Saturday, January 21, 2017

Revisiting Writing for 2017

Over the past several months I have been doing much self reflection and taking time and efforts to work on bettering myself so that I might be better able to help others.   

In years past I have written about goals for the year. Most often those focused on cycling and triathlon related goals or school completion items. This year is a little different as focus has gradually shifted away from racing (as the blog used to be built around). 

Action items for 2017:

1) I want to read 10 books (one a month is ideal but I’m factoring in some travel and crazy times around the holidays)

2) I would like to write and post something at least once a month. Posting it means that I am writing for a potential audience and will be held accountable. Regardless if 0 people read it or 100.

3) Complete a daily journal for the entire year to focus on gratitude and appreciating the things I have. (The Five Minute Journal -- Recommendation from Tim Ferriss)

4) Find a way to give back to the community I live in. (I have two irons in the fire on this one currently)

5) This will remain as an asterisk as I know what it is but not ready for everyone else

These are also a focus on SMART Goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time based.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Treating Top Athletes: New PT Solutions Clinic

Recently, I opened a new clinic in Dalton, GA with PT Solutions. On our first day of operations, I had a very special guest. Kyle Buckingham, a 2x Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Champion and professional triathlete from South Africa, was in the area for the weekend’s upcoming Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga. Kyle reached out to me through his host housing regarding some knee pain. I invited him down to see what I could help with.

Kyle went on to finish 9th at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga and two weeks later finished 5th at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh.

Here is what Kyle had to say about his physical therapy treatment:

“I saw Matt 4 days before Chattanooga 70.3 after I had travelled 30 hours on the plane for an issue I was having while riding my bike on the outside of my knee. Matt did a thorough assessment making me do stability/core exercises, after the assessment was done I had dry needling to my right hip, glute and knee area as well as left QL and surrounding areas.
Race day came and I had no original knee pain at all, what a relief! It has been now 2 weeks after the race and the pain has still not returned. I am keeping up with my stretches and stability/core exercises he recommended.

Thank you so much to Matt who found and released the source of my pain and extreme tightness.”

Kyle’s website can be found here:

If you're experiencing pain or aches during your training or competitions, reach out or stop by for a free screen to see how physical therapy can help you perform at your best. 

Kyle and I in the new Dalton clinic.

Dry needling treatment for Kyle.

Kyle finishing Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga

Triaging some minor injuries

Monday, June 22, 2015

Therapy Blog: Running Overuse Injuries

Check out the blog post I wrote for my company on running overuse injuries at the below link.

Citations for the report:

1.      Wilder B. On the run: a physician's perspective. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014;44:731-2.

2.      Nielsen RØ, Parner ET, Nohr EA, Sørensen H, Lind M, Rasmussen S. Excessive progression in weekly running distance and risk of running-related injuries: an association which varies according to type of injury. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014;44:739-47. 

                Enjoy and look forward to some more scientific blog posts.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Early Racing 2015

I was nervous and skeptical about racing this year despite all the plans of a quick upgrade to Cat 2. I hadn't raced in a long time and as I began the season, I realized it was not going to be as easy of a feat to win and upgrade quickly as it was to upgrade to Cat 3.

Racing on 5-6 hours of training a week with minimal base mileage was pretty different from racing on 12-14 hours of training a week with a solid 6 day a week base mileage to roll off of in the early part of the season.

I was finding out quickly that I couldn't just show up to the race and expect to walk away with a win like I could in 2013 as a Cat 4. The team dynamics played a much bigger aspect to the racing now. The teams were stronger and smarter than ever before.

After finishing 8th and 5th in my first two road classified races of the 2015 season, I was feeling pretty discouraged and wondering if I was wasting my time with so little of it to commit to training. Then I showed up to Sunny King, a race that had been favorable to me in years past. It is a typical crit with a four corner course without any steep inclines or wicked nasty corners.

I barely made it on time and without much of a warm up (about 10 minutes on the trainer). I started at the back of the pack and stayed there for the first part of the race. The first 15 minutes felt like crap. It was extremely hard and I felt like I was about to pop off the back at any given moment. The horrible thought of getting dropped from the field and pulled from the race even crept into my head. It was hard.

But then all of a sudden, things began to change. Maybe we slowed down or maybe I was just finally warming up. It didn't seem quite as hard. My legs weren't quite as dead. I made some moves to edge myself up the group to make sure I didn't get separated from the field. Then I found the group counting down from 5 laps to go with me in the top 1/4 of the racers.

The laps continued to count down and I made sure I knew who's wheel I was on and tried to keep my position so people didn't swarm the field and shoot me way down the pack.

Video of the race can be seen here:
Starting at 3:20:00 and the finish is at 4:01:00.

On the final lap I knew the race was mine to lose. I was in perfect position for my skill set. The only thing I needed was for us to not get swarmed by riders heading into corner 3 of the last lap. To prevent that I pulled off onto Croome's wheel as he gave a little acceleration into the corner when feeling the peloton coming up the inside. Once I had that matched, I was able to roll through and into the last corner of the race in about 5th wheel position.

Once we straightened up out of the corner, I laid down the power and went for the line. I opened up the gap but still stayed strong on the pedals for fear of anyone creeping up on me at the line. Once I had it secured I set up to celebrate for the first time since TN State Crit in 2013. It was an amazing feeling and for it to be at Sunny King and the first race my girlfriend got to see me race in made it all the more special.

A great day in Alabama.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Moving and Starting Work

When I came back from Colombia, I began desperately looking for housing in Calhoun where I would be working. It was a lot harder to find apartments than I have ever encountered.

My girlfriend vehemently vetoed several places saying she would never visit if I decided to live in such an establishment. Well, I finally thought I had found something. It was a big, two bedroom townhouse, with large living room and kitchen with eat in area and back deck. I had spoken to the agent, who I found out was an extremely good saleswoman, and felt good about the place.

So, on Monday I moved down with the help from a friend with the plans of moving everything in over the next two days and getting my new drivers license and license plate before starting work on Wednesday in a new state and at my first career job.

Well that Monday night I found out not everything was so merry. A swarm of cockroaches like I had never seen (not even in an SEC fraternity house) broke out across the kitchen and downstairs living space. I thought the problem had been fixed and reached out again to the management for help with the problem.

After several days with no resolve, I realized it was a lost cause and the best place I could find in Calhoun to rent was still not inhabitable for a medical professional. I fought with the landlords for several days to break my lease and eventually signed on for a new place in Dalton, GA, the carpet capital of the world.

I found a much nicer and pest free place in Dalton that left me with just over a 30 minute daily commute to work and an 1:30 commute to residency every Tuesday morning at 7 am.

Things were beginning to work out and I was really learning how to treat patients with the most evidenced best practice based on the research that was being beaten into us during those 3 hours every Tuesday morning. It definitely made me a better clinician though.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Trip To Colombia

I took some time off before starting work with my first real big boy job. I decided to take a volunteer trip to Colombia, South America where I could volunteer at a school called Intei which was created for kids with physical and mental disabilities in the area.

This would essentially help me learn more Spanish and allow me to help those less fortunate that would benefit from physical therapy services. I spent the summer doing aquatic therapy, hippotherapy, manual therapy, and working with the kids on a daily basis.

I also got to experience the World Cup in a nation that was excelling and doing very well for the first time in a long time. (Not to mention a Giro d'Italia win from Nairo Quintana).

It was an amazing experience with the culture, the language, the climate, the community, and the family. A month of living I will never forget and always cherish.

There are many more details I could share but as I am trying to catch up on the lapsed time I will skip ahead and save some of those cherished memories for myself.

Hay muchas mas fotos, pero estas son importantes para mi.