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Pain/Pain Management

Pillars of Functional Training for Active Aging

Healthy aging is more than the absence of disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO): “For most older people, the maintenance of functional ability has the highest importance” (WHO 2015). Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging in Vancouver, British Columbia, echoes these comments. “When looking at the healthy aging market today, the focus is all about function,” he says.

The Achilles Tendon

Many fitness professionals have dealt with an Achilles tendon injury, either their own or a client’s. The largest and strongest tendon in the body, the Achilles connects the lower-leg muscles and calf to the heel. “Synchronous functioning” of the tendon and calf is crucial for many activities, including standing on tiptoe, running, jumping and climbing stairs (Bhimji 2016).
Dutch surgeon Philip Verheyen named the tendon (after the Greek hero Achilles) in 1693. Previously, it was known as “tendo magnus of Hippocrates” (van Dijk 2011).

When the Client Is You

client: Frank | personal trainer: Frank McKenna, MEd, owner, Beach Better Bodies | location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

A dire situation. In the summer of 2016, personal trainer Frank McKenna received news he never expected to hear. At age 56, he had recently completed his own physical transformation and was arguably in tiptop shape, so when his doctor told him he had stage 4 lung cancer, he was stunned.

The Anatomy of Functional Training Risks

Many clients can’t seem to get enough of workouts that meld functional movements with high-intensity resistance training. Indeed, workouts using dynamic, high-intensity, full-body movements are great for strength and health—provided the body functions properly and exercisers use correct technique.

No-Neck-Pain Abs

How often do you hear participants complain about neck pain when you teach core moves in your classes? For many people dealing with ongoing neck-positioning issues, this is a real struggle. No matter how effectively the head is supported, they still have issues with neck stress for various reasons, including lack of strength, natural biomechanics or previous injury. These constraints prevent some participants from getting the most from your core/abdominal workouts and may inadvertently limit overall core strength. However, you can support these participants by offering the right moves.

Shoulder Pain and Injury Prevention

Shoulder pain and injuries make it harder to exercise and play sports. Damaged shoulders also limit basic functions, impair quality of life and disturb sleep (Acton 2011). What’s more, research suggests that almost a quarter of your client base will experience shoulder pain/injury at one time or another (Ghosh 2012).

How to Handle Exercise-Related Muscle Cramps

You’re running along your favorite path and then it happens: You get a cramp in your hamstring. While theories abound, there is limited consensus on why exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) develop and how to get rid of them. A research review from the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida may clear up the confusion.
The review, published in Muscle & Nerve (2016; 54, 177–85), featured a series of studies analyzing the etiology and treatment of EAMC. Here’s what they learned:

U.S. Yoga Injuries Increasing

Yoga injuries in the United States are on the rise, particularly among older adults, according to data from hospital emergency rooms nationwide. Researchers from the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), Alabama, examined data from 2001 to 2014 to establish the injury risk involved in yoga participation.

Migraines: A Weighty Issue?

Migraines have long been a malady of unknown etiology, confounding medical practitioners and sufferers alike. A research review suggests that weight may be a factor.
The review included 12 studies and examined records from 288,981 individuals. Analysis showed that people with obesity had a 27% greater chance of developing a migraine than normal-weight people, while underweight individuals were 13% more likely to have a migraine than those of normal weight. Age and gender also correlated with migraine risk.

Water-Based Weight Loss Programs Help Older Women Manage Knee Problems

Ratcheting up the intensity of water workouts may help women lose weight without exacerbating knee pain, suggests a new study. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) affects around 13% of women aged 60 and older, and the condition can make it painful for them to exercise and lose weight. It can also become a Catch-22, because carrying excess weight can worsen the problem.

Give Yourself a Hand

The next time you pick up a dumbbell and hand it to your client, take a moment to celebrate the hard‐working hand. The hand is an anatomically refined dynamo that's often taken for granted until something as benign as a paper cut shifts the focus distally. Here are some interesting facts to grasp:

The Joy of Movement Rings True

There's nothing like post–knee surgery downtime to catch up on my IDEA Fitness Journal reading. The February 2017 issue is just chock‐a‐block full of delectable goodness. In particular, I enjoyed Ryan Halvorson's article "Embracing the Joy of Movement" and Kelly McGonigal's "Ready to Love Your Stress?" Even after 38 years as a fitness pro, I learn something every issue to help me improve as a group fitness leader and baby boomer specialist. Both articles made their points logically, succinctly and persuasively.

When Students Grieve

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us when we live.
—Norman Cousins

Sooner or later, most of us will lose someone we care about. The pain this causes can be overwhelming, and we may feel that nothing will ever be normal again. Losing someone we love is a highly personal experience, and no two people cope in the same way or progress within the same time frame. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Exercise and Pain Perception in Older Adults

Can physical activity help us modulate pain? 2017 findings from Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis suggest that physical activity could offer some relief. The study, published in PAIN (2017; 158 [3], 383—90), aimed to determine if physical activity levels could predict how the nervous system interprets and perceives pain. Fifty–one adults aged 60—77 were recruited to participate. Prior to testing, each wore an accelerometer for 7
days to measure activity levels.

Preventing Golf Injuries

As a golfer, you want to stay injury-free to practice and compete regularly, which ultimately lets you hone your skills and elevate your performance.
To help avoid injury and boost level of play, you need to understand how two key muscle and soft-tissue systems—the posterior oblique system and the anterior oblique system—affect the golf swing.

Does Exercise Benefit Digestive Health?

Gut microbiota has been a hot topic recently, and for good reason, as it is a key indicator of health. Gut microbiota contains trillions of micro-organisms, including at least 1,000 species of known bacteria, with more than 3 million genes (Gut Microbiota for Health 2016). There are many benefits to having a healthy gut, including but not limited to

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