A Game-Changing Advantage For Recovery

Training and exercise is important, but so is muscle and joint recovery. Increasing the training or exercise load without adequate recovery is a classic way athletes set themselves up for injury.  Now, there's a new solution that accelerates recovery from overuse, helps the body recover faster after competition, and helps accelerate recovery after an acute injury.  So what does muscle and joint recovery really mean?  Some only think of athlete recovery in terms of using a bag of ice and rest between practice activities.  But, during the past several decades, sports medicine has learned long-lasting recovery requires more.

re·cov·er·y 

  • a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength
  • the action or process of regaining control

The importance for muscle and joint recovery, in recent years, has signaled a dramatic shift in the expectation for positive outcomes to aid athletes and help prevent long term chronic pain conditions. 

Recovery For Young Athletes - Overuse injuries are obviously not limited to young athletes.  Overuse injuries to tendons, bones and joints can result from performing the same movements too often, too hard or at too young an age with inadequate recovery.  Dr. Lyle Micheli of Children’s Hospital Boston, suggests that as many as 75% of the children he sees in his medical office are injured because of overuse. Kids are starting sports earlier and training harder and more often.  The stakes are higher than ever and this is usually achieved through repetition, repetition, repetition.  

The onus is on parents to safeguard their child’s health, safety, and wellbeing from avoidable injuries and unsafe practices.  Social pressures from teammates, peers and family often dictate what an athlete does, and it's harder for young athletes to take charge of their own wellbeing. How young athletes are taught to approach the recovery process affects their level of engagement for the rest of their lives. 

This generation of athletes must believe in and be able to measure the effectiveness of tools they are provided.  Today's youth have become a generation of specialized athletes and have access to more information than any generation before them.  But, their bodies are also subjected to more overuse than generations before them.  That overuse creates the need for new, effective tools that help their bodies recover faster and prevent foot, ankle, knee, shoulder, lower back, hip, and abdomen overuse injuries.  

Recovery For High School Athletes - There is no magical or perfect training program for high school athletes. The best approach involves a willingness to embrace change and address the needs of the athletes, rather than expecting them to accept past practices they do not believe are effective or worth the effort.

While recovery tools are no substitute for musculoskeletal care or the help of a medical professional, results-oriented, easy to use tools are essential for improving high school athlete compliance and engagement. A multi-disciplinary approach that integrates the use of new recovery tools, has been proven to help high school athletes recover faster from overuse and help their bodies recover for a safer return to practice or competition. 

 

Recovery For College & Pro Athletes - College and Professional Sports staffs dedicate themselves to the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. They counsel their athletes about the importance of proper training, proper nutrition, and self-care. But, aside from managing the time commitments of their job, one of the biggest challenges they face is athlete compliance and engagement outside the training room. Proactive staffs devote countless hours continuing to focus on best practices and new modalities that help them keep their "uninjured" athletes in the game and off the sideline.


However, todays young athletes begin participating in competitive sports as early as age five. With the evolution of competitive sports travel teams, overuse has evolved. Athletes arriving at college with one or more previous injuries have an estimated 3 times greater risk of incident injury compared to those without previous injuries. At the same time, athletes arriving at college with years of overuse to certain joints or muscles are more susceptible to injury in a more competitive and grueling environment.

  • In 2015, elbow and shoulder injuries alone accounted for more than $400 million in sidelined Major League Baseball salaries. 
  • In the NFL, approximately 50% of injuries occur in the lower extremities (with knee injuries alone counting for roughly 36% of all injuries) and 30% occur in the upper extremities.
  • The estimated average cost of player injuries in the top 4 professional soccer leagues in 2015 was $12.4 million per team. It is estimated that every year soccer teams lose an equivalent of 10%-30% of player payroll to injuries.

Recovery For Weekend Warriors & Executive Athletes - Many former high school and college athletes are less active later in life and it's often due to lingering effects from their playing days. In 2014, the Indiana University (1) released a study of 232 men and women who were former Division 1 athletes and were between 40 and 65 years old at the time of the study. Some of the survey results included:

70 percent said they had practiced or played while injured
67 percent said they had suffered a major injury
50 percent said they had recurring overuse injuries during college
40 percent said they had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis after college