The Power of the Placebo

Dr. Cole and Steve discuss the psychological and physiological effects of using a placebo for recovery. Dr. Cole also explains the powerful effect the mind has on assisting the body in recovery.

Sports Medicine Weekly on 670 The Score

Beyond The Body: How Sports And Exercise Can Improve Mental Clarity

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Being physically active has long been associated with numerous benefits for the body. But did you know that the benefits extend to the brain as well? Just as proper nutrition contributes to a healthy state of mind, playing sports and exercising on a regular basis, significantly benefits mental clarity in both direct and indirect ways.

Thinking skills and memory

Recent research led by Harvard Medical School suggests that participating in sports and being physically active changes the way our brains work by not only improving thinking skills, but by protecting memory as well. As soon as your heart rate is up and you begin to sweat, there is a notable size increase of the hippocampus, which is associated with learning abilities and verbal memory. While you can choose many different types of physical activity for these benefits, the important thing is to remain consistent.

Eliminating brain fog

Partaking in sports and aerobic exercise also improves mental clarity in a different way. We all know that dreaded feeling of ‘brain fog’, often associated with general confusion, a lack of motivation and even inspiration. Breaking a sweat significantly affects our cognitive functions by increasing blood flow to the brain, resulting in higher levels of both energy and oxygen. It also releases hormones such as adrenaline and dopamine that not only make you feel good and energized, but also enable you to concentrate and think clearly. What does this mean for your mental state? Better performance and a clear head. In other words, say goodbye to brain fog.

Indirect benefits

While physical activity directly impacts our mental health, it also affects us indirectly, but again in positive ways. When we exercise, we are naturally reducing both stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact our moods and mental state. Playing sports is a particularly good option as your mind will be focused on working with your team or towards a goal, rather than stressing out about things you cannot control. Consistent physical activity also results in a deeper sleep, and feeling rested is crucial to mental clarity and mood.

While playing sports and exercising has long been associated with benefits for the body, it also greatly impacts our minds. By strengthening cognitive function, providing clarity, improving mood and promoting sound sleep, joining your local sports team or incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a move both your body and mind will thank you for in the long run.

By Jess Walter

Allografts offer cost, healing benefits in sports medicine

From JRF Ortho News– “Allograft use is one of the hottest topics [in the United States] right now,” said Christopher Harner, MD, of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., in a special symposium on allografts at the 7th European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology Congress (EFORT). Harner was joined by fellow orthopaedic surgeons Gary G. Poehling, MD, of Winston-Salem, U.S.A., and René Verdonk, MD, PhD, of Gent, Belgium, a member of the Orthopaedics Today International Editorial Advisory Board.

“There has been an explosion in the use of musculoskeletal allografts in sports medicine, and last year more than 1 million graphs were distributed,” Harner said. “Although the tissues improved in safety in the last 10 to 15 years and disease transmission is rare, it still exists.”

Harner said the advantages of allografts include low donor site mobility, decreased operating time and less pain in the first six weeks. He called it the preferred procedure in complex cases such as multiple ligament revision cases. He said the disadvantages include disease transmission and slow incorporation.

Click here to read the entire article.

2018 Texas 4000 Team Rolls Into Chicago As Part of A 70-Day Journey to Alaska for 15th Annual Ride Benefiting Cancer Research

More than 60 college students participate in longest annual charity bike ride in the world.

This summer, more than 60 students from The University of Texas at Austin will ride from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, as part of the 15th Anniversary of Texas 4000 for Cancer, the longest annual charity bike ride in the world. The team will ride more than 4,000 miles over the course of 70 days beginning June 1st with the mission of fighting cancer by sharing hope, knowledge and charity at every stop along the route.

On June 1st, Texas 4000 supporters celebrated the ride’s ceremonial send off at Day Zero at the Robert B. Rowling Hall Auditorium on The University of Texas campus. Civic leaders, including philanthropist and long-time Texas 4000 supporter Luci Baines Johnson, delivered a motivational message to the group of volunteers, riders, family and friends. Two grant checks were awarded to the Dell Medical School and the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering.

The Texas 4000 team will be rolling through Chicago on June 29, 2018, just 28 days after departing from Austin, Texas on their way to Anchorage, Alaska. Texas 4000 is more than an endurance ride for cancer. It combines leadership development, physical training, cancer awareness outreach, volunteer opportunities and philanthropic commitment.

All students undergo an application process to be part of the 18-month program and once selected, each student is required to raise $4,500, ride 2,000 training miles with his/her team, volunteer more than 50 hours in the community, and play an active role in planning every aspect of the ride to Alaska by attending weekly meetings and taking leadership positions within the team.

Over the years, more than 750 students have made the trek from Austin to Anchorage, collectively raising more than $8.4 million in the fight against cancer since the ride began in 2004.

The riders will take one of three different routes to Alaska:

Sierra Route: These riders head northwest from Austin and cycle through the Southwest to California, then north along the West Coast and into Canada. Major cities along the route include: Santa Fe, NM; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, B.C.
Rockies Route: These riders cycle north from Austin and cut over to the Rocky Mountains. They’ll ride through the western U.S. before crossing the Canadian border into Alberta. Major cities along the route include: Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Denver, CO; Calgary, AB.
Ozarks Route: These riders travel east from Austin, then cut northeast through the American Midwest before crossing the Canadian border and cycling across four Canadian provinces. Major cities along the route include: Houston, TX; St. Louis, MO; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Madison, WI; Winnipeg, MB; Edmonton, AB.
In Canada, the three groups will reunite and ride the final 10 days together to Anchorage, Alaska.

On each of the three routes, the riders will make stops along the way to present grants to cancer research and support service organizations such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Young Adult Cancer Canada, Brent’s Place and Texas Children’s Hospital.

“These young men and women are inspirational leaders in the fight against cancer,” said Scott Crews, Executive Director of Texas 4000. “Because cancer has touched them or someone they know, they are committed to raising funds for cancer research and support services, helping to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Shortly after their return to Austin, the riders will celebrate their journey at the Tribute Gala on Friday, August 24, at the Hyatt Regency. Tickets and sponsorships are available on the Texas 4000 website.


About Texas 4000
Texas 4000 for Cancer is a nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate student leaders and engage communities in the fight against cancer. Each year a team of dedicated University of Texas at Austin students complete a more than 4,000-mile bike ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska sharing Hope, Knowledge, and Charity along the way. Over the course of their 18-month involvement with Texas 4000, riders train, fundraise, volunteer in the community, and serve in leadership roles to help plan every aspect of the summer ride.Texas 4000

The leadership development program culminates in Texas 4000’s capstone event, a 70-day summer ride – the longest annual charity bike ride in the world. Since 2004, 751 students have completed the ride, raising over $8.4 million and logging 4,270,000 miles – fighting cancer every mile. Find us at texas4000.org, facebook.com/texas4000 or twitter.com/Texas4000.