My super simple and effective method of using a tennis ball (or Lacrosse ball) to reduce sore stiff muscles, rehab/pre hab, and improve mobility! Also mentioned in this vid and recommended, Joe DeFranco’s “Limber 11” and The Rumble Roller.
In prior posts, I have discussed my hypothesis that growth hormone and related growth factors, as a possible therapy for connective tissue/joint degeneration in active populations. The study below finds testosterone therapy (TRT ) appears highly valuable treatment in SCI; to prevent the loss of skeletal muscle post SCI. These results do not surprise me in the least and why this is not a common therapy for people with SCI is a tragedy in my view. If you, or someone you know, has suffered a SCI, I highly recommend you send this info to your/their doctor and pursue this as a possible option. It’s important to note that testosterone deficiency is common after SCI, and according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs SCI unit:
“These findings confirm both a substantial population of men with SCI and with testosterone deficiency, and a significant association between testosterone level and severity of SCI. Measuring serum total testosterone levels should be included in standard screenings for patients with SCI…”
I can say, a very common report of those who go on TRT is a big reduction in general aches and pains in my experience, and again, it makes perfect sense to me. The future treatment of SCI will be the of use various growth factors and other modalities (such as stem cell therapy) to re grow/re connect the spinal cord. That technology is much closer than people realize, but it seems the med/sci community very slow to pursue this area as quickly as they should. Obviously, this approach could be used to repair damaged nerves and other tissues far less challenging than repairing a severely damage or severed spinal cord.
Useful summary info from this study Effects of testosterone replacement therapy on skeletal muscle after spinal cord injury:
“The most important finding of this study was that TRT ameliorated the decrease in fiber CSA resulting from SCI. TRT also attenuated the slow to fast fiber type shift as well as the decrease in oxidative enzyme activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the potential of TRT to prevent atrophy in SCI. TRT in aging sarcopenia and in other diseases with muscle wasting (for example, AIDS) results in favorable effects on bone, muscle size and strength in both low-average and hypogonadal men.19 Increases in muscle CSA were equal, if not greater in TRT only groups than in exercise groups without TRT.20 These data and ours for SCI both demonstrate a positive effect of TRT on muscle size without traditional overload…”
The Rumble Roller Takes Soft Tissue Work To The The Next level
Like many people, I have my fair share of aches & pains, tight muscles, and hard earned small injuries and such. Like many, I have been using a foam roller for soft tissue work or SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release) work to improve sore muscles, tight muscles, and general recoup. I generally do my foam rolling in the morning for 15-20 minutes while the oatmeal cooks and coffee brews. It gets me ready for a day at the computer also. I also use it at the gym before workouts, a few times per week, and I find doing so reduces DOMS. Foam rolling is often referred to as “the poor mans massage therapist.” In terms of time and $$$ spent, it’s a no brainer in terms of benefits you receive. If you’re not using a foam roller regularly, you should be, like starting yesterday!
As time goes on, one notices the standard foam roller not as effective, and or, they start to break down, and a replacement needed. Some seem to last longer than others. Enter the Rumble Roller, which takes foam rolling to another level and seems to last far longer than the standard rollers. I was going to make one of my usual videos talking about the benefits of foam rollers, and why the Rumble Roller superior, but coach Charles Staley – who has some great articles here on the BrinkZone – did such a good job of it, I decided to use his vid on the topic. If interested in more information, I purchased both the standard length and shorter smaller (12″x 5″) travel length HERE
Personally, I prefer the standard (blue) firmness Rumble Roller. Highly recommended if you already use foam rollers, not recommended for those new to foam rolling for soft tissue/SMFR work as the Rumble Roller is very aggressive. Watch coach Staley’s excellent vid on the benefits of foam rolling, and why he likes the Rumble Roller over standard rollers in particular.
How many times have we done or seen people at the gym doing the “wind-mill” stretch before a workout? Sooner or later every weightlifter will experience pain and tenderness in their shoulder. The pain usually lingers for weeks if not months, and the pain is usually more noticeable when performing a bench and/or overhead press, but it gets better later into the workout. Chances are someone has said that it is possibly bursitis or rotator cuff issue, and rest and “take it easy” is the best way to treat it, but taking it easy or rest isn’t going to happen.
Most people will visit the chiropractor for back and neck injuries, but although it is not as well known, is that chiropractors can also treat sprains and strains. The body tends to compensate for any injury or weakness, causing additional problems in areas that were previously healthy. A person who sprained their ankle may end up developing back pain because the body has slightly adjusted their walking stride. A chiropractor can locate and treat these areas successfully before they become problematic.
A sprain occurs when a ligament or joint capsule is stretched beyond its normal range of motion. Severe sprains may even involve a tear in the ligament. The most common areas to suffer a sprain are the ankles, knees, wrists, and feet. Sprains are often caused by lifting heavy items, inadequate stretching or warm up before physical activity, or trauma that causes the joint to move out of position and overstretch the ligaments. These traumatic injuries are common in contact sports such as football and may also occur in non-contact sports where the person jumps and lands wrong, stretching the knee and ankle ligaments.
One Possible Solution to Chronic Shoulder Pain: The Rotater
Aches and pains are very common to athletes and people who exercise regularly. The shoulders are a common area for chronic aches and pains. Some times the pain is due to a specific injury which needs to be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. However, much of the time the aches and pain in the shoulders are due to muscle imbalances in the rotator cuff muscles, which can be stretched and or strengthened to both improve function and reduce pain.
Dr. Chiang covers some useful info on shoulder pain via his write up on shoulder Impingement Syndromes HERE, and there are a number of good articles on this site regarding injury prevention. One simple gizmo I have found very helpful is called The Rotater. It’s a simple yet effective method of both stretching and strengthening the rotator cuff muscles. Watch my short vid below, followed by the examples of using The Rotater for internal and external stretching. If interested in additional information on how The Rotater can be used to strengthen the shoulders, improve function, reduce pain, and so forth, hit the picture below the vids.
A Common Cause of Pain For Fitness Oriented People And Athletes Alike
Tennis elbow or Lateral epicondylitis is inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow1. Golfer’s elbow or Medial epicondylitis is pain and inflammation on the inner side of your elbow2.
How the injury occurs:
Both of these injuries are caused by repetitive use of extensor and/or flexor muscles of the forearm. Over time, inflammation, scar tissue, and small tears develop in the origin tendon of the muscle, which leads to irritation and pain when the muscle is used.
Lateral epicondylitis occurs in weightlifters usually due to wrist extension during pressing exercises such as barbell press, where the hands are stabilized, but the elbow has the tendency to move if technique is poor. Medial epicondylitis can occur with improper and/or excessive curling of the wrist during a bicep exercise. Both can also occur in occupation with consistent wrist rotation; like construction, painters, keyboard and mouse use, plumbers, and many more.
Note: people can read part I of this series HERE
Strengthening the Rotator Cuff
First and foremost, proper technique is more important than weight. Starting out, use very little to no weight. I find that 3-5 lb wrist weights or dumbbells are enough. These muscles are small; therefore, the goal is not to make them bulky by lifting heavy weight, but instead to concentrate on proper form to strengthen them. Use your best judgment when choosing how much weight to utilize.
Depending on the condition of the patient, it is recommended that they perform these for 3 sets of 10, and build up to 3 sets of 25, then add resistance. Results will vary depending on the severity of the condition and daily physical activity.
This can be performed standing using thera-band or side lying with dumbbells. Start by flexing the forearm to 90° with the elbow firmly on your side, then rotate your hand away from your body.
Vibration Training has potential uses to athletes, but won’t be replacing hard work in the gym any time soon. May have real value to some populations and as a rehab tool. I cover Vibration Training while stopping by Northeastern Chiropractic.
Considering the incredible and constant strain that it’s subjected to, the elbow is a stoic joint indeed. The elbow is a ginglymus or hinge type joint formed by the humerus bone of the upper arm and the radius and ulna bones of the lower arm. Although only flexion and extension occur around the elbow itself, the joint also permits rotation of the radius around the ulna.