Want to perform like an Olympian?
You may not get a gold medal but if you follow their dynamic warm up routines you could reduce your chance of injury.
The Olympics are on TV but what they're not showing is the behind-the-scenes athletes' dynamic warmups. There is some chatter in the sports world that stretching is a waste of time. But it depends on who's stretching and what the goal is.
Some research has shown that static stretching is has no impact on performance in sprinting activities. However, the reason most people need to stretch is to minimize aches and pains.
If you have a muscle or joint that is so stiff that it is affecting your ability to move properly, then stretching is worthwhile. Playing a sport or running with modified biomechanics is a surefire way to injure yourself.
Recent research is showing that stretching while moving (called dynamic stretching) is an effective way to lengthen muscles. More importantly, it primes the brain and body to react quickly in sport. We've made a series of helpful videos for you, to take the guess work out of your warm-up.
Check out our dynamic stretching videos on our patient resources page.
Olympic photographs: Reuters
Hydration guideline for sport:
Designed by us... used by the pros!
Want to know the secret to performing well in the heat? Read on.
Recently, David Witiluk, Certified Kinesiologist, wrote a user-friendly guide to staying well hydrated during summer activities and sports.
Within 2 weeks, it became the team hydration guideline for our National-Level Decathletes and Heptathletes while they were competing in an international competition. This guideline combined recent research and practical tips that helped these athletes tackle multiple track and field events over the course of 2 days.
If you've been wondering how much to drink, what to drink and when to drink it, this hydration guideline is for you. We believe in sharing information that keeps you healthy, active and performing at your best. Check it out here and feel free to pass it along to a friend. For a great printable handout version, click here.
If you have hydration related questions, you can email David at email@example.com.
Scientists discover the secret to a speedy recovery after strenuous workouts.
Just chill out!
Some people swear that their post-workout ice baths are what fuel their next work out. Others use a bag of crushed ice to soothe sore muscles. Nerdy scientists have chilled enough sore athletes to conclude that both methods can effectively reduce recovery time for different reasons and world class Olympians have been using these techniques for decades.
If you play contact sports (think soccer, hockey, ultimate etc.), an ice bath will speed up your recovery, reduce pain and improve your next workout. By contrast, an ice bag is helpful to reduce pain and inflammation in one joint or muscle so you'll have less soreness the next day.
Not sure which to use? Don't sweat it. Both methods applied for 10-15 minutes will offer the same physiological benefits but the ice bath can aid multiple muscle groups at the same time. If you've iced your problem area 2-3 times and it seems to be persisting, consider a check up at our clinic. Often 1 or 2 treatments can make a big difference.
Recipe for 1 ice bath:
Try to stay in for at least 10 minutes. Temperature should be between 10-15 degrees Celsius.
Fill tub with cold water
Add 2-3 bags of ice cubes
Yield: 1-2 chilled bodies.
Massage therapy effects are now visible on MRI.
Trigger points are painful areas on tight muscles that cause headaches, back pain and a host of other problems. Only recently has technology been modified so that these trigger points can be seen on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). To be specific, it's called magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and it's a very expensive way to identify the exact area of a muscle that is causing pain.
Save our health care system some money and the long wait in line for an MRI. If you've got a painful muscle in your neck, back or hip, a well trained Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can find these points in a matter of minutes. Trigger point release is an effective massage therapy technique that reduces muscle tension and restores normal function.
Not sure if your pain is something more serious? Our RMT will assess you and tell you if you need to see a doctor or other heath care practitioner. MRI's are very helpful in some circumstances but many times the underlying cause of the pain is a functional muscle imbalance.
Preventative maintenance can be as simple as a session every 2-3 months, but treating a muscle imbalance that has been ignored may take 4-5 sessions to get under control.
What's the take home message? MRI is now showing us that our grandmother was right all along: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Click here to read about our Massage Therapists.
Want to avoid stress fractures?
Here's what you need to know.
Who gets stress fractures? Runners and track athletes.
Why do they get them? Because the bones in their lower legs receive too much impact too frequently with too little recovery time.
What to watch out for? Persistent pain and/or swelling on one foot that is worse the morning after a long run and doesn't get better with ice, massage and stretching.
Ignoring persistent foot pain during running can get you into trouble, even if you know the secrets of the trade. To find out how to avoid this injury and keep your summer season going, read more here.