ACL Bracing by DonJoy



DonJoy pioneered the concept of functional knee bracing more than 30 years ago. Our first prototypes were simple neoprene sleeves sewn together in the Carlsbad, Calif. garage of our founders, Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Line Captain Mark Nordquist and local lawyer Ken Reed. Those first braces came from a deep understanding of the need for prevention, protection and healing, and DonJoy has led the profession of performance ever since by studying the body, listening to athletes, consulting physicians and pushing the envelope of innovation.


The overall perception of knee bracing technology available to most patients today is that “everyday” knee braces can be unsightly, bulky, heavy, minimally effective, restrictive and uncomfortable. These misconceptions combine to produce “brace anxiety” among many patients, often preventing mainstream adoption and compliance of braces that can help prevent injuries, allow people to remain active while healing, and protect the knee from future injury.


Patients are looking for quick, effective and economic options for maintaining or regaining their life activities; most want to delay expensive, invasive surgeries. While some patients are turning to the use of prescription narcotics (which can lead to addiction) and cortisone shots to manage their pain, these treatment options do not provide stability to the knee.


Young people between the ages of 15-25 account for half of all ACL injuries.

A person who has torn their ACL has a 15 times greater risk of a second ACL injury during the initial 12 months after ACL reconstruction, and risk of ACL injury to the opposite knee is two times that of the restructured knee.

Many athletes don’t return to sport after ACL reconstruction due to fear of re-injury.


Given the physicality of football, it’s easy to understand why collegiate and professional linemen wear braces on both knees. The line of scrimmage is an environment prone to knee injuries, so team doctors, athletic trainers and coaches don’t hesitate to equip their players with bilateral (both knees) custom braces.

As with helmets and shoulder pads, knee braces have become standard equipment to assist in preventing season-ending knee injuries. And the same logic holds true with skiing, snowboarding, soccer, basketball, volleyball, professional rodeo, water sports and others. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.



Why brace after ACL reconstruction? Clinicians will typically prescribe a functional knee brace after the patient has regained full range of motion—that’s usually between three to five months after surgery. Graft strength of the new ACL is considerably weaker than the native (original) ACL during the first 12 months, so a brace during this early period helps protect it from harmful forces that occur in everyday life or in sport.defiance-300x250

Bracing also elevates a patient’s confidence, allowing them to return to their previous or enhanced level of activity. Just look to athletes including Robert Griffin III, Tiger Woods, Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady, Lindsey Vonn, Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning just to name a few. Another important reason? Peace of mind. A functional knee brace provides not only confidence for the patient, but confidence for the surgeon, knowing that their patient’s knee is protected.

Sports Therapy by ATI

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ATI Sports Medicine athletic trainers work with athletes at all levels of competition to prevent, evaluate and treat sports injuries.

One of the largest employers of certified athletic trainers in the country, ATI offers:

  • On-site services at practices, games and events
  • Communication with coaches, physicians, parents and athletes
  • Clinical evaluation and diagnosis
  • Immediate and emergency care
  • Treatment, rehabilitation and education
  • Organizational and professional health and well-being
  • Conditioning program development
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Nutrition programs
  • On-call accessibility
  • Comprehensive concussion management

Highly Qualified, Coordinated Care

ATI’s athletic trainers are allied healthcare professionals, and must meet qualificationsSports Therapy - Highly Qualified, Coordinated Care set by the Board of Certification, Inc. in most states. Also, our athletic trainers:

  • Coordinate care under the direction of a physician and other healthcare professionals
  • Are members of the healthcare profession and are recognized by the American Medical Association
  • Have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university, and must pass a comprehensive exam to earn their credentials and practice athletic training
  • Are experts at recognizing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal injuries

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35 Benefits of Excercising During Pregnancy

Should you keep exercising after you become pregnant? This is the question many women who work out or who play sports ask themselves as soon as it happens. Many mothers-to-be believe pregnancy is a time to nest, relax, and let the baby grow. However, it is possible to continue to do some exercises while pregnant. In fact, many now believe that it is a vital part of maintaining both the health of the mother and of the baby too.

Naturally, the range of sports and exercises becomes more limited when a baby is on board, but it does not rule all of them out. Before deciding which sports to do be it Tai Chi or something else, it is important to understand why you should be doing exercises in the first place.

Of the many benefits, there are 4 main categories – physical health while pregnant, mental and emotional health, benefits to both the baby and the mother, and post-delivery health benefits. To find out the 35 most common reasons for exercising during pregnancy, check out this article.

Contributed by Jessica Walter

Endurance Athlete Back in Action After Hip Surgery

By Matt Aaronson

I had never been physically active prior to 2010. In fact, at one point I weighed morematt-aaronson than 200 pounds. But with three kids at home, I needed to make some serious changes in my lifestyle and get healthy for myself and my family.

So I started to run for fitness. I was fortunate and began losing a lot of weight. And as I lost weight, I became a faster runner. I signed up for some races and noticed that I was commonly in the top 10 or even in the top three. I got into triathlons to try something different and realized my results were excellent. I even qualified for the World Championships in 2011, in my first half Ironman.

I ran my first marathon in 2013 in under three hours, during which I qualified for the Boston Marathon. However, while I was training for the Boston Marathon my hip started really bothering me. I thought I would be fine if I just ran a little bit less. Initially for my training I was up to 60 miles a week. But once I injured my hip, I went back down to less than 30 miles a week, even in the mid-20s per week. But the pain still got worse and worse.

After seeing a couple doctors without any improvement or definitive diagnosis, I knew I needed to elevate the level of care. So I went to see a sports medicine doctor at Rush’s orthopedics program. The doctor reviewed my prior MRIs and results from the last eight months of battling through physical therapy and other exams, reports and treatments. He ordered an MRI arthrogram to get to a diagnosis of hip impingement.

He then referred me to a consultation with a surgeon, Dr. Shane Nho, to consider surgery as a treatment option given that nothing else had worked.

‘A REALLY BIG DECISION’matt-aaronson-event.jpg

For me, deciding to have surgery was a really big decision because it made me nervous. I did a lot of research to ensure two things: Did I truly need surgery? And, was Rush’s orthopedics department, where I’d been referred for surgery, the right place to go?

I made sure to consult a variety of different medical professionals, not just surgeons, to make sure that surgery was the right option. I saw seven specialists in all. And one thing I found out through all of those consultations is that the doctors at Rush had steered me in the right direction in terms of a diagnosis and course of action.

The other thing was I met with a number of different surgeons who did this particular procedure and got a feel for how they differed. Through that process I really got a sense that Dr. Nho at Rush would be the best option for me. Dr. Nho was highly recommended by my physical therapist as well as other doctors who were friends of mine who knew him. In addition, Dr. Nho does a high volume of minimally invasive hip arthroscopy procedures, and that made a big difference for me. A lot of the other hip surgeons I met with also operate on knees and shoulders, but Dr. Nho is focused only on hips.

It made me comfortable and gave me confidence that my surgeon was so specialized that he’d probably already seen any complex issues that might arise.


Dr. Nho performed my hip arthroscopy in December 2015. The level of care and responsiveness during the recovery process was amazing. There were a number of times when I sent an email to Dr. Nho or one of his physician assistants, and they responded almost immediately.

In the course of my research, I learned that Dr. Nho’s rehab protocol is very precise and quite conservative relative to the other surgeons I consulted. He is in close communication with the physical therapist to ensure it is being followed and is effective.

And it was effective! I didn’t start running until about five months after the surgery. And when I started running, I was running for one minute at a time and walking for four minutes. However, within six weeks I was able to run a 5K race in just over 19 minutes, only about a minute slower than before I got injured.

After I ran that 5K I was so encouraged with my recovery process that I decided to signMORGif-180x150-link up for a half Ironman, which was about nine months out from surgery. I trained a lot less than typical for a half Ironman because I wanted to ensure no risk to the surgery recovery. But I was able to complete it in just over four and a half hours, which was within a few minutes of my personal best time.

People in the running and triathlon community who know me always ask me for recommendations when they are injured. They know I have seen many doctors for injuries over the years. I recommend the orthopedics department at Rush without hesitation.

9 Ways to Prevent & Ease Muscle Soreness While Running

This morning my alarm clock went off at exactly 7 a.m., and a long run was on schedule. But as soon as I was out of bed, ouch, every step hurts. It’s then that I realized that my lower back, glutes, and hamstrings had another plan. In fact, I was so sore that I couldn’t walk straight. Of course, I know why this happened. Yesterday I completed a series of exercises that pushed me to the breaking point. I performed 25 reps of barbell back squats and 30 deadlifts at 80 percent of my One-Rep Max. But still, I thought I’d feel OK by now. So, guess what happened next?

Then the internal debate started. And started asking myself all sorts of questions… Should I skip on my run today? Should I hit the snooze button? Or should I go run instead in spite of the soreness and pain? After a few minutes of back and forth I made up my mind and decided to go run. That’s the right decision to make. And thank God, I knew what to do next. I grabbed my foam roller, and after a few dynamic stretches, a strong cup of Joe, I was set and ready to go. Of course, I still have some residue soreness, but, all things considered, the payoffs of getting my butt out the door for my long run far exceeds some minor and temporary discomfort.

9 Ways to Prevent & Ease Muscle Soreness While Running

Today I’m going to share with you a bunch of practical tips to help deal with the pain. So are you excited? Then here we go… But first things first, what is muscle soreness? How in the world happens? And what’s causing it?

Muscle Soreness demystified

The most popular theory is that muscle soreness occurs as a result of muscle damage, caused by microtrauma in the form of teeny tiny tears in your muscles. It’s Common: Muscle soreness is pretty common among runners of all fitness levels and training backgrounds. Nevertheless, beginner runners or those coming back to running after a long layoff report more muscle soreness episodes than those who keep a regular training program.

There are mainly two types of exercise-related soreness.

The first being the immediate or acute soreness—the muscle soreness you feel during and/or shortly after a run. The second type, the more common, is what’s known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS in the fitness circles. In most cases, muscle soreness is mild, emerging after a hard run—think long runs and gut-busting sprint and/or hill reps, and lasting no longer than a couple of days. At other times, this soreness does not emerge until after two or three days following a workout. The thing is, when the soreness is intense (or crippling at times), it’s almost always a case of DOMS.

Dealing With Post-Run Muscle Soreness

Unfortunately, according to the current scientific theory, there are no fool-proof ways for speeding up the recovery of muscle soreness. (Of course, there is one fool-proof way to avoid soreness altogether, which is to give up running altogether. And I guess that you don’t want to do that) With that said, here are a few helpful training tips and recovery guidelines that are worth trying to get your body primed for the next run.

1. Start Slow

It goes without saying, but if you are a beginner, or returning to running after a long break, slow and gradual is the way to go. For starters, if you are a complete running newbie, then start with the walk/run method. Once you can run for  30 to 40 minutes straight without much trouble, then start adding speed work in small increments. Use the 10 percent rule. Increase your running mileage by no more than 10 percent from one week to the next.

2. Eat Right Away

Immediately following a run, your body has roughly one to two hours to most efficiently absorb the food you consume. That’s why if you skip post-run nutrition, then you might not have enough energy for your next session, and you’ll fall short on the protein you need for muscle recovery, all of which can compromise your fitness routine. As a result, make sure to eat something immediately following a hard workout. For the best results, aim for 3 or 4 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein.

Easier said than done, but it’s worth trying out different ratios and foods until you find what works the best for you. In my experience, the best way to refuel following a hard run—especially if you are pressed for time and/or don’t have the stomach for solid food—is to consume liquid nutrition. And by far, my favorite is chocolate milk or a banana based smoothie. Other options include yogurt, banana with peanut butter, or orange juice with two hard boiled eggs and whole toast. If you have the stomach and the time, then go for brown rice with chicken, a bowl of quinoa, an omelet with an avocado.

3. Consume Protein

I hate to sound like a broken record, but when it comes to avoiding muscle soreness, protein is key. Proper protein intake is not only key for building muscles but it has also been shown to reduce post-workout muscle damage, according to study.

The reason? This happens by stimulating protein synthesis, which is one of the most basic biological processes by which amino acids are linearly arranged to allow individual cells to build specific proteins. Also, the increased blood amino acids level serves as a sort of biomechanical signal that instructs the muscles not to turn to protein as an alternative fuel source. In other words, consuming enough proteins provides the muscles with the key building blocks needed to repair and rebuild damaged tissue.

4. Compress it

There is strong evidence that wearing compression attire can reduce post-workout soreness, and speed up recovery afterward. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, opting for compression garments while and after working out can reduce muscle soreness. Another research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, found that marathoners who wear compression socks in the 48 hours following a race reported a faster recovery rate than those who didn’t.

Why? According to theory, technical compression fabric helps reduce soreness by supporting muscle groups, reducing muscle micro-tearing in the process. Not only that, but research also shows that compression can increase circulation. As a result, if you are chronically sore after a run, then try wearing compression tights, compression shorts, and compression socks, and see if this helps you alleviate some of the pain.

5. Foam Roll

One of my favorite methods for alleviating post-run muscle soreness is foam rolling. In fact, the long, cylinder-like tool has saved my ass on so many occasions. So, what is foam rolling and how can it help? Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that uses laser focused massage to help release tight and sore spots. According to theory, this might help ward off scarring of the connective tissues, known as fascia, between your muscles, preventing all sorts of pain and injury in the process.

Also, foam rolling increases blood flow to your worked-up muscles through applied pressure—vital for speeding up recovery. Therefore, use the foam roller at least a couple of times a week, especially after a hard run or right before if you have any serious symptoms. You can do this right after running, or just before a workout as a part of your dynamic warm-up.

6. Drink Coffee

If you are a fan of coffee, then this is going to be good news. Not only that research shows that caffeine has a positive impact on training and endurance, drinking the stuff can also alleviate post-workout soreness. According to research conducted at the University of Georgia, taking caffeine, a dose that’s roughly the equivalent of two cups of coffee, can help reduce muscle soreness following a hard training session.

Why is that? According to the scientists, coffee can reduce soreness because it blocks adenosine by binding its receptors sites. Wait? What is adenosine? Well, it’s a vital biochemical for energy transfer that’s released by your body, mainly by the central nervous receptors that is heavily involved in pain processing, With that said, drinking a gallon of the stuff won’t make you sore-proof. In fact, research suggests that too much coffee might cause muscle spasms and some serious stomach issues while exercising. So be careful.

7. Use the Ice

Another helpful thing you can do to alleviate post run soreness is to take a cool bath following a hard session.

Why? Well, according to theory, ice therapy can minimize the inflammation response. What is the inflammation response you might ask? In essence, that’s your body’s natural attempt to heal itself after an injury, fight off infections and repair damaged tissue. But it also works like a cast, typically causing the affected area to swell and become stiff, immobilizing it until it fully heals. As a result, take the time to sit in a cold tub for 15 to 20 minute after a hard workout. If a cold shower is not an option, then place an ice pack on troubled and hot areas that feel strained or overworked.

8. Use Topical Ointments

If all proves futile, then you might consider using a topical ointment to alleviate the pain.

How do they work? These ointments contain an ingredient that is numbing and cooling to the muscles. And they work by inducing a cooling and pain-relieving sensation, boosting blood flow, and improving circulation. Therefore, feel free to run these ointments into your typical sore and troubled spots after and up to a couple of days after a hard run. Or until the soreness wanes.

Some of the best popular remedies you can find in the market or online, include Ben-Gay, Arnica Rub, Tiger Balm, Traumeel, and magnesium oil. Just don’t get me wrong here. Topical ointments are no magical cure… The truth is, these ointments DO NOT eliminate soreness.

9. Don’t Stop

I know -I knooooow…The last thing you’d want to do if you are sore is…more exercise. Just don’t call me crazy yet. There is a method behind this madness. The best thing you can do, according to science, is to keep moving. Of course, running might seem like a bad joke when your leg muscles are in a world of hurt. Nonetheless, research confirms that light activity increases blood flow and speeds up the body’s ability to eliminate the chemicals and toxic waste linked with muscle soreness.

Of course, this does not mean that you should go and repeat the same gut-busting hill workout or long trail run you just did yesterday. That’s a big mistake. And doing so will only spell disaster on your performance and health. Instead, what I mean by active recovery is all about performing light, easy exercise. This will boost blood flow to the sore muscles without putting too much pressure on them. Some of the best examples of active recovery include a long walk, a bike ride, yoga, or even performing a light weight training session.

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