Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome (2017)

ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO MAKE PROGRESS WITH YOUR TRAINING?  ARE YOU UNABLE TO RECOVER FROM YOUR TRAINING OR AN INJURY AS FAST AS YOU HAD ANTICIPATED?

If you’re feeling tired and burned-out, you may be suffering from Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) which usually starts with muscle soreness and a feeling of fatigue.  Then it quickly progresses into a case of OTS or even injury.  Overtraining can occur when the intensity and/or volume of exercise becomes too much for the body to properly recover from.  It’s always best to prevent OTS rather than attempt to recover from it.  Overtraining Syndrome can be dangerous and severely limit your ability to train.  It also significantly increases your risk of injury.

How can you continue to train hard and avoid the associated poor performance, illness, and injury that can result in lost training days and opportunity?

Nothing can derail your best laid training plans and goals like an injury or suffering from OTS!  If you develop OTS, you will need to take specific steps to speed up your recovery in order to prevent injury and return to a normal training schedule.

I show you how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of OTS.  You’ll learn how to utilize prevention strategies to help you develop a personal training strategy that will allow you to push past your limits and prior plateau points in order to reach a state of what is known as overreaching (your body’s ability to “supercompensate”).  This will speed up your results, so that you can train harder and more effectively than ever before!  In addition, learn how to use the foam roller (complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions) as part of a health optimization program, recovery program, rest day or treatment modality.  Let’s get started!

Tips for Avoiding Injury and Overtraining Syndrome (OTS)

Injury is often associated with Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) or a direct result of it.  Overtraining can occur when the intensity and/or volume of exercise becomes too much for the body to properly recover from.  Many common training injuries are directly associated with OTS.  It’s always best to prevent OTS rather than attempt to recover from it.  OTS usually starts with muscle soreness and a feeling of fatigue.  Then it quickly progresses into a case of Overtraining Syndrome or injury.

Warning signs include:

  • Fatigue (mild to severe)
  • Muscle and body achiness and soreness
  • A sudden drop in performance
  • A drop in strength
  • A drop in cardiovascular endurance
  • Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Illness due to a drop in your immune function
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Depression and a loss of enthusiasm for activities (such as training)

Proper recovery is critical to avoiding injury and OTS.  Every recovery protocol should include a multifaceted approach that incorporates strategies to positively affect the muscular, nervous, and hormonal systems.  This includes proper nutrition, getting adequate sleep, cross training, and implementing self-care modalities (such as mobility band use and foam roller use).

Focus on your Recovery Nutrition

Your body’s ability to train harder and recover faster is not just about the exercises performed.  It should also be centered on the fuel you put in your body.  Your body cannot perform optimally, recover adequately or heal from injury properly without adequate nutrition.

The majority of your diet should be from real food.  My personal belief is that food which is minimally processed, organic and/or home grown is likely to have a higher nutrient load and will therefore be healthier for you.  Your body simply cannot heal and recover quickly or adequately when substandard fuel “food” is consumed.

I am a believer in supplements although you must choose wisely.  Your dietary belief system, genetics, and the type of exercise and/or activity (such as running) that you mainly participate in will determine which supplements may work best for you.

When choosing supplements, I tend to gravitate toward supplements that can enhance performance, improve recovery, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce systemic inflammation.  The ultimate goal with supplements is to aid your body in improving health and/or performance.  Try to choose the most natural products as possible and experiment to see what works best for you.  Look for supplements that don’t contain extra fillers, sweeteners or additives.

Get Adequate Sleep

On average, we need six to eight hours of sleep each day.  The harder you train, the more rest you need to insure proper recovery.  As you approach a state of overtraining, sleep quality tends to decline.  Consider napping daily.  Many of the country’s top collegiate athletic centers are adding special napping or quiet rooms to their large training centers as more and more trainers realize sleep is critical for recovery.

Hard and prolonged training can deplete one’s body of much needed minerals and macro nutrients.  Most of us are deficient in the amount of magnesium we consume on a regular basis.  Magnesium is a critical nutrient that not only helps to reduce muscle soreness, but also helps you to get a better night of rest.  I choose to take a magnesium supplement nightly before bed.  Mag Glycinate in its oral form is the most highly absorbable.  Otherwise, eat foods, such as spinach, artichokes, and dates, which are higher in magnesium.

Cross Training

Regardless of your sport or athletic endeavor of choice, cross training is an important component in preventing injury and promoting recovery.  Implement cross training in your typical training cycles as a method to limit your risk of injury.  Cross training can also make your training more enjoyable as it keeps your body stimulated and ready for improvement.

Cross training can also be the perfect time to spot train your weak areas.  Work on your mobility and balance as a prevention technique for areas that are prone to injury.  If you have a history of low back pain or a prior knee injury, utilize this time to single out all those weak areas in an effort to prevent injury in the future.

Actively Manage your Aches and Pains 

Be proactive when you start to feel those aches and pains creep up by initiating a self-treatment protocol right away.  It’s always easier to prevent an injury from occurring rather than treating one.

Use a foam roller after exercise in order to speed up your recovery time and decrease the risk of muscle soreness or restriction.  Learn how to self-mobilize by using treatment techniques including mobility bands and cupping.  Don’t underestimate the value of a stretching session or practicing yoga.  You may also consider seeing a masseuse for regular body work.

Overtraining Syndrome can be dangerous and severely limit your ability to train.  It also significantly increases your risk of injury.  Nothing can derail your best laid training plans and goals like an injury or suffering from OTS!  If you develop OTS, you will need to take specific steps to speed up your recovery in order to prevent injury and return to a normal training schedule.

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

In my book, Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome, I show you how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of OTS.  You’ll learn how to utilize prevention strategies to help you develop a personal training strategy that will allow you to push past your limits and prior plateau points in order to reach a state of what is known as overreaching (your body’s ability to “supercompensate”).  This will speed up your results, so that you can train harder and more effectively than ever before!  In addition, learn how to use the foam roller (complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions) as part of a health optimization program, recovery program, rest day or treatment modality.

Discover how you can continue to train hard and avoid the associated poor performance, illness, and injury that can result in lost training days and opportunity!

CLICK TO LEARN MORE

What is Overreaching?

Overreaching is a training strategy used to build strength and/or performance.  It describes an acute training phase where you temporarily increase the training volume, load and/or intensity as part of a specific training strategy to gain a specific training outcome.  Overreaching can be an effective and important part of a training cycle when properly programed.  It typically results in additional fatigue and soreness.  Upon recovery, the desired outcome is an obvious improvement or “supercompensation” in that specific sport or activity.

When used appropriately, overreaching is an important component of high-quality training although there is the potential of developing Overtraining Syndrome (OTS).  Overreaching is an advanced training concept and should not be utilized by novice individuals regardless of the sport or activity overreaching is occurring in.

Why risk Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) to incorporate Overreaching into your training?

  • Overreaching helps your body to perform the extra steps needed to produce more results in a shorter period of time.
  • Overreaching helps you to “shock” the body in order to get results by shortening the time (days to weeks) in which you push yourself to a state of being nearly overtrained before backing off.  This is more than the typical overload you are attempting with regular training.
  • Supercompensation occurs as you push yourself right up to your limit.  This allows you to surpass prior limits for short periods of time.  It may help you advance your training to a higher level.
  • Quality intermediate to advanced training plans incorporate a stair step increase in performance with 3-4 intermittent bouts of overreaching throughout a typical periodized training year.  Make sure that your training plan is right for you.

Tips to help you safely overreach:

Do not attempt if you are a novice.  Overreaching is an advanced technique for intermediate to advanced individuals.

  • A planned and programmed overreaching session should last no longer than 1-2 weeks.
  • Increase your training and/or intensity and/or volume tactically and strategically, but not more than 40%.
  • Watch for symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome.  Symptoms may include becoming fatigued sooner during the workout or experiencing excessive fatigue or soreness.  Depending on how much longer in the phase you need to progress, you may need to discontinue your overreaching training plan and initiate your recovery protocol.
  • During the overreaching cycle, extra care and planning should be taken so you can work hard at recovery between each bout of exercise.  Specific recovery strategies are outlined in my book, Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome.
  • Once your recovery time is over, continue with your training plan.  Take note of where you are and how you feel in your training.  If you are feeling good and are demonstrating improvement, adjust your training plan by appropriately tapering up the volume and/or intensity to match your added gains.  This is how supercompensation can help your training and performance reach new levels.

Overreaching can be an excellent method to speed up and more quickly advance in your training.  However, there is the risk of overdoing and developing Overtraining Syndrome (OTS).  Overreaching should be performed carefully and thoughtfully as part of a complete training plan.  Overreaching should always be followed with an equally thought out rest and recovery protocol.

Discover how to best utilize overreaching as a powerful training strategy so that you can continue to train hard and avoid the associated poor performance, illness, and injury that can result in lost training days and opportunity!

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

In my book, Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome, I show you how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of OTS.  You’ll learn how to utilize prevention strategies to help you develop a personal training strategy that will allow you to push past your limits and prior plateau points in order to reach a state of what is known as overreaching (your body’s ability to “supercompensate”).  This will speed up your results, so that you can train harder and more effectively than ever before!  In addition, learn how to use the foam roller (complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions) as part of a health optimization program, recovery program, rest day or treatment modality.

BUY NOW

How to Self-Treat Overtraining Syndrome (OTS)

Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) can affect any athlete in any sport or at any level from high level CrossFit athletes to high school cross country runners as well as professional athletes, weekend warriors, and weekend race enthusiasts.  People of all ages are training harder and longer than ever before with wonderful results!

However, sometimes even the best of intentions can lead to not so desirable consequences.  OTS usually starts with muscle soreness and a feeling of fatigue.  Then it quickly progresses into a case of Overtraining Syndrome or injury.  Overtraining can occur when the intensity and/or volume of exercise becomes too much for the body to properly recover from.  For my tips and strategies to prevent OTS, please refer to How to Prevent Overtraining Syndrome (OTS).

Overtraining Syndrome will significantly impede your performance, and it frequently leads to a serious injury.  In OTS, your body isn’t able to adequately handle or adapt to the high volume and intensity of exercise that you are performing.  If you develop OTS, you will need to take specific steps to speed up your recovery in order to prevent injury and return to a normal training schedule.

Depending on the duration of symptoms and the severity of the case, OTS is a serious condition which can typically take from weeks to months to recover from.  OTS not only affects the muscular system, but also the circulatory system, the nervous system, and the hormone regulation system.  Use the following tips and strategies in your recovery.

How to Self-Treat Overtraining Syndrome (OTS):

Rest

One of the first and primary treatments for OTS is to rest.  More rest is required the longer the overtraining has occurred.  Therefore, early detection is critical.  If the overtraining has only occurred for a short period of time (such as three to four weeks), a brief three to five days of rest may be sufficient while implementing the following treatment strategies.  After the rest days, one must slowly taper back into training at a lower training volume until recovery is complete.

Cross train

Opt for an alternate form of exercise (like Tai Chi) to help prevent exercise withdrawal syndrome.  However, don’t try to substitute more workouts in one sport in order to compensate for rest in another.  This will only worsen the symptoms of OTS, which affects both the parasympathetic (PSN) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS).

Acupuncture

Incorporating acupuncture into your recovery process can be very beneficial.  Acupuncture can help to address a multitude of conditions which affect the nervous, muscular, and hormonal systems.  All three systems should be addressed during the recovery process.  Along with many of my clients, I have experienced wonderful results with acupuncture.  I highly recommend an acupuncturist who specializes in sports medicine and has experience treating athletes.  During acupuncture sessions, you can take time to specifically work on intentional relaxation and meditation which has the added benefit of addressing the nervous and hormonal systems.

Seek help early

If you are experiencing chronic aches or pain or are struggling with an aspect of your training, seek help immediately.  A healthy lifestyle is a lifelong pursuit.  If you are injured or not enjoying an activity, you will not stay engaged or motivated in the long term.  Seeking advice specifically from an experienced coach, physical therapist or physician can be beneficial.

Decrease the stimulants

It is important to take steps to help both the nervous and hormonal system re-regulate and rejuvenate.  Often with OTS, the adrenals become overtaxed and the level of cortisol (a stress hormone) is too high.  Intake of stimulants, such as caffeine, tends to worsen the condition.  Caffeine can be found in many pre-work out supplements, running gels, soda, coffee, and tea as well as some over the counter (OTC) medications.

Eat healthy

A healthy diet is critical to avoid injury.  Your body tissue needs nutrients to be able to perform at a high level.  In many cases of OTS, I encourage that you consume a higher fat diet to help your body’s hormonal system re-regulate.  Also, adequate protein intake is necessary to support muscle health and development.

Hydrate more frequently

The human body is primarily made of water, which is critical for all body functions.  In the case of OTS, I highly encourage you to hydrate more frequently during recovery.  Adequate water intake is critical to avoid dehydration which can negatively affect your training.  Dehydrated tissues are prone to injury as they struggle to gain needed nutrients to heal and repair.  Dehydrated tissues are less flexible and tend to accumulate waste products.  Stay hydrated by drinking water.

Supplement

Appropriate supplementation can be a highly effective method to get back to training more quickly by insuring your body has the nutrients it needs to properly and quickly recover.

Overtraining syndrome can be dangerous and will severely limit your ability to train.  It also significantly increases your risk of injury.  A recovery protocol should include a multifaceted approach that incorporates strategies to positively affect the muscular, nervous, and hormonal systems.

Nothing can derail your best laid training plans and goals like an injury or suffering from OTS!  If you develop OTS, you will need to take specific steps to speed up your recovery in order to prevent injury and return to a normal training schedule.

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

In my book, Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome, I show you how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of OTS.  You’ll learn how to utilize prevention strategies to help you develop a personal training strategy that will allow you to push past your limits and prior plateau points in order to reach a state of what is known as overreaching (your body’s ability to “supercompensate”).  This will speed up your results, so that you can train harder and more effectively than ever before!  In addition, learn how to use the foam roller (complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions) as part of a health optimization program, recovery program, rest day or treatment modality.

Discover how you can continue to train hard and avoid the associated poor performance, illness, and injury that can result in lost training days and opportunity!

BUY NOW

How to Prevent Overtraining Syndrome (OTS)

If you exercise or participate in any sport, then you have likely had some experience with Overtraining Syndrome (OTS).  It usually starts with extra muscle soreness and a feeling of fatigue.  These symptoms can quickly morph into a serious case of Overtraining Syndrome. OTS can ruin your ability to effectively train, compete or even exercise for weeks, months and in some extreme cases, even years.

Although not well understood yet, research indicates there are two forms of OTS.  One affects the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).  The other primarily affects the parasympathetic nervous (PNS).  Sympathetic OTS tends to affect sprint or power athletes.  The resting heart rate tends to be elevated in the sympathetic form.  Parasympathetic OTS tends to affect endurance athletes.  In the parasympathetic form, the heart rate is even more decreased than typically found in endurance athletes.

To effectively train at a high level one must avoid Overtraining Syndrome.  It not only impedes your immediate performance, but it also substantially increases your risk of injury.  Injury is one of the most common reason people do not meet their training and exercise goals. To train at a high level, you must put as much emphasis on your recovery protocol as your actual training plan.  Your recovery routine should be an intentional and a multifaceted approach.

How to Prevent Overtraining Syndrome (OTS):

Monitor heart rate variability

Another potential warning factor for Overtraining Syndrome is heart rate variability (HRV).  It is simply the variation in the time interval between heartbeats.  HRV is affected by stress, hormone changes, and changes in the sympathetic or parasympathetic system.  A reduced HRV is a sign of OTS.  The higher the HRV, the more capable your nervous system is able to adapt to stress.

Active recovery

Every day shouldn’t be an intense training day.  As part of your training cycles, be sure to include time to participate in other activities to help the body to recover and rejuvenate.  Participate in a yoga class, take a leisurely bike ride or take a walk in the park.

Proper periodization

You cannot and should not train at a super high intensity all year long.  Your work volume needs to be properly periodized.  Well-balanced gradual increases in training are recommended.  Be sure your training plan varies the training load in cycles with built in mandatory rest phases throughout the year.

Taper up the training volume appropriately

The 10 Percent Rule is a guideline that many fitness experts use to help athletes (of all levels) avoid injury while improving performance.  Many cases of OTS can be attributed to increasing the intensity, time or type of activity too quickly.  The 10 Percent Rule sets a weekly limit on training increases.  The guideline indicates not to increase your activity more than 10 percent per week.

Rest more

Your body must rest in order to grow and develop.  Training every day is not the best way to improve.  It can lead to injury and burn out.  Take a rest day and have fun.  Sleep more.  Proper programming includes mini cycles with an off season as well as active rest cycles in between heavy load and heavy volume training cycles.  Don’t fear rest, embrace it!

Eat healthy

Your body tissue needs nutrients to be able to perform at a high level.  Avoid processed food as much as possible.  Limit sugary food and add more protein and healthy fat in your diet.  Maintaining a diet with adequate healthy fats is essential in providing the nutrients to support all hormone function in the body as well as support the brain and nervous system.  Adequate protein intake is necessary to support muscle health and development.

Stay hydrated

The human body is primarily made of water, which is critical for all body functions.  Adequate water intake is critical to avoid dehydration which can negatively affect your training.  Dehydrated tissues are prone to injury as they struggle to gain needed nutrients to heal and repair.  Dehydrated tissues are less flexible and tend to accumulate waste products.  Stay hydrated by drinking water.  Try to avoid beverages that contain artificial sweeteners or chemicals with names you can’t spell or pronounce.

Supplement

Appropriate supplementation can be a highly effective method to help prevent OTS.  The use of proper supplementation can help your body get the nutrients it needs to support the healing and recovery process.  I take certain supplements during times of heavy training volume or when I am in a phase of overreaching.  I also take them intermittently to help prevent injury or heal from one.

If you begin to experience any symptoms of OTS, be proactive about modifying your training.  It is important to objectively measure your training routine and make adjustments before you become sick, overtrained or injured.  Nothing can derail your best laid training plans and goals like an injury or suffering from OTS!  If you develop OTS, you will need to take specific steps to speed up your recovery in order to prevent injury and return to a normal training schedule.

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

In my book, Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome, I show you how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of OTS.  You’ll learn how to utilize prevention strategies to help you develop a personal training strategy that will allow you to push past your limits and prior plateau points in order to reach a state of what is known as overreaching (your body’s ability to “supercompensate”).  This will speed up your results, so that you can train harder and more effectively than ever before!  In addition, learn how to use the foam roller (complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions) as part of a health optimization program, recovery program, rest day or treatment modality.

Discover how you can continue to train hard and avoid the associated poor performance, illness, and injury that can result in lost training days and opportunity!

BUY NOW

My Top 3 Most Popular Posts of 2017!

As 2017 comes to a close, I become increasingly more excited for the years to come!  As science evolves and its understanding of how the human body functions, we’re seeing more technology that can help to enhance our lives and optimize function.  More people are realizing the value of taking control of their health care and personal well-being.  In today’s health care environment, we all need to learn how to treat common aches and pains proactively instead of reactively.  We must get to the root of the issue instead of placing a Band-Aid over it.  Our present health care system in America is not designed to help you optimize your health–that is your job!  

The purpose of The Physical Therapy Advisor is to help people like you to take control of your health and to save money by learning how to safely self-treat and manage common musculoskeletal, neurological, and mobility related conditions safely and effectively.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

My Top 3 Most Popular Posts of 2017:

  1. Why You Won’t Heal – Poor Nutrition (Part 4) – You will discover why consuming the proper nutrients is critical in order to fully heal and recover from an injury or illness in part 4 of my very popular 6-part series, Why You Won’t Heal.  The feedback was so positive that I written an even more thorough book on the topic!  Keep an eye out for Why You Won’t Heal (and What YOU Can Do About It) to be published in spring of 2018.
  1. How to Become a Resilient Runner – You will learn how to become a resilient runner so you can avoid injury, train more, recover quicker, and save money.  The Resilient Runner program, which includes prevention and self-treatment for running injuries, is a collaboration with Angie Spencer (RN and Certified Running Coach) and Trevor Spencer (co-host of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast).  The program is a virtual library of self-treatment protocols including downloadable podcasts, videos, and .pdf files of rehabilitation guides.  It also includes a 320 page eBook, The Resilient Runner, Prevention and Self-Treatment Guide to Common Running Related Injuries.  This is a must have program in order to learn how to prevent and/or self-treat lower extremity pains and injuries.
  1. Why Does My Shoulder Hurt? – I discuss the most common reasons why you may develop shoulder pain.  You will discover the key to treating most common shoulder related pain.  In addition, learn how to improve your posture while focusing on thoracic mobility and proper shoulder strengthening.  I offer simple stretches and exercises that you can use to eliminate the pain.

2017 has been an exciting year!  I have successfully published three books (which are now available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats) with wonderful feedback!  I am so grateful that more people are beginning to understand that many of the most common aches, pains, and musculoskeletal injuries can be safely managed and self-treated with proper guidance.

In Treating Ankle Sprains and Strains, I show you how to effectively self-treat and manage an ankle sprain and/or strain in order to resume your training and normal activities while minimizing the risk of additional damage, injury or re-injury.  When you can confidently self-treat, you can limit pain levels, return to activity faster, prevent reoccurrences, and save money!  A proper rehabilitation from the initial injury to the full return to sport and/or activity must include a full return to strength, mobility, and balance.

In Treating Low Back Pain during Exercise and Athletics, I share very specific strategies for general LBP prevention among athletes such as sport enthusiasts, CrossFitters, weightlifters, and runners.  These principles are helpful for anyone participating in athletics as well as those implementing a healthy lifestyle.  You’ll learn how to address specific causes of LBP as well as the best practices on how to prevent and self-treat when you experience an episode of LBP. 

In Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome, I show you how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome (OTS).  You’ll learn how to utilize prevention strategies to help you develop a personal training strategy that will allow you to push past your limits and prior plateau points in order to reach a state of what is known as overreaching (your body’s ability to “supercompensate”).  This will speed up your results, so that you can train harder and more effectively than ever before!

Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming books including Why You Won’t Heal (and What YOU Can Do About It) and Running an Injury-Free Marathon (Complete with Training and Rehabilitation Strategies)!

Thank you for supporting The Physical Therapy Advisor!  I look forward to serving you in 2018!  If you have a question that you would like featured in an upcoming blog post, please comment below or submit your question to contact@thePhysicalTherapyAdvisor.com.  Be sure to subscribe to my e-mail list and join our community on Facebook by liking The Physical Therapy Advisor!

The #1 Mistake that Leads to Injury (it’s not what you’d think!)

The painful truth is that 37-56% of runners will experience injury in a given year according to The Journal of Sports Medicine.  The number of runners who will suffer with injury during their lifetime is even higher–I’ve seen estimates as high as 80%.

That’s why we want to give you the tools to become a Resilient Runner.  What is a resilient runner you might ask?

A Resilient Runner is able to take a pounding and keep on running.  You can learn to be a resilient runner, too!  Learn to pre-empt injuries before they get worse and to deal with existing injuries intentionally and effectively so that you can get back to running.

I get asked injury related questions all the time!  That’s why I have teamed up with Angie Spencer (RN and Certified Running Coach) and Trevor Spencer (co-host of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast) to bring you the ultimate resource for self-treating and preventing running injuries. 

The biggest mistake is thinking I’LL WORRY ABOUT THIS WHEN I GET INJURED.  We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to start thinking about injury prevention now.  If you want to meet your current goals and run well into your older years, THEN you can’t afford to wait until you get injured!

CLICK TO LEARN MORE!

What’s inside of the Treating Low Back Pain during Exercise and Athletics Video Package?

Did you know that an estimated $50 billion dollars is spent annually on back pain related issues?  It affects nearly 80% of the U.S. population at one time or another.  It’s one of the top reasons for physician and physical therapy visits and one of the most common reasons for missed work days.  The best training plan in the world won’t do us much good if we’re unable to implement that plan due to pain and/or injury.

WomanWithLowBackPain

When reviewing research or anecdotal evidence online, there is no shortage of articles, blogs, and opinions regarding low back pain (LBP).  But what about a specific resource for the athlete, the weightlifter, the CrossFitter or the runner who is experiencing low back pain during exercise?  How does an athletic population know how to handle episodes of LBP?  What specifically can an athlete or active person do to avoid low back pain to lessen the risk of injury and lost training days?  Is there a specific step-by-step plan that really works?

The prevention and rehabilitation strategies outlined in my rehabilitation guide, Treating Low Back Pain during Exercise and Athletics, answer those questions.  You will learn how to safely self-treat your low back pain and helpful methods for a speedy recovery.  (Not to mention, possibly saving you time and money by avoiding a physician visit!)

The good news is that participating in sports, running, CrossFit, and weightlifting doesn’t increase your risk of developing LBP.  On average, being in good health, physically fit, and active actually decreases your risk.

The Treating Low Back Pain (LBP) during Exercise and Athletics Video Package includes:

Treating Low Back Pain during Exercise and Athletics eBook

product-cover-lbp

In this eBook, you’ll learn why it is critically important to prevent the first episode of low back pain.  LBP has reoccurrence rates as high as 90%.  If you have already experienced an episode of LBP, you’ll learn why exercise is an important component to long term management.  Most importantly, you will understand how to avoid pain and injury in order to take your training to the next level.  Topics include:

  • Specific strategies for LBP prevention.
  • How to address specific causes of LBP.
  • Best practices on how to prevent and self-treat when you experience an episode of LBP.
  • A step-by-step LBP rehabilitation guide complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions.
  • How to implement prevention and rehabilitation strategies.

7-part Series of Instructional Videos

Nearly 60 minutes of actionable advice to prevent and treat LBP as it relates to active individuals, sports, and athletics.  An in-depth look at treating LBP with a 7-part series of instructional videos in which I address the following:

  • Potential Risk Factors for Lower Back Pain
  • What are the Core Muscles?
  • Prevention during Exercise (Part 1 and 2)
  • Initial Treatment
  • Further Treatment and Taping
  • Long Term Management Strategies and Final Recap

Want to peek inside the video content?  Watch now as I describe what really the “core” is and why it matters.

Preventing and Treating Overtraining Syndrome eBook

product-cover-ot

In this BONUS eBook, you’ll learn how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome (OTS).  You’ll learn how to utilize prevention strategies to help you develop a personal training strategy that will allow you to push past your limits and prior plateau points in order to reach a state of what is known as overreaching (your body’s ability to “supercompensate”).  This will speed up your results, so that you can train harder and more effectively than ever before!  Topics include:

  • How to recognize the warning signs.
  • Specific strategies for OTS prevention.
  • How to self-treat OTS.
  • How to safely overreach.
  • A complete guide to Foam Roller Stretches and Mobilizations with photos and detailed exercise descriptions.

Is your low back hurting? Are you ready to take your training to a new level?  What are you waiting for?  Let’s get started! 

Purchase Package

Treating Low Back Pain during Exercise and Athletics (2017)

HAS AN EPISODE OF LOW BACK PAIN MADE YOU FEEL TOO SCARED TO TRAIN OR TO EVEN MOVE LIKE YOU DID PRIOR TO THE INJURY?

Many of us just accept occasional episodes of low back pain (LBP) as a normal part of life, but these episodes of LBP can have both devastating monetary and training consequences.  Your insurance money may be used up.  The pain may have dissipated, but you’re still not sure how to progress through the next steps.  What if it happens again?  Should you train or exercise as hard as before?

What do you do when you’re past the worst of the pain and want to resume training, but you don’t feel physically, mentally or emotionally ready? 

Often after a severe case of LBP, you may be too scared to train like you did prior to the injury, and it turns out you should be!  At least until you understand why LBP almost always re-occurs and what you can do to prevent it.  Don’t let LBP affect your ability to stay active and keep enjoying your favorite activities!

I share very specific strategies for general LBP prevention among athletes such as sport enthusiasts, CrossFitters, weightlifters, and runners.  These principles are helpful for anyone participating in athletics as well as those implementing a healthy lifestyle.  You’ll learn how to address specific causes of LBP as well as the best practices on how to prevent and self-treat when you experience an episode of LBP.  In this step-by-step LBP rehabilitation guide (complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions), you will discover how to implement prevention and rehabilitation strategies to eliminate pain and get back to training and exercise sooner.  Let’s get started!

When to Return to Activity after Experiencing Low Back Pain

“When can I return to my normal activity after experiencing an episode of severe low back pain?” is a question I am often asked as a physical therapist.  Low back pain (LBP) can be so severe and debilitating that it can completely derailing your training and lifestyle!  It’s hard to run, exercise or even move if your back, buttocks or leg hurts.  You either won’t try or if you do, you suffer through it only to be rewarded with worsening symptoms later on.  However, in spite of what your back pain is telling you, initial activity and exercise are critical when treating LBP. 

Everyone’s experience with low back pain is different and the severity of pain can vary wildly.  For some, even walking normally can be difficult.  This is why having a guide on which exercises and movements to do and not to do is so important.  One critical indicator that you’re ready to taper back into more regular activity (as you progress your rehabilitation-based exercise) is whether or not you can walk with a normal gait.  In particular, can you walk normally with a longer stride length during your normal gait cycle?

The ability to walk normally (notice that I didn’t say without discomfort) is an important milestone as it means that the spine is being stabilized well enough from the core musculature and that the nerves in the leg are not too tight or inflamed to tolerate and accommodate for the stretch that will occur from other activities.

If you are unable to walk normally, then the emphasis should be on regaining lumbar and lower extremity range of motion in addition to performing core and lumbar stabilization exercises.  Limit your sitting, but do not try to taper back into other activities (at least not yet).

It is critical to remember that everyone’s recovery will be different.  Recovery and tapering back into your normal activities should be entirely symptom dependent.  Listen to your body on what it can handle.  The pain will tell you if you need to stop.

When to Return to Activity after Experiencing Low Back Pain:

Follow the rule of thumb for movement:  If the pain worsens by spreading peripherally down the buttock and into the leg and/or foot, then the condition is worsening.  You must stop that activity.  If the pain centralizes and returns back toward the spine (even if the pain worsens slightly), then keep moving as the condition is actually improving.

  • Don’t resume your running, jogging or other training activities until you can walk normally at a quick pace.
  • Be sure to slowly taper back into your training as your back begins to feel better.  Don’t quickly resume your prior training volume.  Instead, taper back up.
  • Prior to activity and training, perform a very thorough warm up (including press-ups, superman exercises, and bridging).  Then transition into an activity specific warm up.
  • Continue with a core and lumbar strengthening program at least until you resume your full volume of training.

Prior to returning to your full and normal training activities, insure the following:

  • Complete lumbar mobility has returned.
  • You no longer have sensations, weakness or instability within the spine.
  • If you experienced leg pain, your involved leg is as flexible as the other.  The pain is now either gone or centralized (meaning that you’re not experiencing pain in the leg).
  • Your hip mobility on both sides is equal.
  • Your involved leg is as strong as the other leg, particularly hip abduction (glutes medius) and the hip external rotators.  Test this by jumping up and down on one leg.  Do you feel strong?  Is there pain associated with this?  If the strength isn’t there or the pain remains, you are not ready to taper up to full training activities.
  • You can jog, run, sprint, and jump without pain.

With proper treatment, low back pain (LBP) should resolve in as quickly as two weeks.  Severe episodes can take 4-6 weeks or longer.  Continue with your rehabilitation protocol until you’re performing all exercises normally.

I highly recommend continuing with a lower extremity stretching protocol and lumbar and pelvis stabilization exercises as a method of prevention for future episodes of low back pain.  There are countless “core” exercises and back stretches that you can perform, but which ones are best to help you to recover faster and experience less pain?  Research is clear that performing proper core exercises and particularly, lumbar stabilization exercises are the most effective treatment modality for LBP.  If you want to learn how to self-treat your low back and learn how to effectively exercise and work the core muscles in order to prevent or treat LBP, CLICK HERE.

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In my book, Treating Low Back Pain during Exercise and Athletics, you will learn how to address specific causes of LBP as well as the best practices on how to prevent and self-treat when you experience an episode of LBP.  In this step-by-step LBP rehabilitation guide (complete with photos and detailed exercise descriptions), you will discover how to implement prevention and rehabilitation strategies to eliminate pain and get back to training and exercise sooner.

Learn how to prevent, self-treat, and manage LBP so you can get back to your daily life and exercise goals more quickly without additional unnecessary and costly medical bills!

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