Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hypermobility and Anxiety

I've always found the person in pain that is generally classified as being hyper mobile as more of a challenge then someone that is "stiff" or generally hypomobile.  Stopping movement always seems harder to address.

Reading through "Fascia" by Robert Schleip I came across a very interesting section about the link between hyper mobility and anxiety.  It seems that people that are excessively mobile show a very large increase in anxiety, panic disorders and some GI disorders.  

Through personal clinical history, it does seem that many of my hyper mobile patients are women and more often then not have dealt with anxiety disorders.  

To start to address some of the hyper mobility issues, I started to implement a couple times a day of breathing exercises to try to gain better functionality out of the diaphragm.  If breathing through the diaphragm produces greater rib movement, greater thoracic spine function is achieved.  Mobility in the thoracic spine will produce stability in the shoulder/neck/lowback. 

As a side note, anxiety is lessened.   Schliep's chapter was very interesting to read after just having dealt with a few cases like this.  If you know of someone dealing with anxiety, check for hyper mobility, if present, address it.   

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: The Secret Race

I like biking.  To me there is a sense of freedom in hopping on a set of wheels and going someplace.  Anyplace.  I also like human performance.  How much excellence can you squeeze out of your muscles and frame.  How much can grit and will power take you.  How far can you go on hard work.  I also have always liked learning the ins and outs of a subculture.  There is the unique vocabulary, language and customs of certain sports.   I'm also a big time sucker for conspiracy theories.  So the last book I read wove all these together.  I've enjoyed Daniel Coyles writing in the past.  In fact my last book review was of his "The Little Book of Talent."

"The Secret Race," is about the world of cycling.  Told from Tyler Hamiliton's experiences, it gives you a big window into one persons experience in cycling in the biggest bike race in the world, The Tour de France.  Where I found the most interest was the actual physiological markers that many of the doctors are using for the race.  When you're told that you cannot win the Tour without your hematocrit level being as close to the number 50 as possible, you start to understand why the doping with EPO occurs.

Hematocrit is the ratio of red blood cells to total volume of blood.  You are allowed to have up to the number 50.  To be with the elite, one must be close to that number.  An interesting fact is that EPO doesn't always help the same.  If my natural hematocrit is 46 and yours is a 43, you would have a larger advantage when it comes to doping.

  Another physician/coach stated that you can not compete to win the tour with out a kg/watt ratio of at least 6.7kg/watt.  This is a measurement of power to your bodyweight. So the book lists how closely the bodyweight affect performance.

Where the book is less then stellar is the sometime whiny tone it takes when dealing with the human element.  I realize this is the opinion of one man as he relates to all the different riders he comes in close contact with such as Lance, Floyd and others of the Postal team.

I found this book to be an easy read.  Definitely a look behind the curtain into EPO, testosterone, blood transfusions and the beauty, cruelty that is professional cycling.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Did I Get So Messed Up?

I often get asked the question, "How did I get this way?"  This is usually during a therapy session where the goal at the moment is to break up an adhesion in a muscle.

There is a lot of science to what exactly is happening with fascia.  Stecco, the Italian researcher, has shown that painful areas under imaging have a thickening to the fascia.  This thickening is no good.  Langevin, a researcher at the University of Vermont, has shown that fascial thickening is a key component to lumbar back pain.

Social media has provided amazing access to profound thinkers.  On a Facebook post recently the eminent Leon Chaitow stated that some fascial problems come from what I'm calling the 4 Uses.  Overuse, Misuse, Abuse and Disuse.

Overuse.  You have the strength and endurance to run a 5k, but for some reason you run a 10k.  The tissue doesn't have the capacity for the load you are imposing.  Repetitive activity would also fall under this category.

Misuse.  Lets say you insist on doing exercises or movements that you really should not be doing.  Many machine based movements block natural movement.  Some exercises are just bad.  (upright rows).  Shoveling snow with lazy form.

Abuse.  Abuse is basically trauma.  Taking a spill on the mountain bike.  Falling.  Accidents happen, fascia pays the price.  Surgeries will fall under this category.

Disuse.  This simply is not moving.  There are lots of people that sit at work all day go home and sit in front of the TV.  Hit the repeat button for 5 straight days and then wonder why certain muscle groups are so tight.  Movement is our friend.

These are the 4 use's, which one are you guilty of?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Motivation: Always a Fire

Thanks to for posting this the other day. If you ever thought about giving up after an injury, take 7 minutes and watch.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fascia Fitness Friday: Free the Quad for a Better Glute

I've been checking the deep section of the vastus lateralis just in front and lower of the greater trochanter for tension, adhesions and trigger points.  I have noticed that when this is clear there is better hip centration and glute max hip extension is greatly improved.

I went looking for answers besides just the clearing the anterior chain improves the posterior chain.  I found it in the book I'm reading entitled, "Trigger Points and Muscle Chains In Osteopathy."  A great book for your library.

"the lower layer of the gluteus maximus is connected to the vast us externus, which is activated by the same motion pattern.  A pull on the vastus externus in addition stabilizes the gluteus maximus.  

Always nice to figure out the why to the how.  Keep that area free and see how your own hip extension improves.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Eliminate PUFA Omega 6 to Restore Your Health

Ever wonder why fish oil is so healthy for you?  Google fish oil and you would be hard pressed to find some disease/syndrome that fish oil or Omega 3 (o3) didn't make better or show improvements with.  One of the reasons for this is that the body requires a certain ratio of Omega 3 to the Omega 6.  Omega 3 is things like sardines, wild caught salmon, grass fed anything.  Omega 6 are mostly in oils such as corn, canola, cotton, flax seed, peanut, safflower, sunflower and vegetable oil.  When you get a very high ration of 6 to 3, you get an increase in the inflammation in your body.

So there are two ways to correct this ratio.  Supplement with Omega 3 fish oil to up your ratio, and eliminate your oil usage to lower the bad side of the ratio.

If you want to think in terms of Paleo, or WWCD (what would caveman do?) Eat more grass fed beef and wild salmon.  He didn't have access to the oils that are found in our foods or used to cook today's food.  Not surprisingly, when you eliminate the oils, you eliminate most of the junk food, fast food and food that didn't quite exist when our Great, Great, Grand Parents were roaming this world.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Motivation: Through The Mill

Can you imagine having this much skill in whatever profession you are in? That is my goal!