Archive for June 2007

Ankle sprains

June 26, 2007

I recently helped a client with an ankle sprain and thought I’d share how I recommend people deal with this. Now the first disclaimer is seek medical attention if there’s any chance it could be a fracture or a severe soft tissue tear. Those issues require medical intervention. But once you’re convinced it’s a simple sprain, you may want to try this protocol. Second disclaimer: this is NOT medical advice. I’m not a physician. I’m not recommending you take any medical course of action, just relating what we’ve suggested some clients do, and the results they obtained. Your mileage may vary.

First, ice it. Get a big bucket of water, big enough that it will allow you to put your foot in it and stand on it, with the water coming up to completely cover the ankle complex (like maybe 6 inches). Fill it with ice water, then put your sprained ankle in it and stand on that foot. Keep weight slightly on the inside edge of the foot and keep weight on it. It’s going to hurt, but do it anyway. Stay in the water for 3-5 minutes. Then get out and elevate the ankle, which means get it above your heart. Static back will accomplish this. Wait for 10-15 minutes, then get back in the ice water for another 3-5 minutes.

Now get out of the water, dry off, and go do Supine Groin Progressive. And this is the very important part: do it IN the wood tower. It will hold the foot and ankle in a position that facilitates the body dealing with the swelling and allowing the joint to reseat itself. Do both legs, as usual.

I had a client recently who sprained his ankle playing basketball. Could barely walk on it. Went through the steps above and when he was done was walking on it. It still hurt, but was greatly improved.

Paying to be dysfunctional?

June 17, 2007

I received an email from one of our readers, an Egoscue affiliate, Veena. She made the following observation:

Recently i`ve been seeing so many women with aching shoulders together with elevation of their shoulders almost worn as ear-rings.

At first i couldn`t really figure this out. The more i thought and observed, the closer i got to understanding it.

Well the latest craze for women (especially the rich) is to carry handbags almost the size of small suitcases.
Not only that these bags come with a real sized heavy padlock attached-yikes.

So the other day i asked one of my clients if i could weigh her prada bag. I was shocked 3.5kg.

This was an education in itself.

“Women are paying to be DYSFUNCTIONAL”

Veena makes a great observation. The things we wear and carry definitely form a portion of the motion patterns of our lives. Women are buying these large bags and stuffing them with all kind of stuff, then they repeatedly carry the bag on the same shoulder day after day and wonder why they end up with an issue where the left and right sides of their bodies lose symmetry.

But I’m going to put a different spin on this. I don’t have a problem with the large bags, per se. Our bodies are perfectly capable of handling this load. I hear people decrying the heavy backpacks kids are lugging to and from school, saying these packs are the reason why our kids are increasingly suffering from back pain.

They are not.

The problem isn’t the backpack. The problem isn’t the heavy Prada bag. The problem is the body we put the pack or bag on. If someone has healthy, balanced posture, these bags are not going to be a problem. But you put them on a posture that is already compromised and now you are going to drive the individual even deeper into their compensations. And yes, we can then expect to see posture become even worse, and pain and limitation to increase.

Think of the things our ancestors probably used to put on their backs and shoulders. I’ll bet the weight of those loads dwarfed what we carry now. But those people lived in a FAR more motion rich environment and their postures assuredly reflected that.

So what to do? Fix your posture! And then VARY your motion. I have a BIG laptop, a 17” MacBook Pro. Great unit but light it isn’t. After I put it in my briefcase and then stuff all kinds of files and books and protein bars and whatever into that puppy, I’ll bet it weighs a whole lot more than 3.5 kg. One thing I’m trying to do is change things up. I typically care it over my right shoulder. What I’m trying to do now is mix it up, some days I carry it on my left shoulder. If you have one of these mega-bags, alternate shoulders so that you vary the stimulus you present to your body.

So I guess the basic points of this post are these:

look at the motion patterns of your life and then stop doing the same thing over and over and over. Mix things up. Change up where you park. Walk up the stairs backwards. Switch what shoulder you carry your bag on. Look for opportunities to change your stimulus.

Rather than removing the demand from your environment, get your body functional enough to be handle that demand.

Get moving!

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Another study that proves our point

June 9, 2007

Pete has been saying for years, move it or lose it. He’s also been saying that inactivity causes the deep muscles that support the skeletal structure to start to shut off and place increased load on the more peripheral muscles. Now a study proves it:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070607071226.htm

This was my favorite part of the article:

Lead researcher Dr Daniel Belavy said prolonged inactivity
shrunk the deep muscles that protected the mens’ backs. He said that in some cases it took six months to recover but even then the muscles did not return to their normal size.

Dr Belavy said surface muscles closer to the skin, stomach and back became overactive, a condition which persisted for up to a year after returning to normal activity levels.

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What an inspiring story!

June 3, 2007

you have GOT to check out this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zY6wv8pO4Q

It’s less than 3 minutes, but if you want to see something truly inspiring, a woman overcoming challenges to lead a loving and productive life, refusing to make excuses for her situation, then you are going to love this.

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Interesting article about Fibromyalgia

June 3, 2007

Interesting article in Science Daily about fibromyalgia.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070601182522.htm

One of these days I need to take the time to write up my thoughts about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But the summary is that while Egoscue can definitely be of assistance with these issues, healing requires a multi-faceted approach addressing several different areas of one’s life:

diet (especially PH balance)
exercise
stress responses and coping strategies
environmental influences

I don’t think “new drugs” are the answer as the article above suggests at some points. My views on pharmaceuticals are a whole different issue, but here’s my take on that. When you REALLY need them, thank God they exist. My life has, literally, been saved twice by anti-biotics. But I think we as a society are grossly over-reliant upon them, they are often the quintessential “quick fix” approach, and often create two problems (or more) for every one they purport to solve. A better approach is to use the strategy Pete outlines in his work: ask the “why” question.

If you have inflammation, don’t just try to chemically knock it down. Ask WHY you have inflammation and then address THAT issue. If one has Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the answer isn’t to find the magic pill that makes one feel better, the answer is to determine WHY the body exhibits this pathological behavior in the first place and address those root causes to restore genuine health.

In any event, I’m glad to see the scientific community beginning to embrace these issues as medical/physical reality. That’s a positive development.

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