Sports Performance

The importance of Sleep in Athletic Recovery

By PSSM Staff

The importance of Sleep in Athletic Recovery:

The most important facet to athletic recovery is sleep.  This naturally recurring state of mind and body characterized by altered consciousness provides benefits to mental health, hormone balance and muscular recovery.  Getting enough sleep typically means anywhere from 7-10 hours a night for most athletes.

 

Mental Health:

Sleep helps your brain work properly! While sleeping your brain forms new pathways to help you learn information. If you are trying to learn a new instrument , perfect your golf swing or hit that new PR on your lifts. Sleeping helps enhance your learning ability and problem solving skills in addition to helping you pay attention, make decisions and be creative. For children and teens being sleep deprived can lead to anger, impulsiveness, mood swings, sadness, depression or lack of motivation.

 

Hormone Balance:

Chronic sleep deprivation can set off numerous hormones and metabolic processes in the body. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of obesity as alterations in glucose tolerance which causing your body to feel hungrier than it should causing you to reach for that extra helping or mid-day sugar binge resulting in taking in excess calories that get stored as fat due to the impaired glucose tolerance. Sleep deprivation has also been shown to lower leptin (an appetite suppressing hormone produced by fat cells, normally produced in abundance at night) and ghrelin (hormone release by the stomach that stimulates hunger which is also secreted at night). Sleep deprivation also has an effect on cortisol levels which are associated with stress and belly fat. An overall decrease in this hormone leads to an increase in likelihood of developing diabetes and obesity.

 

Muscular Recovery:

During sleep your body recovers from exercise, repairs itself and generates new muscular tissue. Your body maximizes its output of growth hormone during sleep and at the same time replenishes neurotransmitters (specialized chemicals) needed for focus, attention, motivation, overall energy levels and muscular contractions. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, adrenalin, noreadrenalin, acetylcholine and more..

 

Sleep Tips!

  • Hours slept before 12 at night are proven to be more effective than those slept after
  • Sleep in the most natural setting possible with minimal to no artificial lights.
  • Wake up with the sun if possible
  • Fresh air and cooler temperatures provide better sleep environments

 

What is difference between endurance, strength and power?

By PSSM Staff

To fully understand the difference among the three phases of exercises we must first define each phase. Endurance is defined as a group of muscles that can generate sub-maximal force over a sustain amount of time or through repeated movements. Strength is defined as the ability of specific groups of muscle that producesmax force to overcome a resistance within a single exertion. Power is defined when a group of muscle is able to produce maximal force in a short amount of time possible.

When applying the phases to your exercise regime Trainers, Coaches, and/or Strength Coaches usually follow the standard repetition, sets, load and rest according to NSCA guidelines (National Strength and Conditioning Association). For Power examples like Olympic lifting, long jump and shot put are all events that require a huge amount of explosive force. According to NSCA guidelines if you are doing a single effort exercise it should be between 80-90% 1RM for 1-2 Reps and a multiple effort exercise 75-85% 1RM for 3-5 sets and 3-5 reps per set with a rest period between 2-5 min.For Strength, it requires heavy resistance, a low number of repetitions and a very long rest period. According to NSCA guideline for strength training is between 70% – 85% of your 1 Rep Max, between 2-6 repetition and 2-6 sets with a rest period between 2-5 min. For Endurance type activities think of your long distant runner or marathoner. All of your reps and sets are increased more between 12-15+ reps for 3-5 sets, but your rest period and working load are decreased.

Consult with a health professional to get help assessing your strength, power and muscular endurance. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise program. Your doctor or other medical provider can assess your general health and tell you if the program is right for you.

Why Rationing Out Your Conservative Care When You Have an Active Problem Is Not a Good Idea

By PSSM Staff

Many people now have insurance coverage that includes conservative care benefits for their ailments. This has opened up a window of opportunity for many to explore avenues of health that they may not have even heard of before. While there are some newer methods of treatment two staple conservative care options that have been around the longest are chiropractic and physical therapy. At Performance Spine and Sports Medicine not only are these two avenues of care offered, but they operate in tandem and do so at exceptionally high rates of success. However, this success is not haphazard. The collaborative effort between our medical doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors is elaborately made with the ultimate goal of providing the correct and most efficient care for each individual patient that comes through our doors. The recommended treatment plans given are crafted for each individual based on a set standard that is proven and rooted in consistency and maximum efficacy for results and following said treatment recommendation is key to seeing those results. There are times, however, when some patients feel that breaking up their treatment recommendation, in terms of frequency, will fare them better because of the perception that it is better for them if their care lasts a longer overall period of time. Clinically this is untrue and here’s why.
Three times per week is a pretty common standard set in the conservative world, this number is not arbitrary. Care recommendation is based on achieving the best clinical outcome possible for the individual. Plainly stated, we want to put together a plan that is going to get you to your goal, being pain free, as quickly, safely, and efficiently possible. Liken this to working out. When you start a workout plan/regimen you typically have a goal in mind; even if it is as general as “wanting to get into better shape overall” and not as specific and particular as “train for a 5k” or “lose 25 pounds.” If you are following your training regimen but only going to the gym once a week you likely feel good afterward each time you go, but once a week isn’t doing very much to help you reach your goal as efficiently as possible. You’re sacrificing the efficacy of your program for little to no therapeutic/physical benefit.

When you’re a patient at PSSM, clinical necessity spearheads the recommendation we’ve given you. So, when we tell you that three times per week is what we are recommending it is because that is what is necessary to see results in the short time frame we are trying to get you better in. Remember, that number is not arbitrary. Conservative care is a cumulative process; meaning the results and effects of the care add up over a defined period of time. We want to protect you from wasting a lot of energy swimming upstream by only getting a third of the care you need each week; therefore significantly slowing your overall progress and many times staving it off altogether. You simply won’t get the results you’re looking for that way.

Time is a factor here as well. Most problems that patients come in for, that aren’t a result of a directly traumatic injury, have actually been developing over a longer period of time than they realize. This can range from months to even years. When you’re undergoing physical therapy and chiropractic care we are trying to reverse that problem in a matter of weeks. This adds another layer of difficulty to the mix when a patient purposely cuts their visits down by more than half. A lot of times it will take longer to get better; much longer, but most of the time you will just plateau faster and stay there longer; meaning you’ll improve to a certain point and then your progress will slow to a halt, remain there, you’ll get stuck and in many cases get worse again. The other reason this is true is the activities of daily living factor. Depending on what you do for work and/or hobbies these activities will begin to counteract the care you’re supposed to be getting 3x a week but are only allowing yourself to receive 1x per week. If you are working out once a week with a goal of getting stronger, or fitter, would you reach your goal in one year? Not likely. Relatively, if you are coming in for care once per week will you be better within 8 weeks? Not likely. So take the time to get better. It may feel tedious and painstaking in the process but it really is your best chance at getting better and staying that way. You’ll thank yourself when you come out on the other side.

Safe Running tips

By PSSM Staff

Now that the weather is warmer it is common for people to start transitioning from the gym to running outside again. Here are some tips to promote safety when running this spring and summer!

According to Runner’s World,
1) If you can avoid running with headphones in. If you do, make sure you keep your music volume at a low enough level where you can hear on coming traffic or other pedestrians /runners approaching you. Try wearing only one ear bud in so you can still hear adequately.

2) Make sure you always run against traffic so you can see any on coming cars or vehicles to avoid being hit on roads. Always move out of the way if you feel a car is driving to close to you. Try to avoid narrow roads and areas with high traffic where cars speed or there is lots of congestion. Whenever possible stay off of the road and run on the sidewalk, the shoulder or trails especially in busy or hilly areas. Follow the traffic laws in the area especially in intersections.

3) Make sure that you alert people when you are going on a run and where so that your friends and family are aware of your whereabouts and for how long. Carry a cell phone and identification with you incase anything happens to you on a run.

4) Wear appropriate clothes for the weather and time of day. Use sun glasses, a hat and sunglasses if the sun is bright. This improves your ability to see and protects your skin from harmful UV rays. Stay hydrated before, during and after a run. Wear clothes that are cooling on hot days and wear bright clothes that make you visible to cars especially if running in the evening or night. Runner’s World also suggests that runners wear reflective clothing as a great way to stay visible when the sun is setting. A head lamp is great for your own visibility and other drivers after dark.

5) If you haven’t run in a long time during the winter ease yourself into training. Increase your mileage slowly and steadily to avoid injury if you are not in the shape that you are accustomed to or if you are new to running.

For other great tips or suggestions for safe running you can check out this article
http://www.runnersworld.com/start-walking/11-tips-for-staying-safe-on-the-roads

Tips to exercise when you are really busy

By PSSM Staff

Making sure that you find time to exercise is difficult for a lot of people especially for people with careers and children in their lives. Fortunately, there are a few ways to try and promote a healthy life style where you can raise your heart rate or get on your feet even if it is for short periods.

For example, exercise trackers like a FitBit are great ways to promote walking and standing to get steps in during a busy day. Even if you are just taking the stairs instead of the elevator this is a great way to get more walking and exercise in a normal day. Even choosing to park farther from the store to walk farther is an easy way to walk more. Have the motivation like a tracker helps people to get up a move when they normally wouldn’t and try and get more walking in than average for them.

Another way to try and get more exercise in is to get a gym membership. Gyms offer group exercise classes, private trainers and lots of machines to allow variety in training. Paying the fee for a gym membership also promotes compliance with exercise as there is more of an incentive to make up for the price. If it is hard to get to the gym a good way to get there is by going straight from work or before work Packing clothes to take allow you avoid multiple trips.

If getting a gym membership is not up your alley exercising at home is always a great option for people. Designating a work out space in your home creates a space for you to dedicate your time and effort to yourself. There are many work out videos, yoga classes etc on dvd, online or on demand that people can participate in their own home. With warmer weather going out for walks or runs is also a great way to exercise near home. Having a running or walking partner is a great way to stay active. Or taking longer walks with your dog than normal gets your moving more than you normally would.

Hopefully these tips help people stay active and healthy despite busy schedules and hectic lifestyles!

Exercise and endorphins

By PSSM Staff

Exercise can be a great way to improve stress and energy levels in certain individuals. Endorphins are known to be correlated with exercise which can improve mood and relaxation. Most people are very active during the fall and summer since the weather is accommodating to outdoor activities. There is typically a drop off in activity levels when the temperature begins to drop during the winter months. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this and beat the lethargic effects of winter. The first is to try and join a gym. Gym’s offer a number of fun exercise classes and machines that are protected against the harsh temperatures of the outdoors. Not to mention paying for a gym membership increases the incentive to actually go to work out. If you are not interested in paying full price for a membership, ask your current employer about any discounts or offered insurance incentives for membership. If the gym is not your type of place to exercise, invest in warm weather apparel for outdoor activities. Hats, gloves and appropriate clothing are important to stay warm and safe during cold weather activities. Always be sure to check the weather before going out to make sure that you are well prepared. Or if you are more interested in staying inside there are also numerous exercise classes offered online, on demand with certain cable providers or DVDs/videos. Finally, an easy way to make sure you’re still moving is trying a fitness tracker like the FitBit to make sure you are walking throughout the day rather than sitting.

Best Biceps Exercise

By PSSM Staff

The biceps brachii is one of the most trained and sought after muscles among those who perform resistance training.  But which exercise is the best to strengthen the biceps?  The best exercise would elicit contraction of the greatest amount of muscle fibers.

The standard test to determine muscle activity is the electromyography (EMG).  EMG studies conducted on eight of the most common bicep exercises reveal one clear choice.  Exercises studied were the preacher curl, cable curl, incline curl, concentration curl, chin up and wide and narrow grip EZ curl.  The exercise which elicited significantly higher biceps activation than the others was the concentration curl.  This means that you use more of your biceps performing this exercise than you do with any of the others tested.  Finishing with the least amount of muscle fibers recruited was the preacher curl.

So while the concentration curl targets the biceps most effectively, consider that isolating muscles during strengthening may not be the most functional way to train.  Human movement is achieved not with one muscle at a time but with many muscles working in conjunction, therefore we may better improve our functional strength with a variety of multi-joint exercises and activities.  If your goal is body building or simply to increase the size of your biceps, then the concentration curl will accomplish this for you.

Gary Fuschini, PTA

Futuristic Therapy Comes Down to Earth

By PSSM Staff

Vibration therapy, founded to help astronauts maintain muscle mass in space, has down-to-earth benefits that can help patients.

Dr. Jim Tholany said that whole body vibration (WBV) therapy is offered at the Bordentown office where he works as a physical therapist and rehabilitation manager. WBV treatments are a few minutes in length, and used in conjunction with other therapies.

WBV works by a stretch-reflex contraction of the muscles when they are activated through vibration.
“When contractions occur, good things happen,” Tholany said. “You get improved activation of that particular muscle group, improved blood flow and stimulation of joint receptors in the muscles and tendons that help your body have more information to help stabilize you,” he continued.

WBV has many uses, according to Tholany, such as increasing strength, flexibility, post-training recovery, decreasing inflammation, and fall prevention.

Post-training recovery vibration therapy might allow a client to be ready sooner for another training session.

The contractions caused by WBV therapy to decrease inflammation help flush fluid out of the surrounding joints, though it’s not used for acute inflammation. It is also not used immediately post-op, or patients with bone tumor or fracture, clots, kidney stones or those who are pregnant.
When it is integrated into a treatment plan Tholany said it is used two to three times per week. Its usage varies from static held positions to moving around on the vibration plate, such as step ups and squats. It can be used for patients with both upper and lower extremity conditions.