Course Notes: The Elite Speed Seminar

I just finished up the Elite Speed Seminar at what has become my home away from home, Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. The presenters were Lee Taft and Nick Winkelman, and I learned a great deal in an area that I am weak in. Here are the notes and quotes. Multi-Directional Speed Tools That Make Change – Lee Taft Lee talked about 5 qualities to train that separate great from good athletes. Performing well under urgency, as sympathetic states change how we move. Reactivity – These are reacting to finite reactions, such as a gun going off in a sprint. Random reaction – This uses the stretch-shortening cycle more frequently by foot repositioning. Think a shortstop. Tactics – Reacting to fakes and deception. Mistake Recovery – Training to recover from worst case scenarios. Here were Lee’s recommendations for program design. Skill acquisition – The ability to control desired movements. This portion can be trained by either skill components (3-4 exercises), skill itself (1-3 exercises), or linking skills (shuffle to sprint). Force application – Performing the desired movement patterns with increased force or resistance. Random reactive training – Challenge movements under a random setting, but make sure the above 2 components are rock solid first. Here were Lee’s recommendations to progress to reactive training Acceleration → deceleration → Change of direction →One direction reaction → Multi-direction reaction. Some great cues that Lee used Stay in the tunnel. Arms long and strong. Tear the paper – Get in the athletic position, load the big toes, and try to rip

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Explain Pain Section 5: Modern Management Models

This is a summary of section 5 of “Explain Pain” by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley. So Many Clinicians There are several people who would like to help someone in pain, with each person offering a different explanation and solution for someone’s pain. Research has shown these conflicting explanations can often make things worse. The one who has the most power over pain is the person who is in pain. Here are some general guidelines for someone dealing with pain. Make sure any injury or disease which requires immediate medical attention is dealt with. All ongoing pain states require a medical examination. Make sure any prescribed help makes sense and adds to your understanding of the problem. Get all your questions answered. Avoid total dependence on any practitioner. Make sure your goals are understood by you and the clinician. The clinician’s ultimate job is to assist you in mastering your situation. Models of Engagement There are 5 interchangeable models which enable both the patient and the clinician to identify the processes underlying pain. The orchestra model – Pain is a multi-component process that manifests itself in the brain and goes through many pathways. There are many players involved in the pain experience, hence the orchestra, with the brain as the maestro. The Onion Skin Model – Helps describe all the factors that go into the pain experience; including nociception, attitudes and beliefs, suffering, pain escape behaviors, and social environment. Fear-based models – Fear of pain and reinjury are major forces

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DNS B Course Notes

Whew, I recently finished (and still trying to process) the B level DNS course from the folks at The Prague School. Instructors were Martina Jeszkova and Dr. David Jeurhing. There were a lot of things covered during this 4 day course and I definitely learned a few things. Here are the highlights. Developmental Principles The focal point of DNS is the concept of joint centration, a static and dynamic maximal joint surface approximation.  When joint surfaces achieve optimal bony congruency, the muscles surrounding the joint achieve optimal activation and highest mechanical advantage.  The reverse is also true. If muscles coactivate properly, then joint centration occurs. Conversely, if optimal joint centration is not achieved then muscle imbalances occur. The reverse is also true. This change becomes very problematic, as decentration at one joint effects centration at all the other joints. This may lead to decreased performance at best and at worst increased wear on joint surfaces. Take lower crossed syndrome (or open scissors if you are a DNS fan) for example. Let’s say we had a problem with our lower back. In order to cope with this trouble, we increase lumbar lordosis and decentrate the lumbar spine. See how it affects the surrounding structures. The pelvis anteriorly tilts, which affects length tension relationships to glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors. Thoracic kyphosis increases as well, affecting the shoulder girdle and cervical muscles. Basically, play with one body region or joint position and see how it affects the others, and you can develop

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Explain Pain Section 4: Altered Central Nervous System Alarms

This is a summary of section 4 of “Explain Pain” by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley. CNS Alarms While much of talk in rehab deals with tissue injury and tissue pain, realize that the brain always makes the final decision as to whether or not you should feel pain. No brain, no pain. This sentiment does not mean that pain is not real. All pain is real. However, pain is a construct that the brain creates in order to ensure your survival. Spinal Cord Alarms When an injury occurs and the DRG receives impulses from peripheral structures or the brain, the spinal cord neurons must adapt to better uptake all these signals. In essence, the DRG becomes better at sending danger messages up to the brain. This change leads to short term increases in sensitivity to excitatory chemicals. Those stimuli that didn’t hurt before now do (allodynia) and those that used to hurt now hurt more (hyperalgesia). In persistent pain, this change continues occurring to the point where neurons that do not carry danger messages start growing into space where danger messages are taking place. Now innocuous stimuli such as grazing the skin begin hurting. The pain may be normal, but the underlying processes become abnormal. When these spinal cord alarm systems become unhealthy, the brain no longer receives an accurate message of what is going on. The alarms become magnified and distorted.  The brain is told there is more damage in the tissues than is actually present. What is good is

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Explain Pain Section 3: The Damaged and Deconditioned Body

This is a summary of section 2 of “Explain Pain” by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley. Tissue Injury 101 When a body is damaged, pain is often the best guide to promote optimal healing. Sometimes it is good for us to rest, other times it is better to move. A similar healing process occurs for all tissue injuries. First, inflammation floods the injured area with immune and rebuilding cells. This reason is why inflammation is a good thing in early injury stages. A scar forms once the inflammatory process is over. The tissue then remodels to attempt to become as good as the original. Blood supply and tissue requirements determine how fast the healing process occurs. For example, ligaments heal much slower than skin because the former has a lower blood supply than the latter. This may also be a reason why aerobic exercise may speed up the healing process. If present, pain usually diminishes as the tissues heal. However, pain may persist if the nervous system still feels under threat. Acid and Inflammation The alarm sensors described here constantly work and often get us to move. Movement keeps our system flushed. When we don’t move or a physical obstruction is present (e.g. sitting), acid and by-products build up in the body tissues. Oftentimes we will start to feel aches and pains when we stay in a prolonged position, which is our body’s way of saying “get up and move.” Much like the alarm system, inflammation is a primitive way for our

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Explain Pain Section 2: The Alarm System

This is a summary of section 2 of “Explain Pain” by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley. Alarm Signals Our body’s alarm system alerts us to danger or potential danger. This alarm system is composed of sensors throughout the body, the eyes, nose, and ears. It is these sensors that are our first line of defense against harm. If one sensor fails the others take over. Most of these sensors are located in the brain and respond to various stimuli. Some to mechanical movement, some to temperature change; the sensors in the brain particularly respond to chemical activity. What is important to know with sensors is that they have a very short life expectancy of a few days. This cycling means our body’s sensitivity is constantly changing. It is with these life cycles that there is hope for those with chronic pain. Moreover, the rate at which sensors are made is normally stable but can change very quickly in regards to a particular stimulus. So if we take for example one with persistent pain, the rate at which pain sensitivity occurs can be changed. Nociception We lack pain receptors in our bodies. Instead, the various tissues have special neurons that respond to different stimuli. These receptors are called nociceptors, which translates into “danger receptors.” Nociception is occurring all the time, but only sometimes will it end in pain. Nociception is neither necessary nor sufficient for pain. The sensors correspond to particular neurons. In order for these neurons to become excited and

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The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter XV: Clinical Aspects of Neurodynamics

This is a summary of chapter XV of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler. Intro In this chapter we discuss many specific neurodynamic pathologies and implementing the nervous system into treatment approach. Conservative Nervous System Decompression Here is a general step-by-step approach to decreasing threat throughout the nervous system. 1)      Decrease tissue sensitivity by removing relevant stimuli and decreasing CNS threshold. 2)      Improve container tissue health. 3)      Improve the nerve tract’s ability to absorb traction forces. 4)      Assess and improve the nerve to container relationship. 5)      Assess/modify any adverse ergonomic or environmental factors. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tests to perform. ULNT1 & reverse. ULNT2 (median) & reverse. Compression (can add ULNT). Phalens and reverse Phalens. Phalens + ULNT. Treatment There are several options to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Mobilizing not only the median nerve, but radial and ulnar is beneficial because the nerves are closely connected. Movement is critical because nerve inflammation and swelling does not leave the carpal tunnel easily. This problem is because there are minimal lymphatic channels in the tunnel. Nerve Root Complex Nerve root issues often have corresponding postural adaptations. Cervical – forward head posture. Lumbar – Flat lumbar spine with knees flexed, positioned toward the injured sign. In acute instance, it may be okay to let the patient rest in these antalgic postures until AIGS settle. Other presentations indicative of nerve root complex pathology include numbness/tingling down the extremities. Other possibilities include coldness, shooting, tiredness. Pain rarely goes into the extremities. Double Crush Double crush

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The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter XIV: Management Strategies: Integration of Neurodynamics

This is a summary of chapter XIV of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler. The Big Picture Evidence Based Approach Here is the step by step patient care process that Butler advocates. 1)      Identify red flags and manage accordingly. 2)      Educate on the whole problem to include tissue health status, the nervous system’s role, and test results. 3)      Provide prognosis and make realistic goals. 4)      Promote self-care, control, and motivation. 5)      Decrease unnecessary fear and manage catastrophization. 6)      Get patients moving as early as possible. 7)      Help patients identify success and sense of mastery of a problem. 8)      Perform a skilled exam. 9)      Acknowledge that biopsychosocial inputs combine with the nervous system to produce pain and disability. 10)   Use any measures possible to reduce pain. 11)   Minimize number of treatments and contacts with all medical personnel. 12)   Chronic pain may need a multidisciplinary approach. 13)   Manage physical function and dysfunction. 14)   Assess and assist in improving general fitness. 15)   Assess how injury affects creative outlets and assist the patient with regaining creativity and discovering new creative outlets. Incorporating Neurodynamics There are several ways to incorporate neurodynamics into the patient’s plan of care which will be outlined below. Reassessment. Explanation. Passive mobilization. Active mobilization. Posture and ergonomics. Reassessment There are many evaluation protocols that warrant constant reassessment after applying an intervention. Be it a comparable sign or audit, neurodynamic tests can be utilized well within these systems. A word of caution with instant reassessment, as quick changes could merely be

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The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter XIII: Research and Neurodynamics: Is Neurodynamics Worthy of Scientific Merit?

This is a summary of Chapter XIII of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler. Intro Research has demonstrated that often evidenced-based medicine is low on the list for why clinicians choose a particular treatment. From an ethical standpoint, it is important to consider evidence. This chapter is very short so I will just provide the highlights that I got from it. Appraising a New Theory or Approach There are six criteria that a new theory should be evaluated by: 1)      Support from anatomical and physiological evidence. 2)      Designed for a specific population. 3)      Studies from peer-reviewed journals. 4)      Include a well-designed randomized controlled trial or single experiment. 5)      Present potential side effects. 6)      Proponents discuss and are open to limitations. Agreement Here are some definitions of different ways research measures agreement. –          Cohen’s Kappa: Measures nominal data reliability. >0.75 is excellent agreement. 0.40-0.75 is fair to good. <0.40 is poor. –          Pearson product movement correlation: Measures interval/ratio data. –          ICC: Measures continuous data. The closer to 1, the better. Validity There are also many different validity types defined throughout this chapter. The first two are proven through logic and have the least evidence support. –          Construct Validity: Valid relative to a theoretical foundation. –          Content Validity: Can I use this measure to make an inference? The next two are higher up on the evidence support hierarchy. –          Convergent Validity: The test shows a correlation between two variables. –          Discriminant Validity: The test shows a low correlation between two variables.

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The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter XII: Upper Limb Neurodynamic Tests

This is a summary of Chapter XII of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler. Intro Today we will take a look at assessing upper limb neurodynamic tests (ULNT). These assessments used to be called tension tests, but that terminology is now a defunct mechanical description. We now describe these as neurodynamic tests to better appreciate the neurophysiologic aspects of mechanosensitivity and upper limb homunculi stability. These tests are numbered based on the movement sensitizer, which are as follows: 1 – Shoulder abduction. 2 – Shoulder depression. 3 – Elbow flexion. ULNT1: Median Nerve Here is the quick test first. Here is how to do the manual test. A quick heads up regarding head motions. Sidebending away increases symptoms in 90% of people. Sidebending toward decreases symptoms in 70% of people. ULNT2: Median Nerve Here is the manual test ULNT2: Radial Nerve Here is the active test. And the manual test. ULNT3: Ulnar Nerve Here is the active test And the manual test. Musculocutaneous Nerve Here is the active test And the passive test. Axillary Nerve Here is the passive test. Suprascapular Nerve Here is the test. Final Words Have some fun with these tests, and be mindful that you are not too aggressive. Thanks to Scott and Sarah for your videotaping help. You guys rock.  

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Course Notes: Graded Motor Imagery

I recently attended another great course through the NOI Group called “Graded Motor Imagery” (GMI) taught by Bob Johnson. These guys are the industry leaders in all things pain so please check them out. It was great connecting with Bob and learning what I think will be an excellent adjunct to what I am currently doing. So here is the run down on GMI. Overview GMI is a three-pronged sequential process of establishing early, nonpainful motor programming. Johnson calls this synaptic exercise to limit negative peripheral pain expression. GMI is a 3 step process: 1)      Laterality reconstruction (Implicit Motor Imagery). 2)      Motor imagery (Explicit Motor Imagery). 3)      Mirror Therapy. The Neuromatrix Paradigm & Pain States Before delving into the neuromatrix, we first must define pain. Pain is a multiple system output or expression by an individual-specific pain neuromatrix that activates when the brain concludes that body tissues are in danger and action is required. The neuromatrix, like I talk about in this post here, is the nervous system’s coding space and network. It is first and foremost affected by genetics, sculpted by experience, and constantly evolving. It is the entity that makes us who we are—the self. The neurosignature, or neurotag, is an output’s representation in the brain. For example, regions in the brain will activate in response to produce the pain output. This sequence is the neurosignature. Some common activated areas when pain is expressed include both primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, insula cortex, anterior cingulgate cortex, thalamus, basal

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The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter XI: Neurodynamic Testing for the Spine and Lower Limb

This is a summary of Chapter XI of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler. Intro For today’s chapter, I have decided that the best way to learn these tests is to show you. I will write in any pertinent details you need for a good test performance. The Straight Leg Raise (SLR) SLR hacks. Add sensitizers (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, etc) to determine nervous system involvement. Add cervical flexion or visual input to enhance responses. Be mindful of symptoms before and after pain responses. If this test is positive post-operation, it will likely be inflammatory in nature. You can preload the system further with cervical flexion or sidebending the trunk away from the test side. Here are some other ways to perform the SLR with sensitizers first. (I apologize for the way the camera shot in advance). For tibial nerve-bias. For fibular nerve bias. For sural nerve bias. Passive Neck Flexion (PNF) Here is how to perform the test. PNF Hacks. Add SLR to further bias the test. Be mindful of Lhermitte’s sign, which is an electric shock down the arms or spine. This is a must-refer sign as there is potential spinal cord damage. Slump Test Here is how to perform the slump. Slump Knee Bend In the book itself, Butler uses the prone knee bend as his base test. However, NOI does not teach this motion as much and now favors the slump knee bend. This movement allows for much more differentiation to be had. And the saphenous nerve

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