Why seeking out a good rehab & performance professional can be your secret weapon!
I often have conversations with athletes about the importance of working with a professional for things like rehabilitation, strength & conditioning, recovery, and even just routine maintenance. Sure, I am biased because that's what I do and I see the value in it.
But beyond my personal biases, there are is tremendous value in undergoing a good orthopedic evaluation, a good review of all systems, an a solid movement screening to identify potential weaknesses or find the root cause of an injury. There is also tremendous value in having a strength & conditioning program that is created for YOU, based on your sport and your individual needs, and then having that program monitored and refined on a regular basis based on your performance and the state of your system on any given day.
Doing it all on your own...
Self-treating an injury only gets you so far. Sure, I hear it all the time from athletes who say 'Yeah, I didn't need any PT or rehab, I just iced, rested, and then got back to it and I made a full recovery.' Then you evaluate them and see the underlying weaknesses and compensations which they are relying on to get them through. They don't always realize the residual mobility & stability limitations they have because their body has compensated for it, until they get into a situation in training or competition where the compensation can't function.
Best example of this that comes to mind would be a competition in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or MMA. Say athlete A had a past shoulder injury, has no pain and has been training but does have a loss of glenohumeral mobility which is compensated for by thoracic extension, ie their arm moves into external rotation and they extend their thoracic spine to make up for the slight loss of external rotation at end range. Now imagine athlete A finds themselves on their back with their opponents weight on top of them and their opponent gains arm control and puts them into an Americana. It is likely that their mobility deficit will be a significant factor in their inability to tolerate or get out of the position, because being on their back under the weight of their opponent will not allow their thoracic spine to extend, and the glenohumeral joint will be stressed to its maximum. At that point it is likely that athlete A will either tap out, or re-injure the shoulder, or both.
Oh, and if you're not sure what the Americana looks like -- her you go:
(and yes, it feels 100x worse than it looks!)
Curious on where to start? Well, in the scenario above, it is easy to see that we would start with an evaluation that will expose these limitations in mobility or stability that may not be evident to the athlete. Then we can create a rehab-based program to correct them, and then look at the athlete's strength & conditioning program and see what we need to add or revise.
Contact Athletes Physiotherapy and setup a free 15 minute phone all to discuss what your needs are and answer any questions you may have.
Not sure how to choose a PT clinic, check out this article which nicely reviews what to look for and what to avoid.
~ K. Bosch
Athletes Physiotherapy - Las Vegas, Nevada
Once again New York State government is going through the process of reviewing a bill that would legalize professional mixed martial arts competition in NY. In case you've been living in a bubble, or just haven't really cared, Pro MMA has been illegal in New York State.
There are many opinions on this topic, which is part of the problem. Too many people that don't follow the sport, don't train, and don't really understand the repercussions the current ban has on the lower levels of mixed martial arts are using their voice...well...ignorantly. If you're going to talk about the topic, if you plan on using your voice to influence the decision makers in either direction, it is in everyone's best interest that you get some actual facts on the topic. This recent interview on TapNapSnap.com with Phoenix Carnevale is a probably the best & quickest way to get up to speed!
Check out the Tap.Nap.Snap interview and get yourself informed!
"You're not a fighter, why do you care -- and why should I ?"
I'm not a fighter.
But I think this conversation is an important one, because it isn't just about whether promotion companies can hold Professional fights in New York. It's about the bigger picture -- fighter safety being the #1 priority. This applies to ALL states, and that's why I care. My interest is to make sure that fighters off ALL ages and levels of ability have access to high quality medical care and strength & conditioning services.
Learning the Game:
My background in combat sports started as a 118 pound high school freshman who decided to try wrestling as a way to stay in shape between football & baseball seasons. The result: 0-for-my-career, which was only that one year since I missed the next season with a broken arm...(ah, the memories!) Anywho, fast forward a bunch of years to my last years as an undergraduate student athletic trainer, where I was re-introduced to the medical side of wrestling having worked wrestling between 2 seasons of football, and then a high school internship and Sectionals.
Fast forward another few years, and two things have happened: First, I live in Las Vegas, which is basically Combat Sport Mecca. Home of big time boxing. Home of the UFC. Tons of BJJ and MMA studios. Most people are familiar the fact that mixed martial arts is THE fastest growing sport around the world. This means more people training, people of all ages & abilities. Second, my exposure & work within the USOC's Volunteer Medical Program has provided me the opportunity to work major international events with Wrestling & Judo. These experiences were so compelling, I knew very early on that my path was shifting to a focus on combat sports.
Recently, I have had the privilege and opportunity to begin training in Submission Grappling, and it has been nothing short of awesome. Learning new skills, pushing yourself mentally and physically, and gaining a superior understanding of the intricacies of the sport to help me better focus my professional abilities is invaluable.
Hopefully you're not just reading this, hopefully you will take the time to listen to the interview above. It will give you more insight into why you should care, especially if you live in New York. But just in case, here's my top few hot points about why I feel so strongly in support of legalizing Pro MMA in NY:
The voice of ignorance: "MMA is just a brutal, violent mess with 2 neanderthals face punching each other that just promotes social violence."
First off, what does MMA stand for? Mixed Martial Arts. Mixed, meaning fighters generally train in multiple disciples to have a balanced ground game and standing game. Martial Arts, we don't really have to define this do we? You know what these are: Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Jiujitsu, Tai Chi, etc. Common among all the martial arts are teachings of respect, self discipline, self confidence, mental focus...and on, and on. Martial arts do not teach violence, it's actually quite the opposite. They tend to teach restraint, not picking fights.
They also give an outlet for people of all ages. This is something I can't quite articulate yet, but I am sure as I get deeper into my own practice I will be able to express more on this thought. I just know that in the short time I have started grappling, the night after those classes and the day following are the calmest days of my week.
Secondly, the dedication to learning these disciplines, both physically and mentally, is impressive in it's own right. I would hope by this day and age we would get beyond the stigma & stereotyping of "a dumb athlete," because at that level, there's no such thing. The technical precision, strength, stamina, mental focus, and psychological control required are huge. And my favorite thing to ponder is The Zone. You know, that ability to be in a 'flow' where you anticipate & react to your opponent while also planning and calculating your offensive -- all in fractions of a second. There is a lot of physical & mental intelligence that goes into performing well in MMA or any martial art.
Now, that's not saying Fighters don't do stupid things. They're human, and the news media makes sure to remind us.
Safety & Medical Clearance Standards
So back to the lecture at hand.
I think what most people don't see is the impact that the professional level has on the amateur divisions. You see, there is very little in terms of standards of care within the MMA world when it comes to medical clearance. There should be a standard of care that applies not just to large scale events like the UFC puts on. Standards should also exist for training facilities as well as amateur events. Athletes don't really understand concussions, what to do & not do, and sometimes where they even have one! Who's monitoring the athlete who takes a head shot during their sparring session? When they say they have a headache, neck pain, and nausea or they 'just got their bell rung a bit', when do you allow them to spar again - tomorrow, the next day, next week? Concussion is just one facet. Training, over-training, recovery & lack thereof are also big issues.
Many states have rules surrounding return to play for high school athletes. There has always been a big push by organization like the NATA (National Athletic Trainer's Association) to have ATC's covering all high school sporting events. I fail to see why this wouldn't also apply to MMA training facilities. Professional sports in other arenas have adopted policies on concussion. MMA as a sport needs to get on board to keep all athletes safe, not just the Pros.
My current journey is to be able to create a Combat Athlete program that is affordable and accessible to fighter or even recreational athletes who are training and looking to maximize their performance and deal with any injuries that may be impacting or limiting their performance or ability to train. In addition, we will be reaching out to be that resource in the MMA community to provide services in similar fashion to the NATA's secondary school's initiative. Hiring on an ATC is not the only option, and there are plenty of ways that we can provide a program and services that make sense for the training facilities. Time will tell.
So, if you haven't listened to the interview above -- dude what are you waiting for?
Next -- Contact the New York State government officials listed on the TapNapSnap.com page.
Here's to keeping fighters safe & performing at their best!
~ K. Bosch
Athletes Physiotherapy - Las Vegas, NV
A quick survey for Combat Athletes, Coaches, Managers, & Parents
This is a little different kind of blog post. The following is a survey I put together to help identify and tailor out Combat Athlete programming and options to best fit your needs, wants, and goals.
I am seeking your help in doing so.
Often times we see services and programs offered in a facility that are based more on the wants and beliefs of the facility and the person who's designing them, as opposed to the basing their services and offerings on what the client or athlete wants and sees as most important.
That being said, please take a few minutes to fill out this survey, and feel free to pass it on to your colleagues, team mates, sparring partners, coaches, managers, etc.
The survey will be open for the next few weeks, and will close on July 1st. Once the data is compiled, I will be sure to share findings with everyone! Thank you very much for your time, support, and assistance!
How Can Athletes Physiotherapy Help You Optimize Your MMA Training?
Here is a practical approach for athletes in Las Vegas to optimize your training on a budget:
In talking with athletes and potential clients around Las Vegas and Henderson, I often come across the same few objections or concerns. There tends to be:
1) Concern about cost,
2) Concern about not having enough time, and
3) Lack of understand of what it is we actually do as a Performance Coach & Physical Therapist.
So, here's a quick explanation to help put these concerns to rest:
1.) The Money: Let's just go ahead and hit it head on! The biggest perceived barrier is cost. Many of the people I talk to initially feel that they do not have the money or resources that working with a Physical Therapist or Performance Coach would require. The kicker for me is that most have made this assumption without ever having seen or discussed what the numbers actually are!
Certainly everything is a business and of course there will be cost, unless there is a sponsorship arrangement that has been made, but we have worked to make our services affordable both in cost and implementation. There two ways to view cost: there is the direct cost of the services that you are seeking out to make sure you are in peak form for your fight, and there is the opportunity cost which goes along with winning (or losing) the event you're preparing for, or in not being able to even participate in the fight due to injury -- something that is becoming all too familiar in the UFC these days. To minimize cost to the athlete, we offer individual sessions in 1/2 Hour or Full Hour time slots, as well as small group training (limited to 2-4 athletes per group), as well as package rates.
2. The Time: The second most common concern among athletes I talk to is having the time to work with a Physical Therapist or Performance Coach. If they are an amateur or just working up the ranks, then they usually are working a full time job, or working as a trainer so they can also train in the gym without cost, they may have a family, and they may already be working out and taking skill development training (jiu jitsu, boxing, muay thai, judo, grappling, etc) a few days a week, and they are not sure how to fit more training days or rehab sessions into the mix.
This is totally understandable. Most often it's not a matter of adding more, it's a matter of focusing and restructuring the training sessions already in the schedule to achieve specific time-based goals.
Many fighters are already working out regularly in the weight room as well as in their MMA and skills classes. Our goal is not to superimpose another training regimen on top of what you are already doing. Rather, the goal is to objectively evaluate and assess where the athlete stands with certain performance measures, and fill in the gaps to allow them to train smarter and optimize their training time to ensure they are in peak shape for their event. One of the first things we do is a needs assessment, and your current schedule and commitments are factored into the picture. Ultimately it depends on the athlete's goals, time line, and whether they're dealing with an active injury or not. If they are dealing with an injury, we have the ability to do short, effective hands on rehab treatments and adjust the training program to allow the athlete to keep training and working toward their goals. We then need to make sure that there are adequate strength & conditioning sessions in the schedule to get the desired training effect. If the athlete is training 5 or 6 days a week, with 2-3 days in the weight room and 2-4 days of skills work, it's an easy fix. If the athlete only has 1 day a week in the weight room and 1-2 days of skills work (which may be the case for the more recreational athlete or fighter), then some very specific goal setting and an adjusted training routine may be necessary.
3.) What Can A Physical Therapist Even Do To Help Me, Anyway? What we do at Athletes Physiotherapy is often the one question that athletes are afraid to ask, either because they feel like it should be self explanatory and they don't want to look silly by asking, or because they have a perception of what physical therapy traditionally is -- and it's not for them.
This practice is not a Big-Box, multiple patients at the same, hand you off to a Tech clinic. While there is the option for small group training, most of our rehab & performance training services are done on a one-on-one basis. That is, you work one-on-one with a Doctor of Physical Therapy who has extensive knowledge & experience in Sports Medicine and is seasoned in working with high caliber athletes and performers.
Our focus is simple:
A) Get you out of pain and deal with any injuries or restrictions that may be limiting your performance.
B) Create a simple, yet effective corrective program to address any limitations and asymmetries found during the Examination and Assessment process.
C) Create effective programming, grounded in the most current science, that will allow you to meet all of your performance goals and peak at the time of your fight or event.
Working with Athletes Physiotherapy gives you access to many skill sets under one roof. Your have access to injury rehabilitation, strength & conditioning, performance enhancement, and recovery/regeneration. You have access to modalities such as soft tissue mobilization, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, systemic dry needling, cupping, corrective exercise, weight training, endurance training, speed/agility/reaction training, Rocktape's Fascial Movement Taping, traditional athletic taping, Neurokinetic Therapy™, and access to some of the best nutritional supplements on the market.
If you are an athlete that is curious as to how Athletes Physiotherapy can help optimize your training, get you past a nagging injury, or get your ready for your next fight, then contact us today at (702) 907-5107, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.athletespt.com
Keep an eye on our website & FACEBOOK page, as we will be launching the Combat Athlete Section in the coming weeks. This section will have more information on services, workshops, and educational tools for combat athletes.
Here's to helping you perform at your best, and to helping you reach the podium or win the belt!
Athletes Physiotherapy - Las Vegas, NV
Sports Physical Therapy, Performance Enhancement, and Athlete Development for Las Vegas & Henderson, Nevada
Thank you for stopping by the Athletes Physiotherapy Blog! Kristopher Bosch founded Athletes Physiotherapy in Las Vegas, NV. He is a Father, physical therapist, athletic trainer, pilates teacher, & perpetual student!
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