Time for a service

Can you imagine having to run out of money before you discover your business has a cash flow problem? Or waiting for your car to blow up before you discover it needs an oil change? That would be irresponsible and probably cost you a fair bit to rectify.

We know we need to book our car’s in for a regular service and I know my dentist books me in for yearly checkups. So why do you wait until you have pain and swelling before taking action with your body, only to then discover that you’ve worn a hole in your knee?

The problem with taking action once swelling or pain has occurred is that these symptoms are all lagging indicators of damage. For example, swelling might indicate tissue overuse or strain from poor posture, but swelling is an after-the-fact sign, the tissue damage has already occurred.

In general terms, this is how modern sports (and general) medicine operates. We wait until something is broken, sometimes horribly so before we fix it. This paradigm keeps orthopaedic surgeons and pharmaceutical companies in business.

So what should you do?

Obviously I’m happy to have you in here, especially if you’re already showing some signs of injury, but what if you’re not sure and want to take some steps to ensure that you avoid this happening at all? I’d still be happy to have you in for a tune up, and in fact I strongly encourage it.  But there are also steps you can take yourself in your home to help prevent your engine from blowing up in the first place. Your body is an amazing, adaptable, healing machine, if you give it some love.

Do some stretching, use a heat pack, jump on your foam roller or any of the myriad of tools available to you.
As always if symptoms continue give me a call!

Take a seat (or maybe don’t)

Are you sitting comfortably? Great, we’ll let’s get started. Most of you will be reading this either relaxing on the sofa, tucked into your work station or on your daily public transport commute. Lets dive a little further into why this could be causing you some unsuspecting problems… (or maybe you already know that it is).

I’m sure you’ve all picked up on something in the media recently (here’s one from CBS in the USA) suggesting how sitting down for long periods of time increases your chances of disease and muscular pain? Fear not, there are some easy things you can do to help prevent these issues.

To begin, let’s rewind back to your ancestors 50,000 years ago who would run, walk and jump around all day long keeping their musculoskeletal systems active and switched on. They would climb trees to hunt food and sprint after prey day after day using their body through full range of movements. Our bodies were designed for this sole reason! Compare this against the 21st century human who sits, inactive for long periods of the day whether it be at work, in the car or on the sofa, or in some cases all 3!

Sitting is an activity which does not involve much energy expenditure (obviously). Thus, your body increase glucose levels in the blood (not good) and decrease your good cholesterols. This occurs because your body believes it is in a storage phase due to the low-level activity which ultimately makes you resistant to insulin (again obviously not good). There are numerous studies being concluded with these findings and more empirical evidence is being produced too.

 

As soon as you sit down…

1. Your calorie burning reduces to 1 per minute

2. Your enzymes which break down fat decrease by 90%

3. Electrical stimulation in your legs (essential for muscular contraction) switches off.

At this point most of you are probably having a bit of a panic and thinking, “I better shake off me dusty nikes and go for a run”, only to return  10 minutes later with potentially what feels like a torn calf or sciatica or a groin pull and so on….. and most importantly, another reason to discontinue exercise.

The reason why you feel this pain is due to muscular imbalances derived from a poor postural foundation due to long periods of sitting. Once you decide to chuck the skins on and jog around the tan, your body is not balanced well enough to deal with the stresses which are placed on the muscular system. You are quite literally running before you can walk.

Lets do a test – Jump up for a moment and stand up straight. Take your hand and feel one of your hip flexors (the muscles at the front which cross the hip joint). Don’t be shy to get stuck in a little bit – I’m sure you feel that ropey and tight muscular band? The tight muscle you are feeling is pulling your hips forward and creating this muscular imbalance.

This can be applied to many areas of your body. For example, if you press into where your pectorals (the big muscle on your chest) insert in the front of the shoulder you’ll also feel plenty of tension.

With your hips constantly flexed and your arms always outstretched forward in a seated position, your brain begins to recognises this as your ‘normal’ position. As your brain is a clever piece of equipment it remembers what you do day after day. So, to help you be really really good at sitting down, it tries to put your body in a nice seated posture producing very tight, overactive hip flexors and shoulder internal rotators.

What this means for your body when you try and exert yourself, is some muscles are working too hard and others are not working enough.

All you need to do is restore balance and alter the load correctly through the musculoskeletal system! This simply results in pain-free exercise.

Get those hips and arms moving! At MMT, office workers with chronic pain due to long periods of sitting are one of our biggest client demographics. With a few pro-active lifestyle changes you can prevent such problems:

1) Move!

Don’t email Claire downstairs about lunch. Get up from your seat, use the stairs and start activating your muscles more regularly. Get a few jumping jacks on the go or march on the spot. Activation of joints and muscles prevent them from becoming dominant, stiff and glued together.

2) Get off the sofa!

Those who sit for more than 3 hours a day watching TV are 64% more likely to die from heart disease!! You sit down enough at work, don’t add to the problem away from the office.

3) Dynamic Stretching

Put your body into positions it’s not been for a long time. How many of you could squat down and get your ass to the grass without falling over?

4) SCT Release

Come in and see one of us for a treatment to melt away and loosen up your dominant areas

5) Strength Training

Activation and switching on the weak areas will counter act your imbalances by taking the load off the dominant, stressed areas.

So, are you sitting comfortably?

Back Pain

This is an email I shared with the MMT database last year. It gives a great summary of some causes of back pain and glimpse into how we go about treating it.

Today I’d like to talk to you about Lower Back Pain,

Does this sound like you or someone you know? – “I had spent literally thousands of dollars on physio’s and chiro’s. I tried everything to get a long term fix, but after seeing countless specialists I gave into their opinion that my back pain was something I’d always have to live with.” 

Lower Back pain is the most common condition that we treat at MMT and despite what you may hear, even from back specialists – 97% of Back Pain is 100% curable and in most cases the pain isn’t coming from the spine or its intervetebral discs.

So where is it coming from? The reality is that muscles are the primary source of chronic back pain and muscle pain can almost always be successfully treated without surgery or drugs and that is my specialty!

Ok… so what causes it?
Of course, causes for back pain vary from person to person. What is important to understand is that the length or level of back pain you are experiencing is not necessarily a sign of how ‘bad’ your back actually is. Regardless of whether the pain is 3 months old or 3 decades old, the solution to bad backs is the same. Address strength imbalances, address postural imbalances, remove inflammation and take pressure away from the spine.

We use a unique form of hands on treatment called SCT (Solidified connective tissue) release, which is a combination of deep tissue manipulation and myofascial release, dedicated to melting the restricted connective tissues causing your pain and or dysfunction. SCT Release is the most concentrated, deep and effective style of hands on treatment available for chronic pain and restriction. We are not massage therapists.  We do not relax your muscles, only to have that tension and pain return.  We do not skip over key areas of dysfunction, wasting time working on areas that do not need it.

“They gave me a plain English explanation as to why I was in pain and how they could eliminate all my pain by addressing the cause, not just the symptoms. I immediately knew that MMT was different to every other clinic and that they could genuinely fix my back for good. After a few treatments, the pain reduced dramatically. I was pain free for a few days at a time (the first time for over 7 years). After 6 weeks, not only was I completely pain free, but I felt stronger than I had done for years.”

This is not a guarantee that you’ll be pain free in 6 weeks, just an example of the type of work that we can do. For more examples check out the back pain testimonials page or some great videos on MMT’s youtube channel.