The next time one of your athletes is injured, don’t procrastinate! Don’t get sucked into the future and start thinking about what you’re going to do when “things” calm down and the area has a “chance” to heal. Instead, remain in the “now” and intently focus on what you are going to presently do to prevent further loss. Commit to preventing the death or atrophy of all otherwise perfectly healthy cells that were not involved in the initial trauma. Re-read everything you have ever learned about how to maintain or increase musculoskeletal mass and vascular/lymphatic circulation and the causes and ills of disuse atrophy and fluid stagnation (swelling). 1, 2, 3 Then turn that knowledge into action and prevent all unnecessary loss in and around the damaged area.
We now have hundreds of case reports from “tissue preservationists” (physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers with whom we work) stating that remaining in the “now” produces full recovery in less than half the time once believed “normal.”
The math is basic: if you prevent otherwise perfectly healthy tissue that was not involved in the initial “trauma” from suffocating and dying from congestion (swelling) and/or atrophying from disuse, it will take less time to “recover”. In sum: it is much easier to preserve tissue today than it is to regenerate it tomorrow … So, don’t procrastinate!
Other than those whom Gary’s father called “knuckleheads,” sportspeople generally do a good job of getting the fixable fixed and avoiding activities that cause additional harm. Yet, when it comes to disuse and fluid stagnation, most athletes – inexplicably – passively watch the damaged area swell and turn various shades of purple, green, and yellow as perfectly healthy tissue needlessly dies and/or wastes away! Some even post pictures on Facebook so their “friends” can see how bad it looks. Good grief!
The Emerging Science of “Tissue Preservation”
Although it is still an unofficial society, the number of sports-medicine clinicians specializing in the rapidly emerging field of tissue preservation — we respectably call them “tissue preservationists” – is significant. So, what is a tissue preservationist? A clinician who specializes in preventing further loss post-trauma (surgically or otherwise), in contrast to clinicians who focus on tissue regeneration and functional restoration (e.g. musculoskeletal rehabilitation).
Tissue preservationists are not “anti-rehab” and certainly appreciate and understand the tissue regeneration and functional restoration processes (indeed all of the tissue preservationists whom we personally know are highly skilled in the field of musculoskeletal rehabilitation), but they simply choose to prevent unnecessary loss and thereby eliminate the need for subsequent tissue regeneration and related functional rehabilitation.
It is noteworthy to mention that this emerging science not only gets athletes back in the game sooner, it is significantly less expensive to administer, and, by design, it is drug-free!
Gary Reinl is the author of ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option: Learn the Fascinating Story, Scientific Breakdown, Alternative, & How To Lead Others Out Of The Ice Age
Gary has spent over forty years in the sports-medicine field, with diverse experiences ranging from training professional athletes to pioneering the field of strength building for women during the pregnancy year to developing a sports-medicine rehabilitation protocol for the elderly that is now in over 1000 facilities nationwide.
Additionally, he has personally taught the tenets described in the preceding article to certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength/conditioning coaches and physicians from over 100 professional athletic teams and hundreds of other elite organizations (military, collegiate, private, etc.). Gary has authored two previous books, Making Mama Fit [Leisure Press, 1983] and the 2007 “fat loss” book Get Stronger, Feel Younger [Rodale Press].
Twitter: @TheAntiIceMan Website: GaryReinl.com
Dr. Nicholas DiNubile is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine in private practice in Havertown, Pa with Premier Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. He is Vice-President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) and is Chief Medical Advisor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Dr. DiNubile has served as team physician for the Philadelphia 76ers and as special advisor to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (1st Bush administration with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Chairman). He has advised two U.S. Presidents on matters of health and health policy. He is the bestselling author of the FrameWork series of health related books (Rodale) and was Executive Producer and host of the award winning national PBS television special, Your Body’s FrameWork. He has been chosen in “Best Doctors in America” for over two decades.
Twitter: @drnickUSA Website: www.drnick.com