Archive for the ‘General Posts’ Category

Here are some items that I came across recently that I thought may be of interest to you:

  • The standard Pallof press (or cable press) is probably one of my favorite exercises. Well, Nick Tumminello has taken this exercise and added to it. He has taken the traditional exercise and added a frontal plane component and a sagittal plane component making this a tri-planar exercise. Check the links out for great stuff from Coach Nick.
  • Here is a blast from the past – this was my review of a phonophoresis study that has been one of my more popular posts.
  • Another blog that you may not have checked out yet is Charlie Weingroff’s blog. Charlie is a DPT, ATC, CSCS and he always has thought provoking material on his blog. Make sure the check it out.
  • Barefoot running seems to be a raging topic everywhere you turn. Here is a blog post on Mike Reinold’s blog discussing this topic. With this topic, and seemingly every other trend in the field of sports medicine, people have a tendency to go overboard. I don’t remember the exact quote from Alwyn Cosgrove but he talked about a pendulum and how people have a tendency to go to the extremes of one side or another and the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.
  • If you are a baseball fan, I am sure you have paid attention to Stephen Strasburg’s injury. What a shame. And yet, do things like this curb the way our youth train and participate in sport – even though they head down a similar path. Eric Cressey has a good write-up on his thoughts about this case.
  • Finally, here is an article that was posted in the local paper this past weekend concerning concussions. I was disappointed in the article to say the least. There were some signs and symptoms and precautionary measures sandwiched between an account of a former player who reportedly played in a game after suffering a concussion and a poll (not a study as indicated) of coaches and how they handle the situation of concussions.  The most shocking thing about the article is that the player said that if they had to do it over again, he would have done the exact same thing. Kids reading that are going to disregard the experts and even the coaches and listen to what a fellow student-athlete says. Please take a read of the article and give me your comments. Am I overreacting or is this a pretty irresponsible piece?

Thanks again, enjoy the great resources, and please share your comments on the concussion article.

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Today’s post is a little bit of a challenge. I will briefly discuss a book entitled Outstanding: 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional by John G. Miller and yet this blog has been unremarkably silent over the last month and half or so. (Not outstanding in the least). But here’s to getting back in the swing of things.

This book is an excellent piece on making your company (whether it is composed of 1 employee or 1,000) better. It speaks to customer service and about how to treat employees and more. While the title specifically talks about an organization, realize that whether you work at the collegiate level with a big staff or if you cover high school football games by yourself on Friday night, you can benefit from reading this book.

Sometimes, I think that those in the field of Athletic Training and Fitness don’t place much emphasis on improving and polishing our “business skills”. Unfortunately, that is a huge mistake. Understanding the human body and the best evaluation strategies and evidence based treatment practices are extremely important, but understanding the principles that will impact your ability to deliver those services are equally important.

Here are a couple of excellent excerpts from the book that give a little insight into how poor business skills can impact service delivery:

Do people fire companies? Yes, they do! I just fired an airline I’ve flown for years, “ Steve continued. “Not just because they left me stranded again in Phoenix for the second time in a month but because of the attitude and actions of the employees. Not only did the people on the ground just say, “Sorry, that’s the best we can do’ while appearing not to care at all, but the attendants on the plane stood in the galley complaining about their own company and other flight attendants. So I fired them and won’t be flying them anymore.

And here is another one:

I entered a coffee and bagel shop one morning and ordered a salt bagel with cream cheese. As an afterthought, I added, “Oh, may I have my bagel toasted, please? Without looking up, the person helping me said, “We don’t toast bagels.” More out of curiosity than anything else, I said, “I’d think a lot of people would like their bagels toasted in the morning.” At that, he stopped his work mid-slice, looked at me, and said, “Sir, if I toasted your bagel, I’d have everybody in her wanting toasted bagels!” This made me wonder, Hmm, would it be so bad to have customers lined up out the door and down the block ready to trade their hard-earned cash for a toasted bagel? I think not!”

So if you have neglected improving your business and customer service skills, make sure you read this book. It is a quick and easy read and full of practical tips that will allow you to become OUTSTANDING!

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Most of us will spend this weekend kicking off summer vacation, sprucing up the yard, firing up the grill, or just plain old relaxing around the house for a change. That is certainly all fine and good and I will probably be the same as well.

It is also a time to remember. Remembering is very powerful and contemplating what others have done and gone through is important.

This particular weekend is set aside to remember those who have served in the armed forces. Most likely, you know a close friend, a sibling, a father, grandfather, etc (or yourself for that matter) who has served in the armed forces. If so, I have no doubt that they would appreciate a kind word, a hug, or even a simple thank you – in remembrance of their (and their family’s)  sacrifice.

If you are up for it, I have read a couple of books a while back that give the average person (like you and me) a look into what many of our service men and women have to face in times of war. Ghost Soldiers and Brotherhood of Heroes are humbling books to read. The reality at the end of the day is that many never made it back. We remember, mourn, and pray for their families. For those that have made it home, we are thankful but also realize there are scars as well – we pray for their physical and emotional healing. And for the families that still have to carry on, with or without their loved service men and women, we remember them and lift them up as well.

So as you enjoy the weekend, remember those who have served (or continue to serve) in the armed forces and their families. We will never understand the full magnitude of what individuals and families have given up. But remembrance is a small token that we can give to others to show that their lives and their efforts have not been forgotten. It is the very least that we can do.

Photo Credit by Peter Noyes

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One book that I have recently added to my library is Advances in Functional Training by Mike Boyle.

I have read about half of the book so far and it has been an excellent read and I would recommend adding this resource to your library.

The things I appreciate about Mike and they are parlayed in this book are:

  • He has an athletic training background and so he does have that unique perspective of both a strength coach and an athletic trainer. The fact that he is primarily a strength coach gives additional insights for ATCs into the strength and conditioning realm that we may not normally see.
  • Much of his coaching is based upon injury prevention reduction strategies – what lifts, training regimens, etc. are going to help reduce the likelihood of player injury. He is constantly tweaking and re-fitting to put his athletes in the best position to be successful and avoid injury.
  • He is great at using the wisdom that he has gleaned from others to help formulate his training philosophies – the book is littered with insights from individuals such as Shirley Sahrmman, Gray Cook, Gary Gray, Stuart McGill and many more. We can’t be smart enough to know it all and Mike is master at seeking out experts in the field and melding their expertise into his training to develop even better programming and training strategies
  • He is not afraid to go against the grain and to question sacred cows. My philosophy has always been – “just because we’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it is right” – I think that is a pretty fair summary of how Mike does things and what is illustrated in the book. He continually challenges traditional thinking and is not afraid to challenge his own practices and strategies as well.

Overall, there is a ton of information in this book that will reaffirm what you are currently doing and will challenge some of the strategies that you are currently using.

I’d definitely recommend picking this book up and adding it to your library.

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A report was published in the most recent Sports Health Journal discussing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and it’s use to treat soft tissue injury. It was entitled Platelet-Rich Plasma: Where are we now and where are we going? The piece gave an overview of some of the uses thus far and I think is a good introduction to this potential treatment option.

Essentially, PRP contains a concentration of autologous growth factors (GFs) that may assist in the healing process and help to expedite the recovery times of injury. PRP is also simple, efficient, and minimally invasive. The review simply allows the reader to learn a little more about the process and become aware of some of the studies that are currently out there.

Platelets are the first cell types to arrive at the scene of an injury and are very important in the early inflammatory stage of the healing process. Platelets contain several growth factors that contribute in various ways to the healing process. The intrigue of this treatment is the ability to increase the concentration of GFs and additional elements that can help to improve and optimize the healing environment.

In terms of the use of PRP in orthopedics, current use is targeted in tendinopathy, ligament injuries, muscle strains, cartilage injury, and early osteoarthritis. There are 8 specific studies that are cited in this research article. Six of the studies indicate some efficacy of the use of PRP while two of the studies showed no significant progress with the use of PRP.

The overwhelming theme of the review is that clinical research is in it’s infancy and the number of adequately controlling human studies are lacking. There certainly appears to be reason to pursue additional research, but at this point, the role of PRP has yet to be determined.

The research review is a worthwhile read and the take home message about PRP at this point is:

  1. There is potential use of this adjunct treatment in the treatment of soft tissue injury
  2. Athletic trainers and those in the field of injury rehabilitation and sports medicine should be aware of the basic premise of this treatment and it’s implications
  3. While there is anticipation of what the use of PRP can do in terms of the healing process, the research is lacking at this point and the use of PRP is clearly in it’s infancy in the orthopedic realm
  4. The evidence (as we pursue evidence based medicine) regarding the effectiveness of PRP is clearly not there yet – further research is necessary to determine the efficacy of this adjunct treatment

Have any of you had any experience with the use of PRP with any of your a patients or athletes?

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Late in 2009, I purchased Assess and Correct: Breaking Barriers to Unlock Performance by Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, and Bill Hartman.

It has taken me a while to develop a review of this product because I have wanted to go over the information and be able to put it to use a little bit first.

First let me say that this is a pretty unique product. Whether intended or not, it appeals to such a wide audience. Who would benefit from owning this product?

  • An athlete looking to assess and correct their own individual deficiencies
  • A strength and conditioning coach looking to be able to address performance barriers with their athletes
  • A personal trainer looking for a tool to help screen their clients before beginning and exercise and conditioning program
  • An athletic trainer identifying preventative measures for their athlete or industrial athlete to help avoid future injury
  • The physical therapist looking to identify correlating injury factors and what techniques can be used to help correct these deficiencies
  • And more.

So if you are an athletic trainer, a personal trainer, a physical therapist, a strength and conditioning coach, or even someone looking to improve upon your own personal deficiencies – you can benefit from adding this resource to your library.

The reason that this resource can be utilized by such a wide audience is attributed to the team of experts that created this product to begin with. These three are top notch in their field and widely respected. They each have areas of expertise that blend well together as a unit.

This product contains a DVD component and PDF printable document that correlates with the DVDs. There are a few more additional resources that add value to the complete product.

The first part of this product is the assessment phase. The assessment phase is critical to do before moving to the corrective progressions. (Now, for the athletic trainer or the physical therapist – this piece may not contain a ton of new information or much in the way of tips regarding execution of assessment and evaluation techniques – however, the assessment techniques point you toward the corrective exercises pertaining to each movement pattern and therein lies the  benefit). The video portion of the assessment is pretty straight forward and simply shows the basic assessment technique.  The manual does contribute more to the assessment piece and gives some additional worthwhile information.

The real gem of this product is the correction phase. Again this is detailed in both the DVD and the workbook. The exercises that correlate with deficiencies really make this product shine. The printed document is a great handy resource that gives you quick reference to proper execution of the corrective exercise techniques. There is plenty of detail in the manual which is great reference source. However, the DVD of corrective exercises really allows the printed material to make more sense. Seeing the exercise properly executed and listening to the subtle yet important coaching tips on the DVD is critical.

Probably the greatest asset of this product is the attention to detail in the corrective exercise phase. The authors pay close attention to proper execution of the corrective exercise and give you tips and what to look for to identify improper and proper exercise execution.

I speak for myself when I say that sometimes my attention to detail when it comes to exercise instruction is lacking. We can sometimes substitute form for volume. Eric, Mike, and Bill really provide excellent instruction that emphasizes the small yet easily overlooked details. Proper execution is critical and instruction is provided for each exercise – from the simplest to the most difficult exercise progression.

I have utilized this product as an additional screening tool and it has helped me to identify deficiencies and develop a plan to help correct those deficiencies.

One word of warning – there is a ton of information here, particularly in the corrective exercise section,  and you may need to go slow with some of the corrective exercises because there are so many included with this product.

Overall, I have been very pleased with this product. As I continue to implement the information shared on the DVDs and workbook, I will be more efficient and the transition from assessment to corrective exercise.

If you are on the fence about whether or not this product will be of benefit to you, I can tell you that I have been pleased with it, particularly the corrective exercise phase,  and you will benefit from adding this to your library.

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I just wanted to make you aware of new online feature recently added by the NATA. It is the NATA Hall of Fame. You now have the opportunity to view the profiles of each of the members of the Hall of Fame. A real neat feature is the ability to hear them speak about the profession, their accomplishments, and more.

In my career, I have had the privilege of meeting, working with, and becoming friends with a NATA Hall of Fame member who is now retired and to hear him reflect back on his career and influences and more was a treat.

I’m sure there is a lot of wisdom being shared on this site and we would probably be served well by listening in on trailblazers of our field.

So if you have yet to check it out, make sure you do so here.

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