Finding Stability in Your Down Dog

Our ability to reach overhead in our warrior poses and to use our arms to lower into our chatarunga dahndasana, also known as Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Low Plank, illustrates the complex demands we put on our shoulders in yoga.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and is designed for mobility at the expense of stability. The joint’s mobility gives you a wide range-of-motion, such as when you reach overhead or behind your back. However, this design sacrifices stability and makes the shoulder more vulnerable to injury. Where other joints use bony congruency to limit the amount of motion available in the joint, the shoulder’s bony alignment is like a golf ball on a tee. Proper alignment and muscle recruitment are key to keeping our shoulders injury free.

Joints of The Shoulder Complex

When you think of the shoulder, normally the ball and socket come to mind. The shoulder is actually a complex of joints that work together to keep the stability and mobility balance. In addition to the ball and socket joint, the other components of the shoulder complex also include: the collarbone where it meets the breast bone, the shoulder blade where it meets the collarbone, and the shoulder blade resting on the rib cage. When we reach overhead, proper movement at each joint in the shoulder is key to increased motion while maintaining some stablity.

Getting Into The Scapulothoracic-Glenohumeral Rhythm (The ST-GH Rhythm)

The ST-GH rhythm is really a fancy way of describing how the joints in the shoulder complex work together to allow you to reach overhead. For every bit of motion at the ball and socket, there is also motion in the shoulder blade. When you reach overhead, your shoulder blade rotates and lifts, too. This is what ensures that the socket follows the ball and keeps the bones in line with each other.

We use our shoulders to give us a lot of overhead reach AND we use our shoulders to hold our body weight when we are on our hands. What do we do when we combine those actions, when we lift our arms overhead AND put weight down through our arms?

Downward Facing Dog is a great example of this.

Although often taught as a beginner pose, Downward Facing Dog is quite complex. When we are in this pose and bearing weight through our arms while they are overhead, the key is to be sure we have allowed the ST-GH rhythm to do its job. We need to be sure we have allowed the shoulder blades to rotate away from each other and toward our hands. Not only does this give us more overhead motion, it also ensures that the socket is following the ball and the shoulder is strong and stable.

You can experience this motion standing with your arms elevated overhead.

 

downward dog wall shoulder

Stand in front of a wall and reach your arms overhead, placing your hands on the wall just as you would in downward facing dog. Your palms should be flat on the wall without bearing weight through them. Slightly drop your shoulder from your ears. Now, leading with the pinky side of your hands and arms, slide your hands further up the wall. Did you notice where this motion came from? If you really lead the motion from the pinky side of your hand and arm, without shrugging your shoulders, you should feel this reach coming right out of the armpit.
You added reach by rotating the shoulder blades toward your hands. Now, if you hold that position for any length of time you will notice how active that pose really can be. From the outside, someone may not realize how hard you are working to keep that reach but on the inside you can feel the activation in the armpit and around the shoulder blades. That activation is keeping your shoulders safe.

correct downward dog yoga

Now, bring this to the ground. Begin on your hands and knees. Curl your toes under and lift your hips and knees into Downward Facing Dog. Just as when you were standing at the wall, your palms are flat with your arms elevated overhead. Slightly drop your shoulders from your ears. Now, since your hands are planted and can’t slide like they did up the wall, the motion will be in the torso. So as you lengthen again from the pinky side of your arm, from the armpit, and you “push the floor away” it will feel like your ribs and torso slide toward your hips. Just like at the wall, you will feel the activation of the armpit muscles and the muscles around the shoulder blades. From the outside, it looks pretty relaxing. From the inside you are working to keep the action of “pushing the floor away” to allow the shoulder blades to spread toward your hands and give you more length.

Rather than collapsing into your downward facing dog, you can make this pose quite active and protect your shoulders.

Add Strength & Conditioning To Your Recovery Program

Strength And Conditioning Program Injury Therapydia Rutland

One key treatment goal as you’re recovering from an injury is keeping up with strength and conditioning. Although it may sound just like general exercise, participating in a thorough strength and conditioning program will keep your body’s movement patterns efficient and balanced throughout treatment. The aim with strength and conditioning is to extend your plan of care by focusing on what your movement goals are. You may start off with basic rehabilitation exercises and move towards more complex conditioning as you get stronger around your area of injury.

The Benefits Of Keeping Strong

Going forward with a strength and conditioning program in addition to your physical therapy treatment timeline is all about your goals. Physical therapy aims to help you regain range of motion in your joints and muscles while also improving strength. If you’ve just had knee surgery for a torn ACL, your program will work on not putting any direct force or load immediately on that knee. For example, you may start with some light resistance training early-on for the muscles around your knee to keep your healing injury stable. There could also be a focus on keeping your core and upper body strong in order to improve balance and stabilization for your knee throughout treatment. Any type of injury can have a strength and conditioning treatment plan put together to go along with general physical therapy rehabilitation.

Strength & Conditioning For All Types Of Injuries

Even if you’ve recently come out of surgery, a strength and conditioning program can be tailored to your specific goals as well as treatment outcomes. Additionally, proprioception and balance training can be integrated into strength training with specific exercises to strengthen the parts of the body that keep you stabilized such as your knees, hips, and core muscles. This is especially important for people recovering from a lower limb injury, such as the ankle or knee. If you suffered an injury playing a certain sport, your physical therapist will guide you to perform certain exercises or strength training activities that will get you back into performance shape. TRX Suspension Training is also an option for someone who wants to incorporate strength and balance training into treatment. This type of training tool allows you to use your own body weight against gravity to develop strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability. It unloads from healing tissues while also developing strength and stability across your body.

Building-Up Strength To Prevent Future Injuries

Restoring muscle strength post-injury and surgery will allow you to recover more efficiently while also giving you the ability to prevent future injuries. A strength and conditioning program will extend your treatment program by allowing you to develop the muscles to stabilize your injury while also strengthening your entire body. It all comes down to which treatment goals and outcomes you and your physical therapist feel works best for you. If you want to jump back into playing basketball after treatment or even if you just want to navigate up and down the stairs without feeling unstable, a strength and conditioning program can be tailored to those needs. Contact Therapydia Rutland if you have any questions about how to have a strength and conditioning program as part of your physical therapy treatment.

Cold Laser Therapy Helps You Heal On A Cellular Level

Therapydia Rutland Cold Laser Therapy Treatment

Going to physical therapy involves a combination of treatment methods that include manual therapy, guided exercises, and a variety of technical tools. Using a cold laser during treatment is one way of speeding up the healing process for an injury. The laser has many different levels of power that can be applied to almost any type of injury. The goal is to decrease pain, help reduce inflammation, and increase your ability to move as you go through your treatment process.

How Does The Laser Heal The Cells?

A cold laser works by using specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and help speed up the healing process. It’s about the size of a flashlight and the head is directed to the injury along the whole nerve root. Unlike other types of lasers, it doesn’t cause your tissues to heat up. By emitting light, the laser stimulates photoreceptors in our skin and the mitochondria in our cells. Damaged cells have a physiological reaction to the light that promotes regeneration and healing. The treatment method was founded on the fact that certain wavelengths of light cause your tissues to heal in different ways. Different wavelengths and outputs are used depending on what exactly you’re trying to treat. There are different protocols to reduce inflammation, decrease pain, heal bones, and even reduce the formation of scarring on the skin. During the procedure, you’ll feel the device against your skin, but it creates no heat, sound, or vibration—making it noninvasive, painless, and completely sterile.

What Can It Treat?

There are different levels of power and lengths of time you can use the laser depending on your injury. Your physical therapist will follow a specific set of instructions for which frequency to run the laser at and how long to hold it to your injury for depending on what they’re trying to treat. Most of the time, your physical therapist will almost always use specific protocols that aim to reduce pain, inflammation, and get rid of contusions. They’ll use different protocols for the laser depending on if you’ve had a fracture, sprain, or strain. The laser can also be used to treat a postoperative wound, which can be set to decrease the appearance of the scar and get that wound healing a little faster. They’ll also base which specific protocols to use depending on what you’re experiencing. For example, if you’re still feeling a little stiffness or feeling pain in certain areas after a fracture, they can adjust the laser slightly to focus more on pain reduction or inflammation treatment.

Incorporating Cold Laser Into Your Treatment

The benefits of bringing cold laser therapy into your treatment program include speeding up your recovery time, helping you heal quicker, reducing numbness, and decreasing pain. The goal of having cold laser treatment while you get treated is for you to heal effectively and quickly. It can be used for a wide range of injuries like sprains, strains, burns, bruises, contusions, and fractures just to name a few. It does take a some time for the results to become obvious, since your body’s healing process develops over time. Cold laser will give your injured tissues the kick they need to initiate and expedite the healing process. Treatment can be as quick as a few minutes of cold laser therapy. Contact Therapydia Rutland if you have any questions about how cold laser therapy can be integrated into your physical therapy treatment program.

Your Office Space: Preventing & Treating Injury

Therapydia Workplace Injury Treatment

Often when people think about work injuries they immediately think of manual labor jobs where heavy lifting is required. Static, prolonged positions can also be responsible for work injuries. With proper office design, an awareness of posture, and frequent movement breaks, these injuries can be prevented.

Your Office Environment

Posture plays a very important role in preventing injury from prolonged positions. Posture is your body’s alignment, how you hold yourself up against the force of gravity. Basically, it is how your bones stack on top of each other. “Neutral” posture is where our body is aligned in such a way that there is minimal stress on the joints, ligaments, and muscles. In this position, every structure is able to do their job with the least amount of effort. The goal when designing your office is to optimize this neutral alignment. Slouched posture, a head that is craned forward and an upper back that is rounded, is an example of an alignment that puts undo strain on muscles, joints, ligaments and can result in pain and injury.

Although everybody’s individual needs may vary when designing the office set-up, here are a few basic guidelines to get you started.

Quick Ergonomic Fixes:

• Head upright and over the base of your neck, no craning forward.
• Feet flat on the floor.
• Use an armrest for your elbows for the support.
• Make sure there’s clearance for your knees under your desk.
• Leave some space (3 fingers) between the back of your knees and chair.
• Screen at eye level or slightly below, monitor directly in front.
• Relaxed shoulders.
• Elbows at roughly 90 degrees, wrists should be neutral (don’t tilt upwards).
• Keep your thighs horizontal with a 90 to 110 angle sitting back at the hip.
• Use a lumbar roll at the base of your spine to keep the natural inward curve of your lower back.

Of course, nobody is expected to keep perfect, neutral posture at all times. That certainly isn’t realistic for a dynamic office environment, or any environment for that matter. What is important is that the neutral alignment becomes your default position, the position you return to for much of the time.

Take A Break, Stand Up, Move Around

Our body craves movement. It is movement that helps circulation, nourish the joints, and keep flexibility. Even if aligned in the best possible posture, your body would react negatively if you remained in that position for a long period of time. Reversing your posture and frequently changing positions can give muscles, ligaments, and joints a much needed break. If you are looking down at a paper on your desk for a long period of time, stop and look up at the ceiling every once in awhile. If you sit for a long time, take some time to stand up and extend backwards.

Moving Better In Your Office Space

Just as prolonged, static positions can result in injury, so can improper, repetitive movement patterns. This can include how you answer your phone, how you reach across your desk, or how you use your mouse and keyboard. When movements are performed poorly or too frequently, injuries can occur to the tendons, muscles, or ligaments. These are called repetitive strain injuries. Physical therapists can analyze those movements to be sure they are efficient and being performed in a way that minimizes injuries.

As movement and posture specialists, physical therapists play an important role in both prevention and rehabilitation of injuries at work. When designing a workstation or work procedures, physical therapists can be sure it is individualized to meet the specifications needed for the employee. Such a proactive approach can help to prevent injury. When there is an injury, physical therapists are key for helping to ensure a speedy but safe return to work.

The Trip Back To Normal

Therapydia Physical Therapy and Wellness

20 years ago, the day after our daughter’s wedding, I had a horrific horse accident. Knowing my new horse was going to buck me off I aborted landing on my feet, than fell to my butt, and then shouted “My Foot Fell Off”! The white bone of my leg was exposed, and my foot dangled next to it. This was my first journey into the world of pain. Being healthy and in good shape I had no idea how hard it was going to be to exercise an injured limb. Without Physical Therapy I am sure I would not have had the complete recovery and active lifestyle that I had enjoyed for 19 years. As life progressed I found that to keep this lifestyle I occasionally needed PT services because my ankle showed signs of arthritis.

In January of 2015 my ankle was diagnosed as “bone on bone”, meaning that I would have to make a decision on what I wanted my life to look like in the future. I decided to take the risk and have ankle replacement surgery but where, and with whom? So started my research. As 2015 progressed I started to experience pain everywhere because I continued my active lifestyle being totally out of balance. I woke up one morning in late spring with Piriformis Syndrome (pain in the butt) and found myself back in a PT clinic recommended by my Doctor. I had excellent care but as my body behaved I started having serious pain in my shoulder and was told that in order to fix this I had to go back to the Doctors for a script. I am grateful for the medical world of today, but it has to change its philosphy and remember that their is no such thing as “separate parts” when talking about a body. This started my search for a wellness center.

Therapydia

When I told my story to Michelle at the front desk, that I was looking for a therapeutic wellness center I could go to after I had my ankle replacement, she was warm and receptive and suggested I have an interview with Darci Whitehorne, a Physical Therapist, to see if she and the clinic suited my needs. Darci was focused and caring as I told my story and she felt sure they could help me recover from my future surgery and so did I. She addressed my most important concern of not being treated as a “part” that was separated from my body. She explained that no referral was needed so as the pains appeared from recovery they could treat those issues as well. Darci showed me the fitness room. A sunny private space for “one on one” or small groups. It’s hard to work an injured part in a gym filled with athletic buffs, so this was very appealing. She also pointed out the TRX System (Total Body Resistance) along with the traditional weights, balls, etc. I had been looking for a system such as the TRX’s approach to exercise, but at the time only found this type of system in Burlington. I was thrilled. Also intriguing was that they offered Cold Laser Treatment. I was familiar with red light treatment and how it healed injuries faster, so I was excited that they were using “new technology” along with standard practices. I was sure I found the right place for me. Believing in setting ones self up for success, I started therapy with Darci in October of 2015, way before my surgery date. This allowed me to stay active as my “bone on bone” was causing havoc. I also worked with Cody, one of their physical trainers, to keep in shape before my ankle replacement surgery that was now scheduled for January 5, 2016. My relationships began. I now had a wellness center to go to. Everything about Therapydia is warming and a total experience.

My Story

On January 5 at the Mercy Hospital, known for ankle replacements, I had what seemed like a successful surgery according to the x-rays and the surgeon. On January 7th, still at Mercy, I was soon to go on a journey never anticipated. A serious wound was discovered on top of the ankle when they took off the temporary dressing. The healing of the wound became top priority. If an infection was to occur, I could lose my foot. My therapy for my ankle was put on hold. No one could tell me how long it was going to take to heal, as each body heals differently especially for wounds, but I could tell it was months not weeks. I was in a “catch 22” situation in that what was necessary for the wound was not good for the replacement recovery. I had to elevate and stay off my feet for months, way beyond the time that I should have started bearing weight and reclaiming movement. On March 26th my Doctor gave me permission to start out-patient therapy. I was so excited. Darci had called me at home as she had not heard from me and was concerned, that helped my spirits knowing I was truly going to be in good hands.

The wound, although out of danger, was still ever present so Darci applied Cold Laser Therapy and it was amazing. Within (6-7) sessions it was remarkably changed. No oozing and healing rapidly occurred so it was no longer in my thoughts. My ankle however was not doing so well, my foot was stuck in neutral, and I had extreme nerve damage that caused the pain to continue. I was terrified that this was what I was going to be left with. The unfortunate part of ankle surgery is that no one in the PT world knew of anyone that had this procedure so no factual predictions could be made. Darci and the “Sunshine Team” (my name for them) had strong conviction that there was no reason I could not get my life back to “normal”! Darci and I easily slid into a partnership, and I became enthusiastic about healing. The procedures she used were a combination of innovative stretching, yoga, Cold Laser Therapy, and massaging (sorry don’t get your hopes up it is not the feel good kind). We agreed that I should start with Cody their personal trainer “now” even though I had so much pain. This marriage with PT focusing on the injured area, as well as having Cody work with me “one on one” is a unique service of Therapydia. Cody’s gentle but progressive approach pushed my mind to accept the fact that my body can do more than the pain dictates. When Cody says softly “this is what we were going to do on the TRX today”, I remember just looking at him for a few moments thinking he was crazy, then I did it!

My journey has really only started, but “my journal” reminds me how far I have come. I appreciate the tiniest bits of improvement, like I can get a boot on, but getting it off, well…… At 68 staying fit is a full time job and constant pain is exhausting. The energy and optimistic attitudes of everyone working at Therapydia truly engaged my inner sprit; without that I might have accepted less, but I now feel that I will get to “normal”. A journey I never dreamed I would take.

I am forever grateful for the entire team at Therapydia.

Rhonda

All Occassion Beautiful Slaw

Spring is here! Enjoy this slaw recipe from our new physical therapist Dena Goldberg. We’re excited to have her physical therapy expertise (and great cooking skills!) on our team.

Ingredients:

1-2 firm mangos

1/3 small green cabbage

1/3 small red cabbage

Parsley

1-2 Hungarian peppers

3/4 cup pickled red onions

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp sugar

¼ cup rice vinegar

¼ tsp soy sauce

Salt and pepper

1 T pickled ginger (optional)

Preparation:

Salad:

Thinly slice the red and green cabbage, pickled onions and mangos. Chop the Hungarian peepers and parsley. Toss all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Dressing:

In a small pot sauté the garlic for 20 seconds, mix with sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer and reduce by half. Let cool. When cooled, add ginger. Mix into salad.

Get The Care You Deserve – Direct Access For Physical Therapy

surgery physical therapy

Did you know that, thanks to Direct Access, you have control over how and where you you receive care? And the decision of which physical therapist you see is solely up to you and not your insurance company, employer or medical provider?

We’ve all been there before – did a little too much yard work, tried to keep up with the grandchildren, or performed a simple task and you experienced some sort of musculoskeletal injury. You suspect your injury isn’t serious enough to endure waiting hours to be seen in emergency room, but serious enough that you would like to see your primary care physician – if you can get an appointment – who you suspect will refer you to a physical therapist anyway. If you experience any musculoskeletal injury such as low back pain, ankle sprains, shoulder, neck or back strains, your physical therapist can be your go-to assess your injury, and either provide treatment or, if needed, refer you to the appropriate provider.

What is Direct Access?

Direct access is the ability of a physical therapist to provide evaluation and treatment to patients without the need for a physician referral. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia have some form of direct access. Here in Vermont, we have had unrestricted Direct Access since 1988.

What if my injury is not a musculoskeletal injury?

Physical Therapists are educated in differential diagnosis, which is the process of differentiating between two or more conditions that share similar signs or symptoms. If we suspect you have a condition that falls outside of our scope of practice or requires the attention of a physician, we will refer you to your physician and inform them of our findings and concerns. I like to tell people, “If I am not the person who has the solution to your problem, my job changes to guiding you to the provider who does.”

My doctor has referred me to another physical therapy clinic. Can I still come to Therapydia?

Yes! A referral to physical therapy is similar to a prescription your doctor writes for medication- you make the choice of where to have it filled. Some people choose to ask their doctor why they are being referred to a particular provider, while others simply go to the physical therapist they prefer without discussing it. The choice is entirely up to you.

I’ve never been to physical therapy before. How do I choose a physical therapist?

Aside from researching a physical therapy clinic and its therapists by visiting their website and reading online reviews, talking with the clinician and visiting the clinic are other excellent options. You will be able to quickly gauge the vibe of the clinic and whether your personality meshes with that of your prospective physical therapist. Finally, ask friends and family you trust about their experiences with physical therapy. Chances are high that someone you know has been to the therapist you are considering.

Educating yourself regarding all of the physical therapy options available, combined with asserting your right to choose your physical therapist, will likely produce a more successful and enjoyable physical therapy experience for you. Did you experience a musculoskeletal injury or have lingering chronic pain, call Therapydia Rutland today for a same day or next day appointment.

Nurture Your Spine and Your Garden

Spring has sprung! It’s time for all the gardeners, who have been anxiously waiting to get outside, to get their hands in the dirt and do their thing!  This may include pulling weeds, planting, pruning, and watering. Ah, it’s such a rejuvenating feeling to transform the winter landscape to one bursting with color, bees and butterflies!  However, that pride can come with a price – a sore back! Tending a garden requires stooping, squatting, kneeling and hunching that put our spines in vulnerable positions and can result in strain on the muscles, ligaments and joints.  While the meditative quality of gardening can be relaxing, it also distracts our attention from our body position. It’s amazing how much time can pass as we toil in the dirt, stooped and hunched, nurturing our vegetable garden or flowerbed.  It is usually when we stand up and step back to admire our creation that we begin to notice that our back is sore. We have long winters here in Vermont and when the snow finally melts and the trees turn green, we tend to become “weekend-warrior” gardeners.  After spending the cold months skiing, snowshoeing, or in front of the fireplace reading, our spines aren’t prepared for the sudden demands of finishing five days worth of gardening tasks in just two.  This is much like an athlete who trains too much, too soon while gardeners can “tend” too much and too soon. Here are a few tips to help nurture your spine as you nurture your garden: 1.  Balance your posture. Take frequent breaks to reverse your posture.  It is impossible to avoid bending forward while gardening but just be sure to “reverse” that position and stretch your spine backwards, too. If you are squatting or hunched, stand up, place your hands on your hips and extend your spine backwards as your hips move forward. Also, interlace your fingers behind your back, slide your shoulder blades together, and if possible, lift your hands off your back to open your chest.  Whatever position you are in, stretch frequently in the opposite direction.
  1. Change positions frequently.  Much like you need to practice “reverse posturing”, changing positions frequently can take the strain off your muscles and joints that accumulates from supporting the same position for a long period of time.  If you are kneeling, frequently switch to half kneeling and alternate which knee is down.  If you are squatting, switch to kneeling. For those that tend to get lost in the meditative aspects of their gardening, I recommend setting at timer as a reminder to switch positions every 15 minutes.
  1. Use your props.  A kneeler, a stand, or even an upside down flowerpot can provide alternate positions that keep your knees happy and your spine healthy.
  1. Keep your work close.  Be sure to position yourself in such a way that your garden tending is within an easy reach.  This will help keep you from relying on your spine to bend forward as you attempt to work beyond an arm’s reach.  In order to do so, you will frequently have to get up and re-position yourself to your new workspace.
  1. Lift with your legs.  Whether you are lifting the wheelbarrow, a bag of mulch, or a tray of flowers, proper lifting mechanics are still important to protect your spine. Even if the loads are not heavy, repetitively lifting a small load with a bent spine and straight legs makes your spine just as vulnerable to injury.
  1. Realistic expectations. Be honest with yourself and listen to your body when deciding how many gardening tasks you plan to complete in one day. This is especially important if you already have a chronic spine condition.
  1. Prepare your body. Below is a short yoga sequence that you can use to help your body prepare for or recover from a day in the garden.
Concentration, discipline, and patience are essential to cultivating a flourishing and thriving garden.  Cultivating a healthy spine at the same time involves those very same qualities. It is crucial to pay attention to your body position, resolve to interrupt unhealthy movement patterns, and respect your body’s limitations. Nurture your spine as you nurture your garden.

For the Love of Golf: Get Back To Swinging With TRX

golf-exercise-rutland

Golf is a very misleading sport. Really, how hard could it be to hit a tiny ball a few hundred yards and into hole that is more than 2.5x its size. Those have had the opportunity to play this game know it’s a lot harder than it looks. Golf is a game of mechanics and allows minimal room for error. Even those who claim to have the “perfect golf swing” know that golf is a sport of inconsistencies and there can often be more bad shots than good.

Golf is a sport that requires a great deal of mental focus and concentration and for those who have never played the game, you may not realize how physically demanding the game is. I know everyone has experienced that all around soreness and physical exhaustion after the first round of the year at least once. It’s surprising how physical the game of golf really is. Golf requires a lot flexibility, stability, and strength and if you’re lacking in one of those areas, it will really reflect in your game.

For some it can be intimidating and even a chore to get back into the gym after a long winter in preparation for golf season. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. Here at Therapydia in Rutland we offer weekly TRX classes that can help you get back into the game and avoid the soreness and increase in your handicap early in the season. For those who aren’t athletically gifted, you know that it takes a lot of practice to become good at golf. The more we perform a skill or mimic the same movements, the better we will become.

TRX Suspension Training can help get you back into the swing of things and prepare for the upcoming season without stepping foot onto the golf course. The best part of working with the TRX is how subjective it is. You can take a sedentary person with no previous fitness experience and an elite athlete and have them perform the exact same exercise with the same piece of equipment and still make it a challenge for each individual. Other attributes that suspension training on the TRX offers is the constant core stability required to perform all 300+ exercises and variations and a reduction in the amount of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) experienced when beginning exercise after long periods of little to no activity. When using the TRX you will be able to continually build your core strength while working other parts of your body at the exact same time. The TRX can help improve flexibility, mobility, strength, and endurance. All attributes that will help you improve your game and help keep you injury free for a long successful golf season.

Watch this video to learn a TRX exercise that can help improve your golf game:

Yoga For All Causes of Sciatica

Yoga-Sciatica-Therapydia-Rutland

Mention that you have sciatica in a crowd of friends and every other person will have the answer to cure your pain.  This is a testament to the frequency of these symptoms as well as to the many treatments there are to make you feel better.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom, not the problem itself.  If you have lower back/buttock and leg pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your leg you may be experiencing the wrath of an unhappy sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is comprised of nerves that originate in the lower spine and travel down through the sacrum and then bundle together to make the longest nerve in the human body.  There are two sciatic nerves – one for each leg.

The symptoms of sciatica include leg pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness that travels from the lower back and buttock down the leg.  Those symptoms tell you that the sciatic nerve is unhappy at some point along its pathway.

Understanding The Sciatic Nerve Pathway

The sciatic nerve is really a bundle of nerves. As the nerves of the lower spine exit the spinal column and travel through the sacrum, they bundle together and form the thick sciatic nerve.  When the sciatic nerve leaves the sacrum, it travels down through the deep buttock and thigh. When it reaches the back of the knee it splits into two nerves, the Tibial Nerve and the Common Fibular Nerve.

The nerves that comprise the sciatic nerve are responsible for muscle function in the back of the thigh, in the lower leg, and some muscles in the foot.  The sciatic nerve is also responsible for the ability to feel the skin on your lateral leg, your heel, and the top and bottom of your foot.

Due to the shear length of the sciatic nerve and the variety of structures it encounters in its journey, the true source of the entrapment can be from several, very different problems.  Disc herniation, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, and even a hamstring injury can all result in the same sciatica symptoms.

Yoga For Sciatica Relief

Can yoga help your sciatica? Absolutely.

Unfortunately there isn’t just one magic pose to cure your sciatica pain. It is crucial that a correct diagnosis is made in order to choose the most appropriate yoga practice. Sciatica caused from a disc herniation is treated very differently than that caused by spinal stenosis. One practice would center on back bending poses and the other around forward bending poses. If the sciatica is from a tight and restricted piriformis, hip stretching such as half pigeon and figure four stretch would be indicated. And in some cases, such as with pelvic instability, stretching is actually contraindicated and can make your symptoms worse.

But, the common denominator for all sciatic symptoms, and something that yoga specializes in addressing, is postural imbalance. Improved postural alignment, increased lower back and pelvic stability, and normalized breathing patterns are all benefits of yoga that can help address the underlying cause of sciatica.

Watch this 15-minute yoga flow which features various yoga moves for sciatica relief: