Hydration is essential to good health, to staying pain free, and to performing your best. Your body is made up of between 60-75% water. Water is used in every organ, joint, tissue, and cell in your body. Water is essential for maintaining body temperature, breaking down food we eat into usable energy, eliminating waste products, and lubricating joints. Water is the main component of blood, cerebral spinal fluid, muscles, and your brain.
Key to Health: Hydration
Our bodies lose water all day long through sweat, breathing, and elimination (going to the bathroom). We must replace that lost water on a daily basis or we will become dehydrated and risk negative health consequences and even death (depending on the person and environment, you can live from a few hours to a few days without water before dying).
Idiopathic Back Pain
Idiopathic means of unknown cause and often of spontaneous origin. Idiopathic back pain is back pain that doctors cannot explain because there is not obvious structural cause of the pain like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or stenosis. Idiopathic back pain is the "diagnosis" given by doctors to patients that have chronic (over 6 months) back pain and they have been unable to figure out why. There is always a reason why however...
Chronic back pain can be very debilitating and often all you want is to find a way to make your pain go away.
Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors basketball team, was in that place in 2015 when after rupturing a disc in his back he just wanted the pain to go away and was told surgery would fix his problem. Before surgery Kerr's pain was so bad that he couldn't walk more than 30 yards without needing to stop and sit down. He described it as "getting old."
I think his injury and pain had nothing to do with his age and can't be blamed on "getting old".
Understanding the Psoas
What is the psoas? Psoas (pronounced SO-az) is a muscle that gets a lot of attention for playing a role in back pain, hip function, spinal function, and sports performance and is often referred to as "the most important muscle in the body." Quite a claim for a muscle none of us can see and very few people really understand.
Top 10 Myths About Injuries
Myth 1: Injuries are the result of bad luck.
Truth: Scientifically there is not such thing as bad luck, thus that can't be the cause of injuries. All injuries are caused by something concrete and with enough investigation the underlying cause can be found and fixed or eliminated, which will help that injury heal faster and more completely and help prevent future injuries. Start your investigation with a free posture evaluation.
Myth 2: Injuries are from overuse.
Truth: As I've talked about previously, overuse is a myth in the way it is talked about, and "overuse injuries" should really be called "improper use injuries". Read more here.
A new study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research wanted to look at the question of whether there is an association between a history of running and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. The study looked at over 2,600 people with an average age of 64 years old, of which about 30% had run at some point in their lives. The researchers evaluated the relationship of running with knee pain, radiographic osteoarthritis (OA), and symptomatic OA.
The Right Tool For the Job
Ever try to screw in a bolt with a hammer? Didn't work well did it?
There's a reason why we have a garage full of different tools - each one is designed for a specific job and works well for that job but not so much for other jobs. A snow shovel works great for clearing your driveway of snow but a rake just won't do the job. That rake, however, is really good at cleaning up leaves off your lawn in the fall and the snow shovel isn't very effective.
When we start talking about your health, using the right tool for the job is also very important.
Headaches and Posture
Headaches are no fun. Tension headaches can really hurt. Migraine headaches can incapaciate us. But what do headaches have to do with posture?
Headaches can have a lot to do with posture. Headaches, like all pain, are messages from the body. These messages are not usually telling us something is broken, but rather something needs our attention, something is getting overloaded, something is out of alignment, and/or something is missing.
Foot Posture and Pain
Stand up, step in place several times, and then stop and look down at your feet.
My daughter had her last soccer game of the season last weekend and it was one of those classic Portland, Oregon fall days - rainy! After setting the record for the wettest October ever in the Portland area, what used to be beautiful grass fields in summer, had turned into a muddy mess on Saturday.
Almost half the grass was gone and replaced with inch deep mud. There were puddles on the field. Every step you took your feet sunk 2 inches into the ground. When the ball was kicked, often a fountain of muddy water flew in all directions, and no matter how fast the ball was traveling it would often stop suddenly in a muddy splash. Several of the girls were scared their shoes would get stuck in the mud and come off. I'm sure anyone who lives in a rainy climate like Portland can relate.
But what does soccer in the mud have to do with chronic pain and posture therapy, you ask? A lot.
About Matt Whitehead
I'm an Egoscue Institute certified Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS) and Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET), certified personal trainer, PatchFitness performer, FiveFingers wearer, trail runner, mountain biker, dad, music lover, environmentalist, and wanna-be slam dunk champion. I will be providing you with the latest posture exercises to help you live, play, and be pain free.