Sunday, April 30, 2017

Retired Pharmacist Comes To Kinesio Taping Course

I forgot to mention yesterday that we have Mrs Chong, who's a grandmother (and trained pharmacist) at 73 years young attending the course with her daughter Alyce.
Mrs Chong in action
Mrs Chong's granddaughter (and Alyce's daughter) competes in gymnastics and equestrian and both of them decided to come and attend the course together (to bond) and to be able to tape competently for their granddaughter and daughter respectively. Now that's real love.

By the way, Mrs Chong also paints, takes many other classes and still takes exams to keep her pharmacist license.

I really respect Mrs Chong's attitude. Note to self - never stop learning.

Back to the course and the day started with some questions on whether participants left their tape on overnight (and many did) and what they felt. None reported any adverse reactions

We continued Day 2 of the course learning all about the six different corrective techniques in Kinesio Taping. Mechanical correction, fascia correction, space correction etc.

A few of the participants brought along different brands of tape to try and none (according to the participants) matched the high standards of the Kinesio FP tape.

Check out the "Heroll" tape

Here are some pictures from the course.

Theresa and her amazing technicolor dream tapes
Both the netball coaches admiring a Team Singapore attire?
Group picture of the participants

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Explaining About The Homunculus At The Kinesio Taping Course

Sports Solutions hosted the Kinesio Taping Level 1-2 course today and no surprises, the course was fully subscribed.

It was bright sunshine after the early morning storm and the day started with explaining the science and rationale behind how Kinesio Taping works.

After my own learning journey from the Anatomy Train courses, lessons from Andrew Hutton, Flossband (with Sven Kruse) and David Butler, I can definitely explain and teach the course better. Well, I'd better because I had to explain what the homunculus was to the class.

Teaching the homunculus
Of course we spent some time going through anatomy and surface landmarks.

Palpating for C1 after finding the mastoid process
Finally after all the talking, it was time to tape.

All eyes and ears
Stay tuned for Level 2 tomorrow.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Don't Ignore That Ankle Sprain

Now that's a nasty ankle sprain
We've seen quite a few cases of ankle sprains in our clinics recently. Most of these patients are young school athletes representing their school or participating in sports.

We've always managed to get our patients playing/ competing again quite quickly. Even ankle cases that were deemed serious, we've managed to get them up and running so quickly that their parents/ coaches were pleasantly surprised.

Hence I was surprised to read that ankle even if sprained only once but not treated properly can have lifelong consequences. Especially if the sprains keep recurring.

In the study referenced below, the researchers had students who had chronic ankle instability (caused by ankle sprains) wear a pedometer for a week. Their steps taken were compared with a control group of students who had normal ankles. Gender, BMI and general health were the variables controlled in both groups.

Turns out that the students with chronic ankle instability moved significantly less than the other group. They took about 2000 steps fewer on average.

The researchers were concerned with the obvious decrease in step count as this decrease may be secondary to other functional limitations. If this decrease in physical activity continues for an extended period,it may lead to other more substantial health risks.

Next time you sprain your ankle, make sure you get it checked and treated properly, even if it seems to be mostly healed as it can lead to lifelong consequences.


Hubbard-Turner T and Turner MJ (2015). Physical Activity Levels In College Students With Chronic Ankle Instability. J Athl Trg. 50(7): 742-747. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.3.05.

Note to self and my colleagues: be wary even of a simple ankle sprain

Friday, April 14, 2017

Is It Necessary To Cool Down After Exercise?

Stretching after a run in the rain
Back when I was working at the old National Stadium, I'll very often before work or during lunch time run on the track or grass surrounding the track.  Straight after I was done, I'll head right in to the clinic. A person walking past commented how I could do that.

I said I just stopped after running and am heading for the showers as my next patient was due soon. He said I should be doing a cool down after such a hard run.

Well, I was in a hurry to get ready for my patient. I'm sure the patient wouldn't like a sweaty, dripping physiotherapist treating him.

Looking back since primary school, I recall our physical education teachers telling us that we need to cool down after exercise and especially after a race/ competition.

Personal trainers will tell their clients that slowing to a jog and/ or lessening the intensity of the workout followed by stretching to transition out of the exercise session so as to prevent muscle soreness and improve recovery.

Some exercise machines in the gym automatically include a cool down period. After your work out time that you keyed in, the machine automatically reduces the workload and continues for five minutes so you can cool down.

I tried looking for scientific evidence regarding that and it seems none of those beliefs were true.

A study had subjects do a strenuous one time session of forward lunges while holding barbells. This is certain to make untrained people extremely sore due to DOMs over the next few days.

Some of the subjects warmed up before by cycling 20 mins gently. Others didn't warm up but did a cool down after the lunges with a similar 20 mins of gentle stationary bike riding. The rest of the group just did the lunges without warm up or cool down.

The next day, the subjects who warmed up had the least pain while there those who did the cool down and the control group had similar pain. Cooling down brought no benefits to the group.

Two other studies I found on professional football players performing cool down versus no cool down yielded the same result. Measures of performance, flexibility and muscle soreness were similar.

One valid reason to cool down after exercise is to prevent venous pooling (or build up of blood in your veins) after vigorous exercise. Blood vessels in your legs expand during prolonged vigorous exercise, allowing more blood to move through them to supply oxygen. When you stop exercise abruptly, the blood stays in your lower body. This can lead to dizziness or even fainting.

It's easy to avoid venous pooling, just keep walking for a few minutes at the end of your workout/ race and you'll maintain normal blood supply to the brain. Would you consider that as a cool down?

So, there's no real published research showing any negative effect if you don't cool down. If you are used to performing a cool down after your exercise, you can definitely carry on. If you don't feel like it, then you probably don't have too.

Unless future research shows otherwise, don't worry if your friend/ trainer/ coach tells you that you need to cool down after exercise.


Olsen O, Sjohaug M et al (2012). The Effect Of Warm-up And Cool Down Exercise On Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness In The Quadriceps Muscle: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Human Kinetics. 35: 59-68. DOI: 10.2478/v10078-012-0079-4.

Rey E Lago-Penas C et al (2012). The Effect Of Immediate Post-training Active And Passive Recovery Interventions On Anaerobic Performance And Lower Limb Flexibility In Professional Soccer Players. J Human Kinetics. 31: 121-129. DOI: 10.2478/v10078-012-0013-9.

Rey E Lago-Penas C et al (2012). The Effect of Recovery Strategies On Contractile Properties Using Tensiomyography And Perceived Muscle Soreness In Professional Soccer Players. J Strength Cond Res. 26(11): 3081-3088.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Luna Mono Running Sandals Review

I've had the Luna Mono Mgt running sandals for a while now and feel ready to write about them after my most recent run in the rain. Despite being wet, the soles were truly non slip, I was truly impressed as I thought they'll be slippery but they were not at all.

Like I wrote before when I first received it, they were nice and soft to wear, almost no breaking in required compared to my other running sandals, the Earth runners huraches. They were also super light, great to bring them while traveling so they can double up as your running sandals.

With normal walking, I didn't mind the strap between my first web space (between big and second toe), but during the runs, I've had some minor discomfort and upon using normal or toe socks they went away.
Normal socks instead of toe socks
I found the "over the top" ankle strap very useful as it helped tighten the sandal to prevent my heel from slipping out (my right foot is slightly smaller than my left so I need to tighten the right sandal more).

I've even had my own version of running mini intervals with them. 3-4 times a week when I bring my two boys to the playground near our place I'll end up playing "big bad wolf" with most of the kids at the playground. I have to run hard to chase them and I must say the Lunas stay on my feet much better than my Havaianas slippers.

My calfs were a tiny bit sore the very first time I used them probably due to the fact they were new. I didn't have a problem with that thereafter.

The Luna Mono's have a fair ground feel and feel good to walk and run in. And they definitely don't give you black toenails. Thanks to Fred from Run Minimal  for the sandals.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew Today

I kinda bit off more than I could chew today..... yes I'm writing that down again to remind myself not to do it again.

Waiting ..... for me to be ready
On Saturday afternoons when we have the Floss band course at Sports Solutions, I normally stop seeing patients half an hour before so I can get my act ready.  I have to get the computer and projector ready, whatever anatomy models I may need, laser pointer etc as well as eat some lunch.

Today, I had a patient who was gonna take part in a race tomorrow. And that patient requested that I do some taping as the last time we did the taping, the patient was able race pain free. The only time I could spare to do the taping was the half an hour before the course.

That of course ate into preparation time and I was late for my own course right here in the clinic. I wasn't happy with myself! As someone who takes care to always be early for my patients and appointments, I messed up.

A thousand apologies to all who turned up for the course today. I promise it will not happen again. And by the way we had a chiropractor (for the first time) who turned up for the course today too.

Right in the thick of action

Capt America watching ...while Trevor doesn't

The physio students having a go
A big thank you to Danny, Ekina and Jane who came really early and got the place ready for the course again. Couldn't have done it without them. And for helping me tidy the place after too. Please contact them at Sanctband Singapore if you want to attend the next course.