Core Training Myths: The truth about core training in fitness and sports

Around the turn of the century, a new buzzword began to circulate among experts in the fitness and sports industry–“Core” was the buzzword and a new revolution was born in sports and fitness training.  Article after article appeared in journals and magazines touting the core as the area we need to focus on the most to lead healthier, “pain-free” lives.  The media picked up on the buzzword.  With so much exposure, just about every issue or injury from low back pain to poor sports performance, which we had previously attributed to other issues, were now believed to be miraculously cured by targeting the core.

In the 1990’s, the industry claimed low back pain was primarily affected by the hamstrings. Today, the industry and the media blame back pain and everything else on a weak core.  This was and is 100% incorrect.  Back pain can be caused by any one of hundreds functional issues.  Experts in sports training, fitness, and even physical medicine (yes this includes highly respected doctors) also blamed many injuries and poor sports performances on poor core strength.  With so much exposure and demand for improvement,  every “fitness and medical expert” began creating exercises and programs targeting the core.  The physical ailments and sports performances people seek to improve are also affected by many factors including learned behaviors or techniques which create imbalances (but that’s another post all to itself).

It is my belief that because the hundreds of thousands of professionals who work with people on their sports, fitness, and health goals placed too much emphasis on this one particular area of the body, we are now seeing the results of the failure of the industry to properly educate consumers on how to truly balance their bodies and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Many experts, and as a result, fitness seekers and athletes all around the world have over done it with “core training”.  It was believed by some “so-called experts” that almost every problem in the body stemmed from weak core muscles.  And according to those experts, if you could just strengthen your core all your problems would be solved and fitness goals attained.

Well… I call BS!.  And over the next 1,000 words or so, I intend to explain why.

The body is divided into three planes. Sagittal, Coronal, and Transverse.

The “core muscles” and what it takes to train them has begun to cause an epidemic that needs to be undone.  Why is it that while the industry has focused on the “core”, the number of people suffering from back pain around the world has increased. In addition, we have seen a rise in other “core related” injuries?

The “core muscles” have been incorrectly identified by the average person.   In fact, I’ve searched the web, and most experts define the core as the abdominal and lower back muscles.  Most people believe the core can be trained by performance exercises on a stability ball; adding resistance to abdominal exercises; and by performing numerous other activities we now call functional training.  In truth, the core muscles are made up of all the muscles which meet in the center of the body’s planes.

In reality, the best way to define the “core muscles is “all muscles which affect the position of the pelvis”. This includes muscles originating and inserting at the pelvis and all of those muscles which affect pelvis position.  This also includes some muscles of the lower body which are neglected when “training the core”.  The pelvis moves in multiple directions and is essentially the first indicator of true stability (which is what we are trying to accomplish with “core training”).  Now keep in mind, pelvis movements can be and are affected by movements of all the segments and muscles around it. This means, the core is affected by both feet, both legs, the spine, and the arms (because the arms are attached to the spine via the trunk).

The ideal pelvis forward tilt is 7 and 10 degrees in men and women. some experts would say that a desirable forward pelvic tilt is 0-5 degrees in men and 7-10 degrees in women.  Those are desired averages, but we are not striving for average, we should be working towards ideal.  Based upon my research of thousands of people from all walks of life, the actual average is greater than 17-20 degrees of forward pelvic tilt. This is more than twice the ideal.  And the majority of participants in my research are athletes who supposedly have the best fitness levels and training.

While I do want to make it clear that training the core is important, I want to clarify that “core muscles” previously targeted through isolation and functional training are no less important than any other muscle in our body. In fact, what has happened as a result of the over emphasis on the core muscles is the following:

1) Any muscle when focused on as the muscle group to target can be OVER-trained and as a result, OVER developed.

2) Any muscle group when targeted can be exercised improperly, negating any real benefits that would have been gained had the exercises been

performed properly.

3) Compensation injuries can occur as a result of over-training or over emphasizing any muscle group.

In truth the core is the center of the body where forces cross the mid-point of the body splitting the into multiple planes.

For simplicity, the body is split into halves from upper body to lower body (Transverse plane); Front side to back side (Coronal Plane); and left side to right side (Sagittal plane).  In order for the body to become balanced, exercises must target all areas of the planes in some cases through multi-planar exercises (Functional and rotational movements in all directions).

The X-Plane divides the body diagonally from left hand to right foot and from right hand to left foot.

One aspect of multi-planar training that is rarely taken into consideration is the fact that in an effort to seek balance, those planes are affected by work that is done diagonally from left to right and right to left, from upper body to lower body.  What does that mean?  The body is divided into the three (but really four) planes. However, the left arm does its job in conjunction with the right leg.  The right arm, works with the left leg.  So the new, “X-Plane” has to be trained as well.

A muscle is over trained and over developed when it is targeted more than its opposing muscle group (in all planes).  If I only work on my right bicep and not my left, its obvious that my right arm would be stronger, more dense, and heavier than my left when doing activities that require both arms.  If we spend time isolating the low back and abdominal (which the average person defines as the core), we end up with abs/low back that are significantly stronger than our feet, lower leg muscles, glutes, hamstrings, possibly even quads.

As a result, instead of strengthening the body’s ability to transfer energy and have support from the  “core” to perform functional movements, we are actually weakening, the core and its ability to perform true functional movements.  What is an indicator that the core has been over-trained or improperly trained?  That’s the easy part.  We will see people suffer more injuries to hamstrings, the groin, chronic low back pain, and a the presence of a severely forward tilted pelvis (anterior pelvic tilt).

This negative pelvis posture can lead to an increase in ACL/meniscus knee injuries, plantar fascia injuries, patella tendonitis, groin pulls, hamstring strains, shoulder injuries, low back/spine injuries and pain, abdominal strains, neck pain/discomfort leading to surgeries of the cervical spine, and hundreds of other physical issues.

So let’s stop isolating the core and begin to work on developing balance in the body, in all planes, not just at the “core”.  Fitness should be achieved by working to develop the entire body…From the Ground Up! 

In future writings, I will address some key exercises, which if done properly will provide more true benefit to the “core” than the road the industry is currently taking to a healthy core.

Follow Zig Ziegler, the Sports Kinesiologist on Twitter @zigsports. Zig is the author of he soon to be released book, Absolute Kinetix: Fitness From the Ground Up.

Derrick Rose Update: Career in Jeopardy…Why Rose will never be the same!

To keep up with the latest from Zig Ziegler, follow Zig on twitter @zig_ziegler.

While Derrick Rose was tearing his ACL, I spent the morning conducting a 3D-Biomechanics Assessment on future projected Top Five NBA draft pick Shabazz Muhammad.  While there are no guarantees the UCLA bound senior at Las Vegas’s Bishop Gorman High School will escape future knee injuries, the move will provide Muhammad with exercises targeting any weaknesses or imbalances in his body. The results are in the hands of Muhammad along with his current and future trainers at UCLA.

I appreciate the your coming out to do the tests on me,” said Shabazz.  “I will do what I can to improve.”  In addition, to the biomechanics assessment to identify his risk of injury, Shabazz, also was able to benefit from a fine tuning of his pelvis position during shooting free throws. Already with a free throw shooting percentage around 85%, after the adjustment to his pelvis, Shabazz stated, “I already feel myself shooting straighter.”

The subtle techniques changes will become permanent as Shabazz follows the strength and conditioning exercises and stretches recommended specifically for his body.  But most importantly, Shabazz and other young players can significantly reduce the risk of overuse and compensatory injuries related to muscle imbalances.

For Derrick Rose, it’s not too late to help improve his ability to recover from his recent ACL tear.  His recent injuries (prior to the ACL tear) were warning signs that something was about to go dreadfully wrong.  It’s like ignoring the check engine or oil light in the car.  Sure we can keep driving; check the oil and probably notice that we are low on oil (adding more), but eventually the symptom turns into a major problem.  The light was an indicator that maybe we had an oil leak?  I’m just guessing here but I’ve seen enough simple symptoms turn into major problems.

As for Rose, Oden, and others, to help us all understand the risks of rehab and recovery, let’s first gain a better understanding of the injury itself.

A tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee usually occurs in one of two ways: 1) hyperextension of the knee 2) rotation of the knee.  Both causes contribute to ACL tears while bearing more weight on the knee than supporting muscles can bear. If either motion is too great, an ACL tear or meniscus tear (at a minimum) can occur. This type of non-contact injury usually occurs while the athlete is attempting to change directions.  (There are other ways for injuries to occur but these are the two most common methods for non-contact related ACL/Meniscus tears).

Rose suffered a torn ACL while landing and attempting to RE-accelerate or change directions during his trademark “jump stop” power move.  In my opinion, the injury occurred during the transition phase of the move where Rose was in between stopping and starting (changing directions). At the point in the game when the injury occurred, Rose’s body (which had spent the past two months compensating for injuries below the knee) was experiencing in-game fatigue.  His ACL tear could have happened in the first minute or the last minute, however, because of his history.

Rose is and has always been a player who relies on his explosive leaping ability, quickness, and all around athletic ability. He has been labeled a fearless player who plays with reckless abandon.  That all changed with a little over one minute to play in game one of the 2012 playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers.

How will this affect Rose going forward?

In the future, when Rose moves to his right, he will be able to play aggressively. However, stopping or changing directions while moving to the right will be extremely challenging.  As Rose attempts to change directions while moving to the right, the inside of the left knee must assist in deceleration.  If the left leg does not absorb its appropriate share of the workload during this deceleration, one of two things is bound to happen: 1) re-injury to the left knee or 2) new injury to the right knee.

As Rose attempts to move to the left, the outside of the left knee absorbs the majority of the workload while moving in that direction. This creates less of a challenge for Rose in the future because of the nature of the injury.  Stopping or changing directions for Rose when moving left should be considerably easier for Rose to do as the inside of his right knee will bear the majority of the load in deceleration.  The act of actually pushing off is primarily the responsibility of the outside of his left leg.  As a result, Rose will be able to change directions when moving left, but may subconsciously rely more on his right leg.

In my description above, Rose will be forced to overuse his right leg considerably, resulting in a higher risk of injury to the right leg from foot to hip.  We may see Rose tear his right ACL or retear his left, develop Patella tendonitis in the right knee, or suffer an injury to the right hip,or foot (which was supported by muscles already weaker than those in his left leg).

The biggest concern for Rose is the fact that Rose’s injury is an injury related to rotational stability of his left knee.  The ACL attaches to the inside of the lateral aspect of his femur (thigh bone) and the lateral aspect of the medial portion of the tibia (lower leg).  In stabilizing the knee, the ACL resists rotation. In Rose’s case, his lower leg internally rotated and could not stabilize before his femur began to externally rotate.  The rotated out of sequence and in opposite directions.

The most neglected part of ACL surgery and rehab is the rotational stability of the knee.  During surgery, the bones of the upper and lower leg are not typically rotated back into their normal position prior to the injury.  The new ACL is attached typically with the two segments in the posture they moved to when the injury occurred.

As for rehab, we constantly hear “experts” in the field of medicine and rehab referring to the quadriceps and hamstring muscles as the most important to ACL recovery. But we are rehabbing only part of the knee’s stabilizing muscle groups.

Why is it that no one discusses the extremely important segment of the body below the knee with muscles that cross the knee and assist in the stability of the knee?  It’s because the protocols have become watered down and we only look at the primary muscles that flex or extend the knee.  Apparently, experts in the field of rehab and medicine have forgotten that the lower leg muscles assist in stabilizing and supporting healthy knee function. Yes, I’m referring the entire muscle group of the lower leg.

The Gastrocnemius/Soleus complex (typically referred to as the calf muscles) is the single most important muscle group to target when recovering from ACL surgery, the quads and hamstrings are important but no more important than the lower leg muscle group.  Yet, only a minimal portion rehab is dedicated to targeting the lower leg.  The Anterior and Posterior Tibialis, and mobility of the peroneals are extremely important to complete recovery.

In addressing this area to aid in recovery, Rose’s therapist must pay attention to the rotation of the knee, by manually assisting the repositioning the tibia/femur posture. In doing so, they can return his knee to its pre-injury “joint posture”. If this happens, Rose can return quickly and achieve near pre-injury levels, reducing his risk of re-occurrence.

If you ask anyone who has ever undergone ACL or meniscus rehab (Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Terrell Owens, myself (8 times), and the list goes on and on) no one will say that they spent a good deal of rehab time working on developing the lower leg muscles. For Derrick Rose and others to recover completely from ACL or other knee injuries, more emphasis must be placed on the lower leg.  If not, Rose will become an out of control player (unable to stop to change directions) or suffer repeated injuries to his knees and be out of the game before he’s 26 years old.  Keep in mind that rehab type exercises for Rose will need to become a part of his regular training program to ensure that his “fixes” are permanent and to keep him from suffering chronic knee, hip, foot, and other injuries.  As a Bulls fan, I’m pulling hard for Derrick Rose, but I have my concerns.

As a Sports Kinesiologist specializing in human movement, I’m pulling for experts in our field to open their eyes and close their protocols. Address every athlete individually, not the injury.  The injury is just a symptom that something went wrong.  And in the case of Derrick Rose, Greg Oden, Brandon Roy and others, something went wrong repeatedly and will continue to do so, unless the root cause of the injury is address. Let’s hope Shabazz Muhammad and other young players bound for the NBA can benefit from the changes in the sports, fitness, and medical injury early enough to stop the trend in accepting injuries as part of the game.  Many injuries can be prevented but we have to take steps to make this a reality.

Zig Ziegler, The Sports Kinesiologist, provides feedback on injuries to A-List athletes in an effort to help educate athletes and parents on the prevention of injuries.  Be sure to check out other stories here about Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Mark Sanchez, Tiger Woods, and more.  Follow Zig on twitter @zig_ziegler.

Derrick Rose: Career in Jeopardy! Why he may never be the same.

To keep up with the latest from Zig Ziegler, follow Zig on twitter @zig_ziegler.

In this day and age of high flying, fast moving, power displaying NBA players, Derrick Rose was regarded as one of the best! MVP in 2010-11 season; comparisons to Michael Jordan; and numerous championships already planned for Chicago in the minds of fans like me.  The dream of Chicago Bulls fans around the world has now come to a knee buckling jump stop. Hoping for the best for you D. Rose, but I have major concerns. So here we go…

Derrick Rose tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) while performing his signature power move: Jump Stop and attack or pass.  Since his rookie season in the NBA, Rose has amazed fans around the world with his athletic ability, conjuring up images of and comparisons to the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan who led the bulls to six (6) NBA championships (All of us Bulls fans know there would have been more banners if not for baseball).

While watching the video, you’ll notice Rose’s body was off balance (if you look closely) as he landed with more weight on his left leg than his right leg. This is a move that is partially learned (NBA players often practice the move landing on the inside leg incorrectly) and in other cases it is done subconsciously, as a compensation for weakness or injury to the other leg. Weight should be more evenly distributed with more weight on the outside leg to actually change directions more effectively.

While moving to his right, Rose should have been preparing his body to land with slightly more weight on his right leg than his left.  To help you understand, when moving to the right, it is the right leg’s job to stop the lateral movement to the right. The left leg acts as a decelerator with weight distribution (40-45% left, 60-55% right). In Rose’s case, his left leg (in hitting the ground with more of Rose bodyweight on it) attempted to stop his motion to the right, with limited weight absorbed on his right leg (based upon an evaluation of Rose’s posture in video footage of the incident).

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In my opinion, Rose was most likely compensating (as many great athletes would do) for the foot injury/soreness he felt less than two weeks ago. Now Rose has been battling injuries all year:

According to Fox Sports these are the injuries reported since January 11, 2012:

1/11/2012 Sprained left big toe. (Catalyst to right leg injuries)

1/16/2012 Sprained left big toe.

2/10/2012 Strained lower back

3/14/2012 Groin

4/10/2012 Sprained Right Ankle (Key injury leading contributor to ACL/MCL tear)

4/16/2012 Soreness Right Foot (Key injury major contributor to ACL/MCL tear)

Other injuries Rose suffered during his brief career include additional injuries to his right ankle and a bruise to his right hip from a collision with Dwight Howard in 2010.

Rose’s injury patterns indicate a clear cut case of compensating injuries shifting back and forth from his right side to his left, and from his feet/a

nkles up to his knees (with the exception of ankle sprains and contact related injuries).  It is blatantly obvious to anyone who understands how the body works that Rose’ left leg should have been experiencing a significant amount of left leg fatigue as a result of the recent right foot and ankle injuries, regardless of what caused them.

In my opinion, this injury would have happened anytime.  And unless Rose and his medical team address the root mean cause of his previou

s

injurie

s and compensations related to them, the ACL injury could not have been prevented.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is that some of Rose’s injuries occur because he plays fearlessly with reckless abandon.  It is that style of play that now w

ith an ACL and MCL injury could lead to more injuries from Rose. In addition to the risk of more injuries (next up is

either a reoccurrence of the left ACL tear or a tear of the right ACL within 12 to 18 months (which is actually pretty common).

I’m thinking a tear of his right ACL happens first but this one is tough to predict because of Rose’s style of play. If I were to complete a 3D Motion Analysis of Rose’s body, I’d be able to provide a more accurate prediction (This is based solely on my opinion and evaluation of his injury history and playing style).

Rose ACL tear is clearly related to his recent injuries.  Many people are asking should Coach Tom Thibodeau have taken Rose out of the game.

Actually, coach has no idea about limits that should have been placed on Rose after his recent string of injuries. However, common sense would tell any medical professional that Rose’s play should have been limited (bring up images of Brandon Roy against Phoenix in 2009 playoffs).

It’s easy to see that Rose was compensating for the soreness in his right foot. This can be done consciously or subconsciously. Only Rose really know

s how

his foot feels when he jumps, changes directions, or lands on it. If Rose was feeling any fatigue at all in his foot, it was up to him to salvage his career. However, because no player wants to be considered soft and take himself out of the game, Rose chose to stay in the game (as would every other athlete who is taught “no pain, no gain”) hopefully sending a message to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Please keep in mind it is the medical staff whose job it is to impose limitations on players’ time on the court or in a game when a player returns from

injury.  It is not the responsibility of the coaches at the professional or any level to determine if a player is physically recovered.  Thibodeau’s job is to play the players who are eligible to play, not monitor rehab and fitness levels of players. So let’s give Thibodeau a break. If the injury hadn’t happened, and the Bulls won by 20 with rose on the court, this topic related to the injury would be a non-issue.

When Rose comes back after surgery, his style of play will definitely change. We won’t see the old powerful, explosive Derrick Rose for 2? 3? Ma

ybe 4 years, and that’s only if there are no setbacks over the first year.  His signature “jump stop” power move could be what ends the career of another bright young NBA star.  Keep in mind, an ACL injury is not like a meniscus/cartilage injury.  It can be death to an athlete who relies on explosiveness and changing directions. The ACL and MCL provide stability to the knee, while cartilage essentially acts as a cushion.  Rose needs stability of the knee for his game to be effective. It will be at least one year before Rose’s repaired ACL is healed enough to provide the stability for the types of moves Rose needs to make when playing.  And let’s also not forget about those chronic injuries on his right side.  They could at any time cause an injury to his right knee or re-injury to his left.

Yes. Derrick Rose will play again but it is highly unlikely he be the same high flying Derrick Rose we knew before the fourth quarter was near its end this past Saturday. I’m praying for a safe surgery and really, really, good rehab. And hey Derrick in case you’re listening, objective measurements of how your body is functioning during rehab and identifications of your injury related compensations will be the key to your return to the Derrick Rose glory days. Speaking as a Bulls fan sin

ce the arrival my home states’ Scottie Pippen, I’m pulling for D. Rose.

While I have not worked with Derrick Rose, I write this post at the request of several readers who have posted or emailed with questions about the topic.  My preference is to comment on athletes based on objective information.  This post is merely my opinion based upon a subjective review of Rose’s injury history and video of the actual incident in which Rose tore his ACL.

On Wednesday, I’ll discuss ACL injuries, the surgical procedures and the most common aspect related to the surgery and rehab that could be considered negligent in the areas of orthopedic surgery and rehab.  In this story, I’ll explain why I feel Derrick Rose’ career could be over and what Rose and his therapists and trainers can do to help extend his career and reduce the risk of repeat or compensation injuries related to the ACL/MCL reconstruction he is about to undergo.

Zig Ziegler, The Sports Kinesiologist, provides feedback on injuries to A-List athletes in an effort to help educate athletes and parents on the prevention of injuries.  Be sure to check out other stories here about Greg Oden, Mark Sanchez, Tiger Woods, and more.  Follow on twitter @zig_ziegler

Responses to Comments and Questions on Oden, Roy, and Pryzbilla; Plus Concussions and other injuries

Over the past few days, thousands of people have visited my blog and posted questions or comments. Some of the great questions and comments I have received are from twitter: @zigsports.  All of the comments are appreciated.  Every comment provides me with a learning opportunity.  I am re-posting some of those comments below.

Most of the comments and confusion seems to center around biomechanics or my qualifications to make recommendations.   Please keep in mind that while I use 3D motion capture to conduct a biomechanics assessment, my primary focus is the evaluation of the efficiency of Human Movement or Kinesiology.  The more efficient the movement, the more evenly stress is distributed throughout the body.  As for my experience, a degree in Kinesiology from Western State College of Colorado is the foundation for my methods of working with people. Over the years (18 years of experience working with thousands of “unique” athletes), I have been asked “my opinion” about athlete’s throwing motions, swings, running mechanics, etc..  While on occasion, I have offered my opinion, I prefer to provide my objective interpretation of data rather than offering my subjective opinion.  When I offer an objective interpretation of data, it is much stronger than my opinion.  It’s like asking me to read a tape measure to tell you how far a person traveled versus glancing at the distance and providing a guess.

Earlier this year, an associate of mine who is a medical doctor informed me of a study at the University of California-Davis, which has invalidated the use of goniometers in evaluating joint range of motion.  Medical practitioners (physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, and nurse practitioners) use a goniometer to document initial and subsequent range of motion in a joint to evaluate progress.   The reason the study invalidated the use of goniometers is because it showed that practitioners rarely achieved the exact same measurement on the same subject as other practitioners.  This means when that using a subjective tool like a goniometer, 10 out of 10 medical professionals will not measure your knee flexion at 90 degrees using the same goniometer.  So your true progress may be in question.

Consider the evaluations I perform on athletes as a way to document progress with more accuracy a repeatable methodology… A computerized goniometer that can measure joint range of motion while performing any activity, which is repeatable. This is unlike a goniometer which only allows for single joint measurement in a fixed position.

In 2010, i was asked to give my opinion on the throwing mechanics of Mark Sanchez of the New York Jet’s.  In a rare occasion, I did so on this blog and the story was retold in an article by the reporter on his BLOG.  What I wrote was my opinion, no matter how accurate it may or may not have been.   It was still just my opinion based on an evaluation of videos of Sanchez’s in game and practice throwing motions. My experience in comparing and reviewing data and watching human movement have given me an edge in evaluating the potential effects of injuries (known and unknown to the casual observer).

With Greg and his teammates, I interpreted data.  Basically, its like putting down a tape measure and asking 10 people to look at a certain spot on the ground and record the number on the tape measure at that spot indicating the distance from the starting point.  The chances of all 10 people recording the same number are a lot higher than if you ask those same 10 people to guess at how far away from them the spot is from the starting point without using a tape measure.  I am the person who prefers to use the tape measure to validate my opinion or what I thought I saw.

Human movement, especially sports skills, happen way to fast for even the trained eye to see all that is happening, even if you know where to start your review.  Depending upon how significant the abnormality in their motion, the more difficult the visual evaluation becomes to the observer.  Manual evaluations are limited as well.  Primarily, in a manual evaluation, the medical practitioner will palpate (feel around) the injured area feeling for abnormalities.  The thorough examiner may also manually take the injured joint or area through passive range of motion testing.  During both manual evaluations by “expert” medical professionals, time is spent asking the injured person how it feels when they “do this” or “do that”  The injured area may be more or less painful to the person at that point in the position, invalidating the manual assessment.

We’ve all been there, when asked how does it feel?  “Feels fine now doc, is our typical response once the healing process has begun around the symptom. “I feel ready to go” is what we might say as the injured area has significantly healed. Then we get up and limp away.  Where is the accuracy in this if it is the standard evaluation (which I too learned during athletic training classes at Western State)?  Unfortunately, I experienced more of these evaluations due to my participation in sports than I would have wanted as an athlete.

Objective information is the key to preventing injuries and improving performance.    This is not a response to comments from the Portland Trailblazers management.  A response to those comments could come next week.   Thanks for reading.  Here are those comments I told you about earlier. Just a few here and as always, more to come…@zigsports

COMMENT from carrite April 13, 2012 >>Brandon Roy’s “degenerative knees” can be healthy and he could play for 5-10 more years with the proper treatment. I’m reminded of Eric Idle in “The Meaning of Life” obliviously asking about his leg that a tiger has bitten off, “So it will just grow back again, will it?” The only way Brandon Roy is gonna play 5 to 10 more years in the NBA is if one believes in the Magical Meniscus Fairy that brings cartilage to good boys and girls who cross their fingers and believes hard enough…

RESPONSE: zigsports April 16, 2012 That fairy you speak of came to visit me personally in 1997 as a part of my 8th knee surgery and delivered healthy cartilage to my knee which remains intact today nearly 15 years later (After suffering 2 two ACL reconstructions within 12 months and six surgical procedures to remove torn cartilage). A meniscus transplant is another option. However, if corrections are not made to the body to reduce the stress, that meniscus will be damaged as well. So be careful what you wish for my friend. We live in an age where science and medicine provide us with many options.   point of Interest: Brandon may have done damage to the lining of the the bones in his knee which may make him ineligible for the procedure (only a surgeon can determine if he is eligible). However, if he is a candidate, he could play again as I previously stated. But if he does not address his body’s issues which cause him to place stress on the interior of the joint, that procedure may fail.

COMMENT: In general do NBA teams embrace your work? Did you say it’s used in Phoenix? Specifically (because it’s a team I am a fan of), what response if any have you gotten from the Dallas Mavericks to this sort of physical evaluation of players?

In general there is a fear that if we look closely at athletes true physical attributes under the microscope of motion capture, we may do more harm than good. As a result, the industry chooses to ignore it as a whole. Unfortunately, no, the Mavericks have not been significantly exposed to it.   Teams who have been exposed include the New York Knicks (2008 draft pick Danillo Gallinari and a few other players were tested during the 2008 NBA Summer League. Interestingly enough, two days after we gave the results to the Knicks staff indicating excessive stress in Danillo’s back, he suffered a low back injury which affected him most of the 2008-2009 season. He has not been retested.   Yao Ming is another athlete,  I would love to evaluate.  In my opinion, he too should still be playing professional basketball, but I have no idea the extent of damage to his feet and ankles. But I am pretty sure that it is related to imbalances and improper absorption of his body weight from left to right.

COMMENT: What has Joel Przybilla done correctly to get back on the court?

According to his report, Joel actually suffered an injury to the leg we identified as weaker. So his rehab actually forced him to strengthen the leg I indicated he needed to improve. Unfortunately, it was after the injury and subsequent surgery. As a result, he missed time on the court while doing what I suggested (inadvertently). As a result of that rehab, he has been able to come back and continue to play.

In Greg’s case, his patella injury should be considered an overuse injury to his previously healthy leg. But the root cause of his knee problems are more than likely still present as he awaits being healthy enough to be operated on again.  And unfortunately, if the causes are not addressed, another procedure is likely to be required to his knees, left Achilles tendon, or right hip at some point in the future.

I also received a question about my mantra: 100% of all injuries and sports performances are affected by motion…either too much or not enough.

Tej Sahota@boatical   @ZigSports 100% of all injuries are related to motion is a bogus statement. non articulating bone injury? fractures? dislocations?

RESPONSE:  “NEW”  Hi Tej,  non-articulating joints, fractures and dislocations are conditions or injuries caused in the same way as any other injury.  These conditions become present when caused by some activity which places stress on a part of the body causing function of the affected area to fail.

Even a concussion (which is another condition) is related to motion. A concussion occurs when impact causes forces related to the impact unable to properly absorbed and distributed by the body (not just the head) causing movement inside the head whereby the brain itself is displaced impacting the inside of the head. This impact inside the head damages the brain and interrupts normal brain activity, possibly causing minor to severe bruising.  Now this is not the medical definition of a concussion but its meant for the average person to be able to understand what I’m saying  (sometimes we get too complicated).  A football player can get hit in the chest by another player making a tackle.  If the tackled player fails to absorb the force properly a concussion can occur as the head impacts the ground a greater amount of speed and force in a whipping action.  The injury could have occurred in the neck, back, almost anywhere else in the body depending on the direction of the impact and how the energy traveled along the spine when combined with the persons strength and ability to resist the force.  As energy from the impact is absorbed by the body it has to go somewhere.  The better prepared the body, the better force is dissipated throughout the body. A fracture and non-articulating joint may be similar in cause but not exactly the same as a concussion.  Both are caused by something else.  In the cause of a non-articulating joint, it may also be caused an interruption of nerve function as well.

As for a dislocation, this is an injury purely related to motion, strength, and flexibility.  My first surgery was to repair a shoulder dislocation. As a freshman at Oklahoma State University on full athletic scholarship on the track and field team, I dislocated my shoulder playing intramural football. I fumbled a ball, reached out and grabbed it as others piled on, causing the injury.  The shoulder dislocated  31 additional times from September 1987 until I finally had surgery in August of 1988 (I later transferred and graduated with a degree in Kinesiology from Western State College in Gunnison,Colorado).

Today, my shoulder is strong because of the imbalances I’ve learned about and how they affect my body.  Incidentally, the limited range of motion of my left shoulder contributed to a naturally shortened range of motion in my right leg while running. The two sides have to work together for me to be able to hurdle or run period.  It is believed that an injured left shoulder can contribute to acute leg injures on the right leg.  In addition, it may contribute to overuse injuries on the left leg and right low back.  The body is connected!  A toe injury can cause neck pain, not by the injury itself.  The neck pain could be caused by the way we limp after the toe injury.

Are we going to continue to treat the symptoms?  Most importantly are we going to only evaluate the symptoms?  I say NO!  So the next time you’re at the doctor for back pain or some other muscle/joint related issue. Ask more questions.

Want to keep up with the latest in sports and fitness injury prevention plus tips on how to reduce your own personal injury experiences?  Follow me on twitter @zigsports!