How to Manage or Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

How to Manage or Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

If you spend large amounts of your time on a computer or mobile device then you most certainly need to understand carpal tunnel syndrome and how it develops. Are you ignoring a stubborn tingling or numb pain in your wrists? You may already have symptoms and not realize it. This article is for everyone as anyone can develop the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and not realize it.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH) website says that carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, a nerve that runs from the forearm into the palm, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. This median nerve controls sensations in the palm side of the thumb and fingers, and is also responsible for sending impulses to some of the small muscles in the hand that allow it to move.

NIH also explains that the carpal tunnel—a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of your hand—houses the median nerve and tendons. Swelling or thickening from irritated tendons causes the tunnel to narrow and compresses your median nerve. The results are painful; You may also suffer weakness or numbness in your hand and wrist that radiates up the arm. If this pain becomes persistent, you may already have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) starts gradually and is known for intermittent numbness and tingling in your thumb, index and middle fingers. Women are three times more likely than men to develop CTS, because the carpal tunnel may be smaller in women. The dominant hand is usually affected first and produces the most severe pain. The Mayo Clinic website says that you may experience numbness while performing various activities of daily living and you may also drop things due to weakness in your thumb’s pinching muscles.

The National Health Service (NHS) website lists a number of factors that contribute to CTS’s development. A family history of CTS, pregnancy, wrist injuries, health problems like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and strenuous, repetitive work can cause this issue to develop. If CTS becomes severe, you may need surgery to sever the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve.

When you hear carpal tunnel syndrome, most people think of desk jobs, however CTS is not confined to just manufacturing, assembly line or office work; if you engage your wrists daily (e.g. typing, drawing, writing, hairdressing) then you could develop it. You can also develop CTS if you have poor wrist alignment and use improper form while exercising. While a number of factors contribute to this problem it only affects adults and it’s an overuse injury that can be treated.

Take a moment to consider all that you’ve read thus far; please understand that CTS can be treated and in most cases avoided, do not allow this to become a part of your life. Start taking breaks during your job. Stretch your wrists often and allow your arms to sit comfortably in neutral position whenever possible, i.e. arms at your sides with your palms facing inward or toward the body in a relaxed position.

Be aware that weak wrist flexors and extensors contribute toward CTS. Strengthen your wrists by performing exercises and, once again, ensure you stretch them frequently. You need to pay attention to your wrists while engaging in your activities of daily living. Look at the way you use your wrists while driving and performing exercises. Your wrists should be relaxed and not constantly flexed or tensed, and if at all possible kept in neutral position i.e. palms facing toward the body.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an overuse injury that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the wrist. It can become so severe that you need surgery. CTS can be avoided by proper wrist alignment, exercise and stretching, and by paying closer attention to the way you perform your daily activities. Try to reduce repetitive motions and employ proper care techniques.

 References:

  • “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Fact Sheet.” Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Fact Sheet. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 17 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
  • “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 2 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
  • “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome .” Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. National Health Service, 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
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Flexibility: How it Impacts More than Your Muscles

Flexibility: How it Impacts More than Your Muscles

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

Whether you attend the gym or sit in the office daily; you probably have tight muscles and may know little about flexibility. Do you experience neck or back pain? Do you feel aches and tightness when moving your arms and legs? Many people are unable to perform simple movements and thousands are suffering from back and neck pain. Please keep reading; your flexibility is more important than you realize.

In the Foundations of Strength Training and Conditioning book, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines flexibility as a joint’s ability to move through its full range of motion (ROM). Enhanced joint flexibility can reduce the risk of injuries, improve your muscle balance and function, increase performance, improve posture and reduce the incidence of lower back pain.

According to the Human Kinetics website, a fitness and human movement organization, flexibility is necessary to perform your daily activities; getting out of bed, lifting objects and sweeping the floor require some level of flexibility, but unfortunately it deteriorates with age. Over time you create body movements and postural habits that can lead to reduced ROM in your joints, but staying active and stretching regularly can help prevent the loss of mobility. Being flexible significantly reduces the chance of experiencing occasional and chronic back pain.

Poor flexibility means more difficulty when performing your daily activities and can cause joint stiffness, muscle tightness, lower back pain and other postural, and health related problems. A study posted in the American Journal of Physiology has associated poor flexibility with arterial stiffening. Arterial stiffening is called arteriosclerosis and it influences how hard your heart has to work to pump blood through your body. Myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke are both a direct consequence of atherosclerosis.

Flexibility training can help you maintain appropriate muscle length. According to the ACSM, muscle shortening can take place over time and flexibility training helps improve muscle balance. If you’re sitting for long periods daily then you may have tight and shortened hamstring and hip flexor muscles that could be causing you lower back pain. Flexibility training helps improve muscular weaknesses and is thought to reduce the risk of injury. It can also improve your posture and your ability to move, relieve stress and reduce the risk of low-back pain.

ACSM suggests the best method for improving flexibility is to perform activities in their full ROM and to engage in a safe stretching program. It’s ill-advised to stretch when you haven’t warmed up, so stretching after your body is warmed up or at the end of a workout is ideal. A simple warm-up could consist of running in place for a few minutes, or by performing some other low level activities that increase your body temperature.

According to Full-Body Flexibility, the book explains how static and dynamic stretches are the most common techniques you can use to improve your flexibility. For static stretching, you merely stretch your muscles by holding the position for 10-30 seconds. Stretching should be done carefully, and with proper technique and breathing; never force yourself into positions or hurry through your routine. Take your time.

Dynamic stretching is another form where you mimic the patterns and movements of the exercise or sport you’re about to perform. If you’re about to play a sport or lift weights you would perform the activities with low resistance first to get your body ready for the real work.

Static stretching and dynamic stretching are your safest options. You can perform stretches alone or have a trained partner take you through the movements. I suggest you stretch your entire body, but pay special attention to your tighter muscles; for many of you this means your hamstrings, hip flexors, rear, lower back, wrists, shoulders, rotator cuffs and neck.

Flexibility means moving a joint through its full ROM and improving flexibility is also strongly associated with managing back pain. Warm up before you stretch and try using dynamic and static stretching techniques. Flexibility means balance; poor flexibility could result in loss of basic function and could lead to health and posture related problems.

 References:

  • Ratamess, Nicholas A. “Warm up and Flexibility.” ACSM’s Foundations of Strength Training and Conditioning. Michigan: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012. Print.
  • Yamamoto, K., Kawano, H., & Gando, Y. (2009). Poor trunk flexibility is associated with arterial stiffening.American Journal of Physiology, 297(4).  doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00061.2009. Epub 2009 Aug 7.
  • “The Importance and Purpose of Flexibility.” Human-kinetics. Can-Fit-Pro. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.   humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/the-importance-and-purpose-of-flexibility.
  • Blahnik, Jay. “Stretching Basics.” Full-Body Flexibility. 2nd ed. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication. 2011. Print.

How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

Hey everyone,

Here’s this month’s article. Ever wondered how your diet is affecting your posture? I explore the relation in this month’s article.

How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

Have you ever thought that your eating habits are affecting your posture and body alignment? You probably know that age, height, fatigue and occupation affect your postural alignment. There are so many other factors that impact your posture, but what about nutrition? In this article, you’ll learn how and why your nutritional choices could be leading to postural misalignment.

To learn more, I consulted Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian, Melissa Halas-Liang, M.S. to discuss the subject. “The right diet helps avoid excessive weight,” was her opening statement. She continued, “The more weight you’re carrying is more detrimental to your posture.” Melissa explains that your lumbar curve maintains your upright posture and supports the weight of your body.

Excess weight places stress on your bones, muscles and joints and can cause an unnatural curvature of the spine. “Extra weight in the stomach pulls the pelvis forward and strains the lower back, creating lower back pain.” You read that correctly, your diet might be affecting your lower back, but it’s not just weight gain that’s affecting your posture, your nutrient intake and eating practices during meal times are also creating an issue.

Vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health and posture. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, Melissa urges that you get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet. “Vitamin D plays a major role in calcium absorption, bone health, muscle performance, balance and risk of falling,” she says. Sun exposure is also an important source of vitamin D, but you also need to ensure you’re receiving enough from your diet. While calcium can be found in dairy products, fortified foods and dark green leafy vegetables, vitamin D can be found in fortified milks and cereals, egg yolk, salt-water fish and liver. UV-treated mushrooms are a good plant source.Not convinced? Have you heard of kyphosis? It’s an exaggerated forward rounding of the back and while it has several possible origins one cause of kyphosis is when osteoporosis weakens and compresses the spinal bones. “Among the lifestyle factors that increase osteoporosis risk are low calcium intake and vitamin D insufficiency,” says Melissa.

Older adults are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency; anyone who has limited sun exposure or kidney issues also needs to be aware of this information. Please consult your physician if you’re unsure whether you’re not receiving adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Do not take supplements until you ascertain this information.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) website explains that excessive alcohol, caffeine, coffee and soft drink intake is detrimental to bone health because they interfere with calcium absorption and could contribute to bone loss. For you soft drink lovers, not every soft drink is bad for you. The NOF explains that colas, but not most other soft drinks, are associated with bone loss. “The carbonation in soft drinks does not cause any harm to bones. The caffeine and phosphorous commonly found in colas may contribute to bone loss. Like calcium, phosphorous is a part of the bones. It is listed as an ingredient in colas, some other soft drinks and processed foods as ‘phosphate’ or ‘phosphoric acid’.” By getting enough calcium to meet your body’s needs, you can make up for the loss.

So what about meal times? It often feels like the bulk of our problems originate from our habits around food and our meal times, but how does posture come into play? Melissa explains that eating while watching TV or on the computer means that people are usually slouched on their couch or slumped over their screens; neither are correct sitting positions for good posture and body alignment.

Additionally, you may be eating more calories while using social media and when enjoying some form of entertainment; this will lead to excess weight gain that could impact your postural alignment. Melissa blames late night, mindless eating of fatty, salty and sugary foods. You need to eat at a table, sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back without distractions (Implement NPI’s Four Points of Posture™); prevent mindless eating by becoming more mindful of your eating habits and food choices.

Your nutritional habits during meal times and your food choices affect your posture and body alignment. Ensure you’re receiving enough calcium and vitamin D and please consult a physician before taking supplements. Remember, be aware of your posture while eating and avoid eating mindlessly, you’ll look more confident and save yourself excess weight gain.

 References:

  • Halas-Liang, Melissa Personal interview. 11 February 2015.
  • “Food and Your Bones.” Food and Your Bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <nof.org/foods>.

To see the article and other articles from our website, see the link here

National Posture Institute’s 2015 State of Industry Survey

Hi everyone,

I had the privilege of working on the National Posture Institute’s 2015 State of the Industry survey. For all the fit professionals who want to see the review, I’ve posted the link and the information below.

National Posture Institute (NPI) Survey Report

2015 State of the Industry Survey:  Posture, Health, and Fitness Report

The National Posture Institute (NPI) believes that posture, exercise performance, injury prevention, and education surrounding body alignment and exercise selection are important areas of concern for fitness and allied-health/medical professionals. NPI created its 2015 State of the Industry Survey to determine whether professionals were prepared to work with clients on posture correction/exercises and to review the current state of the industry and upcoming trends. This report will review NPI’s State of the Industry’s 2015 Survey results.

NPI surveyed personal trainers, physical therapists, physiotherapists, group exercise instructors, athletic/sports performance specialists, P.E. teachers, chiropractors and other allied-health, medical and fitness based professionals for this study. The majority of our respondents work as personal trainers/exercise professionals in settings such as health clubs/fitness facilities, home-based training, private practice training, corporate offices/fitness centers and college/universities. An additional group of respondents work as physical therapists, chiropractors, ergonomic specialists, athletic trainers and other allied health/medical professional in hospitals, medically-based fitness sites, sports performance sites and private clinics.

Respondents indicated that they work with a diverse client age group from young children (29%) to (80+) older adults (51%). Respondents stated their client base includes children/adolescents, stay at home moms/dads, corporate executives, office workers, athletes, academics, retirees and health/medical professionals.

As indicated on the survey, clients/patients “sometimes” inquire about posture and body alignment and 78% of professionals are actively educating them on the subject. Professionals also indicated that they generally conduct assessments on their clients. When asked about conducting posture assessments, 75% say they conduct posture assessments on a regular basis. Balance/agility skills, muscular strength and endurance assessments are also predominantly being used by professionals. When asked about corrective exercise programs, 53% say they use them. However, when asked whether corrective exercises for posture related injuries are being administered the responses were almost tied.

The survey shows that 69% of respondents have received training on how to conduct and create programs that focus on posture and body alignment. While some received little training from personal training organizations, others note that they learned some information about posture through books and/or magazine articles. The majority of respondents received educational training from the National Posture Institute (NPI); It was listed as the primary organization to learn about posture education, assessments and exercise movements.

Professionals indicated that they prefer using free weights, suspension and body weight training as opposed to commercial strength training/circuit training equipment when working with their clients/patients. The most popular exercises mentioned were: squats, lunges, step-ups, bicep and triceps curls, back rows, push-up variations, frontal/lateral raises and planks. It should come as no surprise then that exercise tubing, stability balls, body weight exercises and free weights/dumbbells took top spots when asked about the modalities being used while training.

Professionals believe that the most prevalent postural deviations seen in their clients are “forward head posture,” “rounded shoulders,” and “muscular imbalances”. They also indicated that the most common injury sites are the “lower back,” “rotator cuff,” and the “knees”. Respondents believe that the programs that could most likely cause an injury are power lifting, heavy lifting, Olympic style lifting, Crossfit and plyometrics.

Summary

The results show that fitness, health and allied-health/medical professionals are becoming more aware of posture, body alignment and exercise selection. They are actively developing programs for their clients/patients with posture and body alignment in mind. Professionals are predominantly working with clients/patients that range from ages as young as 5 (five) to 80+ years old. Respondents stated their client base includes children/adolescents, stay at home moms/dads, corporate executives, office workers, athletes, academics and health/medical professionals.

Professionals are conducting fitness and posture assessments; many of the respondents have learned to perform postural assessments and corrective exercises from the National Posture Institute. Clients/patients “sometimes” inquire about posture, but professionals that responded to this survey are actively educating them on the subject.

Fitness, health and medical professionals must continue to learn about posture and body alignment. As professionals, being aware of these areas allow for greater vigilance when selecting programs, methods and exercises for clients/patients. Professionals must continue taking the initiative and actively discussing the subject of posture with their clients/patients. Though their current responsibilities are great, professionals must not overlook the negative effects of poor posture and body alignment. Lastly, professionals must take an active role in becoming strong role models that can educate the public about proper posture, alignment and exercise performance.

http://www.npionline.org/survey/2015 (For more information on posture, certifications related to fitness/nutrition/posture and more, check out the rest of their website.)

Accountability: Even the Fitness Industry Needs It

Hi everyone, hope your 2015 is turning out well. If not, hang in there and work for what you need to happen. Here’s a good one for you. How do you when the fitness pro is performing the technique correctly? Generally, you won’t. So even the fitness industry and its professionals need to be held accountable. I discuss this in my first article this year, published on the National Posture Institute website here, but you can read it below also:

Accountability: Even the Fitness Industry Needs It

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

It’s the start of a new year and many of the old year’s habits need to be left behind. How do you know when a fitness professional is performing an exercise in good form and body alignment? You don’t; If you’re not exercise savvy then the likelihood of being misled is high. Fitness organizations and professionals need to be more aware of form and body alignment when posting exercises.

Last year, after opening a monthly newsletter from a major fitness organization I noticed the model’s posture and body alignment was off. Her head and neck were lurching forward as she sat up, frozen in place. The fitness model from the newsletter was trying to work her abdominals while simultaneously putting her neck and spine at risk. It wasn’t the first time I saw something like this; I’ve seen professionals performing techniques with improper form and body alignment. It’s time that organizations and professionals in the fitness industry take account for these problems. The public will emulate these techniques.

According to an article by Nikitow Chiropractic, one of the most common posture problems is forward head posture (FHP). Repetitive computer, TV, video game, phone and backpack usage, alongside poor exercise form can force our bodies to adopt this problem. Repetitively lurching the head and neck forward can strengthen nerve and muscle pathways to move that way more readily. In short, repetition of forward head movements combined with poor ergonomic postures can lead to FHP. Was the professional, and the organization, aware of FHP when they posted that image?

Incorrect Correct

Dimitri Onyskow and I spoke about the problem. As the Educational Fitness Solution’s Director of Academic Relations, he deals with these issues: “I think most organizations do not want to acknowledge the fact that they have been promoting poor technique,” he says, “If they did, they would be admitting they were wrong. Instead, they choose to ignore it in hopes that no one else will notice.”

Dimitri says that the problem exists in major fitness organizations that offer corrective exercise programs: “What most don’t understand is if a client is doing a ‘corrective exercise’ movement in poor alignment, all they are doing is adding strength to an already imbalanced frame. And this will lead to injury down the road. It is imperative that proper technique is taught throughout.”

Michele, a fitness club manager, also had a similar experience and shared her utter distaste for some major fitness brands. She says that people are quick to follow these teachings even if they are dangerous. She believes that one of the major problems with these brands is the bad form of their followers: “They often have people doing pointless motions with incorrect form and at ridiculous weights.”

Michele believes that many of the people following routines from these brands have no clue what they’re doing and they think their form is correct. Many are closer to a hospital visit than achieving their results and refuse help when approached about their form.

So can you tell when you’re being misled? It’s difficult to tell, so sometimes you need to seek a second opinion. Keep in mind that every trainer and fitness organization isn’t trying to mislead you, but even the experts get it wrong sometimes. If you’re unsure about a technique, don’t feel it working, or you’re concerned about the danger level then by all means ask questions. Always ask questions, research the topic and pay attention to who is providing the advice.

Good form and proper body alignment should be the goal of every exercise. Organizations and professionals in the fitness industry need to be aware of their form and body alignment while performing exercises. The public won’t know the difference between right and wrong. It’s up to the fitness industry to teach the public the correct methods and to be accountable for their actions.

References:

  • Nikitow, D. (2014). Damaging effects of forward head posture. Retrieved from denvertechchiro/files/fhp_revised.pdf
  • Michele. Personal interview. 7 January 2015
  • Onyskow, Dimitri. Personal Interview. 6 January 2015

Hip Bursitis

Hey everyone,

Here’s an article I wrote and was posted this month on Hip Bursitis. If you’re afraid of it; have it and want to avoid, then give it a read. It’s great to know more about these issues and what you can do to get better. It’s posted on The National Posture Institute’s website.


 

Hip Bursitis: The Most Common Hip Problem

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

As an NPI Certified Posture Specialist, clients have expressed concern about developing hip pain. The most common hip related problem is hip bursitis. If you’re suffering from hip bursitis then moving around will be painful; you may require medication, rehab sessions, or surgery if symptoms become unbearable.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) website, bursae are small, jelly-like sacs that contain small amounts of liquid that are located throughout your body. They are positioned between bones and soft tissue and act like cushions to help reduce friction. Your shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and heels have bursae. When any of your bursae suffer from inflammation, it’s known as “Bursitis.”

The AAOS explains that there are two major bursae in the hip that typically become irritated and inflamed. One bursa covers the bony point of the hip bone called the greater trochanter. Inflammation of this area is called tronchanteric bursitis. The other bursa is located at the illopsoas (groin area) of the hip. Tronchanteric bursitis is seen more frequently, but both are treated in a similar manner.

Every hip pain is not related to bursitis; the Mayo Clinic website offers some pointers on how you can identify symptoms of bursitis. If you currently have bursitis your hip joints may experience achiness and stiffness. It may look swollen and red, and may hurt when you move or press on it.

Mayo Clinic advises you see your physician when the joint pain is disabling, if it remains for more than one to two weeks and if there is excessive swelling, redness, bruising or a rash in the affected area. If you experience a fever and sharp, shooting pains especially while exercising, or exerting yourself then please see a physician,

Hip bursitis can affect anyone, but is more common in women and middle-aged or elderly people. The AAOS mentions factors that could lead to hip bursitis. If you have an overuse injury, pelvis alignment issues, a spine disease (including scoliosis and arthritis), leg-length inequality, a current hip injury, rheumatoid arthritis, previous surgery and calcium deposits then you may develop hip bursitis.

While all this information is overwhelming and can seem terrifying, treatment begins with trying to reduce the inflammation. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) website, explains that you’ll need lots of rest, ice, compression and elevation if you’re experiencing basic symptoms. You may also require anti-inflammatory medicines, but if conditions worsen, or the bursa become infected then your physician may prescribe special antibiotics.

So how do you prevent hip bursitis? According to NIAMS, to help prevent inflammation, or reduce the likelihood of its occurrence, consider exercising regularly, stop sitting for long periods, strengthen the muscles around the joint and stop activities that might be causing you pain. Consider using a stand-up desk if your job requires long days using a computer. If you have a physically demanding job that requires heavy lifting and repetitive motions you’ll need to take breaks, and practice good posture and body alignment.

It’s all about behavior and lifestyle modification.  The National Posture Institute’s (NPI) certified professionals can educate you on those lifestyle modifications and design exercise programs that center around making things easier. A professional will assess your posture while you engage in different activities and will make you aware if you’re harming yourself. It may be as simple as adjusting the way you walk — especially for those who shuffle their feet — and you may need to opt for shoes with better cushioning. If you’ve already started exercising after a hip related issue then consult an NPI professional to ensure your posture and body alignment aren’t safe.

Hip bursitis is the most common hip related problem and can seem scary. Your best move is to modify the way you perform activities, add cushioning where possible, and perform exercises in the correct position for your hip as part of your regular daily routine. Hip bursitis can get worse so please see a physician if you’re worried about any pain or show symptoms.

 

References:

  • “Hip Bursitis.” Ortho Info. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 1 Mar. 2014. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. <orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00409>.
  • “Bursitis.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. bursitis/basics/definition/con-20015102>.
  • “Bursitis and Tendinitis.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. National Institutes of Health, 1 June 2014. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. Bursitis/>.

Habits hurting your posture

Hey everyone,

I found this on Pinterest and wanted to share it. Here are 10 habits according to the Center for Spinal Disorders, that are messing with your posture.

I want to make a note though; for number 8, that stretch the woman is doing is not good for your back, especially if you’re inflexible, don’t workout or train regularly (even if you do be careful), have tight muscles and hamstrings. A better stretch for your lower back is to lay flat on your back and slowly bring your knees to your chest. For Hamstrings (as that stretch is a hamstring stretch also), lay flat on your back, try to keep one leg flat and raise the other leg. For starters, you may need to bend the other leg (the one on the ground) while you bring the leg you’re trying to stretch to a near 90 degree angle. Can’t do 90 degrees? That’s fine, go where it’s mildly uncomfortable and stop, don’t force, bounce or push yourself.

If you’re into Yoga and do this position on a regular basis AND if you’re flexible then it probably isn’t an issue, but for the rest of us, please be advised it’s putting a lot on your lower spine.

Enjoy !

759534

The next day after training…

131230-111705

Hey folks,

Well ! It’s one of those days. It’s particularly one of those days that precedes a hard workout day. Last night was my 1st workout day of the week after taking a day to myself. I feel so busted up, I’m going to make it a priority to lay down after this very important message. The days after your intense workouts are the days where you have to be very careful about your overall health and posture. I’ll explain briefly what I mean…

Two nights ago I didn’t sleep very well and woke up with some back pain. I knew I had slept wrong, but the pain went away, because I took time to stretch it and take care of it. Last night, I had this incredible training session where I did 200 body weight lunges and 100’s of other reps in different exercises, including the TRX band and a little martial arts training. I wake up today at around 6:30 Am after hitting bed at 3:00 Am, couldn’t sleep properly and got disturbed a few times. When I woke up, I could feel the aches and pains of my body. My left bicep and left leg were sore and my legs as an entirety are sore and sluggish.

I woke up and had some internet problems and had to take care of a few other stuff. I leaned forward to nurse a swollen ant bite, not thinking about my body really, and felt a tinge in my lower back. So adding insult to injury, all day long i’ve had lower back pain from pulling that muscle. Why did I pull the muscle? It wasn’t the lean, but it was all the other factors that caused it. I wasn’t hydrated enough, I didn’t sleep well for 2 nights in a row, I slept funny a night ago and I had this intense workout the night before. I’ve had plenty of intense workouts so why did this one matter…?

It mattered because tight muscles can cause injuries or tightness in other areas. My glutes and hamstrings get so tight that it affects my lower back, so not stretching worked to my detriment. I’ve had this before, it’s nothing too crazy, but I wanted to type this, in case you ever had this issue, and to help you avoid what I’m dealing with.

Here’s how to avoid it in a nutshell:

1. Get a good nights sleep
2. When you sleep, pay close attention to your posture
3. Warm up, cool down and stretch properly after your workouts. Try to stretch the day after an intense workout as well if you feel tightness
4. Pay attention to your body, get enough fluids and take the adequate rest time needed.

Now here’s how to solve the issue if you’re like me:

1. Stretch your tight muscles
2. Rest. Whether it’s taking a nap or just laying with your feet elevated, it helps your back and muscles relax.
3. Get adequate hydration
4. Take it easy
 

Well ! Here goes ! Time to lay down and rest my body. I’ve found napping, even for 10 minutes to help, so long as I can fully relax my body, I can feel the tension escaping. Remember, stretch out, hydrate and take care of yourself. Pain is no joke and if you’re not careful, prolonged tight muscles can lead to postural problems. It could even lead to pulled muscles or problems caused as a result of  being tightly wound.

Take care folks,

Nick

 

 

AL Ligament in Knee

Hey folks,

Have you seen this?! It’s a new ligament in the knee called the Anteriolateral ligament. It’s all over the news. One can only imagine how many text books and other courses need to be updated as a result now.

According to the article, despite successful ACL repair surgery and rehabilitation, some patients with ACL-repaired knees continue to experience a so-called ‘pivot shift’, or episodes where the knee ‘gives way’ during activity. Check it out here: Study on Knee

NPI-CPS at last !

CPS_Logo

Remember I said I’m a work in progress and that I would share those fruits in due time ? Well here it is ! Last night I completed another certification that I’ve been working on for a few months now. I’m now a Certified Posture Specialist (CPS) with the National Posture Institute :).

I’ve never been so happy, what an achievement it was and I did so well on the exam. I studied quite about for 2 months, I must have reviewed over 500+ slides and notes for this, and took 4 other tests before the exam.

I hope if you’re reading this it brings a smile to your face. I’ll be returning to the blog and other social media soon with new information and new knowledge to help more people :D.

I’m now trained in Goniometry (measuring a joint’s range of motion), posture and body alignment, assessing musculoskeletal issues (back pain, lordosis etc. included), assessing postural deviations and creating corrective exercise programs to help with postural & muscular alignment issues.

I’m real excited :D. Sorry i’ve been absent for some time, I hope you’re all doing well !

Nick

NPICPS