pain

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 34: Neck Stiffness

I believe that the perception we have of our spines is wrong.  We view our spine as this frail structure that is destined to be brittle and broken by the time we hit 50.  

I couldn't disagree with that viewpoint more.  Our spines, just like any other joint in our body, is much stronger then we give it credit for.  The issue, especially with the neck, is that it lacks movement variety.  We spend way too much time in front of a computer and staring straight ahead, causing our joints and muscles to become stiff.  

If it has for you, as it has many of us, try the drills in the video below.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, let me know below.  If you found this helpful, and want to be notified with similar content, sign up to my newsletter.

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 6: Knee Pain With Lunging

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 6: Knee Pain With Lunging

In this episode of Tune-Up Tusday, we are joined by Dr. Zak Gabor of Boston PT and Wellness.  He discusses a simple, yet effective modification to the lunge that will help you train around cranky knees.

What You Should Know About Pain: Part 2

What You Should Know About Pain: Part 2

This post is a follow up to last weeks blog post in which both Dr. Zak Gabor and I tried to challenge your views on pain.  In this post we try to help you understand pain to help you better conceptualize it when it happens to you.  

Move Better Installment No. 2: Controlled Articular Rotations

Move Better Installment No. 2: Controlled Articular Rotations

This blog post is a follow up to last weeks post on CARs.  Learn how to correctly perform shoulder and hip CARs - as well as some key points needed to effectively perform Controlled Articular Rotations.

Controlled Articular Rotations

Controlled Articular Rotations

Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) have been all the rage lately.  This is because they offer many benefits to your body.  Want to move better?  Have decreased pain levels?  Prevent loss of mobility as you age?  Want to decrease your risk of injury? Then CARs are for you!

Feel Better In 5 Minutes A Day

If I told you that in 5 minutes a day you could decrease pain, increase energy levels, and decrease stiffness in muscles and joints, would you do it?

Is this some sort of magic pill that will make you feel like you just drank from the fountain of youth? No, not quite. The "pill" I speak of is what I like to call movement variability.

Movement variability is defined as, "repetitive movement that is not repetitive" (insert confused emoticon here).  To simplify this definition, you should simply move in ways that are different than what you are currently accustomed to. 

For most people, sitting at a desk is a reoccurring stimulus on an everyday basis. For marathon runners, this repetitive movement is constant running in one direction without ever moving within any other planes of motion.  Over time as we continue to load the same patterns over and over, pain can develop due to multiple factors.  If we spent time moving with variety throughout the day it is possible that both our perception of tightness and pain can be diminished.

Here's the crazy part. 

In order to start moving and feeling better, all you need to start with is five minutes of movement.  For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that I love Max Shank's 5 Minute Flow.  I've done this since June and honestly feel better now than I did in my college days.  Since initiating in a daily five minute flow, I've dramatically decreased pain in my lower back. I feel much more limber and mobile throughout the day, which has boosted my confidence when lifting weights. I also feel more energized to start my day, after just five minutes of free and random movement!

Max Shank states that you should, "move for five minutes in a way that gently pushes your flexibility but keep moving.  Don't worry if you get stuck somewhere, retrace your steps while you think of the next movement.  If you're into martial arts or yoga throw your own blend of that together."

Everyone can find five minutes in their day, whether it be in the morning, during a lunch break or sometime in the evening.  If you claim to not have time to flow, you need to take a better look as to why you really are not doing this. Not having time is an underlying translation for, "I don't want to do it." Give it a chance, I promise you, in just a few days, you'll feel like you're reliving your youth.

HOW TO:

  1. Set a Timer for 5 minutes. If you have a favorite song that's exactly five minutes, use it.
  2. Find an open space where you don't have to worry about banging into tables, or having anything fall on you.
  3. Just move continuously. Do any stretches, mobility drills or yoga poses for 5 minutes straight. The only rule is to constantly move. 
  4. Commit to 30 days.  Try it for 30 days, see how you feel, and keep doing it afterwards if it makes a positive change. 

Below is a 5 minute example.  The video is time lapsed, if you would like to see a full version you can click here

Get your Joe Flow on and let me know how you feel in the comments section below. 

 

Why Squatting Hurts Your Knees

Your form sucks.

You're trying to lift more weight then you can handle.

               You've injured your knee doing something that was not squatting.

You're a combination of the three scenarios above.

It is unfortunate that the same myth continues to slap me in the face on a daily basis. I feel like I'm surrounded by it day in and day out at the clinic, with a potential client and/or a novice trainee under my guidance.  "My knees hurt when I squat".  My teeth cringe and my blood pressure rises every time I hear this said to me.  

If your knees hurt when you squat, it is time we stop blaming the squats for the pain and start looking into why our knees are bothering us.  We have been squatting since we were babies, why is it that all of a sudden squatting is the culprit behind our pain?

If "squats hurt you", here are a couple of things you might want to look into to figure out why you may be having pain.  

  • You lack full ankle dorsiflexion. 
    • That is the ability to point your foot towards your head.  If you lack dorsiflexion, you will have to compensate at other joints to make up the lack or range.  This often comes from the knees, or the low back (and possibly both).  
  • You lack core stability. 
    • Whether the abdominal wall, the lats or the hip musculature is weak, (all of these make up the core) abnormal forces will be transmitted through joints rather then through contracting muscles and tendons.  This will cause excessive shearing at the knees and even the low back, which overtime can cause pain and dysfunction.
  • Transverse/Frontal plane deviations. 
    • As athletes, gym-goers and sedentary individuals, we train and live mostly in the sagittal-plane (think front and back movement like walking).  Squatting is a sagittal-plane movement. Often time when some one squats, we see them sit more towards one leg than the other or rotate their bodies.  This is common especially when someone is trying to lift a weight that is too heavy for them.  This becomes a sure fire way to cause an angry knee or low back.  

Watch the video below to see how I teach the squat and how it may help you squat pain free. 

Leave some feedback in the comments section and let me know if this helps!

Until Next Time.