The Ultimate Guide to Treating Ankle Sprains

A Humdinger No Doubt   Ankle sprains. Such a bugger to deal with.   Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries seen in basketball. The cutting, jumping, contact, fatigue, and poor footwear certainly don’t help matters. Damn near almost every game someone tweaks an ankle. Treating ankle sprains in-game provides quite a different perspective. Rarely in the clinic do we work with someone immediately post-injury. Instead, we deal with the cumulative effects of delayed treatment: acquired impairments, altered movement strategies, and reduced fitness. The pressure is lower and the pace is slower. You shed that mindset with the game on the line. You must do all in your power to get that player back on the court tonight, expediting the return process to the nth degree. I had a problem. Figuring out the most efficient way to treat an ankle sprain was needed to help our team succeed. I searched the literature, therapeutic outskirts, and tinkered in order to devise an effective protocol. The result? We had 12 ankle sprains this past season. After performing the protocol, eight were able to return and finish out the game. Out of the remaining four, three returned to full play in two days. The last guy? He was released two days after his last game. It’s a tough business. The best part was we had no re-sprains. An impressive feat considering the 80% recurrence rate¹.    Caveats aside, treating acute injuries with an aggressive mindset can be immensely effective. Here’s how.

Read More

Course Notes: PRI Cervical Revolution REMIX

Note: I made some errors on the first rendition of this blog that were corrected after speaking with Eric Oetter. Courtesy to him, Lori Thomsen, and Ron Hruska for cleaning up some concepts. Four Months Later When the Lori Thomsen says to come to Cervical Revolution, you kinda have to listen. I was slightly hesitant to attend since I had taken this course back in January. I mean, it was only the 3rd course rendition. How much could have changed? Holy schnikes! It is simply amazing what four months of polishing can do. It was as though I attended a completely different course. Did I get it all figured out? No. But the clarity gained this weekend left me feeling a lot better about this very complex material. This is a course that will only continue to get better with time; if you have a chance to attend please do. Let’s now have a moment of clarity.   Biomechanics 101 The craniocervical region is the most mobile section of the vertebral column. This mobility allows regional sensorimotor receptors to provide the brain accurate information on occipital position and movement. The neck moves with particular biomechanics. Fryette’s laws suggest that the cervical spine produces ipsilateral spinal coupling in rotation and sidebending. The OA joint, on the other hand, couples contralaterally. C2 is the regulator of cervical spine motion; much like the first rib regulates rib cage movement. C2 is also important for the mandible, as it balances the cervical spine during mandibular

Read More

Course Notes: PRI Interdisciplinary Integration 2015

A Stellar Symposium Back in April I had the pleasure of finally attending PRI’s annual symposium, and what an excellent learning experience. The theme this year was working with high-powered, extension-driven individuals. The amount of interdisciplinary overlap in each presentation made for a seamless symposium. Common themes included the brain, stress response, HRV, resilience, and drive. These are things altered in individuals who are highly successful, but may come at a cost to body systems. If you work with business owners, CEOs, high-level athletes and coaches, high level positions, straight-A students, special forces, and supermoms, this symposium was for you. And let’s face it; we are both in this category! There were so many pearls in each presentation that I wish I could write, but let’s view the course a-ha’s. The Wise Words of Ron Ron Hruska gave four excellent talks at this symposium regarding high performers and occlusion. Let’s dive into the master’s mind. People, PRI does not think extension is bad. Extension is a gift that drives us to excel. Individuals who have high self-efficacy must often “over-extend” themselves. This drive often requires system extension. Extension is a consequence, and probably a necessary adaptation, of success. If this drive must be reduced to increase function and/or alter symptoms in these individuals, we have to turn down the volume knob. How can we power down these individuals? Limit alternate choices – These folks take a wide view of a task Set boundaries – These folks attribute failure to external factors Making initial

Read More

Course Notes: Pelvis Restoration Reflections

Pelvises Were Restored It was another great PRI weekend and I was fortunate enough to host the hilarious Lori Thomsen to teach her baby, Pelvis Restoration. Lori is a very good friend of mine, and we happened to have two of our mentees at the course as well. Needless to say it was a fun family get-together. Lori was absolutely on fire this weekend clearing up concepts for me and she aptly applied the PRI principles on multiple levels. She has a very systematic approach to the course, and is a great person to learn from, especially if you are a PRI noob. Here were some of the big concepts I shall reflect on. If you want the entire course lowdown, read the first time I took the course here.  Extension = Closing Multiple Systems  This right here is for you nerve heads. It turns out the pelvis is an incredibly neurologically rich area. What happens if a drive my pelvis into a position of extension for a prolonged period of time? I’ve written a lot about how Shacklock teaches closing and opening dysfunctions with the nervous system. An extended position here over time would increase tension brought along the pelvic nerves. Increased tension = decreased bloodflow = sensitivity. We can’t just limit it to nerves however, the same would occur in the vasculature and lymphatic system. We get stagnation of many vessels. Perhaps we need to think of extension as system closure; a system closing problem. Flexion will be

Read More

It’s the Salient Detection System, Stupid

 Can you tell the difference among pain, depression, and pleasure? From a neurotransmitter perspective, the answer is no (see here and here). How is it that three very different states can be so neurologically similar? I feel the commonality that the nervous system purports reflects a system that responds to stimuli that are deviations from the norm. We call these instances by this word: Salient. Doesn’t that make your loins quiver? Let’s discuss how it works. Here’s your recommended reading. 1. The pain matrix reloaded: a salience detection system for the body (Thanks Sigurd) 2. Stress signalling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function (Thanks Son) 3. From the neuromatrix to the pain matrix (and back) [Note: Most of this article is an amalgamation of the three articles that I cited above and my own thoughts. Rather then cite every sentence AMA-style, I’ll give the credit to these guys above. Read ‘em and figure out how I put this together. For those who are sticklers for proper reference formatting, the type I am using is KMA-style citation.*] The Pain Neuromatrix Myth Hate to break it to you, but pain ain’t so special. Here’s why. If you follow modern pain science, you may often hear the term pain neurosignature or neurotag. This phrase is meant to describe a cluster of brain areas that are active during a pain experience. Information that can contribute to a pain experience travels to several areas. Some of the big players are the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (all the

Read More

9 weeks with Bane, I mean Zac…Oops Sorry Wrong CI

Note from Zac: This is my first guest post, and to start things up is the one and only Trevor Rappa. Trevor was my intern for the past 9 weeks and he absolutely killed it. Here is his story. It’s very exciting for me to get to write a guest post for Zac’s blog that I have read so many times and learned so much from. The experience I have had with him over these past 9 weeks has been incredible and I hope to share some of it with all of you that read this. He challenged me to think critically in every aspect of patient interaction: how I first greet them, which side of them I sit on, the words I use, and how I explain to the patient why I chose the exercises they’ll go home with. All of this was to create a non-threatening environment to help to patient achieve the best results they can. He also taught me how to educate patients with a TNE approach, incorporate other interventions such as mirror therapy into a PRI based treatment model, and deepened my understanding of the neurologic concepts behind performance. Therapeutic Neuroscience Education Perception of threat can lead to a painful experience which will cause a change in behavior. It’s the PT’s role to introduce a salient stimulus to attenuate the perception of threat in order to cause a positive change in experience and behavior (Zac and I came up with that, I really like it). Pain

Read More

Favorable Inputs: A Model for Achieving Outcomes

One Hot Model  Louis Gifford’s Topical Issues in Pain has an amazing amount of quality information, and has really inspired many thoughts. I’ve only read book 1 thus far, but this book can generate material to expand upon much like Supertraining does for fitness writers. I’m sure many of you folks have seen this picture before. Gifford called this schematic the “Mature Organism Model” (MOM) to illustrate how pain works. Inputs from the tissues and the environment travel up the spinal cord to the brain. The brain processes these inputs and samples information from itself to generate a corresponding output. These outputs are perceived as new inputs which reset the cycle. MOM was of course used to illustrate the three pain types (read here and here), but it is so much more than that. The MOM is a schematic for how the nervous system works. Any input that is processed by the brain may or may not lead to outputs of altered physiology and/or behavior. Viewing (your) MOM (ha) made me think a lot about working with individuals who are dealing with a threat response. How exactly are we helping these folks? I’ve come to believe that we do not treat outputs. At best we can only provide inputs that we hope are exchanged for new, desirable outputs. In patient care, we are hoping to alter perceived threat. We attenuate threat by giving an individual favorable inputs, which we hope leads to favorable behavior and physiological changes. Let’s look at what these

Read More

Course Notes: Cantrell’s Myokin Reflections

Third Time’s a Charm Mike Cantrell was in my neighborhood to teach Myokinematic Restoration by the folks at PRI. And I couldn’t resist. This is the third time I have taken this course, a course I feel I know like the back of my hand, yet Mike gave me several clinical gems that I want to share with y’all. This post is going to be a quick one. If you want a little more depth, take a look at my previous myokin posts (See James Anderson and Jen Poulin). Or better yet, take a PRI course for cryin’ out loud. Hip Extension, We Need That Yo.  Sagittal plane is your first piece needed to create triplanar activity. Since this is a lumbopelvic course, we look at getting hip extension as high priority. If I am unable to extend my hip, here’s what I could try to use to do it: Back SI joint compression Anterior hip laxity Gastrocnemius and soleus. We use two tests to see if we have hip extension: adduction drop (modified ober’s test) and extension drop (Thomas test). The adduction drop will look at your capacity to get into the sagittal and frontal plane, and the extension drop test will look at your anterior hip ligamentous integrity. A positive extension drop is a good thing if you are in the LAIC pattern. It means you didn’t overstretch your iliofemoral and pubofemoral ligaments. Well done! The reason why this test is not a hip flexor length test has to

Read More

Course Notes: Advanced Integration and PRC Reflections

I Passed I officially became a Jedi this past December after retaking Advanced Integration and going through the Postural Restoration Certified (PRC) testing. Both were a wonderful experience in terms of learning new concepts and fine-tuning old ones. Since I have retaken this course, I will not go into huge detail in terms of the material covered (if you want detail, read last year’s AI notes here, here, here, and here). Instead, I will reflect on a few concepts that really hit home for me (No, i’m not saying what we did at the PRC)! Enjoy.  Extension is Evolution Extension is what allowed our brains to develop because it brought us to two legs. The big extenders: psoas, paravertebrals, lat, QL, capitis Extension given us more but comes with a cost. As we continue to extend, we increase system demands. Extension will likely be a necessary adaptation to live in the world we are creating. I’m scared to see what the future looks like. Position Refers to triplanar position of the body. Neutrality is the state of rest and transition zone from one side to the other. We want this most of the day, but can’t expect this to occur all day. We want to establish a rhythm in and out of neutrality in alternating and reciprocal function. The alternating and reciprocal rhythm has alternate appendages on either side of the body. When the left leg is in front, the right leg should be back. In right stance, the appendages take

Read More

The Post Wonderful Time of the Year: 2014 Edition

And That’s a Wrap It’s that time of the year that we get to look back and reflect and what posts killed it (and which bombed). It seems as though my fine fans be on a pain science kick this year, and rightfully so. It’s some of the best stuff on the PT market right now. It’s definitely a topic I hope to write about more in the coming year, and one I will be speaking on at this year’s PRC conference. But without further ado, here are the top 10 posts of 2014. 10. Treatment at the Hruska Clinic: PRI Dentistry and Vision Going through the treatment process as a patient has really upped my game in terms of knowing when to integrate with my patients. It has also been a life-changing experience for my health and well-being. Learn how they did it for me. 9. Course Notes: THE Jen Poulin’s Myokinematic Restoration So much fine tuning occured the second time around. I love how Jen acknowledged the primitive reflex origin of the patterns, as well as fine tuning both lift tests. She’s an excellent instructor (and fun to party with)! 8. Treatment at the Hruska Clinic: Initial Evaluation The start of my alternating and reciprocal saga. Made for one of the most fascinating evaluations I have ever experienced. Ron Hruska is otherworldly. 7. Course Notes: PRI Postural Respiration I love a good foundational course taught by the Ronimal. You always get a few easter eggs that allude to

Read More

Hruska Clinic II: The Follow-up

Six Months Later I have come pretty far in my journey since initially being treated at the Hruska Clinic (see day one, two, and three). I have developed a beautiful squat, am noticing less back issues when I lift, and just generally feel mo’ betta. I also have zero fatigue when reading or on a computer screen. That said, I was still getting some right neck tension and felt that my reading comprehension was not as good as it was. I was accommodating to both my orthotics, so I thought my next trip to Lincoln would be a good time to follow-up. If Youz Ain’t Assessin’ You Guessin’  Came through the door after a long flight and minimal sleep, and surprised even myself. Without any orthotics, I was neutral at my pelvis and thorax, but still had some left cervical axial rotation and right OA sidebending restrictions. I was also lacking the capacity to perform mandibular lateral trusion without kicking in my SCMs. The reason why I don’t have access to my pterygoids for this movement? Those DAMN wisdom teeth.   My wisdom teeth essentially alter pterygoid position and reduce my mandible’s capacity to move. When I protrude, I have to extend my OA joint and utilize a forward head posture to complete the movement. The same thing occurs with lateral trusion. When I attempt the movement, the bony block limits my pterygoids from performing the action. SCMs, in particular the right, try to pick up the slack. From a

Read More

Course Notes: PRI Vision Integration for the Baseball Player

The first Section Where I Usually Say Something Like Whew or This Was the Best Course Ever! Phoenix has yet to disappoint on the CEU front, especially if the Dbacks are hosting. What a facility! After the baseball course that my homies Allen Gruver and James Anderson taught, Ron and Heidi put together a small vision course that one could apply on baseball athletes. Only it was so much more than advertised. Whether it was intended or not, the dynamic duo demonstrated just how extensive the PRI principles are, and spoke to many of the neuroscience foundations to which it was founded on. PRI Vision Integration for the Baseball Player was the Batman Begins of PRI. I am going to tell you right now, you must take this course yesterday. The foundational science alone is worth the price of admission, but adding in the visual training and corresponding life lessons, you get way beyond what you expect. Here were the major nuggets that I picked up.  GGGGGG-rav…a…ty (Said as though 50 Cent read the title)  Two major forces are acting upon a body at all times: gravity and ground. When one is able to manage and be aware of these forces, alternating and reciprocal triplanar activity can be realized. This reason is why PRI emphasizes finding the floor and feeling grounded so much. When these forces go unrecognized within a human system, extension is needed to maintain uprightedness. For example, do you ever notice that some individuals look at the

Read More