We do our best to give back…

When it comes to clinical practice, the focus is always on the patient. Our team at Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy strives to deliver the best care that is supported by outcomes and current concepts supported by literature.

Sometimes we are involved in assisting and conducting clinical and lab-based research. As of today, Dr. Adams is part of a team from Wayne State University that conducted research on the efficacy of utilizing mobile devices (in the clinic and in the field) for assessing gait. The process was to establish a protocol to further improve the accuracy of utilizing mobile apps in the physical therapy clinician. The article was accepted for publication in the Journal of Visualized Experiments.

The article is published here:

Video Movement Analysis Using Smartphones (ViMAS): A Pilot Study

1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1

1Physical Therapy Program, Department of Healthcare Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University, 2Adams Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy


Finkbiner, M. J., Gaina, K. M., McRandall, M. C., Wolf, M. M., Pardo, V. M., Reid, K., et al. Video Movement Analysis Using Smartphones (ViMAS): A Pilot Study. J. Vis. Exp. (121), e54659, doi:10.3791/54659 (2017).

Dr. Brian Adams along with a team of docs from Wayne State University conducting clinical research

Meeting of the minds: Wayne State University professors and students combine powers with Adams Sports Medicine to establish a research protocol.

But there is more to what we do at Adams Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy. We are active with our local universities hosting clinical doctorate students completing their final clinical rotations. We support physical therapy doctorate programs from the University of Michigan – Flint, Grand Valley State University, Wayne State University and Oakland University. We support Eastern Michigan University, GVSU and UM exercise physiology programs by hosting sports medicine clinical interns. We conduct guest lectures at these same universities. Our own Dr. Adams is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty at the University of Michigan – Flint PT program.

We are also one of the select clinics that offer an Orthopedic Residency Program affiliated with the University of Michigan – Flint Physical Therapy Program. This one of a kind program offers licensed physical therapists the opportunity to further their careers in orthopedics by studying under seasoned clinical specialists and attending classes at the University of Michigan to best prepare them for the ABPTS Orthopedic Board Examination.

Beyond that, we partner with the Novi and Northville High Schools to offer school credit for sports medicine observation, and provide guest lectures to their medical careers and Sports Medicine IB programs. We also act as mentors and sponsors for the Novi HOSA chapter, who continue to exceed expectations at the local and state level.

In short: we do our best every day to not only help our patients, but to help our community. We are leaders in our profession, and continue to foster growth in learning at all stages of the physical therapy and sports medicine curriculum. We are “Athletes Treating Athletes”, but we are also doctors of physical therapy leading the way for future clinicians.

Dr. Brian Adams on the cover of Rehab Management magazine talking about bike fit and sports medicine

Dr. Brian Adams on the cover of Rehab Management Magazine

Achilles Tendinopathy in the Running Athlete

Endurance athletics can be rewarding; running the local trails, cycling over rolling hills, swimming peacefully through the local open-water lakes in Michigan.

Endurance athletics can also be damaging.

Overuse injuries are often slow to develop. They are typically shrugged off as the “normal aches and pains of training”. But then it hits. A sore knee, an achy shoulder… a “twinge” in the Achilles.

If you are an avid runner, you have inevitably had to work through the mid-season overuse injury. A common complaint that we see in our clinic is Achilles tendinitis (acute irritation or flare up of the tendon) or Achilles tendinosis (chronic state of injury/healing/inflammation). Typically when we see our athletes, the damage has already been done … and the rehabilitation/return to sport progression begins.

But researchers have recently identified a few key factors in the goal of reducing Achilles tendinopathy in runners, as cited in the very recent article in Sports Medicine (June, 2014). With all-due respect to the multitude of factors contributing to overuse injuries (training volume, hydration, experience, surface, shoes, running style, pace, intensity, duration/distance)…the authors found 3 key ingredients that led to unfavorable outcomes: running surface (too soft), arch type (too low, unsupported), and running style (high level of brake force during running gait). Coaching through surface selection and training programs is a must. Identifying proper shoes, orthotic selection and fabrication (as needed) will assist any biomechanical flaws. And a thorough analysis of running gait at different speeds and grades will identify any technique flaws that are contributing to soft tissue destruction.

The authors also sited that strength training for runners is also a preventative ingredient, which will be covered in a later write up!

If a coach, therapist, athletic trainer or health care practitioner can identify and address these issues early on in the season, the athlete stands a better chance of running free and easy through the entire season without a concern for the proverbial “Achilles heel”.

So if you haven’t had a running or gait analysis done, seek out your local professional and do it now…it’s not to late to save the rest of your season!

Sprint Interval Training (SIT)

(C) Erika Fulk

Do you incorporate high intensity efforts into your training plan? As a runner or cyclist, endurance training is KING….but neglecting the high intensity will only hinder your growth and progression within the sport. More important, for those with limited time for training, studies show that getting the higher intensities into the workouts tends to help “supplement” the lack of training duration.

In an article published in the October edition of Sports Medicine, researchers out of Atlanta conducted a literature review (meta-analysis) of studies conducted with high intensity, short duration (30s) efforts and their effect on aerobic capacity. They found that the effects on endurance trained athletes were not convincing, but in those with lower conditioning levels (or less training volume) responded favorably.  See the Abstract:


Sprint interval training (SIT) involving repeated 30-s “all out” efforts have resulted in significantly improved skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, maximal oxygen uptake, and endurance performance. The positive impact of SIT on cardiorespiratory fitness has far-reaching health implications.


The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis to determine the effects of SIT on aerobic capacity.


A search of the literature was conducted using the key words ‘sprint interval training’, ‘high intensity intermittent training/exercise’, ‘aerobic capacity’, and ‘maximal oxygen uptake’. Seventeen effects were analyzed from 16 randomized controlled trials of 318 participants. The mean ± standard deviation number of participants was 18.7 ± 5.1. Participant age was 23.5 ± 4.3 years.


The effect size calculated for all studies indicates that supramaximal-intensity SIT has a small-to-moderate effect (Cohen’s d = 0.32, 95 % CI 0.10-0.55; z = 2.79, P < 0.01) on aerobic capacity with an aggregate improvement of ~3.6 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1) (~8 % increase). The effect is moderate to large in comparison with no-exercise control groups (Cohen’s d = 0.69, 95 % CI 0.46-0.93; z = 5.84, P < 0.01) and not different when compared with endurance training control groups (Cohen’s d = 0.04, 95 % CI -0.17 to 0.24; z = 0.36, P = 0.72).


SIT improves aerobic capacity in healthy, young people. Relative to continuous endurance training of moderate intensity, SIT presents an equally effective alternative with a reduced volume of activity. This evaluation of effects and analysis of moderating variables consolidates the findings of small-sample studies and contributes to the practical application of SIT to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and health.

Granted, there is a “time and a place” for these efforts, but the bottom line: rev your engine to anaerobic levels to improve your aerobic capacity!


 Nicholas H. GistMichael V. FedewaRod K. DishmanKirk J. Cureton Sprint Interval Training Effects on Aerobic Capacity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine October 2013

Barefoot Running


Do you run? Do you run barefoot? Do you coach/train athletes that run barefoot? Then take a look at this timely summary article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Oct 2013). (institutional access required). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24108403

It’s seems obvious to say that people have been running barefoot for centuries…to spare their lives from a saber-tooth tiger, or to deliver the word of Persian defeat ( Pheidippides, a Greek messenger)…but in modern times, barefoot running has become a new passion for many, a fad for some, and a hot topic in the world of running, coaching and rehabilitation.

There exists multiple camps, separated by research and results. Some say it exposes athletes to unnecessary trauma while inducing soft tissue and structural damage to the runner. Others feel that it actually helps prevent injuries by changing the stride length of the runner, while swapping out a heavy heel-strike to a softer, modulated fore-foot strike.


The research…the evidence…is still mounting. But the jury is still out. At least there are some very smart clinicians, researchers and coaches out there to sift through the details and help get us timely information to make healthy decisions.

Take a look at the above-mentioned article, and help yourself in making the right choice for your running style, goals and physical needs!

And keep on running!