This week, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to our good friend Mike Ryan, PT, ATC, PES. Mike is the Head Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and the founder of MikeRyanFitness.com, an incredible resource for free sports medicine dedicated to keeping mature athletes healthy and active. Outside from his professional life, Mike’s also a dedicated athlete and fellow mudder. The 25-year NFL veteran is a 6-time Ironman triathlon finisher with a personal best of 10 hours & 36 minutes at the age of 46!
The Injury Xchange
Here’s the best part… through our newest feature – the Injury Xchange – Mike will share his expertise with the Mud Run Maniac community, providing exclusive articles on sports medicine, injury prevention, rehab, nutrition and more! How cool is that? So, without further adieu, I bring you the first edition of the Injury Xchange with Mike Ryan: Lower Extremity Injury Prevention.
Thanks Mike! Cheers!
Lower Extremity Injury Prevention
Training for a mud run is not easy and staying injury-free is a high priority for racers young and old. Too many of us have been forced to limit our workouts and race schedule because of a preventable injury.
A combination of injury prevention techniques, proper gear and smart training will significantly reduce your chances of being injured.
Let me share with you simple sports medicine tips to keep you injury-free in 2012 to help you take on those mud runs and adventure races healthy and strong!
Avoiding Lower Extremity Injuries
Sprained ankles, hamstring strains and Achilles tendon injuries are considered to be the “Big 3” when it comes to lower extremity injuries for mud runners. A combination of injury prevention techniques, proper gear and smart training will significantly reduce your chances of being injured.
I’d like to share with you sports medicine tips to help you avoid lower extremity injuries to keep you healthy and ready to play in the mud.
- Rolling Away Your Pain – Consistently using a firm roller for your quads, IT bands, hamstrings and calves is a very simple and effective way to increase soft-tissue mobility and decrease pain. Using the roller both before and after every workout and race is one of my secrets. The roller is not always comfortable so toughen up and trust in it’s benefits.
- Preventing Ankle Sprains – Include easy barefoot agility drills on grass/sand, side shuffles, figure 8’s, and on-hands-and-feet crawling into your weekly workout routine. Performing these exercises 1-2 times per week is a great way to strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons associated with your ankles.
- Ice is Your Friend – If you want to keep the small aches from becoming big pain, you need to implement cryotherapy or ice therapy into your daily routine. The use of an ice bag, an ice massage or the granddaddy of cold therapy, the ice bucket, should become a common habit following all of your workouts/races. A typical ten (10) minute treatment time is all you need to reduce lower extremity swelling and supercharge your recovery.
- Preventing Muscle Strains – Adding simple lower extremity flexibility exercises, yoga/pilates and massage therapy to your routine will help keep your quads, hamstrings and calves healthy. Elevating your legs while pumping your ankle after your hard workouts is a simple way to accelerate the recovery of your legs.
- Smart Mud Run Supplies – Calf-high compression socks, high-top water-friendly shoes with extra ankle stabilizing straps and performance compression shorts are supplies of the smart athlete interested in avoiding injuries.
Mike Ryan, PT, ATC, PES is currently the Head Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League. The 25-year NFL veteran is a 6-time Ironman triathlon finisher with a personal best of 10 hours & 36 minutes at the age of 46.
Mike is the President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society’s Research & Educational Foundation and a member of numerous NFL and youth sports medicine committees. An established international lecturer and fitness enthusiast, Mike Ryan founded MikeRyanFitness.com to share his sports medicine expertise with athletes, young and old.
Mike takes great pride in reinforce his personal mission statement: To Enhance the Health of Others.
Got a Question? Ask Mike!
Need help with a sports injury, nutrition or rehab? Wanna talk sports medicine? Ask Mike in the comments below. While you’re at it, go ahead and spread the word about the Injury Xchange by hitting one of those share buttons! Thanks!