Posts Tagged ‘pain’

Understanding Pain Encore video

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

We hope you enjoyed the first 3 part series available to our subscribers. Please enjoy this encore video to further your insight into exercise and chronic pain.

Understanding Pain Video 1

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Here is the 1st installment in the Understanding Pain Video Series.

Is this your first introduction to the bio-psycho-social model? If so, what are your thoughts thus far?

If you’re already familiar, how has implementing it helped you in your journey in understanding pain? Please share your comments below.

The Chronic Pain Exercise Difference

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

You’re all pumped up for your new client. You spoke with her on the phone and she really needs help. She is in her late 40s and 25 years a lawyer—hunched over law books and computers. After 3 bouts of physical therapy for her neck and shoulder pain in the past year, she is ready to get on an exercise program. In fact, she has sought medical help multiple times for her neck and shoulders over the past 5 years. Although still in a lot of pain, she has been cleared for exercise.

She knows she isn’t moving well and doesn’t want to get “hurt” working with a trainer who pushes her too much, so she has sought you out. You explained to her about posture and tight and weak muscles, and how after you assess her you’re sure you’ll find “lots” to work on.

Before she arrives, you are already anticipating the kyphosis, forward head posture, tight hip flexors, and internally rotated shoulders. This will be a piece of cake.

Uh-oh. After greeting her, you can immediately see she is not the structural train wreck you anticipated. In fact, after your assessment, you find her posture is fine and she moves pretty well. This doesn’t make sense. Nothing is fitting cleanly into your corrective exercise recipe.

Now what?

First, you have to understand what chronic pain means to the body and brain. And although biomechanics are a definite factor in mechanical stress, with chronic pain it’s not so easy.

At Function First we say that we are “guided by biomechanics but not ruled by it,” which means we must first thoroughly understand how the body moves – period. And it is our opinion that you have to start here first. No sense in jumping right into working with the chronic pain client if you have an empty toolbox.

There are many modulators to chronic pain, and exercise is one of them when programmed properly. And the beauty of an exercise intervention is the positive cascading effects it can have on the individual physically, mentally and emotionally.

Sure, by the process of elimination you can find things that do not hurt your client. But that’s not the best approach, because if you do reproduce their pain, you can’t un-ring the bell. You have excited the neurotag associated with their pain and may have lost the client forever. And perhaps worse, you may have scared them away from exercise for good.

Have you seen the statistics on chronic pain?
Pain Stats

Have you thought about the opportunity to make a difference? If not, Click here

Lorimer Mosely on Chronic Pain

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The understanding of pain mechanisms-in particular chronic pain-has taken a quantum leap in the last few years. This is a rare case where the research is much further ahead than how patients/clients are treated day to day.

What we do at Function First is always evolving as we are exposed to more and more science. The good news is that much of what we have always done continues to work. The better news is that we have a clearer picture on why the Function First Approach works so well for so many.

This video is a TED talk from one of the preeminent researchers in pain science. I have shared this with many of you in the past and wanted to be sure everyone in the Function First family had an opportunity to watch. The best part of this video is that Dr. Mosely is an extremely engaging and entertaining speaker. As someone who often speaks on difficult topics, it is refreshing to see a man of his background provide such an enjoyable presentation.

What’s your balance got to do with your pain?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Are you as amazed as I am by some of the feats that performers of Cirque du Soleil can pull off? Is this a God given talent or thousands of hours of practice? I am sure it is both.

Balance is one of those physical traits that are subject to the, “if you don’t use it, you lose it” principle. It is also a trait that can be dramatically improved upon when progressively challenged.

Balance plays a critical role in athletic and life performance. Great athletes have exceptional balance that allows them to quickly change direction, effectively recover from movement errors and position their bodies in ways that maximizes performance and minimizes the risk of injury.

Balance also plays a key role in our everyday safety. This is clearly evident in the unfortunate frequency of falls and injuries to the senior population. What is even more unfortunate is that many of these falls can be prevented.

But balance is not just about avoiding falling over. It’s also about helping us find the most stable or safe position when our environment around us changes. How quickly and effectively we react to those changes can be the difference between a shot of adrenaline and a herniated disc in the back.

Balance equates to control. Lack of balance=lack of control. And like a car unable to stop properly or control its steering accurately, the body with poor balance is an accident waiting to happen.

Regardless of our age, we all have the same basic mechanisms that give us balance or help us restore balance. These can be thought of as information gatherers that tell our muscles what to do. These information gatherers include:

* Vision
* Inner ear
* Stretch receptors in the muscles
* Movement receptors in the joints
* Touch and pressure receptors on the skin (particularly the soles of the feet)

The difference between great balance and not-so-great balance is dependent on two main factors:

1. How fast our nervous system receives and processes the signals from our information gatherers
2. How quickly and efficiently our muscles act on that information to make the appropriate adjustments

The wonderful news is that both of these factors can be improved upon. Doing so will improve performance for some and reduce the risks of injury or falls for others.

Balance training goes way beyond standing on one leg statically or standing on one leg while performing other movements. Single leg standing probably falls in the area between beginning and intermediate balance work. Standing still on one leg is closer to the beginning scale and moving your upper body while on one leg would be more toward intermediate.

Beginning balance training might include just standing still with the eyes closed to remove the outer visual references from helping. Another beginning balance work might be to tilt the head back. Doing sore moves the contribution of the inner ear for balance. Combining these or doing these on one leg would certainly increase the level of difficulty.

Intermediate balance training might include active one-legged exercises such as lunges or directional changes on one leg. Intermediate balance work might also include maintaining static stability while supported on an unstable piece of equipment such as a wobble board or physio-ball.

More advanced balance training might include explosive work on one leg such as hopping. Adding dynamic movement to the unstable apparatus will increase the level of difficulty significantly. For example, doing squats while standing on a BOSU ball or lunges on a balance beam.

The Core-Tex(TM), a new piece of equipment that I have developed works on reaction. This type of equipment challenges you by taking you out of balance within a limited area and requiring your nervous system to immediately react to that dynamically.

Balance exercises should enhance musculoskeletal stability and improve performance for sport or life. Therefore, never progress yourself until you have demonstrated a proficiency at a less challenging level. Frustration, compensation (and even humiliation!) will result if you don’t progress properly.

Pain in the wallet=Pain in the body

Friday, October 24th, 2008

With the doom and gloom of the financial meltdown, gas prices, housing and the overall economy, you may be experiencing aches and pains throughout your body. Now, add a serving of the upcoming holiday chaos, and you may have a recipe for a great deal of discomfort. You see, the body can not experience psychological stress without experiencing physical stress. Unfortunately, they go hand in hand.

Stress from the economy or anything else will manifest itself into ongoing muscle tension, elevated stress hormones in the bloodstream and shallower breathing. These physical responses to stress can trigger old aches and pains and even create new ones.

Stress occurs as a result of disruption of our normal state of psychological or physical well-being. And lack of control of that disruption adds to its effects. You will experience an accumulation of stress over weeks and even months, gradually and unknowingly tolerating more and more stress.

You are unaware of this accumulation of stress until the body begins to experience physical symptoms. These might include lower back pain, upper back and neck pain, headaches, lack of restorative sleep and digestive problems.

You have to understand that your symptom is just that; a symptom. If you can identify and address the physiological triggers, you can regain control and eliminate symptoms. This is a major part of how the Function First corrective exercise program works. The right corrective exercise program will give your body the tools to restore musculoskeletal balance, relieving physiological stress and its associated pain.
The appropriate corrective exercises allow the pain sufferer to actively participate in life. The life you want. Take control of your pain without the use of drugs, surgery or dependency on an outside provider. Make an appointment with Function First today.

Call us for an appointment at 619.285.9218 or email for programs available for those outside of Southern California.