Tom Michaud: How to Care For Your Ever Changing and Connected Body- R4R 096

Podcast

Prevention and Healing for Runners as they Age

As you age, many things about your body change. Whether you are just leaving your teen years or planning your 100th birthday party, your body is adapting to new circumstances. Keeping it healthy so that you can continue to run as long as you live is a valiant effort. Along the way, there will be years of healing, growing, and learning. Optimally, correct exercise will help prevent the need for long periods of recovery or invasive surgeries. 

Dr. Tom Michaud has been studying the human body for several decades now. He works as a sports medicine chiropractor, an author, and a researcher. He also creates products for healthcare professionals that help in client examinations. His goal is to provide non-surgical management of injuries, and he specializes in exercise recovery. As you listen to today’s episode of the Running for Real podcast, you will quickly discover that Tom is an expert in his field who has a desire to help and heal others.

The Connected Body

Injuries aren’t simple. There is a reason why WebMD is both expansive and inconclusive. Every injury is unique to the person and the situation. One of the biggest reasons injuries can be difficult to decipher is because the body is completely connected. This is also a great reason to visit with doctors or chiropractors, like Dr. Michaud, who have an extensive knowledge of the body as a whole. Meeting with these professionals will help you find the root of the problem, allowing for more relief in the long run.

 It is important to get a full recovery to prevent more injuries in the future. “The best predictor of future injury is prior injury,” says Dr. Michaud, “So rehabilitating a prior injury perfectly is important.” Take the time to fully recover from injuries and workouts. As you strengthen all the areas of your body, you will be less susceptible to future injuries.

Hips, Calves and Diaphragm

While there isn’t one exercise that fixes all injuries, there are definitely some general areas of the body that coordinate with a large majority of running-related issues. Dr. Michaud mentions three areas of the body that when trained properly, can decrease the odds of injury significantly. Keeping your hips and calves strong and flexible and doing diaphragm exercises all help in injury prevention.

Many common knee-related and lower leg injuries stem from the hips. Injuries most often occur when bad form or poor posture meet fatigue. This is why many injuries occur near the end of a race, a workout or a game. Hip strength and mobility are crucial for maintaining good form when you run. Elite marathon runners who have long, fast strides often have strong and flexible hips that allow them to reduce the braking force that is associated with long strides. Without strong and flexible hips, they wouldn’t be able to keep running at such fast paces without frequent injuries.

Calves are one of the first muscle groups in the body to lose muscle mass as you age. Active and flexible calves are necessary to avoid decreased balance with age. Plantar fasciitis can also be reduced or prevented with proper stretching and strengthening of the calves.

Diaphragm breathing exercises are beginning to get more attention as researchers are studying their benefits. The layman’s explanation for the benefits of a strong diaphragm is straightforward: As the diaphragm fatigues, blood flow decreases to other areas of the body and with decreased blood flow, those areas are more prone to injury. When asked about what core exercises runners should do, Dr. Michaud suggests diaphragm exercises over any variation of traditional core exercises like sit-ups. 

Ongoing Research

New methods of injury prevention will continue to transform as researchers perform new tests. It is important to remember that science isn’t perfect. Be patient with your body and your doctor. Read and listen to new articles on health, and don’t be afraid to ask your trainers, doctors, and mentors hard questions. 

Most of all, have a positive attitude toward your body. No matter its condition, it is alive and allowing you to do wonderful things. Treat it well, to the best of your knowledge, and it will continue to serve you.

Resources:

(Book) Injury-Free Running

(Book) Human Locomotion

Tom’s Website

Tom’s Products

Tom’s Article

New Article: How to Reduce Injury

Power Diaphram Breather

Strong Stars Breathing Video

Researcher: Tony Kay

Listen to the Running for Real Podcast here:


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The wonderful sponsor for this episode is ME and about my new book,
Overcoming Amenorrhea: Get Your Period Back. Get Your Life Back. 
It’s coming out on January 21, 2019 and available for pre-order NOW. If you are planning on purchasing a digital copy, it would mean a lot if you could go ahead and pre-order now, and then leave me a review on amazon the week the book comes out. I can remind you when it is available if you sign up here Running4Real Newsletter. Thank you SO much for all of the support my friends!!

Thanks for Listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.

To share your thoughts:

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Thank you to Tom, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • This episode (Tom Michaud) was PURE GOLD!! I am a PT who does orthopedics and I was so happy to hear his perspective, I was literally taking mental notes the entire show (as I was running 🙂 ) . THANK YOU for having him on and for getting this info out to your community, So important! I LOVED this episode!! THANK YOU!!! <3

  • This was an amazing episode, would have to be the best one so far!!! Just ordered a toe pro.

  • LYNN DRAGOVICH
    January 13, 2019 9:13 am

    excellent talk, thanks

  • This was an excellent episode. I wanted to ask Dr. Michaud a question about femur stress fractures and labral tears. I am a marathon runner since 2015. I unfortunately experienced a subtrochanteric femoral stress reaction and labral tear during a training run for a marathon. Do you have any literature I can read on ways to improve my healing and/or how to come back to running safely? And are there any exercises or strengthening I can do once I can bear weight? Thank you again for the excellent episode.

    • Hi Julie,
      Glad you enjoyed the episode. The subtrochanteric stress reaction usually heals without incident but the labral injury may be more difficult, depending upon how badly injured you’ve injured your labrum. I personally feel that labral tears are often the result of tightness in the hip external rotators, which can create compression of the anterior labral when you flex your hip.
      As far as the stress reaction goes, I’ve pasted an article below that goes over everything you need to know to get over a stress fracture/reaction, including a great guideline for returning to running. As far as the labral injury goes, I like doing the exercises described by Kim Nedeau on YouTube. You can find them at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWWJYXxIs_c.
      Of course, without seeing you, I can’t tell whether or not you can do these exercises yet so be careful and only do them after your discomfort has subsided. If the exercises cause any discomfort, then stop and try to find a local chiropractor or PT who is good with sports medicine. Good luck and I hope you’re back to running soon!

      All the best,
      Tom
      https://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.2014.5334

  • This interview came at the perfect time! I am 5 months postpartum, running again for a couple months, and having heel pain in my right foot. Thanks to this information, I know some exercises that can help!

  • Jacqueline Shakar
    February 1, 2019 5:44 am

    Really enjoyed this episode with Dr. Michaud! I was wondering if you could provide me with the name of the plantar fasciosis night splint. Thanks!

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