Have you ever wondered why your neck always hurts? What about why there is that nagging discomfort in your upper and lower back? How about the nagging pain in your shoulders, hips, or even feet? Well, all of those aches and pains could be down to one very important aspect of your life: your posture. Yes, that’s right. For those of you who have never considered your posture important, or who haven’t really given the way you sit, stand, or walk much thought, we’re giving you some advice: it’s time to take notice. Your posture affects almost everything about your body, from muscle health through to bone structure and overall mobility. It’s no wonder, then, that today’s blog is all about posture. So, get ready, sit up straight, and start diving into why your posture matters.
Having a good posture is important for more than self-confidence. Sure, it’s great to enter a room like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, but walking balanced and upright means a lot more. For one thing, a good posture directly affects the health and suppleness of our muscles. Practicing good posture ensures that our muscles remain strong and mobile, thereby allowing them to offer much-needed support to our skeletal structure. Back, neck, and hip pain is often result of uneven, unbalanced posture. Why? Because the muscles in those areas are not strong, supple, or mobile enough to step-up to the plate. They can only function correctly if good posture is enforced.
We can picture you adjusting yourself in your seat, now. And that’s good! Far too many of us forget that the small, daily habits we have actually effect our posture the most. From sitting incorrectly in a desk chair, through to carrying uneven amounts of weight and overcompensating on one side when driving, we’re all guilty of practicing bad posture throughout the day. The good news is, though, we now know there is room for improvement!
First things first, though: how do we know if our posture is off? Well, the key to knowing if your posture isn’t quite right is to listen to your body. Pay close attention to the little things you do. For example, do you always carry your bag on one side of your body and then lead away from the weight in order to balance? If so, you’re practicing incorrect posture: your spine curves unnaturally in order to accommodate the uneven weight. Another example is this: when you drive, do you lean your elbow into the driver’s door? If so, your spine is once again curving unnaturally. How about when you walk? Do you lean very far forward or do you tend to curve your lower back/coccyx out? If so, your walk is off and your incorrect posture could cause back pain down the road. All three of these examples are just a tiny few compared to the various ways in which incorrect posture can rear its ugly head in your daily activities. For this reason, it’s extremely important to be aware and to get the right advice immediately.
Always remind yourself of your posture and, where applicable, aim to improve it. For example, you could start sleeping with a pillow between your legs so as to align your spine. You could also start sitting upright in your chair at work, lift the height of your computer monitor, and refrain from using laptops where possible. Remember to get up regularly and go for a walk, too! Furthermore, when you’re standing, make sure you’re upright with your spine aligned. Ensure that your shoulders aren’t hunched and that your weight is spread evenly across your legs. The same advice is true for when you walk: distribute weight evenly and ensure that your spine is always supported. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear, too, as your shoes can directly affect your posture and, therefore, your health.
Having said all that, we also know that it can be tricky to self-diagnose potential posture issues. Oftentimes, habits are formed over years and years, and that’s exactly why breaking them, or even recognizing their damaging effects, can be very difficult. However, if you’re serious about tackling your posture – whether to ensure prolonged health and a pain free life, or to eradicate existing pain – it’s imperative that you see a physical therapist. Professional, hands-on physical therapy is the safest, most effective way of tackling posture-related issues. Not only will a physical therapist diagnose and treat the root cause of the problem, thereby eradicating the pain, but he/she will also give you tailor-made exercises and invaluable advice in order to equip you with the tools to maintain a pain-free life filled with great posture!
At the end of the day, just as a lifetime of bad habits can lead to injury, so too can the practice of correct, targeted habits improve your posture and thereby undo the damage. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the improvement of your posture doesn’t hinge on a large, extreme gesture: it takes the accumulative effects of daily, conscious changes to alter bad posture. Listen to your body and make the changes needed to move forward into a pain-free, long, mobile life.
We understand that bad posture has the potential to hinder mobility and active lifestyles. We also know that it may well lead to serious injury or prolonged suffering… and we really don’t want that for you. If you’re not sure whether you have bad posture and you just want some answers in order to avoid negative repercussions, or whether you’re suffering from pain related to bad posture, then we invite you to contact one of our friendly, knowledgeable physical therapists today. Make the change needed to create positive habits that will last a lifetime. Good posture paves the way for a healthful, pain-free life, and we cannot wait to give you the foundation you need to start implementing them correctly and safely. Call us today – we look forward to hearing from you!
Stress. Five little letters is all it takes to make a word so full of meaning that few of us really know how to get to the bottom of it. Stress: is it that feeling you get when a deadline is looming, or is it what we feel when the chicken roast burns, the movie didn’t record, or we forgot to pick our mother-in-law up from the airport? Possibly, but could it be that it’s more than that? What if you haven’t been able to pay your mortgage for a few months, if a family member has been diagnosed with an illness, or if you simply can’t keep up with the pace at work? What if you don’t know how to cope anymore? Stress is all this and, perhaps, a whole lot more. In this blog, we’re talking about all things stress-related: what it is, what it can be, how it ultimately affects not only your mental health, but your physical health as well, and, finally, what you can do about it. Keep reading, because even if you think you don’t have stress, that ache in your lower back might very well be saying something completely different.
Stress takes a toll on us emotionally; it can lead to depression, anxiety disorders, mood-swings, and various other psychological troubles if left untreated. In fact, the emotional effects of stress are so vast that they need an entire blog post of their own. For that reason, this month’s post will focus on the physical effects of stress rather than its mental counterpart.
For the most part, people assume that stress is relegated to the mind: a large amount of stress results in mental strain. Of course, this is true. But the effects of stress are even further reaching than that. Demanding, prolonged, adverse situations cause individuals to experience stress, that is, strain placed on the mind, heart, and body. As the mind becomes increasingly agitated and anxious, the body responds in like. Muscles begin to tense up, posture suffers, sleep is hard to come by, and the overall function of the body declines.
It’s important to note that a knee-injury, for example, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily stressed. Nor does backache or headaches. In fact, stress is notorious for affecting a vast majority of areas around your body, rather than one single one. In other words, stress causes a cumulative worsening of symptoms throughout the entire body. Suffering from stress may cause a few, or all, of the following:
• Back tension.
• Headaches/Neck pain.
• Jaw pain.
• Back pain from tossing/turning.
• Slouching from fatigue.
Of course, as one experiences fatigue, so too the stress mounts, thereby worsening the intensity of an already vicious circle. It is not an understatement to say that “stress kills”, as a prolonged period of stress can lead not only to a mental breakdown, but to the deterioration of one’s physical body, so much so that mobility and comfort may be lost. Once again, this will further increase stress.
It’s obvious, then, that recognizing the ways in which stress is entering your life and manifesting in your body is absolutely imperative. If stressed is picked-up on early, then the effects can be safely and permanently mitigated: this will ensure that you remain mobile, pain-free, and a lot happier than if you were living with that stress on a daily basis. A stress-free life is interconnected with health, mental peace, and a pain-free life. De-stressing is perhaps the most important thing you can do, right now.
So, stress is dangerous, yes, but it is possible to cope with it in healthy, sustainable ways. It’s not only possible, though, it’s an absolute necessity. Allowing stress to build is perhaps one of the leading causes of serious injury, both mentally and physically. We really don’t want you to get to that point. So, why not try the following activities in order to cope with any possible stress you’re under:
Readjusting your breathing in order to allow more oxygen to enter your bloodstream is vital in balancing out the stress in your life. By practicing tried-and-tested breathing techniques, stress will not be given the opportunity to wreak havoc on either your physical or mental self.
There’s one very good reason essential oils have been around for thousands of years… they work! Some essential oils are able to induce relaxation, and thus using them in your bath, in lotions, in diffusers, or even just as something to sniff on occasion, is a really useful way of inviting a sense of calm into your life. Remember, as the mind unwinds, so too your body will be open to healing.
The physical effects of stress need to be tackled, too. As stress builds, so too the body may shut down. Remember, therefore, to pay attention to areas of the body that feel less mobile or painful than before. Apply heat or ice to these areas in order to alleviate the discomfort. Thereafter, seek proper treatment from a physical therapist.
Prolonged periods of stress can oftentimes cause physical pain. Backache, headaches, and neck pain should never be ignored: visit a hands-on physical therapist for the best, safest, most effective way of both treating the physical pain and for tips on how to prevent its resurgence. A physical therapist will not only diagnose the root-cause of the problem and eradicate the pain, but will give you tailor-made exercises so that you can continue your pain-free life outside of the clinic. Once you treat the pain, the mental healing can begin.
At the end of the day, stress is truly detrimental to one’s heath, physical well-being, and state of mind. It can rob us of our joy, hobbies, family-time, and active lifestyles. Listen to your body and make time to de-stress. Knowing if you’re stressed it absolutely essential in staving off physical pain and mental anguish. If you’re unsure why you’re in pain, you’re worried about your physical health, or you just need some advice about stress-related injuries, then we invite you to contact us, today. No one should live with stress or stress-related pain: let us help you, right now.
Most of us like to think we know ourselves fairly well – we know we’re happy when the sun is shining, when we drink a good cup of coffee, or when we spend time with our loved ones. On the other hand, we also know when we’re sad: we may have lost our favorite sneakers, hit a pothole, or experienced emotional trauma. All of that seems, in many ways, quite clear to us. But when it comes to physical injuries things can get a bit confusing. How do we know of we have neck pain, shoulder, or back pain? How do we know if our knees, hips, or lower backs are giving us problems? How can we differentiate between different types of pain? It often seems as if it’s harder to self-diagnose physical pain than it is to pinpoint heartache or joy. And yet, knowing why you’re in pain is actually the most invaluable knowledge there is for treating the root cause of the problem and, therefore, eradicating the pain itself. In this post, then, we’re talking about how injuries can be confusing, how we can tell if we’re really injured – and where we’re injured – and how we can clear it all up once and for all! Let’s jump straight in.
As we said, getting to the bottom of your pain is key in relieving it – treating your elbow, for example, may do no good if it is actually your wrist giving you the trouble. And just to make things even more confusing, your pain might not even point to an injury in the first place! That’s right! Oftentimes, we may experience pain that is fleeting and that disappears on its own. Therefore, understanding the difference between a once-off pain and a chronic, debilitating type of pain is absolutely crucial. Why? Well, if you don’t attention to the pain and it actually points to an injury, then you might end up exacerbating the pain, and damage, even more. Ultimately, we need to find out if the reason for pain is a fleeting injury or not. After this, it’s time to treat it appropriately. Let’s start with the first point: knowing the difference between injury and temporary pain.
When it comes to pain, listening to your body is the first port of call. Your body is a sophisticated organism – its ability to signal injury in the form or discomfort and pain cannot be underestimated. Sensation is like your body’s language, and pain, therefore, is like a warning which signals a problem. If we listen carefully enough, our bodies will inform us of our ailments. So, when it comes to knowing if we’re injured or not, we have to listen. Look out for any signs of injury: swelling, discoloration, temperature spikes – trouble walking, placing pressure on the area, or sensitivity to touch are all indicators that something is wrong. A tip for you: if you suspect that you’ve been injured, apply heat/ice immediately. More often than not, inflammation accompanies pain – heat and ice are able to alleviate the discomfort and swelling. Be sure to be smart, though: if you feel pain for long durations of time, something is definitely wrong. Don’t make the mistake of believing your pain will disappear on its own; listen to your body and make a decision to get the right kind of help.
Once you’ve listened to your body and have understood that you’re injured, it’s time to figure out exactly what type of injury you’ve sustained. Establishing if you’ve pulled, strained, or torn a muscle can, at times, be as difficult as solving a Rubix cube… it can be incredibly challenging. One way to get to the bottom of it all is to analyze the types of activities you’ve done – Crossfit can give rise to different injuries than Yoga may, for example. This is, however, an inexact science, as injuries vary wildly at times. It is one way of trying to pin-point your injury, though. At the end of the day, however, it’s always best to see a professional physical therapist in order to establish the exact cause and forthcoming treatment needed.
Visiting a professional, hands-on physical therapist is by far the safest, fastest, and most effective way of both diagnosing and treating the root cause of your pain. Not only will a physical therapist relieve the discomfort, but will give you the tools to maintain a pain-free life. Tailor-made exercises will accompany treatment that will hone in on your specific injury – all this means that the confusion you’ve experienced is eliminated and that you’re able to get back to the activities you love.
At the end of the day, understanding injuries and pain can be tricky. It may seem impossible to identify either the cause of the pain or its location, but one thing is certain: it cannot be ignored. Listen to your body and make a decision to get the help you need. Take action. Analyze your activities, stop doing those that you think may be detrimental, and get professional help.
If you’re unsure of why you’re in pain, where you’re in pain, or if even if you’ve injured yourself during an activity you love, then we invite you to contact us today. We’re here to help you, and one of our dedicated, professional physical therapists are here to answer any and all questions you might have. Don’t live with the uncertainty of confusing pain any longer – get the answers you need and let us help you get back to the life you deserve: one that is pain-free and mobile. We look forward to chatting and helping you on your path back to health and mobility.
Winter has come and the snow is falling all around! That’s great for snowball fights, but it’s less exciting for the health of your back. Yes, you guessed it… all that fluffy white cotton wool means it’s time to get shoveling. What a pain in the neck, right? Early mornings, freezing temperatures, and a workout you’d rather not face. Yes, we know it’s a slog getting the snow off of your driveway, but we also want to tell you that it doesn’t have to mean your summer is plagued by back pain, neck issues, or frozen shoulders. There is a way around the negative effects of shoveling, we promise! In fact, there doesn’t need to be any if you take our advice. Start your engines because it’s time to dig into to some must-have shoveling tips, advice, and general information. On with the gloves!
For most of you reading this, shoveling might not be your day job. In fact, you rarely see the shovel unless you feel a bout of gardening fever coming on – are we right? In fact, it’s such a rare activity that that shoveling is a single yearly event, if that. For those of you who are from Alaska, Vermont, or Maine… apologies. For the rest of us, though, due to the infrequency of snow shoveling, we hardly ever think of posture, technique, or warm ups. Unfortunately, these are precisely the things we need to think about before digging in! Shoveling snow is a bit like lifting weights and swinging them around: if you don’t know how to lift correctly, don’t know how to deadlift, and don’t know how to set the weight down properly, well, you’re going to injure yourself. So, shoveling well – using the right technique and applying the correct posture – is the key to preserving the health of your muscles, spine, and joints.
You’re not sure how to do all that? Well, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are a few things to do before and during your morning shovel:
Type of Shovel: We bet you’ve never thought about this, have you? The type of shovel you have can actually seriously impact the stress placed on your back and body, overall. So, choose wisely: aim for a less heavy shovel, that is, for a plastic one over a steel one. Also, use a snow pusher instead of a snow shovel if you have the option, as pushers are less heavy and easier to hold.
Epsom Salt Bath: The journey doesn’t end once the drive is cleared of snow… make sure you take a warm Epsom salt bath once you’re done in order to relax your muscles and joints. Doing this will allow your body to recuperate in preparation of your next session tomorrow!
Heat and Ice: If you feel as though you strained your muscles and joints after shoveling, be sure to apply either ice or heat to the area. Use a heat pad or ice pack in order to help relax the area in pain. Be sure to apply neither for more than 10 minutes at a time, and try to give yourself 5 minutes in between each application.
Listen to your Body: make sure you take the time to notice changes in your body while you shovel. Our bodies have very sophisticated ways of letting us know if things aren’t quite right… make sure you listen. If you feel aches, pain, or discomfort at any point, stop and reassess the situation. Is it your posture, your shovel, or have you simply been doing it for too long? Know when to stop and rest – it could make all the difference.
At the end of the day, shoveling is actually a lot more complicated than you first thought, right? It involves a lot of posture work and it certainly needs you to be aware of your movements and mobility. Luckily, there is an easier – and a lot more effective – way of accomplishing this than painstakingly watching hundreds of YouTube videos… it’s called physical therapy! We’re guessing you had no idea physical therapy could help with shoveling, but the great news is it can! Whether you’re dealing with back pain from last winter’s shoveling adventures, or you’re just keen to avoid experiencing it after the upcoming ones, we invite you to speak to one of our professional, hands-on, dedicated physical therapists, today. Physical therapy gives you the techniques, tools, and help to conquer posture, strengthen muscles, and avoid injury. It also cures the root cause of existing back problems, thereby permanently eradicating pain. Don’t get stuck in a rut this winter – get physical therapy today.
We know that shoveling can be laborious and, generally, painful. It doesn’t have to be that way, though: we invite you to call us, right now, for more information on how our excellent physical therapists can help you conquer winter and leave you feeling pain free, stronger, and more mobile than ever before. Let us shovel away the pain while you shovel away the snow with ease!
New Year’s Resolution, Getting In Shape while Avoiding Overuse Training Syndrome
For Many Americans, getting in better shape is the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a New Year’s Resolution. With the beginning of a new year comes the drive to want to do something different and better than the previous year. New changes, new outlooks, and new workout routines are on the top of the ‘to-do’ list for the coming year. From starting CrossFit, to increasing your workout goals, getting in shape is outstanding for your physical and mental health, but as with everything, there is such thing as ‘too much’.
As we get into our new routines with fresh motivation, we push ourselves harder – we run faster, swim further, and lift more. Yet while our new workouts may seem outwardly healthy, we may actually be doing ourselves harm in the long run. Why? Well, for some of us the exercise routines we have been inspired to take on have turned from ‘healthy’ to ‘unbalanced’. In other words, as we’ve pushed ourselves on the court, in the pool, or on the bike, we’ve lost track of our personal limits - we’ve fallen prey to what is generally called Overuse Training Syndrome. Now, if the name intimidates you, don’t fear. In this post, we discuss the causes and effects of OTS and we give you advice on how to get back in the right gear.
Overuse Training Syndrome is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: it occurs when the body is pushed too far during exercise and/or training – over and above its limits – thereby causing it to lose its ability to recover in a sustainable and safe way. For obvious reasons, this wreaks havoc on both your health and your training routine, not to mention to your mental endurance. Unfortunately, the most common reaction to OTS is an even greater commitment to training harder, faster, and more often. The results? Well – take a look:
Firstly, OTS makes you tired – not in the traditional ‘good workout sense’, but fatigued in a way that throws your training and muscle wellness off balance. This type of exhaustion is often confused with a sense of demotivation or laziness, thus leading many people to push-through and push harder. Sadly, this approach does a lot more harm than good, as it delays recovery for longer periods thus placing even more stress on overall health, stamina, fitness, and the body.
Secondly, OTS feels a little like the flu: a dull aching in your muscles and joints, lightheadedness during exercise, slight nausea, and overall grumpiness follows its onset. In general, OTS leads to the lessening of enjoyment during exercise, as your goals aren’t met and your motivation declines. OTS is thus mentally and physically debilitating.
Yet apart from fatigue and an overall dampening to your exercise routine, OTS – and its resultant drive to push harder and faster – may actually lead to a number of serious and harmful consequences. Exercising too much, and pushing certain areas of your body to the brink and beyond, often leads to disturbances which may cause short and longterm damage. Examples of these types of injuries include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and patellofemoral pain. Indeed, if the names don’t scare you away, then the pain associated with these conditions will.
Perhaps more common when it comes to OTS are symptoms you may in fact already be experiencing. These include insomnia, elevated heart rate, appetite loss, decreasing muscle mass, dwindling performance, and muscle soreness. None of these symptoms are particularly enjoyable, and while you may think that exercise more may actually alleviate them, the truth is, increased activity will only worsen them exponentially.
So, what can you do? You love training, your routine is magnificent, and you’ve finally mastered the art of waking up early enough to get the right amount of activity in before work. How could you possibly change anything at this point? Well, the truth is, it’s time to start being very honest with yourself. Exercise is wonderful for you, but too much of it may actually be putting you at a disadvantage. The key is – as with so much in life – balance. It’s very important to balance the duration, type, and pace of your routines, making sure that no one part of your body is constantly under fire.
Additionally, though it may be difficult to accept at first, rest is just as important as exercise. It is absolutely crucial that you give your body time off to recover and rest, thus allowing your muscles to repair themselves, your joints to heal, and your endurance to be prolonged. Working out is as much about the ability to listen to your body as it is to push it to be its best. Adding a rest day or two to your week will actually be a lot more beneficial to your workout than skipping them. And, as an extra bonus, you can sleep a bit later on those days!
In all seriousness, though, balancing exercise and rest is the most effective way of staving off the risks associated with Overuse Training Syndrome. Knowing how to do this is, however, tricky for many of us. That’s why we invite you to speak to one of our dedicated, professional physical therapists today. Whether you’re suffering from symptoms related to OTS, or just want dedicated, trusted advice and help, we’re here for you. With hands-on physical therapy, we offer not only the safest, most effective way of overcoming OTS related pain and injury, but we give you the best possible chance of avoiding these issues in the future. By providing sound advice, tailor-made exercises, and hands-on, quality, treatment, we will elevate your training program in a way that is safe, effective, and free from the stresses associated with overuse and exercise.
Why not give us a call today? If you’re interested in learning more, just want to chat, or are currently in pain, we urge you to click the button below to get in touch and request a call. We’re here to help and we cannot wait to hear from you. Don’t fall prey to too much exercise, thereby risking not only your fitness and routine, but your overall health, too. It’s time to make the most of your exercise routine, today.
How Stress and Diet Relate to Pain
Ever been in a foreign country and tried to order off of a long, complicated, alien looking menu? Did you use hand signals to describe the dish you wanted? Did you whip out your phone and hope Google has the answers? And, in the end, did you just close your eyes and trust that what landed on your plate was pork, not pizza? Yes, this situation can be frustrating, especially when you don’t end up getting what you want! Well, let me tell you a secret… when you’re in pain, your body is frantically waving hand signals, pointing at pictures, and speaking in a foreign language. Why? Because it needs you to give it what it wants.
Few of us think of pain as a language, and yet, it is. Foreign though it may be to many people, it is, in fact, a very detailed and specific way of communication. When you stub your toe, for example, your brain sends you a signal that something is wrong. You hop around looking sheepish for a while, but you also realize that putting a plaster over the nail, putting your foot up a bit, and wearing shoes next time is the right thing to do. So why would it be different when it comes to chronic pain? Back pains through to knee pains all have one thing in common: they’re signals from the body.
And if your body is speaking to you – and for some of you reading this, it might be screaming at you – it’s time to take some notice. But, that having been said, it’s a little easier said than done sometimes. If you’ve experienced ongoing, debilitating pain, it’s not always easy to listen properly. You might just not understand. And that’s why it’s absolutely vital to take a step back and start looking at the two most important factors that might be contributing to your pain: stress and diet.
For many of us, this five letter word has been so overused we don’t really understand what it means anymore. For some folks, general stress can push them forward, motivating them to challenge their professional and personal boundaries. But others – including many of you reading this now – might not even know what a holiday or ‘me-time’ is anymore. Quite possibly, you (and them) have been so focused on your work, family, or other activities, that you’ve not taken a moment to notice what the ongoing, accumulative stress is doing to your body.
You see, stress is a bit like moving a bucket of water from one end of a football pitch to the other. Continuously. You’re so focused on moving the bucket over the outer boundary that you don’t feel your knees and back giving way. You just keep going. Eventually – inevitably – the water spills and, well, you’re left to clean up the mess.
Yet what would happen if you set the bucket down? The boundary would be more attainable, you would start being critical about the ultimate goal of your back-and-forth race, and you would begin to slow down, look up the sky, and start contemplating a trip to the beach. What do I mean? You would start living the life you deserve and, miraculously, your knees and back just might have a chance to recuperate and heal, given that you take actions which facilitate this.
In the case of emotional stress, too, the concept remains the same. Because the brain processes stress as a trauma, akin in many ways to PTSD, it therefore suffers from the effects of anxiety and stress for a while after the body actually experiences them. Again, this type of stress needs to be dealt with. Action needs to be taken, otherwise the metaphorical bucket will always be close to tipping.
The pain in your back, knees, ankles, and so forth, is your body telling you that something is very wrong with your routine. It’s time to listen. And, believe it or not, pain is not the only symptom of chronic stress: your appetite suffers too. Which brings us to signal number two…
So few people ever turn to how they fuel their body for answers relating to their chronic pain. And yet, there might be a direct link between the nutritional content of your food and the pain you’re going through.
Sugar, fat, and salt all contribute to the accumulation of a poor metabolism, fat storage in the body, poor blood pressure, and decreased circulation. The result? Pain. And sadly, as many people know, pain is really only the start. Cancer, diabetes, and a myriad of other diseases may well follow suit.
If you’re not sleeping, you’re experiencing chest pains, you’re suffering from panic attacks and headaches, and you’re feeling a general fatigue accompanying your pain, please take a look at what you’re ingesting. It’s absolutely vital to check-up on your diet.
Start including more vegetable and anti-oxidants into your diet. Include foods that are nutrient dense and well balanced. The key to health is to listen to your body, and a lack of appetite, an over-active appetite, or a generally nutrient deficient calorie intake, is a clear signal from your body to regroup and reconstruct your food choices.
Stress and diet are clear forms of language: when out of balance, they’re your body’s way of producing pain so that you are able to take notice and take action. Knowing which choices to make in order to alleviate your pain is absolutely vital. That’s exactly why we invite you to contact us, right now. For the best advice, professional hands-on physical therapy, and support you can count on, contact us today. We’re here to help. It’s time to start listening to your body, getting rid of stress, eating right, and accessing the pain free life you deserve.
Call us today and take action!
Golf… it’s a sport that calls to mind beautiful Saturday mornings, a cold beer at the club after a great 18-hole day, and that elusive birdie you’ve been trying to get for years. And while this all sounds pretty much idyllic, you might be surprised to know that playing golf causes nearly as many injuries as some contact sports! It’s true, and while shocking, it actually makes a lot of sense. The techniques players employ in their swings, gaits, and strokes, often have painful consequences for the back and shoulders. In fact, shoulder pain is so common amongst golfers that it has fast become one of the injuries we treat most often. So, in this post we chat to you about what it means to have shoulder pain, how you know it’s golf-related, and what to do if you’re suffering from it right now. With that having been said, let’s tee up and get started!
For all you golfing enthusiasts out there, the title probably makes some sense. No doubt you’ve yelled ‘fore’ out onto the green after miscalculating the wind gusts, right? Well, just as you might warn the unsuspecting golfers out ahead of you, so too your body yells its equivalent of ‘fore’ at you when it’s in distress and pain. Really, as you’re playing golf you might actually feel a tug, a pull, or even discomfort in your shoulder as you swing – that’s your body telling you to ‘watch out’ and ‘look out ahead’. In fact, it’s your body’s extremely sophisticated way of warning you about probable damage and/or injury to your shoulder if you continue swinging the way you are. And yet, despite this impressive alarm system, many golfers continue to swing through the pain as though it will disappear on its own. And what a mistake that is! For those who ignore the signs, shoulder pain is really just a few yards away.
Well, what happens if you’ve ignored the warning signs and are now experiencing shoulder pain and discomfort? What does that mean and what can be done? One thing to understand is that the shoulder is a complex joint; the movement and mobility of it hinges on the rotator cuff, that is, the section of your shoulder made up of muscles and tendons designed to keep your arm in the socket of your shoulder. Hence, shoulder pain in this area is often referred to as a rotator cuff injury and, yes, you guessed it, these are most commonly seen amongst avid golfers.
It’s not too difficult to take a guess as to why the rotator cuff is at risk during a golf game. The movement involved in swinging your club actually places massive amounts of strain on the rotator cuff, causing the muscles and tendons to twist and bend in ways that are mostly unnatural to them. So, while repeatedly swinging a golf club overhead may well be great for your game, it’s not equally as good for your shoulder. The constant, unvarying repetition of a single incorrect movement can, in fact, wreak havoc later down the line. In effect, golf actually places your shoulder at a much highest risk of injury than almost any other sport.
And, unfortunately, the pain that accompanies a rotator cuff injury is far from pretty. Symptoms include the following:
In addition to all of the above, experiencing a shoulder injury while you are playing golf means that all aspects of your life will be affected. From your actual game, to your social life, family life, and peace of mind. We have met so many patients who, before coming to see us, have felt completely defeated by their golfing injuries.
So, what can be done? If you haven’t yet experienced an injury, that’s great. However, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet. It is absolutely vital that you learn the correct golfing posture and swinging technique in order to avoid injuries in the future. A physical therapist will gladly help you with this information. Wear the right golfing gear, too, and be mindful of the weight you carry out on the green.
If, however, you are currently experiencing shoulder pain related to golf, the best possible action you can take is to visit a qualified, hands-on, professional physical therapist. A physical therapist will treat the root cause of your problem, thereby relieving pain effectively and safely and making sure that your recovery is a permanent one. There are no temporary solutions, here. Furthermore, a physical therapist will give you specific, tailor-made exercises that you can do at home in order to ensure that you remain pain free. What’s more, you’ll learn the correct techniques for the best golf game of your life. You know as well as we do that your golfing prowess is less about how hard you swing the club, but much more about how you do it. Find out what’s best for you by visiting a physical therapist today.
We know how debilitating shoulder pain can be, especially if you love golf. Unfortunately, getting back into the swing of things can be a struggle. If you’re not sure how to do it, or where to start, we invite you to talk to one of our professional, friendly physical therapists, today. We’ll eliminate your pain and get you back to playing the game you love. Ask below about cost and availability.
Knee pain affects almost every single person at some point in their lives. From sprains, to cartilage issues, all the way through to posture-related injuries and muscle tears, knee pain seems to play a role in the sometimes debilitating struggle for a pain-free life. We understand how the nagging, irritating, and oftentimes overwhelming pain in your knee affects your day-to-day activities, not to mention your social life, and that’s why this post is all about knee pain: what it is, why it is, and what can be done about it.
When it comes to knee pain, few people really understand its origins. This is not least because of the complex structure of the knee joint and its position in the body. In fact, the knee is one of the most important body parts. Why? Well, it not only grants the lower leg an immense amount of flexibility, but it also support and maintains the mobility of the upper leg and, finally, the torso and entire upper body. In other words, the knee is an invaluable part of the body’s mobility and stability.
It is no wonder, then, that the knee joint is also the site where most of the body’s pressures and strains accumulate. From walking, to running, and even to standing, the knee is subject to an incomprehensible amount of daily pounding and weight. In truth, your knees withstand more strain than you know, and without their resilience you would probably be far less mobile. Which is why, of course, knee pain is so debilitating.
As a knee experiences the constant pressure and strain placed on it by our everyday activities, it gradually starts to experience wear-and-tear, that is, muscles lose their strength and the cartilage is subsequently placed under more and more stress – hence, the pain. Quite often, if this state of affairs isn’t appropriately addressed, the cartilage might give way or tear, leading to serious injuries requiring surgery, or worse still, a complete knee replacement. Amongst these rather alarming injuries are the likes of ACL injuries, knee fractures, dislocations, PCL injuries, tears, popping, swelling, tendon injury, knee cap dislocations, and a myriad more – and, if the names don’t scare you, the pain will.
In lieu of this, it is easy to see why the maintenance of a healthy knee joint is vital. Unfortunately, however, many people already suffering from knee pain turn to temporary solutions for comfort: from painkillers, to surgery, and all the way around to injections and rest, people just aren’t taking action. The issue with pain in the knee joint is that rest and procrastination, not to mention tablets, only make things worse – as you know, the pain often only increases if you try to wait it out, and in the end you’re left with an even longer road to recovery. Yet, in a world where there is so much conflicting information, what can you do? Where do you turn? And how can you get rid of this pain?
Luckily, there are ways to combat knee pain and, in many cases, totally eradicate your daily discomfort, thus getting you back to the activities you love. Take a look:
Exercise – All Things in Moderation
We know you might be active, love golf, running, and sports. Maybe you just like walking and enjoy being outside. The good news is, activity and mobility are sure-fire ways of fast-tracking your journey to a pain-free life. Importantly, however, you need to be very sure that the exercises you do are moderate, low-impact, and do not place unnecessary or damaging strain on your knee. Movement is key… but, in moderation.
That having been said, try doing exercises that strengthen your knee as well as give it extra motion. Straight leg raises, whereby the leg is slowly lifted to extend the knee joint, are really helpful. Try leg presses and balancing exercises to increase the flexibility and strength of the knee joint. In addition, why not try cycling? Riding a bike is a low-impact form of exercise and is incredibly beneficial for strengthening the muscles around the knee joint. It’s all about support: find activities that support your knee so as to get you moving and feeling stronger… all in preparation for those things you long to get back to doing.
While increasing the amount of low-impact physical activity you do is helpful, the best and most effective way of eliminating your knee pain – fast and safely – is physical therapy. A professional, hands-on physical therapist is able to diagnose and treat the root-case of your problem, thereby offering you a permanent solution to your knee-pain. And not only that, physical therapy gives you a set of tailor-made exercises and stretches you can do at home; this means that your road to health doesn’t stop when you leave the PT room – you’ll be able to maintain your pain-free life well beyond your physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy is so much more than just a temporary mask for your pain: it’s about your health and your happiness.
We know how important your family and activities are to you, and we also know that the daily struggle you experience is about a lot more than physical discomfort. Your happiness and joy are being stolen, and we are here to help. Physical therapy gives you the opportunity to restore functionality in your knee, the tools to help rebuild and strengthen muscles, and the comfort of knowing that the range of motion in your knee is being systematically increased. We want to give you back the life you’ve been missing out on because of discouraging, frustrating knee pain.
Don’t let knee-pain ruin even one more day of your life. It’s time to get back to that golf game you’ve been dying to play, that yoga class that’s been in the back of your mind for weeks, and the training for that marathon you’ve waited forever to run. Knee pain is terrible, but there are solutions. Contact us today for information about how we can help you overcome your battle against knee pain – we want to see you up and running – pun intended – as soon as possible.
By now I’m sure you’re well aware of the benefits related to daily cardio, stretching, and resistance activities. Not only does your heart get a massive health-boost, but your entire body feels more supple and strong; your immune system is strengthened and you generally feel better. So, if you know all this, and have most likely experienced the positive effects of a daily workout routine yourself, why is it so hard to stick to a healthy pattern? Why is a daily exercise regime so difficult to maintain? The truth is, the reason we don’t stick to our guns is usually because of a busy work schedule; alternately, it could be because we can’t fit time into a hectic – and often delicate – work/family balance. We understand this predicament, and that’s why we’re offering you some useful tips on how to fit that much-needed exercise into your life, no matter the time constraints or pressures you face. Take a look!
As with most things in life, when it comes to implementing a regular, consistent daily exercise routine, perseverance is key. We know it can become difficult, that it can be tedious at times, and that you may feel like throwing in the towel, but making a commitment and sticking to it is absolutely vital. Just as you may be having a hard day at work, yet persevere because you know you need to, so too do you need to approach your workouts. Remove thoughts that tell you they’re not a priority… they are. And that’s really important to understand: your health is a priority, so treat it as such.
Now, we’re not suggesting this is by any means an easy thing to do. Sometimes these types of mind-shifts are difficult to make, but we know you can do it. Think of your workouts as a way to push your daily boundaries, to expand your skills, and as opportunities to better yourself both mentally and physically. Yes, you may be tired, you may be feeling groggy, and you may think you lack the energy to drive yourself on, but we promise that, once you start, your workout will be exceptionally rewarding both in the short term and long run. Keep at it! Here’s how:
6 Ways to Fit a Workout into Your Daily Schedule:
1. It’s competition time!
Whether at home or in the office, igniting your competitive spirit goes a long way in pushing you to do some exercise. Why not set up little goals to achieve? You can even challenge friends or family members to see if you can beat their times. If you really want to get creative, give yourself prizes when you finish within time or beat an opponent. It becomes a whole lot more fun to do workouts if you know that there is some sort of competitive spirit about them.
2. Consistency is key!
There’s a reason for the hype around habit-creation. When you are consistent in your activities, they become much easier to do and, eventually, they become part-and-parcel of your daily routine. It is no different when it comes to working out. Make a point of picking a specific time either in the morning or in the evening to do your daily exercise. Also, make sure you hold yourself accountable – stick to the chosen time and make it a constant, daily element of your day. Soon you’ll find that it has become a lot more engrained and natural; you’ll actually start missing it if you skip a day!
3. Personal Trainers Work
If you’re the type of person who needs a little extra motivation in order to stay on the right path, it might be worth your while to consider hiring a personal trainer. Doing so will ensure that someone other than yourself keeps an eye on your progress. If you’re not keen on a one-on-one situation, your local fitness center most likely offers community classes which will also incentivize you to exercise.
4. Plan Ahead
Plan your workout ahead of time. Make sure you have a detailed description of the activities you’ll be doing that week. In addition, include the foods you will be eating. It would be a mistake to assume that a workout alone will benefit you: diet plays a very important role in your health. Make sure to include more vegetables, healthy oils, fruits, and nuts into your everyday cuisine.
5. Workout Charts
Remember when you were at school and you were over the moon when you received gold stars? This is the same concept. Keep track of your progress, activities, workouts, and weight goals by using a chart. Achieving milestones will keep you motivated, determined, and focused.
6. Choose Something over Nothing
At the end of the day, choosing even small changes for a healthier body is a win-win. You really can’t lose by choosing a healthier snack, foregoing the taxi for a cycle, or walking instead of using the subway. In fact, making these small changes will boost your confidence and commitment. You’ll get rid of that feeling of guilt and regret, and you’ll start making even bigger changes down the line.
And there you have it… 6 amazing tips! Even so, though, it can be difficult to get going. Knowing which exercises to do, how to do them, how much to push yourself, or even where to start, can be a tricky and frustrating place to be in. That’s why visiting a qualified, professional, hands-on physical therapist is the best decision to make. A physical therapist will not only give you invaluable advice, help you with designing a workout schedule, and show you proper techniques, but he/she will also give you tailor-made exercises and stretches designed to support you throughout your workouts. You’ll get the answers you need in order to get going on the right foot. Contact us today for more information.
Make your health a priority and start developing a consistent, fun, daily workout routine – the above 6 tips give you the best chance of success. We look forward to seeing the healthy, fit, happier you in no time!
Unless you’re gifted with extraordinary medical abilities, you probably can’t immediately tell the difference between a pulled muscles or something else. Hey, let’s face it, most people aren’t doctors. Not everyone can instinctively tell where their pains are coming from. And, if you’re reading this post, my guess is that you might be one the ones who struggle a little. The good news is, though, it’s absolutely normal not to know the cause of your pain; both people who suffer from sudden, fleeting pain, as well as those who experience ongoing, chronic pain, are often dumbfounded as to its cause. More often than not, though, people jump to the conclusion that they’ve pulled muscles. The effects of this type of ill-informed opinion can be life-changing, and that is why we’re about to expose the hidden answers behind what it means to have a pulled muscles, and whether or not something completely different might be going on.
What are pulled muscles, actually?
This is a good question, and it is the best place to start on your journey to discovering the true source of your pain. Remember, if you have an informed understanding of your ailment, you’ll be able to heal the source and permanently eradicated the pain. With that in mind, here is some information about what pulled muscles actually are and whether or not you have one of them, or, something completely different:
Luckily, there is a way to tell. Pinched nerves, in particular, effect different areas of the body and produce different sensations. Take a look:
What is a pinched nerve?
The thing is, if your discomfort goes untreated – or is treated incorrectly – you risk prolonged bed rest, extended periods off of work, a decrease in activity and mobility, weight gain, muscle weakness, and daily, extreme discomfort. None of these sound particularly appealing and, if you’re reading this, it’s most likely that you’ve already experienced one or more of these results. It’s time to take action.
So, if you’re unsure why you are experiencing pain, you feel as though you’re not getting any better, or you’re at the end of your tether when it comes to finding the right kind of help, then we invite you to give us a call, right now. Physical therapy offers you the chance to find and heal the true cause of your pain, thereby allowing you to access the pain-free life you deserve. Why not try it today? Click the button below to speak to a specialist, right now. We look forward to hearing from you.
John Salva, PT
"We help people in pain get back to the things they want without relying on surgery or painkillers, even if past treatments have failed."