Mark Fadil is clinical director of the Sports Medicine Institute (SMI). SMI offers evaluation and treatment of sports related injuries and provides massage therapy geared towards injury prevention and performance enhancement for individuals and athletes of all abilities.
Examiner: Baby boomers and health is a very popular topic in the media right now. Studies show that boomers are actively involved in sports later into their lives than any generation in the past. Has SMI experienced an increase in boomers utilizing the clinics services?
MF: We’ve always had a lot of clients in their 40’s and 50’s. The San Francisco bay area is a very athletically active community and it’s been an active athletic community for a very long time. I’ve been doing body work for fourteen years and ever since I’ve been involved in this work I’ve always seen a number of athletically active clients who are in middle age and beyond.
Examiner: Is there a frequent injury the boomers seem to have in common?
MF: It really boils down to the sport they participate in. We see a lot of swimming, cycling, and running clients. The running population has a lot of IT band issues, hamstring problems and planter fasciitis. Cyclists tend to experience neck, and back issues. Swimmers deal with rotator cuffs, shoulder, neck and lower back injuries. The injuries seem to be sport oriented not age specific.
Examiner: Sport medicine statistics report that young athletes are experiencing serious over use injuries. Has the clinic noticed an increase in younger athletes needing the clinics services?
MF: We have seen a pick up of clients in the junior high and high school age group. We do have a number of junior and high school athletes coming in on a pretty regular basis, not only for injuries but for injury prevention and maintenance. It probably is a shift to parents being more aware of the potential for injury in younger kids and parents are trying to stay ahead of the game.
Examiner: Do you feel the injury increase in the youth population is because there are a greater number of youths participating on sport teams, or do you feel some of the younger athletes are being over trained and over played in their sports and not introduced to enough cross training and seasonal breaks?
MF: I do think there is over training and over structure of training. I reflect back to my youth and before I began cross country running I played soccer. I played soccer all the time but it was less structured. I participated on a travel team and the season lasted about six weeks. We would take road trips maybe once or twice a season. The rest of my playing consisted of pick up games. I’d go to the field and players would show up and we’d split up the teams and play until we were tired. Now with all the drilling structure it’s seems as though it’s become more like work than play for youth. I think that when kids are just playing they are less likely to get hurt.
Examiner: Because they are less stressed physically and mentally?
Examiner: As you see athletes going through the injury rehabilitation process and struggling with their psychological response how do you handle these situations?
MF: That can be a challenge. It’s not just dealing with the athlete it’s also working with the parents.
Examiner: As a service provider you may see beyond the presenting problem, yet you’ve been hired to perform reparative massage.
MF: We remain respectful. We try to keep the athletes welfare in mind.
Examiner: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote that has guided you on your professional path?
MF: I do. It’s a quote from Rudyard Kipling. In addition to being a writer he was also a runner. “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run yours is the earth and everything that’s in it and which is more you will be a man my son.”