Doctor of Athletic Training: Bio

23 Aug

Ty Colvin   CSCS, FMS,  MS, ATC, LAT

University of Idaho, Moscow

Doctor of Athletic Training Resident

National Military Sports Medicine Training Center

National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) State Director of North Dakota


Research interests:

high-risk tactical movement protocols, Human Performance Optimization, Human Factors Engineering, MANPRINT integration, musculoskeletal injury mechanisms and injury prevention.


Focus areas:

Nuclear SWAT occupational profiles (Breacher, Sniper / Nuclear Advanced Designated Marksmen, Assaulter, etc), Security Forces etiology (mechanism of injury), specialized team concepts, sustainment biomarkers for warfighting capability, combat gear research for specialized forces; Military Healthcare Referral Network innovation;  models of quality in military physical readiness & safety.



To establish new paths toward translational Human Performance Optimization research into the operational protective services community.  Athletic Trainers provide objectives which enhance resilience of the war fighter: accelerate recovery, reduce injury and illness, provide seamless knowledge transfer from laboratory to line, improve the human system contribution to mission success, and allow the U.S. to lead in these areas.


Doctoral Residency Bio

27 Jun

TRF Mission

Doctoral Residency Bio

Tactical Response Force Residency,

USAF Global Strike Command Minot

I chose the 91st Tactical Response Force (TRF), Minot Air Force Base, in the United States Air Force Global Strike Command for my doctoral residency.  Being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) and Certified / Licensed Athletic Trainer (NATABOC) at Minot Air Force Base offers a unique perspective in what is considered one of the highest catastrophic risk factors for all of the Security Forces in the nuclear enterprise. The residency serves as a new and emerging area in doctoral athletic training because it offers a tactical perspective into the care, treatment, and prevention of protective service members most clinicians would not have access to.  The goal is to help the Air Force advocate for better healthcare.

Minot is home to the smallest Tactical Response Force (TRF) of 3 in the United States Air Force; therefore managing commanders do not have the luxury of available replacement staff should a member become injured. Because of this, there is a tremendous pressure to ensure the prevention of injury. A central concern with this demographic is that previous attempts at outpatient physical therapy have limited capability to reach tactical response return to elite level tactical goals. Treatment and time factors limit traditional physical therapists that are outsourced to provide basic contract healthcare.  Because the base medical center is already taxed with providing care for injury and illness, there is very limited feasible capability left to also begin the task of preventing these same injuries.

Another important problem which hinders TRF post-injury status, is caused by a lack of civilian to military translational research knowledge. Off base professionals are usually not privileged to the minimum physical demands unique to most high-risk TRF military duties. The Doctor of Athletic Training Clinical Residency with the University of Idaho, Moscow agree with Human System Integration models of the Air Force which help to sustain, optimize, and exceed the life cycle capabilities of humans within a weapons system.

The TRF program was a pilot force modeled after Special Operational Forces (SOF) and currently falls under the USAF Global Strike Command.  Their intent was to create a security response force with advanced physical capabilities and training began out of a Department of Defense need to demonstrate increased first responder capabilities for nuclear resources. This was a tremendous challenge. The mission specific to TRF needed to have distinct differences from SOF because they do not deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, or other traditional areas of conflict. Their mission is specific to nuclear security which has to remain within our own nation to sustain US defense 24/7. They are always there for us, yet the majority of the US population is unaware.

TRF’s mission is to enhance security operations and to reinforce uncompromised security despite extreme weather or vast areas of land.  The TRF at Minot are composed of small teams of specialized Security Forces with a unique ability to travel via (land but more notably) air utilizing UH-1N helicopters cruising on average 110mph (max 150mph) often in extreme winter climates.  They also provide a potential to transport medical evac, distinguished visitors, or improve the daily mission to some 150 different missile launch facility sites in record time.  There are currently only 3 TRF Squadrons in the world (Minot, ND, Great Falls, MT, and Cheyenne, WY).

Numerous complications with wearing heavy gear create: LB instability, rotator cuff strain, frequent knee and ankle instability. My advanced clinical athletic training residency serves to help determine current return to duty physical criteria. For the past year, I have established catastrophic injury models to communicate to various stakeholders with a vested interest in the physical capabilities of the Tactical Response Force, Minot.

The Security Forces population experiences far greater injuries than most other AF occupations due to sheer numbers but mainly due to what is required of them day in and day out.  The TRF are a subset of Security Forces with more expectations levied upon them.  For example: TRF may wear government issued gear weighing 40-121lbs sometimes in excess of 12+ hours, they are subject to immediate deployment into specified roles as sniper teams, 20-50+ ft rappel teams (to reach nuclear missiles underground), as well as several other “high-risk” tasks.  For example, the role of a designated “breacher” (a member of the TRF that is expected to gain entry into anything they come across using an assortment of tools such as saws, cutting torches, and explosives) may carry 100+lbs on a single person and always sustain an expected 85% advanced level fitness test score. The example of breacher is one of multiple specialized occupations unique to TRF active duty members.

The advantage of a Fall 2011 residency with TRF as compared to Security Forces squadrons is that the Security Forces Group Commander has allowed clearance as a licensed healthcare professional to create new research to meet the Human Performance Optimization needs for this select cohort group. There is also a potential to partner with other areas of Security Forces to do comparison studies.  For example, Convoy SF sit daily in vehicles for up to 10-12 hrs with 50lbs+ of gear, then participate in physical drills.  There is a great opportunity to also collaborate with the Medical Clinic Commander (MD), Physical Therapist (DPT), and Exercise Physiologist on base (EPC). This joint healthcare effort is intended to create a patient-centered approach toward Department of Defense sustainment.

In the next 6 months, even more risk for injury is anticipated, as TRF are projected to participate in more robust exercises around the clock. The TRF manning will increase eventually but until then, their physical exertion will increase while maintaining their original numbers.  A 1,667-foot elevation, winds sometimes reaching 60 knots, and ice create constant issues for land vehicles, helicopters and of course, the TRF.

Because the Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) program has begun this residency with the University of Idaho, Moscow it leads the research community in what would be the first in the nation to report any official TRF prevention mentored effort by a Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer / Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist focused to specialize in improving the Air Force Global Strike Command Human Integration System. By creating the 2011 initial residency, the future of how we as a nation sustain speicialized human systems will create  increased opportunities for others who seek to promote the SWAT specialization & overal mission of US nuclear resource security. Due to the unique clinical residency research component, the role of placing a Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer / Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in nuclear security Air Force Base settings may have greater potential to be welcomed and appreciated by the Department of Defense, medical practioners, and such an underrepresented set of tactical athletes.


Team Minot’s SWAT to capture university crowd

3 May

Team Minot’s SWAT to Capture University Crowd

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Being part of the 91st Security Forces Squadron Tactical Response Force is one of the most physically demanding jobs that security forces personnel can be a part of Minot Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jesse Lopez

5/3/2012 – MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Several members of Minot’s own SWAT team are headed to the National Strength & Conditioning Association Regional Convention held in Minneapolis, Minn. May 5 – 6.

Recently, Capt. Neil Colvin, 91st Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force commander, and his wife Ty were invited to speak for the North Central Region on one of their most recent projects they have been working on with Minot’s very own TRF.  They will discuss Functional Movement Screenings they have conducted with members.  “For nearly two years we vigorously worked to improve Minot’s specialized physical capabilities with nuclear SWAT team members,” stated Captain Colvin.

A few months ago, The Defense Video Image & Distribution System published some of their more action-packed projects. This year, the NSCA Regionals will highlight some of these methods to the general public.

Ty Colvin, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Licensed Athletic Trainer, is in a doctoral residency to study Human Performance Optimization with Minot AFB TRF members.

By using the Functional Movement Screen scientific test, she created original research initiatives with the TRF to reduce chances of getting hurt while performing specialized duties.  The FMS is a scientific way of analyzing complex human movements. TRF-specialized line missions require nuclear SWAT members to repeatedly gear up with more than 120 pounds in equipment. Colvin discovered a clear pathway after comparing functional data among nuclear SWAT specialized jobs.  “The more experienced the sniper or breacher, the more evidence of sharp adaptation. When we map these patterns, it tells us how to sustain, build, and optimize each warfighter to reach mission goals,” said Ty Colvin.

Senior Airman Luis Velasquez, 91st SFG TRF member, was a force multiplier for TRF. Velasquez helped establish key components of how to quickly film teams of Breachers, Advanced Designated Marksmen (snipers), and Assaulters.  Initially, it took Ty six hours to biomechanically establish data for a single Airman. This would be typical if TRF were referred to a clinic, but in real life it was translating too slowly and only benefited a select few.

Velasquez helped bridge the gap between science and application. He helped the team switch to a multiple video camera format in order to record screenings, which helped to speed up capabilities.  “By teaming on-site, we developed a specialized group screen that can identify our entire unit in one day,” explained Ty Colvin.  Velasquez added he knew the job was affecting them physically, but with the FMSs, they could find out what physical areas they lack strength in and they could find out how to start improving them.  When the Minnesota NSCA Advisory Board staff asked Minot to present, Ty Colvin knew she had to bring the integrated team to demonstrate this optimized performance capability.

At the Conference, Captain Colvin and his wife will present a seminar lecture and video on day one, while Airman 1st Class Isai Reyes, 91st SFG TRF member, and Velasquez will lead the technical aspects of the program on day two for each of the four separate hours of hands-on skill sessions for the NSCA NCR participants.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Ty Colvin, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Licensed Athletic Trainer, works with Senior Airman Luis Velasquez, 91st Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force member, in a doctoral physical assessment at Minot Air Force Base. TRF members are currently participating in a doctoral study which assesses any physical weaknesses or injuries they may have and works to correct those impediments. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Crawford)


The new tool promises a much closer look at nerve fibers than is now possible through a technique called diffusion tensor imaging, says Dr. Rocco Armonda, a neurosurgeon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

8 Mar

Finding unseen damage of traumatic brain

By Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press

Updated  3/2/2012 10:42 AM

WASHINGTON – The soldier on the fringes of an explosion. The survivor of a car wreck. The football player who took yet another skull-rattling hit. Too often, only time can tell when a traumatic brain injury will leave lasting harm — there’s no good way to diagnose the damage.

Now scientists are testing a tool that lights up the breaks these injuries leave deep in the brain’s wiring, much like X-rays show broken bones. Research is just beginning in civilian and military patients to learn if this new kind of MRI-based test really could pinpoint their injuries and one day guide rehabilitation. It’s an example of the hunt for better brain scans, maybe even a blood test, to finally tell when a blow to the head causes damage that today’s standard testing simply can’t see.

“We now have, for the first time, the ability to make visible these previously invisible wounds,” says Walter Schneider of the University of Pittsburgh, who is leading development of the experimental scan. “If you cannot see or quantify the damage, it is hard to treat it.”

About 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, in the U.S. each year. Some survivors suffer obvious disability, but most TBIs are concussions or other milder injuries that generally heal on their own. TBI also is a signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, affecting more than 200,000 soldiers by military estimates.

Not being able to see underlying damage leads to frustration for patients and doctors alike, says Dr. Walter Koroshetz, deputy director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.  Some people experience memory loss, mood changes or other problems after what was deemed a mild concussion, only to have CT scans indicate nothing’s wrong.

Repeated concussions raise the risk of developing permanent neurologic problems later in life, a concern highlighted when some retired football players sued the National Football League. But Koroshetz says there’s no way to tell how much damage someone is accumulating, if the next blow “is really going to cause big trouble.”

And with more serious head injuries, standard scans cannot see beyond bleeding or swelling to tell if the brain’s connections are broken in a way it can’t repair on its own.

“You can have a patient with severe swelling who goes on to have a normal recovery, and patients with severe swelling who go on to die,” says Dr. David Okonkwo, a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center neurosurgeon who is part of the research. Current testing “doesn’t tell you what the consequence of that head injury is going to be.”  Hence the increasing research into new options for diagnosing TBI. In a report published Friday in the Journal of Neurosurgery, Schneider’s team describes one potential candidate, called high-definition fiber tracking.

This is an experimental type of scan showing damage to the brain iacute/>s nerve fibers after a traumatic brain injury. The yellow shows missing fibers on one side of the brain, as compared to the uninjured side in green, in a man left with limited use of his left arm and hand.

Brain cells communicate with each other through a system of axons, or nerve fibers, that acts like a telephone network. They make up what’s called the white matter of the brain, and run along fiber tracts, cable-like highways containing millions of connections.

The new scan processes high-powered MRIs through a special computer program to map major fiber tracts, painting them in vivid greens, yellows and purples that designate their different functions. Researchers look for breaks in the fibers that could slow, even stop, those nerve connections from doing their assigned job.

Daniel Stunkard of New Castle, Pa., is among the first 50 TBI patients in Pitt’s testing. The 32-year-old spent three weeks in a coma after his all-terrain vehicle crashed in late 2010. CT and regular MRI scans showed only some bruising and swelling, unable to predict if he’d wake up and in what shape.  When Stunkard did awaken, he couldn’t move his left leg, arm or hand. Doctors started rehabilitation in hopes of stimulating healing, and Okonkwo says the high-def fiber tracking predicted what happened. The scan found partial breaks in nerve fibers that control the leg and arm, and extensive damage to those controlling the hand. In six months, Stunkard was walking. He now has some arm motion. But he still can’t use his hand, his fingers curled tightly into a ball. Okonkwo says those nerve fibers were too far gone for repair.  “They pretty much knew right off the bat that I was going to have problems,” Stunkard says. “I’m glad they did tell me. I just wish the number (of missing fibers) had been a little better.”

The new tool promises a much closer look at nerve fibers than is now possible through a technique called diffusion tensor imaging, says Dr. Rocco Armonda, a neurosurgeon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“It’s like comparing your fuzzy screen black-and-white TV with a high-definition TV,” he says.

Armonda soon will begin studying the high-def scan on soldiers being treated for TBI at Walter Reed, to see if its findings correlate with their injuries and recovery. It’s work that could take years to prove.

Other attempts are in the pipeline. For example, the military is studying whether a souped-up kind of CT scan could help spot TBI by measuring changes in blood flow inside the brain. The National Institutes of Health is funding a search for substances that might leak into the bloodstream after a brain injury, allowing for a blood test that might at least tell “if a kid can go back to sports next week,” Koroshetz says.  He cautions that just finding an abnormality doesn’t mean it’s to blame for someone’s symptoms.  And however the hunt for better tests pans out, Walter Reed’s Armonda says the bigger message is to take steps to protect your brain.

“What makes the biggest difference is everybody — little kids riding their bicycles, athletes playing sports, soldiers at war — is aware of TBI,” he says.

Pasted from <>


Commentary – Jan 2012

20 Jan

As we begin our 3rd semester, I think it’s important to share a few thoughts on how my clinical practice is going.

I’ve learned a great deal about professional practice from my patients, peers, & mentors.  One of the best ways to start a new post-professional academic period is to construct research / practitioner clinical goals.  Because my patients require very different goals specific to their occupation, I decided to attempt to focus a few posts toward my process.  I hope this  semester’s commentary helps show others the unique area this residency addresses.  I also found a neat article to some of the areas unique to other nuclear recource security roles in the local community. I think it’s important to adapt a broader systems view to the many civilian or reserve components who team up with our TRF & how the highest levels of our command assess their goals.  This part is listed at the very bottom as a link.

By utilizing relevant literature, treating patients, and focusing my research plan, I can better incorporate specific trends, patterns, and clinical outcomes with more efficiency into the Doctor of Athletic Training clinical documentation process.  Anytime there are demographics of specialized occupations, the methods I describe this semester allow the clinician to actively key into a protective service, resource security, or military patient population.   There is also an important education component to this role.  By posting what I learn is important so others can see how my process came about.  As my path to advanced practitioner continues, I will continue to incorporate useful approaches for my patients and for those who have a vested interest in protecting the interests of such important people.  My patient documentation can thereby demonstrate how tuning into functional outcomes can improve member proprioceptive timing, asymmetries, and dynamic movement patterns which optimize or sustain their performance.   In the Spring of 2012, I plan to work toward establishing specific & reliable use of the diagnostic tools integrated upon a common goal that the nuclear SWAT culture value.   My setting tends to focus a common language which most outside industrial clinicians are not exposed to.  It is the medical practitioner and the research that must adapt.   By utilizing a classification approach, I intend to create new avenues where physical performance documentation aligns with functional movement descriptions and Tactical Response Force specific goals.  This task is often misunderstood as a “special forces” mission.  By including the article link I hope others will begin to notice the members I see are expected to produce highly specialized outcomes, regardless of weather, schedule, or climate.  We remain here, in the US.  So it is often easy to believe TRF is someone that might share patient outcomes with what is portrayed in films about Iraq or Afghanistan.  While they may use similar weapons, the mission is more accurately thought of as a demonstration of mission capability with no time outs.  The patients respond and deploy in extreme settings but they are trained to be deployed for missions the US doesn’t report on.  They protect the capability we must always secure & maintain for what we term “the free world”.   We may not know if the mission is real or exercise, we simply establish success.  Global Strike is fortunate to have the complete attention of so many people working together.  I believe this article provides a wonderful insight to just how much effort it takes to be  part of just one nuclear Tactical Response Force.  When General Alston mentions the world has only 3, it demonstrates how intense the role of creating a residency to specialize in meeting the needs of human performance capability is.  It isn’t just Minot, or military, or tactical athletes, it’s the capability for what we currently  know & trust.

 A Report from the Alert Force.


23 Nov


9 Sept 2011, marks the 1st AF Times press release review regarding Tactical Response Force research projects created by Ty Colvin CSCS, MS, ATC/L, DAT Resident.

With the support of DVIDS, it is now a story that promotes human performance initiatives worldwide.

The response has been very positive.  I am very thankful to help advocate for US military members.  We hope other clinicians find value in understanding specialized physical demands with elite level occupations of the US military.  A significant goal for me was to create the initial preventative best-practices dialog that could translate beyond our military base to civilian healthcare practitioners.  It is often challenging to promote communication when AD work on base, but most civilian practitioners require the member to travel off-base for specialized consultations.  The outstanding coordinated approach from the TRF, 91st, and 5th have been wonderful.  It is a team effort that everyone can be proud of.



is a state-of-the-art, 24/7 operation that provides a timely, accurate and reliable connection between the media around the world and the military serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Through a network of portable Ku-band satellite transmitters located in-theater and a distribution hub in Atlanta, Georgia, DVIDS makes available real-time broadcast-quality video, still images and print products as well as immediate interview opportunities with service members, commanders and subject matter experts.


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The DVIDS mission is to serve as a turnkey operation that facilitates requests for Public Affairs video, audio, still imagery and print products; coordinates interviews with soldiers and commanders in a combat zone and provides an archive for ongoing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Press Releases

Latest News Straight From the Frontlines to Your iPad  DVIDS premiers HD live from Afghanistan during Super Bowl XLV on FOX DVIDS Partners with iTunes



Warfighter Improvement Continues

23 Nov

Warfighter improvement continues

by Senior Airman Ashley N. Avecilla

Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

11/22/2011 – MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — The 91st Security Forces Group’s tactical response force has continued its ongoing effort of physical assessments designed to help their Airmen maintain full capability of their bodies throughout their Air Force careers.

Recently, Ty Colvin, certified strength and conditioning specialist and licensed athletic trainer, spent time with Senior Airman Luis Velasquez, 91st SFG TRF member, with the goal of establishing breacher baseline scores.

The TRF breacher is a unique member of a specialized nuclear security team responsible for breaking down entrances during the initial phases of clearing procedures. They face extreme cold temperatures, high elevation, and often travel via UH-1N helicopters for elite level capabilities of their specialized teams.

Knowing physical capabilities specific to Minot’s TRF breacher helps to balance team safety with mission response. A candidate who tries out often makes the mistake of thinking a single successful breach is all that is needed, but they fail to recognize the bigger picture.

Velasquez is a veteran breacher who understands the bigger picture.

“It is critical to understand a breacher should train both their strong and weak side,” Velasquez said. “In an emergency situation, you want to have a fully specialized breacher – this means a breacher who knows each time he or she has to re-attempt entry, the team loses the element of surprise. If we do this exercise, the breacher can better gauge his capability to respond. One of the questions our doctoral researcher wants to learn more about is how action research studies can help support warfighter capabilities.”

The doctoral research aims to promote the breacher by encouraging new approaches through action research studies.

“For example, one of my most experienced breachers has been doing this for the past three years, so my concern is how do we support him so he can sustain this momentum for the remaining years of his Air Force career?” said Capt. Neil Colvin, 91st SFG TRF commander.

“Most Airmen talk about all the heavy gear they wear while they are deployed,” Colvin continued. “They are glad when their deployment is over and they no longer have to carry all the gear. In that respect, security forces, TRF in particular, never get that recovery time.”

Colvin said security forces members use the same gear whether they are deployed or not.

“If the DAT research yields baseline scores, we could more easily pre-identify personnel with specialized physical capacities, but most importantly, we could optimize our veteran breachers,” said Colvin. “We are looking at ways to maximize performance as well as longevity through the DAT research with the University of Idaho, Moscow,” said Colvin.

While every Airman has specific physical standards to meet to maintain eligibility in the Air Force, some military occupations, including TRF, require a much higher level of physical demand. The goals of this research here is to create this new area for elite nuclear security human performance.

“In the Air Force, we use baseline scores for performing physical training testing,” said Master Sgt. Duke McDuffie, 91st SFG TRF member. “Here, we are applying the same principles to breaching in the nuclear security sector, which hasn’t been done before.”

Ty Colvin looks at functional movement screening to find out what movement patter trends are common among nuclear security breachers.

“Although it is early, we are noticing significant trends in highly specialized occupations with the 91st SFG TRF,” said Colvin. “While much of their military formalized training can teach proper mechanics or technique, the FMS model allows a clinician to predict better stability, mobility, and acquisition with repetitive rotary motions or explosive transitions from low to high.”

The key is to understand which patterns a breacher will teach their brain to remember. These functional trends to physically prepare and screen their bodies can be used to maintain enhanced capabilities for elite performance optimization. The TRF population isn’t breaking down doors in the middle-east – instead they stay in Garrison, N.D.

Minot’s climate is unique to the nuclear sector. In just the past year, North Dakota has made headlines with extreme flooding. These environmental extremes create a lot of research variables that weigh into how well nuclear security can learn to adapt.

Since this base is the first to study the TRF breacher in a nuclear security setting, this research could determine expectations for many high-profile breacher or even other protective services to function well in adversity. This could help set breacher standards worldwide.

Although Minot is the smallest of the three nuclear TRF bases, members are learning brand new ways to enhance the mission.



MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Members of the 91st Security Forces Group tactical response team, engage in exercise clearing scenarios here Nov. 3. TRF is one of the most physically demanding jobs that security forces personnel can be a part of here. The 91st SFG has continued its ongoing effort of physical assessments designed to help their Airmen maintain full capability of their bodies throughout their Air Force careers. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Ashley N. Avecilla)

























Warfighter improvement continues.


Study finds AD often tend to focus less on pain.

21 Nov


Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain video link

Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain

Brain Scans Fuel Efforts to Teach Patients How to Short-Circuit Hurtful Signals

In studies at Stanford University's Neuroscience and Pain Lab, subjects can watch their own brains react to pain in real-time and learn to control their response—much like building up a muscle. When subjects focused on something distracting instead of the pain, they had more activity in the higher-thinking parts of their brains. When they "re-evaluated" their pain emotionally—"Yes, my back hurts, but I won't let that stop me"—they had more activity in the deep brain structures that process emotion. Either way, they were able to ease their own pain significantly, according to a study in the journal Anesthesiology last month.

While some of these therapies have been used successfully for years, “we are only now starting to understand the brain basis of how they work, and how they work differently from each other,” says Sean Mackey, chief of the division of pain management at Stanford.

He and his colleagues were just awarded a $9 million grant to study mind-based therapies for chronic low back pain from the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Some 116 million American adults—one-third of the population—struggle with chronic pain, and many are inadequately treated, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine in July.  Yet abuse of pain medication is rampant. Annual deaths due to overdoses of painkillers quadrupled, to 14,800, between 1998 and 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The painkiller Vicodin is now the most prescribed drug in the U.S.  “There is a growing recognition that drugs are only part of the solution and that people who live with chronic pain have to develop a strategy that calls upon some inner resources,” says Josephine Briggs, director of NCCAM, which has funded much of the research into alternative approaches to pain relief.


Already, neuroscientists know that how people perceive pain is highly individual, involving heredity, stress, anxiety, fear, depression, previous experience and general health.

Motivation also plays a huge role—and helps explain why a gravely wounded soldier can ignore his own pain to save his buddies while someone who is depressed may feel incapacitated by a minor sprain.


91st MW wins big at GSC

10 Nov

91st MW wins big at GSC.

Richard Ste. Croix is featured as a top performer during the Global Strike Challenge.  He is also important to the TRF Residency with UIDAHO as a focus group leader.  He is currently a NSCA Associate Member, is ISSA CPT & SFN certified, and studying Health Science.