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  1. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/04/2009 11:19pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dempsy Roll View Post
    All this talk of concussions has me worried now.

    Are they still such a big deal if it's not a 'serious' concussion? I.E. getting your bell rung/dizzied but not knocked out? Should you still take time off after that? Maybe only a few days, as opposed to a few weeks? Is it alright to continue working out, going to class and all that, as long as you're not doing any hard sparring? Does the severity of the concussion make a huge difference? For example, I got knocked out once playing a game of pickup football, but I was awake again just after hitting the ground. Another time, I got into a fairly serious motorcycle crash, hit a tree at some 40-50mph. I was knocked out for at least 30 seconds, and afterwards while I was being driven to the hospital I remember being extremely sleepy, having my vision blurred, colors screwed up, my tongue tasting fuzzy, ect. How do the two compare? Obviously the crash was worse, but is it by a little or a lot?
    There are protocols that one could follow when one gets a concussion. Generally, they involve resting with no activity until symptoms are clear for a period of time, then gradually ramping up the activity until you're back to full productivity (restarting if symptoms recur).

    I don't know whether said protocols are effective. It's hard to do randomized trials with human subjects for stuff like this.

    And now, for some random concussion-related tidbits...

    This is neat.
    Called DETECT (Display Enhanced Testing for Concussions and mTBI system), the device is a fast, easy to administer and sensitive system for assessing problems associated with concussions. The DETECT device is an integrated system that includes software applications, a portable computer and an LCD display in the headgear.
    -ScienceDaily

    And so is this.
    Unity High School in Tolono, Ill., has equipped its 32 varsity football team members with special helmets that employ Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS) technology. The helmets—made by sports equipment maker Riddell Sports Group—use sensor technology developed by New Hampshire–based Simbex, LLC. The system consists of six battery-powered sensors in the helmet's padding that record the location, magnitude, duration and direction of up to 100 impacts and wirelessly send this information to a PC (within 150 yards) running data collection software. The sensors work by measuring both linear and rotational acceleration of the helmet after a player has been struck, although they add only negligible weight to the helmet itself.

    "We can pull up the profile of any player for that game or practice and see every impact he took in any given practice or game," says Steven Broglio, an assistant professor in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Department of Kinesiology and Community Health. Broglio is studying the use of HITS as part of his research on concussions, typically caused when a violent blow to the head causes the brain to slide forcefully against the inner wall of the skull.
    -Scientific American

    And so is this.

    Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) scans gauge which, if any, parts of the brain have been affected by concussions.

    A DTI scan allows doctors to trace the microhemorrhages that occur when the brain rattles inside the skull following a concussion. Damage can still occur, even if the brain "snaps back" to its original position in the head, said Dr. Emanuel Kanal, a UPMC neurological radiologist who has viewed Tuitama's slides.
    -Arizona Daily Star
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  2. hungryjoe is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/04/2009 11:47pm

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    Russ,

    Has there been one recent concussion that has stood out from the rest (figuring your last judo comment)?

    I've had many over the years. The one that impacted me the most was from a car wreck. It took awhile to be able to keep focused on a particular train of thought without going off on some tangent.

    Without a doubt, repeated injury to the brain will impair function. Do you feel you should step back now to better have a brighter future?

    If so, consider quitting the competition and enjoy the technical aspects of judo. There is substance beyond the tournament/competiton (speaking from the old and worn body perspective).
  3. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/04/2009 11:59pm

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    In an earlier post, I listed three steps to achieve a goal.
    1) Decide on your goal.
    2) Establish a plan that will accomplish your goal.
    3) Implement this plan.

    If you perform all three steps perfectly, you are guaranteed to succeed. However...
    -Biology is still a long ways from being a hard science, so our plan is unlikely to be perfect.
    -We've established that **** happens, so our implementation is unlikely to be perfect.

    But instead of surrendering in the face of uncertainty and unpredictability, I propose that we add a fourth step.

    4) Measure progress and make appropriate adjustments.

    Now, I am on the record as saying that a process doesn't have to be quantifiable to be scientific. That said, it helps a lot.

    For an example, consider my weight loss* over the last year or so. You'd think that if my objective were to look better, I could monitor my progress by seeing how I look. Sounds reasonable, but it falls apart when my subjectivity as an observer comes out. I honestly saw no visual difference between myself at 300lbs and 270lbs, and if my own self-perception were my only tool of measurement, I would have given up right then. Fortunately, however, I had a pair of objective, quantifiable feedback mechanisms - my scale*, and my belt/pants.

    If the training goal you choose cannot be readily, frequently, and accurately measured, you should at least try to express the same desire through a goal that can be.

    And now, for the asterisks(*)...

    My goal wasn't weight loss, it was fat loss - or more properly, change in body composition. How effective the process I chose was in terms of change in body composition is an open question.

    ---

    This leads us onto a tangent: the finer points of body composition measurement...

    The scale I've been using is a bioelectrical impedance analysis scale - a Taylor 5563, to be specific. I am not especially confident in its accuracy nor its precision, but we go to war with the scale we have, not the scale we wish we had.

    Intuitively, a four-point BIA scale like the Omron HBF-500 should do a better job of measuring body composition, given that it can read across the arms and trunk rather than just the feet and legs. I've actually found a few studies on the subject, and they seem to support this intuition.

    This study indicates that that particular model is good, as does this one (although the latter is funded by the company that makes said scale).

    I'm debating purchasing one for keeping track of muscle/fat mass when I can resume resistance training, as I'm sure they'll be part of my training goals. The alternative to buying a better BIA scale or sticking with my current one is tape measure + calipers, which seems like a bit of a hassle (this is a one-man operation).

    Also, for academic interest, this study compares sixteen different methods of body composition measurement. Interesting stuff.


    Anyways, I'm looking for feedback here. If any of y'all have experience with the scale in question (or with tape measure + calipers) for gauging body composition, let me know what you think. As much as I'd like to get shredded and stay that way while effortlessly packing on pounds of muscle, I suspect my nutritional options may be hamstrung if I can't afford to lose sight of my (yet-to-emerge) six pack for short periods of time.
    Last edited by TheRuss; 3/05/2009 12:08am at .
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  4. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2009 12:19am

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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryjoe View Post
    Russ,

    Has there been one recent concussion that has stood out from the rest (figuring your last judo comment)?
    In terms of longevity, this judo one (so far, the only MA-related concussion I've had) is by far the worst. The two knockouts I mentioned in this post probably seemed more severe at the moment, given that I was out cold (and in the case of the skiing accident, spitting out pieces of molar).

    I remember a few rough ones from playing football, although I maintain that most of the damage was from the perpetual smacking of heads, rather than any one cataclysm.
    I saw stars after going head to head with a linebacker while wearing the aforementioned defective helmet. Wish I had pictures of it with the facemask on it - I wore all the rubber off the front of the facemask, and there were huge patches of missing paint (and paint from other helmets).
    And I once had the bright idea, while being bowled over by a defensive lineman, to haul him down on top of me. I pulled too hard, and whacked my head right into the ground. Didn't feel so good after that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by hungryjoe View Post
    I've had many over the years. The one that impacted me the most was from a car wreck. It took awhile to be able to keep focused on a particular train of thought without going off on some tangent.
    Apparently, when you get a concussion, your neurons spray out neurotransmitters indiscriminately. That's a good picture of what it's like mentally as well - lots of unbidden fragments of thought and emotion.

    As far as the future goes... I don't know. I'll leave those kinds of decisions for later. Right now I need to recover from this one as fully as I can.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  5. theotherserge is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2009 1:36am

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    I've started working with an IMA coach (Internal Martial Arts) who has a DEEP background in this material. Most of what I'm doing -and what I'm interested in- is posture, control of posture, breathing and generating power from smaller/more refined mechanics.

    There's more geek-ness to it than that but I'll leave it aside; I wonder if mixing in a Pilates, Yoga, Taiji etc program wouldn't be of benefit? I love going hard but now that I'm in my goddamned 40's it just hurts alot more.

    A recovery program, when the pool is closed for the winter and I can't go swimming, has done alot of good for me.
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)
  6. AeroChica is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2009 7:26am

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     Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo, MMA and Kids Jiu-Jitsu Style: Boxing, Mom-Jitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Russ - you need to get some better medical attention than you have gotten so far. Either go back to your DR and discuss how you are doing now, find a new one who will take you seriously, or - best option for immediate assistance - head straight to the ER and tell them your symptoms are getting worse. As capable a researcher as you are, you shouldn't have to be doing this on your own. You need to push for some action and get seen by an expert pronto.

    There are organizations that provide assistance for people with head injury and pshycological problems (like the depression) - have you gotten in touch with any?
  7. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2009 9:12am

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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherserge View Post
    I've started working with an IMA coach (Internal Martial Arts) who has a DEEP background in this material. Most of what I'm doing -and what I'm interested in- is posture, control of posture, breathing and generating power from smaller/more refined mechanics.

    There's more geek-ness to it than that but I'll leave it aside; I wonder if mixing in a Pilates, Yoga, Taiji etc program wouldn't be of benefit? I love going hard but now that I'm in my goddamned 40's it just hurts alot more.

    A recovery program, when the pool is closed for the winter and I can't go swimming, has done alot of good for me.
    With a perfectly-elucidated training technique, one could trace the chain of cause and effect all the way from the macro (I do a max single on bench press) to the micro (myosin synthesis causes the myofibrils in my triceps and pectorals to get thicker, effecting an increase of X% in peak contractile force) back to the macro (I can bench more next time) in clear and quantifiable steps.

    I don't think that any training techniques are cleared up to that degree yet. I may be wrong - maybe if we get all of the right people in the same room, they can take us from top to bottom and back to the top - but I'm pretty sure there are still gaps there, at least in terms of what's been experimentally verified. Exercise, nutrition and rest all have these gaps.

    With health, they're much more numerous and larger, mostly because the former usually deal with one or a few specific things we want to happen, whereas health deals with myriad things we don't want to happen.

    And as far as I know, the traditional Chinese stuff has even more numerous and larger gaps because it isn't subject to the same sort of scrutiny. That's not to say it doesn't work, but there are no guarantees.

    Quote Originally Posted by AeroChica View Post
    Russ - you need to get some better medical attention than you have gotten so far.
    Baby, you ain't kidding.

    I still don't have a "family doctor" here. More on that later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  8. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2009 9:32am

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    Looks like I've got a few minutes now, so "later" is sooner.

    Quote Originally Posted by AeroChica View Post
    Russ - you need to get some better medical attention than you have gotten so far. Either go back to your DR and discuss how you are doing now, find a new one who will take you seriously,
    As noted above, I don't "have" a doctor. See this thread. Experiences with random doctors in the last year or so...
    -The doctor my parents chose back in my hometown is useless and far away
    -Got the "ice and ibuprofen" line for my knuckle injury (again, see above thread) which has stopped bothering me since I stopped hitting things with it, but I don't think it's actually fixed
    -Got the "nope, no infection" when I went in about a bump in my ear that I thought was turning into cauliflower ear.
    -Got the "I'll refer you to a neurologist" (no word yet) "and take ibuprofen" (yay) re: this concussion.
    -Got the "I have no idea what's wrong with you, so go get some ultrasounds done" about my knee from a physio.
    -And finally, I'm waiting on the results from ultrasounds on my elbow and knee (through yet another doctor). I am not hopeful.

    Quote Originally Posted by AeroChica View Post
    or - best option for immediate assistance - head straight to the ER and tell them your symptoms are getting worse.
    Symptoms have been improving since I got off the ibuprofen and stopped running to catch buses (one of the reasons this is likely to be a bit terse).

    Quote Originally Posted by AeroChica View Post
    As capable a researcher as you are, you shouldn't have to be doing this on your own. You need to push for some action and get seen by an expert pronto.
    I don't know how. I'm waiting on a letter from a neurologist. All of my attempts to get a family doctor who knows something about sports medicine have been rebuffed - "he's not taking patients and booking six months in advance", and I don't think I have any chips left with my connections at the university.

    Quote Originally Posted by AeroChica View Post
    There are organizations that provide assistance for people with head injury and pshycological problems (like the depression) - have you gotten in touch with any?
    Nope. Not going to, either. Dealing with the psychological end of things is my responsibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  9. Kid Miracleman is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2009 10:37am

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    Wow, whoda thunk that this thread would go from "TheRuss doles out miscellaneous PT advice" to "Let's discuss TheRuss's health and wellness" in just four pages?
  10. theotherserge is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2009 10:50am

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    With a perfectly-elucidated training technique, one could trace the chain of cause and effect all the way from the macro (I do a max single on bench press) to the micro (myosin synthesis causes the myofibrils in my triceps and pectorals to get thicker, effecting an increase of X% in peak contractile force) back to the macro (I can bench more next time) in clear and quantifiable steps.
    What really got me onto this is this infrequent, repeating tweak in my back, my man Vince did some accupuncture&bodywork and determined that I have a slightly loose S-1 joint@my sacrum. Its a tweak I get from hard twisting movements, especially windmill throws.

    I don't think that any training techniques are cleared up to that degree yet. I may be wrong - maybe if we get all of the right people in the same room, they can take us from top to bottom and back to the top - but I'm pretty sure there are still gaps there, at least in terms of what's been experimentally verified. Exercise, nutrition and rest all have these gaps.
    One exercise he recommended, among many, is off-weighted deadlifts where I'll put an extra 2.5# on one side and do a slow rep. then switch to the other side. Counter stressing/shearing and CNS feedback to compensate and so on so forth.

    Very interesting to do lifts as diagnosis and neural training as the primary goal. At least I have something very specific to work on...

    With health, they're much more numerous and larger, mostly because the former usually deal with one or a few specific things we want to happen, whereas health deals with myriad things we don't want to happen.

    And as far as I know, the traditional Chinese stuff has even more numerous and larger gaps because it isn't subject to the same sort of scrutiny. That's not to say it doesn't work, but there are no guarantees.
    yeah, lots of wackjobs in CMA for sure. I'm glad I found a guy to work with who-in a parallel life- would love to be an Osteopath and applies as much scientific, non-Oprah BSery as he can.

    I don't mean to hijack. Hope the extra info is at least interesting.

    -serge
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)
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