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Backpacker Radio

Nov 6, 2023

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Dr. Morgan Brosnihan. Dr. Brosnihan runs Blaze Physio, a mobile physical therapy service, from her van, where she helps ailing hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail. We learn all about this novel business idea and go deep on everything to do with injury and injury prevention, including the best training regimen, the biggest mistakes thru-hikers make in terms of inciting injury, which gizmos and gadgets she recommends for hikers, exercises hikers should focus on both before trail and during, and much more. If you’re into exercise science at all, you will enjoy this one.

We wrap the show with some news of a grizzly attack in Banff National Park, the weirdest thing we refuse to buy, and a Triple Crown of little things that make you irrationally happy.

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Interview with Dr. Morgan Brosnihan

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:54 - Reminders: Submit yourself or someone else to be a guest on BPR, fill out the AT 2023 thru-hiker survey, come to the Denver hiker meetup on December 1, and support us on Patreon for bonus content!

00:09:35 - Introducing Dr. Morgan

00:11:20 - Tell us about your titles and what education they require

00:13:33 - What got you into physical therapy?

00:15:56 - Do you have any tips for someone who wants to blend business and hiking?

00:18:25 - What value do people get from telehealth physical therapy versus in person?

00:21:21 - Do you think physical therapists are better at diagnosing injuries?

00:24:20 - Discussion about Morgan’s charging rates and business economics

00:27:30 - Tell us more about your van business setup

00:29:31 - How are your pre-trail injury talks received?

00:32:16 - What are the cliff notes of your pre-trail talk?

00:35:17 - Tell us about some of the most injured people you’ve worked with

00:39:48 - What are some of the best things people should do prior to thru-hiking?

00:42:07 - What’s the best form of weight training for thru-hiking?

00:43:57 - What is the ideal training protocol for someone with gym access?

00:47:25 - Is there a way to find out what 70% of your max daily mileage is?

00:50:50 - Is there a recipe for building in enough rest days?

00:56:00 - Tell us about your Long Trail hike

00:58:10 - Are you fun to hike with or do you diagnose everything you do?

01:00:15 - Is it ever hard to take your own advice?

01:01:50 - Where should someone strike with their foot?

01:04:25 - How do you know if your gate is correct or incorrect?

01:05:23 - What’s your perspective on baby deer legs?

01:08:02 - Discussion about anti-inflammatories 

01:10:34 - How do you tell the difference between inflamed and swollen?

01:11:25 - What are the downsides of using ibuprofen chronically?

01:15:40 - What do you suggest future thru-hikers start doing to prepare for their hike?

01:19:50 - How should hikers think about and transition to zero drop shoes?

01:22:48 - How applicable is running to switching shoes and preparing to hike in general?

01:24:57 - How helpful is having your stride analyzed?

01:26:00 - Is there a way to know who is better suited for a thicker midsole shoe?

01:32:20 - What other prep should November listeners do?

01:34:55 - Are there things you see people doing that you know might cause injuries?

01:36:05 - What’s the difference between a loaded pack or a weighted vest?

01:37:15 - Tell us about stretching

01:43:15 - Is it possible to create too much range of motion through stretching?

01:44:52 - What are the best stretches for thru-hikers?

01:47:19 - What can you do to help with restless legs?

01:51:13 - What tools could someone carry for injury prevention and how do they work?

01:57:23 - What about topicals, like CBD?

02:01:51 - What is your take on insoles?

02:04:02 - Where can people learn more from you?


Trek Propaganda: 

QOTD: What’s the weirdest thing you need that you just refuse to buy?

Triple Crown of little things that make you irrationally happy

Mail Bag

5 Star Review


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