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What All Rotational Athletes Must Be Capable Of (Part 2)

The best ability is availability.

Rotational athletes come to physical therapy for help for with a variety of different overuse injuries (for more information, check out part 1 here). These injuries are the result of an excessive amount of stress placed onto one area which exceeds the body’s ability to tolerate.

Excessive stress accumulates in a particular area (often the lower back) as it is forced to pick up the slack from another area of the body that is not doing its part. Injury rehabilitation often involves discovering what these areas are.

Many times, it is the hips.

The hips are large joints with powerful muscles (ex. The glutes) surrounding them. This area should be generating the power to make things easier elsewhere.

The med ball hip toss teaches the body to generate rotational power at the hips and ultimately propel the ball through the arms. Once you have mastered this drill, step things up and give the perpendicular med ball throw a shot!

Do you feel your body is getting beat up during golf, tennis, or baseball? Come discover the root cause of your discomfort and specific strategies to address it. Visit our website to schedule a FREE phone consultation with a member of our team! Link in bio.

Ergonomics Are Overrated (Maybe)

Blasphemy! Every physical therapy professor from Bethesda to New Zealand just made me public enemy number one.

I am exaggerating, of course, however it sounds outrageous for a sports physical therapist or anyone working in the injury rehabilitation field to state that ergonomics could be overrated.

This is not to say that they are not important. An individual’s workplace setup, for example, is an important factor to consider when addressing ailments such a chronic neck or back pain.

However, if you look on social media or watch an episode of shark tank, you are likely to find several different devices claiming to fix your posture and solve your pain. Many then purchase these products and become discouraged when their ailments are not cured.

Claiming that a single ergonomic correction will solve all your issues is to ignore the myriad of different factors that contribute to pain or injury. Furthermore, it ignores the fact that there are other, more influential factors.

Look at the picture above. An ergonomic specialist would give me a failing grade. I am slouching and looking down at my computer with my legs stretched straight out. Even worse I’m resting my computer on my poor pup, Chip (he is under the blanket)!

 

 

However, I’m feeling pretty good today. I slept well last night and went on a long walk this morning after exercising. These factors outweigh the impact of an hour of computer work.

Improving large components of health such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and stress enhance the resilience of our bodies.

Resilience is an awesome thing. It creates room for error and means that we can still feel great despite having an imperfect desk set up.

Overall, it is worth repeating that you should still try to improve ergonomics whenever possible, however do not expect it to solve much when the larger components of health are being ignored.

For more information on these larger components of health, check out the articles below!

Does Your Metabolism Actually Slow As You Age?

Benefits of Walking for Physical and Mental Health

Exercise Stacking

Is Shoulder Clicking Bad?

“My shoulder clicks when I press or reach overhead. Is that a problem?”  “Is it bad to feel things moving and popping in my shoulder whenever I perform this movement?”

Questions like these are common in the sports physical therapy and injury rehabilitation setting. The answer is always context dependent because clicking can occur for several different reasons.

The shoulder is a complex joint with the most range of motion in the body.  It is comprised of bone, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons that allow for greater ease of movement in many different directions, however, it runs the risk of becoming unstable when movement quality is poor.

This can result in movement limitations or clicking/popping within the shoulder.

Check out an article that a member of our physical therapy team wrote back in 2018 if you are interested in learning more about the different sources of shoulder clicking/popping.

Regardless of the specific source of the clicking/popping, it is most important to improve the root causes of these issues: movement quality and mobility.

If you are interested in improving the movement quality and mobility of your shoulders, come join me for our virtual and pre-recorded mini-shoulder mobility workshop. We are offering this course for FREE to you, our CHP fam! Simply enter promo code CHPFAM at checkout.

In this workshop, you will learn:

  1. The source of your shoulder mobility limitations and/or discomfort
  2. How to assess the movement quality of your shoulders
  3. Exercises that you can start doing RIGHT NOW to improve your shoulder function, reduce discomfort, and decrease the risk for future injury

This workshop is a MUST attend for athletes, weekend warriors, and everyone in between that want to:

  1. Train without being held back from pain
  2. Decrease future injury risk
  3. Perform at their highest level for years to come!

Sign up today HERE and don’t forget to enter promo code CHPFAM at checkout to get this class for FREE!

3 Indications You Should Ignore a Social Media Post

Today there is more access to information then ever. This access to information is no more prevalent than in the realms of health, medicine, fitness/performance, or any other area of athletic physical therapy.  Anyone with a social media account can quickly find thousands of posts related to these topics which creates a whole new challenge.

Because everyone can promote themselves as an expert on social media, it is essential to have a discerning eye for quality information. Unfortunately, social media platforms, such as Instagram, do not promote posts based on the validity of the information presented.

Amongst such a vast array of information, how do you determine when you should ignore a social media post related to health, fitness, or performance physical therapy information?

  • The presenter speaks in absolutes. Commonly the best answer that a professional can give you is “it depends.” The reason for this is that a person’s experience is context dependent and is the result of several different factors that must be considered together. For example, stretching or improving mobility is often promoted as a “fix” for a given injury. However, this does not apply to those that have more important problems to solve or possess full range of motion in the area being discussed. For more information on this topic, check out our post on Is Mobility Overrated? Furthermore, it is impossible to know of every possible factor that could be contributing to pain, injury, limitations, or challenges. Therefore, even the best among us cannot claim to be 100% certain, especially on social media.
  • The information is unnecessarily complicated. An expert can take a complex topic and break it down so that it makes sense to you. Overly complicated terminology and unnecessary use of medical jargon are red flags that the presenter may not fully understand the material being presented.
  • Promoting personal success stories as evidence. Personal success stories are anecdotal. The definition of anecdotal is “not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.” Many medical and fitness professional post personal success stories as evidence for the validity of their method, approach, or something that they are attempting to market. This ignores all the other factors that may have contributed to these results (see #1 above). Even if the results being presented are valid, it only applies to the person being shown. Quality research commonly requires thousands of trials before being considered valid. A case study of 1 or 2 people only applies to the people being referenced and ignores your unique circumstances.

**Bonus: If a presenter promotes “quick fixes”, run!

Discerning quality from poor information is very challenging in the modern age. Everyone can promote themselves as an expert, however there are several ways to determine when it is best to ignore a presenter. These are just a few of several ways that you can do so.

 

Photo Credits

“Social Media” by MySign AG is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How Rate of Perceived Exertion Can Make You a Better Athlete

In performance physical therapy, training programs follow a strict methodology for exercises, sets, reps, and effort to produce a specific training effect.

One overlooked, but equally important aspect of an effective training program is autoregulation, which describes adjusting the training effort to accommodate a present condition. For example, if the program calls for a brief warmup, reducing the weight on the bar is one easy form of autoregulation.

One of the main use cases of autoregulation involves using the RPE scale, also known as the Rate of Perceived Exertion. The RPE scale is a scale from 1–10 that measures the perceived level of exertion or difficulty.

Rather than saying, “Darn, that set was really difficult!” you could say, “I’d rank that as an 8 out of 10 on the RPE scale.” Using RPE in performance physical therapy is an effective way to place a numerical value on the difficulty of an exercise, set, or workout.

Credit: Michael Tuchscherer & RTS

How to Implement RPE Into Your Training

Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the usefulness of RPE. According to Propane Fitness, autoregulating using RPE allows an athlete to get the most out of each training session — whether you’re feeling amazing and well-rested or if you slept for two hours on the floor of your buddies apartment. By adjusting the training load based on perceived difficulty, you’re better able to manage the workload of each exercise.

A sample workout using RPE might look like this:

  • Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 5 reps @ 8 RPE
  • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 8 reps @ 6 RPE

Implementing RPE into a workout is as simple as adding it to the already existing workout. RPE is simply a training tool that allows for more customization and variation in training load. An RPE of 8 would require more weight, whereas an RPE of 6 means an easier training load, thus lighter weight.

All in all, tracking the RPE of sets and reps is incredibly valuable when working with a coach or performance physical therapist. This method of autoregulation creates common ground between the PT and the athlete. It also creates a well-defined approach for managing workload and training effort, an invaluable tool for avoiding injury and overtraining.

The difficulty of RPE is determining how difficult each set or workout should be — or rather placing an RPE value to each exercise. This is why it’s important to work with an experienced personal trainer or performance physical therapist. For a deep dive into implementing RPE into your training, contact us today for a free consultation!

CHP Spotlight Interview Series: Dr. Anjali Dsouza

Check out this edition of the CHP Spotlight Interview Series with Dr. Anjali Dsouza. Dr. Dsouza is a physician at the District Center for Integrative Medicine. She specializes in integrative medicine, functional medicine, and is an expert in palliative care, as well as psychiatry! She shared so much incredible information that I know will help us during the injury rehabilitation process!