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Pain/Pain Management

Taming Testosterone Troubles

Men: Have you had difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, or are you suffering from low mood or libido? Have you gained body fat, lost muscle or begun to struggle with depression or lack of motivation? Low testosterone levels may be to blame.

What Is Plica Syndrome?

Clients sometimes experience general pain in the knee during or after an exercise session, and while it's not within your scope of practice to diagnose, a broad understanding of issues that affect this important joint can be helpful. Here's a snapshot of plica syndrome.
Plica is a fold of synovial tissue that's a "remnant" of embryologic development. The knee is initially divided into three compartments by membranes, which are then resorbed by the third or fourth month of fetal life (Scuderi et al. 1997).

Improving Health Behaviors

Laura DeFina, MD, FACP, is president and CEO of The Cooper Institute®, as well as its chief science officer. After practicing general internal medicine and geriatrics, she joined The Cooper Institute in 2009 to pursue her interests in prevention and research related to healthy aging. Since then, she has authored manuscripts on, among other topics, brain health, healthy aging, depression, cardiorespiratory fitness and injury in physically active women.

Menopause Symptoms: Can Yoga Help?

"Joanne," aged 51, presents with hot flashes and vaginal atrophy. She feels depressed, anxious, irritable, fatigued and not as confident in herself as she once was. Somehow she feels out of control. Her body is behaving unpredictably: She doesn't know when her next hot flash is coming or how to control the fat that is shifting up toward her waist.
"Sandra" is only 37 years old and has experienced menopause prematurely. She has not yet had children. She is having severe physical and emotional adjustment problems, including extreme mood swings.

10 Steps to Ease Tension on Any Seat, Chair or Bench

Why is it hard to stay on track while traveling? Start with the distractions. If it’s not a smartphone diverting your attention, it’s a book or laptop, fast food or your travel companion. Distractions are not bad, mind you. They’re simply inevitable.

That’s why it’s so important to shift your priorities. Instead of checking social media and email the next time you sit down on a plane or train, how about tuning in to posture and body awareness?

Safety for Pregnant Instructors

Many years ago, while I was pregnant with my second child, something happened that I hope no other group fitness instructor goes through. As I was driving to teach class, I experienced some cramping, but…

Help Students With “Tech Neck”

Have you noticed an increase in postural deviations among your students? In today’s society, “tech neck” is becoming more common—we all spend too much time looking down at our devices. This requires rounding the shoulders (rather than keeping them back and down, with chest open) and jutting the head forward. The position is becoming so habitual for a lot of people that it feels fixed and “natural” to them. Help participants become more aware of this uncomfortable trend and empower them to make better choices.

The Impact of Chronic Pain

Use a three-pronged approach to help frail participants move better, get
stronger and improve their balance.

Did you know that more than 45% of Americans experience pain on a
regular basis? Are you one of them? Unfortunately, people tend to fall
into bad habits as the body adapts to, and becomes familiar with,
persistent pain (Duhigg 2012).

Can Barefoot Running Prevent Injury?

There’s plenty of discussion about whether barefoot running helps runners or harms them. A new report suggests that females may benefit from employing this controversial protocol.

Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain

In our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload, “terror alerts” and sleeplessness—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck.

Foods That May Help Fight Pain

The active compounds found in these foods have been credited with helping to reduce pain, sometimes to the same extent as commonly prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Some of the studies—on humans and animals—into the role of these foods in pain management are promising, but the research is in its infancy.

Chronic Pain in Fitness Professionals

An Objective Eye

It can be difficult to take a step back and be objective when it comes to your own health. Katy Bowman, MS, director of the Restorative Exercise Institute in Ventura, California, and author
of Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement (Propriometrics Press 2014), suggests you write down
the following:

Research Looks at the Brain; Diabetes

Two distinct mental strategies used to manage pain—focusing attention externally and re-appraising the pain—involve different brain pathways, according to new research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study appeared in the journal Anesthesiology (2011, 115 [4], 844–51).

Self Myofascial Release for Seniors

Did you know it’s important to take care of the fascia—or connective tissue—in your body? The health of connective tissue is a serious concern for older people, as movement restrictions can make it hard for them to perform simple activities of daily living. The condition of our connective tissue depends on two factors—how old we are and what we have done in our lives to keep our tissue healthy, hydrated and flexible.

Understanding Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s immune, self-protective and healing response to harmful stimuli, irritants, pathogens and damaged cells. Most inflammation is acute, such as when you sprain your ankle. Symptoms of inflammation include swelling, redness, pain and (sometimes) impaired movement or function.

Playing Hurt

When Gray Cook was a high-school athlete, his coaches would comment, “That Gray Cook sure can play hurt.” He had over 20 fractures before he was 18, what with his love of football and motorcycles. He played while hurt, he says, because he had the ability to block out pain. Flash forward to 2014, and Cook—now a practicing physical therapist, certified orthopedic specialist and founder of Functional Movement Systems in Chatham, Virginia—was no longer able to block out neck pain. It was affecting his life, his work, and his ability to share his message of fitness and health.

Prehabilitation Strengthening Exercises for Knee and Hip Arthroplasty

Fitness professionals may work in concert with a physical therapist to encourage a client to engage in “prehab” to maintain or enhance his strength preoperatively for knee or hip arthroplasty. (Shakoor et al. 2010). Pain is often a limiting factor, and it may be difficult for the client to participate in even the most basic daily activities. Below are a few suggested exercises.

KNEE ARTHROPLASTY
Isometric quadriceps sets. Lie on back with legs extended. Tighten quads and push knee into mat/surface. Hold 10 seconds. Do 10 repetitions, 5 times per day.

The Mental Aspects of Chronic Pain

As a fitness or wellness professional, you understand better than anyone that the cells in our bodies adapt to the stresses that are placed on them. This is why you are able to help people experience the won- derful benefits of building muscle, reduc- ing body fat and improving overall fitness and wellness as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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