Since the advent of the internet, way too many of us like to self diagnose our illnesses so that we can make somewhat informed decisions about what sort of treatment we’d like to think. The reality is, though, that there is no shortage of websites or material online. Far too often, we find information that leads to a misdiagnosis or a perspective that we’re more (or less) injured than we might be in reality.
The problem with endurance sport injuries is that some of the “mainstream” sites only scratch the surface of the injuries that we tend to get. Some sites, unfortunately, even give incomplete or bad advice – or at least lead us to making improper decisions.
How do I know this? Well – over the past 16 months, I have been dealing with a variety of lower leg ailments – notably plantar fasciitis and peroneal tendonitis. While I have absolutely sought the opinion and treatment of physicians (both a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon), I have done more than my fair share of research online. Far too often, I’ve been disappointed in what I have found. Essentially, it has been difficult for me to find a singular source for diagnosis and treatment plans. Until now.
Over the weekend, I stumbled across a really awesome site – which I have since fallen in love with. It’s called Athletes Treating Athletes, and can be found at http://athletestreatingathletes.com/.
The site was founded in 2010 by Leigh Boyle – a doctor of Physical Therapy and certified strength and conditioning specialist.
The site is geared towards endurance athletes, and is really slick. The goal of the site is to help athletes like you and me not only treat injuries but also strengthen our bodies so that we don’t end up with injuries in the first place. The website is easy to use and navigate. There’s a blog (that contains posts called “injury of the week”) and a really intuitive body map that will help you pinpoint the specific area of your body where you are injured. You can also search the site for a particular injury if you already have an idea of what you have going on.
The site carries a five-part approach towards self treatment: (1) self massage (2) mobilization techniques (used to break up soft tissue and adhesions), (3) stretching, (4) KT taping, and (5) strengthening. Basically, it seems that the treatment approach is exactly what you’d experience by going to a local physical therapist…just without the office visit and insurance co-payment.
Finding your injury is pretty darn easy. As I noted above, if you know what your injury is, you can search for it. You can also leverage the “Body Map” page to find and link to the specific area of your body that is hurting.
When you click on a body part, you go to a webpage that is detailed for that section of your body. There’s usually a nifty graphic that shows the interior anatomy of that body part. Since I’ve been dealing with peroneal tendonitis, I looked for it by clicking both the “foot” link and the “shin + outer leg” link. Alas, peroneal tendonitis is found under “Shin + Outer Leg”. Once you land on the page for the specific body part, you’ll find a ton of information, including a diagram of the body part and a listing of injury treatment plans available. The example (of the Shin + Outer Leg page) below shows both the bones and muscles of the anterior portion of your lower leg. You can see that there are two specific injuries listed on the Shin + Outer Leg page: Peroneal tendonitis and Shin Splints.
Since I’ve been dealing with Peroneal Tendonitis, I clicked that link:
All you have to do to gain the information you need to treat your injury is to click the hyperlink for it. I clicked the link for “Peroneal Tendonitis”. Once you land on the page for the specific injury, the site gives a good description of the anatomy of that area, the potential causes of the injury, and then a detailed treatment plan.
As you can tell, each treatment plan contains some pretty easy to follow (and non-scientific) language about how to treat the injury. There are typically a plethora of hyperlinks to videos. For example, in the post above, you will find links to videos about how to correctly apply KT tape to help provide stability.
Even cooler – You can download an injury-specific treatment plan that includes hyperlinks, exercise descriptions, sets and examples, and a full suite of treatment steps that you should take to heal an injury.
In short – this is a self-treater’s Mecca!
Even better, the information is generally free!
Hope you enjoy the site. As I noted above, you can subscribe to a weekly newsletter that the site sends out. They also have a Twitter (@A_Tx_A) and like most other companies these days have their own Facebook, YouTube channel and Pinterest page.