Archive for the ‘Muscles’ Category

From Knee Pain to Bees Knees

With no apparent reason, my left knee started hurting when I walk. Very noticeably and enough to cause distress. So the self diagnosis alarm went off. What’s wrong? Is it serious? What action do I take?

So this is a little journey to get from knee pain to bees knees. What is the meaning of bees knees? It means really good, or cool. When bees go from flower to flower, nectar sticks to their legs so the knees of the bee are where all the sweet, good stuff is collected. Sounds much better than knee pain. So here’s my process.

  • First, reduce inflammation. That means taking antioxidants and anti-inflammatory herbs. Vitamin C is always great as a basic thing to take.
  • Second, posture check. Slouching or anything I’ve been doing differently? Posture watch throughout the day to improve posture. Maybe a few situps to tighten ab muscles which help hold the shoulders and neck in place. And time to be sure use those arch supports in my shoes to help the situation. I use the Good Feet Store arch supports and they make a huge difference.
  • Third, stretch and strengthen. I used a yoga class to determine if this is postural or an injury. The day after the class, it felt better, so the stretching helped, meaning some muscles are tight and pulling the knee out of wack. If it felt worse, then I would have most likely inadvertently injured my knee and I would not continue to exercise until the inflammation is down.
  • Fourth, reduce stress. I’m not running all over town or doing anything to aggravate the area, and I take some time to sit quietly and slow down.
  • Fifth, improve sleep. Getting my 8 hours. This is when the body heals.
  • Sixth, get help. I scheduled a visit to my favorite chiropractor to target the problem. Since I have determined that this appears to be structural and the other steps did not made it disappear, those steps now provide a foundation for a visit to the chiro that will hold the adjustment.
  • Seventh, self help. Drinking lots of fluids following the chiropractic visit. Staying on top of it until it goes away.
  • In my case, I needed to improve my posture, and the stretch and strengthen step was the most important. Don’t underestimate the importance of doing some exercises that specifically strengthen the muscles that hold the knee in place. Besides yoga, you can do exercises like these to help get things back in place.

    Knees are so important to mobility. If you have chronic knee pain, start with you spine and your feet to see if some adjustments will help. Then add some basic exercises to balance and strengthen the muscles as above. Don’t dismiss the big difference these things can make. If you reach a point that you think surgery is necessary, but sure to learn about single incision knee surgery. The more precise and less invasive, the faster the healing and better prognosis for results.

    Here’s to bees knees!

    Share and Enjoy:
    • Digg
    • del.icio.us
    • Facebook
    • NewsVine
    • Reddit
    • StumbleUpon
    • Google Bookmarks
    • Yahoo! Buzz
    • Twitter
    • Technorati
    • Live
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace

    It’s Official: Yoga Reduces Chronic Pain

    I thought I was on the right track, because frankly, without doing yoga each week, my mobility and quality of life would be drastically reduced. On the days I do yoga, I notice a big difference in how I feel physically and mentally. So it doesn’t surprise me to see research confirming that yoga reduces chronic pain.

    A new study done in Canada says that patients reported significant reductions in their pain levels, as well as a mental boost from practicing yoga. The title of the study tells the story:

    An eight-week yoga intervention is associated with improvements in pain, psychological functioning and mindfulness, and changes in cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia

    My favorite two poses for back pain are demonstrated below.

    Triangle Pose for Shoulder Blades and Lower Back Pain

    Cat-Cow for Neck, Shoulders and Lower Back Tightness

    Share and Enjoy:
    • Digg
    • del.icio.us
    • Facebook
    • NewsVine
    • Reddit
    • StumbleUpon
    • Google Bookmarks
    • Yahoo! Buzz
    • Twitter
    • Technorati
    • Live
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace

    Dem Bones: The Thigh Bone’s Connected to the Hip Bone

    I talked to someone today who was fresh in a foot boot after falling and injuring her ankle. She said she was going to see a chiropractor tomorrow since she was having hip pain too. It reminded me of when I fell off a ladder three feet to the ground and landed on my wrist. I told the osteopath who took my cast off that my elbow and shoulder was hurting. He informed me that the wrist fracture was healed and there was nothing more to say about it. I was still in excruciating pain, and he had no more to say.

    So today I looked up the fun little song that reminds us that all our parts are connected together with our skeletal structure. Understanding this my friends, is critical to your health.

    Dem Bones

    Your toe bone connected to your foot bone,
    Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone,
    Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone,
    Your leg bone connected to your knee bone,
    Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone,
    Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone,
    Your hip bone connected to your back bone,
    Your back bone connected to your shoulder bone,
    Your shoulder bone connected to your neck bone,
    Your neck bone connected to your head bone,
    Now shake dem skeleton bones!

    Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk aroun’
    Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun’
    Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun’
    Now shake dem skeleton bones!

    Disconnect dem bones, dem dry bones
    Disconnect dem bones, dem dry bones
    Disconnect dem bones, dem dry bones
    Now shake dem skeleton bones!

    Your head bone connected from your neck bone,
    Your neck bone connected from your shoulder bone,
    Your shoulder bone connected from your back bone,
    Your back bone connected from your hip bone,
    Your hip bone connected from your thigh bone,
    Your thigh bone connected from your knee bone,
    Your knee bone connected from your leg bone,
    Your leg bone connected from your ankle bone,
    Your ankle bone connected from your foot bone,
    Your foot bone connected from your toe bone,
    Now shake dem skeleton bones!
    Now shake dem skeleton bones!

    Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around
    Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around
    Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around
    Now shake dem skeleton bones!

    Share and Enjoy:
    • Digg
    • del.icio.us
    • Facebook
    • NewsVine
    • Reddit
    • StumbleUpon
    • Google Bookmarks
    • Yahoo! Buzz
    • Twitter
    • Technorati
    • Live
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace

    Mobility and Disability

    Fall can be a demanding time of year. First, there are the social happenings: holiday events, family gatherings. A whole lot of moving around. Then there are the leaves to rake, potted plants to move… weather related changes. I love the yard and garden, even though what I do is limited.

    I may I complain about the extra yard work and about finding the extra time for all the holiday hoopla, I am grateful that I can do them.

    I lived with constant back pain for years. Being mobility disabled is a real life changer that you may already know. For my sister who is wheel-chair bound from a motorcycle accident, it is a big deal to even go to the store. My niece’s husband who underwent unsuccessful back surgery has days lost to morphine. A friend with unresolved back pain is rarely able to come to community events.

    So I keep at it. I keep using the 7 steps on pain-in-my-back.com. When my back starts aching or hurting, it is asking for help, which I willingly give. It is my partner in staying mobile.

    A very wise being once told me,  “Take care of what matters.” My mobility matters, so it is worth taking care of. Rather than complain about the inflammation and pain the day after raking leaves, I take arnica and do back stretches. I am grateful that I have the strength and mobility to rake leaves.

    Share and Enjoy:
    • Digg
    • del.icio.us
    • Facebook
    • NewsVine
    • Reddit
    • StumbleUpon
    • Google Bookmarks
    • Yahoo! Buzz
    • Twitter
    • Technorati
    • Live
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace

    Weekend Warrior – Oh, My Aching Back!

    A neighbor was having a garage sale and I decided to tag along. Time to clean out the closets and garage! I started at 7 pm Friday for a sale starting 9 am Saturday. Yes, you guessed it, lots of lifting and moving into the wee hours of the night. Not good for the old back.

    When the alarm rang Saturday morning, I could hardly move. My lower back was in pain. My legs and arms were sore. But I had to get up, after all that work to get ready!

    Once the sale was over at 1 pm, I counted my riches and contemplated what to do to ease my back pain. Should I go straight to bed, or keep moving? I had taken some herbs and an aspirin before sleeping, which I know helped keep the inflammation down, but I was limping and moving slow. My right side was getting tighter and my lower back was really aching.

    I decided to go to my 2 pm yoga class at the health club to try to stretch out the muscles that were tight. It worked perfectly. About half way through the class, doing the triangle pose, my lower back  cracked naturally as something went back into alignment. All the stretching helped to release the tightened muscles and bring balance back to my spine. I felt so much better.

    I showered, went to the store, then went home and took a nice nap. I was still so sore I had to cancel a Sunday massage, but my back was no longer in pain. By Tuesday I was ready for the next stupid weekend warrior trick!

    Share and Enjoy:
    • Digg
    • del.icio.us
    • Facebook
    • NewsVine
    • Reddit
    • StumbleUpon
    • Google Bookmarks
    • Yahoo! Buzz
    • Twitter
    • Technorati
    • Live
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace
    Homepage