Wednesday, 27 February 2013

fatigue management specialist: a guest-blog by Dr Jason Ross...

Dr Ross at The 2010 Olympic Games w/ Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Mesler

Dr Jason Ross is a chiropractor and strength coach who owns a practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  A former national-level rugby player, and US national team bobsledder, Jason now spends much of his time (when he’s not with his wife and young child) at weekend seminars-workshops and reading everything he can get his hands on.  He was an excellent athlete, and he’s arguably an even better therapist-coach. As a therapist, he has worked and traveled with the US bobsled team, cyclist Danielle Musto, a number of NFL football players and British sprinter Dwain Chambers. 
I have been bugging Jason for a while to write a blog for me, but I guess the 3 or 4 a week for his own site keep him busy!   I’m happy to report that he’s finally gotten around to it...I’m also happy to report that it’s a fine one: a truly unique approach to looking at pain management and performance. 

Fatigue Management Specialist: 
a guest-blog by Dr Jason Ross

"Fatigue makes cowards of us all" - Vince Lombardi
Fatigue Management Specialist. Pretty cool sounding job title...
As a chiropractor and strength coach I've come to the conclusion that that is our primary role - to help explore and manage fatigue for our patients and athletes.

Fatigue - defined as the weakening or failure of material - the decreased capacity or complete inability of a unit, organ or system to function normally because of prolonged exertion or excessive stimulation.
When we fatigue we become fearful. Fearful of the same situation happening again. Tightening up in the race - knee pain with the stairs - muscle cramping after an hour -straining the hamstring at all out effort - falling, and not being able to get up. 
Fatigue brings avoidance which brings compensation. Compensation leads everywhere but up.
Most athletes/patients seek out a coach or therapist when they have been on the losing end of fatigue. They are on the way down. Some setback brings them calling for guidance and answers. While injury and pain are prime examples of fatigue, fatigue may be numerous other scenarios that brings about undesired outcomes in athletics and life:
The sprinter who can't maintain top speed long enough. The office worker with headaches later in the week. The endurance cyclist who gets slower as the season progresses. The aging client who each year finds the stairs increasingly difficult. 
All examples of fatigue in action.

Most will require a different fatigue management intervention and plan. Perhaps the answer is in tissue quality, or muscular strength or endurance, breathing correctly, nutrition, movement breaks from static positions, technique cues, muscle activation/inhibition, mindset, muscular hypertrophy, ergonomics, joint dysfunction. The list can go on and the answer may be several in combination.
For myself, when I started viewing problems in terms of fatigue, it allowed a greater possibility of answers than what I was used to. It challenged my knowledge base and continues to challenge it as it leads me to areas of study not fully explored. It is up to the fatigue managers to figure out the correct and best strategy to implement and assign the proper homework/program to prevent fatigue.
This is where creativity, lateral thinking and stepping outside the box to find the answers from multiple streams of interest come into play. Learning to look at different scenarios differently breaks one from the chains of the institutional ‘letters’ by your name.

Fellow coffee snob, Jason is also the dude that got me started blogging in the first place.  His blog has been up and running since 2008, and he has been bugging me to get one going for a while now.  Finally, last summer he helped me set one up...and almost 100 posts later - here we are!
He’s helped me out on a number of occasions (most specifically volunteering his services with my sprint group for a week last spring), has recommended a ton of good reading material, and I’m honoured to call him a friend.
Thanks Jay for your insights...I look forward to the next one!

If you are interested in contacting Dr Ross, he can be reached via his website.


  1. Nice pic with Arnold. I heard about this on Dr.Gosals Blog

  2. It is true the most pulling factor in our lives is fatigue and most of us are suffering from the same problem for years but hey say that when it is telerateable, they need not go to a therapist but with the assurance of Physiotherapy North Ryde, I would like to tell you that this is a damaging process and if this is not controlled in the start, the problem aggregates and in the end the patient loses hope and cannot move even with the fear of fatigue.

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