Learn Powerful Tools to Stay Physically and Emotionally Fit after 40
I recently had the opportunity to speak with my colleague Dr. Dave Candy who is a Holistic Pain Specialist, physical therapist and owner of More 4 Life. He invited me to be his guest on his podcast.
Here at Custom Fit Physical Therapy we help health-conscious women over 40 transform their physical health, return to an active life style and achieve total body wellness without the painkillers, injections or multiple visits to the doctor.
My mission is to equip, educate, and empower women to discover the root cause of the dysfunction and help them heal at all levels-mind, body, and spirit.
We look at patients as a whole person, not only looking at their physical pain, but getting to know them as a person. We like to get to know our patients and understand what they are struggling with, learn their history, and what their specific desires and goals are with physical therapy.
We believe that for optimal healing to occur we must look at the emotional component, stress level and how this is contributing to physical pain.
I treat a significant number of golfers that struggle with back, neck, and shoulder pain. One of the things I have found is that core instability and diaphragm dysfunction can contribute to neck and shoulder pain with the golfer.
In addition, if a person doesn’t have optimal rotation in the spine or a strong core, they will start to compensate with other muscles which can create muscle imbalance and dysfunctional movement patterns. Overtime this can lead to injury and chronic pain.
Recently I had a patient who was a former pro golfer and she started to experience neck pain. We discovered that she was substituting her neck muscles for her lack of core stability. We were able to release the tight muscles that were over facilitated and activate the core muscles. We helped her create healthier movement patterns. Her neck pain subsided and she improved her golf swing!
I have found that Neurokinetic Therapy®, also known as NKT, is an excellent modality in rehabilitation and manual therapy because it not only identifies the cause of pain and dysfunction, but also corrects it very quickly and quite painlessly.
It also works with the motor control center of our brain which is the cerebellum. This is where all coordinated movement patterns of the body occur.
I recently had a patient who came to see me with complaints of a 20 year history of chronic back pain which increased with walking. She had a C-section 25 years ago. She was quite active with gym workouts, yoga, and pilates classes.
I discovered during the evaluation that she had poor core stability and back strength. She shared that she worked her core 5 days a week for years!
Here is an example that you can work your core hard several times a week but if something is inhibiting your core muscles from functioning properly the core won’t get strong.
In this example, the C-section scar was inhibiting(shutting down) her core muscles and her back muscles were overcompensating causing pain.
To resolve the problem, I released the c-section scar with manual techniques, taught her breathing drills to optimize her diaphragm function, and increase her intra-abdominal pressure.
I taught her corrective strategies to activate and strengthen the core muscles that were weak.
Her chronic back pain completely resolved in a few weeks! She had no idea her scar was affecting her back pain and core in such a powerful way. Scars are important to address!
NKT gets to the root cause of the problem quickly by identifying muscle imbalances using specific assessment protocols to determine which muscles are inhibited (underactive), which muscles are facilitated(overactive) and which muscles are compensating for them.
Once these compensation patterns are identified, then specific treatment and corrective strategies are given to the patient to restore proper movement. NKT® helps to reprogram the motor control center to promote optimal healing and create healthy movement patterns.
I have found a significant connection between C-section scars and abdominal scars with core instability and back pain.
No matter how old the c-section scar it can contribute to decreased core stability, low back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, bilateral hip/knee, and lower leg pain.
The scar can contribute to dysfunctional movement patterns decreased core/leg strength.
To learn more about c-section scars and abdominal scars ,read my blog on Discover How C-Section Scars Contribute to Back Pain and Core Instability
During the podcast Dave and I also discussed the benefits of Myofascial Release for pain and stiffness .
Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater. Fascia is a very densely woven covering and attaches to every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord.
Fascia is one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. Each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.
Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures and scar tissue can create myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures, pain, limited or poor movement patterns and inhibit the firing of muscles. (Information taken from:https://myofascialrelease.com/about/definition.aspx)
In my physical therapy practice, I utilize multiple modalities including Myofascial Release. Myofascial Release is a gentle, safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the fascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.
In addition to looking at tightness, mobility, and movement patterns in the body it is also necessary to look at the emotional component. Are there unresolved emotions, or stressors that maybe contributing to your physical pain?
Often our “issues in our tissues” can affect our physical body, mind, and spirit.
Here is an example: I recently had a client who was very worried about her husband who was dealing with health challenges. She started getting shoulder/neck pain(no mechanism of any type of injury ).
She was holding onto her stress and emotions. It was settling in her neck and shoulders.
I talk about holding on to our issues in our tissues. This is where we hold onto our emotions in our physical body.
This can create physical pain, headaches, contribute to cardiac disease, digestive problems and even cancer. It is important to address unresolved emotions so it doesn’t become a health crisis. To restore healthy balance we need to be able to process these emotions.
There have been multiple articles written along with solid medical research done on the stress response and the effects it has on our physical and emotional health.
As a seasoned therapist of 27 years , I've witnessed many of my patients dealing with real physical pain which has been exacerbated by feelings of guilt, fear, anxiety, loss, abuse, financial stress, and multiple life transitions.
Often times we stuff our emotions in a sealed container and at some point when we reach the breaking point of emotional overload that sealed container can erupt.
Here at Custom Fit Physical Therapy we offer both holistic physical therapy, life coaching to help you address all the components of your healing.
We believe that to have optimal healing you must address the emotional component that is triggering the physical pain
To learn more about how your “issues can affect your tissues” check out my blog on this topic.
Here Are a Few Questions You May Want to Contemplate.
If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, headaches or pain, schedule your free 30 minute consultation to learn more and how we can help. Don't waste another day in pain.