Wednesday, May 29, 2013
In the comments, post your thoughts and experiences...we are all unique snowflakes, and we're all alike. So your special method of rehabilitation just might fit someone else's needs, too.
Mechanisms of injury repair:
Injuries heal through basic process, and inflammation is one of the critical steps. This outlines the 4 steps, and has some nice analogies to make the picture more clear.
Icing vs. Other options:
If inflammation is a critical part of the healing process, then why would we want to inhibit it? Glad I'm not the only one asking this question... Do what I did and set aside time to watch that ENTIRE conversation while you're icing and injury. Fun!
And if you're not in the mood to watch the whole thing right now, here's a similar concept in article format.
Beyond minor soft tissue injuries: supporting the body's healing mechanisms:
All things in moderation, right? Too much inflammation for too long will eventually just wear the body out and make it unable to efficiently heal the little aches and pains we live with every day. But don't take my word for it (as Lavar Burton would say)...read a book.
....and just what if you have already let it go, and the damage is done...can it be healed? Some people think so. I know a guy who's actually been to this doctor and absolutely swears by prolotherapy, which is intended to stimulate a healthy inflammation response. Go back and read that again....now think about it. Make sense?
Browse through that information. EDUCATE YOURSELF, and then decide what you want to do with your injuries. It's your body, take ownership of it!
Friday, May 17, 2013
I was about 55 minutes into a 60 minute massage the other day when my client mentioned that I must be so tired after massages, not just physically, but energetically. She said it felt like I had given so much of my energy that she felt stronger, internally, than when we started. The funny thing is that, while she thought I must be drained, I was actually feeling energized because I knew she was enjoying and benefiting from the work. She couldn't have been more delightfully wrong!
We had a conversation about how there can be a reciprocity in actions, intentions, energy, and so on. We talked about how this doesn't always need two people, but that there are opportunities to do this every day. You can literally stop and smell the flowers. My wife does this routinely and every single time she does it, I admire that she's taking a moment to reconnect with all the beautiful things in the world, and it reminds me to do the same. Just 15 minutes ago, I paused and smelled the amazing roses in the parking lot outside the DeKalb Farmers Market. I thought it was amazing that I didn't see anyone else doing the same. They smelled so great! When we manage to find the strength, the happiness, the compassion in ourselves, and share that with the world around us, it will get reflected right back. You might consider that the self-perpetuation of your inner strength. What are you choosing to put out there, so it reflects back at you? Are you stopping to smell the roses? Next time you pass the floral department, or a nice flower bed, stop and smell them-especially if you are with other people-and then observe your reaction and the reaction of people around. I'd wager you'll see smiles.
Friday, April 26, 2013
CrossFitters push themselves really hard and CrossFit can be a really polarizing thing, due to its intensity and the intensity of some CrossFit athletes. Some individuals only see risk and some only reward. But there is a balance: one thing many CrossFitters share with triathletes is that we are willing to go to great lengths to pursue better performance and lower risk of injury in and out of the gym. This includes extra time spent working on skills, mobility & flexibility (just look at the popularity of MobilityWOD), diet and self-care regimen. Like triathletes, many CrossFitters have realized that massage therapy can really aid in recovery and injury (p)rehab, which can lead to greater and more rapid gains in performance.
As a massage therapist, and CrossFitter, I'm in a position to really be able to understand the drive that CrossFitters have, as well as the physical demands of CrossFit movements. I'm in a unique position to be able to help efficiently address the needs of our community of athletes since I experience it, too.
Further, more and more members of CrossFit On The Square realize that having solid, basic movement patterns are critical to injury prevention, and are undertaking measures to ensure that their basic movements are aiding their wellness and performance, rather than inhibiting it.
I've already helped some of your CFSQ and PrettySTRONG coaches, and athletes. If you want to find out what I can do to help you, just ask them, or reach out to me directly via email or facebook. If you aren't a CFSQ member or a CrossFitter at all, no worries, I'm all about helping everyone I can.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I have addressed the general effects that poor footwear can have, moving upward through the body. To be fair, sometimes the footwear doesn't even need to be involved to have issues in the feet which then move upstream to the knees, hips, etc. One of these possibilities in overpronation.
Monday, February 25, 2013
This article, written by Jeff Kuhland discusses screening your own ankles for range of motion, and specific stretches and exercises to do to improve or restore your mobility, and is a nice companion to a couple entries I've written
The first one being "Solid Foundations," addressing how high heels will mess with your ankles, and then all the way up the line to the shoulders, neck and head.
The other entry I've written is "Improve the bottom of that squat," which addresses the range of motion available at the bottom of a squat, and how that can effect performance in not only the squat, but the receiving positions of the Olympic lifts.
Read my entries and understand why you may be missing range of motion, and why you might need range of motion, then read Jeff's and learn how to restore that range of motion.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
I didn't exercise until I was in my late 20's. I'd always hated the idea of a gym with meatheads flexing their biceps in the mirror, and thought that most people in a gym must be there for their own vanity. Then, through a series of events, I wound up finding myself training at several Crossfit gyms and enjoying the results I had outside the gym. I eventually came to understand that what I was loving about it (beyond the much-discussed sense of community), was that I could actually understand how the movements I was doing in the gym would translate into real life. My muscles might get bigger, but my workouts weren't about getting "the pump" in my biceps while I stared at myself in a mirror - they were about feeling better as I moved through life.
So when my client asked today, "If I work all the muscles by using different machines to work them all evenly, that's OK, right?" I had to reply that I didn't think so, because that means you've never trained your body to use all those muscles together, or trained your core to transfer the weight of your child, or your groceries from your hands and shoulders through to your hips and legs. Immediately he said it made perfect sense, and I got the impression I may have shifted this guy's paradigm a little bit with that touch of logic. I can imagine him coming into the gym this week, looking at the sea of machines and asking himself: "what do I really stand to gain out of using these machines? Are they helping me in my daily life?"
The training you are doing, including the movements you are performing, should logically support the activities you are training for.
Personally, I don't play any sports. I'm not competing in bodybuilding or physique competitions. I'm training for life, meaning that the movements I'm using should be the ones I will see in daily life...sitting, standing, lifting, running, walking, pushing, pulling, throwing...the things I might have done on the playground because they came naturally.
So, ask yourself: how functional is your training?
Friday, January 4, 2013
But even if you aren't a professional athlete and even if you haven't severly injured your rotator cuff, there's a pretty decent chance that yours is harboring some limitations and giving you some grief. Have an itch in between your shoulder blades? Can you scratch it easily? With both hands? If your answer is no (as mine is at the moment), then your rotator cuff most likely has some restriction.
The tricky thing with rotator cuff issues is that they are often elusive and sometimes present pain in less than obvious ways. Sometimes, dysfunction in the muscles of the rotator cuff present pain or weakness in the attachments of the muscles or even in the referral zones of rotator cuff trigger points. This can mean pain anywhere around the shoulder joint, along the edge of the shoulder blade, and even down the arm to the wrist. Most frequently, when I am able to trace a client's pain back to a rotator cuff issue, they report pain or weakness in movements that include even just a little bit of rotation of the shoulder. Sometimes the rotational component of those movements can be subtle and difficult to identify, such as with the rollover movement of olympic lifts, or the combination of slight rotation and rotational stabilization of an overhead press.
With limitations of the rotator cuff, you might have impaired performance in any of those movements, and a whole host of other movements. You may also be at increased risk for injury, if you find yourself in a situation that calls for a good, strong range of motion in the shoulder - including nonathletic situations (I once met someone who tore his rotator cuff slipping and falling on a gravel driveway with a slope). In order to minimize your risk for injury, you should also seek to strengthen the rotator cuff, and to strengthen it through the entire range of motion.
So, if you are experiencing any odd pains or weak spots in your shoulder movements, ask yourself if you are doing any rotation of the shoulder? If so, then try the stretches in the video below. If the stretches don't do the trick, consider booking a massage, or at least getting into the accessible rotator cuff muscles with a lacrosse ball or other self-massage tool, like the Theracane. If nothing else, don't you want to be able to scratch your own back?