Managing Injuries for Fitness Professionals February 17, 2019
Featuring Dr. Tim Latham by Chi Bang
A common theme which we have all encountered in our lives is… INJURIES. When we face these grueling and sometimes incapacitating bouts with injuries, we are often left feeling helpless and hopeless. So, therefore today’s blog will highlight some of the most commonly seen injuries in the gym and what is the most effective coping strategies in order to not exacerbate the symptoms and injure ourselves further.
Today I have the honor of having Dr. Tim and Laura Latham at my studio for my quick Q&A. Tim and Laura are the founders of Back Bay Health in Boston. Text will be the abbreviated and abridged version of the interview. For the full interview, check out the video interview at the bottom of this blog.
Chi: Tim, please tell us a little about yourselves, your background. How did you decide to enter the fitness industry?
Tim: I was an athlete with nagging shoulder injuries from increased frequency that no one could figure out. Upon choosing a major, I decided to go into the rehab field. I had a positive experience with chiropractors so I decided to pursue that with a focus on sports rehabilitation into grad school. I then went and got a masters in human nutrition to diversify and also studied exercise science and became a strength and conditioning coach to integrate all of the above.
Chi: Please speak to us about how you take what you do and apply it to the fitness industry.
Tim: Pain, rehab and pain management has traditionally been separated into different silos. There is this chasm in what happens in the physical therapy clinic and what happens in the fitness industry. What we’re (with his wife Laura) trying to do is bring it all together to bridge the gap between physical therapy and fitness.
Chi: Chiropractors have traditionally had a negative stigma associated with it due to its unconventional approach to therapy. Can you speak to us about how your approach differs than traditional chiropractic approaches?
Tim: A lot of it stems from the old guard in chiropractic. They were always clashing with medical professionals and were set in their ways. They saw deviation from spinal alignment as the root of all evil. We (Laura and Tim) are expanding our viewpoint of what health looks like and have borrowed tools from other professions. At the end of the day we are trying to have people feel better, move better, eat whole foods, manage stress well and sleep better… that’s where the magic happens.
Chi: Based on all patients you have seen in your careers, what would be the top 5 injuries? Please list them highest to lowest frequencies.
Tim: Because we are chiropractors by trade, most of the people who contact us have neck and back pain. If we had to list specific injuries: low back disc herniations, neck disc herniations, low back sprains, hip impingement and rotator cuff pathology. Low back, neck, hip, shoulders would be the most common.
Chi: Regarding your upcoming workshop titled “Gainz despite Pains,” can you speak to us about who should attend this and what they should expect to take away from it?
Tim: Anyone in the fitness/wellness field, anyone who works with people from a movement perspective, rehab professionals, physical therapist, chiropractors, fitness professionals, strength and conditioning coaches… anyone who might see someone who is injured would be a good candidate to attend. Most importantly we’ll be looking at preventing injuries and properly managing injuries once they are here. We want to give tools to work around injuries and optimally correct them.
We will discuss the myriad of factors that go into people getting hurt in the first place and people becoming chronic pain patients instead of continuing to work in the gym… again, we’re going to try and bridge that gap. Teach people what pain means, how to manage load, biomechanics and technique, the importance of stress and sleep and how that plays a role… and touch on nutrition a bit too. Our goal is to provide practical take home tools for people to start integrating on Monday morning.
Chi: How about people who are not fitness professionals and maybe looking for a way to manage their own pain, would this be a workshop for them as well?
Tim: Yes, absolutely. If you are seasoned in fitness and training and have experience with injuries and want to learn some fundamental principles to remain pain free or managing pain, yes absolutely. I would be suit someone who is familiar with human anatomy and physiology but yes.