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How Does Soft Tissue Mobilization Work? 0

Posted on June 03, 2018 by Joe Fleming

soft tissueLongtime athletes and coaches are constantly on the hunt for easy and effective ways to both help prevent common sports injuries as well as speed up recovery times when an injury does occur. Tactics like ice therapy, cupping, and foam rolling have all had their heyday recently, but one practice seems to have endured the longest – sports massage.

Believed to have originated in ancient Greece and Rome where gladiators were prescribed massages both before and after working out or battling, sports massage has evolved throughout the centuries to incorporate more physiotherapy and recovery techniques. This has lent itself to a newer therapeutic approach called soft tissue mobilization.

What is Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)?

An umbrella term to capture a wide array of techniques, soft tissue mobilization is any type of physiotherapy performed either manually or with instruments that help to release soft tissues in the body. Soft tissues are essentially any component of the musculoskeletal system that is not bone – so ligaments, tendons, muscles, skin, fat, fascia, cartilage, nerves, and so on.

Soft tissue injuries are common in sports, from sprains to muscle strains to tendonitis and other stress injuries. The healing process following a soft tissue injury involves a unique process of biological repair. An inflammation response from the body floods the tissue at first with fluids, blood, and eventually white blood cells; this causes the characteristic swelling, warmth, and redness of a fresh soft tissue injury like an ankle sprain. Read the rest of this entry →

Five Best Exercises for Athletes Recovering from a Knee Injury 0

Posted on May 08, 2018 by Joe Fleming

knee-injuryKnee injuries are extremely common among all athletes, both those who play recreationally and those who are seasoned professionals.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has experienced both a torn ACL and a torn MCL, as has his teammate Rob Gronkowski. Olympian Alex Morgan also suffered from a torn ACL when she was senior in high school.

None of these athletes let their knee injuries stop them, and neither should you. No matter what kind of knee injury you’re dealing with, these exercises can help you get back on your feet.

1. Foam Rolling for the Shins

Foam rolling is a great technique for loosening up the muscles and promoting recovery after tough workouts.

When most people think about foam rolling, they focus on the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. But, it’s also important to spend some time rolling the shins, especially if your sport of choice requires you to do a lot of running — track, soccer, basketball, etc.

Foam rolling the shins helps relieve tension that could irritate the knees. It also helps prevent shin splints — win-win!

To foam roll the shins properly, start on all fours and place the foam roller at the base of the ankles. Then, slowly roll upward, pausing when you reach a tender spot. Hold your weight on each spot for 30-45 seconds before moving on. Read the rest of this entry →

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing and Treating Tendinopathy 1

Posted on April 30, 2018 by Joe Fleming

TendinopathyAmong all kinds of athletes, both professional and recreational, tendinopathy (also known as tendinitis) is one of the most common injuries.

About one-third of runners suffer from Achilles tendinopathy, as will approximately 14 percent of volleyball players. Soccer players are also susceptible to tendinopathy, and athletes who frequently participate in overhead maneuvers (serving, pitching, etc.) are four times more likely to deal with tendinopathy compared to other athletes. Kobe Bryant famously tore his Achilles tendon in 2013 in a game against the Golden State Warriors, sidelining his season for nearly 8 months.

If you play one of these sports, or are an active person in general, it’s important to understand what can be done to prevent and treat tendinopathy. Read on to learn more about this condition and the steps you can take to keep it at bay while you continue to play your favorite sports.

What is Tendinopathy?

Tendons are tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. They bear the weight of muscles and allow the joints of the body to move freely.

Tendinopathy occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed. Repetitive motions — swinging a tennis racquet or golf club, for example — often cause tendinopathy in athletes.

The most common sites of tendinopathy include the shoulders, biceps, and elbows (tendinopathy of the elbow is often referred to as tennis elbow). Read the rest of this entry →

How To Improve Your Team’s Performance 0

Posted on April 24, 2018 by John Harris

baseball-2018As any sportsman knows, if you have a team that is not happy eating, sleeping and playing together, then you are less than likely to have a successful season on the track or field. No matter if you are playing in a small-time league, or are trying your luck professionally, if your team does not get on, or has found it hard to bond, then you will no longer be able to bring the trophies home. So, if you are looking to help your team improve, and bring home the gold, then you need to consider taking part in team building activities, different ways that you can train and even alter your overall mindset if you want to succeed.

Team building activities

If your teammates all enjoy each others’ company and have fun together even while they are enjoying time away from the field, then your team is much more likely to have a successful season. Consider booking your team in for a team building activities, so that they can learn to work together on each other’s weaknesses and develop their strengths. From a cookery course to trying a new outdoors activity, the choice is endless when it comes to choosing a team building activity for you all to enjoy. Consider Des Moines Escape Room if you want your teammates to work on their logic and puzzle solving skills against the clock. Team building activities should be your go-to first step to help improve your team’s performance. Read the rest of this entry →

Why Posture Matters for Injury Prevention and How You Can Fix Yours 0

Posted on April 21, 2018 by Joe Fleming

Arian_Foster_fumbleGood posture helps you feel more confident, gives you more energy, and can even make you appear taller and slimmer. Good posture is also essential for athletes who want to perform their best and avoid serious injuries.

Athletes with Posture Issues

Many athletes struggle with genetic posture issues. For example, Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, was born with a curvature in his spine that has affected his hamstrings.

Others, like running back Arian Foster and quarterback Tony Romo, have suffered from non-genetic issues like bulging and herniated discs, which have caused them severe back and leg pain.

Good posture can’t completely prevent these issues, especially when they’re genetic. But, improving posture can help those with both genetic and non-genetic posture issues heal faster and avoid additional injuries.

How Good Posture Prevents Injury

Good posture is essential for athletes who want to maintain strength and optimum health on and off the field. Some ways that posture contributes to injury risk (or lack thereof) include:

Less Stress on the Joints

When you stand or sit incorrectly, it’s easy for your muscles to tighten. This tightening, in turn, puts extra stress on the joints. Athletes’ bodies already takes a beating during practices and workouts. To reduce this damage, it’s important to avoid adding stress to the joints by slouching. Read the rest of this entry →

Sports Injury Treatment Then And Now 0

Posted on February 26, 2018 by Joe Fleming

White-Wilson-NFLThe ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus probably first said that “the only constant in the universe is change.” This phrase definitely applies to sports injuries, at least to some extent.

Some people still remember the 1992 NBA All-Star game which featured the return of Magic Johnson. A few months earlier, he had retired after announcing he was HIV positive. Several other players, including Karl Malone, openly expressed misgivings about Johnson’s return and their own risk of contracting AIDS. We now know these fears were foolish, but they were very real at the time.

Fortunately, deadly sexually-transmitted diseases like AIDS are not a problem on most sports teams. But sports injuries are a constant concern. In some cases, the treatment approach has changed significantly in recent years; in other cases, not so much.

Football and Concussions

Head injuries have been an issue in football ever since William Harvey laced up the cleats for Penn in 1894. “In a scrimmage behind the goal I was knocked insensible, but recovered in about fifteen minutes,” he later wrote. For the next hundred years, every player who received a head injury in football got basically the same treatment: a few plays off, some smelling salts, and a cursory “how many fingers am I holding up” medical exam.

Things began to change in 1994 when then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue ordered league doctors and other scientists to examine the problem more closely. Today, no one is really sure how the NFL and other football leagues should handle head injuries. Players want to play, coaches want to win, and fans want to see lots of action, but a player’s long-term health is at stake. There’s a balance there somewhere.

New innovations should help improve treatment protocols. For example, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a concussion diagnosis blood test. Very soon, this test could eliminate the guesswork involved in this area. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

      Read more »

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