Sciatica Pain and Relief

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Feb 222017
23117022 - sciatica

Your story might begin like this: One day you feel some pain in your lower back. You ignore it and attribute it to something you did earlier in the week, or earlier in your life. And then one day the pain moves and travels down and across your buttocks. Another week or month go by and the pain has now traveled down the back of your thigh, or even as far down as behind your knee. It wakes you up at night. It kills you when you go from sitting to standing and the pain prevents you from even walking or doing your favorite activities. Welcome to your Sciaticia Syndrome. Unfortunately, with sciatica, the longer your ignore it, the worse it becomes.

To understand how to find relief from this syndrome, you must acknowledge its causes. The primary cause of this syndrome is two-fold: first is too many hours of sitting and second is the weakness in the most important muscle that supports your back and posture: your gluteus muscles, or your buttocks. The weakness occurs as a, result of all your sitting activities progressively over time. People most susceptible to sciatica can be found sitting for prolonged hours at their desk in front of a computer, or in their car commuting for hours.Even those who are physically active and work-out will not be ale to overcome the debilitating effects of sitting. An hour of exercise at the end of the day can’t make up for many hours of sitting each day.

Being in a bent, seated position for hours each day creates excessive pressure on the front part of the vertebrae in your lower spine. This  pressure compresses the disk between the vertebrae which over time can begin to bulge out the back. When a disk bulges out, it hits a nerve. In the case of sciatica this nerve root is typically located at L4 and L5. The sciatic nerve travels out of your spine and down your legs. You can feel pain from pressure on this this nerve anywhere along that path. The more you sit, the weaker you become and the further down that path the pain will travel.The first step to finding sciatica relief is to correct your bad habits immediately so that the pain does not travel further. This means changing body positioning for good. Less sitting and more movement. The second step is to begin to perform therapeutic exercise movements and integrate them into your every day activities. I have combined a unique program to teach you these movements on my “Better Back DVD” specifically to help you relieve sciatica pain and keep it out of your life forever.

Are Your Workouts Aging You?

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May 222016

Women doing crunches

Are Your Workouts Aging You?

Part one of a three part series on exercises that age you.

The average health club offers more options in exercise classes, personal training and even equipment more than ever before. Our options are seemingly unlimited as to how we want to stay in shape. We can choose to workout in a group with others or one-on-one with a friend or trainer. Our goal is to stay in shape, and hopefully feel and look younger, if possible.

And yet, all these programs most likely contain exercises that are literally aging you, causing more harm than you realize. They can bend and torque your joints and spine, doing more damage than good. So, which exercises age you? What can you do instead? This is Part One in a three part series on Workouts that Age you.

The exercise that ages you faster than any other that you do is the classic ‘crunch’ exercise for your abdominals. Whether you have your hands behind your head or straight at your side, the movement requires the same torque on your neck. In the crunch, your head is continuously bending forward. This position at the very least causes creases in your neckline and at the most leads to neck pain, migraines, disc bulging and shoulder pain

This position also causes arthritis in the cervical spine because of the constant pressure on the front part of the cervical vertebrae. Did you know that this forward bending position is THE movement that is responsible in whiplash in a car accident?

Also, the muscles in the back of your neck, your posterior neck muscles, are continuously being stretched out in the crunch. A stretched out muscle is not a strong muscle.

So you are actually weakening the most critical muscles you need to keep your head in proper alignment on top of your shoulders. Just think how many times you do this damaging movement in a single routine or exercise class.

Learn the exercise you should be doing INSTEAD to keep those abs firm without damaging your neck here:

You can get the same benefit of firm abs, without the torque on your neck by doing what is called the ‘Reverse Crunch.” Lying on your back, put your hands under your lower back for support. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Now, lift your knees into your chest, contracting your stomach muscles as you lift. Repeat this 10 times for 2 sets. This is demonstrated in the 2Min2 a Better Neck video.

You are using the same abdominal muscles without the strain on your neck or promoting neck lines and wrinkles. So ditch the crunch exercise, and use the “Reverse Crunch” in your future exercise program.

Knowing what exercises should be avoided or modified in your workout can mean the difference between aging well or aging with pain.

If you are over 50 years old, the most effective exercises are often the most simple that focus on key muscle groups that determine how you will age. A Daily Therapy program like one on our Better Balance DVD or download, gives you instructions on the best therapeutic exercises to create overall body balance to keep strong and prevent falls in your future. Visit us online.