The most advance technology to improve sports performance? You already own it.

Looking for the most advance technology to improve your sports performance?  Then take a look in a mirror.  You already own it…it’s called your body.

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One of the best advertising slogans I have ever heard of is the Vibram’s Five Finger shoes slogan “You are the Technology”.  These words are so true.  No need for custom orthotics or the latest greatest shock absorbing athletic shoes.  Let your feet do the job they were designed to do.  For that matter, let your entire body do the job it was designed to do.

All joints are interrelated and if you take away or modify any vital function from one area in your body (like the collapsing of the arch when you walk or run) by using things like orthotic supports or super shock absorbing foot wear, then you are most likely interfering with the way your body is designed to work.

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We have more than 200 joints in our body and to flex or extend each of them would create 2200 different types of movement.  And every one of them is important and has a purpose.  Yes, it all goes back to the old “foot bone is connected to the leg bone” concept and how all “Dem Bones” (and muscles, ligaments and joints) are connected.

Your brain is going to get the task of walking accomplished one way or another.  It is going to get from Point A to Point B the most efficient way possible (using the least amount of energy). Even before any movement takes place, your brain is already involved in the movement decision making process.  It has addressed questions like “What do my surroundings look like around me? What’s my target? What’s the task needed? How do I accomplish this task?  How does this look and feel?  Did you know that it takes only a tenth of a second for our brains to process everything we see?

NEWSFLASH:  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s) are one of the primary reasons why people miss work.  Almost 1/3 of all private industry workers who took time off in 2015 did so because of injuries like strains and sprains.  US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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A simple act like taking a step involves a series of muscle contractions that involve agonists, antagonists and synergists.  Muscles move your bones and the bones are the levers that are required for propulsion in movement.

In taking a step…your arch flattens, your Tibia internally rotates, your knee flexes, and your femur internally rotates as your hip flexes (as well as a lot of other movements too).  After your foot is planted, then muscles start contracting to cause the opposite process to happen. Our bodies are able to walk or run forward by using the elastic energy stored from this flexing process to propel your leg to move you forward. While this is happening on one side of your body, the opposite processes is occurring with the other leg as you walk or run to move that one…wow!!!

So, when you think about how orthotics and shock absorbing shoes can affect the movement of the collapsing of the arch in walking or running, then it’s easy to understand how these things might disrupt your body’s natural technology and cause dysfunctional patterns to develop over time.  Your body has to make up any loss of motion in one part caused by some sort of restriction somewhere else in your body.  All muscles and joints in our bodies serve an important purpose. It’s not like you have a few ‘extra parts’ in your body that you don’t really need like that scene in Doc Hollywood after the mechanics fix Fox’s sports car.

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Although it might “feel” good to use these items when your feet ache, you should not come to depend on them all of the time.  If you do, then you’ll soon notice that you’ll start to have stiffness, aches and/or discomfort in some other areas.  Just remember….motion is lotion in our bodies.  You need to use it or you will lose it.  Which reminds of another movie scene. The one from Entrapment with Catherine Zeta-Jones  where she navigates her way through the lasers blindfolded.  This scene reminds you of how truly amazing our brains and bodies are!

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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, Certified Muscle Activation Specialist, MAT Certified Jumpstart Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, and Certified Cupping Therapist. She treats athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, 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 Sports Performance Therapies”.  Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

 

Proprioception and Kinesthesia: What the heck is the difference?

O.K., let’s go back to a previous blog where I talked about Kinesthetic awareness (Click Here). In my blog entry from May 2017, I talked about the being able to “feel” what your body is doing and how stresses over time can affect your kinesthetic sense (sense of body movement). Like drops in a bucket; your body’s proprioception sense can also become distorted with age, injuries, repetitive motions, and other life stresses.

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Imagine that you are in your living room and it is solid pitch black. You can’t even see your hand in front of your face. As long as your dog didn’t get in your way or something like that, then you’d probably be able to walk across it without tripping over anything. Right? You’d know exactly where you are in your room and you’d know if whether your right or left foot was in front of the other as you walked across it. You’d rely on your sense of balance to know whether or not you are standing up or sitting down in a chair. You’d know where your body is in space without having to actually see it. That’s known as your sense of proprioception.

In other words, it’s our capability to sense our body’s position or balance.

Where does our sense of proprioception originate? In our joints, tendons and yes, in our MUSCLES! Throughout our body we have a bunch of tiny little sensors that are located in our body in almost all of our muscles. These receptors located within muscles and are known as “Muscle Spindles.” Muscle spindles are the receptors in our body that communicate to our brain giving it all sorts of feedback.

Muscle spindles are sensitive to stretch that occurs in muscle contractions. It’s this stretch in muscle contractions (say, when you lift something) that also stretches the muscle spindles within the muscle and which causes the sensor to send information to the brain. This is how you’re able to tell exactly how contracted or relaxed every single muscle in your entire body is at any given moment. This sense is what allows us to know where our body is in position and balance too.

You might ask…isn’t this the same as Kinesthesia?   No? Well, what’s the difference?

The difference is that kinesthesia is talking about the movement of your body.   A way to differentiate between the two senses is that proprioception can be thought of as a cognitive awareness of your body. It’s more of an understanding or comprehension.  Its a little bit more subconscious.   You are not always thinking about where exactly your body is in space, how’s it’s oriented when you’re walking or if you’re running. You are not overtly thinking about it.

On the other hand, kinesthesia is more behavioral and conscious. Like trying to make a basketball shot. You are constantly shooting the basketball. Sometimes you miss, sometimes you make the shot from where you are positioned on the floor…but every time you actually shoot the ball your body is able to detect exactly HOW it’s shooting. Over time, you are able to learn things like, that if you move in a certain way that you are able to sink more baskets. You are able to detect what that movement is and learn how that movement improves your shooting skills or to better perform whatever task is at hand.

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Proprioception and Kinesthesia are NOT the same, but the two senses DO share a lot in common. They both can also be negatively impacted by an accumulation of stress, trauma and overuse on the body. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at any NBA player on any given day and you’ll see games where someone is shooting lights out and makes just about every shot he takes. Then on the next night, that same player can’t seem to buy a bucket if he tried. If you asked the player, they’d say it was just an “off” night for them. When in fact it’s a combination of these two senses (Propriorception and Kinesthesia) being negatively impacted by a number of body stresses.   Why do think the Pros are painstakingly going to such lengths to study recovery enhancement and injury prevention?

Just like mileage can impact the performance of your car if you do not keep up its regular maintenance…age, stress, trauma and over use is like mileage on the body’s muscular system tolerance levels. It’s this delicate balance in the body that every team and athlete is constantly striving for in order to improve performance. Its why so many teams are performing biomechanical screenings and tracking their players’ rest, employing “shot docs”, designing custom training/PT routines, and tracking playing minutes with high tech software. Teams are trying to identify that magic formula with data.

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However, here in lies the flaw with the above formula…there really isn’t any way to measure someone’s proprioception or kinesthesia senses. You can’t purchase software that can do this or can a player report how these senses “feel” on a scale from 1 to 10 each day.  Think about that last one…how can anyone really “feel” whether or not his nervous system is slightly off?  We can certainly feel stiff or tight, but how can we measure how much this affects proprioception or kinesthesia?

EXACTY…it’s impossible! There’s no magic number or guarantee.  Yes, there are “indicators” but how do you know how genuine the software indicators are? There’s NO protocol, because no two bodies are the same…and this is also the reason why I stay so busy – LOL!

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, Certified Muscle Activation Specialist, MAT Certified Jumpstart Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, and Certified Cupping Therapist. She treats athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, 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.

Mind and Body: How Stress Defeats Recovery

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As a performance and sports therapist, I was trained to believe that sometimes I know your body better than you do. If you are experiencing any discomfort or limit in range of motion (ROM), then you should hand your body over to me (the same way you might bring your broken car to a mechanic). With little or no input from you, if the exchange goes well, voila! You’re all fixed up and ready to roll thanks to my genius.

The problem is that this dynamic sets us both up for failure.

Your body is a self-healing organism. If you’re by-passing its natural self-repair and recovery process by handing all your power over to a doctor, PT, manual therapist or athletic trainer, then you are ignoring an important component you need to recover and to avoid injuries. This is not a revolutionary idea. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, then you know what a HUGE fan I am of “Headspace” (a self meditation app) and how it is now being implemented into professional sports like the NBA.

As healthcare providers, we learn that the body is the only thing that can heal itself (pain killers and steroid shots don’t heal you). Our anatomy and physiology texts teach us that our bodies are brilliantly equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that can kill bad cells we produce every day, fight infections, repair broken bones and injured tissues, keep our coronary arteries open and naturally fight the aging process.

We also learn about our autonomic nervous system and how it is divided into two parts. The sympathetic nervous system, which produces the body’s stress response (referred to as the “Fight or Flight”) and the parasympathetic nervous system which produces a relaxation response (also know as “Rest and Digest”). It all seems pretty simple, right?

What is not really explained in school is that your body’s recovery and self-repair only FULLY functions when your body is in a relaxed state. Meaning the less stressed you are, the more repair and maintenance is then going on in your parasympathetic nervous system. I’m constantly preaching to my clients how emotional stress can cause issues in their body tissues too and how “Stresses” can defeat their body’s recovery processes.

 

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Stresses have changed over the last few hundred years wouldn’t you say? We’ve gone from being chased by bears, to money and social worries. Stress responses were supposed to be more life or limb threatening dangers, but many modern day humans are in “fight or flight” all the time. Stress is WAY more complex than demands on your energy and time.

NEWSFLASH: Your brain can’t tell the difference between “Help, I ‘m being chased by a grizzly!” and “I don’t have enough money to pay my rent” or “I’m never going to get well”.

As far as your brain is concerned, all these modern day stresses signal “DANGER” and this stress negatively affects your body’s ability to heal and recovery. No amount of Kale or ingested supplements can counter balance these toxic effects either. Your body takes longer to heal or recover because has lost its inner balance ability to heal and self-repair efficiently.

In a nutshell, here’s why….

Your Autonomic Nervous system has two big sub-systems, Sympathetic (Fight or Flight) and Parasympathetic (Digest and Rest). Both nervous systems play role in blood flow to intestines and play a big role in how much blood is available for other parts of the body. So, when the sympathetic nervous system is activated by some kind of stress (fight or flight situation), then blood flow to your intestines DECREASES. Blood flow is often diverted to other areas to avoid dangerous situations.

Whereas in non-threatening times, when you are in a resting situation the opposite occurs. When your are relaxed you increase blood flow to your intestines to increase your body’s ability to digest food; which then enhances your body’s ability to self-repair, recover and heal. The Autonomic Nervous system does a TON of other things. However, this is how STRESS effects how our body’s recovery process.

So now, do you understand why the big push is on for meditation and douche days in professional sports? When athletes relax, their bodies’ natural “self-repair” mechanisms flips on and it enhances their recovery processes. At the end of the day, sports recovery is based on science and this is a big business.

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Next time, I need to blog about how and why what I do affects this very same system. However, for now…I need to go put my headphones on and get in another session of my Headspace app.

 

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, Certified Muscle Activation Specialist, MAT Certified Jumpstart Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, and Certified Cupping Therapist. She treats athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, 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.

Sleep and Muscle Recovery: Some of the Best Things in Life are Free

Ok, so this old proverb means that things that cost you money should not be prioritized over free things that could be worth so much more (like your health). Those free things in your life are in the end, worth so much more than anything money can buy you.

In a fitness and sports world where everyone is selling advice on the best diets and workouts, equipment and supplements, we sometimes forget that something as basic as “sleep” is an important component of our health. Matter of fact, sleep impacts our lives in a ton of ways.

We’ve all heard that getting our ‘beauty rest’ makes us look better, right? Haven’t you also noticed that it’s hard to focus or be in a good mood be when you haven’t slept properly too? Now, there is scientific proof that sleep affects a person’s outer appearances: Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan has published their study results.

This said…Have you ever thought about how lack of sleep can affect muscle recovery? While you may think that the harder you work out will help you become the next Michael Jordan or Roger Federer, burning the candle at both ends might actually be doing more harm than good.

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Many of us go to work “sleep drunk” recovering from the lack of sleep the night before or even worse…several nights or lack of sleep. For some, they don’t even know what’s its like to get enough regular sleep and to be “sleep sober”. Did you know that studies showed that poor judgment due to lack of sleep were culprits in the Chernobyl and the Space Shuttle Challenger disastrous events? Click here to read more

Sometimes it literally hits you in the head before you understand the value of sleep, like Adrianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, found out one day.

News Flash 1: It takes 2-3 days to recover from severe sleep deprivation

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If our brains are critical to body health, what happens to our muscle recovery without sleep? Rest isn’t just needed when athletes are not exerting energy…it enables proper muscle recovery. Sleep and muscle growth go hand-in-hand. What do I mean? When we are asleep several things are happening. Our Endocrine system is hard at work producing hormones that regulate our muscle growth, recovery, metabolism, and number of other very important things.

I’m always talking about Stress and Stress Thresholds to my clients. Lack of sleep affects this too in your muscles. Lack of sleep body stress ultimately lowers our muscle stress thresholds, which in turn make us more vulnerable to injuries and lessons our abilities to heal and recover from those injuries.

News Flash 2: Injuries can prevent quality of sleep too

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Yes, nagging pain and discomfort can keep you up and disrupt a good night’s sleep. Taking care of your body in order to get a good night’s sleep is just as important. It’s a cycle of self-care that is many times overlooked in sport and life. We’ve all been there…you can’t quite get in a comfortable position and want the pain to subside so you can just fall asleep.  Might be a good time to get in with me for a tune-up, huh?

Don’t take this blog entry the wrong way.  You can still work your but off and take care of yourself.  Just make time to work efficiently toward your goals. There’s a great app my friend, Michael Brungardt, told me about that I use called “Headspace” that even has a sleep meditation component in it. It does wonders to help put you to sleep….just ask Brent Barry – Zzzzz.  Life as a NBA analyst must be hard work. Either that or he was up too late practicing guitar!

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Sweet Dreams, 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, Certified Muscle Activation Specialist, MAT Certified Jumpstart Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, and Certified Cupping Therapist. She treats athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, 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.

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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