Sunday, July 5, 2009

Posture relates to pain for Judd

Below are exerts from a great interview with Chris Judd on how his football career has been affected by incorrect posture. Pain and posture will always be linked whether your a weekend warrior, a professional athlete or an office worker.

The great thing is, no matter what condition your in right now your body can "turn back the clock" and regain what seems to be lost. Enjoy.


CHRIS Judd is standing upright in an inner city cafe, demonstrating how a new posture will save his groin. For the football fan, this is an arresting moment.

Judd is, truly, an inside player. His advice to the impatient masses is not to expect the stellar Judd early in the 2008 season. He is recovering from a groin injury, and an operation he now reckons might have been unnecessary.

"Had I had my time over, I’d think long and hard about having surgery at all." Judd, a reader of The Australian Financial Review, is dampening initial market expectations.
"Yeah, I think it will take a while. I don’t think I’ll bowl into the season the same way I bowled into last season or the season before. I mean, just because of my preseason, I’ve only been kicking for a month. I’m still yet to do any competitive work."

The elite athlete Melbourne identified is most animated when discussing his new way of standing, and walking, and how his groin is mending because of it. Judd has always played the game with a rare awareness of what surrounds him; now, that awareness extends to his body.
He understands now that his groin problem was caused by the way he moves and stands, that the teenage shoulder injuries that so worried clubs pre-draft have influenced his posture, and thus impacted upon his groin.

"My sitting posture was terrible. It’s very interesting the way it works. It’s interesting how something like my shoulders had an impact on my groins. Ever since I was sort of 16 years old, I’ve never done bench press. But I’ve just hammered chin ups . . . and my lats got so tight that it was that tightness and the effect that was having on my posture — you know, along with a million other things — that played a role in the injury.

"It’s amazing how much my awareness of everything I do has really increased."
Judd has spent several hours a week working on his new posture with movement expert Mark McGrath, formerly of the Victorian Institute of Sport, who works for an anti-child obesity organisation. "That illustrated to me just how sort of bad a lot of my postures and things like that have become."

The most painful lesson of 2007 was that he should not have kept playing injured, as he did in late in the season. "It was a dumb decision. I’m lucky to have gotten out of it . . . the groin’s pretty good now. "I’m pretty close to actually being able to play. But it’s just a case if I do too much, then they flare up and they get sore and then I’ve just got to back off for a while.

by Jake Niall

Nike Makes Barefoot Breakthrough

From the day in 1970 that legendary University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman poured rubber onto his wife's waffle iron to create a new running shoe sole, Nike has been a company dedicated to pushing the technological envelope in search of shoes that cushion, support and protect athlete's feet.
Which is why its emphasis on running barefoot is so unexpected.
The Sporting Geek
Of course, Nike is still a shoe company, so it isn't suggesting literally running barefoot. Instead, it's marketing a line of running shoes and trainers called Nike Free. The footwear is designed to emulate the motion of running au naturel.
The shoes had their genesis in a design brief submitted to Nike's "Innovation Kitchen" by the company's product people, who were asking for a new, lightweight training shoe for serious runners. The cooks in the Kitchen, Nike's incubator for new projects, took that limited description and started asking around to see what sort of shoe people might be looking for.
During the course of their conversations with athletes and coaches, some Nike designers ended up talking to Vin Lananna, who was then the track coach at Stanford University. While discussing the Stanford program and his success there (Lananna's 2002 men's track and field team won the school's first NCAA outdoor title since 1934), Lananna mentioned the unusual training he did with his athletes: He had them run on grass without shoes.
"He said that it kept his athletes stronger and healthier, and prevented injuries," recalls Tobie Hatfield, senior engineer for advanced products at the Nike Innovation Kitchen. "And since they were injured less, they could train more. He was sure this training was giving them an edge."
There was just one problem.
"We said, 'That's great, coach, you're taking our shoes off to get better,'" says Hatfield.
Tossing aside the shoes wouldn't work for Nike's business. But Lananna's observations stuck with Hatfield and his team, and eventually spurred an extensive biomechanical research project to see exactly what happens when we run barefoot.
Nike researchers brought in 10 men and 10 women to run barefoot on grass to see exactly how the body reacts without shoes on. They were videotaped with high-speed cameras to capture their movements, they had reflective markers attached to their joints to allow easy calculation of joint angles during their stride, and they even had wafer-thin pressure sensors attached to the bottoms of their feet to measure their impact with the earth.
At the end of the experiment, Nike had the most comprehensive picture of the biomechanics of barefoot running ever developed.

"There was a very unique pressure pattern that came from running on grass," says Jeff Pisciotta, a senior researcher and biomechanist at Nike's Sports Research Lab. "Everything was happening at the ankle and the foot, that's where we saw the changes. There was a much greater range of motion at the ankle and foot as well. It was like an airplane coming in for a smooth landing -- they were using the whole foot, very naturally."
The challenge was to translate that barefoot experience, which promotes good biomechanics for runners, to a shoe. After all, that's not what most running shoes are designed for.
"Our existing shoes are designed to protect your feet -- from stepping on things, to cushion the blow from running, to provide stability," says Hatfield. "When you add all of that up, you take away a lot of motion."
The company's solution was elegant: Nike cut deep grooves into the sole of the shoe, allowing an outrageous amount of flexibility compared to normal running shoes.
As a result, the sensation of running in Nike Frees is noticeably different than the feeling you get wearing other trainers, with much more motion of the foot through the stride. The shoe is padded to protect against poor landings, but it does seem to promote a softer stride.
"We didn't want to release something at first that would be potentially injurious to people," says Hatfield. "We went in between completely barefoot and our highest-stability shoe."
That's why the current model is dubbed the Nike Free 5.0 -- it's halfway between barefoot (a 1 on Nike's scale) and traditional shoes (which rate a 10). The company plans to release models that more closely emulate the barefoot biomechanics; in fact, a new 4.0 model is now available in selected outlets.
Even in a company as committed to technological innovation as Nike has been over the years, the Free project -- which so radically re-conceptualized the shoe's purpose -- met some resistance at first.
"I wrote a quote from the Tao Te Ching on my whiteboard," says Pisciotta. "It said, 'Forget what you know.' I started to realize that this was a unique concept, and that you don't really always know what's going on."
"We definitely had to prove ourselves," adds Hatfield. "There was some skepticism here. That's why this is probably the most-tested concept that Nike has ever released."
The shoes aren't meant to be a runner's only trainers, but to be used in tandem with other shoes (Nikes, one presumes). The goal is to strengthen the feet in the Free shoes, and then take that strength to more traditional designs.
"These are kind of a weight room for your feet," says Hatfield.

by Mark McClusky

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Study on Cartilage

It’s widely believed that knee cartilage doesn’t heal itself. A “when it’s gone it’s gone” type of mentality. However, Egoscue believes differently. We believe that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. For example, when you break your leg, it doesn’t stay broken, when you cut your arm, it doesn’t stay cut, etc. We believe that cartilage has the same healing ability and stimulus-response characteristic that the rest of the body has. The pain in the knee isn’t there because there’s something wrong with the knee or meniscus, rather we need to find the cause of the pain and treat that. Because Egoscue focuses on the position of the knee rather than the condition, we are able to focus on the misaligned knee capsule as the cause of the pain. Notice the position of the knee in this picture:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this person’s knee (or anyone’s knee for that matter), but with the knee being in this position (and their left knee is much more compromised than their right knee) they are headed for trouble at some point in their life. They could end up with a torn meniscus, “headed for a knee replacement”, or chronic pain that has nothing to do with the knee at all. The body is a unit, and the knee bone is connected to the hip bone, remember?
So, knowing what we know about the body, that it can and will heal itself, I was ecstatic to read this article. It might just be the start of proving what Pete Egoscue has said forever: The knee, its makeup, and its design are no different than the rest of the body. It’s not poorly designed, it just gets into the wrong position, and a compromised knee position is most likely a painful knee position. If you get the knee in the right position the pain will be eliminated and the knee can start its healing process. Keep moving and stay healthy!
Egoscue Nashville
Exercise May Improve Cartilage in Arthritic Knees
‘The changes imply that human cartilage responds to physiologic loading in a way similar to that exhibited by muscle and bone, and that previously established positive symptomatic effects of exercise in patients with OA may occur in parallel or even be caused by improved cartilage properties.’Moderate exercise may improve the physical composition of joint cartilage in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults. Along with early diagnosis, moderate exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and improve function in patients with OA of the knee and hip. Yet, more than 60 percent of US adults with arthritis fail to meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity.
Because OA results from “wear and tear,” the commonly held belief has been that exercise will not strengthen joint cartilage and may even aggravate cartilage loss. Until recently, investigators were unable to put that belief to the test. Radiographs, the technology typically used to measure OA’s progression, could not assess cartilage damage until it was severe.
Now, thanks to advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it is possible to study cartilage changes earlier in the course of OA.
GAG Content
Two researchers in Sweden, Leif Dahlberg, MD, PhD, and Ewa M. Roos, PT, PhD, used a novel MRI technique to determine the impact of moderate exercise on the knee cartilage of subjects at high risk for developing OA — middle-aged men and women with a history of surgery for a degenerative meniscus tear.
Drs. Dahlberg and Roos recruited 29 men and 16 women aged 35-50 who had undergone meniscus repair within the past three to five years.
At the study’s onset and follow-up, subjects from both groups underwent MRI scans to evaluate knee cartilage. The technique used focused specifically on the cartilage’s glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content, a key component of cartilage strength and elasticity. Subjects also answered a series of questions about their knee pain and stiffness, as well as their general activity level.
Subjects were assigned randomly to an exercise group or a control group. The exercise group was enrolled in a supervised program of aerobic and weight-bearing moves, for one hour, three times weekly for four months.
Thirty of the original 45 subjects — 16 in the exercise group and 14 in the control group — completed the trial and all post-trial assessments.

Compositional Changes in Adult Cartilage
Compared to the control group, subjects in the exercise group reported more gains in physical activity and functional performance. Improvements in tests of aerobic capacity and stamina affirmed the self-reported changes.
What’s more, MRI measures of the GAG content showed a strong correlation with the increased physical training of the subjects who regularly had participated in moderate, supervised exercise.
“This study shows compositional changes in adult joint cartilage as a result of increased exercise, which confirms the observations made in prior animal studies but has not been previously shown in humans,” notes Dr. Dahlberg.
“The changes imply that human cartilage responds to physiologic loading in a way similar to that exhibited by muscle and bone, and that previously established positive symptomatic effects of exercise in patients with OA may occur in parallel or even be caused by improved cartilage properties,” he adds.
The study does have limitations — its small sample size and narrow focus on meniscectomized knee joints — and makes no claims for predicting the long-term effects of exercise on cartilage.
However, the researchers maintain that its conclusion is worthy of serious consideration. “Exercise may have important implications for disease prevention in patients at risk of developing knee OA,” say Drs. Dahlberg and Roos.
by Rita Jenkins