Dealing with Coronavirus
Hi to all my dear patients, Friends and Famiy,
I hope that this letter finds you all feeling well two weeks plus into our self-quarantine/isolation. I am finally feeling more comfortable with our new norm and wanted to say hi and let you all know that
I am still here!
My last letter that went out to my readers the first week in February focused on overuse injuries and syndromes. I gave a general overview as to how these injuries occur, how to manage them, and how to prevent them from recurring. I had planned to discuss one overuse syndrome per month going forward. However, due to this completely unprecedented, surreal, and frightening worldwide pandemic that we are swept up in, I am changing my course.
Because my treatment sessions are in the comfort of my patients' own homes and are almost 100% hands on, I cannot continue my typical practice at this time. However, I am offering consultations and mini-assessments as well as suggested treatments over FaceTime, Zoom and Skype. I am happy to set this up at your convenience. Please reach out with your aches and pains!!
Please know that either way, I am here for you!
And as far as this newsletter is concerned, I thought today I could discuss some strategies to keep your bodies healthy during this unsettling time.
CHANGE IT UP!!!
I am trying to look at this time as an opportunity to change our physical patterns. Apropos to my last newsletter, we are all at risk of developing overuse injuries.
We all tend to move the same way everyday, carry the same things the same way everyday, and we engage in similar exercise routines everyday.
This repetition of movement patterns, whether it is part of our day to day or during sport or exercise, creates stress on our joints and soft tissue structures and leads to pain and inflammation. Now that our everyday routines are gravely different, we are faced with the opportunity to change it up and do things differently to halt our pattern of overuse.
So, change your movement patterns, whether it be during your daily activities or during exercise, and introduce your body and your nervous system to something new. For example, I have started doing some pilates to strengthen my core, which is something that I usually don't have time to add to my “normal” exercise routine…. but change is good, and mixing it up is too. Click here to see my newsletter about overuse injuries.
TAKE TIME TO STRETCH
In many of my newsletters, I have discussed the importance of stretching for healthy muscles and joints. Most patients that I see who admit that they don’t stretch enough report that they are always rushed in and out of the gym or workout studio and forego stretching due to limited time.
Now that time is not really an issue for most of us, 😭 take this opportunity to lengthen those muscles. Research indicates that a lot of pain syndromes in the body occur because tight, inflexible muscles place unnatural forces on the joints they cross and create stress at those joints leading to degeneration at the joint surfaces.
Regular stretching will, over time, lengthen your muscles and alleviate the stress at your joints.
I have written a couple of newsletters that focused on how important movement is in preventing pain and joint degeneration as well as in maintaining the health of your musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and cardiovascular systems.
During this time of self-quarantine and isolation, whether you are working from home or not, it is very easy for many of us to move significantly less and even sit in one place for way too long!!! Sitting, in particular, places the most amount of actual poundage of stress in the low back. Keep your low back and body healthy... move!
One of my old newsletters discussed the importance of challenging your brain during exercise by doing exercise that requires patterning, sequencing, and coordination.
Research indicates that increased heart rate and blood flow during exercise causes an increase in activated areas in the brain. Likewise, the brainpower necessary to complete exercise sequences creates new brain pathways and strengthens old ones (especially during sequences that involve multiple body parts).
So: Break out those boxing gloves and do a boxing sequence or log onto an Instagram class that incorporates compound movements involving core, arms, and legs and challenges you to sweat AND THINK!
BALANCE YOUR BODY
For all my patients who are recovering from lower extremity injuries and pain syndromes in the ankles, knees, hips or low back, and those with neurological issues impairing your balance, continuing to work on your standing balance is imperative.
Balance is important for all sport, recreational exercise, and everyday function. Even the most elite athletes with incredible strength benefit from working on their balance.
Balance training improves core and lower extremity strength, increases the efficiency of our movements, and is imperative in preventing falls and keeping us safe as we age.
Try standing on one leg during your normal daily activities like brushing your teeth, washing your face, washing the dishes (constantly), or homeschooling your children 😡😡😡. To really challenge your balance, stand on a flat pillow or towel folded up to simulate an uneven surface. This will challenge your balance abilities even more. Get outside and walk on a trail off-road or the sand on the beach as these uneven surfaces make your stabilizer muscles work harder and create positive change to your balance abilities.
Since my sessions include a lot of soft tissue and joint mobilization, most of my patients are feeling the loss of my hands and the manual work that I do.
So… Time to pull out the rollers, tennis/lacrosse balls, and stretch straps… all of which can be used to self- manipulate your joints or soft tissues.
Techniques of self-mobilization depend on where your pain and restriction is and which joint and muscles in that area lack mobility.
I AM STILL HERE!!!
Please feel free to reach out with specific questions and concerns about your body and your movement. I can send videos or pictures of stretches, exercises, and self-mobilization techniques specific to your diagnosis.
As mentioned earlier, I am also happy to set up a Zoom meeting, or a Skype or FaceTime session to demonstrate what it is that I am recommending you do for your specific issue. Because those virtual mediums are interactive, I can also coach you through!! I am available ALL THE TIME! So don’t hesitate to reach out.