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Archive for Injuries

Jul
01

Myth? of Icing

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Icing for what purpose or mantra

Seen this or done that before?

This is something we do – in this country – if we feel pain, are sore from an injury or we over do it.

If you watch tv sports, been at a local kids soccer game, seen runners, softball players or know people who’ve had injury or experience pain.

Icing seems to be part of the game (of life) in the U.S and has been a big part of sports medicine.

How did this become our way?

R.I.C.E. is Nice

Rice stands for:

• Rest

• Ice

• Compression

• Elevation

This has been a mantra on playing fields since Dr. Gabe Mirkin came up with this formula back in 1978.

R.I.C.E. Rest is Over

Since then he has changed his tune for this earlier “misinformation”.

Rest is out.

Now there is evidence ice can even delaying healing.

This might come as a surprise.  It’s more than likely better to avoid icing.

Pardigm Shifts of Not Using Ice or a Cold Pack

Using ice does not fix the problem other than numbing an issue in our tissues.  It may even do more harm than good.

R.I.C.E. is Nice?

Since many people use ice to block pain.

It’s likely they don’t know how to effectively relieve or control pain on account of ice being the prevalent cheaper alternative.

The Rest of the World

Interesting to note that most of the rest of the world does not use ice to manage injuries.

When I mention using ice to many of my foreign soccer playing friends, they simply shrug their shoulders and give me that “really” look.

Recovery & Performance

Since ice is still the accepted method and highly popular among recreational athletes to help recover, relying on this method is at best a band-aid approach.

Icing=Band Aid Approach

There is usually little benefit derived from post exercise icing as well.

During an event, you may actually numb yourself and then push through pain rather than using this signal to begin to turn things around.  This can increase the risk of injury.

Even performance can be altered since it is likely that icing interferes with the information highway of the nervous system.

The info can get slowed down and can change how our muscles respond.  Not a good thing when you are either trying to do some work around the house or participating in one of your favorite activities.

Inflammation

People might think inflammation is a bad thing, yet is part of the normal restoration process.

Knee Pain

While we can have a pain in the knee for instance, have you ever seen someone’s knee swell up or experienced this yourself?

Swelling is a normal part of the body attempting to get back to square one or homeostasis in this case.

We might think the swelling is too much or keeps snowballing, so of course, a lot of people will think ice is the solution.

Ice - This is It?

What’s going on?

The lymphatic system helps reduce swelling.

So when we see or feel what we consider an excess of swelling, the drainage of the lymphatic system is kind of clogged and is in slow-mo mode.

Going backwards

To use ice to speed it up is counter productive.

Thawing out of this mindset may not be easy.

So you can check out the illusion of the ice age.

Ice the Illusory Treatment Option

What Speeds Up Healing?

Since the lymphatic system helps to reduce swelling, it’s when we begin to contract, tense or mobilize the surrounding movement system.

M.I.C.E. is Nicer - Almost

M.I.C.E stands for:

M = Mobility

I = Ice

C = Compression

E = Elevation

M.I.C.E. has replaced R.I.C.E.

Now given what we’re discovering with ice, we can drop our freezing ways.

M.I.C.E. is More Better - Except for the Icing

A conscious use of the muscles helps to push the fluid back into the cardiovascular system.

Movement System

The movement system is not just the muscles, it includes the nervous system or highway of information which can be altered.

It’s also the fascia which surrounds the muscles and is connected in a variety of patterns throughout the body.

The muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and bones have sense receptors where we can change the output through mobility and where we can change the offending output to our muscles and movement system.

When we apply mobility in a more conscious manner, then the myth of ice can fade like the ice age.

The End of Icing

Is is time to give up the myth of icing?

Give up the Myth of Icing

Find out what to do to help injuries, pain and stiffness leave.

Click here to access Conscious Mobility

… and chuck the ice to feel warmer too!

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Aug
06

Overcome Sports Injuries

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Coming back from an injury can be an extremely stressful, but it does not have to be! Let me tell you a story of how our training can help athletes bounce back from an injury.

Watch this unique way to overcome sports injuries

Nancy was a strong and aggressive volleyball player and loved the competition of big tournaments. She started playing at age 12 and her coaches knew right away that she was something special.

One night during a game, she dove for a save and injured her ankle. As she stood up she found she could not stand on her foot. With tears streaming down her face, she was helped off the court.

Having always been tough as nails, she thought she would be back within a few weeks, but as it turned out she missed the rest of the season.

Fear and doubt with a sports injury

As the reality of her situation sunk in, her spirits took a big dive. For the first time in her life, Nancy felt fear and doubt in the back of her mind constantly.

She had put a lot of stock in her identity as a top-notch volleyball player and having it literally disappear over night was shocking. She was frustrated she could not play and worried if she would even be able to “comeback” at all.

Parents, this is perfectly normal. At a time when most kids are struggling to get to know who they really are, playing sports fulfills multiple emotional needs. It’s how they fit in, develop their own self-efficacy and form their perception of worth as a person.

After months of painful rehab, Nancy was physically ready to play, but something was still holding her back. She knew the fear wasn’t rational, because she had completely healed. She was a gifted athlete and knew what she was supposed to do tactically, like the back of her hand.

But as she explained to her coach, she now had a fear that she just couldn’t shake and, in practice, her coach noticed the difference too.

Instead of brushing it off and “putting it out of her mind”, the first thing she worked on was her focus, or, her dominant thoughts. Hundreds of doubting thoughts over a period of time, starts to “condition” your mind so you have to reverse that before doing anything else.

She had her go back to the reasons why she started playing volleyball in the first place and come up with a mantra she could repeat over and over that corrected her focus.

The next step was to release all those stored up difficult emotions resulting from her injury and the setback to her career. Telling herself simply to just “let it go” would not cut it!

The work has to be done at a cellular level, where the emotions literally get stuck. This is why we use guided visualizations in our training and it worked wonders for her. She told me how light and free she felt afterwards.

She gradually began to “trust” her knee and body again and went on to a stellar season.
A year later, realizing her dream of playing college ball, she told me that the lessons she had learned from using her mind to come back in volleyball, helped her in bouncing back from a lost relationship.

Sports injuries and life

ALL athletes experience major difficulty, fears, doubts and setbacks in their sport. How they come through it all, OR NOT has far-reaching, lifelong effects on all aspects of their life.

Doubt, worry and fear don’t stay locked in the sports arena, they creep into all areas of our lives.

It is crucial to address these fears and setbacks as soon as possible, so they do not become lifelong issues that hold your athletes back in other areas of their life.

Craig Sigl is the creator of 6 mental game training programs for athletes sold in 28 countries. His newsletters go to over 18,000 athletes, parents and coaches worldwide. 

He has been featured on NBC TV’s “Evening Magazine” show, numerous radio shows and the Seattle P.I. newspaper for his work with youth athletes.

For more great tips and to receive free “The 10 Commandments For A Great Sports Parent” ebook and Free training for youth athletes to learn how to “Perform Under Pressure”…
Go to http://www.mentaltoughnesstrainer.com/

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My beloved beautiful game is center at the world’s stage and yet I continue to see how many athletes didn’t make the competition on account of injuries or are cramping on the field. These injuries happen in the course of a game and in training.

In the recreational side of soccer, did you know that nearly 570,000 athletes were injured playing soccer in 2009?

While many athletes continue to “stretch” as a means of prevention and recovery many of their attempts are ill-fated and actually compound their problems. New research is out which you can use to benefit yourself.

As a self-proclaimed, Divorce Counselor for Stretching, there exists a more natural way to lengthen your muscles and have them functioning for your peak performance.

Your brain, if you will, is the big muscle which sends messages to your muscles to keep them contracted or relaxed at specific rates of contraction.

By pushing your muscles to lengthen, they actually re-contract.

It’s poignant to watch a calf muscle or hamstring get “pulled” in the course of a game and watch the trainers run onto the field and spray the muscles with the “secret” spray or forcefully try to lengthen the muscle in the opposite direction to gain length.

The obvious signal is the muscle is being shortened. This is what’s happening when you are experiencing a cramp or muscle spasm.

By pushing the muscle, when say your calf is cramping, you’re violating the stretch reflex. No worries… you won’t get a ticket for it. This reflex is what keeps the muscles contracting and set at certain levels. By forcing or pushing muscles into length, it actually recontracts and gets shorter afterwards. This is what they found out about back in 1936.

This protective mechanism is a good thing so your muscles don’t tear. This reflex can be readjusted by the brain instead of using force. If you push it, your muscles will be forced into length but the rate of contraction will continue and can be elevated so that your stiffness remains for longer periods of time.

Instead of trying to lengthen the muscle, the brain can be used to do what is clearly happening in the moment. The cramp is a muscle shortening to protect itself. So shortening it, is what is you can do in order for the muscle to allow itself to lengthen back and reset it’s level of contraction.

Now this may seem counterintuitive. Once you get the hang of a simple 3 step process, you’ll be able to use this natural approach which is systematized by Somatics Exercises. These types of exercises have been prescribed to successfully get people out of pain, stiffness and cramps or muscle spasms.

Your brain is showing what needs to be done but of course we normally “react” by pulling away from any pain.

Learning how to go with it, is what sets you free even though it’s counter to what we’ve been led to do.

Once you get the hang of Somatics, in which the goal, like stretching, is to lengthen the muscles, it’s simply achieved by the brain rather than than forcing a muscle.

Preventing injuries can be helped if the muscles are more relaxed in the first place. So it’s obvious, why make things tighter with brawn when you can use your brain to change how much activity and rate of contraction your muscles have to live with… it’s always easier to move if you’re less stiff, compensated, and not holding on for dear life in those exquisite moments of the mystery and misery of a cramp or muscle spasm.