Courtesy of Chequamegon Food Co-op

Home Remedies from the Sports Medicine Doc

Nicholas Sawin

May 15, 2012

Jordan Metzl, a Kansas City native and University of Missouri graduate, lives two lives.

He has practiced sports medicine for 14 years at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. And he's an elite athlete who has completed 29 marathons and nine ironman triathlons.

He combined those worlds into a new guide, "The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies," 1,001 injury-prevention tips, along with treatments, exercises, diet plans and illustrations.

In his career as an athlete, Metzl has broken his jaw, lost his two front teeth and developed arthritis in his knee after an ACL injury, which prompted his research into functional strength training: working the muscles that hook into an injury. "Rest is oftentimes the worst thing," he said.

"The skeleton you have is basically a fixed entity, so if you have a predisposition to arthritis, or if you have an injury like I did and you have a bit of an arthritic joint, that's who you are. But, strengthening the injured muscles around that injured part lessens the loading force on that joint, so it makes it feel better."

Here are some of his tips:

-- Shin splints: Employ "dynamic rest" -- swimming or stationary biking. Run your shins and calves over a foam roller for several minutes several times a day to loosen the fascia. Get a massage. Try arch supports and motion-control shoes. Up your calcium and vitamin D intake. Shorten your running stride.

Concussion: Get out of the game -- it takes two weeks on average for symptoms to go away and for the brain to heal. Watch out for Second Impact Syndrome -- a hit within those two weeks can cause major brain injury. Try acetaminophen, but avoid anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, because they can promote bleeding. Rest your brain -- avoid tasks requiring close concentration (computer work, video games) and minimize TV.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Employ dynamic rest, ice it and try an anti-inflammatory. Metzl also advises stretching as the pain eases, forearm training and grip strength.

-- Hernia: Hernias require surgical repair, but you can help prevent them by strengthening your core. Planks, crunches and leg raises should be workout staples. Try a Pilates class.

To reach Nicholas Sawin, call 816-234-4770 or send email to

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