Tag Archives: Pain

Pilates For A Reason-One of the Many

 

 

I recently took part in the, “Freedom From Fractures” screening event in Birmingham and Northville, Michigan, speaking about bone health and screening participants. If you are over 45, this simple screening (Fore Fracture Risk Calculator) can give you valuable information on how to reduce your risk of having a fracture based on your personal health history.

At my studio, Gentle Pilates, in Novi, MI the number of clients with Osteoporosis is increasing.

Osteoporosis is a disease where bones are weakened and can easily break especially in the hip, spine, and wrist. Bone is considered living tissue. Throughout life, this tissue is broken down in the body and replaced with new bone. For some individuals, the bone continues to break down but is not easily replaced with the new. The inside of a healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When afflicted with osteoporosis, this honeycomb structure develops larger spaces that indicate loss of bone density and strength.

Osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent” disease. In the early stage, the individual feels nothing until a bone breaks usually in the hip, spine, or wrist.

I am always asked:  Is  Pilates is safe for those with low bone density? So, here is a quick answer:
The good news is that bone is a living tissue. Just like a muscle, the bone can be strengthened. In many situations, stronger bones can slow and even reverse the effects of osteoporosis.

Pilates helps to teach proper movement and weight-bearing exercises for strengthening the bones and the surrounding muscle, especially around the spine and major joints – hips, knees, shoulders. The muscles that attach along the spine are small muscles, which make up the core that supports the spine. When these small muscles are strengthened through targeted exercise, the result is increased mass and stability to support the spine.

Pilates can also help by creating body awareness. A Pilates professional that has experience with osteoporosis will know how to safely assess and teach proper movement and exercise. After regular practice, this movement becomes natural and can then be leveraged in day-to-day activities outside of the studio. It is also important to learn how to avoid contraindicated movements that can cause injury, such as flexion (roll downs and forward bend), side bending and rotation

Pilates exercises for osteoporosis are safe for people living with the condition. However, not all Pilates classes cater to people with osteoporosis. “Three-quarters of the exercises in traditional Pilates need to be modified for someone with osteoporosis.”   Make sure you are training under the direction of a well trained instructor.

And one quick word about posture:  At Gentle Pilates we evaluate you- your posture, because standing straight with great posture and keeping a neutral spine is the most important safety tip to follow when exercising, especially with osteoporosis.

One of the first things I do as a Pilates instructor is observe a person’s posture. Good posture is the position of the body that puts the least stress on the muscles, joints, and ligaments when sitting, standing, or lying down. The spinal column is the foundation the body supports itself on. When you look at it from the side, you can see that there are three main curves in it.

The neck (cervical) region and lower back (lumbar) region of the spine have inward curves. The mid-back (thoracic) region has an outward curve. These curves have a normal angle, which is the neutral position of the spine. Maintaining this neutral position puts the least stress on the back and neck.

If you slouch while sitting or standing, you lose the normal inward curve in your lower back. You also increase the curving in the mid-back and neck area. Doing so puts undue stress on the whole spine, because it over-stretches some muscles while tightening others. Also, your head isn’t resting on top of your body then. This forward head position fatigues the neck muscles, leading to increased tension and pain. In good sitting or standing posture the head and upper body are balanced on top of the lower back and pelvis, maintaining the normal curves of the spine. This minimizes the stress on the muscles, ligaments, and spinal discs.

Maintaining good posture requires you to be aware of what good posture is and how it feels. Also, you need the strength and (more importantly) the flexibility to achieve the proper position.

If you are interested in taking part in the simple screening (Fore Fracture Risk Calculator)or more information on achieving stronger and health bones, please contact me.  I look forward to helping you achieve your goals.

If you are interested in attending one of our buff Bone Classes or Gentle Pilates class, contact us.

 

 

 

New classes in October (schedule and registration coming soon)
We offer private sessions and group classes.

Gentle Pilates Mat Class

 Buff Bones  Class
This is a great class for those wanting to improve their bone density and create stronger bones.  A great class!

Yoga For Osteoporosis

The class will be held at: 23915 Forest Park, Novi MI  48374

Are There Precipitating Factors or Events Leading to the Onset of Fibromyalgia?

Many Fibromyalgia physicians believe there are precipitating factors that lead to the onset of fibromyalgia.

Primary fibromyalgia occurs spontaneously in individuals not suffering from any related or triggering condition. There is no clear cause for “primary fibromyalgia,” but over time the severity of primary fibromyalgia is affected by factors such as sleep deprivation, muscle atrophy, emotional stress, coping style, the weather, and of course, the pain itself. The course tends to be chronic, with unpredictable periods of greater and lesser severity.

Secondary fibromyalgia occurs in patients whose pain was preceded or triggered by another illness, such as arthritis, bursitis, or lupus, or from abnormal structural conditions such as disc tears and herniations, and nerve entrapments. The course and appearance of secondary fibromyalgia is very similar to primary fibromyalgia. The picture is complicated because the patient’s other illness or illnesses continue to cause symptoms and require treatment. It is often a difficult medical challenge to know when a triggering factor, such as a disc herniation, should be addressed surgically or whether other pain control methods should be pursued. A great many patients with fibromyalgia respond poorly to surgery, so it has been suggested by some experts that, for fibromyalgia patients, nonsurgical options should be the first course of action when conditions permit.

Continue reading Are There Precipitating Factors or Events Leading to the Onset of Fibromyalgia?

Now My Teeth Hurt–No Cavities, It’s Fibromyalgia Related!

TMJ three letters that stand for…PAIN. The medical term is Temporomandibular Joint Disorders.

TMD is a musculoskeletal disorder, which means that it affects muscles and bones. Sometimes people refer to TMD as TMJ, the correct term, as recommended by the American Dental Association, is TMD, or temporomandibular disorders. (either term causes pain for those of us who suffer from the condition)

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most prevalent cause of chronic health problems, disabilities, and health care utilization. They are the second most common reason for restricting activity and consuming medication.

Continue reading Now My Teeth Hurt–No Cavities, It’s Fibromyalgia Related!

Fibromyalgia Foot Pain?

Many patients with fibromyalgia don’t think of their feet as an area, that needs special care. But there are common foot problems in fibromyalgia patients. Many of us have:

  • Poor mechanical alignment
  • Insufficient shock absorption
  • Poor weight distribution over the bottom of the foot

But wearing good shoes is one way we can ease the pain. Cushioning is essential for patients with chronic pain. Therefore, don’t get rigid-soled shoes with hard rubber or leather soles. Look for a shoe with adequate cushioning that you can compress with both thumbs. If you can compress the sole with your thumb, the shoe will compress adequately when your heel strikes the ground.

Continue reading Fibromyalgia Foot Pain?

Fibromyalgia Pain Management–May I Borrow A Tennis Ball?

When I first developed fibromyalgia, many years ago, I search for ways to reduce my symptoms.

My physician told me one very common way is to use items that are soft and round such as a tennis ball or some other kind of firm ball in order to apply acupressure (a direct pressure to the painful area or tender point for 20-60 minutes in order to break it up the tightened, restricted fibers).

The rational for this form of treatment comes from the following analogy. When an individual suddenly develops a charley horse in the middle of the night, the natural inclination is to grab at the muscle, start to massage it and then stretch it out. This is a reflexive, instinctive action that takes. On the other hand, when a partial area of muscle tightens producing the same painful phenomenon, the body has no reflex to address the problem. Despite this fact, when the same treatment technique is used … massaging out the muscle knot, stretching out the fibers and then bring them back to their normal resting length, the exact same results can be achieved … successful pain relief!

Continue reading Fibromyalgia Pain Management–May I Borrow A Tennis Ball?