So we are here today with internationally known manual, sport, & spine physical therapist, published author, & inventor of the Gray Method™.
Dr. Scott Gray is SWFL’s & Fort Myer’s leading physical therapist for orthopedic, sport, and spine injuries. He is the founder of Back in Motion Physical Therapy & Performance in Fort Myers, Florida. He is a manual physical therapist and provides orthopedic, sport, & spine physical therapy.
We are going to be asking him the most common sports-related injuries and questions.
What Are The Most Common Sports Injuries That You See On a Daily Basis?
Yeah, so I would say, the biggest sports injuries that we commonly see here at Back in Motion as a sports clinic would probably be a knee strain, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, muscle strains, and, IT band or lateral knee pain, which is from the IT band.
Then we also see quite a few rotator cuffs and lower back pain conditions.
What Should You Say Is The Biggest Cause of Sports Injuries If There Is One Or More?
Yeah, that's like a really great question. And so I think there's not a one size fits all answer for that.
It depends on each client, but I would say that a lot of non-contact sports injuries, meaning injuries that are not caused by a tackle, push, or some type of contact with another person, rather it's an injury from running or blowing out their knee cutting.
The biggest thing would be muscle imbalances that we see.
So, certain athletes use certain muscles, and overtime as part of being in a sport you develop these muscle imbalances and they can cause abnormal joint biomechanics in movement, and then that turns into microtrauma, which then can turn into macrotrauma.
So, for instance, if I'm a runner, I'm taking thousands and thousands of strides every time I run, right?
And I use the same muscle groups over and over again, but over time what can happen is I can certain muscles become stiff and that limits my mobility at my ankle, and then I get more motion at my knee.
Then, as a result, I might get knee pain or something along those lines.
So, in a nutshell, I would say, it's the repetitiveness and muscle imbalances that then turn into an abnormal movement which then turns into injuries.
How Do You Go About Treating Sports Injuries?
Yeah, so we really kind of the way I think about sports injuries, I think of the end-game in mind, right?
Dr. Steven Covey wrote this book called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and he said in one of those points, “Always begin with the end in mind.”
And so I always kind of like step back and think, “Where do I want to get this patient or this athlete?” Right? How? Where? And how am I going to get them there?
So if someone comes to me with an acute ankle sprain, I'm not going to have them jumping on one leg and doing all these crazy tests and things.
That day at that time, that athlete needs me just to help prevent that condition from getting worse so they can start to feel better in preventing extra damage from occurring.
But, in the back of my mind, I'm also thinking of, “Well, why did it occur?”
I want to get to the root cause of this, this ankle injury and sports injury.
And so that's why our approach I think really separates us from other providers is that we've got a thing called the Gray Method™.
And so there's really three big rocks of the human body that drive a lot of motion and it's the foot, the hips, and the thoracic spine.
So I'm always thinking along those lines of, “Well, did their ankle sprain occur because their hip was unstable? Did it occur because they didn't have enough ankle mobility?”
So, those are things of thinking of, but day one I'm not going to address that, because that patient's acute and that could potentially make them worse, but down the road, I want to get to the root cause of it and so that they can return to sports safely and effectively.
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How Would a Doctor of Physical Therapy, But Also a Gray Method™ Practitioner Treat An Injury Compared To Seeing a Different Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, or an MD?
Yeah, so that's a good question.
And I think again, it kind of goes back to the Gray Method™, right?
So, a lot of people can get their sports injury better just by resting and just natural progression of gradually getting back into it.
But typically as an athlete, you don't have that reluctance, right? You need to get back on the field as soon as possible, right?
So a lot of times traditional medicine, seeing an MD they may tell you just to rest and just take these pain killers in most cases and see how it goes.
Or they'll say, “Hey, I want you to get all these expensive tests.”
A lot of times it doesn't show anything that's dramatic, because you wasted a lot of energy and time going to these tests when if they would have evaluated and felt your ankle or, you know, did a true assessment you wouldn't have needed that and they may have been able to recommend other things that you could have been doing right away to start making progress without resting.
Now, conversely, I would say like, as a chiropractor, there are good ones and there are bad ones just like anything but the bad ones would say that your spine is subluxated in that it's coming from your spine and that's the reason why you twisted your ankle.
And I would just say that that's just quackery and that's nonsense.
That's not going to fix your ankle.
I am actually kind of laugh at like when I hear that stuff, because it's like, it still amazes me that that stuff is still out there in medicine, that people and patients believe that.
The same thing goes if you were to see another doctor of physical therapy. I guess with my profession, at times I'm always kind of dumbfounded that on how much other clinicians miss just being able to diagnosis something.
And I think as a Gray Method™ practitioner, our clinicians have a systematic step-by-step approach to going through your evaluation to fix the cause of it by looking at the hips, the feet, and the thoracic spine. But also they're going to make sure they don't miss any red flags.
If you came in with an ankle sprain, they would be able to potentially that day see if something's torn and you may not even benefit from therapy.
So you're not wasting time seeing us. Maybe you do need to go see a surgeon.
But also they're going to give you the things that are going to allow you to start healing it faster that's not contradictory.
Then eventually getting back to, the root cause of it.
What Are The Best Ways To Prevent Sports Injuries From Occurring?
So, there are multiple ways to prevent sports injuries and some sports injuries you're not able to prevent.
1) Dynamic Warm-ups
But the key thing I would say is to make sure that you're doing a dynamic warmup before your sport or activity, which that basically just means like don't statically stretch.
You should be doing, movements that increase your blood flow, range of motion, and tissue, bringing heat to the tissue so that you don't tear anything along those lines.
2) Train In Different Planes of Motion
The second thing I would say is to make sure that your warm-up and training involves moving in different planes of motion, which basically means you need to be able to move your body, you know left to right, forward, backward, but also rotate, because that's what sports are.
And so, when you're out on the football field or playing tennis, you just don't know which way the ball's going to bounce. You may be put in some of these vulnerable positions. And so, training in those planes is going to help mitigate that injury.
3) Sports Performance Training
The third thing I would recommend is doing sports performance training or strength training.
You're connective tissues of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, are usually the most common things that are injured in sports, and if you make that tissue stronger with strength training and exercise in a systematic way, you're going to be less likely to tearing something and injuring something. So, that's a very important component.
4) Nutrition & Sleep
And then the other side of it I would say is like the basics of nutrition and sleep. Some people neglect these things.
But if I'm more fatigued, I didn't have a good night rest, well then I'm training hard, I'm going to potentially be more likely to get injured.
The same thing goes for my nutrition. I can't recover … My tissues can't recover between exercises because I've had poor nutrition, then my body's already going into that workout session or game with a chance of already being irritated and harmful.
It's a multi-faceted answer and a long answer, but that's really kind of it with, with sports injury as far as the biggest things I see clinically to preventing a sports injury.
Why Should I Choose Your Fort Myers, FL Sports Injury Clinic?
To be frank, we’re the only conservative experts of athletic and sports injuries in the area and can get to the root cause of your sports injury rather than just treating symptoms like most other offices.
Plus, my team and I were all athletes so we know what it feels like to be injured and unable to participate or play.
If you have a sports injury, you don’t need to suffer any longer.
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I hope this information was informative and we look forward to getting you back in motion.
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