Does a Back Injury Mean the End of Your Fitness Goals?

Just because you injured your back doesn’t mean that you need to throw your fitness goals out the window. Even though these injuries can be quite painful, many people are able to recover from them in as little as a few weeks with the proper treatments and lifestyle changes.

If you have recently set new fitness goals, then here are a few steps you can take to make sure that a back injury won’t bring your life to a grinding halt.

Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs

One of the most common mistakes that fitness enthusiasts make is ignoring the early warning signs of a back injury. Some discomfort is perfectly natural during a rigorous training regimen, but the pain should never be unbearable.

You must immediately stop exercising if you notice any sudden weakness in your body, shooting pain, or numbness. In some cases, those side effects are caused by back problems that can easily be treated as long as they are addressed quickly.

Cut Back on Your Training

If the side effects seem relatively mild, then you should at least cut back on your training to prevent further injuries. No matter what exercises you plan on doing, you must make sure that you are using proper form at all times.

Switching to lighter weights and focusing on your form might be just what you need to speed up your recovery avoid secondary complications. You can also try low-impact exercises such as swimming or riding a stationary bike.

Contact a Rehab Specialist

Many back problems must be treated by a team of rehab specialists. Some minor sprains will heal on their own, but serious issues such as herniated discs and hairline fractures must be taken care of by a medical professional.

Treating these conditions typically requires a blend of physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes, so you should contact healthcare professionals from places like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates. With the proper treatment plan, you could be back on your feet in as little as a week or two.

Learn to Prevent Future Injuries

Back injuries can become a chronic problem if you aren’t careful, and you need to start taking precautions if you continuously hurt your spine or core. Stretching every day and focusing on your form are two of the most effective ways to prevent back injuries. You can also try preventative services such as deep tissue massage, acupuncture, cryotherapy, and heat shock therapy.

Having a healthy back is extremely important, and you need to do everything in your power to keep your spine and core as strong as possible. Those who notice sudden or debilitating back pain must immediately contact a doctor to prevent permanent injuries.

I may have found a great solution for those suffering with knee problems? You ever find you have difficulty training because your knees just won't cooperate? Well I think I've found a solution for you! I recently had the chance to try out itBandz Knee Band's and I must say they're pretty cool!

What I like most about them is how comfortable they are. A lot of knee products can be 'annoying' for a lack of a better word, but this one feels fine. The itBandz support and stabilize the knee for people who suffer from knee pain when they are active. According to their site, "itBandz help alleviate pain from tendonitis, arthritis, and other chronic knee issues." I could definitely see how they could help.

If you know me, you know I like fun, fashionable things and if you go check out their site, you'll quickly see that this product comes in a lot of cool colors.

So if you're suffering with knee problems, or scared that they are on their way, give the itBandz Knee Band's a try! You can check them out by clicking the link below:

Knee pain What to do when you get knee pain?

In my experience, 90% of the knee pain reported by athletes can be eliminated using preventative measures or ‘pre-hab’ type activities. These include all of the following measures:

1) Daily stretching. Areas to focus on – quads, IT band, glutes, calves, hamstrings, hip flexors. When any of these muscles become tight, it can result in knee pain. Always stretch when you are warm. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds, breathing slowly and deeply the whole time to encourage muscle relaxation. Stretching has to be done daily in athletes that are training every day and multiple times/day. The more stress on a muscle, the more likely it is to tighten up.

2) Foam rolling. At least every other day, athletes should be using a foam roller and/or rehab ball to find knots and kinks in the lower body and apply pressure to release them aka ‘roll them out’. Foam rolling should be done before or after your stretching. Spend about 5 minutes on each knot that you find, using very slow, small back and forth rolls alternated with constant pressure to stimulate the area to release.

3) Monthly massage therapy sessions. Try to find a therapist that has some experience with athletes – they tend to be able to find issues faster then the average / general therapist. Often times what happens is the muscles of the lower body can start to ‘stick’ together in bunches as the fascia gets tighter. A good massage therapist can identify this and work to loosen up the fascia and eliminate this bunching or sticking together of the muscles. You can also use an athletic therapist in place of a massage therapist, which would address the issue as well.

4) Epson salt baths. At least once per week you should be soaking in a hot bath with 2 cups of Epson salts to stimulate muscle relaxation, reduce muscle soreness and promote recovery. Be sure the salts are fully dissolved in the water by stirring around and lay for at least 15-20 mins. When following these four, maintenance-type does nothing to relieve your knee pain, you could have a mild form of arthritis. Although this is more common in the elderly, it’s not uncommon for athletes to develop it.

The best ways to treat arthritic knees are:

1) Natural anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and bioflavonoids. Some more common options are: curcurmin/turmeric, vitamin C, grapeseed, fish oil, resveratrol, aloe.

2) Anti-inflammatory meds. i.e. Naproxen (Aleve), Celebrex, Ibuprofen (Advil)

3) Reduction/elimination of all high impact activities i.e. box jumps, plyos, etc.

If after all this, you are still experiencing knee pain, the best advice is to see your doctor or a sports medicine clinic to have things investigated further. They will likely do a full assessment and in some cases send you for a ct scan or mri.



Shoulder dislocation injuries can be very disruptive to your fitness regime - not to mention painful! And, although carrying on with your regular workout routines is going to be difficult, you can still stay fit. In this brief guide, I’m going to go through what you can expect from a shoulder dislocation injury. Let’s get started with some basic info.


The injury


First of all, the shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in your body - but this can come at a cost. When it comes to contact sports like football, basketball, or martial arts, it can be vulnerable to being popped out of its socket. I won’t beat around the bush - it can cause extreme pain. And, when it has happened once, it is more likely to occur again. So, it’s important that when you start working out again, you don’t overdo it.




The first step in your treatment is to get your shoulder back in place. Again, this can be a painful experience, even when a skilled physician or nurse is performing the task. Take a look at this shoulder dislocation treatment by Dr Siow Hua Ming to see what you can expect. You will wear a sling, and you won’t be able to move your shoulder for a while. You can also expect a fair amount of swelling, pain, and discomfort. It’s important to keep your shoulder immobile during this period, which can last up to a couple of weeks. Once it subsides, you can start with some rehab exercises.




There is a range of exercises that can help you recover quicker from a shoulder dislocation. In the initial stages, you should try isometric exercises - or static contractions. These are exercises that work the joint without moving it and are perfect for building a little strength. The next stage is to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder with internal rotation exercises. These involve moving the arm in front of the body, rather than the outside. Only then can you start external rotations - such as pushing out with dumbbells.


Basic fitness


Your fitness levels are going to drop when you have any dislocation, due to the fact you need to rest the injury. However, with good strapping in place, there are a few ways you keep fit - to a certain extent. Running will be out of the question for a while, but you might feel comfortable with brisk walking. You might be surprised how many calories you can burn off. One thing you have to watch out for is your heart rate. Once it starts pumping fast, it can cause throbbing in your shoulder, so if this starts happening, slow things down a little. As the shoulder pain begins to recede, you can begin to up the intensity of your exercise. Just be careful not to overdo it, and if you have any shoulder pain, stop.




Finally, don’t forget to adjust your diet to suit the lower levels of exercise. If you’re still consuming a lot of calories to support a serious training program, it’s just going to make you put on weight. And, that means it’s going to take you far longer to get back to your original condition. Good luck with the recovery!




Problematic Knees? Try These

walking in seattle

So many people have knee problems. You can use these exercises as pre-hab or re-hab. That means you can use them to prevent injuries in addition with your current training program or to rehabilitate an already existing problem. Always make sure to consult your physician before you begin an exercise program.

1. Quad clenches over roll downwards

Lay flat on your back or sitting up. leg and knee straight on top of a rolled up towel. Tighten the muscle on the front of the thigh by pushing your knee down into the towel. You should feel your thigh muscles clench. Hold for 10s and every day add on 5 more seconds.

Repeat 3×15

2) Quad clenches over roll upwards

Lay flat on your back or sitting up with your leg horizontal on a flat surface such as a bed. Place a rolled up towel under the knee. pull your toes towards you and clench you thigh muscles. Slowly lift your foot up off the bed until your knee is straight (keep your knee resting on the towel). hold for 10s and slowly lower. Every day add on 5 more seconds.

Repeat 3×15

3) Straight leg raise

Lay flat on your back. leg and knee to be worked straight, other leg bent. Pull your toes towards you and tighten/clench the muscle on the front of the thigh, locking your knee straight. lift your foot up about 6 inches off the bed. Hold for 10s and slowly lower. Every day add on 5 more seconds.

Repeat 3×15

4) Single leg get ups

Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. start with the right leg. Sit up with all weight on single leg and slowly sit back down. Do the same movement 15x each leg. Try not to use the other leg at all and come to a complete standing position at the top.

Repeat 3×15 each leg

5) Glute bridge

Lay on your back with both knees bent about 90° and your feet on the floor/bed. clench your buttocks and lift your bottom off the bed as high as you can without arching your back. create a nice straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your knees. Hold for 5 seconds at the top and slowly lower.

Repeat 3×8 each leg (advance 3×15 each leg)

6) Clam shell

Lay on your side with your hip and knees bent approx 90°, feet together.keeping your feet together, lift the top knee up as high as you can. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lower. Focus on squeezing the glue to get your leg up.

Repeat 3×15 each side

7) Heel raises

Stand with your feet slightly apart, weight equally distributed, holding onto something solid for balance like a kitchen work surface or wall. Rise up onto your toes lifting your heels as high as possible. Keep your body upright (don’t bend forwards). Hold for 5 secs and slowly lower

Repeat 3×15-30

8) Straight-leg raises

Lay down on your back. bend your left leg and place your foot flat on the floor. extend your right leg away from your body. Keeping your right leg straight, slowly raise it up to a 45 degree angle. Slowly lower it back down to the starting position. As you do this exercise, focus on contracting the quadriceps muscle. Slow and controlled!

Repeat 3×15 each leg

9) Wall squats

Stand straight with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet away from the wall about 6 inches. while keeping your back in contact with the wall, bend your knees and slowly lower your buttocks toward the ground. Keep going until your knees are bent at about a 45-degree angle. Raise your body back up until your knees are straight. Keep your back straight and do not allow your knees to go in front of your toes.

Repeat 3 x as long as you can hold! Challenge yourself.

Make sure to stretch as well. The most important stretches for you are:

1) Illiotibial band stretch

Position yourself by crossing your right leg in front of your left. keep your hands together loosely and start moving to the floor on your right side, your knee locked. You should sense pressure in the anterior part of your left thigh. Keep the stretch for at least 30 seconds minimum. Repeat 2-3x each leg.

2) Hamstring stretch

Stand in an upright position, keep your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold your thighs with your hands, try to keep them steady. straighten out your left leg out into the air until you feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds minimum. Repeat with the right leg.

3) Standing calf stretch

Stand a little less than arm’s distance from the wall. Step your right leg forward and your left leg back, keeping your feet parallel. bend your right knee and press through your left heel. Hold for 30 seconds minimum and switch legs.

Follow Alicia Bell on Twitter


Injury prevention: Tennis Elbow

Alicia Bell - Tennis Elbow - Tony Risling

No doubt you have heard of this injury in past while either watching sports or have personally experienced some symptoms of it. Tennis elbow (properly known as Lateral Epicondylitis) is a chronic, nagging pain on the lateral (outer) aspect of the elbow joint often caused by weakness leading to overuse and overexertion of certain movements. Some other signs include pain when gripping an object, pronation and supination while holding an object or by stiffness throughout the forearm and elbow. The reason it was given the common name of tennis elbow was it was a common injury that was popping up in tennis players, with those at higher levels having a greater incidence of the injury. While not a completely debilitating injury, it is commonly a nagging, persistent annoyance for many while it can manifest itself as a very sharp shooting pain very much like other tendonitis type pains.

Rapid extension of the elbow joint coupled with either forceful pronation (turning palm down) or supination (turning palm up) is one of the primary causes of tennis elbow with both direct impacts and overuse also being major contributors to the frequency of the debilitation. Typically there is minimal inflammation from this but is indicated with pain along the radial nerve as micro tears and adhesions in the tendons at the wrist and/or elbow signal pain.

To help prevent the injury from occurring in the first place or to reverse the symptoms of it, one must directly focus on the structures involved. What this requires is properly warming them up to allow greater blood flow and also performing various stretches for the muscles around the elbow and wrist to ensure that there is adequate flexibility in the muscles and tendons and also that the joints themselves are able to move through their full ranges of motion. Some simples ones are wrist circles, wrist extension and stretching out the hand. As well, ensuring that the muscles and joints are “conditioned” enough to handle repetitive use like in tennis/racket sports by gradually increasing their work capacity over time and learning proper mechanics. One population known for this are the older population who take up tennis, doing some general fitness and stretching before and after will help alleviate symptoms.

Also strengthening up specific muscles will immensely cut down the risk for injury. A few of the major points are the supinators and pronators of the arm, excluding the biceps brachii as it is typically already sufficiently strong. I speak of the smaller, supinator muscle, Pronator quadratus and teres. Some simple ways to do this is at a twin pulley station, adjust the pulley height to be at roughly waist height (approximately the same height as the hand when the elbow is bent to 90 deg). From here using either a small straight bar or a rope attachment, perform both pronation and supination of the wrist while keeping the elbow bent to 90 degrees. To  do this, stand beside the pulley with it beside your elbow while you are looking sideways to the pulley, grab the attachment with your furthest hand (if right side is beside pulley, grab with left hand) for supination and closest hand for pronation. From here if you are doing supination start with the palm facing the floor and turn your palm up, in the case of pronation, do this in reverse. This will help strengthen the muscles to be able to handle greater external load demands like striking a ball in with a racket. Performing relatively higher reps, 10-15 reps with a slow eccentric and fast concentric is best while holding a pause at the end of each range.

Another common issue is that people are generally far stronger in elbow flexion movements when the hands are supinated (regular bicep curl) while being pronated (reverse curl) they are significantly weaker. This large imbalance on its own over time can manifest it in the form of tendonitis so as opposed to always doing regular curls, for a time being exclude them completely and focus on reverse grip and neutral (hammer) grip curling movements to bring these muscles all up to par.

For more visit, Follow on Twitter: @TonyRislin

Check out this Under Armour Video featuring. Two ACL surgeries and he never gave up on his dream. What an amazing story. Truly Inspirational.


Today Kobe posted a video of him rehabbing his injury. Looks like he is doing great. Check out the video below:

Excited to get introduced to RockTape next week at Toronto's Canfit pro conference. I've been taping a lot this year since I tore my ACL in September 2012 and even more post op. I  have tried almost every brand and have found to enjoy Rock Tape a lot. Next week I am getting a first hand introduction from Leslie Trotter the President of Rocktape Canada.

Check out the Rocktape commercial below:

Do you have a preferred tape? Comment below and let me know what brand and why?


Kobe suffered an injury to his achilles tendon last night against the Golden State Warriors. I know how he feels about injuring himself and coming back. Achilles is one of the hardest injuries to recover from. I had ACL and apparently it doesnt even compare to the achilles, and ACL was tough. Is tough.

Kobe took to his facebook yesterday:

He posted  "Why the hell did this happen ?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I'm supposed to come back from this and be the same player Or better at 35?!?"

He then adds;  "One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence. Today is NOT that day."