My mother used to call me a ‘pain in the butt.’ It was an endearing term even though I often did things that left her frustrated. Hip pain can be a literal pain in the butt and can leave you with a lot of frustration just like I did to my mother. All jokes aside, hip problems can really limit your lifestyle. Whether bending over to pick up the kids becomes difficult or not being able to go on your Saturday golf outings because you don’t want to ‘pay for it’ the next day, suffering from hip pain is no fun.
The thing about hips is that when you have a problem with your hips you can experience pain in different areas. Often you may think you have a groin issue or maybe you are having knee pain, but never realized the source of the pain was coming from your hip joint. Most people do not know where in the body the hip joint lies. Ask someone to point to their hip joint and they point to the outside area of their upper thigh where they can feel their ‘hip bone’ sticking out. That’s part of the femur, but the joint is actually really deep inside the upper thigh. The hip is a problematic area for a lot of people, and it is no wonder since most of us sit most of the day. The population is one of ‘stiff hips.’
Fort Collins is home to avid runners of all kinds. Whether it’s a Saturday morning jog or an ultramarathon this city is a mecca for those who want to move on two feet. Some folks are happy to take a leisurely run while others are gearing up for competition. No matter what level of runner you are there’s always room to run easier. The feeling of ease in your body equates to a feeling of joy and exhilaration when you run faster or longer than you have before.
We know those of you reading this are probably thinking of how can I feel more free when I run? You have tried all the tricks…hit heel to toe, no midfoot, no forefoot…stand tall, breathe easier…squeeze the glutes…push off with the toes…and some of these things help. But in a couple minutes you forget about the glutes and you are slouching. You just want to run and enjoy it, not think about when your butt should be contracting. Add a few aches and pains to the equation and the run is not so exhilarating anymore.
What if you could run better without thinking about it? What if you could run without discomfort? What would it feel like to run ‘free?’
Most people who go to physical therapy go because they were referred by a physician. Often the physician writes a prescription for physical therapy. It is common for that prescription to recommend therapy two to three times a week for four weeks. This is standard practice and can vary depending on your diagnosis and if you were referred to therapy after a surgery. While this is standard practice is this how often you should go to physical therapy?
First, let me address some issues with this standard of practice. One main problem with this standard of care is that the prescription is often written by a primary care provider (PCP). Did you know that a PCP has very limited knowledge in the understanding of musculoskeletal anatomy and function? Even most orthopedic specialists are limited to their knowledge of the specific joints they perform surgery on and do not have a comprehensive understanding of how the entire body functions as a unit. Physical therapists are experts in musculoskeletal anatomy and function and can best determine how many times per week and for how long you will require therapy.
Have you ever woken with your heart racing? You start your day dreading what’s to come? When you get to work you are afraid to check your emails because you just know your boss is not happy with your performance? You don’t want to go home because your spouse has to be upset about something you did? The racing thoughts that enter our mind throughout the day can create a sense of fear and panic that cause the day to be less enjoyable. Anxiety is no fun and can really have a negative impact on one’s life.
Anxiety is an epidemic of epic proportions that not enough people are talking about. It is real issue and is impacting millions of lives. Anxiety influences how we experience the world and how we perceive ourselves. It has one worrying about the ‘what ifs’ to the point that it affects one’s relationships, career, and other aspects of life.
There are so many factors that can contribute to anxiety including stress revolving around finances, relationships, career, and health. Stress creates anxiety and anxiety creates stress. Maybe it’s the other way around, the chicken or the egg. No matter it is a cycle one does not want to get caught in.
Have you stopped running because of pain in the back of your knee? Maybe you are still putting on the miles, but you are left with a nagging, achy pain the next day? Your pace has slowed, and stride has shortened. The knee hurts and is hard to extend. Pain meds help, but the pain is still there. You’ve tried stretching your calf and hamstring muscles. The foam roller has become your best friend. But nothing seems to work.
Did you know there is a tiny muscle called the popliteus that sits right behind the knee? You would not think such a tiny muscle could cause an issue. The pain you are experiencing, the nagging discomfort keeping you from running may be a popliteus problem.
Low back pain is one of the most common physical complaints from people in our society. It’s a billion -dollar business when accounting for total amount of trips to the doctor, pain medications, injections, surgeries, and loss of work production. At Body Evolution Physical Therapy & Wellness , a majority of our clients come to get help with lower back pain. These clients often ask if yoga would help their pain. We know yoga can be beneficial and research has shown yoga to be positive for low back pain, but we answer our clients with ‘it depends.’
Yoga has been around for centuries. It is a philosophy that is comprised the Eight Limbs. One of those limbs is called asana. Asana are the positions and postures that most people in the West think of as yoga. Most yoga studios are centered around this aspect of the practice. These movements and postures can range from simple to exceedingly difficult to perform. Yoga when performed safely and with guidance can be a great way to improve one’s strength, flexibility, and overall fitness not to mention help with lower back pain.
Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year to lace up the boots and head out into the hills. There is nothing better than breathing in the fresh air, feeling the cool air blowing against your face, and taking in the scenery of all the yellow, orange, and red of the falling leaves. An autumn hike is surreal and magical unless you end up with a sprained ankle or a bummed knee.
There is nothing more aggravating than having to hobble slowly down a mountain trail after spraining an ankle or straining your knee. The autumn magic quickly fades away and your left with pain and the thoughts of an ice pack, anti-inflammatories, and staying at home.
The chances are that injury did not have to happen.
We know how important it is to get out there and enjoy a nice trek on your day off. The last thing we would want is for that hike to be put to a halt because you got hurt doing the thing you love. That’s why we wanted to give you some tips, ideas, and pointers on how to stay safe and prevent injuries when heading out for an autumn hike.
The summer is almost over and we are heading into fall. The air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors and beginning to drop off the trees, and the holiday season is approaching. This is one of my favorite times of year. It’s cool and crisp, energizing in its own unique way. But as things cool down and days grow shorter most of us begin to find ourselves indoors. The TV gets turned on, we keep ourselves cozy under the blanket, and we find we take more trips to the refrigerator.
It's easy to get caught up in the cycle of exercising in the summer and hibernating in the winter. We aren’t bears; we are meant to stay active no matter the season. Our ancestors did not have the luxury of central heating, a nice fireplace, or thermal underwear. They kept themselves moving all year-round, rain or shine…or snow. We may not be Neanderthals, but we aren’t that different when it comes to keeping healthy by staying active. There really is no better place to be active than outside.
Whether it be an easy jog around your block, hiking trails in the canyon, biking the road or the hills, or just taking the dogs for a walk, exercise outside is both beneficial and enjoyable.
I'm just a guy helping active adults and athletes frustrated by nagging aches and pains naturally return to a healthy lifestyle.