At various times in our lives we all experience pain in different parts of our bodies. However, pain is subjective in nature, and what might be agonizing to one person, may be just a discomfort for another.
Nevertheless pain should never be ignored as it is the body’s way of communicating that something has gone wrong, and more often than not, it is a protective measure of signaling danger.
Major joint pain – knees, shoulders and hips – will strike everyone of us at some point of our lives. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 34% of Americans over the age of 50 experience chronic joint pain.
Pain is a complicated issue and anybody selling you the “one secret way” to deal with it is either deluded or predatory.
So what can one do to avoid unnecessary surgeries, manage chronic pain, and even prevent injuries from occurring?
These four basic and simple steps can be easily adopted into anyone’s lifestyle:
1. Waist Management – is an important factor especially when it comes to hip, knee, or ankle issues. For each pound of body weight, the knee endures 4 pounds of pressure. That means that losing only 10 pounds of excess body weight will take off 40 pounds of stress off the knee joints! Furthermore, when we bend down to pick up various objects, or just lean over a sink to wash our face or brush our teeth, we put 10 times our upper body weight on the lumbar discs. That means that by losing 10 pounds of excess weight, one can reduce as much as 100 pounds of stress off their lower back!
Multiple studies have demonstrated that obesity is related to mechanical structures, such as lumbar lordosis, and can be a stressor of the lumbar spine, as well as cause of lumbar spinal disease. BMI could be thought as a most useful factor which creates effects on lumbar curvature.
Often when people lose the excess weight, they also avoid the need for surgery, and minimize if not eliminate the pain factor.
2. Hydration – keeping the body optimally hydrated is paramount to disc and joint pain. Joints contain cartilage, and discs contain fluids – both composed of water. Not only that drinking ample amount of water prior to meal time will aid in portion control and digestion, it is also a necessity for our vitality and wellbeing.
Drinking water can reduce pain in the joints by keeping the cartilage soft, supple, and hydrated. This is actually how glucosamine helps reduce joint pain, by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.
So how much is enough?
Ideally, one should consume half their body weight in ounces of pure filtered water per day. For example: for a 150 pound person, it means 75 ounces of water per day.
3. Just Move It – more often than not, when we experience pain, the last thing we want to do is aggravate the situation by moving that part of the body. So to “protect and guard” our pain, the body tends to “splint” and compensate. This self-perpetuating process creates a vicious cycle of even worse pain. As the old adage goes, “use it, or lose it”. By avoiding the mobilization of the affected area, we increase the level of inflammation even further, and decrease the level of proprioception, which causes further compensatory movements and postural deviations, which in turn detrimentally affect the entire musculoskeletal structure.
Working on your flexibility can substantially help reduce the inflammatory response and manage chronic pain, not necessarily because of structural changes, but more likely because of improving your ease of motion and replacing the memories of pain and stiffness with amended experiences.
Furthermore, moving and strengthening the muscles, lengthening the soft tissue, and opening the joints, allows the synovial fluid to lubricate the joints, enhance micro-circulation, optimize oxygenation, and feed electrons to regenerate the damaged cells.
4. Zzzzzzz Time – Sleep, and I primarily refer to quality deep REM sleep, is essential part of cellular regeneration. As we age, eight hours of continuous sleep is what our bodies require to repair. In addition, it’s an excellent idea to take brief catnaps during the day, which countless of studies worldwide have shown to be essential not only to our brain function, and daily performance, but also to the healing process and pain management. Therefore, adopt the European “Siesta” concept, and heal!
Since the opening of our state-of-the-art facility on Clearwater Beach, FL, I’ve had the opportunity to treat and train many clients with various conditions and have many examples of when this approach has worked.
* One client came to me with acute low back pain due to herniated disks, which has been going on for a while, and after failed back surgery, months of Chiropractic manipulations, and other traditional therapies she had no relief. She was unable to sleep, stand, sit, or rotate her body without pain. After only one session with me, during which she learned how to self decompress her spine and move in a bio-mechanically correct manner, she broke down in tears as it was the first time she was able to sit down and rotate her body without pain.
*Another client flew in to see me from Europe as he had two frozen shoulders, and a locked up rib cage. After visiting numerous physicians he was told that due to his severe injuries there was nothing else which could be done for him. Living with these conditions for 40 years, he learned to compensate, and got desensitized to his chronic pain. After only one session of Deep Wave therapy I was able to restore him to full range of motion, and rid him of his pain for the first time in 40 years. He then came back for additional training sessions to learn the various techniques he could use at home on a daily basis to keep up his results.
*Another clients for mine had a very serious knee injury, reconstructive surgery, and an extensive and lengthy physical therapy protocol. After close to a full year of therapy she saw no significant improvement to her mobility or pain level. After a targeted and customized training protocol, she was able to restore the balanced strength to her knee muscles, optimize range of motion, achieve relief from her chronic pain, and get back to life as she knew it prior to her trauma.
I don’t share these examples to boast of my “Magic & Miracle” techniques, but instead as an illustration of how pain cannot be simply related to tissue damage or just structural issues. Otherwise, how could they be affected by only one session after years of trouble? It is not that simple at all.
I’ve had a rewarding experience to help many clients with myriad of long standing complicated conditions, from orthopedic – spinal and joint injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, to neurological damage such as partial paralysis, MS, ALS, and stroke.
Each client is as different and as unique as their condition, and every approach requires a complex interplay between our expectations, education, physical intervention, and the particular client/trainer interdynamics that can lead to these positive results.
To this day, after working with hundreds of clients, I can truly state that there is no single formula for success that produces positive outcomes in these complex situations. However, based on my experience, I am convinced of the fact that each person’s situation requires out of the box thinking to provide the optimal boost to body’s innate ability to regenerate itself as it is designed to do.
From my experience, I have learned that the best way to decrease and prevent pain issues is to work on them gently and progressively, increasing strength and flexibility in all motions through functional training, remodeling the body through an integrative methodology which engages all muscle groups to work synergistically by adopting bio-mechanically correct movements, and understanding that pain doesn’t necessarily mean damage from a single causative factor.
To effectively restore the body’s ability to self-regenerate, one must gain a thorough understanding of the underlying issues that are responsible for pain, in order to balance, coordinate, stabilize and strengthen the body so it can move with ease, and restore the body’s energetic flow as well as enhance the immune system for a lifetime.