Most people are breathing into their upper bodies, and hence, overusing their neck muscles. This could be an area of stiffness and tightness for you if you are this type of breather. The most efficient and natural way of breathing is belly breathing, using your diaphragm.
If you’re struggling with:
The good old days… , strolling down your driveway to wave at a neighbor and perhaps share in some gossip, meeting your friends at the local sushi restaurant for a bite to eat… we miss that, don’t we? Self-isolation and quarantine can be really tough on our minds, hearts, and bodies. We tend to see things differently and we may even start to become down-hearted, feel less energetic, and, in general, we may start forgetting what it means to stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. In fact, some of you reading this might be avoiding the scales like a plague because tucking into a bag of chips has now replaced your regular walk! Don’t worry – this is much more common than you think. So, we’re writing to share some thoughts on how to stay healthy and active during these unprecedented times, not only for your mental wellbeing, but for your muscles, heart, immune system, and general physical health, too.
Sometimes it feels as though we’re living through a movie, not reality. For many of us, our daily routines have been trimmed down from trips to the office, shopping, hiking, time with friends, gym, going out for drinks, and date nights, to getting up from the bed and moving to the sofa… only to move back to bed when the sun sets. We’ve been flung out of our ‘normal’ into an unknown, sedentary world. And, of course, it’s not just your gin and tonic craving that’s not getting fulfilled – it’s your PT program, too. In the course of a few weeks, many of you reading this may have effectively stopped your physical activities and given up on doing your regular physical therapy routine. So, it’s time we wrote you a blog.
Remember how you used to be terrified of needles as a child? How thinking about the glinting needles probably helped you forget you were sick at all? Yes, we all know that feeling and remember it well. So, what changed? As we grew up, became braver, and started listening to our bodies a little less, our distrust of needles seems to have dwindled. Now, we run to the doctor for all manner of injections, and while vitamin B shots and flu jabs are at the lower risk end of the spectrum, many injections pose a very large, very scary risk to our health and wellbeing. Why, then, do we do subject ourselves to the needle-point? For many of us the answer is simple: we live with pain and just cannot do it anymore. Injections, on the advice of our doctors, promise a pain-free life with little to no wait. Injections don’t need marketing – they market themselves; if we’re in pain, we’ll do anything. The truth is, though, none of the side effects get discussed much, and all too often the advantages of shots are blown out of proportion. The truth is, not only do injections fail to produce any sort of permanent pain-free lifestyle, they go hand-in-hand with a whole bunch of negative aftereffects, some short term and others, sadly, long-term. If you’re reading this and thinking injections may be your only option, don’t fear – we’re here to spill the beans on shots, their consequences, and what other safe, long-term solutions you have at your disposal instead!
If your desk area consists of a sofa cushion, and low coffee table, then we’re taking a stab in the dark and guessing you’ve converted your living room into an office. And while that’s all fun and games, working from home can actually be quite stressful on your muscles and joints – despite the extended periods sitting down! In this post, we discuss the ways in which you can stay healthy and active while working from home. So, let’s adjust the couch seat, make a fresh brew, and get stuck in!
There can be nothing more satisfying then biting into a handmade sandwich with all your favorite toppings. Whether it be meatless or full of meat a sandwich is never just a sandwich. The toppings are what makes a sandwich. Your choices are endless; you have your typical lettuce, tomato and onion but more recently sandwiches have become more… elevated.
Stress. Five little letters is all it takes to make a word so full of meaning that few of us really know how to get to the bottom of it. Stress: is it that feeling you get when a deadline is looming, or is it what we feel when the chicken roast burns, the movie didn’t record, or we forgot to pick our mother-in-law up from the airport? Possibly, but could it be that it’s more than that? What if you haven’t been able to pay your mortgage for a few months, if a family member has been diagnosed with an illness, or if you simply can’t keep up with the pace at work? What if you don’t know how to cope anymore? Stress is all this and, perhaps, a whole lot more. In this blog, we’re talking about all things stress-related: what it is, what it can be, how it ultimately affects not only your mental health, but your physical health as well, and, finally, what you can do about it. Keep reading, because even if you think you don’t have stress, that ache in your lower back might very well be saying something completely different(...)
Have you ever wondered why your neck always hurts? What about why there is that nagging discomfort in your upper and lower back? How about the nagging pain in your shoulders, hips, or even feet? Well, all of those aches and pains could be down to one very important aspect of your life: your posture. Yes, that’s right. For those of you who have never considered your posture important, or who haven’t really given the way you sit, stand, or walk much thought, we’re giving you some advice: it’s time to take notice. Your posture affects almost everything about your body, from muscle health through to bone structure and overall mobility. It’s no wonder, then, that today’s blog is all about posture. So, get ready, sit up straight, and start diving into why your posture matters. [...]
Whether you are a serious triathlete, runner, swimmer, or doing your first couch to 5K dry land training should be an integral part of your training schedule. These 5 exercises will help strengthen your core, glutes, shoulders, rotator cuff, back, and hips. They are great for stability, balance, and for strengthening the muscles you will be putting more load on during your training and racing. These exercises are perfect for competitive swimmers who are entering into their championship meets, triathletes and runners who are gearing up for the spring and summer, and especially for beginners who don’t want to get injured as they increase their activity level. So scroll down to check out these 5 great dry land exercises! [...]
Deadlifting is one of the best all around exercises for your body. Deadlifts help with hip, hamstring, glut, and core stability as well as help to protect your back. Correct deadlifting form is very important so that you can get all the benefits of the deadlift without putting unnecessary strain on your body. Read below and then watch our video to make sure you are getting the most out of your deadlift! [...]
Most of us like to think we know ourselves fairly well – we know we’re happy when the sun is shining, when we drink a good cup of coffee, or when we spend time with our loved ones. On the other hand, we also know when we’re sad: we may have lost our favorite sneakers, hit a pothole, or experienced emotional trauma. All of that seems, in many ways, quite clear to us. But when it comes to physical injuries things can get a bit confusing. How do we know of we have neck pain, shoulder, or back pain? How do we know if our knees, hips, or lower backs are giving us problems? How can we differentiate between different types of pain? It often seems as if it’s harder to self-diagnose physical pain than it is to pinpoint heartache or joy. And yet, knowing why you’re in pain is actually the most invaluable knowledge there is for treating the root cause of the problem and, therefore, eradicating the pain itself. In this post, then, we’re talking about how injuries can be confusing, how we can tell if we’re really injured – and where we’re injured – and how we can clear it all up once and for all! Let’s jump straight in. [...]
Winter is here! Most of us have stocked up on firewood, cocoa, marshmallows, and blankets as we lay in wait for all the cold weather. We’ve even turned up the heating and removed grandma’s special knitted socks from storage. And yet, winter doesn’t just mean hot drinks and snuggles, does it? It also means fun! Many of us have also reached for our ice-skates, ski’s, or snowboards as the great freeze approaches. Hooray! And because of this, we thought this would be a perfect to time to talk about a really important topic: balance. Yes, that’s right, you can’t ice-skate, ski, or even toboggan without balance, but more than that, walking correctly, stabilizing your body, or keeping your skeletal and muscular health in check without having the correct balance can be… uh hum… a bit of a tightrope act. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post we talk all things balance, from why you need it, to what happens when you don’t have it, all the way through to how you can improve it. So, let’s get some stability on the subject, shall we? [...]
For Many Americans, getting in better shape is the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a New Year’s Resolution. With the beginning of a new year comes the drive to want to do something different and better than the previous year. New changes, new outlooks, and new workout routines are on the top of the ‘to-do’ list for the coming year. From starting CrossFit, to increasing your workout goals, getting in shape is outstanding for your physical and mental health. Keep reading for some great tips for how to stay healthy and on track while working towards your new goals! [...]
Wrist pain affects everything… writing, cooking, driving, cleaning, washing, and even eating. It’s no wonder, then, that discomfort in your wrist can make you feel frustrated, sick and tired, and generally exasperated at most things in life. In fact, we’ve seen countless patients give up on the things they love most due to daily, nagging wrist pain. This is not a situation we want to see you in. We understand how desperately you need relief, and that’s why this special blog post looks at why some people experience wrist pain, what is really is, and – thankfully – what can be done to relieve you of your daily soreness. We want you to start taking the right actions to get back to the pain-free life you deserve. So, let’s get started [...]
If you’re reading this, you might very well be asking yourself: “How do I get rid of my annoying knee pain?” This is a fairly commonplace question, as for those of us who suffer from knee pain it is usual to scour any source of information in order to find the answers we need just to stop the nagging, debilitating pain. The good news is, you’ve finally come to the right place… you’re not alone and there is help! In this post we look at why knee pain becomes a nagging pain, what the symptoms of knee pain are, and what can be done to alleviate the discomfort. It’s time to take action against knee pain once and for all. So, let’s dive in. [...]
Back pain is one of the most debilitating injuries out there. We don’t say this lightly. It really is one of the injuries responsible for the most heartbreak and sadness. From shooting pains, to chronic, unrelenting, searing pain, for those of us who suffer from back pain, the reality of dealing with its symptoms can be overwhelming at times. It is easy to lose a lust for life. The good news is that we’re about to tackle two of the most common back injuries: herniated discs and bulging discs. We look at why one may be confronted with these injuries and, better still, what one can do to get back to a normal pain-free life… we know how much this means to you. [...]
The sacroiliac joint, or SI joint as we’re going to call it from now on, is probably not something you’ve considered much, is it? Right now you’re probably thinking, “is it somewhere in my neck, my knee, or my shoulder?” If so, you’re probably also wondering why this fairly obscurely named joint is important enough for a blog post? Well, we’re here to tell all! In this post we’re going to give you the scoop on SI joints, tell you why you should be more aware of them, and what can be done if they’re giving you trouble. Ready? Let’s go! [...]
Triathlon season has finally come to an end. Now what? Some of you may be training for a marathon...and some of you may be continuing to train, just not as hard and with less pressure. But is there anything else you could be doing to prepare you for your next season? Maybe you’ve signed up for your first Olympic, or your first 70.3, or your first Full IM! Will your body be ready? [...]
Today’s blog is a special entry for all you runners out there. We know you love to run, and we also know you value fitness and health. Running has become, for you, a metaphor for life: determination, mobility, and freedom. And yet, for some of you reading our blog right now, this might not be the case anymore. An injury may have gotten you down: your morning run just isn’t the same anymore, and that nagging feeling in your leg/knee/ankle/calf just doesn’t seem to be going away. Well, if that sounds familiar, we have a serious question for you: why are you running away from your injury? All too many people run away from physical therapy in the hope that the pain will disappear on its own. Some even run through the pain just to avoid being told that they have to take it easy, stop, or rest for a little while. The truth is, running away from the pain honestly doesn’t make it better – you may know this by now. In this post we chat about what it means to have irritating, sometimes frustrating running injuries, and what can be done about them… if you make the right choices for your health! [...]
A common theme amongst anyone who sustains an injury, whether it’s a ligament sprain, muscle strain, or just a niggle, everyone assumes the same thing...that they should REST. Or go see a doctor who can prescribe pain PILLS or and INJECTION. Or even worse, recommend SURGERY. Please don’t get me wrong...there are definitely times when a specific injury will indicate surgery, but usually this is the exception not the rule. [...]
Who doesn’t love hiking? On the trail we are immersed in the open air, wildlife, beautiful, rugged terrain, fresh water streams, and… ankle injuries? Yes, you heard that right. Hiking often goes hand-in-hand with some fairly severe ankle twists, sprains, and even fractures or breaks! It’s not hard to guess why, mind you, because from loose rocks, to uneven footpaths, hiking poses a big threat when it comes to the wellness of your ankles. Don’t despair though, we’re not asking you to pack away your hiking gear and take to the treadmill instead. Rather, we’re here to chat to you about how ankle injuries during your hike can be prevented, and why being mindful of their probability and severity puts you in good stead to steer clear of them! [...]
Golf… it’s a sport that calls to mind beautiful Saturday mornings, a cold beer at the club after a great 18-hole day, and that elusive birdie you’ve been trying to get for years. And while this all sounds pretty much idyllic, you might be surprised to know that playing golf causes nearly as many injuries as some contact sports! It’s true, and while shocking, it actually makes a lot of sense. The techniques players employ in their swings, gaits, and strokes, often have painful consequences for the back and shoulders. In fact, shoulder pain is so common amongst golfers that it has fast become one of the injuries we treat most often. So, in this post we chat to you about what it means to have shoulder pain, how you know it’s golf-related, and what to do if you’re suffering from it right now. With that having been said, let’s tee up and get started! [...]
Summer’s coming to a wrap which makes me really sad :-(
I LOVE the sun, LOVE the beach, LOVE the water, LOVE the kids being home from school and LOVE the relaxed schedule. Needless to say, it’s quite a transition to get back into the school and sport schedule for me.
There’s just something about the water that’s calming, relaxing, meditative and freeing. Yesterday, I did a quick swim at the pool while my kids were playing and kept thinking about all the patients I have worked with in the past year who swim and are plagued with shoulder or shoulder blade pain during or after their swim. Shoulder pain isn’t just limited to the swimmer. It’s widely prevalent amongst humans due to the nature of their sitting desk jobs.
Here’s my top 5 exercises I like to recommend for my patients with shoulder or shoulder blade pain. If you’re a swimmer, it’s key to supplement your swim training with dry land training to build up the muscles in your upper back and around your shoulders to prevent injury but also to improve your speed and performance. If you’re not a swimmer, these are the top 5 exercises to do to counteract the effects of your desk job. [...]
Getting injured can really set your exercise and fitness routine back a notch! And worst of all… it can be a total pain in the butt in more ways than one. Can you guess what we mean? If you’re reading this, you may have heard of piriformis syndrome before, or perhaps your just curious – either way, we’re here to tell you what it is, what causes it, and what you can do about it. That way, you’ll know why you’re in pain and you can “butt to the chase”, so to speak! [...]
“My knee feels funny, should I keep running?”
“Hmmm, my hip feels icky...I’ll just finish the last 2 miles of my 12 mile training run.”
These are the thoughts that go through my athletes heads when something just doesn’t feel ‘right’ during training. And more often than not, athletes push through the discomfort to make sure they ‘finish their run’. Listening to their bodies seems foreign and takes a back seat when following their training schedule. Don’t get me wrong...commitment to and consistency in following your training schedule is the key to success in your race...but not at the expense of an injury. [...]