Login to view Shoulder & Elbow Pain videosBurning Biceps Pain
March 16, 2011
I've been working with a woman with shoulder issues and she's come a long way! No more pain and doing exceptionally well getting back into exercise. A few months ago, however, she developed burning biceps pain in both her arms. It was constant and didn't seem to have a mechanical or neurological cause. This baffled us for quite a while.
Then we began talking about her diet. Specifically metabolic typing, which one of my other clients has been trying and who has discovered a great deal about foods that are affecting her diet and mood. Anyway, one of the things we learned was that the foods she craved the most, happened to be the worst for her. Once she cut those out, her weight dropped, energy went up, and she felt much better overall.
So I talked to my burning biceps girl about this and we discovered that her favorite foods were coffee and tomatoes. As an experiment, we decided to cut coffee out of her diet to see the effects, if any, on her burning biceps. She is now two weeks without burning! I have no idea as to the reason and the burning may come back but this is the longest stretch of time her arms have been burn-free. I thought this was fascinating. If you read my blog about gluten and carpal tunnel syndrome, then you'll see how well this fits into my Threshold Phenomena theory.
I'd welcome your stories or comments!
Gluten and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
March 16, 2011
I've been working with a client with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and, while we've knocked down quite a bit of her symptoms, some has remained. This has been perplexing me because, she has improved her mechanics significantly. Finally I talked to her about her diet. She is a very healthy eater however I spoke a little about foods that may be causing inflammation in her system. Gluten products, first and foremost, have a reputation as being inflammatory for many people. So she decided to experiment and cut them out of her diet. She just called to say her pain was significantly reduced as a result! I'm so happy for her.
This speaks to, what I call, the Threshold Phenomena of pain. I believe we all have thresholds, above which, we experience pain. There are a variety of potential stressors pushing us to that threshold. Some are mechanical, others dietary, still others are psychological. I'm sure there are other stressors such as hormones but body mechanics, diet, and psychology seem to be the biggest three I encounter. Each one of these stressors plays a part in our overall health. Sometimes one or two are responsible for pushing us past the threshold of pain while the third is almost non-existent. Each of us balances these stressors differently.
For this girl it was mechanics and diet. I've seen others who are entirely psychological. To me this reinforces the need to understand the musculoskeletal system even more so I can rule out mechanical diagnoses contributing to pain. Once this is done, we can look to other stressors, like gluten, to solve the problem.
I'd love to hear your comments!
Fixing You: Chronic Pain & Injuries Seminar
March 8, 2011
Well, just finished the first Fixing You seminar for fitness professionals and it went very well! Had a great group to work with with varied backgrounds! It's very exciting to see the lights go on when someone gets a concept. I have to admit, the seminar is PACKED with new information most attendees hadn't heard before but they did a great job! Thanks to all who attended!
I'm now looking into Columbus, OH for a clinic later this year. Anyone have a suggestion about another city that would be good?
Spine Surgeries on the Rise
February 16, 2011
Just read an interesting article in Wall Street Journal. It talked about how more complicated spine surgeries for stenosis are on the rise in spite of lack of evidence as to their effectiveness. I can't really speak about whether or not more complicated surgeries are warranted. I'm sure in some cases they are.
What I thought was interesting was that the physicians described spinal stenosis as a result of "normal wear and tear". I would tend to disagree with this comment. I say this because pain associated with stenosis can be eliminated with proper conservative treatment. This doesn't mean, however, that the stenosis is decreased--just the pain.
In my mind though, this means that the stenosis and the associated pain are separate. Therefore could it be that the stenosis may result from the same functional deficits that give rise to its associated pain? In other words, could the stenosis be a symptom of functional problems--just like the pain? And if this is the case, normal wear and tear would not result in stenosis. Instead abnormal wear and tear would--which means it can be avoided.
It would be interesting to see if stenosis can be reversed (or at least the progression halted) using the same treatment principles that would eliminate the associated pain. Has a study like this ever been tried? Not to my knowledge. I'd love to work with a physician who is up to the task though.
Any thoughts from readers out there? What is your experience with spinal stenosis?
SI Joint Pain and Foot Strike Patterns
February 9, 2011
I just finished treating a woman with chronic SI joint pain. She had been a dancer years ago and whose training had created abnormal movement patterns that led to her pain. Her foot strike pattern seemed to be the place to begin helping her as her pain was primarily triggered when standing or walking. I filled her in on my recent hypothesis regarding foot strike patterns and how hers deviated from, what I feel to be, a healthy strike pattern. Once we experimented with changing her standing/walking habits, her pain was immediately reduced. After one week of practice it was completely gone.
This makes me appreciate the essential connections between foot strike patterns and the rest of the body. Although changing how we walk may feel unnatural, it often feels better if done correctly. Now we'll see if we can help her bunions!
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