Stress Fractures

stress. fractures, tibia, fibula

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

A stress fracture is an overuse injury. Human body creates a new bone to replace a bone that has been broken due to the stress of everyday life. This process is done every day to keep the balance. Unfortunately, this balance can be disrupted because of excessive physical training. There are several factors that can prevent the body from creating enough bone and this make microcracking, called « fracture stress ».

The most common factor of fracture stress is an excessive increase in the intensitiy or frequency of physical activity without adequate rest period. Other factors are nutritional deficiencies, mechanical influences, lack of sleep, systemic factors (hormonal imbalance, etc.) and metabolic bone disorders.

There are case of development of eating disorders and/or amenorrhea (infrequent menstrual periods) for some female athletes who are preparing for a competition. These 2 conditions can create a decrease in estrogen that can decrease bone mineral density. This increase the risk of stress fractures.

Stress fractures are often seen in athletes (especially runners) or military recruiting. For an athlete, 1.6km run is 110 tons of force absorbed by the legs. Bones aren’t made to resist this force (energy) so it’s the muscles that have the function of absorbing shocks.

When the muscles get tired, they stop absorbing the forces and eveything transferred to the bones. Stress fractures occur in almost all bones but are more common in lower bone, expecially the tibia. Depending on the type of sport, there’re distinctive stress fractures such as the elbow in throwing sports, the ribs in golfing and rowing, the spine in gymnastics, the lower extremity in running activities and the foot in gymnastics and bascketball.

Diagnosis

stress, fracture, foot, metatarsal, 5th
stress, fracture, foot, x-rays, metatarsal,2nd

Stress fractures create pain in a limited area directly above the tip of the bone where the fracture occurred. The pain is raw because of physical activity and relived with rest. The sensitivity of the bones is the most obvious conclusion to the physical examination.

With regard to X-rays, this isn’t a tool that actually helps to diagnose an early stress fracture because the bone often looks normal and the microcracking aren’t visible. It’s difficult because after several weeks of rest, the bone begins to repair itself and shows a healing reaction or callus on X-rays.

An early stress fracture is usually confirmed by a bone scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment

Stress fractures are generally classified as low-risk (will not become a serious fracture) or high-risk (will become a serious fracture).

Low-risk stress fractures usually require a rest period of 1-6 weeks of limited weight bearing activity progressing to full weight bearing may be necessary. Return to physical activity should be a gratual process.

Low impact activities like swimming or biking are recommended to maintain cardiovascular condition when the pain is gone. When the patient can comfortably perform low impact activities for long, pain-free periods, the patient can begin high-impact activities.

High-risk stress fracture have the danger of becoming a complete fracture. For athletes suffering from chronic pain and having normal x-rays results, it’s recommanded to use a bone scan or MRI. High-risk stress fractures should be treated as traumatic fractures (with cast or surgery) because of complications.

Prevent

food, vitamin,d, carrot, papay, meat, ,egg, chees, broccoli, fish, sweet, potato, mango, pepperoni, apricot, peach, melon, avocado
calcium, food, almond, amarant, grain, aparagus, apricot, artichoke, baked, bean, haricot, blackberry, blackstrap, molasse, blackcurrant, bok, choy, brazil, nut, bread, wholemeal, brocolly, chickpeas, cinnamon, edamame, soya, fennel, kale, kidney, olive, orange, sesame, seed, milk, spring, green, tofu, swede, walnut, watercress

Here are tips developed by AAOS to help to prevent stress fractures :

  • When an athete does a new sport activity, it’s necessary to program progressive goals. For example on the 1st day, don’t run 8km but rather increase the distance gradually per week.
  • Cross-training => Alternate activities to achieve the same fitness goal helps to avoid stress fracture injuries. For example to achieve a cardiovascular goal, alternate cycling and running (cycling one day and riding the other day) is excellent. Adding strength training and doing flexibility exercises help improve performance.
  • Have and maintain a heathy diet with foods rich in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Use good equipment. Don’t use running shoes, gloves, etc, very old and very worn.
  • If during physical activity it start to swell or the pain starts, stop the activity right away. It’s essential to rest for a few days. If the pain continue, you should see an orthopedic surgeon.
  • It’s important to recognize early symptoms and treat them appropriately to return to the sport with a normal level of play.

Stats

  • Stress fractures occur less frequently in those of black African descent than in Caucasians, due to a generally higher BMD (bone mineral densitiy) in the former.
  • Women and highly active individuals are also at a higher risk, The incidence probably also increases with age due to age-related reductions in BMD.
  • Children may also be at risk because their bones have yet to reach full density and strength.
  • The female athlete triad also can put women at risk, as disordered eating and osteoporosis can cause the bones to be severely weakened.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Articular Cartilage Injuries

articular cartilage injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interessted in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Definition

Articular cartilage is difficult to understand because there are 3 types of cartilages in the body : articular of hyaline cartilage (covers joint surfaces), fibrocartilage (knee meniscus, vertebral disk) and elastic cartilage (outer ear). These cartilage’s types differ in their structure, elasticity and strength.

Articular cartilage is a complex element, it’s a living tissue that is on the joint’s surface. The function is to provide a low friction surface to allow the joint to withstand weight loads through the range of motion needed to perform activity of daily living. To put it simply, articular cartilage is a very thin shock absorber. It’s built in 5 distinct layers and each layer has a structural and biochemical difference.

Injury

articular cartilage injury

Articular cartilage injury may be due to trauma or progressive degeneration (wear and tear). This can be mechanical destruction, a direct blow or other trauma. The healing of articular cartilage cells depends on the severity of the damage and the location of the lesion. Articular cartilage has no direct blood supply so it has very little ability to repair itself. It the lesion penetrates the bone under the cartilage, the bone provides blood in the area which improves the chances of healing.

Mechanical degeneration (wear and tear) of articular cartilage occurs with progressive loss of normal cartilage structure and function. This loss begins with the softening of the cartilage, then progresses to fragmentation. As the loss of articular cartilage lining continue, the underlying bone no longer has any protections against normal wear and tear of daily life and begins to get damaged leading to osteoarthritis.

In many cases, a patient experiences knee swelling and vague pain. At this stage, continuous physical activity isn’t possible. If a loose body is present, words such as « locking » or « catching » might be used to explain the problem. With wear and tear , the patient often experiences stiffness, decreased range of motion, joint pain and/or swelling.

Diagnostic

The physician examines the knee to look for a decrease in range of motion, pain along the joint line, swelling, fluid on the knee, abnormal alignment of the joint’s bones, and ligament or meniscal injury.

Cartilage lesions are difficult to diagnose and it’s possible that the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or arthroscopy may be necessary. Plain X- rays don’t usually diagnose articular cartilage problems but they used to rule out other abnormalities.

Treatment

articular cartilage injury treatment

 

Articular cartilage injury that doesn’t penetrate the bone doesn’t repair itself. A lesion that penetrates the bone can heal but the type of cartilage created is structurally unorganized and doesn’t work as well as the original cartilage.

Lesion less than 2 cm have the best prognosis and the best treatment options. These options are arthroscopic surgery using techniques to remove damaged cartilage and increase blood flow from the underlying bone (drilling, pick procedure or microfracture ).

For smaller lesion of articular cartilage surgery is not required.

For larger lesion, it’s necessary to transplant the articular cartilage from another area of the body. Talk to your doctor or specialist to have more information about the decision to have a surgical operation.

For patients with osteoarthritis, non-surgical treatment consists of physical therapy, lifestyle modification (for example reducing activity), bracing, supportive devices, oral and injection drugs (like non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, cartilage protective drugs) and medical management.

Surgical options depend on the severity of osteoarthritis and may provide a reduction in symptoms that are usually short-lived. Total osteoarthritis may relieve the symptom of advanced osteoarthritis but this usually requires a change in the lifestyle and/or level of activity of the patient.

Statistics

Based on published studies, the overall prevalence of articular cartilage injury in the knee is 36% among all athlete and 59% among asymptomatic basketball players and runners.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know.

-Steph

Back To The Source Of Equipment (Part 1)

source water rhone

I read a Nerd Fitness articles  and I learned good stuff.

When I began, I went is a small gym at Sous-Moulin . It was a gym in sport center for volleyball, basketball, soccer players. There were only machines (because people stole dumbbells) and when we were 10 people, the gym was full.

2 years later, I went in a real gym. I’ll not lie to you the first time I was alone and I was afraid to the free weight section because I was afraid of hurting myself. But I had so much desire to have the 50 Cent’s body that I watched several times exercice’s video on Youtube and I did it.

On internet, there is a lot of excellent video that explain how to do squat, deadlift, etc. I downloaded videos of my workout program on my smartphone to heard instructions in the gym to do it right. It’s funny, I still have these videos on my smartphone and on my Cloud.

Now I feel good in a gym, I share with you gym’s basic principles and equipment that you’ll see most often. You’ll not have a loser’s head like me the first time.

Gyms filled to the maximum of equipment but you don’t need to use all of them to do an effective strength training. I’ll talk to you about basic equipment.

First time

first time

It’s easy to lose your mind the first time when you go in a gym. There is a lot of things and everyone seems to know what to do.

The most of gyms have :

  • Cardio zone (treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, etc)

  • Free weight zone

  • Group fitness room

  • Locker rooms

There are gyms that have pool, sauna, jacuzzi but it depends.

The fist time you go in a gym, it’s normal to ask for a visit. It’s important to do it because even if you’re used to gyms, you don’t know where are equipements you want to use. It would be a shame if you miss something. I don’t really remember but it was 6 months that I was in a gym and I discovered by chance, hidden in a corner, a machine to work calves.

Free Weight

free wieghts gym

During the visit you’ll see a lot of equipements. Personally I find that the gym’s staff concentrates enormously on machines and cardio during visits. It’s a shame because it’s the least interesting part. Let’s go to the free weight zone.

Barbells can have a size from 1.2m to 2.4m (4’-8 feet) long and a diameter from 25mm – 51mm (0.98’’ – 2’’).

Olympic bar

olympic bar

It’s the standard training barbell (Olympic men’s barbell). This bar is 2.2m (7.2 ft) long and weight 20kg (45lbs). The Olympic bar has bearings that make it spin nicely to help assist the Olympic lift, snatch and the clean and jerk.

There are also gyms that have « woman bar » is 2.1m (6.9 ft) long and weight 15kg (33lbs). There is also smaller bar to lift weight between 4.5kg – 13.6kg (10lbs – 30lbs).

Fixed weight bars

fixed weights bar

This is a small barbell with weights already fixed on it. They’re usually located next to dumbbells.

Dumbbells

dumbbell

There are several dumbbell’s design but it’s just for the style. Weights are from 0.45kg to 90kg (1lbs – 200lbs).

Ez-Curl bars

ez-curls bar

This bar is special because it is short and it has « W » form. This bar is only use for curls. I use this bar to do curls because with a normal bar, I have wrist pain, it’s my morphology (read this article). So if you hurt when you do curls with a normal bar, use that one.

Trap bar

trap bar

You can also name this bar « hex bar ». This bar has a hexagonal shape and allows you to be in the middle to lift weights with a neutral grip. This bar allows you to do deadlift and shrugs but it’s not an indispensable bar. Olympic bar is indispensable.

Safety squat bar, Cambered bars, Apollon’s axe, Strongman logs (and others)

safety squat bar cambered bars strongman logs

Theses bars aren’t necessary but it doesn’t mean that it’s useless to use them from time to time. If the gym specialized for Powerlifting, you’ll find these bars.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. To read Part 2, click here.

Rest Day

rest day

I read a Nerd Fitness article  about rest day and I want to share this with you.

Training program

In each training program, there is at least one rest day. During your training, you make micro breaks in your muscles and it takes around 24-48 hours to repair. There are no mental or physical benefits of training non-stop. We don’t want to destroy our muscles without giving them a chance to become stronger.

What we’re supposed to do during the rest days ?

It’s coming, it’s coming.

Plan your rest days

The problem with most people is that they use rest day as a « cheat day ». Because it’s a day without training, they don’t think to stay physically fit and do anything.

THIS IS NOT GOOD !

Remember that training only corresponds to 20% and food 80% of the equation to have a good physical condition.

Program your rest days as your program your training days. This isn’t a day off like at school or at work, it’s a rest day.

Program activities in your rest day like stretching or prepare all the meals for the week.

My rest day is cardio and stretching.

Stretching

stretching

After a training day, our muscles have micro breaks and are very tight during weight lifting. For this reason stretching is great to do during rest day to work on your flexibility and your mobility. It’s a good idea to have a strong body but if you can’t move your body correctly to use it well, all this is useless.

A fun activity

Genetically we’re designed to move, we aren’t designed to sit more than 60 hours per week. This means that during our rest days, we have to work on our happiness and stay active simultaneously.

A fun activity can be different for each person :

  • Ride a bike

  • Jogging

  • Play football / basketball

  • Swim

  • Go hiking

  • Rock climbing

  • Learn a martial art like Taekwondo, Kung fu or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

  • Take a dance class

  • Try Live Action Role-Playing

No matter what it is, do an activity you like to do, an activity that makes you smile. The only important thing is to do an activity that moves your body and it doesn’t need to be an exhausting activity.

Yoga or Tai Chi

yoga

tai chi

These two activities are a perfect complement to your training. Training makes you stronger but it makes stiff our muscles too.

Yoga or Tai Chi lengthens our muscle and our tendons, aids in their recovery and helps our body to develop a better mobility and flexibility.

Now with YouTube, you can find videos about stretching and Yoga or Tai Chi but maybe you prefer to subscribe to a class, it’s up to you.

Stay focus on your goal even a day without training.

What is your rest day program ?

-Steph

PS: Do you want a free training program? Click 

Jour de repos

rest day

J’ai lu un article de Nerd Fitness  concernant le jour de repos et j’ai envie de partager ça avec toi.

Programme d’entraînement

Dans chaque programme d’entraînement, il y a au moins un jour de repos. Pendant ton entraînement, tu fais des micros cassures dans tes muscles et il faut environ 24-48 heures pour les réparer. Il n’y a pas de bénéfices mental ou physique de s’entraîner non-stop. Nous ne voulons pas détruire nos muscles sans leurs donner une chance de devenir plus forts.

Qu’est-ce que nous sommes supposer faire pendant les jours de repos ?

Cela arrive, cela arrive

Programmer tes jours de repos

Le problème de la majorité des gens, c’est qu’ils utilisent le jour de repos comme « cheat day ». Parce que c’est un jour sans entraînement, ils ne pensent plus à rester en bonne forme physique et font n’importe quoi.

C’EST PAS BIEN !

Souviens-toi que l’entraînement correspond seulement à 20 % et l’alimentation à 80 % de l’équation pour avoir une bonne condition physique.

Programme tes jours de repos comme tes jours d’entraînement. Ce n’est pas un jour de congé comme à l’école ou au travail, c’est un jour de repos.

Programme des activités dans ton jour de repos comme faire du stretching ou préparer tous les repas de la semaine.

Mon jour de repos c’est du cardio et du stretching.

Stretching

stretching

Après un jour d’entraînement, nos muscles ont des micros cassures et sont très tendu durant les soulevé s de poids. Pour cette raison le stretching est excellent à faire durant le jour de repos pour travailler ta flexibilité et ta mobilité. C’est une bonne idée d’avoir un corps puissant mais si tu ne peux pas bouger ton corps correctement pour bien l’utiliser, tout ça ne sert à rien.

Une activité amusante

Génétiquement nous sommes fait pour bouger, nous ne sommes pas fait pour être assis plus de 60 heures par semaine. Ce qui signifie que pendant nos jours de repos nous devons travailler sur notre bonheur et rester actif en même temps.

Une activité amusante peut être différente pour chaque personne :

  • Faire du vélo

  • Faire du jogging

  • Faire du football/basketball

  • Nager

  • Faire une randonnée

  • Faire de l’escalade

  • Faire un art martial comme le Taekwondo, Kung Fu ou Jiu Jitsu Brésilien

  • Prendre un cours de danse

  • Faire un jeu de rôle en grandeur nature

Peut importe ce que c’est, fais une activité que tu aimes faire, une activité qui te donne le sourire. La seule chose importante c’est de faire une activité qui fait bouger ton corps et cela n’a pas besoin d’être une activité épuisante.

Yoga ou Tai Chi

yoga

tai chi

C’est deux activités sont un parfait complément pour ton entraînement. L’entraînement nous rend plus fort mais cela rend nos muscles plus raides aussi.

Le Yoga ou le Tai Chi allonge nos muscle et nos tendons, les aide dans leur rétablissement et aide notre corps à développer une meilleur mobilité et flexibilité.

Maintenant avec YouTube, tu peux trouver des cours sur le stretching et le Yoga ou le Tai Chi mais peut être que tu préfères t’inscrire dans une classe, à toi de voir.

Reste concentrer sur ton objectif même un jour sans entraînement.

Quel est le programme de ton jour de repos ?

-Steph

PS : Tu veux un programme d’entraînement gratuit ? Clique ici 

Choose The Gym

choose gym

You know, it’s important to choose the gym to achieve your objectives. Often I was training in gym that weren’t well equipped to help me evolve. And do you know why ? It was because of the price.

Later, studying the professional bodybuilders lifestyle , I found that they could spend $ 1,000 per week only for food. This is clearly more than the annual subscription in a gym, it’s awesome, right ? This is what Jay Cutler spends on food.

centre sportif sous-moulin

Listen, I started with a bench and two dumbbells in my bedroom. Then in the gym of the sports center « Sous-Moulin ». It was really, really cheap, CHF 200.- per year. But there was no dumbbells, no barbells. There were 2 bikes, 4 upper body machines , 1 Leg Press, 1 cable machine, one treadmill. It wasn’t a bodybuilding gym but it was for players of soccer, basketball, volleyball and ice hockey. After 1-2 years, I lifted almost all the weight in the machines.

Then I changed to go to the gym « Silhouette » which is equipped for bodybuilders but it was CHF 800.- per year. It was next to my work. After I moved, changed jobs and I go to another gym « Silhouette » but it cost CHF 1,200 per year. After 6 months, I hadn’t paid for everything so they blocked my access.

silhouette

For 2 years, I’m not trained because I really had money problems. But I missed it so much (my 2 dumbbells were too light) I told myself that now I will make an investment on my body as I make an investment with my studies.

I returned to the sports center « Sous-Moulin » (they changed nothing) and the same, 1-2 years after I changed. This time for the gym « Non-Stop Gym », CHF 550.- per year. Everything was fine, the heaviest dumbells were 32.5kg (71.65lbs), I thought I was going to take a long time before use it. After 6 months, a gym’s member tells me that I look him bad. People stop us, calm down.

non-stop gym

1 month after, he seemed to attack me by surprise, people stop us but he insists aggressively. I do what I have to do, the gym’s staff watch the video and tell me I did more than defend myself, our subscriptions are terminated.

In disaster, I find a gym « Fitness Park » after the border which costs me EUR 350.- per year. I’m in the gym since 1 year and I lift 34kg (74.95lbs) dumbell benchpress. « Non-Stop Gym » hadn’t 50kg (110.2lbs) dumbbells. Right now this « Fitness Park » grows and attracts more and more bodybuilders and Crossfit athletes.

fitness park

I decided to make a Men’s Physique competition in 2018 and this gym is perfect for me to achieve this goal. But have you seen my journey, when I took the decision to invest in my body as my studies, I focused on the equipment’s quality to reach my goals.

An investment have results in the long-term, choose a gym, it’s similar. The sports center « Sous-Moulin » was a waste of time and money.

And you ? How do you choose your gym?

-Steph

Choisir Le Gym

choose gym

Tu sais, c’est important de bien choisir le gym pour atteindre tes objectifs. Souvent je m’entraînais dans des endroits qui n’étaient pas bien équipé pour m’aider à évoluer. Et tu sais pourquoi ? C’était à cause du prix.

Plus tard, en étudiant le style de vie des bodybuilders professionnels, j’ai découvert qu’ils pouvaient dépenser $ 1000.- par semaine, uniquement pour la nourriture. C’est clairement plus que l’abonnement annuel dans un gym, c’est impressionnant, non ? C’est ce que dépense Jay Cutler en nourriture.

centre sportif sous-moulin

Ecoute, moi, j’ai commencé avec un banc et 2 haltères dans ma chambre. Puis dans le gym du centre sportif de « Sous-Moulin ». C’était vraiment, vraiment pas cher, CHF 200.- par année. Mais il n’y avait pas d’haltères, pas de barre. Il y avait 2 vélos, 4 machines pour le haut du corps, 1 Leg Press, 1 machine à câble, 1 tapis de course. Ce n’était pas un gym pour le bodybuilding mais pour les joueurs de football, basketball, volleyball et hockey sur glace. Après 1-2 ans, je soulevais presque tout les poids des machines.

Ensuite, j’ai changé pour aller dans le gym « Silhouette » qui est équipé pour les bodybuilders mais c’était CHF 800.- par an. C’était à côté de mon travail. Après j’ai déménagé, changé de travail et je suis aller dans un autre gym Silhouette mais il coûtait CHF 1200 par an. Après 6 mois, j’avais pas tout payé donc ils m’ont bloqué l’accès.

silhouette

Pendant 2 ans, je ne me suis plus entraîné parce que j’avais vraiment des problèmes d’argent. Mais ça me manquait tellement (mes 2 haltères étaient trop léger) que je me suis dit que maintenant je vais faire un investissement sur mon corps comme je fais un investissement avec mes études.

Je suis retourné au centre sportif de « Sous-Moulin » (ils n’avaient rien changé) et la même chose, 1-2 ans après j’ai changé. Cette fois pour le gym « Non-Stop Gym », CHF 550.- par an. Tout allait bien, les haltères les plus lourds étaient à 32.5kg (71.65lbs), je me disais que j’allais mettre longtemps avant de les soulevé. 6 mois après, il y a un membre du gym qui me raconte que je le regarde de travers. Des personnes nous séparent, ça se calme.

non-stop gym

1 mois après, il fait semblait de m’attaquer par surprise, des personnes nous séparent mais il insiste agressivement. Je fais ce que j’ai à faire, la direction regarde la vidéo et me dit que j’ai fait plus que me défendre, nos abonnements sont résiliés.

En catastrophe, je trouve un « Fitness Park » après de la frontière qui me coûte EUR 350.- par année. Cela fait 1 an que je suis dans ce gym et je soulève 34kg (74.95lbs) au développé couché avec les haltères. « Non-Stop Gym » n’avait pas des haltères de 50kg (110.2lbs). En ce moment ce « Fitness Park » s’agrandit et attire de plus en plus de bodybuilders et des athlètes de Crossfit.

fitness park

J’ai pris la décision de faire une compétition en Men’s Physique en 2018 et ce gym est parfait pour que je puisse atteindre cette objectif. Mais t’as vu mon parcours, dès que j’ai pris la décision d’investir dans mon corps comme pour mes études, je me suis concentré sur la qualité de l’équipement pour atteindre mes objectifs.

Un investissement c’est des résultats sur le long terme, choisir un gym, c’est pareil. Le centre sportif de « Sous-Moulin » était une perte de temps et d’argent.

Et toi ? Comment tu fais pour choisir ton gym ?

-Steph