Physically Disabled Show No Differences in Memorization!

I didn’t want to let this juicy little public relations error slip by without mentioning it.  China released a volunteer manual in preparation for the upcoming Olympic games.  Apparently, China is a bit behind the US in the realm of political correctness…and even just being human!

"Physically disabled people are often mentally healthy. They show no
differences in sensation, reaction, memorization and thinking
mechanisms from other people, but they might have unusual personalities
because of disfigurement and disability.

"For example, some
physically disabled are isolated, unsocial and introspective; they
usually do not volunteer to contact people. They can be stubborn and
controlling; they may be sensitive and struggle with trust issues.
Sometimes they are overly protective of themselves, especially when
they are called ‘crippled’ or ‘paralyzed.’"

China responded with the poor translation argument…but when a native language copy of the text was examined it contained the same.  I guess they just translated it from their brain incorrectly!

PT to the Tennis Stars

I found this article on about Kerrie Brooks, who has used her Physical Therapist skills to help out the Williams sisters.  Of course, the Williams sisters have been kind of famous for their plethora of injuries.

My gut tells me there are physical therapists connected with a lot of individual sports stars, and obviously connected with team sports as well.  These sports professionals have bought in to the "PT for Life" concept, often developing strong loyalties to a particular therapist. 

Tiger Woods is well known for this strong ties to a physical therapist.  This tongue-in-cheek piece has a funny bit about Tiger and his physical therapist on Day 26.

8 Tenths of a Second

An unexpected ruling came down for Oscar Pistorius and he has been cleared to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics…if he can run fast enough.

"Pistorius must meet the qualifying standard of 45.55 seconds in the 400
meters to gain an automatic berth in Beijing (or 45.95 seconds for a
provisional spot); his current personal best is 46.33, according to his
coach, Ampie Louw. With 64 days left, he is in a race to race."

I’m sure he’s pleased to have this race be under his own control, and not in the hands of some "governing" body.  Sometimes they actually get things right!


Disabled Athletes

AOL Fanhouse has a cool bit on disabled athletes in competition.  It is worth a quick visit.  They were inspired by a female lower extremity amputee who qualified for the Olympics in swimming.

Our favorite amputee runner, Oscar Pistorius, recently appealed his case the the CAS, the highest court for sport in the land.  He should hear his answer in the next couple of weeks, but in the meanwhile, has been named to TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. [Link to List]

Pictured is Amy Palmerio-Winters, who likes to shatter her own records running marathons, and is arguably the best female amputee marathoner in the world.

Physical Therapists and Fantasy Sports

Physical Therapists have always been closely associated with the rehabilitation of professional athletes.  Even today, the Google news feed is littered with references to A-Rod and the physical therapist he plans to meet.  The stakes are pretty high when a sports team entrusts you with the health of their $275 million investment!  It’s nice to think of the impact physical therapists have on sports, even if it is in a behind-the-scenes role.

As a fantasy football fan, I regularly use my own knowledge to make judgments about player injury status.  I think it gives me an edge.  I stumbled across this blog by Chris Neault, who ties his love of baseball and PT background to offer fantasy baseball advice.

Of course the reigning queen of fantasy sports physical therapists is Stephania Bell, whose platform on ESPN is just awesome.  She offers her PT injury analysis skills to the world of sports, from the world leader in sports.

It’s impressive to witness physical therapists actively engaging and contributing to our nation’s sporting health on the national scene. While their crucial role in rehabilitating thousands of amateur and youth sporting injuries often goes unnoticed, it’s just as noteworthy as handling high-profile cases like A-Rod’s quad strain. Moreover, obtaining a sport specific training certification could further enhance their ability to address the unique needs of athletes at all levels.

I’m motivated to quote the APTA poster hanging in my office,

“Attention, all weekend warriors.  We’ll (physical therapists) be in bright and early Monday morning to treat your back pain.”


Get Strong, Interact

I found this handy collection of strength training videos from the Mayo Clinic. Browsing through the videos, I thought they were well done and can help you answer questions like, "Does the bar go in front or behind your head when doing lat pull-downs."

I would love for someone to point me to such a nice collection of Physical Therapy videos.  Perhaps we can make one together?!

Some NPA Think Tank Interactivity

just installed a new tool called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of things that I think are cool.  In a flash, you can see if its cool enough to go visit. [Update:  Discontinued by popular demand!]

Should you decide Snap Shots is annoying, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

I also added a little Share This icon in the post footer.  This little trickster enables you to easily share my posts with your favorite social media site, or to e-mail good content right from my blog.


Stanley Swims, Floats Research


Stanley Paris, swimmer extraordinaire, is undertaking an attempt to become the oldest person ever to swim the English Channel at the tender age of 70.  Details of the swim and his training can be found on his blog, Paris on La Manche.  You’ve just got to love the swimming cap!

Dr. Paris is swimming in support of the Foundation for Physical Therapy, and so by donating some $$ you can help further research efforts for the profession.  [Link via APTA]

Paris, the founder of the University of St. Augustine, one of the founding members of AAOMPT, expert functional anatomist and physical therapist can hopefully add this new feat to his long list of interesting and notable accomplishments.

Good Luck, Stanley Paris!

Muscle Cramps!

I have a penchant for enjoying things that are often ubiquitous, yet poorly understood.  The human body is ripe with these topics.  Among my favorites are delayed onset muscle soreness, muscle fatigue, and muscle cramps. 

Muscle cramps are often extremely painful and debilitating.  I remember struggling with quadriceps cramps more than one time while cycling.  The worst time was on the return leg of a 80 mile trek through the mountains (relative, I know, but surprisingly steep) of northwest NJ on a hot summer day.  The cramps began at mile 42.  I remember completing the rest of the ride in fear because a feature of muscle cramps poorly appreciated among non-cyclists is that when you do cramp, your foot is mechanically secured to the pedal.  Avoiding a crash and somehow gaining enough control of your tetanic leg to unclip from your pedals is a true miracle!

I enjoyed this recent article in the New York Times, which provides a nice overview of some competing theories behind the daunting muscle cramp.  Featured in the article is one of my colleagues at the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Michael F. Bergeron, who runs the environmental physiology lab and calls the physical therapy department his home.  He discusses a specific type of cramp related to excessive sweating. 

Dr. Bergeron, incidentally, had an enviable week in the media, also making an appearance in a Times Magazine article, "Little Athletes Big Injuries."

The next time you have a muscle cramp, perhaps thoughts of the scientific wonder that they are will help ease your suffering. 

Yeah, right!


Who Cares About Their Physiotherapist?

Ronaldo does.  Seen here trying desperately to stabilize his patella after he tore a tendon in his left knee, which has put the career of the soccer star in jeopardy. 

"That will depend not only on the surgery, but also on physical therapy
and the motivation of Ronaldo – currently 31 years old – to return to
high-level sports.” a Paris hospital reported.

Physical Therapy…Paris…not Physiotherapy?  Hmm. 

Am I the only one who wishes American PT’s were called physiotherapists as the rest of the world refers to us/them?  Perhaps having a profession that was it’s own word would reconcile many of the branding and legal problems encountered by naming a profession simply by combining an adjective and a noun that are used 10 million other places in the English language.

Here’s to the American Physiotherapy Association.  (APtA)

Not Just Clothes, Performance Enhancing Clothes


FanHouse checks in with this little bit about the fancy new swimsuits to be worn in the upcoming Olympics, and how Michael Phelps describes them as the best swimsuit ever made.

“It literally feels like you are a rocket coming off the wall,” said Phelps.

This makes me think of poor Oscar Pistorius.  At what point does technological clothing provide enough of a competitive advantage to warrant it an "unfair advantage" that Pistorius is proposed to have? 

I know, many countries will have access to the suits, which is different from a double amputee except for the most dedicated of competitors.  If running on prostheses was such an advantage, why doesn’t every sprinter have a surgeon and a stump wrapper in their contact list?

But just because everyone has the suit, it still  raises a question of competition.  Perhaps the swim suit could also come with flippers.  Should all the marathon runners ride motorcycles this summer?

It might not be a bad idea considering the expected air quality in China!