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.
Understanding Core Strength and What to do About It
“Core Strength”… You’ve seen these words on billboards advertising gym memberships, on the latest health-trend manifestos, and on the front page of your fitness magazine. You’ve even heard your close friends and family members chatting about the value of core strength. And yet, you’re not really sure what it is, why it’s important, or why it should even matter to you. The good news is, this post is about to enlighten you. We’re going to give you the ins-and-outs of core strength, its necessity, and what it really means for your health.
For most of us, the idea of core strength is firmly rooted in an image of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger – 6-packs and plenty of muscle. Sure, this is some of what it means to have good core strength, but thankfully, having a strong core doesn’t mean we have to become body builders. Core strength is about a lot more than washboard abs – it’s about strong muscles in your torso, back, and upper legs, that is, muscles that are robust enough to support and maintain a healthy spine and bone structure. So, while it’s an added bonus to develop a great midriff, having strong core muscles contributes to your overall health – not just appearance – in a myriad of ways.
Think about this for a second: have you ever had back pain or suffered from pelvic pain? This type of discomfort may well have to do with weakness in your core muscles. Because these muscles ensure the stability and mobility of the joints and spinal structure, weakness or stiffness may disrupt optimal body function, thereby leading to pain which can sometimes be chronic. Not only that, but strong core muscles actually prevent injury. Why? Because they strengthen and support the skeletal structure, thereby reducing the risk of damage. By contrast, weak core muscles may have a large impact on posture, pelvic health, possible injury, athletic ability, energy, and endurance, not to mention mobility and flexibility.
It’s clear, then, that core strength is integral to health, but as with most things in life, it’s important to understand the journey is just as important as the result. Some people jump straight into a vigorous, damaging core-strength routine, never consulting a professional and just assuming that “harder and faster” means “better”. Sadly, most of these people do more harm than good, and far from strengthening their core muscles, their overambitious routines actually cause overcompensation, misalignment, stress, and ultimately, pain. It is absolutely essential that core strength training be undertaken with a solid understanding of your body, your particular set of needs, and your personal parameters.
All in all, though, having strong core muscles is both essential in the prevention of injury and in the elimination of various forms of pain. That having been said, we understand that getting into a habit of developing strong core muscles in, perhaps, a little easier said than done. Some people don’t have time for hours in the gym, and others might be daunted by the idea of sit-ups or crunches. Don’t worry – there are safe, effective, and easy ways of increasing your core strength and alleviating your pain, right now. Take a look:
Core Strength Exercises
Remember, start moderately and work your way up to more intense routines. Muscles take time to strengthen, so give them the space they need to build in a strong and lasting manner – in other words, avoid injuries by practicing patience.
Physical therapy is by far the best, most effective, safest, and fastest way of increasing your core strength and eradicating pain. A hands-on, professional therapist will not only alleviate your pain by treating the root cause of the problem, but he/she will ensure that you maintain a pain-free life by giving you the tools to do so. In other words, physical therapy offers you tailor-made exercises designed to eradicate your pain, strengthen your core, and help you enjoy and maintain the life you deserve. Physical therapy isn’t a temporary solution, rather, it is a permanent and safe answer to your pain: by giving you professional, effective, customized, life-changing care, physical therapy is the best, most effective way to increase core strength and help you live the life you were meant to.
Don’t underestimate the value of core strength both in the eradication of pain and in the maintenance of a pain-free life. Call us today for more information about how we can help you – we look forward to hearing from you.
For many of us, exercise is more than a general walk in the park. In reality, it’s a part of who we are, and our dedication to training programs, fitness, and health, goes above and beyond. From running, to swimming, to CrossFit, and to hiking, we just love to do it. Every day we push ourselves harder – we run faster, swim further, and lift more. Yet while our daily habits 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’ve come to love 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 long-term 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.
Neck pain and upper back pain may be two of the most common ailments people experience. From struggling to move your neck, to worrying about the position you sit in on your favorite sofa, pain in the upper torso is debilitating. Yet, many of those who experience these kinds of issues haven’t suffered a fall, twisted their necks unnaturally, or been on rollercoasters since their pain started. For most people, the cause of neck pain or upper back discomfort can’t be pinpointed: there is no single unique moment in which their backs or necks could have been injured. What then? How did they come to be in so much pain? And if you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking the same thing about yourself. Fear not, however, because we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll be investigating the hidden causes that have led to your neck and upper back pain. We’ll also be looking at what to do about it and which steps to take next.
The really frustrating thing about constant neck and upper back pain is that, no matter what you seem to do, it just doesn’t want to disappear. You’ve tried everything: hot water bottles, massages, and even long periods of rest, yet nothing has changed, right? Well, the truth is, it isn’t going to get any better unless you find out exactly why you’re experiencing the pain. See, the thing is, neck and upper back pain often have pretty mundane sources: your everyday habits might be the culprits here. Thus, no matter what you do, if you don’t start there, nothing will change. In lieu of this, take a look at some of the fairly common mistakes people make:
Lack of Exercise
Now, I can hear you thinking from here… “I should be resting my muscles, not moving them!” Well, no, not really. By not moving enough, you are actually setting your recovery back considerably. Muscles and joints need to move in order to maintain mobility. If you aren’t moving your upper back and neck enough, your muscles will start to stiffen and shorten, thereby placing stress on your joints and decreasing overall movement. This invariably leads to the pain you’re experiencing now. So, while rest may intuitively feel like the right thing to do, it may actually be doing more harm than good. Why not try doing some gentle stretches to loosen up the painful area? Furthermore, if you sit at a desk for long periods of time, be mindful of getting up regularly and stretching your neck and upper back. Walk around a bit and, during your time off, take up a new sport like cycling, walking, or swimming.
Having bad posture is one of the leading causes of upper back and neck pain. Slouching leads to a variety of ailments in the long run, but a tell-tail sign of poor alignment is the nagging discomfort you come to experience in your upper torso. Start becoming mindful of how you sit and stand: make sure your spine is aligned correctly. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, make sure your chair supports your back correctly, and that your computer – if you use one – is at eye-level.
Everyday Habits: Strain on you Upper Back and Neck
You may not know this, but some of the things you do daily actually affect your upper back and neck considerably. Think about driving, for example. How long do you sit in the car for? And, when you drive, do you turn your neck or just blink into the rear-view mirror when necessary? These are the types of things you need to start considering when it comes to the health of your upper back and neck. How long do you stare at your phone for, and do you slouch while you do it? When you bend down to pick up the groceries, the school bags, or your pot plants, do you do it mindfully or without regard for your upper back and neck? What about when you clean the house, play golf, brush your teeth and hair, or shave your legs? All these daily decisions and actions accumulate over time, and the effect their incorrect execution may have is usually far too understated. Make a change today: be mindful and cognizant of how you do certain tasks, how often you do them, and whether you’re aware of what your body is trying to signal to you. The devil is in the details.
When it comes to tackling the issue of upper back and neck pain, as has been mentioned earlier, movement is your best friend. Move as much as you can and as often as you can. Be conscious of the fact, however, that you should always be sensitive to the type of activities you’re able to do. Some safe activities on your road to health include Pilates and yoga, both of which offer you the opportunity to enhance the flexibility and mobility of you upper back and neck muscles. You could also try walking, swimming, and relaxing hikes in order to jumpstart your journey to a pain free life.
In addition to the extra physical activities we suggest, physical therapy is by far the best, safest and most effective way of tackling and overcoming your upper back and neck pain. With the help of a professional, hands-on physical therapist, you’ll not only find the root cause of the problem, but your particular issue will be treated accordingly, thereby permanently relieving your pain. And not only that, a physical therapist with equip you with the tools to maintain your pain free life by giving you tailor-made stretches and exercise routines suited to you personally. Physical therapy will mobilize your joints, relieve stiffness, and rid you of your pain so that you can enjoy the life you deserve.
If you’re unsure about where to start, or you feel discouraged by the daily pain you’re enduring, contact us today. We’re here to uncover the hidden causes of your neck and upper back pain so that you can get back to living the life you dream of. We invite you to fill out the form below in order to speak to one of our highly qualified, professional physical therapists… find out how we can help you eliminate your pain, today!
If you generally step more gently as you go down the stairs, hold the hand-railing a little bit tighter, and take careful note of where your feet land next… you’re not alone. The vast majority of us either consciously or subconsciously fear the sudden jolt and feeling of vertigo related to feeling taking a tumble – not to mention the pain that comes afterwards! Our worst fears are realized when we start to think about the horrendous consequences of a fall: hip-fractures, muscle tears, back pain, even broken legs all come to mind. Yikes! Is it any wonder that a common nightmarish theme is falling out of bed? In fact, a fear of falling is so common that most people don’t even know they’re afraid! That’s right – the fear isn’t consciously spoken about or acknowledged, rather it translates into minute, prolonged posture and gait abnormalities which, if left unnoticed, can wreak havoc on one’s mobility and self-confidence. That’s why this post looks at why most people are secretly afraid of falling, why most don’t even know they’re afraid, and – thankfully – what we can do about tackling this problem.
Being afraid of falling is more than a cautious tip-toeing around objects: it’s an overarching alteration of the way we assess, approach, and interact with the world around us. Unbeknownst to many of us, the fear of falling actually restricts our movement, thus it can, in fact, cause pain and immobility over time. And not only that, it can actually reduce self-esteem, restricting us from otherwise social interactions along the way. So few of us ever really acknowledge the overarching effects of our fear that, consequently, we forget how our daily lives are being impacted – we become accustomed to limitations and we accept our worry as part of life. And yet, it doesn’t have to be that way! Take a look at some of the most common reasons you might be afraid of falling and what to do about it:
As you’ve gotten a bit older, you’ve stopped riding on your bicycle, stopped practicing yoga, and stopped rowing down the river in your canoe. The result? Your balance has deteriorated and you’ve started feeling the impact this has had on your mobility. The less balance-orientated activities you do, the less you hone your balancing skills, thereby allowing weight to be unevenly distributed throughout your body. This causes straining and overcompensation in certain areas and weakness in others. Subsequently, an unbalanced body wreaks havoc on your brain: is it that much more likely to fear falling… after all, it knows your balance is off! The answer? Well, get back on the yoga mat, dust off the bicycle, and start practicing activities that increase your balance; a daily effort to evenly distribute weight and create a greater awareness of your body’s balance is, ultimately, a giant leap on your road to overcoming the fear of falling.
Just as you’ve given up the rowing, you’ve also neglected to do your daily walks or stretches, thus your muscles have started to weaken and lose strength. Without muscle strength, your body isn’t capable of giving you the confidence needed to overcome a fear of falling. Again, your mind understands that your body is incapable of compensating for a fall if you have weak muscles, thus it trains you to restrict movement accordingly – it lessens the probability of a fall. Why not start walking for 30 minutes a day? Muscle weakness starts alongside a sedentary lifestyle: get active and feel the confidence return to both your body and mind.
When it comes to falling, footwear matters. Yes, of course, wearing 9-inch heals to the park is asking for a tumble, but realistically, wearing shoes that are incapable of supporting and distributing your weight evenly is setting you up for failure. Footwear needs to be comfortable and stable, thus giving you the reassurance of a good, strong, supported stride. In addition, good footwear offers you balance! So, don’t hesitate to ditch the heels and opt of support and comfort – your body and muscles with thank you for it!
Clutter, mounds of clothes, various sofas, and random chairs in your home place before your body a daily obstacle course – from stepping over a coffee table, to swiveling around a badly-placed chair, these movements impact your peace of mind, place stress on your already weak muscles, and increase your fear of falling. The stress associated with navigating the living-room is, at its most basic level, akin to traversing an uneven hillside: the fact that you do it every day makes your mind and body feel as though you need to be protected, and thus your movements become limited. Obstacles feed your fear. If watching Marie Kondo is motivation enough to clean out the clutter, then waste no more time! Clear a path to freedom from fear!
At the end of the day, we know and understand that your fear of falling is far-reaching: from your body to your mind, your mobility and lifestyle are both being affected. That’s also why we know that seeing a professional, hands-on, caring physical therapist is by far the best, most effective, and safest way of tackling the issue. A qualified physical therapist is able to diagnose the root cause of the problem, assess posture, gait, and muscle tension, and work with you in order to free you from your daily anxiety. Furthermore, physical therapy offers you tailor-made exercises and stretches, thereby allowing you to maintain a strong, stable body and a life free from fear! With physical therapy, the self-confidence to step out proudly, strongly, and bravely will become second nature to you.
Being afraid of falling is as much about your body as it is about your mind: the limitations your mind places on your body is affecting your life for the worse. And that’s why we know that the freedom from fear enables you to live the life you dream of, do the activities you long to do, and be the person you hope to be. We’re here to help you, and we look forward to speaking to you about how we can assist and guide you on your journey to achieving confidence in yourself and your body. Call us today; we look forward to hearing from you!
We’ve all been there… our hands clutching at our thighs in the hope of relieving hip-stress as we get up or sit down; a grimace on our faces as we try to grapple with what we think are signs of aging while easing into the bath; a frown as we get out of the car, straining to carry the weight in our legs, not our hips. Hip pain: most of us have experienced it, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably still suffering from its tell-tail discomfort. And yet, for most of you reading this, your pain isn’t related to any sort of injury you can think of – it just arrived and has decided to stay. The good news is, though its origins are unknown, hip-pain can be treated and alleviated. In this post, we’re looking at some of the reasons you might be suffering from hip discomfort – and better still – some of the ways in which you can become pain free, right now.
I know what you’re thinking – you haven’t fallen, tumbled, or tripped recently. In fact, you tend to take fairly good care of your hips in so far as you know how. And that’s great! The truth is, though, for the majority of us, joint health is something we don’t really consider in our daily activities. In other words, when it comes to our hips, we often don’t realize that small irregularities in our postures, habits, and routines, can affect the health of our hip joints in the long run. That having been said, take a look at some of the most common reasons you’re experiencing inexplicable pain in your hip area:
1. Sitting All Day
It’s possible you’ve already considered the fact that a largely sedentary lifestyle might be contributing to your hip pain – if so, you’re on the right track. Sitting for numerous hours a day will eventually lead to stiff, tight muscles, the presence of which will result in pain. Your hip joints are incredibly important when it comes to mobility – not moving or stretching them throughout the day will cause a decreased ability to move with comfort, hence the pulling, stabbing, or dull ache your feel when you leave for home or get out of bed in the mornings.
2. No Exercise
Your muscles and joints need to be lubricated, stretched, and strengthened in order for them to maintain their flexibility and functionality. And the best way to do this is… yes… you guessed it: exercise. Excluding exercise from your daily routine is a sure-fire way to end up experiencing hip-pain. If you don’t use your muscles often, they weaken and lose their ability to add structural support to your joints; in this way, then, weakening hip muscles can lead to damage in the hip joint, thereby causing and aggravating hip-pain.
3. Repeated Exercise Routines
Though exercise is a great way to keep your hip-joint healthy, the continual repetition of one single exercise, stretch, or routine can actually cause breakdown within the muscle, thereby aggravating hip-pain instead of alleviating it. Constantly focusing on one single type of activity places continuous pressure on one group of muscles, and so places stress on them while weakening those around them: this is the point at which injury, and thus the possibility of serious damage, may occur.
If you’re doing one, two, or even all of the above, don’t fear – your hip-pain can be dealt with. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can tackle and alleviate your pain. Take a look:
Doing stretches which target your hip area can be very helpful in loosening and lengthening tight, stiff muscles which may be causing you discomfort. Find the time to hit the mat and stretch out your hip muscles, even if it means getting up 10 minutes earlier.
2. Varied Exercise
Having realized that a sedentary lifestyle is causing you discomfort, it’s time to begin making some changes. Start by incorporating some exercises in the office: get up every 15 – 20 minutes, and walk for 2 minutes every 30 minutes. In addition, try adding some extra activities to your daily routine. Why not try walking for 30 minutes a day, or cycling along the promenade or in the park? Getting those muscles moving is essential for your recovery and pain-free life. Remember, though, vary your routine as you go along.
3. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is by far the fastest and safest way to get rid of your hip pain, right now. If you’ve never considered physical therapy, or have misunderstood the benefits of this therapy, it’s time to reconsider. With the help of a hands-on, qualified, and dedicated physical therapist, you’ll not only be rid of your hip-pain once-and-for-all, but you’ll finally be given the information you’re looking for, thereby gaining peace of mind in the process. Unlike other forms of treatment which offer temporary, often harmful solutions for your pain, physical therapy tackles the root cause of the problem safely and non-invasively, thereby giving you permanent relief from your hip discomfort. In addition, a hands-on physical therapist is able to offer you tailor-made exercises and stretches to suit your needs, thus allowing you to maintain a pain free life and finally gain access to the lifestyle you dream of. Period.
Hip-pain doesn’t need to be a precursor to a life of immobility: it can be overcome and you can gain access to the active, mobile, healthy lifestyle you dream of. By following the above tips, and by contacting a professional, hands-on physical therapist today, you’ll be saying goodbye to your surprising discomfort in no time. Don’t waste even a moment more puzzling over the cause; find the answers you’re searching for – and take the actions needed – right now. For more information about how we can help you overcome your hip-pain, why not contact one of our dedicated, friendly physical therapists today. We look forward to helping and guiding you on your journey to health!
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."