It is very common for our balance to get worse as we age. Many of us think that it is a normal part of the aging process, and just something that we have to deal with.
I am here to tell you that you don’t have to settle for your balance getting worse as you get older.
When I work with athletes, it is imperative to keep their hip muscles loose so that they are functional. As an athletes’ hips get tighter, their athletic performance will decline.
The low back and hip muscles allow us to stand up and sit down, cut back and forth, twist, pivot, and switch directions. The tighter that they get, the harder it is to cut, move, and do the things that athletes have to do.
What this means to a normal person is that the tighter their hips get, the more likely they will be to trip and fall, and the worse the effects from the fall will be.
Your Ability to Balance: All About the Age
Studies that show that the older we get, the more susceptible we are to falling, and the more the falling affects us. My 95 year old uncle Mort used to joke that the older he got, the harder the ground got. The tighter your low back and hips are, the harder it is to raise your foot to clear a curb or obstacle while you are walking and talking to a friend.
I find that tight low back and hip muscles make us more likely to fall, and make the effects of that fall, worse. This tightness is something that doesn’t occur overnight, it slowly and insidiously builds up over time.
That’s why most of us think that our tight and sore low back and hips are just part of life, and just part of getting older.
A tight low back, hips and legs are not a normal part of getting older.
Muscle tightness builds up every day. Everyday we are doing the same motions over and over again. These repetitive motions are what slowly, and insidiously, tighten up our muscles every day. The muscles get tighter and tighter over time until they pull on our joints and bones to give us bad posture, followed by joint pain. When someone bends over to tie their shoe and they throw their back out, it is due to tight muscles. It wasn’t bending over to tie the shoe caused the issue, that was the straw that broke the camels back. It was all of the muscle tightness building up over years, causing the muscles to get irritated and inflamed, and likely to be pulled, injured, sprained or strained.
Tight hip and low back muscles are becoming an epidemic in our society. With everybody sitting for hours at desks in front of computers, most people will have some hip and low back tightness. Sitting for long periods tightens up the muscles in the legs, hips and low back, (also in the neck shoulders and arms but that is a different topic). Sitting causes the muscles in the legs, hips and low back to get so tight that they become non functional. This is because every minute that you are sitting, the muscles in your legs, hips, core and back, are all contracting to keep you sitting upright and prevent you from flopping over like a boneless chicken.
Treating Your Chronic Sitting
A common diagnosis for this, I kid you not, is “Dormant Butt Syndrome”. This means that the muscles in the hip (or butt) area, get so tight from sitting too long that they become non functional, they won’t contract or move. The muscles get so tight that they can’t move. This causes a huge muscle imbalance in the hips and low back, and creates a whole host of back pain and injury.
The best way to treat this issue, how to prevent this issue form coming on in the first place, and prevent it from coming back, is to exercise, stretch and trigger point yourself. You want to keep the muscles in your back, hips and legs loose and strong. You want to stretch on a regular basis, and exercise on a regular basis.
Just walking won’t do it. Walking is a great exercise, but it has to be coupled with some other strength training and stretching. Otherwise walking will strengthen you up in an imbalanced way.
It’s like when I work on a construction worker who tells me that he doesn’t need to exercise because his work keeps him in shape.
Your work will strengthen you up in an imbalanced way because you are doing the same motions over and over again, and usually they aren’t balanced out to both sides of the body.
Usually you’ll have to use one side more, repeatedly. Over time this creates a muscle imbalance by overusing some muscles while other muscles get underused. This imbalance will eventually create injury and pain.
That is why it is so important to do some strength training and some stretching. You want to keep the muscles strong and loose.
But it has to be a balanced routine. That is why I put together Pain Free Lifestyle. It is a balanced, easy on your body exercise, nutrition and stretching system that anyone can follow, from home, spending about 20-30 minutes per day.
You don’t have to go through Pain Free Lifestyle. There are many exercise and stretching systems out there. You can do yoga, which is stretching and strengthening. Pilates, Ti Chi, Chi Gong, are also examples of systems that stretch and strengthen, are easy on your body, and are low impact.
I am a huge fan of weight lifting, but only when done moderately. As we age, heavy, high intensity weight lifting beats us up more and more and we recover slower and slower from it. That’s why I would recommend that whatever exercise system you choose, you can do it repeatedly, and without pain.
You want to feel better after a workout, not beaten up and in pain.
You want an exercise system that you can stick with, without causing pain and injury.
Exercise smarter, not harder.
Eat intelligently, not less.
Have a Pain Free Day.
It can be confusing trying to figure out exactly how to trigger point yourself.
How often do you do it? How hard do you go? Do you repeat it? How do you know if you are on the right spot?
These are all legitimate questions.
The Cause of Your Shoulder Pain
When we hear that we have a problem with shoulder pain or our rotator cuff, we usually assume the worst.
Most of us know that the rotator cuff is a very important part of the shoulder. But besides that, most people don’t know much about it.
The rotator cuff is a group of 4 small muscles that hold the humorous (arm bone) into the gleno-humeral joint (the shoulder socket), and helps to stabilize the shoulder.
Every time that you move your hand, like when you type, write, knit, etc, you are using the rotator cuff muscles to stabilize your shoulder and hold your arm bone in place.
So it’s no wonder you feel the pain, we’re using it all the time.
Winter is fast approaching.
Just like we need to get our furnaces ready to handle the impending cold, we need to get ourselves ready for the demands that the cold weather puts on our bodies.
The holiday season is upon us, and that means more eating, drinking, and being merry. All of this extra merriment can make it hard to stick with your regular exercise and eating routines. It can be hard to stick with any routine with all of the parting and shopping.
My business always picks up during the holiday season due to everyone hurting themselves from getting all stressed out from doing to much.
If you are trying to eat healthy or follow a diet plan, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to stick with. There can be temptations around every corner. From the treats at the receptionists desk, to the snacks in the office kitchen, to the cookies at home, we are surrounded by treats and temptation.
A vast majority of people at any given time want to lose weight.
Unfortunately, few people have training in nutrition or exercise. Therefore, most of us don’t know what is valid and what is invalid and wrong when evaluating a weight loss, exercise, or nutrition program.
And there are many companies out there looking to take advantage of uneducated consumers who are desperate to lose weight.
For a long time I have been hearing about how great juicing is. Juicing is supposed to be a good way to get all of your vitamins, minerals and nutrients from fruits and vegetables in an easy to drink and convenient form. I have heard about what amazing health benefits can be derived from juicing.
Juicing pulverizes the fruit and vegetables so that when you drink it, the fruit and vegetables are already partially processed and your body doesn’t have to waste precious energy on processing the food. The vitamins and minerals in the fruits and vegetables are supposed to be very bio-available and easy for the body to digest and process. So with juicing, ideally you get to take advantage of all of the vitamins and minerals and nutrients that the fruits and vegetables have to offer.
I just didn’t want to spend $500 on a juicer. So when a friend of mine told me about the green monster, I was intrigued.
“If I had known I was going to live this long then I would have taken better care of myself.”
“Getting old isn’t for sissies.”
“This pain is just due to getting old.”
These are all common sayings I hear around my office.
I am here to tell you that just because you are aging, doesn’t mean that you have to be in pain. Aging doesn’t equal pain.
I have been in practice for almost 15 years. I am a chiropractor who specializes in neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries. I am a trigger point specialist.
The people who have seen every type of medical doctor out there and still don’t have any idea of what’s wrong with them, they are in pain, can’t find out what is wrong with them, and have no idea how to reduce their pain, come to see me for an answer and a treatment.
Our overall health is related to how we take care of ourselves, rather than related to how big or small our waistlines are.
Pain Free Lifestyle exercise and nutrition programs are designed around the principal that it is more important to take care of yourself, be healthy and feel well, than it is to lose weight and be thin. The program is designed around the belief that it is more important to be healthy, than it is to look healthy. The program is comprised of exercises that are designed to make you feel better, rather than to get skinny. Pain Free Lifestyle is not a get thin quick scheme.
A new, anti-diet book came out that reinforces this approach to exercise and nutrition. It is called “The Obesity Paradox,” and it is written by Cardiologist Carl J. Lavie. Lavie, who is a cardiologist at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, said it very succinctly: “looks can be deceiving.”