Vital MX Forum QNA: Eddie Casillas

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8/3/2015 7:42 PM

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This week's Vital MX Forum QNA is with Eddie Casillas. Just about any weekend there's racing, you'll find him at the wheel of an Asterisk Mobile Medical Mule. He's the Head Athletic Trainer at Asterisk Mobile Medical unit, and the Director of Sports Medicine/Owner at iCHOR Sports Medicine.

Just as a heads-up, while he knows a ton about training and sports injury management, he's not a replacement for a medical doctor. Questions about how to fix your Ortho problems will likely go unanswered. Also, he'll be at the surf portion of SurferCross tomorrow and won't start answering questions until after that. But in the meantime, post up your best questions!

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8/3/2015 8:40 PM

I am liking the variety of people you're signing up!

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8/3/2015 9:52 PM

A quick perspective on my interaction with Eddie: I had recently suffered a second or third degree separated shoulder from a BMX crash in the woops. Stupid mistake, blah blah. So, here in Jax, FL, somehow Eddie was assigned as my PT. What a GREAT guy. He was always trying to improve his knowledge and think outside the box. At the time Dr. Bodner and Dr. Augustine (in N. FL) were the moving forces at Asterisk, so Eddie was doing his thing and gaining education and experience. One evening as I was trying to rehab, we went up to the BMX track (Eddie's background and gift BTW) and Tucker Hibbert came to hang out. Such great guys. Point being, Eddie is awesome, ready to learn, ready to question, ready to get better for the MX guys he tends to. Don't doubt it. A huge fan of Eddie and Asterisk. Got to tour the Asterisk rig via Eddie's invitation at a Jax SX, and do not doubt their commitment and superlative contribution to Supercross. Best addition to the sport, ever, IMO.

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8/4/2015 6:10 AM

Does the SX schedule get old, traveling so much...while you have a 'full time' regular job?

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The message posted above is most likely my opinion and shouldn't be taken as fact....

8/4/2015 6:41 AM

In your opinion, would you say that our sport has been getting safer? More dangerous? Bout the same?

Is there any type of safety gear that you'd like to see every rider start wearing? And is there any sort of injury you see more than others that might have been prevented had the rider been wearing the proper safety equipment?

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What comes around is all around

8/4/2015 7:04 AM

Who is your favorite racer?

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8/4/2015 7:30 AM

Are you for or against neck braces, in general?

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8/4/2015 8:34 AM

Being the owner of iCHOR Sports Medicine, not sure if this applies, but:

Where do you see the NATA (National Athletic Trainer Association) and BOC heading to assist ATC/Ls in billing certain insurances?

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8/4/2015 8:39 AM

Do you feel that teams that are full Factory should be required to have their own trainer on staff at all events?

It seems silly that even small school high school football teams travel with trainers, yet a sport as dangerous as ours the teams rely on Asterisk to provide assistance for everyone.

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8/4/2015 12:08 PM

What is one major thing supercros/motocross can do to prevent injures?

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8/4/2015 3:33 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/4/2015 3:37 PM

Does Asterix keep statistics on injuries over the years?

If so I would like to see a list or graph of how many riders you have treated each year. Something like this, ( using made up numbers)

............ SX MX

2000.... 10 13
2001.... 11 14
2002.... 12 15
Ect
Ect
Ect
2014.... 22 17

Thanks

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Avoiding JS7 threads since 3/7/17.

8/4/2015 5:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/4/2015 6:08 PM

How long have you been doing this, and which riders have you worked with over the years?

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8/4/2015 6:11 PM

Oh yeah...I also dig the logo for your company. smile

Photo

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8/4/2015 9:22 PM

huck wrote:

Does the SX schedule get old, traveling so much...while you have a 'full time' regular job?

Huck

Up until this year I had only missed 3 races, 1 weather related, 1 for the birth of my son, 1 for the birth of my daughter. Thats 3 races in 14 years doing every SX, National, Monster Cup and 9 MXD's. The time I spend actually traveling always gets old but all that goes away the minute I get to the track.
The wife and I have talked about cutting back when our kids get older but she also knows how much I love being at the races.

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8/4/2015 10:08 PM

TailSoHard wrote:

In your opinion, would you say that our sport has been getting safer? More dangerous? Bout the same?

Is there any type of safety gear that you'd like to see every rider start wearing? And is there any sort of injury you see more than others that might have been prevented had the rider been wearing the proper safety equipment?

If we look at just Professional SX/MX from the time the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center (AMMC) started covering races you will see that amount of injuries per year is about the same. I can't give exact numbers but it hasn't changed much. What has changed is in the amount of riders that would get transported to the hospital. That number has significantly dropped.

A number of years ago a few MOTO docs got together and presented at a medical conference some data regarding injury rates in SX vs Professional football to demonstrate that SX is a safe sport. To do so they compared injury rates during NFL football games vs. SX races. By looking at contact time or the time that the players/riders where actually competing the docs found that moto was "safer". When you look at how relatively short a play in football takes and how not every player plays every down vs. one rider doing two practice sessions a heat race and main you can see that the window of opportunity for injury is greater in SX. Even though contact time was greater in SX the data showed that football sustained more injuries.

With regards to what safety gear I think riders should start wearing more. Back and chest protection and I don't mean the roost protectors I mean legit padding. The problem is that the stuff currently out is not designed for the demands of MX/SX. Get 5-10 or your pickiest riders and test with them until you have a product they would wear not PAID to wear.

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8/5/2015 7:13 AM

Mr. Casillas,

As fans, we often hear about how many people with no formal education and background label themselves as "trainers" and work on these athletes. Does that really go on as much as we are lead to believe? And if so, what are your thoughts about it?

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8/5/2015 2:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/5/2015 5:12 PM

mxtech1 wrote:

Do you feel that teams that are full Factory should be required to have their own trainer on staff at all events?

It seems silly that even small school high school football teams travel with trainers, yet a sport as dangerous as ours the teams rely on Asterisk to provide assistance for everyone.

If by trainers you mean Athletic Trainers my answer is yes. My "foot in the door" moment came when Russ Wagemen owner of Pit Pro and Erik Kehoe TM for YOT, both patients mine, asked if I could help their riders at the races. Kehoe went so far as setting aside money in his team budget to hire me full time but got shut down by the team owner.
I have sent in proposals to numerous teams about bringing me on as an Athletic Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach and the most common answer I get is "Our riders are Independent Contractors we no have control over them" "They are expected to be ready to perform on race day".

I have tried to educate teams on the capabilities of Athletic Trainers but it always seems to fall on deaf ears.

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8/5/2015 2:23 PM

10000hrs wrote:

Does Asterix keep statistics on injuries over the years?

If so I would like to see a list or graph of how many riders you have treated each year. Something like this, ( using made up numbers)

............ SX MX

2000.... 10 13
2001.... 11 14
2002.... 12 15
Ect
Ect
Ect
2014.... 22 17

Thanks

The Asterisk Mobile Medical Center (AMMC) does keep records, disclosing that data would be up to Dr. Bodnar. I could ask him and see if we can put some numbers out. Not a guarantee but I will ask.

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8/5/2015 2:28 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/5/2015 2:30 PM

Thanks for doing this, you are the most intriguing to me so far, I look forward to your replies


What type of requirements does it take to get involved at Asterisk?

I'm asking because my daughter is in a PT program at college and her goal is to work with athletes in the same way you do, what advice would you give her.

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8/5/2015 2:48 PM

jmc2 wrote:

Being the owner of iCHOR Sports Medicine, not sure if this applies, but:

Where do you see the NATA (National Athletic Trainer Association) and BOC heading to assist ATC/Ls in billing certain insurances?

The NATA is always talking about reimbursement and I am sure it requires a lot of work make things happen. Getting reimbursed is a matter of convincing the insurance companies to do so. I am pretty sure the majority of individuals who hold that power have played sports or have children the play sports in H.S. or college and have at some point or another benefitted from the services of an Athletic Trainer. The NATA should put together a list of those individuals and aggressively go after them to change company policy.

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8/5/2015 4:20 PM

Hi Eddie thanks for taking the time out to do this!

Do you, or have you, had any experience working with racers that have scoliosis? I'm currently an A class racer in the aim of going after a professional license, I've dealt with back problems and scoliosis the last few years of racing (23 degree curve in lumbar + rotation).

If you have, is there any specific training areas, excersises, stretches, and even possibly rehab/recovery you would have for that racer? And if you haven't, is there anything you could recommend?

I know it can't be fixed but if I could do things to make it better/strong I would gladly do so. Again, I appeciate your time, thanks!

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8/5/2015 4:23 PM

How has being involved in mx injuries improved your skills and understanding within your field?

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8/5/2015 5:14 PM

kkawboy14 wrote:

How has being involved in mx injuries improved your skills and understanding within your field?

To kind of piggyback kawboy's question: Do you guys work with the local EMTs/ambulance crews at the races to get them up to speed on the types of injuries they may encounter at a SX/MX race? Specifically dealing with things like concussions, knee and shoulder injuries.

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8/5/2015 7:00 PM

Hi Eddie, thanks for doing this QnA.

Sorry for the morbid and extreme question...
God forbid, if a rider needs live saving intervention immediately on the side of the track do you have a protocol in place?
What is it? Are the rider's aware of this protocol?

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Mike

8/5/2015 10:56 PM

ryandiezic757 wrote:

What is one major thing supercros/motocross can do to prevent injures?

In sport you will always have injuries. What we can do is learn from those injuries and implement procedures that can help minimize the severity of them in the future. Whether is equipment design, track design, injury management policy etc. To do that effectively we need the ability to gather information and put that information in the hands of research scientists. Motocross Sports Medicine and Science (MXSMS) is the organization that can do just that.
http://www.mxsms.org
Not much has been written about them but I am hoping in the future as they begin putting out some information from the research they have been working on we will. When we talk about the effectiveness of neck braces and chest protectors or how can we do a better job at diagnosing concussions, this group can provide the information in a non-bias way.

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8/5/2015 11:34 PM

Justin345 wrote:

Are you for or against neck braces, in general?

Do I think they work yes. Am I against wearing them, yes. How does that make any sense? Read on.

I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things Ryan Hughes says or does but when it comes to riding a dirt bike you have to consider him an expert. So when the topic of neck braces came up and Ryan started talking about riding mechanics and injuries I listened. He made a very powerful argument as to why he is against them that resonated with me. He said if a rider is to wear something that takes them out of the most optimum riding position it puts that rider at a higher risk of making a mistakes that could lead to crashing. He was basing his argument on comparing the riding position of athletes wearing vs. not wearing a neck brace at the tracks he went to.

This is something I constantly talk to riders about with regards to injury rehabilitation. If you can not get back into the most optimum riding position because of shoulder weakness or a stiff knee you open the door for another injury.

We can go back and forth on this topic until the cows come home so I will say this. Since I have been covering SX/MX races with the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center there have been only 2 cases of paralysis one was a cervical the other thoracic.

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8/5/2015 11:38 PM

m121c wrote:

Hi Eddie thanks for taking the time out to do this!

Do you, or have you, had any experience working with racers that have scoliosis? I'm currently an A class racer in the aim of going after a professional license, I've dealt with back problems and scoliosis the last few years of racing (23 degree curve in lumbar + rotation).

If you have, is there any specific training areas, excersises, stretches, and even possibly rehab/recovery you would have for that racer? And if you haven't, is there anything you could recommend?

I know it can't be fixed but if I could do things to make it better/strong I would gladly do so. Again, I appeciate your time, thanks!

I have not personally worked in the rehab of a professional rider that has scoliosis. I have talked to a rider in the rig who has scoliosis and he had spinal rods put it to keep from getting worse. I can't tell you anything more than what you probably already know.

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8/6/2015 12:04 AM

What would be your typical schedule for an MX National? Do you show up for press day, and are you present whenever there are riders on the track? Do you check in with certain riders to get updates on their condition throughout the course of the activities, or are you there just to deal with any injuries that occur during the event?
Thanks for taking part in the Forum QNA.

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8/6/2015 9:59 AM

RCB33 wrote:

Who is your favorite racer?

I can't say I have one favorite racer. I can say that I have enjoyed tremendously the opportunity to watch some incredible racing from the front runners, mid-pack and LCQ champs.
If I had to pick just one. Based on talent, skill, personality, showmanship, fan appreciation just the overall package. Travis Pastrana

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8/6/2015 10:20 AM

kkawboy14 wrote:

How has being involved in mx injuries improved your skills and understanding within your field?

Sully wrote:

To kind of piggyback kawboy's question: Do you guys work with the local EMTs/ambulance crews at the races to get them up to speed on the types of injuries they may encounter at a SX/MX race? Specifically dealing with things like concussions, knee and shoulder injuries.

Yes we work with whomever has the contract with the stadium we are at. In the beginning there was some uneasiness with the EMS crews about AMMC coming in. Over the years that has gone away and with the exception of a few events the EMS teams have stayed the same which makes working together much easier. I remember a few rounds in the beginning where EMT's would try and chase down a rider on the track to get info for their paperwork.

What I find interesting is how vastly different protocols are from event to event. For example paramedics at one race can do everything under the sun, but the following week the paramedics have their hands tied.

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