By Dr. Tyler Ideus
When someone like me — a procrastinator — was trying to settle on a name for this new clinic it was quite a process. For me to love it, the name itself had to communicate how I practice and also stand the test of time — it couldn’t be trendy today and out of style in eight years. After hours and hours of thought and an extensive list of options and variances, my wife and I landed on Lincoln Performance and Sports Medicine (LPSM, @sportsmedlincoln). Even though it can be a bit of a mouth full, it hits on my goal and encompasses the scope of possibilities of this practice.
Let’s dig into “performance.”
the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function.
To take the definition of performance a bit further, it is my goal that one can accomplish that “task,” “action” or “function” without the distraction of pain, and if so desired, to the best of his or her ability.
There is always a gray area between rehabilitating an injury and pure conditioning for performance. Navigating that gray area takes expertise. Let me give you an example. You have been diagnosed with a stress fracture in your foot. The orthopedist says six weeks in a boot.
From that point, depending on the ortho, you may or may not be recommended some type of rehab. I think we can all imagine what will happen if you go from zero to 100 overnight. Let’s say you did get some rehab. Unfortunately, all too often therapy today consists of a little bit of ultrasound, maybe some e-stem or a few balance things throughout the next several weeks. Even more often, the individual still isn’t ready for full activity after that “rehab” plan.
We must ask these questions before returning to full performance:
- Did you create a baseline for beginning stages of activity?
- Did you appropriately stair-step your way up?
- Were you educated on what pain is okay to experience and what isn’t? Note: There will be discomfort — there is a difference between pain and discomfort.
- Was your distinct individual situation carefully considered? A 15-year-old with arm pain during the off season versus an 18-year-old with arm pain two weeks before a state championship warrant unique considerations.
I also genuinely enjoy working solely on helping one improve pure performance even in cases absent of pain. In today’s sports performance arena, two areas have come a long way over the last decade.
No. 1: Strength and conditioning including nutrition. It’s not hard to see the difference in today’s athletes and active people compared to those even 10 to 15 years ago.
No. 2: Technology to evaluate and improve performance. Analyzing the rotation on a baseball coming out of the pitcher’s hand, assessing sequencing in hitting a golf ball and comparing the techniques of good jumpers to those who don’t jump as well dunking a basketball. This is exciting stuff. At LPSM I am currently collecting objective data through 3-D motion capture and force plates. But just because someone can generate the data doesn’t mean they can be put into practice.
The real magic is in:
- Identifying potential energy leaks
- Understanding restrictions into and out of certain movements
- Gaining awareness of the performer’s own body
When I transition the data I collect into solutions for the above, I have witnessed and proven improved performance in a relatively short amount of time — weeks versus months.
Technology growth is an extremely expensive vision to have, but one that I take seriously. The individuals or programs who can take data from a movement screen and the use of technology and see improvements solely from that aspect are light years ahead. And it is no secret that my goal at LPSM is to always stay at least 10 years ahead of the “common practice.”
The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) is on the right track when talking about having a team of professionals that includes technique coach, strength coach and medical practitioner. TPI’s description of a medical practitioner is important. It is someone with the ability to assess movement through screening, use of technology and improved body awareness and then translate all of that into sports performance. Note: This is very different from icing someone’s knee, doing e-stem (which has stacks of research saying it does nothing), going through mediocre rehab exercises and, if that doesn’t work, sending them off for surgery.
There is a time and place for all of this, but for me when I say “performance,” I mean the next level of performance improvement standards. I’m proud to say we’re setting those here at LPSM, and I look forward to continuing to help athletes and active people in our community and beyond achieve their goals.