The Washington Redskins and their Hyperbaric Chambers
Santonio Holmes owns a hyperbaric chamber. So does Maurice Jones-Drew. Hines Ward told Pittsburgh reporters it was his "fountain of youth," while Terrell Owens famously said his chamber helped speed his recovery from a broken leg. Zach Thomas and Patrick Kerney used their own chambers for years, while Channing Crowder bought one within the past 12 months.
Brian Cushing, last year's AP defensive rookie of the year, is a well-publicized fan of the chambers. And Dwight Freeney's hyperbaric chamber became a huge storyline last winter when he used it to help recover from a sprained ankle before the Super Bowl.
Hyperbaric chambers are all over the NFL in 2010. Sure enough, Santana Moss acquired one of the chambers about a year ago, and through Moss's contacts, DeAngelo Hall bought his within the past month.
The players said the oxygen treatments can speed recovery from injuries and keep them feeling fresh - " I get a little bounce to my step," said Moss, who also believes the practice also helps prevent injury.
"It helps with soreness, it helps with injuries, it helps with everything," the receiver told me on Monday. "I recommend it, but it's all about your beliefs. Some guys don't believe in stuff like that."
Indeed, not everyone with the Redskins is into the idea of enclosing themselves in the claustrophobic, oxygen-rich tent.
"I don't believe in that stuff," Larry Johnson said. "I think it's all mental."
"I just felt appalled by it because, what if somebody decides to ban the hyperbaric chambers tomorrow?" he wrote on his blog. "Everybody knows that I used the hyperbaric tent last year and I scored 60 points against the Lakers during the season I was using the tent. Now, the Hall of Fame has my shoes from that game. What if somebody decides to take my shoes and put an asterisk sign on them now?"
The media were all over this story when Gilbert first discussed it, but the tents are apparently prosaic enough in the NFL that no one seems to have mentioned Moss's chamber, which Malcolm Kelly also regularly uses. Moss started using the technique during his second NFL season at a New York hospital, and said he saw other patients achieve great results.
"There was a police officer, she was in a bad wreck where she was a vegetable almost, couldn't move or nothing," Moss said. "She would go in there when I used to go in there. After that first year, she was doing things they said she wouldn't be able to do, just by going there."
Moss's tent was professionally installed, but Hall said he installed his in his basement on his own. He said the pressure makes your ears stop popping, comparing the feeling to being in an airplane or scuba-diving, and said he'll use it twice a week for about an hour at a time, reading or listening to music to ward off boredom.
"I heard a lot of good things about it, so I figured I'd check it out," Hall told me. "Whatever I can do. Whatever you can do to get better as an athlete, I think you're supposed to do it."
Athletes today are always looking for the latest and greatest “Performance Enhancement Product”. In fact, many are willing to utilize illegal and/or experimental substances in hopes of unlocking some hidden potential that is believed impossible with good old fashioned hard work and healthy living. Others, on the other hand, are willing to put in the time and realize that longevity in any sport does not come from the quick fix, but rather from building on the small gains of the everyday struggle for perfection.
So for many athletes, the question still remains… “Where and who do I turn to if I’m not interested in the quick fix?” One such tool that more and more athletes, professional and otherwise, are turning to today is mild hyperbaric. Mild hyperbaric is the use of very mild pressure (only 4.4 psig) applied safely and conveniently for usually about an hour with a mild portable hyperbaric chamber either in the athletes own home or at a local clinic. Unlike many ergogenic aids such as steroids, mild hyperbaric has not received the same press and exposure throughout the athletic community, but does that mean that it is any less of a performance enhancement aid? The answer is no! However, we must go back and define what we mean by Performance Enhancement Aid. Will athletes see a 10% gain in power or speed within a week of utilizing mild hyperbaric? Certainly not! Will endurance athletes get a direct competitive edge from the dissolved oxygen if they do a mild hyperbaric session just prior to an event? Absolutely not! And for these reasons major organizations like the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) do not list hyperbaric as a banned substance or activity for competing athletes. Then how does hyperbaric benefit the competitive athlete? Hyperbaric has two main avenues with which athletes can dramatically benefit from.
1. Enhanced recovery time from intense training, thus helping to prevent chronic overtraining injuries.
2. Faster recovery from acute injuries, leading to a quicker return back to a full training load.
Basically, if you can train harder longer; injury free... will that not translate into Performance Enhancement! The answer is yes! In a study conducted with well trained endurance athletes, Dr. Phillip Mafetone demonstrated a 5 beat decrease in resting heart rate in just six short weeks of mild hyperbaric. Other research has demonstrated increased collagen synthesis in tendons post hyperbaric therapy and even more interesting is the research which demonstrated an 800% increase in stem cell activity in just 20 sessions. Simply stated, the mild hyperbaric environment is the ideal environment to promote healing and speed recovery. However, despite a near 400 year history… hyperbaric is still very misunderstood, underrepresented, and greatly undervalued; especially in the fields of wellness, anti-aging, and performance enhancement. Even in the professional arena; medicine is still more reactive than proactive. For this reason, the majority of professional athletes who have turned to, and are now advocates for mild hyperbaric, did in the heat of the moment when sudden injury forced them to seek out alternative/complimentary approaches to get back on their feet fast. Terrell Owens is one such athlete; while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles just prior to Super Bowl XXXIX he sustained an injury that was expected to prevent him from playing on the biggest stage in professional football. In just 6 ½ weeks post ankle surgery, Terrell proved that he would recover in time for the big game. Terrell openly acknowledges his belief that hyperbaric played a major role in his recovery process. Even Dr. Oz, Oprah’s "go-to" doctor, has stated that hyperbaric is one of the most powerful tools available in supporting tissue regeneration. Still, even with the research, and celebrity/pro-athlete testimonials… hyperbaric is not something most athletes hear about from their athletic trainers, physicians, or training partners; simply because of a lack of knowledge and an unsubstantiated risk of liability.
So, where does that leave the aspiring athlete seeking out safe and natural methods for increasing their athletic performance? Same place it always has… In the driver’s seat! Athletes are no different than anyone else in this respect. The only person ultimately responsible for their health and performance or lack thereof… is the individual athlete themselves. So do your own research, and the next time your trainer, physician, teammate, or training partner tells you that hyperbaric isn’t something you should be interested in… ask them why! Then ask them to substantiate their reasoning with research and/or personal experience. Don’t let a great opportunity pass by because of an uneducated opinion! Give hyperbaric a try, you just might shock yourself, and who knows… shock the world!
Chiropractic Care helps many people maintain and sustain their physical activity levels while at work or at play. United States Army recognizes the benefit of Chiropractic Care for their troops stationed in Iraq & Afghanistan.
Carrying over 60lbs of heavy gear & equipment on their backs, US Troops are finding relief with Chiropractic treatments while on tour. The added weight & stress that the spine is subjected to can be a precursor to early Arthritis & Degeneration.
I'm often asked "How does one develop Arthritis & Degeneration?" There are couple factors I believe people get arthritis which leads to degeneration today.
1.) First is "Joint Motion". Every joint in our body is designed to move through out a range of motion which is specific to that joint. When there is a reduction in that movement, a signal is sent to the brain noting such a decrease. Every joint has receptors in them that measure Joint motion (Mechanoreception), Joint Pressure (Baroreception) and Joint Position (Proprioception). When the signal is not acted upon correctly from the brain to the body, over time the body believes that maybe the joint should not be moving at all and it begins to narrow the space between the joint. This causes a deformity in the joint such as bony nodules, spurs and pain.
2.) Second is "Joint Balance". Our joints should have uniform balance and space throughout. If one end of the joint approximates closer to itself, it can cause a wedging effect. That will increase the stress that is placed on that end of the joint plate, accelerating the arthritis & degeneration process.
How can this be prevented? Simple. Most importantly, maintain joint mobility.
Regular exercise is the first place to start. Exercise gets the body moving. It increases blood flow, muscle contraction, and helps "lubricate" your joints.
Chiropractic Adjustments- Chiropractic is founded on the principle of Joint Motion. When there is a lack of motion in the joint, we find the area(s) of restriction and simply apply a gentle force/pressure to restore it back to normal. For most joints, the range of motion that is restricted or fixated is just millimeters off its normal position. However, it's that tiny bit of restriction that causes the signal over time to process & develop into what we see in the pictures above.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Has been shown to improve and speed the recovery for athletes for many years now. Top Athletes like Terrell Owens, Johns Smoltz and even Sylvester Stallone uses Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to help the body to adapt and recover from the stress of training and injury.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy works through the process of Oxygen being dissolved and absorbed in the body while under a higher degree of pressure. Oxygen being delivered at the tissue level allows the body to not only rebuild the muscles bones and joints, but also the Nervous System.
The Nervous System is the on-board control mechanism of the body....and the more Oxygen we can put in, the better the athlete is going to recover.
Hear How Sylvester Stallone prepared for the making of his final "Rocky" movie and how Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was a major part of his recovery.
Trauma in Sports Injuries can cause anything from contusions, misalignments, ligamental injuries, joint injuries, etc.. to more serious injuries such as: fractures, spinal injuries, severe contusions, crush injuries - compartment syndrome, & burns.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be a safe adjunct to your therapy management of acute trauma.
Reduces Pain & Swelling.
Prevents Hypoxia (lack of Oxygen) to traumatized tissue.
Speeds up the tissue healing of Muscles, Ligaments and Fractured Bones.
Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, and Shin Splints are three of the most typical overuse injuries in sports. These conditions have a lot of things in common and affect many athletes in running and jumping sports.
1. Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that connects your calf muscles to the back of the heel. Pain typically occurs about two centimeters above the site of insertion into the heel
2. Plantar fasciitis causes pain on the bottom of the foot at the insertion of this membrane into the inner side of the heel. You may feel pain on the first step after getting out of bed with this problem. The plantar fascia connects your toes and forefoot to the heel and supports the arch.
3. Shin splints is a general term for pain in the muscles and areas along the surface of the shin.
One common feature of these conditions is that they often result from overtraining. As a general rule athletes who increase their training stress by more than 10% weekly run a 50% risk of injury in four weeks.
1. Achilles tendonitis occurs in any level athlete who may have increased speed workouts, hill running, jumping or total training volume. Achilles/calf is the major muscle tendon group responsible for the push-off that leads to the airborne or “leaping” phase of running.
2. Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone but is more common in older athletes, overweight athletes or those engaged in prolonged exercise. Distance runners who run high mileage; tennis players spending hours on the court on their toes; and basketball athletes in the midst of two-aday preseason training are examples of athletes who frequently develop plantar fasciitis.
3. Shin splints on the other hand typically affect beginners and underconditioned athletes who dramatically increase their running at the beginning of the season or at the start of more intense training. If you are a more experienced and well conditioned athlete, shin pain could arise from other causes besides typical shin splints, such as tibial stress fractures or compartment syndromes.
Shin Spints are best know by a pain in the front and sides of the lower leg that develops or worsens during exercise. Tenderness over the shin and swelling accumulation of fluid of the surrounding tissues. Shin splints are most common to runners. They may be caused by various situations such as: a muscle tear or inflammation of the outer layer of a bone, tendonitis, inflammation of a muscle or compartment syndrome which is a buildup of pressure in a muscle as a result of trauma or exercise,
The Tibia is covered by the periosteum, a band of soft tissue that has both nerve tissue and a blood supply. Just above the ankle and below the knee, tendons help attach muscles to the periosteum. When the shin is over-stressed, problems can develop in the periosteum, the tendons, the muscle, on the shinbone or in the four muscle compartments of the lower leg, which are covered with a wall of connective tissue (called the fascia). If recurrent, this latter condition is called chronic compartment syndrome.
Shin splints are a common, often seasonal injury that usually occurs when you start to run after a long layoff. They can also result from playing a sport (such as tennis) on a hard surface, changing your style of workout shoes, dramatically increasing workouts, or gaining a substantial amount of weight and then exercising.
Anterior shin splint is due to a muscle or tendon injury (that help to lift the front of the foot) and results in pain and tenderness on the front outside of the leg. Posterior pain (a soreness that radiates along the back and inner side of the lower leg or ankle) is typically caused by stressed muscles that help support and stabilize the arch of the foot.
What to Look for:
At the first sign of pain in the shins, stop your activity. Trying to exercise through the soreness will only aggravate the condition and cause it to worsen.
Immediately massage the area with ice to reduce inflammation and irritation. The ice acts like a quick-acting, anti-inflammatory medication.
For pain relief and help to decrease the swelling, your physician may suggest taking ibuprofen, as directed.
Do not apply heat to the area. Shin splints are an inflammatory condition, and heat will only irritate the area even more.
Healing time can be as little as two to three weeks (if you cut back on your exercise and begin aggressive self-help measures), but in some cases, recovery can take as long as 12 to 14 weeks before pain subsides.
How to Prevent Shin Splints:
Shin splints may be avoided with some common sense measures:
Custom Orthotics: Orthotics look like insoles, but are biomechanical medical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. Orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes – they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment. Orthotics fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole – and they have the advantage of having been made from precise imprints of your feet.
Check your exercise shoes Often. Switch to well-fitting shoes with plenty of impact-absorbing material in the forefoot and heel area. Remember that your running shoes may lose much of their shock absorbency after as few as 500 miles.
Warm up before running by first walking, then gradually increasing your speed to a jog.
Stretch your calf muscles with a wall stretch. One way to stretch out tight calf muscles and Achilles tendons after warming up is to walk slowly on your heels for 100-200 yards.
Consider to walk/run on dirt, grass, cinder or a rubberized track to minimize shin trauma.
1. Wall Shin Raises. Simply stand with your back to a wall, with your heels about the length of your feet away from the wall. Gradually, lean back until your buttocks and shoulders rest against the wall. Dorsiflex both ankles simultaneously, while your heels remain in contact with the ground. Bring your toes as far toward your shins as you can, then lower your feet back toward the ground and do not allow your forefeet to contact the ground before beginning the next repeat. Lower them until they are close to the ground, and then begin another repetition. Complete about 10 to 12 reps.