June 3, 2022

Healthy Is Pain Relief: Part 2

“The fundamental concepts of mobility and stability are not hard to understand.  Mobility and stability must coexist to create efficient movement in the human body.” – Gray Cook, Athletic Body in Balance

Your body follows a pattern of mobility and stability that allows you to produce movement and freely move in a variety of planes to meet all of your daily, and athletic, tasks.

However, if you have pain hampering any of your joints, not only can it cause problems for your daily movement, but it can also start to cause even more dysfunctional movement patterns that will creep over to pain manifesting itself in other, surrounding joints.  Which is why this month we continue to push our series on relieving pain through movement!

Below are some of our favorite “movement snacks” that you can add to create lasting mobility and stability changes in your joints and relieve pain throughout your body.  You were designed to move! And you were designed to enjoy a life where movement occurs without pain!

Healthy Is Knee and Hip Relief

The infamous ACL injury is one of the most common in sports (100,000-200,000 per year). Interestingly, these injuries typically occur when no one touches the player. Why? One of the biggest clues to the puzzle is the joint right above the knee: the hip.

WHY IT MATTERS

Strong hips decrease the stress on the knees by controlling how the legs bend, twist, and pivot. Weak hips cannot stop the knees from moving into extremely stressful positions. For example, if an athlete’s knees cave inwards when landing from a jump there is a good chance they have weaker hips. Does the idea of strong hips hold true for other conditions like osteoarthritis? Yes! Strong hips can significantly decrease hip and knee osteoarthritis symptoms. Stronger hips help avoid knee and hip injuries and decrease symptoms when you already have knee and hip pain.

Healthy Is Shoulder Relief

Did you know that having good balance on one foot may decrease your chances of having an arm or shoulder injury? This is because every time we use our shoulders, we generate force through the core. In short, healthy shoulders start with a healthy core.

WHY IT MATTERS

Think about throwing a ball as far as you can. You most likely do not stand square to your target and just swing your arm in a circle. A successful throw has components like pivoting and pushing off your back foot while rotating your hips and torso forward to generate force. While throwing, the shoulder’s job is to have a smooth, circular motion that transfers the force generated from the core to the hand (most of the force generated should not come from the shoulder). A mobile yet stable shoulder, along with a strong core, helps you maintain your autonomy and independence.

Healthy Is Elbow Relief

Why is it called tennis elbow when only about 5% of cases are caused by playing tennis? What if you could get tennis elbow from playing golf, and golfer’s elbow from playing tennis? Well, you can. Confusing? Let’s make it simple.

WHY IT MATTERS

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) occurs when the outside of your elbow and muscles on the back of your forearm (wrist extensors) get irritated, whereas golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is on the inside of the elbow (wrist flexors).

These issues occur when your muscles are not used to twisting and bending. This is why you can get tennis elbow from anything that excessively stresses the front of the forearm (e.g. carrying a suitcase) and golfer’s elbow from anything that excessively stresses the back of the forearm (e.g. painting).

Healthy Is Foot and Ankle Relief

As you look at your feet, most of us may notice our big and little toes tend to “bend” inwards towards each other. This issue is most likely due to the types of shoes we wear every day.

WHY IT MATTERS

The type of shoes you wear are vital to maintaining healthy feet and ankles.

Wide Toes:
Shoes with narrow toes are in fashion right now, but they are contributing to many foot issues that make activities painful. When the feet are held in a “squeezed” position all day our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints become tight and compressed, leading to issues like bunions and motor neuromas. Try finding shoes with a wide toe box.

Strong Arch:
A healthy arch is strong, providing all the support you need. When the feet are constantly supported they lose their strength. One of the most effective ways to strengthen your arches is by walking barefoot when you can, like at home.

Even Heel:
The elevated heel is contributing to issues like low back pain, knee pain, decreased ankle mobility, increased calf tightness, and painful feet. You want your heel the same height as your toes so your feet can find their most natural and comfortable position.

Healthy Is Hand and Wrist Relief

The human hand is unlike any other hand. Why? Not because of opposable thumbs (most primates have those), but rather because of extra thumb muscles no other species has. Simply put, the human hand makes life easy by being so complex.

WHY IT MATTERS

Try writing your name on a piece of paper without using your thumb. Chances are your penmanship is not nearly as neat. The brain requires more focus to move your hands than your legs. With so many hand and wrist complexities, we want to provide you with simple solutions that help them stay healthy.

Is one of these areas causing you pain? Check out this series of challenges at your next Healthy Is Wellness coaching session and learn about simple exercises to incorporate into your day to help you on your way to pain relief.