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‘Been here before?’ means to this scheduling software, we switched from Schdulicity in June 2013.
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CONTINUED PROBLEMS: At anytime, if you are having trouble please call the office 630-851-1412. Remember, we may not be able to get to the phone if we are with a client so leave a detailed message with your concern and we will get back to you as soon as we are able.
Thanks so much, God bless, and have a tranquil day.
According to The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 2006,
“Spasms can be defined as electromyographic (EMG) activity as the result of increased neuromuscular tone of the entire muscle, and they are the result of nerve-initiated contractions.”
In short, a spasm is a muscle contraction or cramp. Typically the spasm will encompass the entire muscle fiber rather than just a bundle of cells.
The onset of a spasm is usually sudden and will often cause lack of control within that area and even a double-over effect. Spasms may last only moments but could cause disability for days.
The journal also explains Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrP),
“a hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band”
This means it does not effect the entire muscle fiber, rather a bundle of muscle cells–the microscopic little things (myofibrils) that make up a muscle tissue. Trigger points may be painful, however, they rarely debilitate unless untreated for an extended period. These are often not detectable except by a trained professional and frequently the site of the trigger point is not where the pain is located. Trigger points typically refer pain to a distant site within the body and a manual therapist who has been specifically educated in this area will know where to look based on the location of the specific pain.
People often make the mistake of ‘walking it off’ or ‘working through’ when it comes to pain. Pain left untreated will continue in the cycle as shown here. This happens at such a slow rate that the person does not realize, and sometimes believes the pain is ‘moving around’.
Clients often call me looking for quick answers to these situations. Depending on the muscle involved, I may be able to give home remedies, if not, a manual therapy session, possibly multiple, is typically indicated.
During assessments, I often hear statements such as ‘it started here but stopped and now is over here’. One of the wonderful things about how our bodies are created is that they will continue to send warnings until it is no longer able. This point with muscle pain is called atrophy. Atrophy is the wasting away of tissue and is often irreparable. We’ll get more into atrophy in another blog.
For now, if you are experiencing pain, do yourself a favor and don’t ‘walk it off’. ‘No Pain, No Gain’ is a myth, but if you’re in the NFL or WWF I won’t fight you on it. Contact us, or another manual therapist you trust and get answers.
Many of Atrium’s clients do not know about Center-fit, the new home of Atrium Wellness, Inc.,
Located at 2059 Albright Rd., Montgomery, IL 60538, Center-fit is a gym unlike any others in the area. Yes, they have ropes and boxes and even weights but Kettlebells are their main form of training along with Primal Move (PM), yoga, kid-fit, and nutrition.
Primal Move is a game-based, play-oriented approach to the art and science of enhancing your movement skill. The Primal Move system—with its deep roots both in modern science and the most revered of the ancient “body culture” disciplines—provides you a dynamic new way to effectively retrain your body to reclaim its natural ability to move with elegance, strength, power and speed. Added benefits often include: improved endurance, a reduction or removal of pain, greater energy and a radically improved sense of overall well being.
Primal Move helps puts the joy back into your exercise program—when injury, imbalances, aging or other set backs have made “working out” a painful struggle rather than a natural source of pleasure. If you are interested in being part of the cutting edge of movement, Primal Move is it – not only is it a stand alone system, but it is easy to integrate into your own training, instruction and/or sport specific training immediately. Progressions and regressions make it accessible to all ages and levels of ability, while games make it the most fun you and your students will have had in a long time!
Back spasms are common and painful. If you have them, you want to get rid of them, but how? Relax.
Truly, relaxing is the best way to stop a spasm. It can be difficult to do, let me help with ideas of how to do just that.
But first, what is a muscle spasm? It comes on when a muscle is overworked, stressed, or misused. It is the job of a muscle to contract, that’s what it does. Therefore, when it is stressed out it contracts.
Think of how you feel when you step out into the cold without a coat on. Your muscles tighten up, right? That’s the same as saying your muscles contract. If they stay in that condition very long it hurts. Pain is our bodies way of telling us something is wrong. Therefore, if you listen to your body, you get out of the cold.
So, a muscle spasm is the same thing, minus the cold. Most muscle pain is caused by strain to the muscle; overuse, misuse, or stress. Therefore, your muscles are telling you to stop what is causing the pain.
How do you stop that? Relax, here are some suggestions of how:
It’s okay to say no
Let them, or teach them to, do it themselves
Let’s say you get stressed about being late
The person who wants you to go with them are notoriously late
Save the stress and go alone, go with someone else, or don’t go
Find your happy place and go there
Think of Hawaii, Jamaica, Guam, Italy…
Go sit in that overstuffed comfy chair downstairs
Take a bath, yes, even real men take baths.
Add Epsom Salt for added benefits (upcoming blog)
Take a walk
It doesn’t have to be in the woods or on the beach, down the block is fine
Pray, meditate, zone out
Whatever it is you are comfortable with that takes your mind off stressful things
Most massage is beneficial to spasms because it induces relaxation
Massage should not be painful, again, pain tells us something is wrong
If your therapist is leaving you in pain for days, there’s something wrong
Do something besides what is causing the stress
Identify what the cause is and take measures to stop/reverse it
Seek out a good psychotherapist if needed, talking to an unbiased person helps greatly to see the ‘truth’ of the situation
There are any number of things that take up our time in a day. As was pointed out to me by my pastor, Shon Smith, typically we are busy to look good and feel needed. That hit home with me.
Time has been eluding me lately because the location of my office changed. With moving and change comes stress. Looking at this helped me to see that the stress is because I feel the need to be ‘on’ all the time. New relationships to be made, new prospects for my business to win, and where is my stapler?
There are no kids here to run back and forth, however, I now run between home and office. Time is spent figuring out where things are, here or there, such as my stapler? My neighbors might see this busyness and think I am worth something.
Housework used to be easy because my house was my business and the business paid for the place to be cleaned. Now, it’s another thing to add to my busy schedule.
Caring for others, been there done that. Well wait; there are things I do for my husband. Oh, and then there are the others at work for whom I might do a chore or two to help. Then there is the person at church who needs a meal or a visit.
This segues into volunteering nicely, be it a chamber event, church function, or one of the organizations on whose board I sit, I volunteer. Heck, if I don’t who will?
I must admit I have an addictive personality and when Shon pointed out that busyness can be an addiction it hit me between the eyes. Sure, I don’t drink, smoke, drug, or gamble but boy I can put myself out there for anyone any time and it’s okay, right? Wrong!
My clients run and run until their body breaks down in tight muscle knots. When they come to me for relief, I do my best to explain to them that it is okay to take care of you. After all, if you don’t take care of you, you won’t be there for them. I don’t know how many times I say this to others in a week.
It is time that I stop pointing my accusing finger at them and ignoring the three pointing back at me (another sign of addiction, by the way). Thanks to Shon, I am making a confession here and now that I am addicted to busyness. I will take the next step in asking God to relieve me of this compulsion. I will take a hard look to see if my actions have harmed others and I will prepare to amend that relationship. Finally, daily I will ask God each day to guide my way and nudge me when I go astray.
How about you? You don’t have to go to my God, though he does love you, you can go to anything you see as bigger than you, a higher power. Something to which you are comfortable giving control over your actions or at least a portion of your life. If you need help, just ask, my schedule will be freeing up soon.
Soft tissue, AKA muscles, tightness often causes hip pain. The hip is composed of many muscles that allow us to move our legs in virtually any direction. Doctors often prescribe muscle relaxers in hopes of pain reduction, with few options. Soft tissue assessment becomes necessary in order to determine exactly which muscles are involved, medical doctors rarely do this.
Hopes? Do you really want to rely on a hope to relieve your hip pain? Medications also have side effects. One of the rarely mentioned yet major side effects—of all medications—is damage to internal organs. Muscle relaxers have a systemic effect rather than targeting just one muscle or muscle group. They slow down the entire central nervous system.
Before moving off this subject lets take a look at what effects muscle relaxers have:
Relief!Rather than hoping medication diminishes your pain, why not trust something that has direct influence on the painful muscles.
Complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) offers several such options including massage therapy. The Atrium Wellness therapeutic massage therapists specialize in deep tissue massage and advanced bodywork for resolving chronic pain.
Do you suffer from low back pain? Does nothing seem to help it? Are you taking medication just to get through the day?
Often low back pain is caused by tight muscles in the front of the hips. The iliopsoas (ˌil-ē-ō-ˈsō-əs, ˌil-ē-ˈäp-sə-wəs) connects from the ilium, or hip bone, to the spine from the sacrum up to about the mid back. It also connect to the front of the thigh.
When this muscle is tight it pulls on the lower spine causing pain. If not treated the upper thigh/groin will soon hurt as well.
Low Back Pain – there is relief!
A tight iliopsoas is often the cause of low back pain as depicted in this photo by the red. Though not always the only cause. I gently massage the inside of the hip bone. I have had this trouble and know the pain it can cause.
Do you carry stress in your shoulders? Do you have pain between your ‘wings’ AKA shoulder blades, scapulae? How about glute pain, do you have a tendency to walk like John Wayne?
You could take over the counter meds to relieve your pain, temporarily. The commercials will tell you to take several throughout the day or ‘just one of these’ to sell their pain-relieving product to you.
Do you have some extra pounds you would like to lose and never find again? There’s an overabundance of DVDs, apparatuses, and clubs who will help you out—for a price. Want to see them? Go online, to the mall, or check out any big-box store to be inundated with choices.
America is a country with a plethora inventors, creators, and distributors of products. Some are extremely helpful—and others, can be extremely harmful. It’s as though the makers of the harmful products don’t care about your health. It’s as though the bottom line matters more than your kidney, liver, muscles, and bones.
Today I was looking through one of the many catalogs I receive selling health and fitness products. Of course, I scan it all but mostly look at the massage products to find what might help me better treat my clients. I’m a professional and could say ‘don’t try this at home’ but won’t because I’m not the one selling the products. So, I will tell you what to watch out for and where to get help, okay?
As for medication and your pain, you could try one or more pills. Pain medications have toxic effects on internal organs such as the kidneys and liver. Muscle relaxers? They mess with your brain just enough for you to not care about the pain. Think about it, if a muscle relaxer really relaxed your muscles, you would be in a puddle on the floor. And it does not pinpoint just the one muscle that hurts, it’s systemic; they too have negative consequence. If you are not certain of this, listen to the side effects on the next commercial.
I’m sure you get the idea; they don’t care about you so you need to care about you.
Losing weight, we all want to, you’re not alone. What the makers of the products won’t tell you is that diet and exercise are the best way to do this. Diet, I am not saying stop eating everything with sugar, or only eat things that begin with the letter D. Sensible is the best diet there is. I have various clients who have attempted a number of products and methods to shed pounds. The key here is that they are my clients and I am a massage therapist.
The problem with the DVDs teaching exercise is that the instructor is not able to see how you are moving, right or wrong. Another issue is that though we are all the same under our skin, we all move differently for various reasons. Because of this we all should not be exercising the same. Sure, they will tell you that you’re doing well but we both know they are not able to see you.
Ridding yourself of pain may sound simple. In the catalog I was perusing I came across pages of items that ‘feels just like a human hand’ or ‘bust out knots’. Just like the paper on the soap commercial that says paper reacts like human skin, it’s not true. There is not a product in the world that will allow a novice to massage a muscle as a massage therapist would, let alone feel like a human hand.
A very dangerous line is crossed when something states that one can ‘bust out knots’ with an apparatus. So-called ‘knots’ are not always what they seem. A true knot in a muscle may be a myofascial trigger point. If not, it may be a cyst, tumor, or other anomaly. If it is any of these then busting it out may be harmful.
I write all of this to ask that you use common sense.
If the promise sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Remember, anything that goes in your mouth must go through all of your organs.
A professional should always supervise exercise, especially at first.
Learn to move properly
Explain any and all injuries you have had in your life, not just recently
Not all professionals are to be seen as equal
Check their certification
You lose weight when you cut foods out of you diet; you gain it back when you start to eat those foods again.
Pain is not ‘normal’ no matter how old you are.
Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong
Age alone should not cause you to hurt
Proper daily stretching often reduces/eliminate pain and future injury
Muscles attach to bone and cause the bone to move, via the joint, when they contract.
When muscles do not realize their full length because they become overused, misused, or become fatigued, they contract. Contracted muscles lose length and, over time, are not able to realize their full expanse due to muscle memory.
In essence, the muscles ‘forget’ how long they truly are, hence you have pain when stretching. Therefore, in order to avoid pain, you don’t stretch the muscle to its full length. Yes, pain is not a good thing and avoiding it is a good thin, more on this later.
Back to the attachment to bone, these shortened muscles pull on the bones, which slowly squeeze the cartilage in the joint. The pressure on the cartilage does not allow proper fluid and nutrition in causing dehydration and deterioration.
According to Mayo Clinic “cartilage breaks down and wears away. As a result, the bones rub together causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.” They go on to explain that arthritis is not curable, however avoidance is possible.
As a massage therapist, I have seen great results in clients who were diagnosed with arthritis. By educating the client about muscle function and stretching, to relax the muscles and slowly ‘remind’ them how long they are. Water intake in combination with the release of pressure from the joint, the cartilage regains it’s normal, rubbery consistency. This reduces pain and inflammation.
Is this a cure? Semantics I suppose, ask my clients what they think.
Oh, yeah, the age thing, I see it in teens as well so no, arthritis is not ‘normal’ in the aging process.
There are so many reasons to ask why your hip hurts that I cannot possibly explain them all here. One major reason for hip pain is lack of stretching. Muscles need to be stretched often; no matter if you are a pro ball player, stay at home mom, or executive sitting at a desk. I will discuss hip stretches in another blog.
When the hip hurts it can be really tough to figure out exactly from where the pain really is. You know how when you feel pain you will press on the area you think will relieve the pain? And how surprisingly, sometimes this does not work, especially with hip pain?
That’s because Trigger points (TrPs) in the low back, or even the calf, muscles in addition to the hip often cause hip pain. Without getting too scientific, a myofascial trigger point is a taught band of contracted muscle cells, which are microscopic in size, within a muscle fiber that make up the muscle tissue.
A massage therapist trained and adept in trigger point therapy will be able to ask you the right questions to pinpoint where the TrP is before they even touch you. The majority of Atrium Wellness clients experience pain in the low back/hip area and ask me why I am working on their calf when their pain is in their hip. I give the explanation and typically just as I am finished talking their hip pain is gone, it works that fast.
When hip pain is in the front of the body the TrP may be in a muscle called the iliopsoas that connects from the thigh bone to the spine and aids in flexing and rotating the leg at the hip as well as rotation of the spine. This is actually made up of two muscles, the psoas major and iliacus. Your therapist will palpate the muscles by pressing in at the inside portion of your hip bone.
One of the things that sets Atrium apart from other massage places is we do our best to help our clients determine the cause of discomfort in order to live a fuller life doing what they love, free of pain. Take a look at our testimonials page for real-life comments from people we have helped, many of which only return for relaxation and maintenance massages.
While in the site click the Schedule tab to set your appointment.
Atrium Wellness massage therapists specialize in deep tissue massages and advanced bodywork for eliminating stress, resolving chronic pain, maintaining an active lifestyle, or aiding in recovery from sports, accidents, injuries and even surgery.
Atrium Wellness, Inc. doesn’t rely on gimmicks, just GOOD bodywork. Relax and rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit with a healing massage.