TAKE YOUR WORKOUTS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Take your workouts to the next level

If you’re an athlete who wants to go the distance with your workouts, MCTs can help get you there.

Studies suggest continual MCT consumption by recreational athletes results in reduced lactate production, a lower rate of perceived exertion, and maintenance of extended high-intensity exercise.

When you take MCTs on a regular basis, it provides sustained energy that reduces fatigue, improves endurance, and allows you to accomplish more during your workouts.

Best of all, it helps you last longer during competition.

FAT IS THE TRUE ATHLETE’S FUEL

When MCTs reach liver cells, metabolism is stimulated and energy is produced to fuel the body. This process provides immediate supplemental energy. That energy increases oxidative capacity, while also decreasing fat deposition during extended periods of physical activity.

When metabolism increases, cells function more efficiently:

  • Injuries heal faster
  • Old and diseased cells turnover faster
  • New cells are generated at an expedited rate

MCTs enables you to recover more efficiently from workouts—taking away your excuse for not working out the next day!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MCT

Want to recover more quickly from your high-intensity workouts?

Get started today with MCT Oil or Vegan Protein Blend (or both—they’re the perfect pair)!

mct-lean banner

OSTEOARTHRITIS & YOUR KNEES

More than 27 million Americans have OA and the knee is one of the most commonly affected joints. There are many treatment options available including several non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical choices.

WHAT IS OA OF THE KNEE?

Osteoarthritis is commonly known as “wear-and-tear arthritis,” but did you know that young people get it, too? Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common type of arthritis; it happens when the body’s natural cushioning—cartilage—wears away between joints. Think of cartilage as a shock absorber for your knees; less cushion results in bone rubbing against bone, and that can cause stiffness, pain, swelling decreased mobility and bone spurs. OA typically develops slowly and becomes worse over time. There is no cure for OA, but there are many treatments available that can ease the pain and help people to retain or regain their mobility.

WHAT CAUSES OA?

The ability of cartilage to heal decreases as people age, but the causes of knee OA vary. It can be hereditary or can be the result of injury, infection, overuse or excess weight.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away. As it does the protective spaces between the bones decrease resulting in bone rubbing on bone, producing painful bone spurs.
  • Obesity is the No. 1 driver of knee OA and the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S.
  • Weak muscles around the knee can cause OA
  • Every extra pound of weight adds 3 to 4 pounds of extra weight to the knees; extra weight increases pressure on knees
  • Genetic mutations can make a person more likely to develop knee OA; abnormalities of bones surrounding the knee joint can also cause OA
  • Women ages 55 and older are more likely to develop knee OA
  • Athletes who play soccer, tennis or run long-distance may be at higher risk
  • Activities that cause a lot of stress on the joint—kneeling, squatting, lifting heavy weights of 55 pounds or more—can cause OA of the knee due to repetitive stress
  • Those with rheumatoid arthritis or metabolic disorders are at higher risk to develop knee OA

WHO GETS KNEE OA?

  • More than 27 million Americans have OA; the knee is one of the most commonly affected joints with more than 11 million people diagonosed in the U.S.
  • Chances of developing OA increase after age 45 and according to the Centers for Disease Control, the average onset of knee OA is 55 years old.
  • More than 40 percent of knee replacements happen over the age of 65, so many people have to find other forms of conservative, non-invasive and non-addicting methods to control pain and maintain an active lifestyle.
  • Women aged 55 and older are more likely than men to develop knee OA.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS IF I HAVE KNEE OA?

There are many options available for those with knee OA, including several that are non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical choices. You’ll want to talk with your health care provider about the treatment or combination of treatments that’s best for you; here are some you may want to explore and consider:

MOTION IS MEDICINE

  • Activities; walking, strength training, swimming, biking, yoga, tai chi and other low-impact activities may help with pain and function of the knee
  • Lighten up; a 2007 review found that overweight people who lost a moderate amount of weight had reduced pain and disability from knee OA
  • Braces, sleeves other devices can help reduce pain and stiffness, take weight load off the affected joint and improve confidence and function for those with knee OA
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS uses electrodes to send a mild current to the affected joint, which can help alleviate pain
  • Acupuncture, balneotherapy (soaking in warm mineral springs) or heat or cold therapy may help ease joint pain for some people with knee OA
  • Medications can include acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical NSAIDs, prescription medications, corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections and more
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, some studies have shown, can reduce pain and improve physical function; natural supplements, including avocado, soybean, capsaicin and turmeric, may have anti-inflammatory benefits for some people
  • Joint replacement or joint-preserving surgery may be an effective option for some people

DJO 600

HOW CAN DONJOY HELP?

If you have mild to severe knee OA and experience intermittent to chronic knee pain, or if you are not a candidate for surgery, ask your doctor about the science of bracing. DonJoy pioneered the concept of functional knee bracing more than 30 years ago and offers the most advanced technologies available.

Most importantly, they can help people return or continue to live an active lifestyle. No one person with knee OA is treated the same, so it’s important to look at all of the available solutions to find what is right for you. Some people may need a lot of off-loading capabilities, while others need just a slight push and comfort that surrounds the muscles around the knee.

Meniscal Tear: Is Physical Therapy a Good Option?

Authored by Dennis Carter, PT, MPT, physical therapist and clinic director at ATI Naperville South

meniscalA meniscal tear in the knee is an injury to the cartilage that absorbs weight through the joint. Tears can occur as a result of sudden trauma such as twisting, or over extending the knee. Tears can also develop due to degenerative changes over time. Meniscal tears can limit a person’s ability in squatting, twisting, athletics, or performing activities at work and at home. A recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine supports that there is a high percentage of successful outcomes for patients seeking physical therapy as their first choice of care for a torn meniscus in the knee. This is a welcome statement to those who may have been recently given the diagnosis of a meniscal tear, and are weighing options for a plan of care.

Many times when patients are given a diagnosis, they form the opinion that they are set on a defined path without options.  A diagnosis of a “tear in the knee” is often associated with it getting “fixed”, which can be upsetting and discouraging when patients consider their future activity level.

Growing evidence supports physical therapy as a viable alternative to early surgical intervention. Physical therapy can provide treatments that reduce the pain and inflammation associated with the acute nature of a tear. Modalities such as electrical stimulation, compression, and ice are frequently used to reduce acute swelling and pain. Manual care provided by a Physical Therapist can help to restore range of motion, improve joint mechanics, decrease swelling, and increase muscle flexibility. Specifically prescribed therapeutic exercises can address deficiencies in strength and muscle control that may have resulted from, or even contributed to events leading to the tear.

Physical therapy has been a successful option for many. More research is needed to identify what factors determine the characteristics that will identify who will be successful with either treatment option. Deciding if it is right for you should be done as part of a team. The decision should be made with your doctor and therapist based on several factors: the mechanism of injury, history of progressive symptoms, a thorough clinical examination, diagnostic studies (x-rays, MRI), and your goals/aspirations for future activity level. The decision is not simply black and white and often comes down to individuality.

When the conservative approach of therapy is chosen, patients should be well educated in the nature of the injury, the avoidance of activities that could negatively impact their progress, and the expected progressions they will encounter. Treatment will focus on progressive strengthening, range of motion, flexibility, balance, gait training, and functional activities. Considerations are also given to address individual deficiencies that may have contributed to the nature of the injury: weakness of hip and thigh muscles, foot mechanics such as over pronation (flat feet), inflexibility of the calf and hamstring muscles.

ATI 300x250Whenever affected by any health issue or concern, awareness of options is prudent. Meniscal tears are no different. Custom treatments in physical therapy and dedication to prescribed home program allow many people to return to a high functional level following a meniscal tear in the knee. Please be sure to discuss details of your injury and all options with your doctor. If you have more questions please reach out to one of your local physical therapists who can help to answer your questions.

Preventing ACL Injuries

Dr. Adam Yanke, MOR sports medicine physician, recently sat down to discuss a study that showed athletes with fatigue are at higher risk for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. One of the ACL injury prevention programs that Yanke recommends for young athletes is Knees For Life (Kneesforlife.org), which offers a downloadable brochure and an opportunity to obtain complimentary gym bag tags featuring warm up exercises and other prevention strategies.

MOR300x250

Stronger than Yesterday: Why Should I Strength Train?

By  Kirstie Chase for Athletico

Fads are common in the fitness world, just think of Richard Simmons videos, Boflex infomercials and Shake Weights as examples. Some fitness fads, however, can stand the test of time.

Recently there has been increased popularity in strength training. This type of exercise,strength-train which is also referred to as resistance training, is designed to improve muscular fitness as the muscles generate force against external stimuli.1 Unlike other fitness fads, strength training is timeless because it helps to preserve and maintain healthy muscle.
Once thought to be an activity for athletes, strength training is now recommended as a safe and effective way to improve health. What’s more, anyone can benefit from this type of exercise regimen – be it male or female, novice or professional, young or old.2

Principles of Strength Training

Although it can seem overwhelming to set new health and wellness goals, this blog (and the two in this series to follow) aims to provide clarity and tips in strength training for a healthy year and a healthier you. Before getting started with a new strength training program, it is important to understand a few simple principles that lead to incredible health benefits.

  1. Progressive Overload – This principle refers to exercising the body to a level beyond which it is accustomed. Strength and growth occur when the muscles are progressively challenged to do more.3
  • If someone can bicep curl a 10 pound dumbbell for 10 reps with ease, they can either increase the amount of weight or reps to add an overload in this activity. It is advised to increase weight or reps one at a time, rather than both simultaneously.
  1. Specificity – This principle implies that an exercise must be specific to the muscles involved to improve strength in those muscles. Adaptations will occur due to the specific nature of the exercise.3
  • If someone wants to increase their upper body strength for pull-ups and push-ups they must do those exercises, or others that target the muscles involved. For instance, they will not improve upper body strength by running or cycling.
  1. Reversibility – This third principle states the improvements can be lost or reduced when the overload is removed or the specificity is changed.3
  • If someone stops resistance training they will see a reduction in their strength abilities. What’s more, if this person changes their specific goals they will also see a change in adaptations as well.

Health Benefits of Strength Training

The three aforementioned principles represent the basis on which strength develops. Becoming a stronger and healthier version of yourself requires progression and specificity to avoid reversibility. Creating a strength goal with these concepts in mind is a great way to form a base in your training. Since growth extends beyond lifting heavier weights in a gym setting, your strength goals will lend themselves into everyday health benefits, such as:

  • Combating muscle loss that occurs naturally with age
  • Preventing osteoporosis through muscular development
  • Reductions in body fat and increased lean muscle mass
  • Improvements in metabolic functions
  • Decreased risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Developing neurological functions
  • Increased balance and coordination in movements
  • Reductions in injuries
  • Greater satisfaction and quality of life4

Safety Firstathletico300x250

The body is meant to move and more effective movement comes from developing strength. That said, it is important to keep safety top of mind when exercising in order to prevent injuries. If you do feel unusual aches and pains after working out, make sure to schedule a complimentary injury screening at your nearest Athletico location.