Monday, June 6, 2011

GI Issues

This topic can frustrate both the ATC and the athlete; what to do when an athlete complains of gastrointestinal issues?  Very recently, a study correlated high intensity sports with GI issues, and of particular note, crew athletes were singled out as having issues which could impact quality of life.  It makes sense from an anatomical position standpoint, spending long amounts of time in a seated position, constantly "squishing" internal organs while performing a repetitive motion.  When you hear of complaints, look at all angles.  Think beyond simply asking "Did you eat anything funny in the last 24 hours?"  Not to discount diet at all, but perhaps the nature of the activity can itself be exacerbating the condition.  When attempting to aid your athlete in performing at his/her highest level, take into account all aspects.  It really lends credence to evaluate globally, and work your way focally, rather than the other way around.  You might just find the cause that much quicker, making you and your athlete much happier.


  1. Back to the all important history. Once you get to the focal point, here are a couple documents put out by the NATA Research and Education Foundation that quite informative:

  2. I like the description of repetitive organ squishing. To add, rowing includes extreme forward flexion with repetitive loaded extension possibly compromising lumbar disks. the nerves in the lumbar spine innervate the organs of the gut including the intestines. Although the lumbar disks may be asymptomatic in the traditional sense (neurological or localized back pain) the nerves innervating the organs my be compromised causing a disruption in function.