Knee Pain, Stiffness

Who else wants to prevent joint replacement?

My plan is to die with all my original joints.I bet many of you have the same feeling., but the question is , do you have a plan? Even if you already have no more than one joint replaced, do you have a plan to not have anymore replaced? Many joint replacements could have been avoided if we only understood what caused the joint to go bad in the first place. Most believe that they were cursed somehow with bad joints from birth, others just they were unlucky. The truth is, unless the joint became bad from a trauma, your joint went bad due to lifestyle effects.

Knee replacements are the #1 joint replacement in America. According to http://www.uptodate.com, a patient information portal, 700,000 knee replacements are performed annually on the people age 50-80. That number is expected to increase to 3.48 million annually by 2030. That is a lot of new knees. I would like to reduce that number by at least half, but I need your help in getting the word out.

The knee wears out due to shortened muscles, bad gait, and bad shoes. At every joint, the muscles run across the joint. Meaning, the muscles above the joint attach below it and the muscles below the joint attaches above it. The shortening of the muscles actually pushes the joint closer together which will squeeze out the synovial fluid, think WD40, that lubricates and cushions the joint. This will lead to bone on bone issues that damage the joint.

A shortened gait places a lot of pressure on the front of the knee as the muscles on the the front and back of the knee fatigue and pushes the joint closer together as well. A shortened gait comes from inflexible ankles that force us to use our thigh muscles to walk versus the calf muscles.

Bad shoes will contribute to knee problems as well. Arch supports prevent the arch of the foot from acting like a spring to absorb to the impact of your foot hitting the ground. Pointy toed shoes force you to rotate your feet outward causing the knee to turn outward which will lead to damage. This will also cause bunions. Padded heels will increase the impact of the ground on your knees.

Learning how to lengthen and soften your muscles correctly, improving your gait and wearing shoes designed to let the muscles in your feet actually work is the best way to improve the health of your knees. You can see videos that explain in more detail on my YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/themusclerepairshop

Stiffness, Stretching

Get Rid of your Stiffness once and for all!

Stiffness,waking up in the morning with a stiff low back, tight neck and shoulders, and even knees and hips. This is a common occurrence throughout America regardless of the age. It is so standard that we have commercials with people begging for their 2 pain pills that they take everyday to stop their pain. The over the counter pain pills are sold by the millions every year. Maybe you deal with stiffness as well and yet you may think it is just because you are getting older. Your friends and even your doctor will agree. This is a sad state in our country. There are 3 different belief systems about dealing with chronic stiffness.

1- Many believe that working out in the gym is a way to battle the stiffness. The mindset is, If I can get strong enough my pain will go away. The truth of the matter is, you are probably causing more stiffness because you are tightening your muscles which applies too uch pressure to your joints and discs.

2- Others believe that as we age we should slow down. These people are literally rusting up.The lack of movements causes the muscles to tighten, again applying too much pressure to your joints and discs.

3- Still others believe this is just a part of getting older but they are not willing to stop moving. This group will take the 2 pain killers each day thinking they are outsmarting the pain. In reality, the pain killers may cause damage to their digestive systems leaving with the stiffness and digestive issues.

The truth of the matter is your stiffness is a natural state for your body to be in. Since you are alive and you will move to some degree, your muscles will tighten. You also have emotions which will cause your muscles to tighten. Your muscles contract by burning a fuel called “ATP” which will leave a waste product called “lactic acid.” This “lactic acid” causes the muscles to harden and shorten which applies pressure to the joints and spine. You cannot drink enough water to wash it out, there are no pills you can take to clean it out, and no one else can release from your body until you know how to do it as your mind will fight back.

Watch a dog or cat, and you will see them stretch out several times a day. These animals get tight just like you and I. This how we should stretch too. Stretching is different mindset from strength training. It needs to be for periods of 2-5 minutes a ta time, several times a day. The key is understanding how your mind plays a huge role in loosening up your muscles. Check out my videos explaining in more detail at http://www.youtube.com/themusclerepairshop

In my next post I will explain why so many people wind up with joint replacements without having any previous trauma.

Stiffness, Stretching

The 4 Keys to Living a Pain Free Life Regardless of your Age.

My friends and I used to go to the gym 3 or more times per week. We would lift weights for an hour, then get on the treadmill or stair climber for another 30 minutes. Of course we would leave sweaty and tired, but we felt great! Some months it looked like we were losing weight, but never a lot. The funny thing was, after all that working out, every time we would play softball or basketball together in our leagues, somebody always seemed to get injured. I just couldn’t figure out why. Even I would sustain injuries either from playing sports or just working in my yard. How could that be? I am working out regularly as I was told, yet it seemed I was always hurting. My doctor and my friends would say, “Well you are getting older!” I was frustrated and just refused to believe that in my late thirties I could be hurting this bad.

This is where I began my journey with the muscles. I enrolled in a massage therapy school to learn the basics of muscles. On my first day, I felt something I had never felt before. It was like someone had put a CD in my head of how the muscles work mechanically. I could clearly see the relationship between the bones and muscles. Keep in mind that I had never had much interest in the human body beyond looking good to get dates. This is were I learned the need to relax the muscles to take the pressure off the joints and spine. Bones cannot move on their own and need the muscles for any movement.

Key #1Lengthen the muscles– After finishing massage school, I was introduced to a man named Aaron Mattes, the founder of Active Isolated Stretching. Aaron taught me that the way we traditionally stretch was incorrect. We hold the stretches too long and apply too much pressure. It cause our brain to fight with us. You have heard of muscle memory, right? Your brain creates habits in how you move, stand, or walk which will prevent pain, regardless of correctness. To create better habits to prevent joint damage or spine damage, we must teach the brain new habits first. Stretching is more emotional than physical. Once you can emotionally release the muscles, then you can physically release the muscles. Any other way is just a short term fix. Check our my websites for more tips on stretching, http://www.musclerepairshop.com

Key#2Strengthen muscles– This we all know too well whether we go to the gym or not. The problem is, there are 2 parts to strengthening. The first is the lifting the weights, or your body weight, to build bigger and stronger muscles. Some people will lift heavy weight with less reps for bigger muscles while others may choose a lighter with more reps to avoid big muscles. Either way you will get stronger.

Key #3- Stamina training– This tends to get lumped in with weightlifting and usually forgotten. Most problems people face have to do more with stamina and then pure strength. Unfortunately many people are diagnosed as weak and are told to lift weights. Stamina training involves being able to do an activity for long periods of time without causing the body to fatigue and spasm. Many low back sufferers suffer with this. This is not walking on treadmill or doing a cardio machine at the gym, but doing the activities you enjoy. Start slow and build up your time.

Key #4- Nutrition– Food is always a key component in the making of a healthy body. I like to think of my body as a Ferrari. I would never to put water in the gas tank, right? That would be crazy. I see many of my friends that work out, sit down and eat a high fat meal for the sole purpose of giving them more energy to work out. Feeding your body with fresh vegetables like greens, squashes, lean clean meats(smaller amounts), and healthy fats like avocados is a real key in how healthy your body will be. I am not saying you need to be vegetarian or vegan, though there is nothing wrong with that, but eating a 12-16 oz steak, baked potato with sour cream and butter, and drinking a high sugar drink will negate everything you are trying to obtain at the gym. It is like pouring water in the Ferrari’s gas tank and then complain about how bad it runs.

Living a pain free takes some work and a lot of better decisions about what you eat and choose to do. You can have a great looking body, but still be living in pain. Your pain is about the relationship between your muscles and your bones. It is up to you as to how pain free you live. Better decisions, means a pain free life! Check out our videos at our YouTube channel- http://www.youtube.com/themusclerepairshop, to learn more about the Keys to living Pain Free.

Stiffness, Stretching

What everyone ought to know about muscles!

It is amazing how much we know about getting our muscles stronger, bigger, and faster. It is even more amazing how little we know about how our muscles interact with our bones and nerves. We all know someone who has had a joint replacement, back surgery, Rotator cuff surgery, or carpal tunnel surgery, maybe you have had one of these procedures. The typical reason for joint replacement is it is bone on bone, backs are bulging disc, Rotator cuff tear, and of course, carpal tunnel is the numbness in your hands. We teach our medical practitioners how to stop the immediate pain, but we fail to teach how to ask better questions about how you got there

Of the injuries I listed above, carpal tunnel is the only one that is explained as overuse, but we don’t really understand how to help people change what they do. The truth of the matter is, they are all from overuse. Your joints don’t just breakdown overnight. Your disc didn’t bulge instantly without a trauma. Rotator Cuffs don’t just tear without a trauma either. The way you walk, the shoes you wear, your strength, and your flexibility, play a key role. Many things we have been told throughout our lives have led us to these injuries, because at the time we just didn’t know any different.

Flexibility is the most foreign part of why our bodies breakdown, because no one has ever given it a lot of thought. However, your flexibility will determine how well you age. Even in the stretching arena, the lack of knowledge about how to actually stretch your body is amazing. Your muscles are more emotional than physical. In fact, until you can release the emotions held in your muscles, it will be very difficult to release your muscles physically. Most people hold stretches too long, pull too hard, and are actually doing strength training disguised as stretching. Most people will do strength training thinking the pain will stop if they get stronger, but that can be a mistake too. Strength training will actually tighten your muscles making your body hard and more inflexible. If our bodies are 70% water, then when we have a hard body, we are actually an ice cube with legs. Not a healthy place to be.

Take a look at my videos to learn more at http://www.youtube.com/themusclerepairshop

My videos will go a little in depth to explain how to really stretch your muscles. It just may surprise you.

Stretching

“Break all the rules and get the Flexibility of a 35-year old body at 50- 60-70 and beyond!”

It is funny how we teach each other that aging has to be a terrible thing. I remember when I was about turn 50, my friends started to tease me about turning 50. They made it sound so bad that I thought, for a second, why on earth would I want to live to be 50. I mean on that magical day I will stop being young and pain free to living a life full of pain. ON my 50th birthday, I laughed and said to my friends, “I have been waiting all day and I have yet felt any pain.” Their reply was,”Just wait until you turn 55, that is when it will happen.” On my 55th birthday again I laughed and said,”Okay, I am 55 and still feel no pain!” Next my friends said, “Just wait until you hit 60.”

Then it hit me, are people just waiting for the pain to come? I thought how silly for anyone to that yet every I knew seemed to doing just that! I decided right there I was not doing that and I haven’t. At 59, I feel better than I did at 39, no lie! Here are some of the thing I do in my life:

1- I eat a diet low in grain carbohydrates to lower inflammation.

2- I stretch several times a day for 5-10 minutes at a time

3- I meditate every morning with my wife.

4- I focus on reducing stress in my life

5-I stay active to maintain my strength and stamina

These are just the things I do, your list may vary. The important part is lower inflammation, increase range of motion, and maintain a stress free life. You can read some of my other post on this blog for more information or go to my website at http://www.musclerepairshop.com

or see my videos of me explaining how I do these things at http://www.youtube.com/themusclerepairshop

Foot pain, Stretching

Give me 10 days to stop your Plantar Fasciitis

How long have you suffered with Plantar Fasciitis? Has it been months or even years? Some people are given a big boot, or air boot, to wear each time it acts up. Some people are given injections in the heel and /or orthotics in their shoes, while others are given strength training exercises to improve the pain. Maybe you have tried one or all of them just hoping that something would work, then you wake up the next day and its back. It can feel hopeless and leaves you feeling helpless to boot, no pun intended. Millions of people are suffering along with you each day. Sadly these treatments just don’t work. They are all symptom based and causal based.

It ‘s crazy that something so simple to solve has stumped so many people that should know better. The biggest mistake is thinking that the problem is with your heel or the arch of your foot. It is not a foot problem at all. Sure the arch is tight and can hurt when walking barefoot, but that is just the symptom and not the cause. The name Plantar Fasciitis is named after the arch muscle, the Plantar Fascia. How ironic! The cause is actually in the upper calf area. You have 4 calf muscles in each leg that controls your foot laterally and vertically. When the inside or outside calf muscle is tight, you will walk on the inside or outside of your foot, respectively. When the 2 middle calf muscles are tight, it will shorten your stride and that is what is causing your Plantar Fasciitis.

Some of the typical treatments are:

1- Achilles tendon stretches disguised as calf stretches. Leaning against the wall and standing on a slant board or the curb only stretches the Achiiles tendon.

2- Orthotics and shoe inserts- placing these in your shoes will cause the arch muscle to atrophy and prevent you from ever walking barefoot on any surface. Long term can cause knee issues.

3- Injections and ice- these only mask the pain because they are treating the symptom and not the pain

Some people have been offered surgeries and pain killers which rarely solve the problem.

Let’s be clear, we all should be able to walk on hard surfaces barefoot as that is what our bodies were intended to do. I do it all the time with no problems. As you can see, no of this touches the real cause of your pain.

To get rid of your plantar fasciitis in 10 days,:

1-get a yoga strap, rope, or belt, as long as it is not elastic to stretch your calves. Elastic bands are designed for strength training and that is the opposite of what we want to do.

2-Sit on the floor with your back against the wall and one leg straight out in front of you. Place the rope around the ball of your foot holding both ends together in your hands. Only use your hands to pull your toes back toward you. Do not use your leg muscles at all.

3-Make sure your back is at least 90 degrees to your legs and gently pull the toes back toward. Hold it for 3-5 seconds and repeat the stretch 8-10 times. You should feel it behind your knee. Next rotate your foot inward and repeat the stretch. You should feel it on the outside of the calf. Finally rotate your foot to the outside and repeat the stretch. You should feel it on the inside of the calf.

Always do both calves in the morning when you awake and in the evening before you go to bed. This may seem like a lot of stretching, but if you stretch correctly, it is a time to relax your mind and create a little meditative state 5 minutes at a time. If you want to see a video on stopping Plantar Fasciitis, got to my YouTube page, http://www.Youtube.com/themusclerepairshop.com .

You can also visit my website at http://www.MuscleRepairShop.com

Stretching

Here is a Method That is helping Golfer’s Improve their Swing

Whenever you watch the pros hit a golf ball on TV, does their swing look like yours? Would you like to add 10 yards or more to the distance of your ball? Most golfers think their swing is in trouble because of the placement of their hands or feet and that is important. Some golfer believe if they can buy the best clubs and hit the best balls, that will make a difference and there is an argument for that. However, beyond all that there is a basic issue that most golfers rarely give much thought about. It is the movement of their body.

When I have been on a golf course, I do see golfer stretching using the traditional stretching techniques dating back to the days of Byron Nelson. The question you should ask about this type of stretching is, “Is it strength training or stretching?” What is the most stretch you see almost every golfer do before hitting their ball.

  1. Place the club across the back of their neck, stand with their feet apart, and start twisting their spine as if the back is actually twisting during the swing. Didn’t your pro say, keep your back straight and rotate your body around the spine?
  2. Stand with your feet slightly apart and bend down with your club in hand attempting to touch your toes. What part of your game requires you to touch your toes? Besides 90% of golfers can barely get past their knees.
  3. Lastly, that is it, for the common stretches and for the majority of golfers they walk out on the course and just start playing golf without stretching at all.

The very basics of the golf swing begins and ends with the legs, more importantly the rotation of the legs starting at the ankles going up to the hips. Most people do not realize, including professionals,

  1. there are 4 muscles in each calf
  2. 3 muscles in each hamstring area
  3. 4 muscles in the inner thigh
  4. 2 muscles on the outside of the thigh (IT area)
  5. 26 muscles in your feet

All of these muscles will determine how far you hit the ball based on the flexibility. These muscles will determine the injuries you will get if they are inflexible.

Let’s look at some simple stretches you can do before you get to the golf course and while on the course.

  1. Sitting in a chair, cross 1 leg over the other leaving the ankle on the opposite knee. For most people the knee of the bent leg will not lay flat without either pushing it down or engaging muscle to force it down. In this position, focus on the muscles of the inner thigh. Place your hand on the knee, using just a little pressure than the weight of your hand, press down on the knee. While pressing for 3-5 seconds, focus on your muscles up nest to your hip and let them relax. Repeat this 8-10 times. You can even do this on a golf cart.
  2. Sitting on the floor, or in a hard back chair with an ottoman, extend 1 leg out in front of you. If you can flatten you knee that is great, if not, the tight feeling behind your knee is your calf muscles, not your hamstring. After extending your leg, place a yoga strap, rope, or belt around the ball of your foot. Gently pull your toes back towards you without using your leg muscles. Hold 3-5 seconds and repeat 8-10 times. Rotate your foot inward and repeat the stretches. Finally, rotate the foot outward and repeat the stretches again.
  3. While sitting in a chair, place a golf ball under the arch of your foot. DO not press hard as pressure will cause tightness which is not what you want. Do not roll the ball around as this may be fun, but it has little to no value. Use the ball as a guide to sore spots on the bottom of your foot. When you find a sore spot, stay there, maintain the pressure, and breathe out while relaxing the muscle to stop the pain. Do both feet.

I would suggest that you go to my YouTube Channel, The Muscle Repair Shop, and watch the videos on calf stretching and hamstring stretching. The hamstrings and calves work together to give you the freedom to rotate your body. The softness of your feet allow your body to grip the ground for better stability as you hit the ball. Once you re-gain your flexibility in these areas, and it won’t take long, the rest of your skills in playing golf will be greatly enhanced. For one on one coaching, either in person or video, go to my website at http://www.musclerepairshop.com.