You Can do ANYTHING

…We start hearing things like “don’t dream too big”.

You’re too short to be a basketball player

It is unlikely you would make it to be an astronaut 

Want to be a Millionaire – Laughed at

I say, We can do anything, as long as we put our mind to it!

Have you ever heard of the Blind Man that climbed Mount Everest?

Erik Weihenmayer, was the first person without sight to climb this transcendent Mountain.

As I sit here I think, Of course he did! I am sure there is a way.

But, I tend to be a bit more optimistic and as some may label me “naive”. 

So, I would try to search my mind and say Yeah! Totally they could.

What about someone in a wheelchair? Is this less likely to occur? 

Sure, it would be more difficult, it may take longer, they might need more help. But, could they do it?

When I lived in Invermere, BC, there was a group (forgive me for not remembering what it is called), that set out to do hikes with an individual who was physically disabled every month. 

They had a chair that was connected to a few poles and volunteers in the community would hike together, taking turns to help carry the chair with the individual along the way.

DONE! (mic-drop)

I am sure there are so many other examples I could use for this, taken from history Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr., Barak Ojbama, Amelia Earhart, Elle woods 😛

These may not seem so obvious of examples now to most…

I mean, 

First women to fly a plane, totally… why not?

First African American President… Of course! What difference would that make?

But, these events in history were what made it possible for us to think this way.

I am sure that in 1937, there were a lot of people telling Amelia Earhart that it was not possible for her to fly a plane alone!

But, she said FUCK IT (probably in a much more respectful manner) and she flew that plane, she flew it right some good!

So, if she could achieve her dream, in a time that it was much less acceptable in society to achieve such a goal let alone many others. Then why can’t you pursue your dream in this day and age?!

Let’s See…

What other excuses have I used in the past??

  • I’m not smart enough
    • Who says? 
    • I have the ability to learn
    • I have complete everything I have set my mind to
    • I have experience starting new things
      • School
      • Jobs
      • Dog training
      • Learning to drive
      • Learning a new hobby
      • Learning to be a lifeguard
      • Moving to a new home
      • Making New friends
  • I don’t have enough money
    • There is always money, you just have to be creative. If you needed a coffee this morning, and you had no cash, what would you do? 
      • Scour the couch? 
      • Borrow?
      • Look on the ground in the Tim Horton Drive through (We would do this in University)
    • Money is an exchange
      • Thank you for your service, I would like to repay you
  • I don’t deserve it 
    • Everyone deserves what ever they want in their life 
    • The world is abundant with options and they are just waiting for you to have everything you want and more
    • Why wouldn’t I?
      • I work hard
      • I am knowledgeable
      • I am caring
      • I give in any way that I can

So, if you truly want something.

You want to be or do something with your life and you WANT that thing.

Make the decision and do it.

Take the first step, then the next.

Push through when you have doubt from yourself or others,

Make it Happen

The Risks of Not Rehabilitating an Injury Properly

Once upon a time, there was a lovely teenage soccer player, called “killer”. She could dribble the soccer ball up the field, pass all the opposing players, take the magnificent shot! One of many games played, BAM, alas, a worthy opponent came from no-where, the girls duelled it out, ending in a free ball. “Killer” took a chance, she went in for the slide tackle to kick the ball to one of her phenomenal teammates. 

Her foot did not make it to the ball, it was stopped, so suddenly by nothing other then a hole… the foot was stopped immediately while killer’s body slid over and past the hole. “crack, snap, pop”, an ankle sprain occurred. 

Killer did know it at the time, but she had ripped the tissues holding the ankle joints together, and her soccer career would forever be changed. 

Yes, it is true, I was the teenager that I speak of; (tire pumping added for glorification).

Back then / still a bit to this day, I was pretty darn stubborn. I was told to take a break, to give my ankle some time to heal and then I would make it back on the field. Did I do this?.. Not, Exactly.

I tried it their way and it was taking too long, I was told I had peaked in my recovery, and nothing more could be done for me. A) This was not the case- Stubborn + Teen + Naive= Needed more of a push to rehabilitate B) Peaked?, No. You may plateau for a bit, but will start to bee improvement after proper alterations are made. 

Nonetheless, My thought process was, if I could walk, run and kick a ball, why couldn’t I play? Whats it going to do? Get a little worse? 

So, I taped’er up and went back out onto the field, sprained it a few more times, on and off the field, but wasn’t willing to stop; which I thought was my only resort. 

After this injury, my ankle was never the same. Coaches told me to try out again after I stopped guarding my ankle. Again, I thought it would come with time.. What did I know other then what my, therapist had told my 15 years old self.

The Injury continued.. Multiple re-occuring sprains, weeks on crutches, a few panicked trips to the hospital thinking, “this time, it MUST be broken”.

It wasn’t until I was in my 3rd year of university when I learnt how to test these ligaments, that I found out what exactly I had done 5 years prior. Then, It wasn’t until my 6th year, (in the Athletic Therapy Program) that I found out that not only had I injured the ligaments, I had completely torn them. As a result of the 3rd degree tears, no ligaments were left to hold the ankle joint together. In my instructors words, “the skin is holding your ankle together”. 

Holding back the tears, I had finally understood by after all these years my ankle was still so messed up. To this day, with strengthening, hiking, biking, stability work and stretching, I have the “flukie” days where my ankle inevitably rolls again, causing my rehab process to start again.

Again, this chronic injury could have been managed long ago when the first or second spin had occurred, 

SILVER-LINING: My injury motivated me to become a better therapist, and aid in prevention of other athletes experiencing this sort of injury history.

Enough about me…. Lets see how this plays out for injuries in general!

One of the first topics we covered in the Athletic Therapy program, was the healing process of tissues:

Once the tissues are torn your first priority is to get the swelling, bruising and pain down.

Next is key:

You must “stress” the tissue so that it will re-align in the proper manner – straight. 

This is done with specific exercises, stretches, mobility work, massage and modalities.

If rehabilitation this step is misses/not followed through properly, the tissue may either bunch up at its ends (happens with a complete tear) OR they may aline in all different directions- not straight (not stable).

If rehabilitation was neglected or missed, a partial tear is still able to be corrected. This takes time, patience and sometimes a high pain tolerance. 

If it was a complete tear, you could be looking at surgical repair of the tissue. (Please consult your physician on your particular injury before jumping to this conclusion). 

The following is a table of results stemming from improper rehabilitation of an injury:

Issue

Description

Consequence Result
Unstable Tissue 
  • New tissue not re-aligned properly
  • Easily ripped again
  • Re-injury
  • Upon re-injury, ripping of more tissue types
Musculature Guarding
  • Muscles get tight to protect the injury
  • Chronically tight
  • Puts pressure on other areas of the body
  • Re-Injury
  • New Injury
  • Chronic Pain/ Tightness
  • Nerve Pain
Compensation  (Posture, Gait, Lifting)
  • Walking with a limp
  • Standing to one side 
  • Lifting with opposing hand more
  • Puts pressure on opposing limbs
  • Causes alignment issues
  • Atrophy of effected side
  • Chronic Pain
  • Re-Injury
  • New Injury
  • Nerve Pain
Surrounding Tissues Neglected
  • Facsial adhesions 
  • Scar tissue
  • Meniscus
  • Vertebrae alignment
  • Easily re-injured
  • Cause injury to other areas
  • Applies pressure to other areas
  • Chronic Pain/ Tightness
  • Re-Injury
  • New Injury
  • Organ Injury/Pain
  • Nerve Pain

Ergonomic & Stretching Programming

If you are a local to Invermere, BC or one of the may who vacation here and are in Love with our local Kicking Horse Coffee; you most likely heard about their amazing and well deserved title of Canada’s best places to work!

Kicking Horse as well as other companies in the valley have always and are continuing to put the health and wellness of their employees first and foremost. I am happy to be able to say that I was able to aid in their goal and play a part in the health and wellbeing of their companies.

How, you say?? 

I was OVER THE MOON to see the mention of the stretching program in Kicking Horse Coffees’ blog post;  “11 KICK-ASS REASONS WHY KICKING HORSE COFFEE IS CANADA’S BEST PLACE TO WORK”. 

Whilst I was working in the packaging department at Kicking Horse Coffee, I had the pleasure of experiencing first hand how close knit the Kicking Horse Coffee Family is AND still feel this since of community (I feel like a celebrity when I visit the cafe haha!). 

I started to notice there were some common aches and pains throughout company with the staff. After discussion with the Human Resources Department and the owner of Kicking Horse Coffee, we all agreed that health and wellness of the staff is and always will be, priority. They were excited to start a new program in order to maintain their unparalleled values.

We came to an agreement which aligned with the company and worked toward developing the program so that it could be integrated with ease into the staff’s on-boarding training. Part of this program included the mentioned stretching program which is carried out by the staff daily. 

We trained stretching champions to carry out the daily sessions, and the staff were equipped with a binder to which had three week programs with 5 minute stretching routines. These were designed to help the staff with their chronic pain, discomfort, increase mental fatigue, re-fresh their minds and bodies, as well as prevent injury from occurring. The programs included various movements (yoga, dynamic stretches, static stretching, functional movements) to stretch, mobilize, warm up and re-fresh all areas of the body including; neck, shoulders, back, arms, legs and etc.

Since working with Kicking Horse Coffee on their Ergonomics and Stretching Programming, I have also had the pleasure of working with other companies to develop similar programming; Fairmont Hot Springs resort being one of such companies. 

Thats right! There was also another aspect to the program; Ergonomics! 

The ergonomics training program was based on my shadowing the staff directly to see what exactly movements, postures and lifts they do on a daily bases. This information was used to design a program which was specific to the departments being trained.

We overviewed potential chronic and acute injuries (mental, medical, musculoskeletal) likely to occur, proper injury reporting procedure if a staff member were to become injured, postural techniques, stabilization techniques and lifting techniques.

To elaborate:

  • Postural techniques 
    • Help the staff to see what body parts may be compromised due to an “abnormal” posture, we went through activities which helped the staff to feel where they were tight or weak and how they may fix such postural deficiencies. 

 

  • Stabilization techniques 
    • Utilized to ensure that the staff are properly protecting their bodies whilst they carry out their day to day movements; core stabilization, shoulder setting, and posterior chain firing work to protect the body when they are in the “untypical” positions used (reaching, bending over a rail, outstretched arms, kneeling, etc).

  • Lifting Techniques
    • For the “text book” lifting techniques that were seen in their daily movements we reviewed the proper lifting, from & to the ground, overhead lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, crouching and etc. We also addressed if the staff were not able to do the proper techniques, how to fix it and what they were able to do instead, based on their individual needs.

 

Once this program is complete the staff go 2-3 weeks of working with the information they have been trained on, and after which I return to the workplace and do a follow up meeting to make sure all questions, concerns and changes are made.

I for one, feel so very proud to be a part of the way these companies are being health forward and doing everything in their power to educate, protect and prevent injury in their valued team members.

I send out a Big THANK YOU to those companies who have made this program a success.

H2O

I have lost count of how many friends and clients have asked me about tight/achy muscles, decreased mobility/ flexibility and injury recurrence as a result of these things.

Most of these people are active, stretch, foam-roll and have healthy diets. So what is missing??

 

Sore Muscles

Stiff joints

Muscle Cramps

Decreased flexibility & mobility

Decreased strength

Fatigue

Headache

Chest and Abdominal Pain

 

These are only a few symptoms that are a result of your body being DEPRIVED of the  essential nutrient; water.

The body is made up of 60-80% water; dependant on the study you look at, it is used for numerous functions of the body, I may be as bold as to say it plays an essential part in ALL body functions. Moistens tissues, protects the body’s organs and tissues, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, lessens the work on the kidneys, prevents constipation, helps dissolve minerals for use in the body, carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells. 

 

BUT, I DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

BUT, I PEE SO MUCH!

BUT, I DRINK JUICES AND OTHER FLAVOURED DRINKS!

 

But but but, the average person (key word being AVERAGE) needs 2 litres a day/ 8.5 cups.

The reason I say average is, this is based on someone in the perfect atmosphere, with a sedentary lifestyle, who is most likely eating reasonably healthy foods. So, let’s do the math.

AVERAGE 2 LITRES/8.5 CUPS A DAY

+ SALT

The daily dose being 1500 mg/ 0.75 teaspoons. If you had a easter dinner this weekend (Happy Easter), you probably had ham which contains 1,203 mg in 100 g.  You are almost to your limit with that alone.

Going over your daily recommended amount when it comes to salt, causes water retention in the body. Sounds like a good thing right??? WRONG!

Yes, it is in the body, but it is not able to be used for the body’s functions. This commonly results in swelling in the limbs and higher blood pressure.

 

+ EXERCISE

Water is used in the body during exercise to regulate body temperature, muscle contraction, muscle recovery, to name a few.

Typically it is suggested to drink 2 cups 2-3 hours before your workout, 1 cup during and 1 cup every 10-20 minutes post-workout as well as 1 cup 30 minutes post-workout

 

Running total? 8.5 daily + 2 cups for over shooting your salt intake + ~4.5 for your workout = 15 cups

+ COFFEE/TEA (caffeinated) /LIQUOR

I group these guys together because for one reason or another they are all diuretics. Definition please!  

Diuretic: Blocks receptors in the kidneys which prevents water to be absorbed into the body and results in it being released from the body through urination.

 

+ JUICE/FLAVOURED DRINKS/GATORADE/SPORT DRINKS etc.

 

Yes, you can argue that these drinks have minerals and nutrients that are essential to your body as well, this is true. BUT, they also have sugar which causes the body to need more water as well. If you are going over your daily recommended amount of this nutrient too (25 g /6 teaspoons), your body will be utilizing the water you have consumed to get the excess sugar out of the body. Therefore, needing more water to bring your levels back up.

[1 cup of Grape juice contains 36 g of sugar]

 

TOTAL!

DAILY RECOMMENDED: 8.5 CUPS

ADD FOR SALT: ~2 CUPS

ADD FOR EXERCISE: ~4.5 CUPS

ADD FOR COFFEE/TEA/LIQUOR (1 CUP): ~1.5 CUPS

ADD JUICE (1 CUP): ~1 CUP

 

= ~17.5 CUPS / 4 litres

 

Important Note!!! Anything over 27 litres of water a day cannot be secreted by the body in a day by the kidneys.

Also, please notice that these are to be taken in throughout the day and throughout your workout. We are not able to drink 2-4 litres of water at one time and be golden for the rest of your day. The body will not save it to utilize when needed later in the day (unfortunately).

Bruise or Not to Bruise: Social Misrepresentation of Therapeutic GuaSha and Cupping

Most of us have seen the famous picture of Michael Phelps in the Rio Olympics, sporting the “circular bruises” on his back and shoulders. Which sent the world into a frenzy discussing and trying this “new” therapeutic technique.

When asking my clients “have you ever seen cupping before?”, I usually get the response, No?. Until I refer to the following picture (or the japanese fire cupping techniques in movies :P).

 

 

Many of my clients as well as myself have walked around with the red/purple marks on our necks, shoulders, backs, arms and even legs, for all to see. I personally often get reactions from people commenting on the major bruising on the areas.

“Doesn’t bruising mean pain?”, “That means they are going too deep!”, “Your therapist is HURTING you!”

and my personal favorite (referring to treatment to the neck); “WOW! look at those massive hickies!”

 

The word “bruise” is associated for people with pain, injury, inflammation, bad, tissue damage, etc. SO, how in the world could someone walk out of a therapeutic treatment session with more “bruises” than they had before??

Well, because, they aren’t technically bruises, at least not in the typical use of the word. They are purple, blue, yellow, black, they are tender to touch at times, BUT the therapist is using the blood flow and suction to draw toxins out of the body.

 

Cupping and Gua Sha alike utilize the bodys’ fluid and blood flow systems to increase the healing process. Aside from ridding the area of toxins and replenishing with nutrients and oxygen, these therapeutic techniques also help the body to relieve facial and muscular adhesions….Throw in some scar tissue release, detoxification, immune boosting and we have a well rounded therapeutic technique, but that isn’t what we are talking about in this Blog..

 

How exactly do these methods stimulate such healing properties??

Cupping:

This technique uses suction to pull the skin and fascia up away from the body. This pulls the blood, toxins to the surface stimulating blood flow which may have been inhibited prior to the technique.

It also pulls the skin and fascia up allowing for the muscles to have more room to relax if adhesions are present. Lastly, the cups can do the same for the fascia and skin; allowing for pressure to be taken off them in order for the adhesions or scar tissue to release.

cupping

GuaSha:

This form of scrapping is similar to that which a therapist would perform with their fingers often times while they are utilizing massage techniques to release the fascia and muscles.

The pressure on the tissues allow for a deeper release to the area, which also applied slowly and strategically to bring the blood to the surface, again flushing the toxins out of the injured area.

Guasha.jpeg

 

But wait! I didn’t answer the most important question!

“DOES IT HURT?”

Hurt, pain, more words that are misrepresented in the world of deep tissue massage and release.

The simplest answer; no?

The more complicated and scary, let me explain answer; yes?

If the techniques are performed correctly they should not “hurt” as in, you won’t want to cry hurt. If they do, the therapist is in need of more oil/lotion, they need to change their angle or they are simply going too deep. (IF YOU ARE TENSING UP AS A RESULT OF THE PAIN, THE TREATMENT IS MOST LIKELY GOING TO MAKE YOU WORSE)

That being said, discomfort may be present, it is no frilly lilly relaxation massage, we are breaking up scar tissue, releasing trigger points, pushing through adhesions. So, you will not love the feeling, but again, “hurt” is a strong word that often scares people.

 

Intrigued? Want more information on how I utilize these techniques in my rehabilitation process, and how I do them differently than the typical stand alone methods?

Visit me at my new location in Invermere, BC (online bookings available) or contact me at; kelseymwalker2@gmail.com

Would like to know more before committing to a treatment? Here are just a few websites I found that you might be interested in:

https://heartspringhealth.com/portland-massage-cupping-gua-sha/

 https://www.chinesemedicineliving.com/medicine/gua-sha/

 https://cuppingresource.com/cupping-bruises-and-markings/

 

*Article to be found in this years’ Vitality Magazine written by Journalist and Crossfit Coach Eric Elliott* More information to come at a later date 😀

Resolutions 101

It’s that time again, for new years resolutions. Starting diets, exercise programs, journals, stop procrastinating, learn a new language, play the guitar, quit smoking, watch less TV, etc …etc … you name it, it’s on the list.

resolution-list

We all start with the best of intentions, than life kicks back in. The glamour of the holidays, the excitement of the New Year fades and we fall back into the same routine that we are use too. And yes, I say we because I do it too.

 

Now, this is not true for all people, but how do we become one of those few that actually stick to our resolution?

  • Write it down
    • Ease right? Make a list; write it in hard copy so that it is in this world and it semi keeps me accountable. Put it where you can see it every day, fridge, door, mirror, TV?
  • Tell others
    • Not accountable enough in paper? Do the resolutions with your friends, family, have someone else holding you accountable and you, them.
  • Pick something that is important to you
    • This is the big one..

We can all write down great ideas for how to “better ourselves” but if we are not passionate about the changes we want to make, how are we going to commit to them?

Do your research; figure out what is best for YOU. Pick something that you like, something that is important to you, something that you are going to like doing?

Exercise: find an outlet you like and will work for you.

  • Crossfit
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Weight Lifting
  • Jujitsu
  • Karate
  • Meditation
  • Golfing
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics

Diet: what do you like? what do you not like?

  • Paleo
  • Weight Watchers
  • The Mayo Clinic Diet
  • Jenny Craig
  • Nutrisystem
  • The Golo Diet
  • The Biggest Loser
  • The Dash Diet

 

The point is, you have options; that is one of the great things about this world, we have soo many options to choose from.

 

Now, The other important part… (for the dietary and exercise programs)

 

Ready, are you listening, because this is the part that most programs don’t tell you.

 

You could come out of these programs worse off then you started.

 

I’m not saying these programs don’t work, because I am sure they do; when done correctly. You need to learn from your program, so that you can maintain the lifestyle after the programs are over.

 

If you finish these programs and go back to your regular lifestyles, that doesn’t mean you just go back to your original weight original body types, original self.

 

Many people gain more weight then before, they are not able to maintain the lifestyle without the program leading them and they eat worse after, “binge”, go crazy now that the program is done.

 

So, go into the program with a clear and open mind, learn from your program, learn how to keep in that path on your own and you will be successful.

 

Last, but not least, ask

 

Ask the professional that is putting on the program, if they are not willing to help teach you how to maintain the lifestyle after you are done paying them, in my opinion they are not worth your time and money.

 

For more information please visit acheloistherapy.ca or contact me at kelseymwalker2@gmail.com

Happy new year ross.jpeg

Stabilizing The Body: Part Three

Shoulder Stabilization – CHECK

Core Stabilization – CHECK

Posterior Chain Firing Pattern….. ALMOST CHECK!

 

You may be wondering, what the H-E-double hockey sticks, is “posterior chain firing pattern”, that’s okay! Because in less than 5 minutes we are all going to be pros at this technique!

 

The chain consists of the muscles used to extend the leg at the hip ie. Hamstrings, Glutes and Lower back. These muscles are important to the body while walking, running, climbing stairs, lifting, crouching and more.

 

So, yes Kelsey my muscles fire when I do all those activities, so WHAT is the issue? Well my fine friend, the issue is/ may be, the order in which these muscles are firing in. Therefore, before we do anything else, we need to see what order our muscles are firing in right NOW.

 

To do this, you are going to need a partner! THEN, lay on your stomach (arms down, face on a pillow, if you don’t you are already starting out by firing the back muscles, so relax), your partner is going to place their fingers on the right side first, touching the lower back- above the posterior hip bone, glutes –mid cheek, and hamstrings – mid thigh. Now, they need to cooooncentrate.

Posterior Chain Activation

Fig 1: Finger Placement

When ready your partner will ask you to lift the right foot off the ground ~1-2 inches, than lower it back to the floor. Whilst doing this motion slowly and as many times as your partner needs; they will be feeling which muscles they think are firing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or together. (You may want to write this down)

 

Got it? Now do the same with the left side please.

 

Now that you have your current firing pattern we are going to “fix it” (assuming it differs from the order I am about to tell you)

 

  1. Glutes
  2. Hamstrings
  3. Back

 

Again, your partner is going to place their fingers in the previously mentions locations and help you to fire one muscle at a time. You get to concentrate!

 

They will cue you to squeeze your bum cheeks together, but not too hard, if you go too hard you will fire the hamstrings and back. You may need to practice a few times, squeeze > release > squeeze > release.

Next is Hamstrings, so get that butt clenched and try to get your hamstrings to fire now, no need to lift your leg yet, we don’t want your back to brace you before you have taught the hamstrings how to fire.

Practice, practice, practice.

Lastly, you lift, allowing your lower back to flex, bracing your pelvis as you do so.

Perfection!

 

Wait a second, why do we do this???

 

WELL, becaaause, if for instance your lower back is firing first, it is doing the most work, even if there are multiple muscles in the back, this group is not as strong as the glutes or hamstrings. So, unfortunately, if your lower back is first, they are being overworked, resulting in fatigue, and therefore, potentially tight lower back muscles.

If the hamstrings are first, you could be feeling knee or hip pain as well.

IN CONCLUSION, when you are lifting, climbing stairs, running, walking, etc, CLENCH THOSE BUTT CHEEKS!

 

 

If you or one of your friends suffers from low back, hip or knee pain please share this information with them.

 

Want to know more about how to protect your body from injury?

  • Visit Achelois Sports and Athletic Therapy in Invermere, BC
  • OR/ Look up who your local Athletic Therapist is; this information can be found at https://athletictherapy.org/en/ .

 

Stabilizing the Body: Part Two

Core Stabilization (Abdominals/Stomach/Pelvis)

 

Pretty much all bodily pain can be linked to the instability of the body’s core; the body is connected by what is referred to as the “Kinetic Chain”(Fig1). If you are weak or tight in one area of the body it can send you off kilter in other areas as well; therefore, causing pain in an area you wouldn’t even think of it being associated with.

 

An example of this is if you are limping on the right leg; you are most likely standing on your left foot more so, your left hip is pushed out (do it with me now), notice how your side ribs stick out to the right causing the shoulders to come left, then the head comes right so that the eyes remain straight… did you follow that? I know, confusing! Maybe this image will help:

 

kinetic-chain.jpg

Fig 1:Kinetic Chain

 

Alright, but back to the CORE…

 

If your core is properly stabilized it will take pressure off of your back therefore, helping you maintain a proper postural balance, protecting you from all kinds of injuries (low back pain, hip pain, knees, ankles etc, etc, etc).

Visualize your kinetic chain from front to back, the bum stuck out, stomach out to front, the rest of the body compensates the same as described above.

And how do we do this you might ask?

CORE STABILIZATION

  1. Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor/bed
  2. Place the fingers of your right hand to the inside of your hip bone (right side)
  3. Place the left hand fingers to the outside of the belly button (on the right side) See Fig.2
  4. Cough
  5. Feel the muscles under your right hand move when you do so
    1. These are what you are aiming to contract
  6. Now practice
    1. You should practice contracting this muscle (transverse abdonimus) without contracting the bigger abdominal muscles, which you will feel under your left hand
    2. Don’t forget to breath while you’re contracting; it is a small movement
    3. CUE: pretend someone is stabbing you with a sword; the “clenching” you would do if you were
  7. Once you have step 6 mastered (be honest, no jumping forward), slowly start to slide your right leg down to straighten it on the floor.
    1. If your left hip comes up, you are not bracing enough
    2. When/if the left hip starts to move, stop and return to the start
  8. Repeat
    1. Should be doing 15 reps a day to practice
  9. Next leg

Core Activation

Fig2: Core Stabilization Position

 

You can practice the contraction of the muscle anywhere anytime!

 

Once you have the core muscles stabilized, they should be used during standing, walking, lifting, and carrying… yep, all the time.

Walking, standing; these should be automatic, you shouldn’t have to think about it once you have trained your body correctly.

Lifting, carrying; these you should be thinking more about BECAUSE, if you are lifting something heavy the pressure (depending on what way you are lifting, mostly any way) will be going to your lower back. Contraction of your core will take pressure off the back and protect it from injury. BUT, DON’T FORGET TO BREATH!

-Breathing.. hum..,That is a whole other discussion 😛

If you or one of your friends suffers from low back, hip or knee pain please share this information with them.

 

Want to know more about how to protect your body from injury?

  • Part three is still to come
  • OR/ Kelsey Walker with Achelois Sports and Athletic Therapy
  • OR// Look up who your local Athletic Therapist is, this information can be found at https://athletictherapy.org/en/.

Stabilizing The Body: Part One

Shoulders and Upper Back

 

On going neck and back pain? Constantly getting shoulder pain? No matter how much you stretch the pain won’t stop?

 

In today’s day’n age we are all caught with our heads down, for at least part of our days. This could be while studying, reading, working, socializing, or even in our sleeping positions.

These postures bring the head forward and cause the shoulders to round; when in these positions our body starts to alter itself accordingly. Therefore, stretching out and weakening the back & front of the neck, while tightening the chest and back of the neck. This makes it difficult for the body to maintain any other posture. When we do movements outside of this posture, such as lifting, carrying, overhead lifting or pulling; we cause injury to the muscles and joints.

 

In figure one you see, forward head posture, this is the position most people are in as a result of being on electronics, looking down at phones or computers and etc. Figure two shows the neutral balance head posture position that is the ideal position we would like to see the head and shoulder in.

 

 

 

So, HOW DO WE FIX THIS??

Step One: Stretch the tight muscles

Step Two: Strengthen the weak and elongated muscles

 

Side bar: How do I know which are tight and weak?

Stand against the wall with your heels, bum, shoulders and head touching -> feel.-> what feels weak? What feels tight? What is difficult to hold in place? What areas are feeling a stretch?

 

Step Three: Stabilize the muscles to hold your posture and prevent future injury

Which brings us tooooooooo:

SCAPULAR SETTING

  1. Sitting straight up, imagine there is a string attached to the bottom of your shoulder blades.
    1. These strings are being pulled across and down the back to make an, X (Fig.3)
  2. When making this movement the shoulders should have minimal movement with them and you should not be sticking your chest out.
  3. Make sure you are still breathing while you are doing the movement with your shoulder blades
  4. Hold this position for 15 seconds -> 30 seconds -> as long as possible
    1. If you feel/see your shoulders elevating or coming out of your positioning, stop and re-position

IMG_6076

Figure 3: Scapular Setting

This can be done while driving, eating, watching TV, Sitting on the bus… yep, pretty much anywhere 😛

 

If you know someone who is constantly suffering from neck and/shoulder pain, share this post to help them get a hold of the pain.

 

For more information or to book an appointment you can contact myself; Kelsey Walker with Achelois Sports and Athletic Therapy or your local Athletic Therapist, can be found at https://athletictherapy.org/en/.

Winter Is Coming

The season of skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tobogganing, skating, cross country skiing, hockey and SO MANY MORE AMAZING ACTIVITIES!

 

When you start back into these activities don’t forget that your body isn’t use to the movements like they were the year before.

What I am referring to is, specificity; you may be fit and use to being active, but when you start an activity that your body has not been doing regularly, it needs time to adjust.

 

Now, I know, most of you have been doing these activities throughout your lives and have even been doing similar activities in the summer such as, snowboarding & skateboarding or skating & rollerblading. However, these are not exactly the same, so it will still take the body time to adjust back to the specificity needed for your winter sports.

 

To decrease the likelihood of injuring yourself while re-starting your activities, you can do a few basic things!

  • Warm Up
    • Before any physical activity you should do a proper warm up to get the muscles warm and ready for movement.
    • Start with an easier variation of your activity if available. If not, get on a bike or treadmill and jog or bike for 5-10 minutes at an slow -> average paced
    • Dynamic Stretch
      • These stretches involve swinging or twisting motions
        • Swing the arms; circles or across the chest
        • Swing the legs; front to back or side to side
        • Twist the Torso; Side to side or to the floor then to the sky
        • Leg Twists; Twist the knee to the opposing elbow
  • Drink Water,
    • The more water you have before exercise the more prepared your body will be to sweat and maintain muscle function.
      • ~2.5 cups; 2-3 hours before exercise
      • ~1 cup; 30 minutes before exercise
  • If you feel tired or pain, TAKE A BREAK
    • If you feel tired in an area or pain, your body is warning you
    • Take a break and do some more dynamic stretching, walk around.
    • Be sure not to sit or be sedentary during this break
  • Cool Down
    • The purpose of a cool down is to bring the heart rate down in a controlled manner so that your muscles and joints can adjust while it does.
    • Start with an easier variation of your activity if available. If not, get on a bike or treadmill and jog or bike for 5-10 minutes at an average -> slow pace.
  • Stretch
    • Do dynamic stretching again; swings and twists
    • Static stretches to finish off
      • Stretch all areas of the body; neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, torso, back, hips, bum, thighs, calves, ankles, etc.
      • Hold for at least 30 seconds
        • It takes at least 30 seconds for the muscles to realize you are stretching them and relax so that a true stretch is being felt
  • ICE and WATER
    • Don’t forget the water!
      • ~1 cup within 30 minutes of ending exercise
    • Ice the areas that were used the most, pain is already felt or places that you have been injured in in the past
      • The best form of ice is ice-cubes; ice will melt with the warm of the body therefore, will not allow for frostbite. Gel packs can be used if they are covered, if have direct contact with the skin it can cause frostbite to the skin.
      • Place on area for 15-20 minutes, then remove until the skin is back to normal temperature. You may then decide if you want to ice the area again,
      • You will feel sharp, achy pain -> tingling -> numbness

 

Another risk of doing activity when your body has not been use the movements is D.O.M.S (delayed onset muscle soreness). This is a recovery state of the muscles that happens after strenuous exercise, body-builders use it to build the muscles; athletes use it to ensure they are getting an adequate workout to build their strength and endurance. This could be felt a day after exercise up to a few days after; usually is at its worst two days after the exercise.

 

I hope you all have fun with your winter activities; I hope these tips help your body stay pain-free!

 

Be smart, be safe, be injury-free!