Amy Thomas, LMBT, CNMT     912.617.0065

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sharing some information from Dr. Lynne......

Athlete's Corner by Dr. Lynne   
Athletic Fatigue

As we approach the last 6 weeks of the NASCAR Season, one major theme is very
evident to myself as a practitioner, everyone is so tired! Drivers, mechanics, officials, media, pitcrew, motorcoach drivers, and all the support staff in every series. We’re exhausted. It’s been almost 32 weeks so far this year, with 6 more weeks to go! NASCAR is the longest professional sporting season out of all sports. The more tired that everyone gets, the more injuries/illnesses of all types that start to show their ugly faces.

Our recovery time is slower, our breaking point is faster, and there just isn’t time to let it heal. Plus those teams that are now in the running for their respective championships are supposed to be in their best shape of all year, and their trainers are pushing them Fatigue, like aging, is an inevitable feature in the career of any athlete. Fatigue is both a physical and a mental state, representing that point in a difficult training session or competition when the body demonstrates a reduced ability to work efficiently, with a feeling of weariness that cannot be mentally overcome. Fatigue can develop over a short period of time in the course of an event or in practice. It may also slowly develop in the athlete as a cumulative effect after weeks or months of intense physical effort, and this to me is the effect of the NASCAR season.

As fatigue can occur in both training and in competitive situations, it is a condition
largely determined by the approach taken by an athlete to workouts. Both the duration of training sessions and their intensity are factors underlying the presence of fatigue. The relationship between workouts and a competitive schedule is also an important consideration. The existence of fatigue, and the ability of the body to overcome its effects, is also closely linked to diet and nutrition, the quality of sleep enjoyed by the athlete, scheduled recovery periods, and external factors such as employment pressures, educational studies, and injury. A season that is full of travel on the road, in air planes, multiple days away from home, different beds, hotels, eating out, long hours, and no time left at home, is a recipe for athletic fatigue.

Fatigue has a pronounced impact upon the central nervous system and its functions. An example: A fatigued system will tend to have a heightened sensitivity to cold, as well as a reduced ability to maintain a body temperature to prevent the onset of hypothermia. (Tired sailors who fall into cold water will tend to have their body temperature fall at twice the rate as those who enter the same waters but are otherwise relatively rested). A fatigued system cannot fight off common colds, everyday aches and pains, and suddenly everything becomes amplified and worse. Therefore injuries that could have otherwise healed, are now an intense problem and present a problem on continuing on with the

The best way to combat athletic fatigue is to stay ahead of the game! We don’t get to shorten the season, and we hope our season doesn’t get shortened for us, so we have to last to the end. Obviously a well rounded diet is important, sleeping well makes a huge impact, but another added benefit is taking care of the little physical injuries before they become a big problem that holds you back. Take care of those little tweeks before they become major injuries. Do not ignore those small subtle signs that your body is telling you.

Micro traumas (repeated small injuries) add up over time, and at some point they cross your body’s threshold and turn into physical damage. Your body’s threshold toward off small injuries is decreased when you are fatigued. Maintaining proper joint and muscle alignment helps keep everything running smoothly, and even stimulates your central nervous system to “perk it up” and keep you functioning at a better more alert level. Chiropractic adjustments to your problem areas, and even just for a tune- up all over, can help you make it to the end of the long hard season problem free and performing at your best in your respective occupation.


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