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Choices – no matter how big or how small, these are decisions that we make every day of our lives. Of course some are more apparent than others, and some we don’t even realize we make out of complete habit. When you really break things down to the details, thinking about all of our choices that we make can be very overwhelming.

One of the choices that we make as individuals part of our Crossfit community is to go to class and (hopefully) make it a great day to be there. This is what I want you to think about now. . . . . why do you choose to go? Maybe you’re sweating for the wedding. Trying to lose weight. Are on the road to making it to Regionals. In need of Barbell therapy from life. Or maybe simply you go because it’s part of who you are. No matter why you may choose to go, the most important thing is that you are doing this for YOU. Not for anyone else, but for you.

It’s too easy to get caught up in the rat race, lose track of time and knowing why we are doing what we do. Easier said than done, but staying focused on your goals and using your “why” as a motivator will reflect in the choices you make over time. If you’re not happy with something, change it. If you want to accomplish something, work for it. The more positivity you reflect in your choices the happier you will be. If you don’t believe me I challenge you to try it for a few months and if you don’t feel happier I’ll do 500 burpees.

Every day you are making choices. You make the choice of whether to be miserable or as happy as a clam. You make the choice of what to be involved in and who you want in your life. You are living your life for YOU. Make each day a great day. Remember this, “You have a choice. You can throw in the towel or you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face.”

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Jumper’s knee — also known as patellar tendonitis or patellar tendinopathy — is an inflammation or injury of the patellar tendon, the cord-like tissue that joins the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shin bone). Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury (when repeated movements cause tissue damage or irritation to a particular area of the body).
Constant jumping, landing, and changing direction can cause strains, tears, and damage to the patellar tendon. So kids who regularly play sports that involve a lot of repetitive jumping — like track and field (particularly high-jumping), basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, running, and soccer — can put a lot of strain on their knees.
Jumper’s knee can seem like a minor injury that isn’t really that serious. Because of this, many athletes keep training and competing and tend to ignore the injury or attempt to treat it themselves. But it’s important to know that jumper’s knee is a serious condition that can get worse over time and ultimately require surgery. Early medical attention and treatment can help prevent continued damage to the knee.

How the Knee Works

To understand how jumper’s knee happens, it helps to understand how the knee works. The knee, which is the largest joint in the body, provides stability to the leg and allows it to bend, swivel, and straighten. Several parts of the body interact to allow the knee to function properly:
  • Bones like the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap) give the knee the strength needed to support the weight of the body. The bones that meet at the knee allow it to bend smoothly.
  • Muscles provide the tug on the bones needed to bend, straighten, and support joints. The muscles around the knee include the quadriceps (at the front of the thigh) and the hamstring (on the back of the thigh). The quadriceps muscle helps straighten and extend the leg, and the hamstring helps bend the knee.
  • Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. The tendons in the front of the knee are the quadriceps tendon and the patellar tendon. The quadriceps tendon connects to the top of the patella and allows the leg to extend. The patellar tendon connects to the bottom of the kneecap and attaches to the top of the tibia.
  • Similar to tendons, ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to other bones.
By working together, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments enable the knee to move, bend, straighten, provide strength to jump, and stabilize the leg for landing.

About Jumper’s Knee

When the knee is extended, the quadriceps muscle pulls on the quadriceps tendon, which in turn pulls on the patella. Then, the patella pulls on the patellar tendon and the tibia and allows the knee to straighten. In contrast, when bending the knee, the hamstring muscle pulls on the tibia, which causes the knee to flex.
In jumper’s knee, the patellar tendon is damaged. Since this tendon is crucial to straightening the knee, damage to it causes the patella to lose any support or anchoring. This causes pain and weakness in the knee, and leads to difficulty in straightening the leg.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of jumper’s knee include:
  • pain directly over the patellar tendon (or more specifically, below the kneecap)
  • stiffness of the knee, particularly while jumping, kneeling, squatting, sitting, or climbing stairs
  • pain when bending the knee
  • pain in the quadriceps muscle
  • leg or calf weakness
Less common symptoms include:
  • balance problems
  • warmth, tenderness, or swelling around the lower knee

Treatment

Jumper’s knee is first evaluated by a grading system that measures the extent of the injury (grades range from 1 to 5, with grade 1 being pain only after intense activity and grade 5 being daily constant pain and the inability to participate in any sporting activities).
While examining the knee, a doctor or medical professional will ask the patient to run, jump, kneel, or squat to determine the level of pain. In addition, an X-ray or MRI might be recommended. Depending on the grade of the injury, treatment can range from rest and icepacks to surgery.
For mild to moderate jumper’s knee, treatment includes:
  • resting from activity or adapting a training regimen that greatly reduces any jumping or impact
  • icing the knee to reduce pain and inflammation
  • wearing a knee support or strap (called an intrapatellar strap or a Chopat strap) to help support the knee and patella. The strap is worn over the patellar tendon, just beneath the kneecap. A knee support or strap can help minimize pain and relieve strain on the patellar tendon.
  • elevating the knee when it hurts (for example, placing a pillow under the leg)
  • anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, to minimize pain and swelling
  • massage therapy
  • minimum-impact exercises to help strengthen the knee
  • rehabilitation programs that include muscle strengthening, concentrating on weight-bearing muscle groups like the quadriceps and calf muscles
  • specialized injections to desensitize nerve endings and reduce inflammation

Preventing Jumper’s Knee

The most important factor in preventing jumper’s knee is stretching. A good warm-up regimen that involves stretching the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles can help prevent jumper’s knee. It’s always a good idea to stretch after exercising, too.
Have a great week!
Dr. Meghan

Looking to strengthen your posterior chain (calves, hammies, glutes and back)?  Want to gain an edge on your dead lift, squat, clean or sprinting?  Then it si time to add the glute ham raise into your accessory work!  Throwing this in after squats or deads for 3 sets of 6-10 will help strengthen you backside for sure.

On Wednesday, April 27, we are very excited to welcome Kim Aliprantis and Laura Cohen from Isagenix International to Crossfit Factory Square. Kim and Laura will introduce us to the fastest growing nutritional, replenishing and cleansing system in the world. Isagenix International is only 14 years old and is spreading rapidly around the globe due to its simplicity and results it produces.

While we all LOVE fitness, please remember that exercise only addresses a fraction of the equation. The rest is diet. Without providing the body with the right balance of macro and micro nutrients, your workouts will always be challenging to complete and rarely effective.

Kim and Laura will tell us about how we find ourselves in a world where no matter how “clean” we eat, our diets are still deficient in many essential nutrients and often contaminated with toxins. Additionally, in our busy day to day lives, most people rarely have the time to meal “prep” for hours each week. With a simple approach, the Isagenix program addresses the 3 things our bodies desperately need to reach optimal performance: nutrient deficiency, toxicity and stress.

Kim Aliprantis and Laura Cohen, both executives with Isagenix, are looking forward to spending the day with us at Crossfit Factory Square on 4/27. Kim is a huge fitness enthusiast who battled serious health issues and has used this system with life changing results. Laura Cohen is a dietician and an avid cross fitter with Crossfit New England in MA. Both bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise about how this amazing nutritional superfood system works to bring optimal health to our lives.

Please come by on April 27, they will be in the gym from 12-7pm! Kim and Laura look forward to meeting you!

The more you lift, the more you start to notice your flexibility decreasing.  It’s the give and take of the game.  Doing a few simple stretches before you pick up the bar can help you nail your lifts.

allergies

I’ve been starting to hear some allergy sniffles going around! Sounds like allergy season is here and is starting to bloom quickly. Many of us know what its like when the pollen hits us like a brick wall. We start to feel stuffy, eyes and throat may itch, and your head may feel a little full. All of these symptoms are no fun to workout with. Here are a flew things to keep in mind when the pollen levels are a little higher than we would like them to be.

  1. Check Your Calendar
    • Find out when your allergies may start to kick in. If you are allergic to certain flowers, trees or other outdoor elements, find out when their blooming season starts and take note of it. This way you can be prepared with all you needed accessories.
  2. Check The Weather
    • Information about your local pollen level is usually available on TV, your phones or the local newspaper (most of us have probably forgot about that one! haha). If the levels are on the higher side, you can plan to play it safe that day by staying inside.
  3. Choose The Right Time Of Day
    • The time of day you exercise definitely matters. Best time to exercise with allergies is in the early morning or evening. Most levels peak at around noon time.
  4. Sometimes, Opt For l=Less = Intense Activities
    • I know many of us don’t like to hear this one but it may help. The more stressful the exercise, the faster you breath; the fast you breathe, the more allergens and irritants you inhale. So instead of doing the run outside, you may want to opt for a row indoors.
  5. Protect Your Eyes And Lungs
    • To block pollen and other irritants from getting into your system during outdoor exercise, some pay use a mask or a bandanna to cover their nose and mouth. Wearing goggles (construction/science goggles/swim) are also useful to protect your eyes.
  6. Change Your Clothes And Shower After Outdoor Exercise
    • During this time of year, your hair and clothes could be covered in allergens. It might not be a bad idea to whisk that as far away from you as possible.
  7. On Bad Days Exercise Indoors
    • Exercising indoors could be a temporary solution if the levels are too high that your lungs might bet irritated. Although the outdoors can be brought indoors sometimes, being in a building always has more benefits than being fully exposed outside.

(webMD.com)

Enjoy the weather,

Meg C.

 

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