Unlock Your Inner Athlete

From professional to amateur and everything in between, one thing high-performing athletes have in common is the ability to breathe well. On this week's episode of ADVENTing, Dr. Madan Kandula and Dr. Ethan Handler talk about what it takes to unlock your inner athlete.



Dr. Handler: All right, so last night, I was flipping back and forth, between watching the Packer game and Bucks game. And obviously, ya know when you're watching a football game, it got their helmets on, you can't really see what they're doing, as far as breathing. But, watching the Bucks game I-it is, just, crazy to see how many players out on that court, and even on the sideline, I mean they flash that crowd and everything, but like how many people sit there with their mouth open, breathing. But as they're walking up the court,

Dr. Kandula: Right.

Dr. Handler: Ya know they don't even have to be, running, but anybody just doing anything out there like, they're just sitting there.. mouth open.

Dr. Kandula: Correct.

Dr. Handler: Ya know. What do you think about that? Uh, why do they do that?

Dr. Kandula: They wanna breathe.

Dr. Kandula: They wanna, they wanna like, open up the floodgates and breathe. And how many athletes, because we see athletes all the time, how many athletes have the proper tools, I'm at least gonna stop there and say, what're the proper tools, like, like where should they be breathing? Instead of their mouth hanging open, um--

Dr. Handler: They should be breathing out of their nose. This is what I always--

Dr. Kandula: Why?

Dr. Handler: Well, because it the most efficient way, one, lungs wanna see air that's coming through the nose, so if you're thinking about performance, you're thinking about, ya know, air that is good for the lungs, which then is good for the blood and oxygenation, you want coming through the nose, cause that's the filter that's the humidifiers.

Dr. Kandula: And it's the start of the airway.

Dr. Handler: Yes.

Dr. Kandula: Why do you have a nose--Do you know what I mean?

Dr. Handler: Yes.

Dr. Kandula: If you, if you, if you didn't need it, you wouldn't have it. And there's a reason that you have it.

Dr. Handler: And how do you yell at a ref, if you're breathing through your mouth?

Dr. Kandula: Well, I guess the core of that is.. You can't breathe properly, unless your nose is working properly.. And we were talking about this, ya know earlier, from a athletes stand point, like all those, every professional athlete, every amateur athlete, every athlete who's on the playing field, wants to perform at their best...

Dr. Handler: Mhm

Dr. Kandula: And the majority of those individuals, are handicapped out of the game, they have noses that aren't optimized. And in fact, ya know if you're an athlete, you're more likely to be, elbowed in the nose, get a ball in the nose, ya know, fall on your face, all the things that can kind of mess up your equipment up there, so you're more likely to have, nasal blockage, and yet, how many times do these folks ever get evaluated for that? And then, its like almost never. And then, unless they back into it.

Dr. Handler: Well, right. Think about it. Cause most 16 docs, for professional teams are, what specialty for the most part, would you say?

Dr. Kandula: Uh, Ortho.

Dr. Handler: Right, so its not like you have an ENT doc on the sideline, who is evaluating that nasal airway, right? All you do is slap a mask on, if you were like, ya know, Rip Hamilton, or somebody else, or something, but like, you're not looking in their nose, and not helping them breathe better, so..

Dr. Kandula: Yeah, its out of sight, out of mind, and um.. Yeah, its like on the crucial low, like if you were any type of athlete, if you won the secret sauce, to peak performance, its, its breathing, if you're gonna do any aerobic activity, like golf, and say, could you be a mouth breather, and do okay in golf? Probably. Could you be a better golfer, Could you be a better golfer, if you could breathe out of your nose? Probably. Uh, I would assume so..

Dr. Handler: Ya know..after.. after you did the procedure on me, I don't feel like I improved my golf game.

Dr. Kandula: Uh well, maybe.. I don't know.

Dr. Handler: I need to work harder.

Dr. Kandula: You need to work harder. But, but if you're in like, the ones that come to my mind, football, soccer, basketball.. Stuff where you're running around, I mean, those in particular, uh, if you're, if you could breathe properly through your nose, then it absolutely ups your game, I'm sure it can, absolutely makes you a better player. Whatever position you're playing, I mean there's reason, there's a reason why you see some athletes with breathe right strips, um, on their noses, so they're just right, and when you have breathe right strip on, that's fine, its like, its good, there's nothing wrong with a breathe right strip, I don't wanna denigrate it, but I'd say, the impact it's actually having on somebody's breathing is minimal, compared to actually aggressing the underlying issues that are there.

Dr. Handler: Right, and I think also, if they'd like, ya know, I bet most athletes also are thinking like if their noses are all jacked up or something that, hey I don't wanna have surgery, and then have to go get this thing hurt again. And then re-deviate my septum, but the reality is, as we know here is, you don't have to have major surgery to get your nose working, so there are things that are more mellow, low key, that we do in the office, that ya know, would have longevity, that you wouldn't be at risk for then re-breaking your nose, or something and then screwing everything up.

Dr. Kandula: Right and even with the stuff were talking about, ya know office space procedures, you literally, can have something done, and not skip a beat training wise--

Dr. Handler: Right. - Yeah.

Dr. Kandula: So there's like, and there's sort of , for a major surgery, I get it, ya know if you're an athlete, taking a time out to have something done, you may not have it, and then the backend of that, as far as recovery, you may not have it, ya know, with- with, most of the of-, really all the office space procedures that we do here, its um... Ya know you're up and running, you could frame for that, you could, you could.. Keep doing what ya do, through that process, and get the upside, ya know, once your bodies healed up. So really, point of it all is that, I think its a massively under looked area that, is a shame. So like for an athlete, its putting all that work in, like all the training, getting up in the morning, and hitting the road, ya know, all the things that go in to be a high performing athlete, and to never know that you've been, ya know, walking around with weights on your shoulders.

Dr. Kandula: You're whole life.

Dr. Handler: And they're always looking to get an edge.

Dr. Kandula: Right.

Dr. Handler: So this is an easy edge--

Dr. Kandula: Its an easy edge, that like, every, I mean really, every athlete who suffers from this... Um, ya know, this should be something that's, that's, ya know, pushing behind them verses pulling them back.

Dr. Handler: Right.

Dr. Kandula: And unfortunately, again we tend to see folks all through their age factor, but we see a lot of folks who, ya know are maybe athlete-wise, maybe aren't at their peak at this point, and don't even have, go--, ya know, gone, and done the things they're gonna do, and now have said, oh I'm gonna take the time to take care of me, and then we look in the nose and what? Did ya know, that that nose that you have had your whole life, is really being a hindrance to ya--

Dr. Handler: Right.

Dr. Kandula: How would you know? Um.. Like how would you know, kind of a thing. I think--

Dr. Handler: And none of the, the trainers, the doctors, anybody that they're seeing on a routine basis, will never have the thought to ask that question, I think, cause like why would they look at him in the nose?

Dr. Kandula: Right. Cause they don't have an action step, so typical... Doc, is gonna say, like say its a sports medicine guy who's taking care of a team, or trainer that's taking care of a team, ya know, its really If there an obvious... issue... nose-wise, they might, figure that out identify, and say.. And get something done, but.. Ya never had their thinking, If you got a big issue there, and you're gonna get something done, then you're not gonna be on the playing field, on the back of it .

Dr. Handler: Right.

Dr. Kandula: So its almost like, lets just sort of bury this thing, because we don't really wanna find out what's going on, verses the truth is now a days identify, and identify early, so we can treat early, especially if we can do it in the office, we can keep you, or get you, ya know, to your peak. Um, kind of a concept.. So i-it really turns everything that I think the sports community typically thinks about noses and the, the, kind of, um... hurdles that you need to clear to think towards doing something. There's no, like, there's... The barrier to entry is low towards, ya know, really optimizing performance with, the kind of stuff were talking about. I think, ya know, well come back to this topic, I think cause we just barely scratched the surface. Um... And, cause there's a lot more to cover, I think there's a lot more to cover, as far as, um... Ya know, what do ya- what do you talk about from a procedures stand point. Ya know, who's the appropriate candidate for some of these things? Um, so we'll get there at some other point so.. Sports, athletes, noses, all kind of come together. Most people never hear about it. Um, and uh... They'll be more comin', at a later date.

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