Go Big Blue!

Somehow I managed to travel through 3 airports and not find out about the game on my way back from San Antonio last night.  So, at 1am, my recording of the Super Bowl ended and I was happy. 

Very Happy!



I'm afraid you run faster than I.

I posted on this topic a while back, but Oscar Pistorius was back in the news this week after a study suggested he may have an advantage in running over able limbed individuals.

“Interestingly, in the human ankle joint, the energy loss is much
higher in maximum speed sprinting,” he added. “This means the blade is
able to replace the whole kinetic chain of the human leg and the
prosthetics are much more efficient from a mechanical point of view.”

said this did not necessarily translate to a general advantage. But he
did establish that this “different kind of locomotion” was also more
efficient from a physiological standpoint.

“In the 400 meters,
he was able to run at the same speed as the control subjects, but his
oxygen intake was much lower,” he said.

Hmmm.  Seems like this one isn’t passing the all-important Common Sense Test.  The guy has no feet!  The spin on this article and the study results (no-I have not seen them) kind of speaks to the fact that they just might not want this poor fellow in the race.

Who were their control subjects by the way, as OP certainly is unique in history and as such, may not have a valid control.  Good interactive graphics can be found here.


Ted Corbitt Runs Into Another World


"The father of long distance running" and physical therapist, Ted Corbitt, has died.  Here is his obituary in the New York Times.  In addition to his running legend, he also taught physical therapy at Columbia and NYU.  He is known to have run more than 199 marathons and ultra marathons!

"Running is something you just do. You don’t need a goal. You don’t need
a race. You don’t need the hype of a so-called fitness craze. All you
need is a cheap pair of shoes and some time. The rest will follow.”  Ted Corbitt, 1998

NFL Decides SCI Research A Good Idea

I posted a while back on Kevin Everett, the Buffalo Bills player who
suffered a cervical spine injury.  At the time, I noted how fortunate
it was that the Bills organization was involved (donated $$ to) the
Miami Project, as the quick hypothermic intervention was a result of
their assistance. 

The NFL had been a donor to the Miami project as well for many years,
but sadly stopped their assistance a couple years back.  Well, Mr.
Everett, some good luck, and good press was obviously enough to push
the NFL to renew their donations to this research group.  You could
imagine the almighty NFL could come up with more than $113,000 for
research, but at least their stepping in the right direction.

Kevin Everett, by the way, is really doing well and is the feature of
this week’s Sports Illustrated mag, which has photos of him walking
along.  Good job, all the way around!


Mind over Body

An interesting article about your brain limiting you physical performance, "I’m Not Really Running, I’m Not Really Running…"

"The first thing to know, said Dr. Benjamin Levine, an exercise
researcher and a cardiology professor at the University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is that no one really knows what
limits human performance. There’s the ability of the heart to pump
blood to the muscles, there’s the ability of the muscles to contract
and respond, there’s the question of muscle fuel, and then, of course,
there is the mind."


Physical Therapist Aids US Ski Team

A very nice profile of physical therapist, Betsy Baker of Everett, WA, who works with the US Ski and Snowboard teams. 

"Her training and own skiing experience allows her to advise the
athletes on how to avoid injury by strengthening and preparing their
bodies and in coaching proper technique."

Many professional sports teams have PT’s on staff, but it always works better when that PT has personal knowledge of the sport.  One reason why that Bike Fit push by the APTA last year seemed a bit uncomfortable. 


Tara Llanes would like your help

As you know, cycling of all sorts is close to my heart.  Well, a cyclist could use some help.  Tara Llanes, a world-class cyclist, is recovering from injTaraday5uries to her spine suffered on Sept 1, 2007.  She is paralyzed below her waist.   I have been a Tara Llanes fan for a number of years, gleefully watching her tear down a mountain on her bike at several events.

Here’s her story (link to video below).

There is a fund established to help Tara pay her mounting medical bills.  If you are moved by this story, help her out.  At least leave her a note on her myspace page!


Chicago Marathon Disaster

Chicago_marathonYesterday, the Chicago Marathon turned deadly, killing one and sending hundreds to the hospital.  The race was run in record heat and quite possibly without enough beverages for runners.   The race was halted after 3 1/2 hours for safety. 

Some quotes from the race:

"I had no water until Mile 8," said Blayne Rickles, 57, of Denver.

"There were people falling all over the place," said Rob Smith, 40, of Naperville, who was running his first marathon."

A hot fall is obviously problematic when it comes to the dangers of heat.  In most cases, your body has adjusted to several weeks of cooler weather during training and is simply in a poor position to cope. 

As terrible as this run turned out to be, there is one theory that suggests the fatigued runners simply had to stop and put up their feet.  I’m not so sure about that.

There was actually some grumbling about the need to call the race from some runners.  I can appreciate their disappointment, but as someone who has completed a mountain bike race with a stick impaled through my hand, I also understand that competitive people in a competitive environment often need some help making the right decisions. 

Perhaps that is the most important and dangerous part of the effects of heat and fatigue:  a reduced ability to make the right decisions.  This piece suggests the reason is that fatigue causes you to re-route more of your cognitive functions towards the movement and less away from your decision making.  Perhaps not quite that simple…


In WADA-type science, lab procedures take second fiddle.

World Anti-Doping Agency chairman, Dick Pound, sounded more vigilante than professional when he commented on the arbitration panel’s decision in the Floyd Landis case:

"You can run but can’t hide."

Pound suggested that lab procedures did not matter if they ultimately found a positive test.  I would like to know what planet this guy lives on!  Lab procedures exist to ensure an accurate and reliable test.  The crux of all tests and measures is that a scientist/clinician can only feel confident in their results if they were performed in the EXACT same manner in which those tests were developed and measured.

Perhaps finding testosterone is a reliable and accurate test.  Perhaps finding testosterone through an altered procedure is not so reliable or not so accurate.  The truth is, we would not be able to know because no one tests the reliability and accuracy of mistakes in procedures.Floydlandis1

Landis’ argument here is that his test could have produced a false-positive due to these "less than perfect" procedures, or more sinisterly, that the lack of control of his sample could have opened the opportunity for tampering.  I would not presume to know the truth, but from an outside perspective I cannot trust an agency which conducts scientific tests without regard to the rules.

How can WADA not hold itself to the same high standard that it holds athletes to?

In other news, WADA announced an increased budget for next year, in part due to the publicity the Landis case has created for the organization:

"The rate at which WADA stakeholders fulfill their financial responsibilities accelerates every year…" said Dick Pound about the increase.

Perhaps it is these "stakeholders" which cause Pound to actually criticize the World Golf Foundation’s plan to begin drug testing on all the major golf tours.  The reason:  they decided not to use Pound’s set of tests and measures.  Finally, and in perhaps the best news of all, Dick Pound is set to depart.


A PT Blogger at ESPN!

I stumbled across this new blog at ESPN this morning and was very thrilled.  Stephania Bell, MS, PT, OCS, CSCS, has a new fantasy blog hosted at ESPN where she provides injury analysis for all of the worrisome fantasy sport managers around the globe.  This is a big time blog presence for a physical therapist.


This is some solid PR for PTs!  This very excellent post on Greg Oden is just one example of the nice analysis Stephania is providing on ESPN.  But, perhaps Stephania has even more marketing savy than she lets on.  You see, when she posted that post about microfracture surgery, Google Hot Trends tells us that "microfracture surgery" was in the top 25 of all Google search queries.  So, we have poignant information, very large broadcasting platform, and good writing all in one.  Go Stephania!

The APTA has even gotten in the mix on this one and includes a link to the ESPN blog on their consumer page.  I do consider this a solid upgrade over conversations about backpacks.  As a fantasy football player, I appreciate the input and advice a therapist can bring to interpreting injuries.  For example, I understood that Eli Manning and his AC joint sprain would probably play, but why another player with a meniscus injury might not.  That type of information is gold to fantasy players and I can think of few others more qualified to offer it that a PT.