Gallagher Performance Blog

Please watch: https://www.youtube.com/embed/xBOWKP4CO4Y

Above is a short video addressing common reasons why ground and/or knee pain develops and two exercises to get to the root of the problem. Addressing muscular dysfunction through therapeutic exercise continues to prove to be the most effective and evidence-based intervention for common musculoskeletal conditions such as tendinitis, bursitis, sprain/strains, joint pain and muscle tightness.

These exercises involve minimal equipment and are easy to perform at home, in a hotel room, or at the gym. All you need is:

  • Chair/bench or some form on a firm elevated surface
  • Your own bodyweight

Exercises covered in this video:

  1. The Adductor (Groin) Side Plank
  2. The Rear-foot Elevated Split Squat (Bulgarian Split Squat)

Also covered in the video are common reasons why groin and/or knee pain may develop and why these exercises can be very effective once a patient is out of pain.

 
More related reading:

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/why-therapists-should-understand-strength

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/the-solution-to-long-term-improvement-of-back-pain

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/advanced-training-for-elite-athletes

Chronic back and joint pain is a health problem which affects a relatively small number of people within the US, but has profound impacts on society and our healthcare system. This article looks to explain why the current medical model is failing the chronic back pain patient. The goal is to provide an understanding of why a greater focus on psychosocial factors and patient empowerment through education and progressive reactivation through physical activity, rather than imaging and exam findings, may result in improved management and outcomes for the chronic pain patient.

The Problem with the Traditional Medical Model
Back pain was believed to be a self limiting condition for the majority of individuals, meaning that the nature of back pain is that it would "run its course" and eventually pain would go away on its own.  Current research has demonstrated that this understanding of back pain is flawed, yet many clinicians still hold this belief. In fact, 85% of people with a single episode of low back pain will likely experience future recurrences and 2-8% of those individuals will develop chronic  back pain. How is chronic pain defined? Chronic pain is considered to be pain lasting longer than 12 weeks. Even though the percentage of chronic back pain patients remains relatively low, the impact on healthcare cost is significant. Chronic pain accounts for 75% of all healthcare costs related to low back pain, is second only to the common cold in missed days from work, and is the number one reason for workmen compensation claims.

Considering the burden chronic back pain places on healthcare resources, effective patient management appears to be an issue in need of addressing appropriately.

When dealing with the chronic back pain patient, the primary goal within the traditional medical model is to identify the structure responsible for generating pain by means of diagnostic imaging. This could mean the use of x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT or a combination of these procedures to determine what specific structure is the responsible for your pain. In his text, Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner's Manual, Liebenson states this is done for two main reasons:
  1. The belief that structural pathologies seen with imaging are strongly correlated with pain symptoms.
  2. Fear of missing serious disease, such as cancer, infection, or fracture.
When put into practice, these beliefs ultimately result in an over-reliance on costly imaging procedures. This is often times futile, considering research has demonstrated that findings from diagnostic imaging, such as degeneration, has more to do with age than being the reason for pain symptoms.  Also consider that up to 64% of asymptomatic individuals have signs of abnormal lumbar disc anatomy (i.e. disc bulge) on imaging, one should wonder if relying on imaging findings to identify a patient's problem is practical or productive. Sure structures such as discs and spinal joints can be sources of pain, but failing to correlate imaging findings with clinical presentation and examination findings may result in poor diagnosis and mismanagement of the patient. As for the case of using imaging to identify serious disease as the source of back pain, serious disease accounts for less than 1% of back pain cases. The use of imaging appears to be over-utilized in this realm as well, since typically information in the patient history and physical exam can raise a clinician's suspicion of serious disease.

The take home is that if the diagnosis and/or management of chronic back pain is based on imaging findings as the reason for your pain, this can result in poor outcomes and may prove to frustrate and confuse the patient and provider, enabling the process of chronicity and disability.

Developing a Better Approach
When it comes to the management and treatment of the chronic back pain patient, psychological and behavioral factors correlate better with symptoms than imaging or exam findings.  Examples of such factors include fear avoidance behavior, catastrophizing, and lack of perceived control.

What do all these fancy terms mean and how do they relate to chronic pain?

Essentially, they are beliefs held by the patient that activity will be painful or make their condition worse. It is the anticipation of pain which results in avoidance of activity and promotes behaviors which enable deconditioning due to lack of activity, thus perpetuating the pain cycle. Ultimately, these beliefs can cause the patient to identify with their diagnosis (i.e. disc bulge or arthritis) as their problem, hindering progress since they will have a limited expectation of improvement.

For chronic back pain patients, if a fear of pain exists, it must be recognized and treated. If the fear is not recognized and dealt with accordingly, it will lead to avoidance of activity and disuse. Thus, a new model must be applied to chronic back pain which focuses on patient-centered reactivation through treatment and education. The goal becomes not only to address injury and symptoms, but also address biomechanical dysfunction and emotional or behavioral components contributing to the pain cycle. Behavioral components correlate strongly with chronicity and providing proper education to patients allows them to understand the nature of their back pain and how self-management strategies can be used to regain control through progressive physical activity. Physical activity is important for re-training of spinal stabilization muscles, decreasing fear avoidance behaviors and improving the rate of return to normal daily or sport-related activities.

The key in transitioning chronic back pain patients back to normal activity is to help them remove the fear that additional pain or re-injury will be caused by increased physical activity. This proves to be a huge obstacle since too many back pain patients are instructed by clinicians to rest and avoid activity if they feel pain. However, this advice is misplaced. Back pain patients should be provided advice that hurt does not equal harm and educated on how deconditioning from lack of physical activity is related to back pain. Utilizing progressive exposure to physical activity through therapeutic exercise can help a patient realize their symptoms did not worsen or increase as a result of movement or activity. Specific exercises and advice should be implemented to develop adequate motor control and reinforce ideal mechanics during activity. Such exercises would re-train spinal stabilization patterns and teach spine-sparing strategies to be incorporated into routine daily movements.

Managing Central Sensitization
One complicating factor in the treatment of chronic back pain patients is addressing central sensitization and neuropathic pain. These neurosensory changes occur from prolonged nociceptive (pain) bombardment, resulting in increased sensitivity of dorsal horn neurons to both noxious and nonnoxious stimuli, and thus the central nervous system’s ability to learn pain. This generates a situation in which an ongoing perception of pain occurs in the absence of any anatomical lesion, long after injury has occurred. To alleviate the role of central sensitization and neuropathic pain, spinal adjustment/manipulation may be effective. A suggested mechanism of manipulation’s role in reducing spinal pain is through the stimulation of sensory fibers, which interferes with pain function in the central nervous system and potentially leads to a reprogramming of the dysfunctional pain pathway.

Conclusion
Managing the chronic back pain patient with an approach which addresses emotional and behavioral components through proper education and progressive reactivation into daily and/or sport activities can prove to be an effective means to improving outcomes. The same can be said of chronic pain in any joint, such as shoulders, knees, and hips. At Gallagher Performance, we take these steps to help provide each patient with an understanding of their condition, the course of treatment, and self-management strategies to help empower them to regain control. It is our hope that this approach will demonstrate the role of spinal manipulation and active care in returning chronic pain patients to normal activity levels and improving their quality of life. We also acknowledge that in some cases, co-management with other healthcare specialists can prove to be beneficial and provided truly patient-centered care.

Sources:
Liebenson C, Yeomans S. Assessment of psychosocial risk factors of chronicity. In: Liebenson C. Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s Manual, 2nd ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2007; 9:183–200.
Andersson, Gunnar BJ. Epidemiological features of chronic back pain. Lancet. 354:581-585, 1999.
Merskey H, Bogduk N, eds. Classification of chronic pain. Descriptions of chronic pain syndromes and definitions of pain terms, 2nd ed. Seattle: IASP Press, 1994.
Frymoyer JW, Cats-Baril WL. An overview of the incidences and costs of low back pain. Orthop Clin North Am. 1991;22:263-71.
Guo HR, Tanaka S, Halperin WE, Cameron LL. Back pain prevalence in US industry and estimates of lost workdays. AM J Public Health. 1999;89:1029-1035.
Wainner R, Whitman J, Cleland J, Flynn T. Regional interdependence: A musculoskeletal examination model whose time has come. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2007;37(11):658-660.
Liebenson C. Putting the biopsychosocial model into practice. In: Liebenson C. Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s Manual, 2nd. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2007;4:72–90.
Siemionow K, Steinmetz M, Bell G, Ilaslan H, Mclain R. Identifying serious causes of back pain: Cancer, infection, fracture. Cleveland Clinic J Med. 2008; 75(8):557-566.
Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, Modic M, Malkasian D, Ross J. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in people without back pain. N Engl J Med. 1994;331:69-73.
Bogduk N, Aprill C. The sources of back pain. In: Liebenson C. Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s Manual, Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2007;6:112-121.
Carragee EJ, Alamin TF, Miller JL, Carragee JM. Discographic, MRI and psychosocial determinants of low back pain disability and remission: a prospective study in subjects with benign persistent back pain. Spine. 2005;5(1):24.
Severeijns R, Vlaeyen J, van den Hout M, Weber W. Pain catastrophizing predicts pain intensity, disability, and psychological distress independent of the level of physical impairment. Clin J Pain. 2001;17(2):165-172.
Koleck M, Mazaux J, Rascle N, Bruchon-Schweitzer M. Psycho-social factors and coping strategies as predictors of chronic evolution and quality of life in patients with low back pain: A prospective study. EuroJPain. 2006;10(1):1-22.
Mercado A, Carroll L, Cassidy D, Côté, P. Passive coping is a risk factor for disabling neck or low back pain. Pain. 2005;117(1):51-57.
Leeuw M, Goossens M, Linton S, Crombez G, Boersma K, Vlaeyen J. The fear-avoidance model of musculoskeletal pain: current state of scientific evidence. J Behavioral Med. 2007;30(1):77-94.
Jacob G. Biopsychosocial perspective on low back pain: patient provider communications. J Minim Invasive Spinal Tech. 2003;3(Spring):27-35.
Liebenson C. Active care: Its place in the management of spinal disorders. In: Liebenson C. Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s Manual, 2nd ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2007;1:3-29.
Crombez G, Vlaeyen J, Heuts P, Lysens R. Pain-related fear is more disabling than pain itself: evidence on the role of pain-related fear in chronic back pain disability. Pain 1999; 80:329–339.
Middleton P, Pollard H. Are chronic low back pain outcomes improved with co-management of concurrent depression? Chiropractic and Osteopathy. 2005;13(8):1-7.
Vlaeyen J, Crombez G. Fear of movement/(re) injury, avoidance and pain disability in chronic low back pain patients. Manual Therapy. 1999;4:187–195.
Vlaeyen J, Linton S. Fear-avoidance and its consequences in chronic musculoskeletal pain. A state of the art. Pain. 2000;85:317–332.
Sung P, Yoon B, Lee D. Lumbar spine stability for subjects with and without low back pain during one-leg standing test. Spine. 2010;35(16):753-60.
Escolar-Reina P, et al. Self-management of chronic neck and low back pain and relevance of information provided during clinical encounters: an observational study. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 2009;90(10):1734-1739.
Liebenson C. The role of muscles, joints, and the nervous system in painful conditions of the spine. In: Liebenson C. Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s Manual, 2nd ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2007;2:30-50.
Murphy D, Morris C. Rehabilitation strategies in low back syndromes. In: Low Back Syndromes: Integrated Clinical Management, USA: McGraw-Hill 2006;26:709-726.
Seaman D, Winterstein J. Dysafferentation, a novel term to describe the neuropathophysiological effects of joint complex dysfunction: a look at likely mechanisms of symptom generation. J Manip Physiol Ther. 1998;21:267-80.
 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti_igKUCEvM&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=Clinically+Pressed+Episode+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=347aa58189-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e91bc99944-347aa58189-445544773



Dr. Sean Gallagher is a former high level hockey player that has turned into a hockey training and treatment guru.  His experience of playing at the highest levels along with a full academic career in chiropractic school have brought him a unique perspective on how to approach training hockey players.




This episode we get further into hockey training and what all goes into it. The planning for the year of training is difficult when it the playing season never ends.  We also dive into the specific demands that the sport places on the body and the unique ways that you have to approach exercises without forgetting to focus on injury prevention and resilience.  If you play hockey at any level you want to listen to this episode.




This episode we get further into hockey training and what all goes into it. The planning for the year of training is difficult when it the playing season never ends.  We also dive into the specific demands that the sport places on the body and the unique ways that you have to approach exercises without forgetting to focus on injury prevention and resilience.  If you play hockey at any level you want to listen to this episode.




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Podcast Notes:

Roughly 1/3 of our life should be spent sleeping yet there is an epidemic of sleep loss and deprivation. If we fully appreciated the benefits of sleep when it comes to health, mental performance, and physical ability, it would reshape the way we view the importance of sleep.

1 out of 2 Americans get less than 8 hours of sleep per night and 1 out of 3 Americans get less than 6 hours of sleep per night. Sleeping less than 7 hours a night results in objective declines in health markers as well as mental and physical performance.


Let's talk health and sleep. The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. It's a sad truth but it's a reality that less sleep is correlated with a shorter life span. Getting 6 hours of sleep per night or less is associated with increase in risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, and cancer as the immune system is suppressed on a genetic level.

Let's talk sleep and performance. Sleep is the greatest legal performance enhancing drug available to us. Sleep deprivation of 6 hours or less will decrease physical performance in strength, power, peak running speed, cardiovascular function, and time to exhaustion by around 30%. It is also harder to loss body fat when sleep deprived - so if you are trying to loss weight, you need 7-9 hours of sleep per night as diet and exercise alone won't be enough. Sleep is the foundation for diet and exercise progress.

Getting 7-9 hours a sleep per night is critical in motor skill acquisition and learning. Meaning if you practice and get adequate sleep, you will perform 20-30% better in those same skills the following day. Sleep smooths out motor learning and is critical in skills becoming automatic.

Sleep isn't all about quantity as you want to focus on getting quality sleep as well. To maximize the quality of your sleep it's ideal to sleep in a cooler environment. Try putting down your phone, turning off the TV, and dimming the lights an hour before bed. Avoid alcohol or other sedatives as they block the ability of the body to get into the deep stages of sleep critical to rejuvenating the body. It's advised to avoid stimulants such as caffeine and even exercise in the hours before you plan to go to bed. Start a sleep routine and stick with it.

Sleep - Get some!

Source: Dr. Matthew Walker

 
For more related reading:

 
https://gallagherperformance.com/stop-chasing-shortcuts/

https://gallagherperformance.com/a-few-words-on-athletic-development/

https://gallagherperformance.com/clinically-pressed-podcast-episode-38/

https://gallagherperformance.com/resetting-bodys-function-post-injury/
[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/BcUorl4jXr3/?taken-by=gallagherperformance[/embed]

In this video, we build off our previous video on the dumbbell row and discuss scapular upward rotation. Scapular upward rotation is a critical component in overhead activities performed regularly in daily life, the gym or sport.

If your scapula cannot rotate properly as you reached overhead, it will play a role in shoulder pain and problems such as tendinitis, bursitis, or impingement syndromes. This exercise variation would be a great inclusion in the strengthening of the rotator cuff musculature and scapular stabilizers.

Some key points discussed in this video:
  • Most rehab exercises for scapular upward rotation will address bilateral movement at the same time. Training support on one limb while training movement on the other will enhance the quality expressed in stabilization.
  • Performed correctly, this exercise targets scapular stability on the support side and scapular upward rotation on the movement side while training proper core stabilization.
  • To heighten the global effect on the body, focus on creating a tripod with the support foot as well as hip external rotation to get the glutes involved.
  • This variation respects reflexive patterns of stabilization in order to improve movement quality and performance.
Thanks for watching and as always, let us know your questions or comments.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/exercise-hacks-ep-1-dumbbell-row/

https://gallagherperformance.com/beginners-guide-injury-recovery/

https://gallagherperformance.com/3-exercises-athletic-mobile-hips/

https://gallagherperformance.com/improved-approach-chronic-pain-management/

 
[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/BcaN02NDlZg/?taken-by=gallagherperformance[/embed]

In this video, we discuss the proper way to create ideal hand support during exercises which require you to have contact with the ground. When it comes to creating ideal scapular stabilization during hand supported exercise, how well someone loads the hand or supports from the hand will directly impact their shoulder.

By creating a stable hand, the scapular stabilizers can work more efficiently at holding your shoulder blade in the proper position during exercise. This applies to exercises such as push-ups, plank variations, hand walks or row variations that involve support from the hands.

Poor hand loading is often a reason for poor scapular stabilization, shoulder pain and poor shoulder function. Learn to properly load the hand and make improvement.

Some key points discussed in this video:
  • What proper hand loading looks and feels like. More importantly what improper hand loading looks and feels like.
  • How to create an awareness of proper hand loading and make sure you are maintaining it during your exercises.
  • How the hand and elbow positioning will influence your shoulder positioning. This is important as the position of these joints can destabilize the shoulder if they aren't position correctly.
Thanks for watching and as always, let us know your questions or comments.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/finding-a-solution-to-your-shoulder-pain/

https://gallagherperformance.com/exercise-hacks-ep-2-scapular-upward-rotation/

https://gallagherperformance.com/exercise-hacks-ep-1-dumbbell-row/

 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceIcoreYu8o&t=4s

This video illustrates how we integrate chiropractic, rehabilitation and dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) into patient treatment. For the purposes of this video, these techniques were used to speed up post-workout recovery, ensure structural balance and improve how the body functions. Similar to fine-tuning a race car, the human body can benefit tremendously from fine-tuning to keep body prepared for high performance.

Key take home points:
  • Treatment is directed at patient-specific goals and outcomes. There are different levels of care that may need, ranging from symptomatic (i.e. painful conditions) to more performance-based therapy or fine-tuning.
  • Chiropractic manipulative therapy (i.e. adjusting) was not filmed but utilized for the spine and hips.
  • Soft-tissue work was done manually and instrument-assisted to mobilize muscle and connective tissue to improve recovery.
  • Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) was used to fine-tune motor patterns and muscular activation. Proper muscular activation and stabilization function of muscles helps to ensure proper muscular coordination while minimizing stress on the joints.
  • This all adds up to optimizing performance while keeping the body as healthy as possible.
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/fascia_muscular-adhesions_how_they_relate-_to_pain_and_overuse_injuries/

https://gallagherperformance.com/dynamic-neuromuscular-stabilization-advancing-therapy-performance/

https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-pain-influence-czech-rehabilitation-techniques/
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qdKlvKwwPM&t=11s[/embed]

In this video we discuss the necessary steps it takes to optimize athletic development and "build an athlete".

Key points discussed are:
  • The importance of practicing your sport skills and practicing with intent
  • Taking the necessary steps to stay healthy in a strength & conditioning program
  • Understanding the process of long-term adaptations in athletics
  • The application of the speed-strength continuum, it's importance in programming and identifying where athletes fall within the continuum
This presentation is geared towards power-speed athletes who thrive on the development of speed and strength qualities. Power-speed athletes participate in sports such as football, hockey, baseball, basketball, track & field (throwers and sprinters), lacrosse and weightlifters just to mention some of the more common sports.

These considerations are important for enhancing sports performance, identifying the true needs of the athlete and taking the steps to keep them healthy in the process.

Take a listen and learn more!

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/why-specificity-in-your-training-plan-matters/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-value-of-in-season-training-for-athletes/

https://gallagherperformance.com/athletes-do-not-need-balance-to-be-successful/

https://gallagherperformance.com/gallagher-performance-training-how-we-are-different/

 
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-6qQsMxUkQ[/embed]

Short video on the principles of dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) and the role it plays in our office with chiropractic patients, rehabilitation and in our personal and sports performance training program design.

In this video you will learn:
  1. What DNS is and why it's importance for getting someone out of pain and improving performance
    • How we develop our ability to move after birth and important stages of development (i.e. support, rolling, crawling, uprighting, walking)
    • Why these stages of development are relevant in a number of populations who are dealing with chronic pain
  2. How our ability to move properly is lost
    • The importance of proper breathing patterns
    • The power DNS has to "reset" our body's ability to function properly
    • How DNS is used to coach and/or cue our patients or clients to enable them to have improved body awareness and why improved body awareness is associated with less pain and improved athleticism
  3. The role DNS plays in finding the source of pain
    • The site of pain and the source of pain is often times a different story
    • Why rehab or treatment shouldn't always be directed at the areas where you feel pain
    • Why other areas of your body - that seem unrelated to your pain - should be evaluated
  4. How DNS relates to Pain or Performance
    • DNS and it's ability to answer the question "why" your pain developed
    • DNS and it's ability to provide solutions to eliminate pain and improving function in the body to prevent recurrences
 
More related reading:

 
https://gallagherperformance.com/tendinitis-changing-treatment-and-improving-recovery/

https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/chiropractic-rehab-dns-treatment/

 
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aaE3CIouTU[/embed]

In this video we discuss some important points to consider when to see chiropractor or why to see a chiropractor, especially one that has a sports injury and rehab specialization and practices in a functional movement model.

Some points to consider:
  • How important is your health to you? Health is an investment and requires a proactive approach rather than be reactive.
  • Do you want to get out in front of rather muscle tightness and joint range of motion/mobility restrictions before they get more serious or painful?
  • Most people are unsure of who to see for back pain and joint pain, even muscle tightness. They may see their PCP, but not receive the answers or solutions they were hoping for. They are looking for a provider they can trust.
  • Those that have a positive experience with a chiropractor or have one they trust, turn to them when they start to "feel off" or they feel their body is moving as it normally does or they start to feel pain.
  • Ideally, chiropractors who have a specialization in functional rehab, sports injury, and movement are the experts you should see for the most musculoskeletal conditions that we commonly deal with.
  • When, or if, you see a chiropractor is ultimately your choice and one that can prove to be beneficial and a worth while investment.
 
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-importance-of-functional-evaluation/

https://gallagherperformance.com/low_back_pain_treatments_that_just_wont_help/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-pain-influence-czech-rehabilitation-techniques/

https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/effective-treatment-shoulder-pain/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-movement-problems-entertainment-vs-effective/
November 11, 2016.

Veteran’s Day.

Today we recognize the selfless service and sacrifice of the men and women of our Armed Forces. It’s a day that should resonate with everyone in this country. Our veterans fought for the rights, privileges, and freedoms we take for granted everyday. For some, this day hits closer to home than others as we know loved ones who have served or are currently serving.

To all of you, we thank you for the service you have given to our country.

Veteran’s Day carries individual meaning as well. As for our family, this means reflecting on the service of our brother Joseph Anthony Bailey, currently serving the US Air Force in Aviano, Italy, our uncle Harry Eugene Fletcher, who served in the US Air Force during World War II, and grandfather, Harry William Getz, Jr., who served in the US Army during the Korean War. We are so proud of them and grateful to have such selfless individuals as part of our family as they felt the call to be of service to our country.

Today, I want to acknowledge our pap’s service as he passed away on August 18 and is no longer around for us to thank him. I’ve decided to write as a thank you to him. To honor and acknowledge not just his service, but also the man that he was and the impact he had on our family and those that knew him.

Pap was a very humble man, quiet and simple. He listened first before he spoke. He was patient as the day is long, but could be as stubborn as a Germans can be. Pap never finished high school. He wouldn’t be considered intelligent by the world’s standards, but he was smart. The kind of smart only life can teach you. Pap was a problem solver, possessing a mechanical mind that enabled him to fix just about anything.

I think this came from his work history. After his time in the military, pap owned his own service station, worked for the railroad and a tow service, and then eventually drove school bus for a local district before he retired. That just gives a glimpse of some of the trades he worked in during his time.

[caption id="attachment_2166" align="aligncenter" width="285"] Pap at his service station in East Liberty


He had simple tastes and interests. Some of the favorites he enjoyed were: old western movies, Clint Eastwood, country music, cereal, breakfast for dinner, root beer ice cubes, lemonade, listening to the rain, naps, any crunchy food, Pittsburgh sports, taking pride in his work, his faith and his family.

Pap loved cars. Whatever make or model he owned, he took care of it. Didn’t matter how beat up it was; he would fix it up with pride. He taught all his grandkids how to drive. But before we could drive, we had to learn about the car. We had to learn how to check fluid and oil levels, how to charge a dead battery, check and change an air filter, change a tire, check tire pressure, etc. These were prerequisites to driving. To him, driving was the easy part. Knowing the vehicle and proper maintenance of it was the key.

Pap loved sports. Loved the Pirates and the Steelers. But his first love grew to become hockey and it started with the Penguins. He started watching them in the mid 1980s, when they were awful and drafted some kid out of Montreal name Mario Lemieux. As a family, we are convinced he is the reason why all my brothers and sisters eventually played hockey. Pap started it. He bought my brother Matt and I our first pair of skates. Something I’ll always remember.

Hockey was just a small piece of the puzzle. Pap and gram came to as many of their grandkids events as they could. They rarely missed. No matter if it was on the stage, field, court, or ice. No matter if it was birthdays, holidays, or graduations. It didn’t matter; pap and gram were always there. They were always present and that was their greatest present to us.

Being present was easy for them because they both were givers by nature. Pap was always giving. Giving of his time and his resources. He did that for everyone. He never considered himself better than anyone. Pap had a unique ability to talk to a complete stranger as if he’d known them for years. You always felt welcomed around him and I think that had a lot to do with his childhood.

According to my mom, pap had a rough childhood growing up in Bay Head, New Jersey. The oldest of three boys, his mom died when he was 8 years old and it was a pain, as our mom would tell us, that never left him. His father was a good, but firm man who worked hard and instilled discipline and respect. All that said, pap grew up feeling he was never good enough. Never felt he had much to offer or was worthy of anything. He never felt deserving. People in his life didn’t think he would amount to anything, doubting he would accomplish much.

After his passing, it seemed to become clear to my family that pap’s self-image was probably a big reason why he was always so willing to help others. He truly didn’t think he was better than anyone. He felt people deserved his time and resources. He was always willing to serve, never expected anything in return, and preferred to stay in the background to avoid attention.

While people measure success or wealth by material standards,  Pap became more than rich in the thing that mattered most to him: his family. And he treated everyone he cared about as if they were family.

As for pap’s family, his father's work eventually brought him to the Homestead area of Pittsburgh. Not long after, he met his future wife Barbara. My gram says he chased her and chased her until she finally gave him a chance. That’s the only chance he would need. They eventually married February 14, 1953. Just three days later, he was shipped off to war and would be in Korea for 18 months.

I recall hearing that story for the first time when I was in high school, yet it took me several years to even get a ounce of a clue what they must have gone through as a newly married couple. I really had to step back in time and put myself in their shoes to fully appreciate what they went through to talk to each other.

Think about it. Think about the challenges of communicating. No international phone calls. No cell phones. No texting. No Internet. No Skype. No FaceTime. We are spoiled beyond belief with the ability to communicate with people around the world. They had none of it.

All they had was hand-written letters. That’s it!

What an awesome test. If the only way you had to communicate with someone was hand-written letters, for 18 months, would you do it? Would you send one everyday? Or would you throw in the towel and move on?

My pap wrote her a letter every single day he was in Korea. And gram wrote back, sealing every letter with a red lipstick kiss. He even included photographs of his time and gram ended up putting them all together in a scrapbook.

[caption id="attachment_2169" align="aligncenter" width="960"] The scrapbook of Pap's days in the Army


It’s no surprise their marriage lasted 63+ years. Their love and example has really showed our family something special through the years.

Learning about those letters was evidence enough to me that my pap was determined beyond belief to survive Korea and get back home. Realize he lived in a time that he didn’t have a choice. His generation had to go to war.

Through the years, he never spoke much about Korea and his experience. If asked, he would never go into details. However, during the final years of his life, he finally opened up about Korea.

War is brutal. My pap saw it first hand. When I say he saw it first hand, I mean he was in the hot zone. He was in combat, on the front lines. He saw his buddies die. He witnessed how shrapnel rips through human flesh. His stories of war so vivid, being able to describe all the sights, sounds, and smells. Like many veterans, these things stayed with him for life.

[caption id="attachment_2170" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Piece of shrapnel from Korea


Yet if you knew my pap you would never have known he was a veteran who had seen such horrors. That he lived in fear and doubt, everyday, for 18 months. He never let on to the deep wounds he carried after the war. At least to the grandkids. We never fully understood what he went through until the end of his life.

Pap never liked attention and would never bring attention to himself. When they would honor the veterans at church, he would never stand. That was just him. It wasn’t that he was making a statement. He simply viewed his service as his duty and that duty deserved no recognition. He viewed others as giving far more than he did, especially those that died. The fact that I’m writing this probably has him up in Heaven shaking his head.

While there are some that may argue what I’m writing would be more appropriate for Memorial Day, the truth is I’m writing this because, like every veteran, pap has a story that deserves to be told. Many of our veterans won’t tell their own story. They are too humble to bring attention to themselves. It’s not in their character. Our pap never brought attention to himself, but on this Veteran’s Day we are thanking him by bringing attention to his service, his life, and his legacy.

To Joe, Uncle Gene, Pap, and the veterans of the US Armed Forces, thank you for your service. It’s because of you that we truly live in the greatest country on Earth.



God Bless America.
The insurance industry has become increasingly difficult to work with as many large carriers have limited or completely closed off providers from joining their network.

In such cases, we operate as a fee-for-service facility and offer affordable plans that truly increase the value of our patient’s experience. But rather than take my word for it, let's do the comparison between traditional chiropractic and the difference at Gallagher Performance.

TRADITIONAL CHIROPRACTIC
Most traditional chiropractors spend 5-15 minutes per patient and often attempt to have them come 2-3 times per week for an extended period of time. Most patients only experience passive modalities and adjustments with a predictable routine of stim-heat-adjust-out the door. And if there is rehab, often it is supervised by unlicensed aides who instruct patients in exercises. Most traditional chiropractors will see a patient 18-24 times in order to resolve their problem. Depending on co-pay or co-insurance, the out-of-pocket expense can add up quickly. For someone who has a $25 copay, that means they will have $450-$600 of out-of-pocket expense.
THE GALLAGHER PERFORMANCE DIFFERENCE
At Gallagher Performance, you spend 30-60 minutes with your chiropractor, enabling faster recovery in fewer visits. Most of our patients recover in less than 8 visits, spend 100% of their time 1-on-1 with a board-certified rehabilitation chiropractor, and are provided with essential knowledge and tools needed to ensure pain doesn’t come back. Our approach will actually save you money while providing you with a higher quality of treatment. That’s value you can’t compare!

 
Note: This article is intended for entertainment purposes only. The nutritional advice that follows is neither “sound” nor “healthy”. However, from personal experience, this same advice has proved to be quite effective for achieving the intended results.
The days of 90 degree heat, high humidity, and constant back sweat are coming to an end. Autumn will soon be here. The cooler weather triggers the wearing of hoodies and sweatpants, the constant presence of static in your clothing, and the start of “Bear Season”.

Bear Season? What’s this you say?

I’m not referring to the hunting of bears. Although if I were on the topic of hunting, I’d have you know that I am in that camp of people who feel that if you’re going to hunt, might as well hunt an animal that will maim you if you miss.

But I digress. Back to the matter at hand.

Bear Season simply refers to that stretch of year (roughly October-February) when men should focus on getting big and, if you’re feeling adventurous, really, really hairy.

Gone are the days of being lean and “all chopped up” for summer. Those birds fly south for the winter.

For those of us who know the four seasons all too well, we realize that around the corner awaits the cooler weather of autumn followed by the bitter cold of winter. The cold ushers in the calling of a different breed of man. The man who answers the call of nature and won’t hesitate to pack on that winter insulation. He does so with the knowledge that not only will his body thank him, but his wallet too. As a larger version of your former self, you’ll constantly feel warm, capable of surviving the harshest of climates while also keeping that dreaded electric bill down as your home will be heated at lower temperatures during the cold months. It’s science.

Let us not forget that Bear Season brings forth the gift of the holiday season. With holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, who wants the stress of looking great or losing weight? The holidays and colder months of the year are prime time for the best and most nutritious of foods. Foods fortified with refined carbohydrates, sugar, icing, and saturated fats. Foods that will have your blood sugar feeling like it spent the day at Cedar Point and send you into the most epic of food comas. Don’t miss out. Like Darth Vader once said, “Join the Darkside.”

Don’t become one of those people who fall victim to trying to lose weight and look great during the holidays simply for vanity reasons. For all those people who want to look their absolute best for holiday get-togethers with family or friends, I’d like to encourage an even greater amount of people to do the opposite.

Push back against the establishment.

Why not get as big and bloated as possible for these social events?

I’m talking bloated to the point where from 20 feet away people can’t tell if your eyes are open. Bloated to the point where people are concerned about your health and well-being. You know, the kind of concern where an individual pulls you aside, lightly grabs your forearm while leaning in to whisper, “Is everything okay?” Of course this is then followed by the puzzled reaction on their face when you answer, “Everything’s good. I’m doing this intentionally. I couldn’t feel better.”

How does gaining 30, 40, possibly even 50 pounds sound? If that isn’t enough to seal the deal, then let me cover a short list of what you can expect over the duration of Bear Season:

  1. Breathing heavily while walking up stairs.
  2. Breathing even heavier while sitting.
  3. Sleep apnea. You’re welcome.
  4. Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  5. Constant sweating.
  6. Intense pressure in your head anytime you bend over (ex: tying your shoes).
  7. Having to find new places to shop for clothes. Get familiar with Casual Male XL and the Big & Tall store, even if you’re 5’6”.
  8. The need to understand how much walking is involved before agreeing to go anywhere.
  9. The constant glares and stares of other people regardless of social setting.
  10. Being the guy nobody wants to sit next to on an airplane.
  11. Relatives or in-laws making sure you don’t sit in chairs that may not support your weight (i.e. whicker furniture).
  12. The bigger you get, the more attention from men you’ll get. Not in that way, just more of a, “Do you play in the NFL?” way.
Now you’re all in. You’re clearly convinced that Bear Season is for you and it’s time to give you the game plan. The game plan to lead you into bloated glory. You must be armed with the knowledge of how to execute your weight-gain and realize your full bloat potential. So without further adieu, here are some extremely effective foods to help you achieve your goal of being big, bloated, and a true beauty:
  • Pancakes and Waffles
  • Eggs (especially cheesy eggs)
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bacon
  • Bacon wrapped Kielbasa (aka Swine on Swine crime)
  • Anything casserole (i.e. sheperd’s pie, cheeseburger pie)
  • Chili (add queso and oyster crackers for that extra boost)
  • Red Baron oven-ready pizzas
  • Frequent visits to Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Five Guy’s, Popeye’s, Qdoba, Chipotle, Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings or any combination of the above.
  • Pop, Gatorade, and fruit juices
  • Generous portions of Chinese food
  • Hibachi restaurants
  • Any All-You-Can-Eat Buffets
  • Cookies and Pasteries
  • Twinkies
  • Little Debbie cakes
  • Cereals such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Reese’s Puffs, Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, or if you’re like our pap, you mix them all together.
  • Ice cream or Custard (the good kind made with cream, egg yokes, and sugar)
  • Add ranch, bacon, or cheese to anything that’s within reason
  • Salt, salt, salt, and more salt
  • Whole milk or Chocolate milk and lots of it
Keep your portions big. I mean so big it’s absurd. If people aren’t making rude remarks to you about how much you eat, you’re not eating enough. Simple as that.

Now that you have all that you need to get big and thrive during Bear Season, it’s up to you.

You truly only have one choice: Join the Darkside.

More related reading:

 
https://gallagherperformance.com/what-is-natural-talent/
We get asked quite often about our training philosophy when it comes to athletes. Many parents want to know if the training their child will receive at GP is going to be sport-specific. While specificity in training matters, many of our athletes and their parents are surprised to learn how general or fundamental their training must be in the early phases. What needs to be clarified is understanding how much training experience the athlete has and the physical traits that must be developed. The vast majority of athletes we work with are involved in the sports of football, hockey, baseball, and basketball. Success in these sports are highly dependent upon power-speed qualities. We must train these athletes to develop the abilities that allow them to jump, sprint, cut, and dominate their opponents with brute strength. It's our job to make them bigger, faster, stronger, and more durable. It's our job to physical prepare them for the demands of their sport.

Aspiring young athletes are in need of building a broad foundation rooted in movements that will develop strength, speed, flexibility, and body awareness. For the evidence-based fans out there, we use movements and exercises that all have been proven through research to work. But more importantly, the exercises used have stood the test of time and have served as the backbone to athletic development programs for decades. Sprints, jumps, throws, compound strength exercises, Olympic weightlifting movements when appropriate, and general calisthenics have all play a role in the training of some of the greatest athletes in the world.

But the exercises are not simply enough. Almost every single one of our athletes must be exposed to a high volume of training without a high degree of variation. It's important to respect the neural adaptations young athletes or novice trainees undergo during the training process. High volumes of training will help ensure motor learning and skill acquisition while developing the connective tissue strength needed for more intensive training down the road.

This template serves to lay the foundation for the neuromuscular qualities required to meet the increasing needs for speed and power development. It's simple math really. If an athlete improves relative strength, that athlete will be faster and more explosive. Keep in mind that that other factors can be at play too. For instance, that same athlete must also maintain or improve movement quality to improve speed and explosiveness.

However, these are only portions of what goes into a quality athletic development program. It's much more than simple "strength and speed". This is why we feel the value of a qualified strength and conditioning coach or athletic development coach is severely under appreciated. Unfortunately, far too many people have been misinformed by either poorly educated trainers or by the internet. They haven't experienced the difference guided athletic development can make in their performance. Having a coach to guide young athletes not only in their development, but also in areas such as nutrition and cultivating the mind set needed to achieve their goals can give them a huge advantage over their competition.

That's why we love what we do at GP. Not only do we get to work with clients and athletes that have big dreams and big goals, but we also help them develop habits that create a healthier lifestyle. When we have them giving us their best, they deserve nothing less than our best!

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/understanding-the-benefits-and-concerns-of-youth-strength-training-programs/

https://gallagherperformance.com/periodization-keep-athletes-track-fo-success/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-essentials-of-speed-training/
After the recent posting of Two Years at Gallagher Performance, we received a generous amount of positive feedback. You all are too kind and please know that we truly appreciate it. Along with your feedback, we received a number of messages from people wanting to know, "What have you learned?"

That question really got my mind going. Honestly, another year in business teaches you a great deal. Certainly a simple sentence or two would not be sufficient to answer the question.

All things considered, this past year has provided several friendly reminders of why we do what we do at GP. Some of the biggest lessons learned came in the form of routinely dispelling common misconceptions when it comes to owning and operating your own business in the competitive health and fitness/training industry.

So, for your entertainment, we present to you our thoughts on a few misconceptions that we routinely encounter.

Misconception #1 – We work “Banker’s Hours”
One of the biggest misunderstandings we have come across is that professionals in the fields of health or fitness work Monday-Friday, 9-5 or that they work minimal hours a day to operate and fulfill the needs  of the business. In reality, owning your own small business is a 24/7, 365 days a year responsibility. When you are not handling daily business operations, you are either working countless hours answering emails and phone calls, programming for clients, filing necessary insurance paperwork, updating social media and blog content to creating an Internet presence, etc. When it’s all said and done, days can add up to 10-12 hours real quick. This becomes especially true during the peak seasons of spring/summer when our schedules fill up with high school and collegiate athletes.

People get into the health and fitness industry all the time because they claim how much they love it and that it’s their “passion”. Others get into to make a fast buck, never once realizing that it’s a job. It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job. You better love what you do because there are certainly easier ways to make more money while working less hours. With that said, we have learned over and over again that we love what we do.

Misconception #2 - Success Comes Quickly
Believing success comes quickly is another huge misconception, especially within the fitness industry. It seems as if no one wants to put in the real work. The honest, hard work earned through time. Earned through experience. Earned through the professional growth one gains by working with a number of clients of various backgrounds and developing a track record of success. The traditional approach to professional development appears to be old fashioned. Nowadays, newbies to the fitness industry would rather focus on growing their Facebook or Instagram following by creating the “appearance” of success rather than truly earning it. We have a small number of likes on our Facebook page and even fewer followers on Instagram, yet we continue to grow. We grow because of the track record of success we continue to develop, not because of some selfie posted online. If business success had anything to do with selfies and hashtags, we would have been finished long ago.

Similar to other successful businesses, our growth stems from putting in the work and building our business from the floor up. We did not build our business backwards by first creating a huge following while having little to no experience. Rather than focusing on creating a huge following, we prefer to focus on quality of service and building a track record of success, thankful that those who have worked with us are more than willing to tell others about our business. The process never goes as quickly as you'd wish, but there's more satisfaction in the climb than being at the top. We've learned that we love the process. We love the grind. We recognize that nothing meaningful ever came from quick and easy. Besides, the individuals hoping for "quick and easy" seem to be the ones who enter the industry and are out within a couple years. Likely because their "image" of success could not longer compensate for their mediocre results and what they lacked in knowledge and experience.

Misconception #3 – Knowledge Doesn’t Have Value
This misconception probably bothers us the most and it stems from the typical, “Let me pick your brain....” scenario. Keep in mind; we realize that being part of the health and fitness industry is about helping others by providing sound advice and guidance. Ryan and I both went into business realizing that we will be providing a lot of free advice, but there is a fine line that must be respected. The health and fitness industry is both knowledge and service based, so a genuine respect for one’s knowledge would be very much appreciated. I would argue that the industry is primarily knowledge-based, as services (program design, nutrition structure, etc.) are dependent upon knowledge. However, unlike services, It becomes difficult to attach value to knowledge.

When it comes to receiving advice, it’s as it people assume advice should be given away freely. After all, it’s just information, right? Wrong. We field so many questions on a regular basis from people who are ultimately looking for free information. They are looking for guidance from a knowledgeable individual, in hopes of better organizing their own training or nutrition for their self-betterment. Usually it goes a little like this, “Real quick, how would you structure my workouts or my eating/macros so I am able to achieve ABC goals” Quality, experienced coaches understand that there is no “quick” answer to this question. If you have respect for a coach/trainer, please have respect for their knowledge and appreciate the fact that it supports their livelihood. It’s how they earn a living; it’s what they get paid to do. Respect the fact that you are receiving knowledge from them and there is value attached to that. Don’t be a serial freeloader.

Wrap Up
Misconceptions can prove to be a great learning tool. We recognize that dealing with these common misconceptions and many others is a part of job. So let's hear from you. To our professional colleagues and friends in the health and fitness industry, what are some of the common misconceptions you encounter on a regular basis? We welcome your responsible replies and comments.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/are-you-promoting-independence/
As an athlete, injury is unfortunately part of sports. Athletics have varying degrees of both assumed and inherent structural risk to the human body, arguably making many sports we love to compete in “dangerous”. However, injury is not simply unique to sport. Frankly, injury seems to be part of life. Sure, there are preventative measures one can take to minimize or reduce the risk of injury. The reality is, there is no such thing as complete injury prevention. Similar to the weather, an honest professional will tell you we cannot forecast injury with absolute certainty. Yes, there are athletes who carry higher or lower “chances” of injury based on their movement quality and must be managed accordingly to minimize exercise-related or non-contact injuries. In some circumstances, such as collision/contact related injuries, injury is something we have little control over. Despite the lack of control we may have when it comes to injury, we do have the potential to influence the recovery and healing process for the better. This is good news since getting back to sport or living a "normal" life as quickly as possible is something most people would sign-up for in a heart beat.
Understanding the Healing Process
When you suffer any form of injury, the site of injury enters a traumatic state and inflammation occurs. For most people, inflammation brings negative thoughts to mind and their initial reaction is to stop it in its tracks. I mean, isn’t that what we’ve been told for years? But, is inflammation really unwanted or should we consider that it is part of our body’s process responsible for healing? The truth is, the right amount of inflammation is a good thing and necessary to initiate the healing process from injury. Inflammation provides signals to the body that something is wrong with certain structures or tissues. The body responds by kicking your immune system into high gear to start repairing damaged tissue.


When injured, the body needs to recover and you must supply it with the raw materials needed to promote optimal recovery. These raw materials come in the form of calories, protein, dietary fats, vitamins, and minerals from whole food or supplement sources. Ideally, nutritional strategies for injury recovery must be customized to the individual for optimal response. However, applying some general considerations can be beneficial in speeding up your return to play.

Nutritional Strategies for Injury Recovery
1) Calories
When injured, there is an increase in what is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR is essentially the energy (or calorie) expenditure while your body is at rest. When recovering from injury, BMR has been demonstrated to increase by 15-50% since your body is using more energy to repair and regenerate damaged tissues. The rise in BMR means you must increase your caloric intake accordingly to ensure optimal recovery.

For example, if your caloric intake is 3,500 kcal/day, your new caloric requirements could range from 4,025-5,250 kcal/day (15%-50%) during the recovery process.

2) Protein
Protein is an essential component of our cells, bones, muscles, organs, connective tissues, and skin. Protein is made up of individual amino acids. Amino acids are important for the repair and remodeling process that injured bone, muscle, or connective tissue undergoes during the healing process. The amount of protein the body utilizes for injury repair is significant and your daily protein intake will need to increase accordingly. To gain an understanding of how your protein intake should be adjusted during the healing process, let’s consider the following:

The average, sedentary individual may require an intake of 0.8g/kg of protein per day.  Athletes and highly active individuals can often require 1.0-1.5g/kg of protein per day.

          Example:  200 lb athlete = 91-136g of protein per day
That same athlete, when injured, may need 1.2-2.0 g/kg of protein per day.

          Example: 200 lb athlete = 110-182g of protein per day.
3) Dietary Fat
Dietary fat consumption should be devised to promote tissue healing and minimize unwanted inflammatory responses. It is well known that trans-fats and omega 6 fatty acids promote inflammation in the body. During the initial stages of healing, it is important to consume an appropriately balance of omega 6:omega 3 fatty acids. Consuming more omega 3 fatty acids helps to keep inflammation at adequate levels.

Rather than putting on number on dietary fat consumption during the recovery process, focus on making better food choices. This means increasing the consumption of quality, healthy fats such as coconut oil, butter, fish oil, avocados, and olive oil while doing your best to minimize or avoid eating foods high in omega 6 fatty acids such as fried foods or food sources that contain safflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.

4) Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients required by the body in relatively small amounts, but are critically important for a number of metabolic reactions essential in allowing the body not only to survive, but also to thrive. The process of recovering from injury only places a greater importance on key vitamins and minerals to ensure that metabolic processes involved in cell proliferation and tissue remodeling occurs appropriately.

Micronutrients such as Vitamins A, C, D, K and the B vitamins along with minerals such as magnesium, copper, and zinc can enhance the function of the immune system, assist in inflammation control and collagen synthesis, improve the production of red blood cells, and improve healing rate. Supplementation recommendations will depend upon appropriate therapeutic doses, as well as the individual and the extent of injury.

5) Herbs, Spices, and Tea
Certain herbs and spices have demonstrated impression abilities to manage inflammation during the acute phases of recovery. Some of the herbs and spices can even help reduce dependency of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Some examples of herbs, spices, or teas that can assist in inflammation/pain control as well as tissue regeneration are turmeric, ginger, garlic, bromelain, and green tea.

Concluding Thoughts
It’s important to help your patient, clients, or athletes understand sound nutritional habits and patterns during the injury recovery process since it brings special considerations to the forefront. Consuming adequate calories to provide enough energy and sufficient amounts of building blocks (both macro and micronutrients) for tissue repair and regeneration is critical to appropriate healing. When it comes to inflammation, remember the name of the game is inflammation control not inflammation suppression. Inflammation is needed for healing, but must be kept to sufficient levels. Both too little and too much inflammation can interfere with and delay the healing process.

Allow these nutritional strategies to work for you. Not only will they promote a faster return to sport and competition, but also ensure more comprehensive healing while reducing associated risks of re-injury.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/3-simple-steps-to-reduce-your-risk-of-sports-injuries/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-hidden-causes-of-sports-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/resetting-bodys-function-post-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/dietary-fat-is-not-the-bad-guy/
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a system of training characterized by high-intensity resistance or metabolic training with short/incomplete rest periods in between working sets. An example of HIIT is often advocated by Crossfit WODs (workout of the day) and other similar programs.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT is now the most popular fitness trend. HIIT has tremendous appeal to those looking to shed unwanted body fat and ‘lean up’ or ‘get in shape’ quickly because of its ability to burn body fat more efficiently. HIIT has been shown to produce greater improvements in both aerobic and anaerobic capacity with less overall training volume when compared to individuals who only perform steady-state aerobic exercise. In the public eye, a huge upside to these workouts is they typically take less than 30 minutes to complete. Sounds too good to be true, right?

However, what is rarely if ever mentioned, is the number of injuries sustained by participants.

In my opinion and experience, which may be similar to what others are also observing, the number of injuries associated with HIIT appears to be on the rise. What is especially significant to note is that these injuries are often debilitating in nature.

Not only is HIIT growing in popularity among the general population, but it also seems to be a growing trend among athletes. The point of this article is to discuss why HIIT is not an appropriate training program for athletes and provide some insight into why athletes should avoid programs that advocate high-frequency application of HIIT methods.

Why Athletes Should Avoid HIIT
First and foremost, when training with heavy weights or performing complex motor skills (i.e. jumps, throws, sprints) it is highly critical that proper technique is learned during the initial stages of training. This is the key to not only continual development in regard to strength and all other physical abilities, but is fundamental to injury prevention.

Proper technique is the key to ensuring that strength developed becomes more useful not just in athletic skills, but also in everyday activities. For athletes, proper technique serves as the foundation for efficient execution of sport-related movement skills.

So why does HIIT fail athletes?

What appears to be most important in HIIT is overcoming a prescribed amount of resistance or finishing a prescribed number of reps in a designated amount of time, regardless of how it is done. From the start, HIIT does not place technique as the number one priority. For your viewing pleasure, Youtube provides numerous examples of this. I can recall watching a Crossfit workout during which a young female participant is doing her best to finish an overhead press. She had to contort her body in every way imaginable in her attempt to get the bar locked out overhead. Needless to say, I did not like what I saw.

What was even more disturbing to me was hearing the other members of the class cheering her on and applauding her when she finally locked out the bar overhead. They were encouraging her effort with absolutely no attention or care about her technique and safety. This is just one example of many that indicates how overcoming the weight was more important than how the lift was performed.
Other daily workouts may prescribe high-intensity metabolic conditioning that often requires participants to train to the point of exhaustion and, sometimes, to the point of throwing up. The mindset and main objective is primarily focused on overcoming a specific quantity of work as opposed to expressing quality in the work.
It is this mentality that can be detrimental to athletes and the general fitness population as well. There is a reason why physical therapists and chiropractors love Crossfit and other HIIT programs. HIIT programs are pretty good at producing patients.

Another unwanted factor associated with HIIT is the high degree of fatigue and lactate training loads. For athletes, how can they master movement and skill execution or build speed and strength in a fatigued state? The answer is they cannot. This is something the majority of coaches and trainers must understand. Lactate-based training is widely over-utilized and misplaced. This ultimately cuts into more productive training methods and increases the need for recovery. When it comes to HIIT programs, recovery is often not sufficient and will potentially push participants into a chronic state of fatigue or create an over-trained individual. Keep in mind, injuries are more likely to occur in a fatigued or over-trained state.

When it comes to HIIT, training principles regarding periodization, progressive overload, mastery of technique, specificity of training, and individualization of training are completely ignored. These principles, among others, are highly important when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of training athletes. They have been proven to be foundational in producing the most effective results from any training program.

Final Words
Training and sport science tells us that HIIT programs or any randomized high-intensity program is not conducive for efficient training and development of athletes in regards to strength, speed, power, and other physical abilities. Sure it may be trendy, but ask yourself does the program or exercise routine provide the development you want? Remember, development is always specific to your training demands. Also, ask yourself if your current training methods are more likely to make you a better athlete or a patient.

Related Articles:

Interval/Sprint Training vs Cardio: Which is Better for Fat Loss and Physique Development?
Training Hard vs Training Smart
Have You Mastered Your Movement?
2 Reasons For Your Lack of Results
Training for Elite Athletes
After completing my Sports Injury and Rehabilitation residency in September 2012, making the decision to start up this business with my brother, Ryan, was one of the most daunting tasks I have ever encountered, including all the efforts to get it started and keep it growing. Considering I had offers for some well paying jobs all over the country, why would I possibly want to take the risk of launching a business? As a sports chiropractor with a specialization in rehabilitation, I had job offers to perform patient rehab in established offices, working as little as 20 hours per week. I could do that along with writing, consulting, and putting on seminars – all while enjoying plenty of free time. However, I saw a huge problem. That wasn’t me. As much as I enjoy what I do as a sports chiropractor, I equally enjoy assessing and evaluating athletes, designing training programs, coaching, being in the gym, training, and helping athletes achieve their goals. There was no way I could find personal fulfillment in my job unless I could be directly involved with both the training and therapy of athletes. More money or less hours didn’t matter to me.

About the time I was wrapping up my residency at Palmer College, Ryan was finishing his massage therapy schooling and working full time as a trainer while residing in Ohio with his wife, TIffany. For years, we had dreamed and talked about starting our own business that integrated not only our services, but our educational and professional backgrounds. We knew we had a unique approach and the desire to provide quality in our sports performance training, chiropractic, massage, and nutritional services. We believed that if we did things for reasons that were in line with our values, the business would grow to provide fulfillment beyond just money. We wanted to measure our success by delivering great results to our clients and athletes.

GP opened in April 2013 and has experienced steady growth every month since our opening. Our sports performance training services have become increasingly popular. With the summer upon us, athletes are coming in looking to capitalize on their off-season by improving their abilities (speed, strength, power, agility, etc). Each athlete we have worked with has seen tremendous results, which speaks to our business model, the individualized approach we use with each athlete, and the character of our athletes. We are receiving large amounts of referrals, which, to us, is the greatest compliment our business can receive. Slowly, GP is gaining the reputation for having an approach that is unlike any athletic development program in the area.

We have seen our sports performance training services utilized by athletes who participate in soccer, cross country, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, and football. We even have a client who is preparing for military special operations in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL. With that said, our training services have especially become popular among football and hockey players (high school, college, amateur, and junior level).

Reflecting back on the past year, there have been lessons learned and constant reminders of why we do what we do at GP. To begin with, we are consistently reminded that regardless of sport or competitive endeavor, the primary goal of any physical preparation program is to prepare the athlete for the demands of the competitive season and/or higher levels of competition. This sounds simple in nature, but is incredibly complex at times as an overwhelming majority of our young athletes need to master the fundamentals of general calisthenics and body weight exercises before introducing the execution of movements with either increasing resistance using external loads or at increasing velocities.  Some of our programs may not seem “advanced” and it’s for a good reason. Too many young athletes, and sometimes their parents, have bought into the idea that they should be training “like the pros”. Kids need the basics, and a lot of them, before more advanced training can be introduced.

Another lesson we continually learn at GP is the importance of promoting structural balance and recovery for our athletes. At any age or level of competition, it’s imperative to recognize the stress an athlete’s body experiences during their competitive season(s). Often a number of precautions and considerations must be made from the onset of training and throughout the duration of the off-season to restore balance to an athlete’s body and facilitate recovery. This becomes increasingly important as an athlete ages and progresses through higher levels of competition, as they accumulate greater amounts of wear and tear. The recovery and regeneration protocols used at GP have been a welcomed addition to our athletes’ programs, since many of them have never been introduced to approaches that keep them healthy and their performance levels more consistent. We do whatever it takes to keep our athletes healthy and injury-free as they seek to improve specific performance markers.

Something else we have come to appreciate more and more is how valuable the education our athletes receive is to them. In talking with our athletes, we have consistently discovered that they do not understand how or why an athlete must train according to the demands of their sport. This is a foreign concept to many of them. The educational process provides our athletes with the knowledge they need to understand how an athletic development model is applied to their sport. This has proven to be invaluable because our athletes truly appreciate understanding the mistakes they have made and understanding they are receiving guidance that has their best interest in mind, based solely on their needs.

The educational process and witnessing the development/results each of our clients and athletes achieve, to me, has been the most fulfilling part about what we do at GP. The smile a young kid gets when they step on the scale and see that they are 10 pounds heavier or the high-five and genuine enthusiasm shared when they set a new personal best in strength, jumping, or speed makes it all worth it. And as for our clients who are training to lose fat and/or improve general fitness levels, we love to get feedback that their body feels great, they are training pain-free, and are able to enjoy the training process while maximizing the benefits of their efforts.

The vision for GP was an easy one to establish. Ryan and I made the choice to build a business that was fulfilling both personally and professionally. The process has not been an easy one, but it has been rewarding and we are enjoying it.

We also acknowledge that GP would not be what it is without the consistent support we receive. A sincere thank you goes out to all you – clients/athletes, parents, family, friends, social media followers, and professional colleagues – for your continual support over the past year. Without you, GP would not be what is today, and we look forward to many more years to come.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/why-we-arent-popular/

https://gallagherperformance.com/two-years-at-gallagher-performance/

 
 
What you need to know:
  • Adequate water intake or hydration is determined by many factors.
  • Common advice such as "Drink 8 cups of water a day" or "Drink half your body weight in ounces" are far too simplistic and may not provide you with the water you need.
Why Water is Essential to Health and Performance
"Dehydration of as little as 2% loss of body weight results in impaired physiological and performance responses."
As your body's principal chemical component, water makes up roughly 60 percent of your total body weight. Every system and cell in your body depends on water. Water is essential to normal human function.

Lack of water leads to dehydration, a state that occurs when you don't have enough water to allow your body to perform normal functions. A review published in the Journal of the American Dietetics Association states that "Dehydration of as little as 2% loss of body weight results in impaired physiological and performance responses."

To put that into perspective, this would equate to losing almost 3lbs of water for an individual who weighs 150lbs. That may seem like a lot of water to lose, assuming that one must exercise a lot or resort to extreme measures to lose that much water. But let's take a closer look and see just how easy it is to lose water without exercising.

According to the Guyton Textbook of Medical Physiology, the same 150lb individual will lose about 2.3L of water daily from urine, feces, sweat, and insensible water loss through the skin and breathing. 2.3L equals almost 5lbs of water loss per day from normal body function. This estimation does not factor in a warmer climate. Naturally, sweat rates increase in warmer weather, so this same individual could lose up to 3.3L of water a day.

It should be clear that becoming dehydrated is not a difficult task. There is a common misconception that dehydration only occurs in people that sweat a lot due to exercise or warmer weather. This couldn't be further from the truth. Normal bodily functions can lead to dehydration if water intake is not addressed appropriately.

The importance of adequate water intake has important health considerations as well. There are studies that have demonstrated individuals who stay well hydrated are less likely to experience:
  • Cancers of the breast, colon, and urinary tract
  • Urinary stone disease
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Childhood and adolescent obesity
Meeting Your Basic Daily Needs
In sedentary individuals, it appears that men require about 12 cups of water per day and women require about 9 cups of water per day. Whole foods are estimated to provide 4 cups of that daily water total. Another 1 cup of that daily water recommendation comes from 'metabolic water' or water that your body makes from metabolic processes, thus making this water you don't have to worry about consuming.

So for the sedentary individual, they will require about 7 cups of water/fluid per day since the remaining 5 cups of water will come from food and normal metabolic function. This is assuming that one is eating enough to meet their calorie needs.

It's important that any fluid you count toward your daily total is non-caffeinated or non-alcoholic. Caffeine and alcohol raise water needs in the body. If you consume either of these, you will need more water.

Water Needs in Response to Physical Activity
As for athletes, there is strong evidence in the research showing that dehydration will have major impacts on endurance, strength, intensity, and mood. When it comes to athletes, little research has been done to determine exactly how much water intake is needed to prevent dehydration. This likely explains the wide variety of answers one can potentially be given when attempting to figure out how much water they need to rehydrate. The honest answer is, "It depends." The reality is, there are a number of factors that play into understanding how much fluid intake an athletes needs to appropriately rehydrate.

Athletes or active individuals will generally require greater amounts of water due to increased muscle mass, metabolic activity, and sweat rates. So how much water will an athlete require? For starters, we can make a safe assumption that athletes eat more food during the day than the average person and that they have a higher metabolic rate. With this in mind, they will be getting more water from food sources and metabolic function. Depending on the climate an athlete exercises in, daily water intake may need to increase to an additional 2-4L (8-16 cups) on training days. Water intake must be based on factors such as activity level, body mass, sweat rates, and climate.

Bottom Line
A safe, general guideline for athletes and water intake would be to consume 1/2 gallon of additional water on non-training days. When it comes to training days, an athlete may require a gallon or more of water per day to maintain adequate hydration levels.

Source:

Kleiner, S., Water: An essential but overlooked nutrient. Journal of the American Dietetics Association. Volume 99, Number 2, 200-206, 1999.
 
 
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Contact

  • 4484 William Penn Highway

  • Murrysville, PA 15668

Hours of Operation

  • CHIROPRACTIC
    Monday-Thursday: 9am-1pm, 3pm-6pm
    Friday: 9am-1pm, 3pm-5pm
    Saturday: by appointment only
  • MASSAGE & TRAINING
    Hours are by appointment only