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HealthpointCapital's 2012 Sports Medicine Book of the Year: An Interview with the Author, Dr. Jordan Metzl BY JOHN MCCORMICK, JANUARY 8, 2013
As day-to-day practitioners in the orthopedic industry, you can well imagine we are reading copiously on the topic. Reflecting on what we pored through last year, we recommend this gem of a book on sports medicine by the Hospital for Surgery's Dr. Jordan Metzl called "The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies".
A well-known sports medicine doctor and an athlete's athlete, Dr. Metzl has completed nearly 30 marathons and 10 Ironmans. If anyone ever gets credit for practicing what they preach, this is the guy.
The result is an elegant illustrated work that beautifully synthesizes observations on preventative musculoskeletal care that can only come from both treating legions of patients and being a champion athlete who has experienced his own injuries.
We thought the best way to summarize the book, was to interview Dr. Metzl himself.
Q: Conventional wisdom suggests we should exercise three times a week, but you make the case for exercising every day. Should we be concerned about orthopedic wear and tear with that kind of activity level?
A: Just the opposite is true. As long as you're careful and you listen to your body, daily exercise is a great way to keep yourself healthy, fit, and healthy. Exercise is medicine, it should be used daily. As long as you are careful and listen to your body’s warning signs of too much, you should be fine!
Q: Briefly explain your "Kinetic Chain Concept".
A: The kinetic chain of the body is the key to healthy and pain free movement for athletes of any age. The idea is a basic principle: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. By strengthening all of the muscles in the body at once, you actually lessen the load on a particular area and make movement less painful. I explain this at the start of the book and then give illustrated examples at the end. I've also created this workout video that is a companion to the book that will take you through my first Ironstrength workout. We've had more than 7 million people around the world do this workout in the past year - it's been great to see everyone's feedback.
Q: So our workouts should not just isolate one area for injury prevention?
A: Correct, the whole chain needs to be strengthened to make this work well. I use this workout myself, both as an athlete and as a doctor. In fact, the book has me as an athlete on the front cover, and me as a doctor on the back - it's about how athletic minded people can use the information to best combine both types of information. I use both all day long, they complement each other quite well.
Q: If injured, you recommend "dynamic rest", meaning exercise the unaffected areas. What about targeted exercise to rehabilitate the affected areas?
A: Complete rest is bad medical advice. In the book I explain how to keep your body moving through injury, always trying to find the best way to both exercise and heal simultaneously.
Q: You did say that even in cases of osteoarthritis, you recommend building muscle strength through activity to take pressure off of affected joints. Is that where the research is headed?
A: It sure is. Most people have some arthritis and are not yet ready for a total joint replacement. By making their kinetic chain strong, much of the force loading on the joint is dissipated into the muscle, it really improves the symptoms.
Q: Lastly, in cases where surgery becomes necessary, such as osteoarthritis, how powerful is the research that supports orthopedic rehabilitation?
A: The research in support of rehabilitation is quite strong. I care mostly that people are able to remain active and moving throughout their lives. It keeps them healthier and happier.