Is there an actual cure all?

Exercise Tip

No; but exercise seems to be as close as we will ever get! 

Some of you may have heard about how a modified form of boxing is helping patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). If you haven’t, it’s been observed that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who engage in this boxing-like exercise routine can enhance their quality of life and even build impressive gains in posture, strength, flexibility, and speed. Proponents of the program report that regardless the degree of severity of PD, participants have a happier, healthier, and higher quality of life.

But must it be boxing? Maybe not. A report presented at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in San Diego in June 2015 found that patients with Parkinson’s disease who began regular exercise early into the PD process had a much slower decline in their quality of life when compared with those who started exercising later. The researchers found just 2.5 hours per week of exercise is needed to improve quality of life scores. According to the report, it didn’t matter what exercise the participants did — simply getting up and moving for a total of 2.5 hours/week was reportedly enough (that’s only 20-25 minutes / day)!

Looking beyond Parkinson’s, other chronic conditions also benefit from adding exercise into a person’s lifestyle. Studies show that regular exercise as simple as walking helps reduce one’s risk for memory loss, and it slows down functional decline in the elderly. Incorporating aerobic exercise into one’s lifestyle can also improve reaction time in people at ALL AGES. Exercise has also been shown to improve both physical and emotional well-being in those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease with as little as 60 minutes/week of moderate exercise! Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have also reported less stiffness and less muscle wasting when using exercise machines, aquatic exercise, and/or walking.

Research has shown just 30 minutes of brisk exercise three times a week can help reduce depressive symptoms in patients with mild-to-moderate depression. In a study involving teenagers, those who engaged in sports reported a greater level of well-being than their sedentary peers, and the more vigorous the exercise, the better their emotion health! In kids 8-12 years old, physical inactivity is strongly linked to depression.

Even anxiety, stress, and depression associated with menopause are less severe in those who exercise! So LET’S ALL GET OUT THERE AND EXERCISE!!!

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Diagnosis of trigger points.

Diagnosis of trigger points typically takes into account symptoms, pain patterns, and manual palpation. When palpating the therapist will feel for a taut band of muscle with a hard nodule within it. Often a local twitch response will be elicited by running a finger perpendicular to the muscle fibres direction. Pressure applied to the trigger point will often reproduce the pain complaint of the patient and the referral pattern of the trigger point. Often there is a heat differential in the local area of the trigger point.

What is a trigger point

Dr Janet travel coined the term trigger point in 1942 to describe clinical findings with characteristics of pain related a discrete irritable point in muscle or fascia that was not caused by acute trauma, inflammation, degeneration, neoplasm or infection. The painful point can be palpated as a nodule or tight band in the muscle that can produce a local twitch response when stimulated. Palpation of the trigger point reproduces the pain and symptoms of the patient and the pain radiates in a predictable referral pattern specific to the muscle harbouring the trigger point.

What to expect with a trigger point massage.

A treatment with Bryan is very user friendly. And, no, you don’t have to remove any clothing. However, bringing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts or sweats is recommended.

The first time you come for a treatment you will be asked to fill out a Client History form. Bryan will go over the information you provide, asking for more detail and discussing the type of pain you are having and its location.

The treatment itself involves locating the Trigger Points in the muscle or soft tissue and applying a deep focused pressure to the Point. This will reproduce the pain and the referral pattern that is characteristic of that pain.

The treatment will be uncomfortable at first, but as the Trigger Points release, the pain will decrease. The pressure will always be adjusted to your tolerance level. If, at any time, you feel too uncomfortable you can ask Bryan to ease off a bit.

Depending on your specific problem, Bryan may also use some stretching and / or range-of-motion techniques, as needed.

After treatment, it is usually recommended that the client apply moist heat to the area treated.

He barely hit me; why does it hurt?

You may have heard the comment, “If there’s no damage to the car, then there’s no injury.” Unfortunately, that does not always seem to be the case.

There are MANY factors that affect the dynamics of a collision and whether or not injury occurs. A short list includes: vehicle type and design, speed, angle of collision, momentum, acceleration factors, friction, kinetic and potential energy, height, weight, muscle mass, seat back angle and spring, head position upon impact, etc.

Consider Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This law applies to a car accident at any speed. Using the analogy of hitting a pool ball into the corner pocket straight on, when the cue ball stops, its momentum is transferred to the target ball which accelerates at the same speed…hopefully into the corner pocket!

This example is not quite the same as an automobile collision because the energy transfer is very efficient due in part to the two pool balls not deforming (crushing or breaking) on impact with one another. If either ball did deform, more energy absorption would occur and the acceleration of the second ball would be lower.
In fact, in the United States, vehicle bumpers are tested at 2.5 mph with impact equipment of similar mass with the test vehicle’s brakes disengaged and the transmission in neutral. National Highway Transportation Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) vehicle safety standards demand that no damage should occur to the car in this scenario.
However, energy transfer occurs very quickly and with a greater amount of force when there is no vehicle deformation (damage). As a result, a greater amount of energy (described as G-force) is directly transferred to the occupants inside the vehicle—increasing the risk of injury. A 1997 Society of Automobile Engineers article provided an example in which the same 25 mph (12 m/s) collision resulted in a five-times greater force on the occupants of the vehicle when the crush distance of the impact fell from 1 meter to .2 meters.
So be aware that even low-speed impacts can still place quite a bit of force on your body, even if the bumper of your car doesn’t have a scratch on it.

Trigger points in the trapezius muscle.

The trapezius muscle is a large diamond shaped muscle in you mid/upper back and neck. This muscle is one of the most common sites where trigger points can form. This muscle originates on the Nuchal ligament and the spinous processes of C6-T12. It inserts on the spine of the scapula, the acromion process, and the distal clavicle. The upper fibres elevate the shoulder and rotate the glenoid fossa (shoulder socket) upward. The lower fibres assist this motion as well as help depress the shoulder. The middle fibres of this muscle strongly adduct the scapula. This muscle is susceptible to postural overload such as sitting at desk all day. Trigger points on the lateral upper edge refer into the lateral neck and temples, causing “tension neck ache”as well as headache pain.Trigger points in the middle and lower fibres refer pain into the posterior neck and shoulder.

How long does Whiplash last?

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First, what is whiplash? It’s a lot of things, which is why the term WAD or Whiplash Associated Disorders has become the most common term for the main signs and symptoms associated with a whiplash injury. WAD is usually associated with a motor vehicle collision, but sports injuries, diving accidents, and falls are other common ways to sustain a WAD injury.

To answer the question of the month, in most cases, the recovery rate is high and favors those who resume their normal daily activities. The worse thing you can do when you sustain a WAD injury is to not do anything! Too much rest and inactivity leads to long-term disability. Of course, this must be balanced with the degree of injury, but even when the injury requires some “down time,” stay as active as possible during the healing phase.

Many people recover within a few days or weeks while a smaller percentage require months and about 10% may only partially recover. So what can be done to give you the best possible chance to fully recover as soon as possible?

During recovery, you can expect your condition to fluctuate in intensity so “listen” to your body, let it “guide” you during activity and exercise, and stay within “a reasonable boundary of pain” during your activity. Remember, your best chance for full recovery FAVORS continuing a normal lifestyle. Make reasonable modifications so you can work, socialize, and do your “normal” activities!

The KEY: Stay in control of your condition – DO NOT let it control you! Here are some tips:

1)  POSTURE CONTROL: Keep the weight of the head back by gliding your chin back until you “hit” a firm end-point. Then release it slightly so it’s comfortable—this is your NEW head position!

2)  FLEXIBILITY: Try this range of motion (ROM) exercise… Slowly flex your neck forwards and then backwards, then bend your neck to the left and then the right, and then rotate it to the left and to then to the right. THINK about each motion and avoid sharp, knife-like pain; a “good-hurt” is okay! Next, do the same thing with light (one-finger) resistance in BOTH directions. Try three slow reps four to six times a day!

3)  MUSCLE STRENGTH: Try pushing your head gently into your hand in the six directions listed above to provide a little resistance. Next, reach back with both hands or wrap a towel around your neck and pull forwards on the towel while you push the middle of your neck backwards into the towel doing the chin-tuck/glide maneuver (same as #1). Repeat three to five times slowly pushing, and more importantly, release the push slower! This is the MOST IMPORTANT of the strengthening exercises in most cases! Next, “squeeze” your shoulder blades together followed by spreading them as far apart as possible (repeat three to five times).

4)  PERIODIC BREAKS: Set a timer to remind yourself to do a stretch, get up and move, to tuck your chin inwards (#1) and do some of #2 and #3 every 30-60 minutes.

5)  LIFTING/CARRYING/WORK: Be SMART! Do not re-injure yourself. Change the way you handle yourself in your job, in the house, and while performing recreational activities.

6)  HOUSEHOLD ACTIVITIES: Use a dolly to move boxes and keep commonly used items within easy reach (not too high or low).

Be smart, stay educated, work within the range your body tells you is “safe” and most importantly, STAY IN CONTROL!!!