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Ep 376 – Frozen Shoulder, Common Symptoms

Ep 375 – Clearing Forearm Tightness

Ep 333 – Plank Slaps

Ep 272 – Should You Get Cortisone Injections?

Should You Get Cortisone Injections For Your Pain?

Cortisone injections are steroid injections that help reduce pain.  They are commonly injected into the joints such as the ankle, knee, hip, lower back, elbow and shoulder.  The primary goal of these injections are to provide an anti-inflammatory approach.

The reduction in inflammation is associated with a suppressant of the immune system which will reduce the whole inflammatory process itself.  Sometimes the shot can help fairly immediately and other times it it may take 2-3 shots.

Doctors and other medical professionals do not recommend more than 3 shots within the 6 week period and cortisone has bone destructive properties and it can also negatively effect the cartilage growth and ability to heal.

The biggest problem with cortisone is that when you continue to obtain this shot, you are not ever learning how to fix this problem.  Why do you still have it?  What is the cause of the pain?  If you get out of pain with a shot, most people will not do their exercises, stretches, etc to help improve stability and overall body function! As a result, they never fix the problem and the shot becomes a temporary solution.

Most people think “no pain no problem” which is absolutely untrue! So overall, a shot will not fix a problem but it can certainly help reduce the pain and there is a place in the world for that. Nothing will beat hard work, and learning how to move your body in a better position and space!

 

Ep 229 – The Truth on Gretting Six Pack Abs. (Shredded Core)

Whole Body Cryotherapy – Does it Really Work?

Whole body cryotherpapy is quickly gaining its name in the fitness industry and these fancy machines appear be very futuristic, but do they work? These machines have been generating big buzz with mega-athletes like Lebron James and Floyd Mayweather admitting to have used them. So is this new machine just big buzz or does it really work?

What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy in itself is cooling the body down in order to stimulate a therapeutic response. Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is an alternative approach to traditional icing and ice baths. It subjects your body to an extremely cold temperature (usually around -200 degrees F) for nearly 3 minutes long. WBC uses liquid nitrogen to cool the surrounding air. Next, the individual walks into the chamber with minimal clothing using protective gear, which typically includes, gloves, socks, and ear protectors. The process is not painful and should be supervised.

What is it used for?

Currently, individuals use WBC for recovery purposes following exercise routines, intense trainings, and wellness care. The ultimate goal of WBC is to decrease the surface temperature. Decreasing the temperature to the surrounding tissues helps reduce inflammation and stimulate a flush of new blood flow.

With regard to tissue repair, controlling proper blood flow is critical and by controlling the blood flow, you can help with things like delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), pain, chronic and acute inflammation, skin health, and metabolism.

Whole Body Cryotherapy Research

Tissue Temperature

If you are really looking to lower the temperature of the tissues, you may not have guessed but the traditional ice pack had seemed to be the best method as opposed to WBC and cold water immersion.

Inflammatory Chemicals

A study done to compare a simulated trail run using high level athletes found that during the 4 day recovery, there inflammatory chemicals were fairly similar. There had been some lower inflammatory markers in the WBC group at the 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours post exercise. Overall, there seemed to not be a huge difference.

Muscle damage

Interestingly enough, there had been no evidence indicating that WBC had affected markers that signal muscle damage

Oxidative Stress

Using WBC had increased the number of anti-oxidants when comparing the untreated group, however, there was difficulty concluding the free radical production. Another crossover study was done with Olympic athletes and surprisingly, there had been anti-oxidants lower than the group that used cryotherapy.

Autonomic Nervous System

Following immediate use of cryotherapy, there had been larger numbers of nor-epinephrine concentrations. Also, the group using cryotherapy had indicated that the largest effect on parasympathetic reactivation.

Perceived and functional recovery

The research seemed to show that there is a better recovery and there had been improvements with regard to strength, pain, and subjective fatigue when individuals underwent cryotherapy 24 and 48 hours after training.

Study Conclusion

WBC does help with tissue temperature reduction that may be similar to cold-water immersion but seems to be less effective than an ice pack. There had been improvements in inflammatory chemicals, anti-oxidant, and autonomic effects. There seems to also be some improvement in soreness, pain, and functional recovery, however, the research study stated that these results are preliminary and if needed, the much less expensive and traditional cryotherapy offer comparable benefits.

Additionally, another study demonstrated that cold-water immersion was more beneficial in accelerating recovery and reducing muscle soreness as well as perceived recovery levels 24-48 hours post exercise.

Final Thoughts

Whole body cryotherapy likely does help with discomfort and pain and other areas of recovery. It is a quick and easy process to do if you have the available cash and really dislike the cold-water immersion baths or ice packs. I have no doubt that there will be more significant research showing the benefits.

Keep in mind that if you really do have some significant inflammation and pain, using the WBC may be at a disadvantage as it uses air, which is a poor conductor and will not significantly cool the tissues.

For more information about muscle recovery and ice, click here.

 

How To Festival at PB Library

Had a wonderful opportunity to present at the PB library this weekend.  If you can, you should really check out all the services they offer the community.

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Strengthen your chest and core with these push-ups

Part 3 of our push-up progression focuses on advanced push-up variations that in involve core stability.  Check out the video here. Know someone else who could benefit from reading this article? Please share it!

Components of Fitness

Here we touch on the components of fitness and what you may be missing.  Here I discuss the most often overlooked component. Take a look at the video below!

 

You’re Stretching All Wrong

Stretching, the component of physical fitness that we all tend to brush under the rug… We all know its super important but believe it or not, most people out there are doing it wrong! How hard can it be? Just take a joint complex / muscle to its end range and hold it right?

For years you have been taught to stretch and yes, it is good for you! Stretching your body will improve flexibility of the joints and muscles, improve circulation, improve your posture, improve your recovery from any musculoskeletal damage, relax muscles and spasms, increase endurance and metabolism, increase balance and coordination, increase the power and elasticity of the muscles, enable the body to perform with less energy, and reduce stress / anxiety. Stretching is so good for you that it is important that you have good technique; you are doing it correctly, and doing it at the right time.

There are many different types of stretching but the most common reason people get it wrong is because they are not doing the correct type of stretch at the correct time. Most people stretch their body as a static stretch, meaning they have a stretch and hold type of technique. A great example would be a sit and reach to stretch the hamstring.  While this technique is known for the benefits I stated before, it is not the best stretch you should do before a workout or an activity.

So what is the best stretch prior to activity? You may have heard it before, but its called a dynamic stretch and it should be done prior to an activity. Dynamic stretching is a way of “priming” the body for functional movements that you will be doing. For example, leg swings, high knee walks, spider-man crawls, hip rolling / circumduction’s, arm circles, arm swings, jumping jax are all example of dynamic warm up exercises. Dynamic exercises and stretching (also known as a dynamic warm-up) is designed  is more of a movement based system used to prime the nervous system  and increase the body temperature so that muscles are ready for activity.

Bottom Line: Using both traditional and static stretches together can help you become a lot more durable and less injury prone. Make sure to utilize dynamic stretching prior to exercises and static or traditional stretching after to aid in muscle recovery.

 

 

Do you need more examples of static and dynamic stretches? If so, let me know what you would like to see and I will make a video for them!

Shoulder Pain – Is it Frozen?

Finding it difficult to reach in your back pocket for your wallet due to shoulder tightness and pain?  How about reaching overhead? If so, you may be experiencing a condition called adhesive capsulitis, otherwise known as frozen shoulder.
This common condition is often found in diabetics and those with cardiovascular diseases but it can happen to you. Most people mistake this as a torn shoulder or rotator cuff injury when in fact it is not!

What is it?

Adhesive capsulitis is typically a reversible condition that most individuals give up on.  Yes, you heard it right, it is reversible!  It is when the shoulder is begins to demonstrates a gross loss in range of motion.   Pain and loss of motion is initiated by inflammation, which is followed by laying down of scar tissue.  The shoulder region typically exhibits gradual loss of motion and those affected by this condition tend to state that they have “inability to put their wallet in their back pocket.”

What affects the healing process?

The duration (how long) in which the patient has had the condition, temperature of environment, rehabilitation, types of treatment all have an effect on how fast the healing process occurs.  Patients who have diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disorders, and post trauma to the region are typically at a greater risk for this condition.

The Problem?

Most individuals begin to slowly lose range of motion within the shoulder, which then is followed by pain. Due to the fact that happens slowly, most people don’t seek treatment until its too late and are already suffering from pain and a significant loss of shoulder motion.

But What About Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is fantastic for a frozen shoulder!  I show all my patient’s exercises and I do recommend them to seek therapy to strengthen there shoulder and promote mobility.  Patients who seek physical therapy need to have muscle work to the capsule of the shoulder joint.  Not addressing the “frozen” capsule can and will eventually leads to stagnation and a plateau in your care.

The Road to Recovery

Since this is usually a long-standing injury and mostly chronic in nature, most patients find that heat helps them.  However long you have had this condition for, there is typically a longer than usual healing time that can frustrate many.  Having seen this injury many times, typical treatment times can range from about 3 months to 9 months.  Of course this depends on many factors but having the individual engage in vigorous therapy, being willing to endure some flare-ups, as well as some stagnation, it is a journey of care.  Most people can recover very well if they follow care and stick to it!

Treatments 

Many each year seek surgery to alleviate the scar tissue and restore motion.  This typically does not work as the surgery itself produces scar tissue and does not actually free up the capsule. To date, I have not seen a successful surgical treatment that is comparable to conservative care.  Additionally, the cost of surgery is higher and requires some time off of use.

In terms of sports medicine and Chiropractic treatment, this is not a nice relaxing massage!  Rather, it is a series of extensive mobilizations, adjustments, stretching, rehabilitation and soft tissue procedures that are geared to restoring the shoulder to full range of motion while breaking down the scar tissue.