Trigger Points in muscle and other soft tissue are one of the most common causes of a wide variety of pain and dysfunction, including (but not limited to):
• Achy persistent pain
• Severe local pain
• Arm / leg pain
• Back pain
• Radiating pain
• Pain resulting from a medical condition, such as
– TMJ dysfunctions
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
– Soft tissue injuries
– And more…
Myofascial pain syndrome (trigger points) and fibromyalgia are often confused to be the same condition and while there is a lot of interrelatedness between the two they are not quite identical. The clinical definition of a trigger point is “a hyper irritable spot associated within a taut band of skeletal muscle that is painful on compression or muscle contraction, and usually responds with a referred pain pattern distant from the spot”. Trigger points form from an overload trauma to the muscle tissue. This is contrasted with fibromyalgia which is defined as “a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Other symptoms include tiredness to a degree that normal activities are affected, sleep problems and troubles with memory. Some people also report restless leg syndrome, bowel and bladder problems, numbness and tingling and sensitivity to noise, lights and temperature. It is also associated with depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder”. Fibromyalgia will also present with localized tender points which are often mistaken for trigger points. Where these two conditions become somewhat interrelated is via the nervous system. Fibromyalgia patients suffer from a super-sensitization of the nervous system causing hyperirritability and pain. Myofascial trigger points can be caused by,or be the cause of, super sensitization. An active trigger point will irritate the sensory nerves around it eventually leading to super-sensitization. Trigger points have also been showed to form of become active due to super-sensitization. Both of these conditions can perpetuate the other, leading to layers of pain and symptoms. This being the case, trigger point therapy can have a very positive effect on decreasing the severity of pain and symptoms in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
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!!!
Nuts are junk food and should be avoided
Nut-uh. Nuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats and nutrient but are relatively high in calories. As a result they are a great snack but you need to keep an eye on portion control.
Recent research at Harvard (heard of them?) showed that women who ate a handful of nuts 5 times a week as a snack were 20% less likely to develop type II diabetes as those that didn’t. Also, several studies have shown that having nuts as a regular part of your diet helps protect against heart disease.
Now, this isn’t licence to crush all the peanuts you want when you’re watching the game… Be smart about your intake and look for nuts like almonds, brazils, cashews, macadamias and pistachios that aren’t swimming in (admittedly delicious) salt and oil.
So when you’re planning your snacks for the Super Bowl or the next Jets game, go nuts.
Avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content.
Eggs got a bad rep years ago because we thought they contributed to a rise in levels of LDL (Bad) cholesterol. The most recent research shows that eggs don’t actually contribute to high cholesterol at all and are a great source of iron, zinc, lutein, vitamin D and choline, not to mention a cheap, easy source of protein.
So go ahead with your eggs tomorrow morning! You’ll be healthier for it.
Mixing Carbs, Fats & Proteins is hard on digestion
I’ve heard this myth from people for years and I have no clue where it came form. The idea is that by combining foods you will overwhelm your digestive system and minimize proper absorption of nutrients.
In reality, there is zero science to back this up. Your body is more than capable of dealing with multiple food type as soon as they enter your system. The acids in your stomach will start working on every ounce of food you ingest without fail regardless of the make up of your meal.
Trying to separate carbs, proteins and fats into individual meals over the course of the day while also trying to eat healthy is an unnecessary complication to an already complicated process. Enjoy balanced, healthy meals without worrying about the processes your body uses to get the nutrients into your system.