Platelet Rich Plasma: if it helped A-Rod, Kobe and Tiger, could it help me?

We’ve heard about professional athletes who’ve had miraculous reductions in pain after receiving injections of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) — for example, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won the Super Bowl in 2009 only a short time after undergoing this innovative treatment. While PRP is new enough that health insurance companies still aren’t reimbursing for it, it’s becoming more widely available to recreational athletes through sports medicine clinics. And the results are promising.

The Platelet Rich Plasma treatment involves removing a syringe of the patient’s own blood and then spinning it in a centrifuge to separate out “platelet-rich plasma” from the blood’s other components. Just the PRP is injected back into the patient. At this point, PRP’s principal use among recreational athletes has been for situations involving tendonitis — such as Achilles tendon issues or tennis elbow.

 

V-Band on arm1

 

Tennis elbow. When I experienced tennis elbow five years ago, I was fortunate to be able to rid myself of the problem by taking several months off, getting accupuncture, physical therapy and Graston. This time, however, I just couldn’t shake it. My doctor and I decided it was time for either elbow surgery or PRP.   [Read more…]

Olympics bring color to Wimbledon: Part I, the ladies

It’s fun to see colorful tennis wear at the staunch All England Lawn Tennis Club. Perhaps not as zany as beach volleyball in the shadow of Buckingham Palace, but a break with tradition all the same. This post will come in two parts. Today I’ll talk about some of the notable women players and what they’re wearing.

Note that all these photos are from Zimbio.com, a great source for pictures and news about lots of celebrities, not just tennis players.

Tennis Fashionistas

 

I like the red, white and blue outfit Nike put together for Serena — a dress works well for her powerful frame. Her sister designed a nice tennis dress for her own EleVen line as well. Check out her matches on TV to see the straps criss-crossing the back of Venus’ outfit. She wins the award for coolest hair accessory!

Maria Sharapova looks good, as usual. It was great to see her carrying the flag at the head of Russia’s procession, even if she has lived in the United States since 1994. Her white skirt and red top, part of Nike’s Maria Sharapova Statement Set, are styles we’ve seen before, just in different colors.

 

 

Caroline Wozniacki sports a cute red dress. It’s longer than her dresses usually are and doesn’t have as much of a “fashion forward” look as her Stella McCartney for Adidas designs usually do — maybe the Danish tennis authorities had to approve her outfit? But check out her nails, mini-flags from her country.

 

Fortunately Victoria Azarenka gets to look at the fuzzy yellow ball when she plays, not at her color combination. It’s not her fault that the colors of Belarus are green and red. Still, watching her on the court reminds me to make this the year I get an early start on my Christmas shopping.

 

Playing in what will likely be her last Olympics, Kim Clijsters looks classically terrific in her red skirt with subtle yellow stripe and white polo embellished with Belgium’s colors. I hope she goes deep in the tournament.

Thank goodness the matches are being broadcast on Bravo as well as streamed live.  There are so many sports on at once, it’s hard to stay on top of what’s happening with your favorite players — and that’s from the perspective of a spectator! Enjoy the tennis, the fashion and as always, the inevitable drama.

Oh, and be sure to send in your opinion on these outfits, or let me know if you see someone else you want to discuss!

 

Nike+ FuelBand: real stats or just marketing?

The Nike+ FuelBand is a high-priced, high-tech toy you wear on your wrist to collect data about energy, or “fuel,” that you burn throughout the day. It’s about output, pure and simple — not what you’re eating or how you’re expending energy. While FuelBand data may be imperfect, the concept fits perfectly with the company’s “Just Do It” mantra.

You wear the FuelBand on your wrist.  It has a unisex, sporty look that works with casual attire — although I’ll admit, it’s not the best fashion combination with the bracelets I always wear on my other wrist.  The FuelBand’s clasp is a USB plug, which is how you charge its battery, and also how you sync it to your computer.  If you have an iPhone, you can  sync wirelessly so you are always within reach of your FuelBand data.

One hundred white and twenty red, yellow and green LEDs communicate your progress throughout the day. You press a button on the band to toggle through its settings: Fuel, Calories, Steps, Time. Time is time of day, so the FuelBand replaces your need for a watch. Steps — that’s obvious. Calories are an approximate measure of calories burned through physical activity.

NikeFuel is a proprietary calculation based on Nike’s “sport-tested accelerometer,” whose algorithms translate your movement into “fuel points.” You set your own goal — 2000 for an “average day,” 3000+ for days with greater levels of activity.

In my first three weeks of wearing the band, I’ve found the NikeFuel calculations associated with different activities to be rather misleading. Here’s a sample from my own experience (“fps” = “fuel points”):

  • Ride stationary bike (at target heart rate) 30 min: 145 fps
  • Walk from bedroom to kitchen, feed dog, make coffee, eat fried egg and homemade doughnut: 242 fps
  • Fold 3 baskets laundry 45 min: 400 fps
  • Make and serve dinner 1 hr: 750 fps
  • Walk dog 1 hr: 800 fp
  • Play doubles tennis 2 hrs: 1800 fps
  • Play singles tennis 1.75 hr: 2800 fps
  • Hike 1 hr 45 min at brisk pace: 3000 fps
  • Sex: my husband wanted to collect data here, but sorry, this is a G-rated blog . . .

The band awards more points for moving forward through space than it does for things like riding a stationary bike. If I were to live according to my FuelBand’s data, though, I would spend more time folding laundry, making dinner and eating doughnuts than I do at present.

[Read more…]

Women’s fashion at the French

As a group, the women look better than the men at the French Open. While there haven’t been any outfits that had me rushing for my laptop to order a copy for myself, I’ve seen a few things I think are quite flattering on the players, and also appropriate for the Paris clay.

 

I was sorry the Williams sisters got knocked out in the early rounds, as both their dresses were terrific. Serena’s, by Nike, mixed pistachio, crème de menthe and coconut ice cream colors for a delicious dress that hugged her curves, looked cool against the burnt clay, and also fit in nicely with the green walls of the court.

 

Venus, who designs her own tennis wear under the label “EleVen,” was wearing a dress that was actually tasteful — so different from a number of her designs in recent years. Maybe she’s finished making a statement with her tennis clothing and going back to speaking with her racquet?

 

Caroline Wozniacki is another fashion favorite who unfortunately lost in the third round. I loved the sheer yellow top with the red underneath. Her dresses are by Stella McCartney for Adidas, and she has the good looks to make the designs show their best.

 

Li Na looks great too. She favors a more “conservative” or at least “covered-up” style, meaning she wears outfits that might look good on some of us tennis-playing moms. I think the purple works well for her, as it connotes positive energy and doesn’t clash with the red/orange clay. Too bad she crumpled at the hands of Yaroslava Shvedova, as we won’t get to see more of Li Na during the French Open this year.

[Read more…]

French Open men’s fashion: wait for Wimbledon?

While a few guys sport sharp-looking outfits at the French Open, more of them are looking ho-hum, or at least leaving me wondering: what were the sponsors thinking?

 

Take Rafa, for instance. He’s a fabulous player, lots of fun to watch. Looks great in the bright colors Nike reserves for him. But why in the world didn’t they give him red for the Australian Open, and save bright blue, turquoise or even neon green for the French? His red clashes with the burnt orange clay — it’s visually disturbing to watch. As if Nadal’s relentless style  of play weren’t enough to make you feel tired — you think you should get up and tone down the colors on your TV.

 

Actually, I think Andy Murray’s new Adidas attire strikes the right tone — a cool grey shirt with orange trim that matches the clay.  The orange shorts might be a bit much, but compared to some of the other guys’ boring kits with their plain shorts and polo shirts, Murray is doing ok, fashion-wise.  And not too poorly tennis-wise, I might add.  Although the scruffy face doesn’t do much for him.

 

I guess I can’t leave out the World #1, a.k.a. Djokovic, but he’s not one of my favorites. While fashion bloggers seem relieved he moved on from his relationship with Sergio Tacchini, it remains to be seen what the new five-year sponsorship contract with Japan’s Uniqlo will produce in terms of a possibly more interesting look. Uniqlo, a leading retailer of sportswear basics in Japan, has started Nole out with a mundane ensemble: white or navy blue shorts, white or navy blue polo, a little contrast stripe, that’s about it.  No mention so far of whether they’ll be influencing him to get a better haircut; stay tuned.

 

There is, of course, one player who exhibits perfection in his French Open fashion as well as his groundstrokes and volleys.  That gentleman is Roger Federer.  Dressed all in black with a bit of yellow trim, he looks as graceful standing still as he does moving on the court.  While critics say the black color is a poor choice for hot weather, or claim it recalls something like this silly photo-shopped image, the fact remains that the black, on Roger, looks fantastic.  It also announces a new start, a break from the past when he wore white and gold, won his fifteenth grand slam trophy at Wimbledon, capping off seasons at #1 without serious challengers.  Today’s a new game, with a new color, and he’s not done yet.

Later this week I’ll look at the women’s fashions.  In the meantime, I’ve been collecting favorite pictures on my Pinterest “Tennis” board if you want to check them out.  And I’m always glad to receive your comments and links to more photos.