at some point in your life, you going to experience pain.  Like I stated earlier….Life beats us daily.  When you play sports, then it comes with the territory. When you do have pain, look at it as a “check engine” light coming on in your car. Then ask yourself, should I REALLY be ignoring this?

Cheers, drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance?            Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

 

Let’s Talk about ‘Tech’ Baby! (yes, I like Salt-N-Pepa)

200 years from now, people are going to look back and say; “Can you believe what people used to do when computers first came out? They’d sit hunched forward over their desks for 8-10 hours a day! Didn’t they realize what they were doing to their bodies?” They’ll probably even comment about how people used to text on their phones and iPads too.

Person at desk

Did you know that just fifteen minutes reading or typing when using the wrong positions exhausts the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back? Often, poor posture develops because of accidents or falls. But bad posture can also develop from environmental factors or bad habits.

text stress

In fact, most people have no idea what they are doing to their bodies. We are the computer user “guinea pigs”. We are the first generation of people to use these types of technology. Research is showing an entirely new type of damage to muscles, tendons, and joints from prolonged micro-movements inherent in computer and electronic device use. These issues were unheard of 50 years ago.

What is even scarier is that it’s profound negative health effects are showing up in young children. I’m seeing younger and younger kids in my practice that have neck and back pain.  If you think I’m exagerating, just take a look around you next time you are at the mall, restaurant or picking your children up from school and you’ll see them anchored to their electronic devices.  Good posture is more important to health than most of us realize.

7 Easy Tips on how you can improve posture at work …

  1. Sit Properly. When you do, it recreates the natural curve on your lower back.
  2. Bring arms back into alignment. Don’t’ reach forward!
  3. Set-up your work station properly. Drop your shoulders!
  4. Move Your Body and walk around every hour. If you don’t use it, you lose it!
  5. Give your your eyes a break. Focus on a distant object & don’t forget to blink,
  6. Hydrate. If you’re thirsty…guess what? You’re already dehydrated!
  7. Spend time outdoors. Minimum of 3 hours per week.

Our environments have changed, but we as human beings have not. Today’s office and home surroundings continuously “bath” us in un-natural energetic environments. Many people today spend most of their lives indoors, surrounded by electric and magnetic signals-barely setting foot on the earth. We still need nature to function optimally.

There is NO replacement for time spent outdoors. Almost everyone has a place where they can go to absorb nature’s energy. It’s might be a walk around the block or maybe you have to make an effort to get there. Either way, it’s worth it! Experience the earth, walk on the ground and feel the diverse terrain under your feet, breathe in the fresh air and hopefully feel the wind or sun on your face.

Muscles need “force” to stay healthy. Even NASA did a study on how our bodies adapt to the environment around us. Little over a year ago, NASA embarked on experiment and discovered that their astronauts lose on average 1.5 percent of their bone mass per month in space.  An identical twin (Scott Kelly) spent a year there and upon his return, Scott had to be carried off via a stretcher because his muscles could handle the weight of his body. Click here for the article:

Scott Kelly Space Twin

Which inspires me for another blog…Do you think NASA told Scott Kelly to Suck it up buttercup and go take lap around the building when he got back from space to get his muscles stronger? I doubt it.

…I think I’m getting up from my desk now and going to go outside and enjoy a little sunshine!

Cheers, D-Rock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

“Get a Leg Up” on Injury Prevention

get-a-lg-up

Many  injuries occur in our bodies because of muscle imbalances, weakness or instability in other areas of the body. For instance, if your glutes lack strength, then your knee is  more susceptible to collapsing inward, which in turn then puts stress on your ACL. If you lack ankle stability, then this lack of strength can cause instability and migrates up the chain as pain in your knee.

In short, there are two types of knee injuries can occur.   Contact and non-contact injuries. Contact injuries for the most part can’t be avoided. There’s nothing you can do if someone happens to roll into the side of your leg during a game. However, many knee injuries occur from simply landing from a jump, decelerating or changing direction. These types of injuries CAN be prevented.

I wrote a previous Blog Entry on our body’s healing cycles (if you haven’t read it, its worth scrolling back on my blog to read).  It helps you understand why some injuries can take up to 9 months to recover from because they need time to heal.  The reason this is so complex is that you need to restore mobility, stability, function, rebuild muscle tissue and restore coordination. Sometimes the process can be long and hard. Even worse, returning to play can take even longer mentally because you might not have confidence  in that joint that you did before the injury.

Its not all bad though. There are a lot of great injury prevention exercises you can do that don’t require a gym and can be done easily at home.  The following four great exercises are frequently used in rehab, but they can also be used post-rehab to continue improving your strength, stability and mobility. The key  to these is to do each exercise slowly, so that you really isolate the muscles and really make them work.  Speed capitalizes on the tendency of a weight in motion to stay in motion.

As anyone in  involved physical activity or sport  knows, you can’t expect your body to operate in tip-top shape without a little preparation. There are a lot of wonderful stretches and exercises to help you pre-hab before catastrophe happens. My advice?  Pick a few from each common injury group (back, hip, knee, foot, etc.) to help stay out of the doctor’s office and “get a leg up on” staying healthy, strong, fit…and injury free!

Cheers, Drock

glute-bridge

Glute Bridges

  • Start lying on your back with knees bent.
  • Lift on leg off the floor and go up into a shoulder bridge peeling one vertebrae at a time.
  • keeping the leg out straight and thigh in line with other the thigh, lower yourself on the ground and lift yourself back up, peeling one vertebrae at a time.Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 2 x / day 

clamshells

Clamshells (can be done with or without band)

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent.
  • Tie elastic around your knees.
  • Lift your upper knee without moving your pelvis.
  • Lower your knee and repeat.Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 2 x / day

one-leg-squats

One Leg Squats (can add a resistance band to this one)

  • Stand on one leg
  • Lower your body by bending the knee.
  • Gently squeeze / activate the muscles in your buttock to keep the knee cap aligned with the 2nd toe.
  • Only bend to a 1/3 range.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.
  • NOTE: Keep your knee stable (avoid any lateral movements) during the exercise.Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 2 x / day

dont-shoots-photo

Don’t Shoots (This one only looks easy!)

  • Stand with your back flat up against a smooth surface like a wall or door.
  • Place your hands and elbows flat against the wall start with arms perpendicular to the floor. (make sure that there is NO SPACE between you and your body and wall)
  • Gently and slowly slide your elbows and hands up and then down the wall.
    DO NOT LET THE ELBOWS OR HANDS LEAVE THE WALL SURFACE.  Remember to do comfortably without removing arms and elbows from the wall.

Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 3 x / day
(Burning in the upper back muscles is common at first.)

 

dianne-rockefeller
Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.