These tips come from years of education and experience helping active people improve their ability to move and also rehab from injury; allowing them to continue or get back to the activities they love. They are easy, innovative, vastly different from traditional physical therapy and rehab you may have experienced, and designed to develop simple solutions to the most complex problems.
What does this mean? It means these tips will disrupt your pain, not your everyday life. I know you need simple techniques that mitigate pain while improving overall movement.
Here’s a brief case study:
My client Andrea, she spent years fighting on-again, off-again, back pain. She tried everything from physical therapy to acupuncture, massage and chiropractic. Andrea is a fitness instructor, she exercises for a living, so you can imagine her frustration at being so out-of-touch with her body! Her lack of progress made her hesitant to see me. We started with these Simple Tips. After 10 days of implementing these simple changes, she came back flabbergasted at how these simple adjustments decreased her pain, improved her movement, and provided for better sleep (which is when the body works hardest to heal itself).
These tips are just the beginning of a lifestyle of improved mobility with less pain. They are simple to understand, and thus designed for you to implement quickly. That being said, if you are really struggling, an additional evaluation may be necessary – please feel free to reach out.
Swing your arms when you walk. This helps improve triplanar movement of the joints and overall balance
Avoid mouth breathing. Mouth breathing is being found as one of the most dangerous things for overall health. Nasal breathing helps flush toxins, improve cardiovascular performance and calm you system.
Get good sleep: Sleep is when bodies heal, regenerate and recover. Side sleeping or back sleeping is recommended and stomach sleeping should be avoided in most situations if possible
Optimal positions for sleep:
Left sidelying sleep: try placing a pillow under the left lower rib cage for positional assistance for breathing and expansion or try place a pillow between the knees so that your feet can still touch for optimal pelvic position while lying with your left side down
Right sidelying sleep: place a pillow between your feet so that your knees are making contact for optimal pelvic position while lying with your right side down Do not stretch your hamstrings
I understand that all activities, including stretching, have a time and a place. That being said, stretching is rarely something that I teach. Clients tell me all the time that they have pain because they never stretch or because they are not flexible.
Muscles cannot lengthen and shorten if the joints that these muscles attach to cannot move through a normal range of motion. No amount of stretching is going to help if the joints themselves are restricted, abdominals are weak, pelvic position is altered, ribcage is restricted, teeth are clenching, or the diaphragm is not working efficiently. Get this... stretching can often hinder recovery or further dysfunction if not performed correctly.
For example, you can have a sensation of hamstring tightness because:
Wear good shoes: I tell my clients that good shoes can often solve 80% of any pain issue. Good shoes can support your foot from rolling too far in or out, help your brain sense what your foot is doing when it hits the ground, and help with full body positioning and posture. Current footwear trends like minimalist shoes, flip-flops, sandals and heels do not give the body the support or the input to the brain that it needs to help you maintain a safe and functional posture. These shoes are okay for special occasions or short durations, but good shoes should be a staple in your closet. Good shoes help with joint pain, alignment issues, balance, proprioception and performance. See the link below for an annually updated shoe list from the Postural Restoration Institute. You cannot go wrong with any of these shoes.