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The Fit 5: Recover From Sports Injuries

Our fitness expert answers your questions about how to effectively recover from sports injuries.

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For all of our fans who shoot us questions on our Twitter and Facebook Page, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, Dr. Michael Camp, DPT, CSCS, PES and founder of MyCompetitiveLife.com, answers your questions about recovering from injuries and aliments.

1) Strained AC Joint— asked by Michael Gratovich:

What's the best way to cater to a strained AC joint? I want to get back to training normally as soon as possible.

“Strained AC joints can be fixed starting with isometric exercises, performed in ER, IR and flexion. Stand in front of a doorframe with your elbow bent to 90 degrees and keep a fist. Gently push your fist into the doorframe, and you should feel a contraction in your front deltoid. Next is External Rotation, move your hand inside the doorframe, keeping your elbow against your side and gently move your fist away from you into the frame. Contraction will be felt along the posterior shoulder. Internal rotation, place your fist on the other side of the doorframe and now push towards your body, against the frame. Perform each contraction for 5 seconds and 10 reps. Isometrics allow you to work the muscle without irritating your AC joint because the movement is static. Once pain is subsiding, add in rotator cuff exercises. ”

2) Ankle Flexbility — asked by Jade Hough:

I have a severely sprained ankle (eversion) with a massive dorsiflexion issue. I'd love some tips on getting my range of movement back as the injury was nine months ago and I'm not having much luck!

"This is a rare injury because it occurs on the medial side of the ankle, which is protected by four strong ligaments. Most ankle sprains are inversion and on the outside of the ankle. If you are still in pain, fill your bathtub up with warm water. Sit on the edge with your foot in the tub and begin writing the letters of the alphabet in capitals for five minutes. Once range of movement has been increased, place an ankle weight around your foot and perform Dorsiflexion (moving your ankle up and down). Begin with 2 pounds and perform 30 reps. Last exercise is on a treadmill. Lean backwards against the control panel, do not turn the treadmill on, push the belt along by digging your toe in first, then heel. Exaggerate the dorsiflexion motion when your heel pushes into the belt. Perform for 5 minutes. "

3) Torn Hamstring — asked by Adam Koli:

How do I speed up the recovery process from a torn hamstring?

"A torn hamstring can linger for a long time if not addressed correctly. You should really seek out a Physical Therapist who performs manual therapy and has experience with athletes. When an injury occurs, the muscle tissue becomes altered both neurologically and mechanically. If you have no access to someone, then begin with foam rolling your hamstrings for 10 reps. Proceed to an upright bike and begin with easy resistance for 10 minutes. Next perform plate slides on your back. Lie on your back, begin with a 10-pound plate, place your heel of the injured leg into the center of the plate. Slide the plate towards you. Perform 10 reps, 3 sets and increase the weight as tolerated. "

4) Tennis Elbow Tendonitis — asked by Akmal Chaudry:

What exercises should I avoid to keep my tennis elbow tendonitis from flaring up?

"It’s not really about avoiding exercises, but structuring your workouts so you have balance between your elbow/wrist flexors and extensors. Change your workouts every two weeks in regards to repetitions and poundage’s used. Perform seated barbell wrist curls, standing hammer curls and standing reverse cable curls with an EZ bar attachment. Use a false grip with reverse curls and place your hands on the top bend of the bar. Perform 3 sets 12-15 reps, keep the weight on the light side and use good form, and perform each rep in a slow controlled manner. "

5) Heel Spurs — asked by Ryan Githol:

What do I do about heel spurs?

“Heel spurs can be managed to a degree with changing your sneakers often if you are a runner, and utilizing orthotics. Best treatment is finding a manual Physical Therapist who can perform deep tissue techniques into your heel to break up the restricted tissue, along with modalities such as Cold Laser or Ultra Sound. Home techniques that are beneficial are rolling your heel over a golf ball, frozen water bottle, or rolling pin. Perform this technique for five minutes every day. "

 

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