Archive for 2013

Five Thousand Hammers

October 17th, 2013 Articles

I’ve been dealing with knee pain for well over 10 years. Now that’s a long time… but then again I’m pretty old. I’ve recommended knee bands, Glucosamine and am continually on the look for solutions to this affliction. Specifically I’ve been diagnosed with Patellar tendonitis or more commonly known as “Jumpers Knee”. Symptoms include dull aches, sharp pains and old man stiffness.

So when my European physiotherapist suggested “Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy” or ESWT, I was intrigued. The basic idea is that a high-energy pulse or “shock” is applied to the area. Historically ESWT has been used successfully to fragment renal stones (hard calcium deposits) in the kidney and urinary track without surgery. You might have heard about “Kidney Stones”, most often in reference to the extreme pain in passing them. The first Shock Wave machine was commercially produced in 1984 and since then the technique has also been applied to other areas of the body. Positive reports are generally received for hips, elbows and shoulders.

Alternative therapies for Patellar tendonitis are surgery… and of course the now famous “Kobe Procedure” in Germany. (Where blood is extracted, centrifuged and returned to the area to promote healing.) These treatments require needles and scalpels and have extended recovery times and may require a large medical budget.

The good news is that ESWT has been found to have no serious side effects, and is part of the Dutch medical plan.

ESTW works by applying a targeted mechanical pressure force and shock to the afflicted area. By varying the frequency, expert practitioners target the patellar tendon while guided by an ultrasound image. The basic idea is that shock waves create cavitation bubbles which then burst and create physical forces…these “forces” break apart the calcium deposits in and on the tendon. Shock wave treatment has also been shown to increase blood circulation in treated areas. This is reported to speedily remove the now pulverized calcium pieces and stimulate the healing process in the tendon.

The first treatment is the most difficult. Imagine your already sensitive and painful knees being hit by a hammer. Now do this two thousand five hundred times. I gripped the sides of the treatment bed, held my breath and took my thoughts to an imaginary tropical island. After 10 minutes of this we took a small break as I caught my breath and wiped the sweat away. My imaginary island was going through a heat wave. Then we did the other knee.

The pain of subsequent treatments decreased with each treatment, and after the third treatment I could feel a noticeable decrease in the overall pain in the knee. This effect was especially apparent the next day after sport, when previous to the ESTW treatments I would walk around like a 80 year old pensioner. We did a total of six (6) treatments of ESTW and I must say it did produce a noticeable decrease in the pain. There was some slight bruising and a bit of redness and of course the pain during the treatment.

Here are the before and after images from the ultrasound.

Before (August 2013)

After (October 2013)

Basically the area’s colored bright white indicate bone or calcification and the black areas indicate trauma or bleeding in the area. Most people will have either a bump on the top of their knee of one on the bottom where the tendon attaches to the bone. In this example the bump is on the top near the kneecap. I can see a small but noticeable decrease in the calcification in the left knee and some reduction trauma in both (less black).

The end result was a decrease in pain after sport activities. Now this could very well have been due to an increase in my pain threshold having endured over fifteen thousand (15,000) hits to each knee, but it’s most likely a combination of the treatment, my time in the gym and my newly acquired resistance to pain.
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Summer Basketball Courts

July 22nd, 2013 Articles

There’s something special about summer basketball… something magical. Runners enjoy the outdoors year round but us basketball players… we’ve been confined to the four walls of a gym. So when the weather gets fine you’ll find a regional tribe of basketball players coming together for outdoor hoops in every city.

I’ve had the good luck to check out courts in the following cities over the years.

Bali, Indonesia
Havana, Cuba
Vancouver, Canada
Lisbon, Portugal
New York, USA

Check out the full scoop and the rating of each court above.

Yup it’s interactive. A bit of geeky technical wizardry as it will work well on an iPad or mobile phone as well.

Predicting the NBA Playoffs 2013

April 20th, 2013 Articles



Here are my picks for the NBA 2013 Championships


Like if you agree! Comment if you don’t.



Gambling for a Championship

February 4th, 2013 Articles


The locker room chatter for predicting which this years’ NBA Championships this year has begun. Yeah Miami looks good and they have something special going with the Thunder in OKC, but putting your money where your mouth is, takes an extra step. Somehow more effort is required when real money is put on the table.

Of course the Internet can help us to make a quick analysis of the current situation in the NBA. One easy way is to examine sports gambling sites, indeed I’m looking at sites that summarize the betting odds from a number of gambling sites. This way we can get a crowd sourced professional opinion of each team in contention. Specifically we get a good indication of the expected winner and the relative strengths of each challenger. This is called the “Outright” in gambling language. You can also bet on the individual games in all sorts of different constructions. Here’s where the odds currently stand.



Miami Heat

Miami Heat (2000 - Pres)

Odds staying about even, they remain the strongest favorite in a weak Eastern conference.


Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder (2009 - Pres) Odds getting better over the season. Getting out of the West will be tough this year.


Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers (2011 - Pres) Emerging as a possible champion in the Western conference.


San Antonio Spurs

Steady contender. Their stock increases as the playoffs approach, and their team rounds into shape without injuries.


New York Knicks

A potential contender in the Eastern conference. Anthony playing his best basketball ever. Chandler is a “Championship Center”.


Chicago Bulls

The return of Rose could rapidly change the odds with this team. He’s the missing piece to a team already with two All Star players and Boozer.


Los Angeles Lakers

Slowly falling out of  contention. Only diehard Laker fans remain excited about their chances. Gasol injury drives down the odds.


Boston Celtics

The odds on the Celtics dropped dramatically with the season ending injury of Rondo, but playing well recently with Paul “The Truth” Pierce leading the way.


Memphis Grizzlies

The odds on the Grizzlies dumped with the Rudy Gay trade. Still a dark horse, but the X factor has been removed. Who doesn’t love Tony Allen?


Brooklyn Nets

A long shot with improving chances as injuries hurt other teams. An underperforming Williams leaves lots of potential upside.


Indiana Pacers

This could be the dark horse upset of the season.



To help us better understand the “Odds”, I’ve chosen the easy to understand decimal gambling system. It works like this: If you were to put down $1 and your chosen team win’s the championship, you’d get that amount of money back. This means that you need to subtract your committed real cash to calculate your actually won money. For example, if you were to bet $1 on the Heat,  you’d get $3 back from your local bookie, so the actual win is $2. If you were crazy enough to to lay down $1 on the Lakers you’d get back $20 for a win of $19! Looks like easy money right?

As I delve into the world of the professional sport gambling on the Internet I must admit to feeling uneasy, even a bit dirty. Definitely need to do a round of history and cookie control. As my Asian blood my burns with games of chance and alcohol, I’m compelled to make this public recommendation more to myself than any one else. “Around friends a few bucks is ok, as long as it’s done in fun and when the amount of money is of little concern. “

Saying that, millions are spent on sports betting, and that’s an understatement. Along with the big bucks, comes professional and dedicated minds who produce a non biased viewpoint the situation. For a complete list with the changing odds you can check out these links, but a quick Google search will also get you loads of similar sites.

Outrights for the NBA Champiionship

Outrights for the Dutch Professional Football (Soccer) Very competitive this year!

Indeed these sites show that the favorite is the Heat, followed closely by the Thunder. These are expected favorites in the East and West Conferences. We then see the Clippers and Spurs with similar odds, indicating a possible upset in the West. A big difference in the strength in the Eastern conference with the Knicks and the Bulls can be seen in the odds. The Eastern contenders have half the chance of upseting the powerful Heat.

Well my Asian blood has reached it’s boiling point so I’ll leave this dark corner of the Internet. Personally I’m fascinated by the numbers that these  gambling sites provide and how accurately they reflect the potential of each NBA team dynamically over time. I hope these numbers make your locker room bets a little better. “LIKE US” if it did.