Monday, May 27, 2019

What is Pain, and How Should We Manage It?

Today's post is written by a very special friend of mine, Dr. Fred Goldstein. Dr. Goldstein is a Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Goldstein and I go WAY back to when his daughter and I played in the same basketball league as kids.

The topic of today's post is pain, which Dr. Goldstein is a true authority on. He's been teaching about and researching pain for even longer than I've been alive! I learned a ton from reading his article, and I think you will, too. -Travis

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Frederick J. Goldstein, PhD, FCP
Professor of Clinical Pharmacology
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

What is pain? Toothache? Sprained wrist? Broken femur? Myocardial infarct (MI)? Obviously, all such conditions are “nociceptive,” meaning they send signals from pathological sites to brain areas for interpretation. Simultaneously activated are emotions which can certainly increase the intensity of such cellular indicators of tissue damage.

However, it is also known that circumstances exist where pain is attenuated or, in some cases, not even felt. A person who has experienced three MIs over the years will probably feel less alarm with a fourth one than the first. Soldiers in a fierce battle may not even be aware of severe wounds until that firefight has ended.

Of course, there is also psychological pain which occurs upon losing a loved one or receiving news that the cancer which has been discovered is, unfortunately, terminal.

Thus, there is always an interplay between physical and psychological aspects of pain.

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Keys to Unlocking Explosive Power

It wasn’t too long ago that athletes, parents, and coaches believed strength training made you slow and inflexible. To avoid these supposed undesirable effects, athletes steered clear of weights like the plague.

Over the years, we’ve come to debunk these myths. We now recognize the myriad benefits of strength training for sports performance, from injury prevention to increased positional endurance and improved speed and power -- the subject of this post.

Most of us have a general idea of what power is. We know it when we see it. But it’s not entirely intuitive how strength affects power.

To appreciate the relationship between strength and power, we must first understand that strength is equivalent to the ability to produce force, and speed is the expression of strength quickly (i.e. at high movement velocity).