Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Extreme is the New Normal

highlighted leg bones jogging

Extreme fitness is the dominant trend in exercise these days. Whether you are a CrossFit firebreather, ultra-marathoner, mixed martial artist, parkour enthusiast, or someone who makes every Spartan Race and Tough Mudder within driving distance, you are in good company. In adventure racing alone, over 500,000 people ran a Tough Mudder last year. Extreme sports not only condition your body better and faster than more traditional workouts, they also challenge people and instill a sense of pride and accomplishment in participants who complete the grueling workouts or events. While all of this is a seemingly positive trend, there is one downside - injuries.

Thousands of people are injured each year during extreme fitness events. CrossFit, an extreme functional fitness workout program, is a case in point; according to recent research, over 70 percent of CrossFit athletes suffer some sort of injury during the course of their training. While hard data has yet to be compiled for the relatively new adventure race events like Tough Mudders, initial studies clearly indicate that risk of injury is several orders of magnitude higher than traditional road races. Due to the total body fitness ethos involved in these events, extreme sports enthusiasts are prone to a wide range of injuries. Some of the more common injuries include sprains and torn ligaments, knee and shoulder pain and severe tendonitis. These injuries are sometimes exacerbated by the intensity of the workouts, and the propensity for extreme sports enthusiasts to keep going at all costs. Fortunately, jumper's knee and a bad shoulder do not have to keep you away from the next Spartan Race, or that upcoming Tough Mudder in Vermont.; there are new and innovative techniques to treat or prevent injuries commonly associated with extreme fitness, and get you back out there competing sooner rather than later.

The Graston Technique: Tailor-Made for CrossFit Injuries

One of the newer treatments for injuries typical extreme sports injuries is the Graston Technique (GT). GT is a form of soft tissue mobilization. The treatment involves a trained practitioner using a specially designed set of stainless steel instruments to manipulate afflicted soft tissue. The GT instruments allow clinicians to identify injured tissue, and then are used to break down scar tissue and other restrictors. The technique facilitates increased blood flow to problem areas, alleviates pain, and can speed up the recovery process. While still a relatively new medical innovation, several clinical trials have affirmed the Graston Technique's effectiveness at addressing soft tissue injuries.

GT therapy is great news for extreme sports enthusiasts. Whether during an intense CrossFit workout of the day (WOD) or a twelve-mile adventure run, participants in these events often suffer from strained muscles and tendons. After an intense event, an athlete's muscles can be painfully tight and have limited range of motion. GT can immediately address the buildup of scar tissue, alleviate lingering pain, and promote soft tissue healing. The Graston technique can be especially effective at addressing injuries before they become serious and debilitating, which is why Graston Technique is effective for shoulder tendonitis and knee treatments. It is worth checking with your physical therapist or chiropractor to get treatment as soon as your aches and pains start adding up.

Video: Scar Tissue Treatment with Graston Technique for Muscle Pain

Active Release Treatment Therapy (ART) for Extreme Sports Injuries

Active Release Therapy, or ART, is another relatively new non-invasive technique to treat injuries commonly seen following extreme fitness events. ART is a patented technique that involves hand manipulation of soft tissue by a trained practitioner. ART's 500-move treatment protocol is exceptionally effective at identifying damaged soft tissue, and then treating it. These carefully designed, precision movements, like GT, can help increase blood flow, alleviate pain, and restore range of motion. All of this, again, is great news for extreme sports athletes.

ART can help address the type of repetitive motion injuries that are endemic to grueling CrossFit WODs; they can also help participants recover from the brutal pounding inflicted on their bodies during an unforgiving Tough Mudder or Spartan Race. Specially trained ART practitioners are adept at identifying the source of soft tissue injury or pain, then breaking down the scar tissue causing it. Active Release Therapy is also used as a preventative measure to keep muscles and tendons primed for workouts, thus avoiding injury altogether.

Go from Finished to Finisher with ART and GT!

GT therapy

Extreme fitness training and events are popular and effective way to get in the best shape of your life and stay that way. However, the punishment placed on your body during these workouts, like other demanding sports, can frequently lead to recurring pain or injury. The Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy offer extreme sports athletes innovative ways to keep muscles and tendons in good shape, and prevent injury altogether. They are also extremely effective at treating soft tissue injuries and one step closer to earning that "finisher" T-shirt and headband. So don't wait until it's too late. Do your homework, find a clinician who offers GT or ART and keep yourself in the race for the long haul.