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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.

The Hip Solution for Knee Pain

In other pain-related news, clients with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) may find relief by improving hip strength.
In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2013; 47, 207–14), researchers analyzed 10 case-control reviews of gluteal electromyography to explore a potential link between gluteal activity and PFPS.

Back Pain? Try Walking

Walking may not be the exercise form de rigueur for today’s athlete, but research continues to support its many benefits. Recently, researchers from Tel Aviv University, in Israel, discovered that a home walking program could be just as effective as strengthening exercises for improving
back pain.
The study included 52 sedentary adults aged 18–65 with back pain. They were separated into a moderate-intensity treadmill walking group and an exercise group that performed specific low-back exercises. Each group completed its respective protocols twice per week for 6 weeks.

Uniting the Industry: Transformation Stories

Few conditions are more common for Pilates students than knee and hip problems—and few solutions are more effective than Pilates exercises. Here are two successful stories of client transformation.

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