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

4 Weekday Prep Tips for the Weekend Warrior

By Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP for Athletico Physical Therapy

Weekend warriors are those that participate in higher levels of physical activity on the weekends with minimal activity performed during the week. In order to prevent injury, weekend warriors need to be aware of the risks their activity choices make on their bodies.

For instance, it is important to keep in mind that the body cannot go from inactive during the week to high intensity weekend warrior mode instantly. Exercise intensity and participation should be progressive to decrease the risk of injury. Here are some helpful tips to help weekend warriors stay fit for bouts of intense physical activity on the weekends:

1. Try to incorporate activity into your week

Oftentimes weekend warriors only participate in weekend activities due to time constraints during the week. However, if time does not permit a full workout during the week, even small bouts of activity can help the body with the demands placed on it during the weekends. Trying to fit in a couple of stretching sessions during the week is a good idea.

These sessions can be as short as 10 minutes but will help the muscles recover. Also consider trying strength training. There are some good strengthening exercises that require no equipment and can be performed quickly at home – such as planks or squats. These strengthening exercises will help the muscles adapt to the demands of weekend activities.

2. Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated.

Exercise requires energy and hydration. The best way to fuel the body is with a healthy diet throughout the week and weekend. Drinking water will also help performance, as dehydration can lead to overheating and potential heat exhaustion. Having protein rich snacks as well as water rich fruits and vegetables around throughout the week will help build healthy habits for activities on the weekend. 

3. Change it up.

Weekend warriors may find themselves only performing one type of activity and this repetition can leave them at higher risk of injury. Switching up routines can allow the body to recover and provide better overall benefits. Remember a well-rounded workout utilizes both cardiovascular and strength training. Use the weekdays to research new types of activities to try, from a new Saturday morning spin class to a Sunday afternoon tennis match.

4. Know your limits.

There are tons of different types of workouts to pick from and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. Understanding limitations is key to decreasing injury risk. Do not plan to go from completely sedentary to extremely active right away. Find an activity that you like to do and gradually increase the difficulty level as you can tolerate.

  • Tip: Use the RICE method to help relieve pain and swelling for minor injuries.

Don’t Ignore Injury

If you are a weekend warrior suffering from an injury or lingering aches and pains after activity, make sure to request an appointment at your nearest Athletico location so that our clinicians can help with the healing process so you can get back to activity as soon as possible.

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An Inside Look Into Flexor Tendon Injuries

By: Brian Rog and Julianne Lessard, OTR/L,CHT for ATI Physical Therapy

An Inside Look Into Flexor Tendon Injuries

Our hands and fingers are among the most important assets to our body, so an injury, specifically to the hand’s control center, the flexor tendon, can open the door to a lengthy and exhausting road to recovery. If you are not familiar with the flexor tendon system, it consists of strong cords of tissue that connect the muscles of the forearm, through the wrist, and across the palm to the tips of the fingers and thumb. All four fingers connect to one primary muscle, which is responsible for controlling the middle knuckles and another muscle that controls the fingertips.

Flexor tendons are essential in enabling movement in the fingers and allow us to engage in simple activities like writing, holding a coffee cup, holding hands and zipping a coat. Unfortunately, this often overlooked muscle group can be damaged in an instant, so it’s important not to discount its value and susceptability to injury.

Injuries to the flexor tendons can happen so quickly that the individual affected by it does not have time to comprehend the severity of the damage. It’s important to know that almost any injury to the palm-side of the hand will involve the flexors.

When an injury does occur, more often than not, the cause of the injury is traumatic and can be be caused by something as simple as a laceration from the tip of a knife while cutting a vegetable, or a bit more harrowing such as a major contact injury from a table saw.

There are also closed inuries such as jersey finger that can result when a player grabs another player’s jersey as they pull away. The affected area mostly involves the tip of the finger, which is prone to avulsions and laceration injuries to the tendons.

Another common closed injury involving the covering of the tendons called sheaths can also occur. These are caused by overuse or strain and are usually categorized as tendonitis. Symptoms here are more subtle with a deep ache and sometimes a triggered or locked finger. Hand Therapy and an orthosis or brace can often help reduce swelling, however, in some cases, an injection or surgery is needed.

The good news in all of this is that treatment for a hand injury can be effective, but here’s the caveat, as we mentioned, it’s a tiring process, which will most likely require a surgical procedure, followed by a recovery period that can extend for several months and on. So do yourself a favor and keep your hands out of harms way – we know, it’s easier said than done.

There’s no denying that minor accidents will occur from time to time, so the more you know, the better you can prepare. If you have sustained an injury to your hand and are unsure of the steps needed to get back to life before the injury, stopy by your nearest ATI Physical Therapy clinic and ask our team for a complimentary injury screening. Our team will assess your injury, provide next step suggestions in care and get you on your way!

The Use and Benefits of Cryotherapy

For use in recovery as opposed to weight loss

Jim Karas talks discusses the use and benefits of Cryotherapy, its claims and contraindications with Steve and Dr. Cole. Jim stresses the importance of cryotherapy for the use of recovery as opposed to weight loss.