Monday, December 31, 2018

MotusX - Being Proactive, Instead of Reactive

Did you know the biggest factor that can impact your retirement planning is your musculoskeletal health as you age?  The costs for things such as hospital stays and surgical procedures that occur due to failing health or immobility can wreck your retirement plans.  Most of these costs and declines are closely associated with musculoskeletal problems.  In December 2012 a study on the Global Burden of Disease found musculoskeletal conditions such arthritis and back pain affect more than 1.7 BILLION people worldwide.  Musculoskeletal conditions are the second leading cause of disability we face.  There are things you can do to give yourself an advantage and protect your movement health and wellness as you age.  While most Americans recognize the importance of getting regular check ups at the dentist twice a year to make sure their teeth stay healthy they don't seem to see the same necessity of getting regular checkups on their mobility and movement health even though musculoskeletal costs far outweigh dental costs annually.  Just like going to the dentist before you have a cavity helps you avoid more expensive procedures later, so does getting regular movement check ups from your local physical therapist.

Like I said earlier, the majority of falls and fractures are created due to declines in movement, mobility and strength.   By getting regular check ups, a therapist can help you put the steps in place to keep you moving well as you age.

At Motus X, you can see us without a doctor's order.  We can evaluate your movement needs and make recommendations for corrections.  The cost of a visit with us could save you considerably more in the future.  Don't wait until you have a problem to get checked out.  Stay ahead of the game and help make sure that you are able to enjoy the retirement that you have planned so hard for.

- Written by Sonya Briggs, PT

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WOD Wednesday #94

4 rounds for time of:
400-m run
200-m farmers carry

Men: 50-lb. dumbbells
Women: 35-lb. dumbbells


Scaling
Choose a set of dumbbells that you can carry 200 meters without setting down when fresh. This workout should be a steady effort. Avoid stopping to rest.

Intermediate Option4 rounds for time of:
400-m run
200-m farmers carry

Men: 30-lb. dumbbells
Women: 20-lb. dumbbells


Beginner Option3 rounds for time of:
400-m run
200-m farmers carry

Men: 15-lb. dumbbells
Women: 10-lb. dumbbells

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Product Review: Titan Fitness 24kg Competition Kettlebell

Product Details:
All of Titan’s Competition Kettlebells are uniform in dimension and handle thickness, allowing you to train the exact same movement while also increasing or decreasing weight to cater to your routine.

Features:
  • - Color coded in 11 unique colors for easy identification between weights.
  • - Cast steel with non-welded handles for maximum durability.
  • - Available in 18 different weight options from 8 KG to 48 KG to accommodate athletes of all skill levels.
  • - Smooth finish for a great hand feel and grip while performing various exercises.

Specifications:
  • - Weight: 8 - 48 KG +/- 3%
  • - Colors: Pink, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Green, Orange, Red, Black, White, Gold.
  • - Handle Diameter: 35mm | 1.38”
  • - Handle Width: 190mm | 7.48”
  • - Total Diameter: 210mm | 8.27” 
  • - Total Height: 290mm | 11.42”
My Review:
The Titan Fitness Competition Kettlebell is the perfect tool for building strength and toning your entire body. This solid kettlebell is constructed as one piece for ultimate safety and durability.  It has smooth handles and excellent balance making it great for competition training or just having a quality KB for your home gym or Crossfit WODS.   I love the coating on the weight. It keeps the enamel from chipping, and since I keep it in the garage the coating protects the weight from moisture as well. The different color helps me distinguish the weight from other kettlebells immediately which is a nice bonus.

I've used cast-iron kettlebells for several years and wanted a sport/competition kettlebell for a smoother handle surface. I naturally thought of Titan Fitness as I already have a cast-iron bell from them that is well-built and many other pieces of affordable fitness equipment.  My favorite aspect about the design of these bells is the thicker handles which make the bells more comfortable in the rack position. That said, some people with smaller hands find the thicker handles to be an issue. I only mention this as something to consider. The coloring of the sport bells is also really cool. It feels great when you're able to move up in weight and use a new color as all of the sport bells are the same size.  I definitely think this product feels a little more comfortable on the forearm and wrist than the cast iron bells and the handle is smooth but not slick.


This version of competition kettlebell is distinct for its use of an advanced coating, originally established in the gun industry for its remarkable durability in thin applications. This unique finish can deliver superb abrasion/wear/corrosion resistance over time—100X that of other coatings—and it’s available to order in a range of exclusive colors, such as Green as seen here with the 24kg kettlebell .

I believe everyone should order a kettlebell from Titan Fitness (cast iron or competition, it does not matter) as it is the ultimate piece of home workout gear. Quick workouts with swings, presses, snatches, high pulls, get ups, running, and body weight movements will make it so you will never have an excuse to not get in your workout. Add on the ability to easily travel with it makes this item a no brainer!  It is a top shelf product, beautifully fabricated and finished at a super competitive price: truly Professional Grade! You’re wasting your money on any other competition bell.

https://www.titan.fitness/strength-equipment/kettlebells/competition-style-kettlebells/competition-style-kettlebells-8-48-kg.html

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fitness/Athlete Sponsorships

*Build Your Business: Concentrate on building your business and not be in the business of just trying to land a specific sponsorship. Most fitness athletes are trainers, competitors, online coaches, models, business owners, and more. The companies they represent are a part of the whole not the entire picture.


*Be Unique: What makes you stand out of the crowd? Why are you different? There are thousands of fit people out there who want sponsorships..


*Love the Product: You should only try to partner with companies you truly believe in and love. These should be products you are already buying and paying for. Don’t be the one always looking for free handouts. Do the occasional post sharing your love for the product or why it’s important to you. Tag them accordingly. Be mindful not to be pushy or to look desperate here.


*Platform is Important: Athletes are basically one of the marketing avenues for companies much like magazine advertisements and tv commercials. As you all know social media marketing is a part of life nowadays. One big factor on being selected as a Athlete is your Reach. With this being said put daily work into expanding your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Twitter, etc. Quality of followers is important as well. Fake numbers don’t help as they can be seen a mile away. Once a company picks you up you will want to be able to do your part and help sell product. If you don’t hold your weight some companies will drop the dead weight. Building your social media takes time.


*Your Body is Your Billboard: This is the “fitness” industry. You need to look fit. It’s not necessary to have a championship physique, but years of hard work should be apparent. I have personally found that I get much more attention being cut than bulk huge. Everybody can bulk up, but how many put in the work and self-discipline to be super conditioned. Be sure you are putting more work into your body and fitness level rather than Instagram and Snapchat.


*Look Professional: In any business, be it music or fitness, I have found that “perception” is highly important. People pass mental judgement seconds upon seeing something. Find talented friends and spend some money on quality photographs and a professional website. Look at the level of quality the pros are putting out there and try to match that visual quality.


*Market Less: When it comes to posting make sure your social pages don’t look like a big magazine advertisement. People don’t like marketing and product shoved down their throats. Be sure to provide useful information, educate, inspire, and motivate. Give more than you expect to receive. You build trust by giving information and content. Then when you do “market” something you love your audience is more likely to listen.


*Be Kind: You would think this is a given, but it still has to be said. Kindness will take you to the top. As I said before “give more than you expect to receive”. Help others. It’s always better to be at the top with other good people.


*Be a Good Communicator: You should be able to communicate naturally and effectively in writing and on camera. This is a gift for some and others it takes work to perfect. This is something I am always working on especially when it comes to video. Companies are looking for people who have great communication skills not just for social media posts, but also on camera and in person as you represent their company.


*Respectful and considerate: Once you feel you have done a great job at all the above two things may happen. #1. The company will reach out to you because you’ve shown true love for their product and they want you to be apart of their team. #2. You write the company a nice, professional email explaining in short who you are, why you love their product and have been using it for years, and that you would like to be considered. Leave your social media links. Remember that despite you are writing a big company it is regular, real people who will read your email. Being pushy or rude will get you nowhere fast. Write them professionally and do not send them something publicly (like a Tweet or FB post). Don’t keep messaging them over and over again. Space your correspondence out over longer periods of time.


BE PATIENT! Nothing worthwhile happens over night. I have not only had a life-long passion for fitness, but I consider myself very knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. I was co-owner of a social media marketing company for years. My progress in the fitness industry took years of daily hard work.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Trigger Point Dry Needling Explained

Functional Dry Needling (FDN) is simply a treatment used by health professionals to help with the management of pain, orthopedic issues and sports-related injuries to improve your function. Yes, it does involve a thin filament needle being advanced into tissue of your body, but the good news is, typically you feel better immediately. FDN stimulates the healing process of soft tissue which results in pain relief and restoration of healthy physiology. Let me address some of the most frequent questions I get asked:

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?
Acupuncture and FDN use similar needles, but they are very different in the application and goals of treatment. Acupuncture is based on ancient theories of traditional Chinese medicine and uses insertion points all over the body based on meridians and focuses on balancing energy or Qi in the body. Dry needling in physical therapy practice is based on Western neuroanatomy and the musculoskeletal systems to provide treatment of acute and chronic pain, as well as treatment of orthopedic and sports-related injuries. Both FDN and Acupuncture do, however, use the same tool: a solid needle filament.



Does it hurt?
Needles used with FDN are not the same ones that your doctors/nurses use for injections. They are typically much smaller and “wispy” in nature which renders them more comfortable. Also, FDN uses a needle with a rounded tip that is distinctly different than the beveled, cutting-edge tip of hypodermic needles. Muscles that are sensitive, have active “trigger points” (*see below) or that are tight may feel a slight cramping sensation or muscle twitch when the needle is inserted.

*Trigger Point is a hyperirritable point in a muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule, or “knot”. This area becomes painful at the site and can also “radiate” in other patterns.

What are some conditions that Dry Needling can be used to treat?

Almost anyone experiencing pain that is of musculoskeletal origin can benefit, including:
Neck/back pain, tendinitis, muscle spasms, “sciatica”, hip/knee pain, muscle strains, “tennis/golfer’s elbow”, overuse injuries, tightness in your neck and shoulders, tight muscles.


What are the risks with Dry Needling?
Some individuals experience a little bruising or minimal bleeding at the insertion site of the needle. Some report a feeling of achiness or soreness for a few hours after the treatment session. All of these are completely normal. While risks associated with dry needling are minimal, a conscientious dry needling practitioner will be well-versed in precautions, contraindications, and potential complications associated with dry needling. There are certain areas of the body that require more caution than others, but will always be discussed during your initial consultation to determine if FDN will even be beneficial to you.


Is FDN covered by insurance?
In most cases, it is a fee or cash-based service.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Can You Rehab a Total Knee in 3 Weeks?

If you have been practicing as a therapist or an orthopedic surgeon for any number of years, I would ask you what are you doing differently now than you did 5 or 10 years ago when it comes to your post-op total knee?  If your unable to think of anything then I would encourage you to open your mind and follow along with me for what I believe is a revolutionary approach to total knee rehab.  If your someone who is considering a total knee replacement you can’t afford to be uneducated when it comes to your care.  Keep reading!

What is the single most untapped resource as it relates to total knee rehab?  It’s the patient themselves.  I would suggest to you that there are some novel approaches to total knee rehab that invest heavily in the biopsychosocial model and put the patient in control.  Give the patient a physical tool and protocol to mimic bringing the therapist home with them.  Essentially, turn the patient into their own therapist.  By utilizing a tool which allows the patient to perform a joint mobilization with movement into knee flexion and knee extension the patient becomes much more effective in gaining range of motion.  By utilizing a protocol which focuses on making the nervous system feel safe, creating neural drive at end ranges of flexion and extension and imparting motor control at those end ranges the patient regains active control of the extremity post-operatively much faster.

The combination of this protocol and a physical tool produces a return to full ROM and (I) ambulation with a cane or no AD within 2-3 weeks.  Combine the use of a kinesiotape in a basketweave pattern for edema management and IASTM techniques using a Pacinian stroke and the patient moves quickly and smoothly through their ROM and their rehab. 
Typical case scenarios I have are as follows:  TKA pt utilizes joint mobilization tool and protocol daily beginning day 3 post op and receives 1 therapy visit per week to guide progress.  Pt undergoes basketweave taping to effected knee day 3 post op.  Pt follows specific protocol on their own and has weekly therapy visit for 3 weeks.  At the end of 3 week time frame, the average results are pt ROM 0-120 deg effected knee with active end range control of all ROM resulting in motor control to be (I) ambulators with cane or no AD.

What are the implications of this?  As a profession utilizing this new protocol and tool we can cut post-op rehab by half for the majority of patients receiving total knees.  Currently there are 700,000 total knees every year in the US.  The average rehab costs for each total knee is $2-3,000.  That’s a total of roughly 2.4 billion dollars per year.  By using this new tool and process and speeding up the post op recovery we could save the patient and insurers 1.2 billion dollars every year.
We can deliver a better product, a better service and better outcomes to the patient and do it for a fraction of the cost.  Think outside the box.  Use tools and techniques that are getting results.  We are using the GoKnee device and protocol with our total knees and can turn your rehab around in 4-6 visits.
https://www.thegoknee.com/

Monday, December 3, 2018

Product Review: Rumble Rollers - Gator

GATOR PROVIDES HIGH COMPRESSIONThe first thing to note about the Gator is that its firm surface and small diameter (about 4.5" or 115mm) produce high compressive forces in the muscle. You'll get as much localized compression as with PVC pipe, but with much less pain or soft tissue damage.

You'll also find that the smaller diameter allows you to better work smaller body depressions, such as the arch of your foot or the curve in your neck.


PLUS CROSS FRICTION!
Pressing harder and deeper isn't the only way to massage a muscle. Another way to free stuck tissues is to pull them apart. Of course you can't grab the deeper tissue directly, but you can move higher layers of soft tissue to create a separating (shear) force that displaces underlying layers. This approach is often referred to as cross frictional massage.

Cross frictional massage is normally done by a massage therapist who uses his thumbs or fingertips to apply short, firm strokes across the muscle fibers. RumbleRoller's Gator is the only foam roller that can grip your skin well enough to mimic this type of massage.
INGENIOUS PATENT PENDING TECHNOLOGY. The surface of the Gator contains specially-designed bumps that enable both muscle compression and cross friction.

MULTI-DIRECTIONAL MUSCLE THERAPY. With its unique design, the RumbleRoller Gator helps erode trigger points, restore flexibility, and bring quick relief to common types of muscular pain.

STRONG IMPACT TO TRANSFORM YOUR BODY.
Gator is more beginner-friendly than RumbleRoller's deep-tissue rollers, but don't mistake it for a beginner's roller. The advanced features of this roller benefit even the most experienced athlete.

CUTTING-EDGE CONSTRUCTION. RumbleRoller uses a solid multi-piece core made from very resilient grades of high-density EVA foam. The core and outer shell are both carefully engineered to provide maximum durability and optimal feel. Other manufacturers use hollow cores to reduce costs, but this has a negative effect on a roller's performance and long-term durability. RumbleRoller builds the most effective products that it can, and refuses to cut corners.

My Review:
This roller is great! It’s a little smaller in diameter, but I’ve found that I’m able to get into places of my body (Quads, posterior delts/lats, IT Band) comfortably without the discomfort of sitting too high off the ground. With the bumps on the roller, I’m able to grip my skin and pull my skin perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers, and enables me to focus on the fascia system - which is intricately woven into your muscular system and often gets neglected for various reasons. My mobility is better as well as my recovery. Anyone that lives an active lifestyle must do some research on this type of recovery to extend the life of that activity and perform above their current fitness level. Sure, it’s a little expensive, but I’d rather spend money on things like this as a preventative measure to keep me out of the doctor’s office

The center core is made of firm foam rubber. The roller is not soft... but it's not hard either. It's very firm but flexible enough to roll over bony areas without any discomfort. Works great for fascial release and getting out those stubborn knotty areas in the larger muscle groups.

Testimonial from Rick R.:
          "My Physical Therapist highly recommend me to buy this roller. It definitely does not disappoint. Out of all the foam rollers I've tried, only this one really helped me loosen up my fascia. The well shaped bumps along the roller are firm and perfectly spaced and do a great job deeply pressing into skin and muscle. The material screams quality and I can feel results immediately with fewer rolls than other brands.

I'll admit, I was on the fence on this item because it was quite pricy, but you definitely get what you pay for. Its the best roller I ever bought and is really helping me with my tight legs and lower back."


Testimonial from Lauren J.:          "Surprising effective!! Product provides the perfect amount of pressure and hits the right spots without being too aggressive. I was afraid it might not be aggressive enough, but it works wonders! This item has been very successful in helping me rehab my hip and back after three back to back pregnancies. I had several sciatica and my hips kept rotating back and going out of place. Some of the most pains things I’ve ever experienced. I struggled with even walking. My hips would go out at any time with no warning. I am feeling amazing after a few weeks of use and feel like I can start becoming active again. I have missed being active and fit and this has given me the relief I needed to begin!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

WOD Wednesday #93

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 strict knees-to-elbows
3 wall walks



ScalingThis workout will quickly become tedious and uncomfortable. Each set of movements should be challenging but doable, forcing you to manage muscular failure in order to maintain a decent pace.

Intermediate OptionComplete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
7 strict knees-to-elbows
2 wall walks

Beginner OptionComplete as many rounds as possible in 15minutes of:
10 hanging knee-raises
50-ft. bear crawl

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Product Review: Black Mountain Products 20lb Slam/Wall Ball

Product Details:
Black Mountain Products Slam/Wall Ball is a great addition to any workout program. Its soft outer shell makes for comfortable and easy throwing and catching. The design of the exercise ball allows it to maintain shape and balance of the weight for a uniform strength training or cardio workout at any intensity. Soft slam balls range in weight from 4lbs to 25lbs to accommodate anyone from the beginner to an expert in fitness. This is the perfect workout tool for abdominal training and building endurance.
-Synthetic leather shell maintains durability even with regular use
-All medicine balls measure 14” in diameter
-Maintains a uniform shape and weight balance at all intensity workouts
-Slam Balls range in weight from 4lbs, 8lbs, 12lbs, 20lbs, and 25lbs
-Lifetime warranty on all Fitness Slam Balls   >>> MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE! SLAM AWAY!
My Review:
Medicine ball training is one of the easier ways to improve your endurance, explosiveness, and core strength. Use them for anything from wall ball throws to traditional trunk twists, squats, sit-ups, presses, ball slams and more. BMP Medballs have been battle tested and they've really earned their keep in the day-to-day grind from home gyms to commercial gyms with their life time warranty.

Whether you are using our medicine balls for traditional movements such as wallballs and abdominal resistant work, or feel like blowing off some steam with some slams, I trust the BMP Medballs to withstand any workout you put them through.  The interior filling is substantial enough to help the ball keep its shape over repeated use, but forgiving enough for athletes to safely stop or catch the ball at high velocity.

This medicine ball quality is exceptional, I have used and purchased competitors as well and this one is far superior. Medicine ball is balanced well, has great gripping surface and even warrantied for slamming.  Excellent grip, even when the sweat is pouring. Definitely worth the money, especially compared to competitive brands. The difference, compared to other brands, seems to be in the "catch" for wall balls. The BMP Ball seems more balanced.

Exercises You Can Do With a Medicine Ball
There is a lot you can do with a Medicine Ball. Not only can it be used to build strength but it is also great for perfecting squatting technique, also known as squat therapy:

  • Wall Balls
  • Lunge with Twist or Overhead Press
  • Squat Press
  • Rolling Push-Up
  • Shoulder Press
  • Figure 8
  • V-Up
  • Overhead Slam
  • Use to learn how to clean
  • Use to teach squat and get more comfortable with your squat depth.
  • So much more...
My Rating: 9.5
Does not get better than BMP, their superior quality and attention to their customers. I look forward to purchasing more equipment from them in the future.  The rating is based on the quality I have experienced these past 30 days but also I know if I ever have a problem in the future I will be taken care of!

Order your own Black Mountain Products Fitness Slam Ball for Strength and Endurance Training, 20 lb (click the link) on AMAZON for $33.20!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Product Review: TRATAC Active Roll

Product Details:
With different intensities of vibration, Tratac Active Roll is a piece of equipment that offers the benefits of a sports massage while improving a person’s stretch, balance and core muscle strength – whether in the gym, at home or at a rehabilitation clinic. The specially grooved surface of cross stripes in-creases blood circulation by stimulating the area being massaged. The expanded polypropylene is a durable, light and recyclable plastic foam material with excellent energy absorption. 

ACTIVE ROLL INCLUDES
       -Active Roll
       -Workout CD
       -Workout Manual
       -Carry Bag
       -Adapter 

Different features of Active roll vs other foam rollers. 1. Vibration helps A LOT for whom they can’t pose and roll properly because it massages the body just by touching it. 2. Newest core structure – built in a FAN to air out the temperature that motor creates to keep motor in a good environment when it’s working in such high frequency. 3. Active Roll can work in LOW rpm without any noise problem when other competitive products struggle. 4. Active Roll Uses a smaller motor that only requires 2 cell batteries when others need 4. It uses a smaller motor but this makes the roller not only lighter but also easier to carry around and still provides the same vibration quality with others or even stronger.
TRATAC ACTIVE ROLL - High Intensity Vibration Foam Roller - New generation of Vibration (Black)

My Review:
 It is like having 3 devices in one: a foam roller, a TENS unit, and a massager. The "foam" part is made of a hard rubber, not as hard as a car tire, but not soft either. A regular foam roller when they first came out, was smooth and made of a hard foam. So it basically had one major use for it. The grid-like areas help get into those tough spots to address trigger points, depending on how you position your body over it.

This foam roller not only allows you to address trigger points from a wide spread area, but also more concentrated areas because of the pattern of the grid.

There are 4 levels of vibration on this roller.  The vibrational frequencies are at 20-80 Hz. My body personally feels the best using Levels 1 & 2 and this for me seems to stimulate healing quicker. All  of these frequencies is what you would find with an average TENS unit.  A TENS unit helps stimulate endorphin and seratonin production, which help with pain relief, healing, making you feel better overall.

Level 1 - 2 seems to help me more with chronic pain.
Level 3 seems to help with muscle stimulation
Level 4 seems to help with acute pain.

How am I using it now? I use it after my workouts/exercise (weightlifting, cardio, HIIT, walking, karate, resistance band training, KB training, etc) on my whole body - quads, hams, glutes, hips, chest, stomach, IT bands, calves, shins, heels, feet, all over back, lats, tris, bis, forearms, behind knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders, traps. The only areas I wouldn't really use are the neck and head because I have some motion sickness issues and even at the lowest level, it made me feel sick.

You can roll it with the vibration or you can roll without vibration or you can have it stationary. I found it's most effective AFTER a workout while your muscles are warmed up, but it's also good if you use without doing a workout.

I am also using the Active Roller to help me with mobility type exercises and I think it's a great tool for that. Rather than having to buy several tools that could easily cost a few hundred, all this is wrapped up in this roller and it's great. Though the price of the Hyperice Vyper has come down, because of the reviews I read on that with often not having great customer service, I went with the Active Roller because sometimes things do go wrong and you want the company to be positively responsive to address the issue.

The Active Roller also holds a charge for quite some time. I've only had to charge it a few times since I've gotten it and maybe the average use of it per day is about 15 minutes. I haven't tried to see how long it will go before it doesn't work and I have to recharge. I believe since I charged it, it was about 7-8 days ago.

 Physical impressions of the device: It is solidly built.  If you set it on the floor or carpet the thing will "crawl" around--pretty neat. I rolled this thing between my shoulder blades with my whole body on it and my feet, and it didn't flinch. I'm seriously impressed now. I then did the soles of my feet, putting heavy weight to keep it from vibrating away, then my whole body.  For each area I had to roll up, down, up, down, over and over again. The time and discomfort are why I hate foam rolling, no matter how much it serves to protect me from injury. With this jewel, I was able to hit EVERY spot with practically no pain or discomfort. My typical pain spots were....NOT!!!! All I could think of is that the vibration, along with doing what vibration does to the muscles, fascia, and neuroreceptors, also effectively overwhelmed the pain sensing nerves (nociceptors). This kind of overwhelming the sensory input so that pain is dampened or erased is exactly how TENS units work. 

So I say again: Rolling with the Active Roller was PAIN-FREE, and took only one pass for each area. To test if the rolling actually worked because I'm so conditioned to expect nothing without pain, I just rolled myself on my regular roller, and lo and behold, I had almost no tender spots left. And by tender, I mean hypertonic, hypersensitive areas of muscle that are pathological (not good). I am so very sold on this device, and am looking to see if there is any formal research coming out. Current research (Brunetti et atl, 2006) has shown dramatic and long lasting improvements in strength and balance, both often severely compromised after surgery, from local application of 100 Hz vibration for 10-15 minutes after surgery. This device is clearly lower in frequency, and probably less effective as a sensorimotor / proprioceptive activation device, but its frequency definitely covers that of the pain sensors based on my experience.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Product Review: Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer

Product Details:
The Titan Fitness balance ball trainer helps you strengthen and coordinate several major muscle groups including your core muscles, back muscles, legs, and abs. By adding an element of instability it forces your body to use more muscles from your core so you no longer have to rely on crunches or sit ups for your abs workout. The resistance tubes attach directly to the base for other body weight resistance exercises and add an extra dimension to your standard work out. Perfect for physical therapy and recovery exercises.

Features:

- Light weight and easy to carry
- Pump is included
- Rubber resistance trainers included
- Durable burst free material
- Skid free / mark free base

Specifications:
- Diameter: 23.5"
- Height: 10.5"
- Resistance tubes: 23"
- Capacity: 350 lb
- Weight: 17 lb




My Review:
The Titan Fitness Balance Trainer targets the core muscles of your body helping you to not only gain strength, trim and tone, but to strengthen the entire body and improve balance. The Balance Trainer delivers an ever-changing dynamic surface that you can stand on, jump on, kneel on, and lay on, to perform exercises to train and challenge every part of your body. The Balance Trainer helps to increase body strength and improve balance, coordination and body awareness which means overall improved fitness and fewer injuries. Because this piece of equipment is impossible to master, it means endless exercise options as strength and ability increase. And, because of its small size and weight it makes a great addition to any home gym and fits easily into any fitness program
.
Appropriate for everyone from elite athletes to kids to weekend warriors trying to stay in shape, the balance trainer helps you strengthen and coordinate several major muscle groups, including the muscles you don't see. It targets your core muscles--the muscles around your abdominal and back area--while you perform a host of different workouts, from squats and bicep curls to lateral shoulder raises and hip extensions. As a result, you not only gain strength, trim, and tone, but also improve your balance and coordination along the way.

In addition, balance training helps strengthen the mind, with thoughtful movement that requires the participant to not only be physically involved, but also "here and present" with the mind fully engaged. By combining physical and mental focus, balance training will boost your performance across a wide continuum of activities, including sports, recreation, and daily tasks.

What the Titan Balance Trainer will do for you:
  • BUILD BALANCE & STABILITY: This balance trainer is made for all fitness levels, and all ages to be used for; rehabilitation, physical therapy, strengthening your base, improving balance and hip strength, and to be incorporated into high-intensity cardio routines for the fitness buff. This is the perfect addition to your home gym, portable for on-the-go fitness or a great addition to rehab offices or gyms.
  • SAFE & SLIP RESISTANT: The slip resistant material will allow you to safely stand, jump, kneel, or lay on this balance trainer, for a worry free workout. Resist falls, improve your coordination and avoid muscle atrophy by using this for simple, easy balance training to build your core strength and stability.
  • USE BOTH SIDES FOR A COMPLETE WORKOUT: This balance trainer is designed to be useful on both sides for a thorough training routine. Use the half ball with the flat side down to stand on for simple balance building, using a basic stance, or push steps. Advance your routine by doing squats, lunges, or using for crunches. Take it even further by flipping the trainer over and using for planks or burpees.
  • RESISTANCE BANDS & PUMP INCLUDED: Crush your workout goals and complete your whole body workout with the free clip-on resistance bands. The balance trainer with the bands is the ultimate package; tone and strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and abs. Our dual action hand pump allows you to quickly and effortlessly pump your trainer up and begin your balance training
  • FINE TUNE SPORTS SKILL- Incorporate this piece of equipment when doing plyometric drills to improve both speed and power. It  helps to exert maximum force for short intervals for improvement in sports like tennis, football, basketball and skiing.

In Conclusion:
You can do various balancing exercise to strengthen the core. With the bands and the balance ball, you work out your whole body. The bands are removable so that makes the balance ball trainer versatile if you want to flip it over and use it that way (although it's not recommended for safety reasons, I still like to plank with it and do body squats using the backside). 

 As a physical therapist, the Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer is one of my favorite balance training tools. There are so many uses for it, and I often use it for arm/shoulder stabilization exercises as well. I also have found that they rarely require the addition of more air, so they are low maintenance pieces of equipment.

Order your Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer today:  https://www.titan.fitness/blue-balance-ball-trainer.html

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WOD Wednesday #92

Five rounds of:
20 GHD Sit-ups
5 Push jerk



There's the beauty of this WOD. YOU choose the weight for the Push Press. Are you really strong? Got some experience with Oly lifts? Verrrry cool. Pick a big number. It looks like the target time for this WOD, the time domain we are aiming for is 10:00. Pick a weight that will put you in that range.

Sticking with movement 2, what is a Push Jerk? We have three foundational overhead lifts, the Press, the Push Press, and the Push Jerk. Well now, any guesses where you might find a video or two on the difference? YES! The "Youtube". The Push Jerk begins with the weight, whatever you have chosen, in the rack position, across your upper chest and anterior delts. The first move is a DIP, a bend in the knees, followed by an explosive DRIVE or your legs, arms, and explosive opening of your hips. In mid-drive there is a second DIP as you complete the overhead move by "catching" the weight above in a 1/4 squat. Stand up with the weight overhead. One. Do five.

20 GHD sit-ups. Glute Ham Developer. A devious device, that. Have you used one before? Do you regularly and routinely do GHD sit-ups as part of your warm-up? Of COURSE you haven't! Of COURSE you don't! Heck, anybody who is here who doesn't regularly and routinely practice GHD sit-ups SHOULD NOT DO GHD SIT-UPS in this WOD.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Start Your Day - Bulletproof Coffee

Recipe:
  • 1.5 - 2 Cups of Coffee
  • 1 TBS of Grass Fed Unsalted Butter
  • 1 TBS Organic Coconut Oil (refined or unrefined depending on your preference for the coconut taste)
  • Pinch of Cinnamon

Bulletproof Coffee is not your average latte.

It’s a high-performance drink that has a massive impact on your energy and cognitive function. Bulletproof Coffee has helped everyone from driven CEOs to professional athletes to busy parents increase their energy so they can do more of what fulfills them.

Drink Bulletproof Coffee instead of eating breakfast
Starting your day with cereal, granola, oatmeal, toast, fruit, or another carb-heavy breakfast staple spikes your blood sugar. You’ll get a quick burst of energy, but by mid-morning your blood sugar will crash, and you’ll be hungry, tired, and unfocused.

Starting your day with Bulletproof Coffee, on the other hand, gives you three things:
Suppressed hunger. Brain Octane Oil balances ghrelin and CCK, your hunger hormones, keeping you full until lunch.

Steady lasting energy. The saturated fat in grass-fed butter slows the absorption of caffeine, which gives you even energy for several hours instead of a caffeine spike and crash. No jitters, either.
Mental clarity. Brain Octane rapidly converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar. Pair ketones with the slowly releasing caffeine and you can literally feel your brain turning on.

Ditch the carb-heavy breakfast. Start your day with fat for fuel. You’ll be sharp and alert straight through until lunch.

Original article can be found here:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Product Review: Stealth Core Trainer

Product Details:
PLAY GAMES on your smartphone by using your Abs. The Stealth app is free and plays on both Android and iOS smartphones.

THE WORLDS FIRST interactive core trainer. Stealth takes one of the most basic training exercises, the plank, and turns it into a full-on gaming experience.

GET A STRONG CORE AND A HEALTHY BACK in under 3 minutes a day. Stealth uses your core strength to control the action on your mobile phone screen, making static exercises like the plank more engaging — for your muscles and your brain.

NEVER DO BORING PLANKS AGAIN. No more sit ups or crunches either! Stealth’s Interactive Core Trainer makes core planking workouts fun and exciting by integrating mobile gaming.


FEATURES:
Dynamic 360° Motion
Supports up to 400 lb user
Antimicrobial support pad made from energy -return foam for ultimate comfort and easy maintenance
Self lubricating nylon base
Delrin® components - a space age polymer as strong as steel
Patented Fluidity Sphere for ultra smooth movement
100% manufactured and assembled by hand
Made in USA
One Year Warranty


My Review:Stealth is a simple but very clever fitness device and probably the best purchase I’ve made on Kickstarter. Stealth delivers an amazing workout. In just a few minutes you can exercise your abdomen, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and legs. Stealth has you dynamically plank, as compared to a static plank. It has you twist, bank, and tilt, while holding a plank position. This allows you to engage more muscles than you would in a static plank. You do this while playing a game on a phone app. Your score is posted and ranked by age and gender. It’s very addicting. I’ve already ordered a second on Amazon and have had friends purchase Stealth after trying mine. The criticism I might have is I wish the board was a little wider at the bottom. When doing the exercise, you go to fairly extreme angles and I find my elbows can slip off the board.

The first time I used it after 40 seconds, I started to sweat and could feel my abdominal muscles really struggling. I was SHOCKED how intense of a workout it really is.

I ordered the "Stealth" because the product seemed to be unique from several perspectives. I don't think anyone likes doing planks... I certainly dislike them. The Stealth takes the basic plank and modifies it into something more advanced by combining the planking position with different dynamic body movements. The application for your smartphone is brilliant! I would encourage anyone who doesn't have to board yet to download the Stealth Core Trainer app and get an idea of what it does.

Why does everything work together so well? When working out on the stealth, you're thinking about the game, not the pain. I've found myself using the Stealth every day since I received it and I've even noticed an increase in my score on the app in the 4 days I've had the product.

It’s well constructed and simple. No assembly. The app is free and I have had no issues with it thus far. Paired together they are a blast and you forget you are working your core until your weakest link gives out. I have used it every day, for as long as I could last, and in two weeks my core strength has noticeably improved. Better posture!  I'm looking forward to seeing other app developers make applications for the board and I would love to see other workout products that incorporate the same smartphone idea.

I'll finish by saying I would highly recommend this product to anyone, especially those who might not find themselves working out as much as they would like to. The Stealth is worth every penny.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Jump Rope Cable Options - Buyers Guide

Maybe you jump rope for fun or simply for a casual workout. Maybe you compete at CrossFit or even at the National or World jump rope competitions.

The most important decision you’ll make when purchasing a jump rope is the type of cable you choose to go with it.

Handles are important, but using the correct type of cable makes all off the difference when jumping rope. This guide will help you pick the correct cable for different types of jumping and skill levels.

Ultra Thin Cable

Diameter: 1.2mm


Description: This is the newest and fastest of all cables on the market. When you first try the ultra thin cable you'll have a sensation that you're turning an invisible rope. The cable is very difficult to feel. However, the top jumpers in the world are using this cable to set speed and double under records (with much practice).


Pros:
Coated with PTFE material that provides superior impact and wear resistance
Low sliding friction
Turns with extreme ease

Cons:
Hard to feel the cable turning because of its low weight
Can fray at the ends of the cable
Wears quickly due to its thin coating
Expensive
Can kink
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Sharp learning curve to master control
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: Competitive athletes (CrossFit & Jump Rope) who need speed above all else.


Bare Cable


Diameter: 1/16” (1.59mm)

Description: This is the mostly widely used cable in speed and multiple under competitions around the world. The bare cable has been the mainstay for high level athletes at competitions for over a decade. As it turns, the cable has a very light and responsive feel. This is a very fast cable.

Pros
Turns with great ease
Inexpensive

Cons
Wears quickly due to lack of coating on the cable
Frays easily which can make it hard to work with.
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: CrossFit athletes and competitive speed jumpers.


Nylon Coated Cable


Diameter: 3/32” (2.38mm)

Description: Nylon coated cables are commonly seen being used by CrossFit athletes doing double unders. This cable is slower that the Ultra Thin and Bare Cables, but still is plenty fast. There is a greater "feel" to this cable when spinning the rope than that of the previous two cables, which leads to greater control and less misses. We need to make note that most companies coat this cable with PVC, which causes the cable to wear much faster. Look for nylon coated speed cable.

Pros
Excellent wear resistance on smooth surfaces (ie hardwood floors)
Turns with ease
Lots of color options
Fray resistant
Inexpensive

Cons
Can kink
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: Anyone already proficient in double unders


PVC Coated Cable


Diameter: 1/8” (3.18mm)

Description: The PVC coated cable is becoming extremely popular of late with freestyle jumpers and CrossFit athletes. Freestyle jumpers love this cable due to its quickness and ease of turning. Yet, the cable is flexible enough to easily do crossing and power moves. Athletes learning double unders find this cable super helpful because it turns quickly and has a good feel to it. This will decrease the double unders learning curve. We find many double under workshops are using this cable exclusively for teaching purposes. The PVC Coated Cable is also being used as the cable in speed double dutch competitions. In fact a Chinese team recently used a Speed Cable Double Dutch rope that uses this cable to set a new speed record with it.

Pros
Easy to feel the cable turn
Long lasting
Easy to do crossing and power moves

Cons
Can be a little too fast for Freestyle Jumpers
Can be a little to slow for double under athletes.

Recommended for: Learning double unders.


Outdoor Rated Cable



Diameter: 1/8” (3.18mm)

Description: We designed this tough cable for the athletes who have no other choice but
to jump rope on rough or outdoor surfaces. Any other type of cable will last only a very short time on outside surfaces. The Outdoor Cable has a super tough nylon coating, which makes it stiffer than the PVC coated 1/8” cable. It has the heaviest feel of all of our cable ropes.

Pros
Tough, long lasting coating
Heavy weight

Cons
Too stiff for crossing moves
Slower than all other cables


Recommended for: Double unders or speed jumping on outdoor or abrasive surfaces.


Blog Post Courtesy of ELITESRS 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

WOD Wednesday #91

Three rounds for time of:
12 Muscle-ups
75 Squats



A muscle-up is a foundational exercise in gymnastics, a ring exercise that is so simple and basic that it doesn't even rate a difficulty score for gymnasts. Here, a MU is a milestone for most of us, the first MU a notable achievement. Hanging from rings using a false grip do a ring pull-up, quickly transition to chest over our hands, and then push out a ring dip. Lower yourself to arms fully extended under the rings. One MU. No rings available? 1 bar MU = 1 ring MU.

Can't do a MU, or as we say in CF, don't "have" a MU? The sub is Pull-ups and Dips. The FULL sub is 4 PU and 4 bar dips for each MU. I usually do 3/1, freely admitting that is is not only a sub but also a scale. Let's be honest here.. You're not going to do 48 PU and 48 dips each round for 3 rounds. Not gonna happenDo 1:1 or 2:1. Do whatever type do PU scaling you've been doing all month (bands, Gravitron) but DO NOT DO JUMPING PU WITH NEGATIVES. Same with dips; scale as you need with bands, Gravitron, one leg on ground for assist.

When you see "Squats" on a CF WOD that means air, or unweighted squats. Just you and gravity. Nothing on your shoulders, on your rack (heh heh), or overhead. Good form is essential. Full squats with the crease of your hip below your knee on each one, a fully open hip at the top. 75 per round. Scale reps here if this is too much, and it MAY be. How about 50, or even 25/round?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Product Review: PowerDot Duo

Product Details:
  • WIRELESS PODS FOR EASY USE: While other EMS pods only leave you tangled in wires and ruin your workout, the POWERDOT pods connect wirelessly to your phone. Leaving you free from distractions and focused solely on working out. You can take them wherever and even use them at home to recover while you watch TV!
  • YOUR ENTIRE WORKOUT CONTROLLED FROM YOUR PHONE: Use the free iPhone & Android compatible app to control the pods. Select target muscles and intensity at the touch of a button. No need for WiFi or data, just use your phone’s bluetooth function. The encrypted app runs independently from other phone apps so your workout won’t be interrupted.
  • SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO COMPLEMENT YOUR TRAINING: Effective as a post-training tool to speed up muscle recovery, as a rehabilitation tool for physical therapy and even as a boost to your regular strength training routine. Multiple studies have shown that EMS users perform better after incorporating it into their training routine.
  • DESIGNED FOR YOUR FITNESS GOALS: Unlike other EMS products that only perform one job, the POWERDOT muscle stimulators have 9 different workout programs to choose from. With 4 everyday programs to help you recover, leading to faster progress towards your fitness goals. Plus 5 performance programs designed to increase your muscle strength and endurance - each with their own progression levels. There are also custom manual settings for you to create your own workout.
  • FDA APPROVED & A NO HASSLE WARRANTY: At POWERDOT, we believe in getting you the best possible results! You can count on durability and high quality with Powerdot

PowerDot Duo includes:
  • (2) PowerDot devices (available here in black or red)
  • (4) sets of electrode pads (last for 4 months of active training)
  • (2) 10cm and (1) 25cm lead cable
  • (2) Micro USB charging cables
  • (1) Carrying case
  • Mobile App with numerous preset programs
Additional Specifications:
  • (2) Independent Stimulation Channels
  • Bi-phasic square waveform
  • Peak voltage of 110V provided in small <1V increments (under 1k Ohm load)
  • FCC-approved Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy module
  • Supports Android 4.4+/iOS 7.0+ mobile devices


My Review:
The best thing I can say about the PowerDot is its portability. Its small and compact design allows you to bring it almost everywhere and even wear it under your office shirt to warm up your muscles in the office secretly before hitting up a great training session.
The PowerDot is the name given to this red little device that uses Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) to improve athletic performance. Simply stick the electrodes on your target muscle and let the PowerDot do the work for you.


Image result for powerdot duoI've thoroughly enjoyed my Power Dot since getting it. I've probably uses it for over 30 sessions so far within the 1st month of getting it. At one point it was the only thing I was doing while dealing with strep throat sickness and it really helped my muscles from stiffening up while just laying in bed for 2 days. The different programs, ease of intensity changes and pad applications have made it an incredible versatile and easy still device to use. I only wish I had purchased more pads right away.

The one negative has been the issue of activating the dots to my phone for use. I've followed the directions and there have been a number of times when it has taken nearly 15 minutes for my phone to activate both dots. At one point I had both dots activated and connected in the start up page but when I switched to the workouts, it wasn't registering both. Very frustrating. But if that's the only negative, that's pretty good.

I do a variety of different sports: triathlons, CrossFit, OCR, and hiking. Efficient recovery is critical for me to stick to my training schedule. The device is very easy to quickly set up with the intuitive iOS app. My muscles felt amazing and much more relaxed even after the first session. The POWERDOT will be instantly integrated into my recovery routine

Lastly, I have had the pleasure of owning many different units. When I purchased the Compex, I did like it but felt lost in the using of the device. It gave no direction on where to place the pads, when to use which program and then I was also connected to a bunch of wires. Oh and the cost is a rip off. When PowerDot came out, I tried that device. From the very beginning it seemed to answer all my missing questions. It provides direction and guidance on when to use each program and where to place the pads. It actually provides a real life image of where the pads actually go. Now some people say you can always get the wireless version of the compex ...yeah if you want a huge bulky device plus bulky transmitters on your body. The PowerDot is small, and unique. Oh and a lot less in price. I would say over all the devices run very similar, with the exception of MyPowerDot being less expensive, smaller, and more user friendly.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Upper and Lower Extremity Screening Cheat Sheet - Part 2

After assessing for active range of motion and muscle strength:

Step 3:  Assess light touch in dermatomal patterns.  Almost every nerve in your body originally branches out your spine at specific places between the spinal vertebraes. This branching of nerve or the dorsal root from the spine has a particular area of skin that is associated with it. This pattern of skin and associate nerve root is known as the Dermatomal pattern.


Step 4: Assess deep tendon reflexes.  A reflex is a motor response to a sensory stimulus and is used to assess the integrity of the nervous system at various spinal nerve root levels.  Deep tendon reflexes will elicit a muscle contraction when the muscles tendon is stimulated.

Deep Tendon Reflexes Procedure Guidelines:

  • Patient should be relaxed
  • Muscle should be placed in a slight stretch
  • Use reflex hammer to tap tendon
  • Assess both sides
  • Reflex should be graded as normal (+2), Hyper active (+3 or 4), or diminished (0-+1)
When completing an Upper Extremity Quarter Screen the therapist should test your reflexes for C5 nerve at the Brachioradialis,  C6 nerve with the bicep tendon, and C7 nerve with the triceps tendon.

When completing a Lower Extremity Quarter Screen the therapist should test your reflexes for L3 nerve with the Quadriceps (also called patellar tendon) and S1 nerve with the achilles tendon.


**Please note that while this is a 2 part blog post with a lot of information for visual aid, these tests should take no more than a couple minutes by a trained therapist/coach.  These screens are very basic tests designed to provide a rapid assessment of mobility and neurological function of the upper and lower extremities.  If a test shows any problems with AROM, Myotomes, Dermatomes, or reflexes this essentially narrows down the problem and directs further testing.  These tests can also be used as a prescreen for athletes during physical examination to establish a baseline of function.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Upper and Lower Extremity Screening Cheat Sheet - Part 1

Explanation of Procedure and Rationale:  The therapist should explain to the patient they are conducting an assessment of the patients neck and arms (Upper Extremity, UE) or back and legs (Lower Extremity, LE).  The patient will be asked to perform UE or LE movements to the best of their ability.  The patient is instructed to tell the therapist if/when they feel pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.  The rationale behind this is that these tests provide a rapid assessment of mobility and neurological function of the neck, UE's, lumbar spine or LE's.

Step One: Check active range of motion for the desired screening quarter (UE or LE), check for range of motion and assess for pain during AROM.  If symptoms do not increase apply slight over pressure to gauge passive range of motion and reassess symptoms.

AROM Norms for Cervical Spine:

  • Flexion - 80 - 90 degrees
  • Extension - 70 degrees
  • Side Bending - 20 - 45 degrees
  • Rotation 70 - 90 degrees
AROM Norms for Upper Extremities Tested:
  • Flexion/Abduction: 180 degrees
  • Extension: 45 - 60 degrees
  • Internal Rotation 70 degrees
  • External Rotation: 90 degrees
AROM Norms for Lumbar Spine:
  • Forward Flexion: 40 - 60 degrees
  • Extension: 20 - 35 degrees
  • Side Bending: 15 - 20 degrees
  • Rotation: 3 - 18 degrees
AROM Norms for Lower Extremities Tested:
  • Hip Flexion: 120 degrees
  • Extension: 30 degrees
  • Abduction 45 degrees
  • Adduction 30 degrees

Step 2:  Test the Myotomes (or resisted movements) to assess strength. Test to be done bilaterally
Myotome Tests UE:
  • C1, C2 nerve roots: Test resisted cervical flexion
  • C3: Test resisted cervical side flexion
  • C4: Test resisted shoulder elevation
  • C5: Test resisted shoulder abduction
  • C6: Test resisted Elbow Flexion
  • C7: Test resisted elbow extension
  • C8: Test resisted Thumb extension
  • T1: Test resisted finger abd/adduction
Myotome Tests for LE:
  • L1, L2 nerve roots: Test resisted hip flexion
  • L3: Test resisted knee extension
  • L4: Test resisted ankle dorsiflexion
  • L5: Test resisted Great toe extension
  • S1: Test resisted ankle plantar flexion

Friday, October 19, 2018

Product Review: Rapid Reboot - Compression Therapy

Product Details:
Train, reboot, repeat – with the Rapid Reboot recovery system

Train like world-class Olympic, professional, and collegiate athletes by supercharging your recovery with the Rapid Reboot recovery system! The system, which utilizes dynamic, sequential air compression, is based on important medical technology and principles proven to improve circulation, mobilize metabolites and other toxins like carbon dioxide from muscle tissue, flush out lactic acid, mitigate edema, reduce exercise-induced swelling, alleviate inflammation, and facilitate protein synthesis by increasing blood flow to muscles. In short, this speeds up your body's natural process of healing, allowing you to recovery quickly and consistently. The boots have other applications outside of sports medicine, including rehabilitation from injuries or surgery and treating lymphedema, poor circulation, tension, cramps, restless legs, varicose veins, sciatic nerve pain, and general venous insufficiencies.

Product features:

  • Customizable settings offer a wide range of pressures with 10 possible settings (20 to 200 mmHg)
  • Heavy-duty but silent pump allows for fast flow rates and quick compression cycles
  • Control pump (10 in x 6.5 in x 5 in) operates on 110-120V, 60Hz (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) with a power use of 30W.
  • 3 simple time settings for easy use (10, 20, and 30 minutes)
  • Automatically turns off after the selected duration
  • 2 modes for different results (A mode for improved arterial inflow and venous outflow; B mode for improved circulation and mobilizing lactic acid, lymph fluid, and other toxins such as carbon dioxide and metabolites)
  • Position indicator also allows for any combination of chambers to be turned off to target specific areas (e.g., foot and calf), or to avoid certain areas because of injury or other problems
  • Different boot sizes (see chart) accommodate athletes of all sizes, offering the best comfort and results (designed to cover your feet all the way up to your upper thigh/lower hip)
  • Triangular foot compartment compresses your foot in the right places – not the sides – to maximize comfort
  • Integrated hoses exit the feet to avoid awkward entanglement, free up your lap for laptops or books, eliminate the need for extra components, and reduce the number of steps to get started
  • Heavy-duty, dual-track zippers allow for a wider range of leg thickness and will not split open
  • Seamless and smooth interior and exterior allow for quick, easy cleaning
  • Fabric is lightweight and airtight for added comfort, minimal profile, and easy storage
  • Padded carrying case included for easy travel (17.5 in x 13 in x 6 in)
  • Included user guide walks you through the process

My Review:
After much research and testing across several alternatives (including Normatec), I purchased the Rapid Reboot Recovery System. After 2 weeks of use, I am happy to report that it is the best recovery product I have EVER used.

Training for Spartan Races and Crossfit, my legs are constantly placed under significant training load. The Rapid Reboot System has allowed me to significant enhance (and shrink time required) for my recovery. The boots flush my legs of all lactate buildup and after 20 minutes (30 following really long workouts) my legs feel as though I could hop right back on my bike or pull on my running shoes.

Compared to other alternatives, I really appreciate the increased compression available with the Rapid Reboot System. In conjunction with a reasonable price point these boots are (in my opinion) the best option on the market.

The Rapid Reboot system pressure range goes from 20 mmhg to 200 mmhg in 10 increments. (This is an increase of 20 mmhg at each level.)

If you are between sizes, go by your inseam. Some tall people have longer torsos and shorter legs in which case they would fit better in a shorter size. On the other hand, some shorter people have longer legs than torso in which case they would fit better in the longer size. When in doubt, we recommend people go with the size longer.

The boots are bladders covered in a stitched material. They have a zipper that runs down the middle of the boot with a second zipper for people with larger legs. I don't know who would use the larger size because they would have to have enormous legs though. The setup and use are very simple. It has 2 different modes, adjustable pressure and you can turn on/off different compartments. It comes with a nice travel case. Overall we've been very impressed with the quality. It comes with a 1 year warranty but the website says that they will help you out even if the warranty has expired. We have 2 people that have been using them almost daily for 3 weeks so we can't comment on the long term durability.

Now for the normatec vs Rapid Reboot comparison. The quality of the two seems to be the exact same. I don't think that one is better than the other in that category. The rapid reboot can go to a higher pressure than normatec. I doubt many people would be able to go to the highest pressure but it's available if you want it. Ease of use is the same also. A win for normatec is the size of the control. The Rapid Reboot puts the control on top of the pump box which is similar to the old model of normatec. The new normatecs have a smaller control that can be held in our hand while using the device but I'm not sure why you would need it. Once I started it I just let it do it's thing until it's done. The biggest difference was the price. Normatec retails for $500 more than Rapid Reboot. I wasn't even able to find a pair of used older model normatec's for cheaper than I was able get the Rapid Reboots (obviously that could vary from what someone finds).

Overall I recommend the Rapid Reboots. They work really well and are cheaper than comparable options.

Finally, although not a buying consideration for many people, I also find the staff at Rapid Reboot to be extremely friendly, accommodating, and customer focused. As compared to being "just another number" like with other companies, I firmly believe my best interest is what matters to the team at Rapid Reboot.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Orthotics: How to and Considerations

A client wearing a new orthosis may adopt the following schedule:

Days1/2
Wear orthosis for approximately 30-60 minutes per day; may break this time up into the morning and evening times

Days 3/4
Increase morning and evening time to about 1 hour each or 2 hours total per day
Days 5-10
Increase wearing time to approximately 2 hour in the morning and evening, or 4 total hours a day
Days 11-14
Apply the orthosis first thing in the morning, remove, checking skin before lunch.  The orthosis may be put on again and checked after school/dinner;  it may be applied a third time and worn untill bedtime

Note:  Patients, caregivers and therapists should perform a skin check each time the orthosis is removed.  Check for redness, skin irritation, blistering of the skin.  Any redness school disappear within a few seconds after removing the device.  If it persists longer than a few minutes or if skin breakdown develops, the patient should immediately stop wearing the orthosis, and the supervising Physical Therapist and Orthotist should be immediately contacted.


Skin and Orthosis Care:
Clients wearing orthoses should be told to notify the orthotist or other health care provider if the following problems are noticed:
  • The orthosis rubs, causing skin discoloration that does not disappear after a few minutes.
  • After removal of the device, blistering or skin breakdown is evident
  • The orthosis is cracked, broken, loose, or has missing parts
  • The orthosis is uncomfortably tight
  • Excessive swelling develops within or around the trimlines of the orthosis
  • Pain becomes a symptoms, or intensifies.
  • Toes, fingers become discolered
  • An odor or exudates develops
Caring for the orthosis:
The orthosis should be cleaned with mild soap and water.  It should not be soaked in water or dried with a blow dryer, or placed near a heater as heat may cause its shape to change.  It may be towel dried or left at room temperature.  A little talcum powder may help reduce odor.
  • Cotton socks should be worn under the orthosis to prevent friction and protect the skin from perspiration.
  • Seams of socks should be kept away from bony areas
  • Avoid wrinkles or folds in socks.
  • A white cotton t shirt is preferable to wear under spinal orthoses for the same reason as above.
  • For LE orthotic, sandals, high heels, loafers, or other slip on shoes should be avoided.
In general, orthosis should be easily applied and performed independently by the patient.  However children, and others may require additional assistance, and given instruction in how to perform as well.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Product Review: Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar

Product Details:

  • No screws - ready to use - no need to assemble! Simply hook right into the doorframe, get a full body workout, and fold away for storage!
  • Raised bar - Suitable for tall people. Designed for wide doorframes with a maximum width of 36.22” (92 cm) and depth of 8.27” (21 cm) - Made for wider doorframes: fits a door width of 27.56” - 36.22” (70 - 92 cm).
  • Maximum stability, robust, high quality construction. Heavy duty design prevents movement of the bar during exercise. Safe weight limit of up to 440 lb (200 kg). Cushioned pads prevent damage to doorframe.
  • Comfortable - no more blisters on your hands! Soft foam grip - durable and nonslip. Extra thick rod ensures firm grip.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee! If you do not like the Ikonfitness pull up bar for any reason, just send it back within 60 days. Our friendly customer service members will refund you for the full amount! 
Benefits
  • Almost 8” higher than competing products thanks to raised bar design
  • Train on the floor for pushups, sit ups, dips, and more: complete upper-body training
  • Deeper pushups and increased range of motion for better results
  • Maximum stability: solid, high quality construction
  • Thick rod for firm grip
  • High quality foam: no blisters on your hands
  • Made for wider doorframes: fits a door width of 27.56” - 36.22” (70 - 92 cm) - Measure the space inside your door frame. The Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar is designed for spaces between 27.56-36.22 inches (70-92 cm)
  • Just fold and store to save space
  • Safe weight limit of 440 lb (200 kg)
  • Specially designed rubber pads protect doorframe from damage


Review:
The bar itself was shipped in a very thin box which is due to its genius design. It has these two hooks that fold in and out and are spring supported. The metal itself feels like quality and I doubt it will bend (if it does I will update this). The bar looks very simple and pleasing to the eye. It stays put even when you are not hanging from it. Finally the most important thing, it was designed by someone who had a good grasp of basic physics and considered torque and application of force. The angles are just right, as I said it stays put without any force applied to it, but once you hang from it and there is a downward force, the bar will feel like it is part of the wall itself, you will feel very sturdy. It also requires ZERO assembly, its not that the last bar was hard to put together, no they usually take only a few minutes, but if you are buying one of these it's probably because you are renting and so are likely to move, taking the bar apart and putting it together is a pain and losing screws and parts is a real problem. This thing just comes down and folds away so moving it or storing it when it's not up is real easy.

What is smart hook technology and how does this bar compare to other pull up bars?  Smart hook is an unique design to solve the problem of traditional pull up bar easily falling down and causing damage to door frame. During the usage, the hook extends over the door to the back door frame, so the downward force when you grab on to the top bar doing pull ups is decomposed into the horizontal forces on the cap ends of the lower bar towards the vertical strip of the door frame and the downward vertical forces between the teeth of the tool and the top strip of the door frame. In such a way, your force is balanced by 6 smaller forces, each is much smaller, and saves the surface of your door, as well as making it safer.

One "bad" thing I haven't seen mentioned in other reviews yet is the bar diameter is much bigger than every other pull up bar I've ever seen. This is "bad" in the sense that it requires a much, MUCH stronger grip, even with the padding it has, to do proper pull ups. A thicker bar translates to a far more difficult workout. So, for a beginner that struggles to do even a single pull up, this bar is going to make that struggle even worse. The upside is that if you stick with it, you'll be far stronger than you would have on a smaller bar. Similarly, if you're someone that's already really good at pull ups, this might be your answer to increasing the difficulty of your pull ups without having to risk injury or damage with belts, chains, and extra weight.

Monday, October 8, 2018

PT Pathologies: Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) or acute polyneuropathy is a temporary inflammation and demyelination of the peripheral nerves myelin sheaths, potentially resulting in axonal degeneration.  Motor weakness results in a distal to proximal progression as well as sensory impairment and possible respiratory paralysis.  The cause of Guillain-Barre Syndrome is not exactly known, but, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, scientists do know that "the body's immune system begins to attack the body itself, causing what is known as an autoimmune disease."  It is not fully understood why it strikes some people but not others or what it is that sets the disease in motion.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome can occur in individuals at any age, but it tends to have the highest frequency in young adults and adults 50-80 years old.  Also males typically have a higher incidence of GBS than females.  Those affected by GBS initially present with "distal symmetrical motor weakness and will likely experience mild distal sensory impairment and transient paresthesias."  Weakness eventually progresses proximally toward the upper extremities and to the head.  Along with motor weakness, the patient could present with muscle and respiratory paralysis, the absence of deep tendon reflexes, and the inability to speak or swallow.  If there is respiratory involvement GBS can be life threatening.  Laboratory and imaging studies can be done to confirm GBS as well as the use of additional information such as a physical and neurological examination, strength testing, and a review of the patients relevant medical history.

In order to medically manage GBS, hospitalization may be required.  Pharmacological interventions are used to treat the symptoms, as well as PT, OT, and SLP.  Each of these different types of therapies facilitate neurological rehabilitation.  As soon as the patient is admitted to the hospital, physical therapy treatment should be initiated.  The focus of the physical therapy should be PROM, positioning, and some light exercise.  While the patient is in the acute phase of GBS, the PT should ensure they are not overexerting or causing too much fatigue for the patient.  This could cause exacerbations of the patients symptoms. "As the patient progresses, intervention may include orthotic, wheelchair or assistive device prescription, exercise and endurance activities, family teaching, functional mobility and gait training, and progressive respiratory therapy".  A therapeutic swimming pool may also be indicated for the patient.  This allows initiation of movement without the effects of gravity.  Once the patient goes home, he/she should continue therapeutic exercise, functional mobility training, endurance activities, and other breathing activities.  Physical therapy can assist in the recovery of GBS but cannot alter the course of the disease.