Help With Running Pain & Arthritic Knees

With the chillier weather, along with the rugby and soccer seasons starting up again, those arthritic joints start playing up too. Research has shown that running or walking backwards can help. It reduces the amount of pressure your knee cap places on your knee joint, therefore decreasing arthritic pain. The reduced load on the lower body from running/walking backwards is great for those who have arthritis and especially for adolescents due to their hormonal changes and increased growth.

It takes less backwards compared to forwards running to create changes in the muscle tissue, so it is more efficient. It also creates less muscle damage and inflammation.

If you would like to know how to incorporate it into your training schedule, please refer to point 4 in the graphic.

Just make sure to watch out for trees and other people! 

If you would suffer from pain whilst running or arthritis, we can help. To make a booking, please contact us or book in online.

What might be causing my pain?

It might be coming from your fascia.

What is fascia?

You have most likely seen it before. It is the thin, yellowish, white-ish stuff that is wrapped around meat. In your body, it is wrapped around individual muscle fibres, muscle bellies, nerves, blood vessels and organs. It connects your musculoskeletal, circulatory and nervous systems together.

It was initially thought that fascia was just a connective tissue scaffold helping to give the body its shape and hold it together. It is now being discovered that cells move throughout our fascial system transporting nutrients and waste products. It has also been found that cells within our fascia communicate with our Central Nervous System.

Fascia can be damaged in a variety of ways but the most common ones are:poor posture, RSI, child bearing, sports injuries, car accidents, falls, wear and tear and inflammation, which is often due to ageing. When an area of fascia becomes damaged, it develops cross-linking fibres of collagen to help it heal, these do not go away once the area has healed and they actually cause the fascia to move less. The fascia develops adhesions or scar tissue, as a result, it becomes stiffer and stretches less. Over time, the by-products of sugar and sugar itself get stuck in these adhesions causing even more stiffness. Think of healthy fascia being like nicely, combed hair where the hair strands are parallel and unhealthy being like a big knot in the hair that is hard to comb out. Apart from being really stiff and in-elastic, it becomes more painful as well.  It is also going to lead to joint stiffness eventually, which causes pain. Scar tissue is more sensitive to pain than normal tissue. Fascial injuries aren't usually seen on imaging even very detailed ones like MRIs.

So, what can be done about it?

To keep our fascia healthy we need to be well hydrated but we also need movement to help get the water into it. So, another reason to exercise and stretch. If this doesn't help with your pain, see one of our chiropractors as we help to restore the correct motion to your joints which takes the pressure off the fascia. We also will do soft tissue work to allow the fascia to move more freely. Many of our clients have benefited greatly from seeing, Andrew, our remedial massage therapist as this also helps to loosen stiff fascia.

This has been adapted from https://www.doctorschierling.com/fascia.html

If you experience any back pain please get in touch with us so we can help, please contact us or book online.

Blood Pressure and Losing Weight

Recent research shows that exercise is effective in lowering blood pressure. All types of exercise including both cardiovascular and resistance training were beneficial. Blood pressure medication is more effective than exercise in creating a difference but this research is still very encouraging for people to keep up their exercise. Please make sure you check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. See our Facebook post for further information.

You have probably heard that it isn't just exercising alone that helps you to lose weight, it is mainly what you eat. Research discussed in the New Scientist, January 19, 2019, shows that our bodies have a set amount of calories that it uses per day so extra exercise doesn't allow you to eat too much more food. There are several reasons for this:

1) if someone does a heavy work out, they often compensate for this by being less active or fidgety throughout the rest of the day because their body is recovering. This was shown in mice who were given running wheels and prompted to exercise, they were less active for the rest of the day.

2) People who are used to exercising become more efficient at using calories, therefore, they don't need as many calories for their daily life and exercise.

3) Our bodies have possibly evolved to use a certain amount of calories regardless of the activity we are doing. The Hadza people in Tanzania, are very active. The men walk at least 10km/day hunting for game and the woman gather food by digging for wild tubers and picking berries yet still only burn around 2000-2600 calories/day. This is only slightly more than people who drive to work and sit all day. It takes more energy and effort for a larger person to go about their daily life than an individual in a healthy weight range. When people start to lose weight, their metabolism slows down. If they start to put it back on, their metabolism stays at the slower rate as if their mass was smaller compared to their pre-weight loss state. This makes it easier to put weight back on, because our bodies have evolved to make sure we survive - smart, but kind of unfair given the abundance of food in this day and age!

If a person exercises like crazy, their metabolism also slows down because their body isn't spending enough time repairing their internal systems and can find themselves with injuries that don't heal, not being able to shake a cold or having disrupted menstrual cycles. However, there are good reasons to do moderate amounts of exercise as there are a myriad of other health benefits: improved cardiovascular health, better brain function and reduced risk of chronic conditions such as Alzheimer's.

If you experience any back pain whilst exercising please get in touch with us so we can help, please reply contact us or book online.

Anti-ageing

Exercise really is an amazing tool to keep ourselves healthy and also younger. New research compared the muscles and cardiovascular capacity of people who regularly exercise in their 20s, people in the 70s who exercised their whole adult lives and an inactive group in their 70s.

They found that the muscles of people who have exercised their whole lives closely resemble those of people in their 20s who currently exercise. The inactive group's muscles showed significant changes. The cardiovascular system of the active older group was reduced compared to the 20 year olds but their capacity was 40% higher than the inactive group as well as their cardiovascular health being equivalent to people 30 years younger than them.

So, with most of us having time off shortly, it is a great time to start making exercise a habit that you can't live without. 

If you experience any back pain whilst exercising please get in touch with us so one of chiropractors can help, by contacting us or book online.

Turmeric and Vascular Health

You may have heard that turmeric is great for helping to reduce musculoskeletal pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. These also aid your vascular system by helping to prevent and reduce arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries, which can cause a heart attack). It does this by reducing oxidative stress by improving the balance between free radicals and the ability to rid oneself of them. Heart disease can progress silently, so watching your diet and exercising at any age helps to reduce the likelihood of its onset.

If you have any questions regarding this or would like help with your back pain, please contact us so one of our chiropractors can help you to start feeling better today. To do so, please contact us or book online.

Golf and Back Pain

Playing golf can cause injury primarily to the back, shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist. Golfers are especially prone to low back pain because it uses muscles that aren't usually worked in everyday activities of life, as well as from the impact of hitting the ball and incorrect form. This alters ones joint alignment and posture which in turn alters performance.

Factors affecting injuries experienced during golf include weakened muscles (causes incorrect spinal joint movement and muscular contraction), reduced flexibility, excessive exercise, insufficient warm-up and an incorrect swing form.  

Due to the asymmetrical nature of golf, the uneven development of muscles can cause spinal and pelvic imbalances making it harder to maintain normal spinal curves, reduced movement range, weakened abdominal muscles and back pain. This research showed that chiropractic care in conjunction with a tailored stretching and flexibility program had a positive result on low back pain in golfers. This is something we can help you out with.

If you experience back pain either during or after golf, please see one of our North Ryde chiropractors. To do so please either email us or book online, to start feeling better today.

Plank Progressions

Planks are great for helping to build your core muscle endurance but they do get a bit boring after a while. Check out this video if you want to challenge yourself further. Remember to squeeze your butt whilst you're planking to avoid your back taking unnecessary load which may lead to injury.

If you experience any pain, please contact our chiropractors to see if there are any areas that need addressing.

Gardening and Your Back

We have seen quite a few clients recently who have hurt themselves whilst gardening. It can be quite a strenuous activity so warming up your body beforehand by rotating your arms forwards and backwards, doing some light squats and reaching down for your toes is a good start. At the end, do some gentle to moderate stretching to loosen up your muscles and minimise pain the next day. 

Gardening tip: If you are using a mattock, make sure you aren't using your back to bring you back up to the starting position, use your Glutes (butt muscles). Using your back to generate the movement is a great way to strain a muscle or sprain a joint.

If you experience back pain whilst gardening, please reply to this email or book online, as we can help you.

Back Pain After a Sleep In

How much time do you spend in bed each night? Does your back hurt after you treat yourself to a sleep in on the weekend? Did you know that night time is when your spinal discs rehydrate and renourish themselves? You're taller in the morning due to this and throughout the day your spinal discs become dehydrated so you're shorter at night. 

The ideal amount of time required to rehydrate and re-nourish your spinal discs at night is 8 hours of bed rest. Less than 8 hours means your spine doesn't receive enough inflow to get adequate nutrition. Any more than this and your discs continue to swell and can become damaged under stress. Both too much or too little predisposes you to pain and spinal injury.

Gut Health

Just a quick one this time. The type of bacteria in your gut can influence your mood. You can change the type of bacteria in your gut by making smart, healthy food choices. It has been shown that positivity improves one's decision-making skills. If you would like more information about this, check out this video.

If you have any questions regarding your gut health, please do contact us to see if we can help you out.