Archive for August, 2010

Gym Lingo

Going to the gym can be overwhelming if you are not familiar with the gym lingo. I feel it is better to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it to achieve the most out of every workout. There are 3 standard contractions the muscle can perform when doing strengthening exercises. Once you understand these types of contractions you can begin to incorporate them into your routine for variety of training. This week we will learn about isometric contractions, the following two weeks we will learn about Concentric and Eccentric contractions.

Isometric Contraction – This type of contraction is where the muscle is activated to generate a force but the muscle tissue does not lengthen or shorten. This type of contraction is usually used after an injury or surgery. It is also used in everyday activities such as carrying a box in front of you. The weight of the box places a downward force on your muscles (primarily your biceps), but your arms are resisting the opposing force with an equal force in the opposite direction, upward. Since your arms are not moving up or down but staying at the same level, this is considered an isometric contraction.

For injuries or post surgery therapy this is the best contraction to begin with for recovery. This type of exercises strengthens the muscle without causing any further harm or injury to the joint. It creates a muscle contraction that also decrease swelling by allowing the muscles to pump out the fluid from the injured area. For instance if you sprained your ankle then you would begin with isometric exercises for the ankle, such as placing a pillow next to the wall and pushing the pillow into the wall, the calf muscle contracts but the muscle never lengthens or moves because the wall is your resisting force. This exercise can be performed for any muscle in the body.

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August 30, 2010 at 10:35 am Leave a comment

Prayer Exercises: Entering God’s Presence

Before we begin our time together in prayer and meditation, I would like to make a few suggestions to aid concentration:
1. Find a place of relative peace and quiet where you may remain undisturbed by the distracting sounds of telephones, television sets, and conversation.
2. Settle yourself into a comfortable position on a cushioned chair, with feet flat on the floor, and palms turned upwards on your lap, if at all possible.
3. Close your eyes and relax.
Now join me as we invite Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to bless our time together, and to take full control of all that is said, heard, felt, and done….. Read the full article in LiveLiving Christian Health and Wellness Magazine.

August 24, 2010 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Do You Know Your ABC’s?

You may be asking yourself what exercise am I going to ask you to do with involving your ABC’s. Ankle sprains are the most common use of ABC exercises. It was first thought with any sprain that immobilization was the course of treatment for many weeks; however this method of treatment has evolved into early movement. This exercise should only be done after you have been seen by your doctor and have been cleared through X-rays of NO Fracture or serious complications. Your doctor will clear you before you begin this exercise.

Now that you have the proper clearance to begin this exercise let’s learn our ABC’s. Please note that you do not need an injury to perform this exercise; it is great for healthy ankles, arthritic ankle joints, or stiff ankles.

STEP 1: You have done 3 consecutive days of RICE treatment after the initial injury. Omit this step if you have not experienced an ankle injury or have not been cleared by your doctor.

STEP 2: Sitting in a chair or off the edge of your bed / counter. Your feet must be dangling in the air, not resting on the floor.

STEP 3: Holding your knee and lower leg perfectly still, leading with your big toe, begin to spell the ABC’s using only your ankle joint to create the movement of the toe. You should use capitalized letters as they allow for the greatest movement.

STEP 4: RICE again. You should perform 2 to 3 sets of ABC’s 2-3 times a day with an ankle injury, you should perform 2-3 sets before exercise and after exercise if you only have stiff ankles, and if your ankle is arthritic then you should do a set of ABC’s every hour you are awake to keep the fluid in the joint moving and pain at bay!

August 23, 2010 at 4:32 am Leave a comment

The Christian Meditation

In the second century after the birth of Jesus Christ, the Desert Fathers went into the desert to pray, and by the fourth century the monastic tradition was evolving as a deliberate attempt to escape the busyness of secular life. In the seclusion of cloisters, monks and nuns engaged in the rhythm of worship and work, prayer and quiet praise…. Read the full article in LiveLiving Christian Health and Wellness eMagazine.

August 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow, or more formally known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition causing pain in the outside (lateral) elbow. Tennis Elbow often results as an overuse or repetitive motion of the wrist and elbow inflames the tendon and muscle surrounding the elbow. Although this problem is seen significantly in tennis players, it is not limited to the sport you play. Pain associated with lateral epicondylitis is also seen in a sedentary person who sits in front of a computer all day clicking a mouse, or someone who drives all day, any activity performing repetitive motion of the wrist and elbow can trigger the onset of pain. Two activities to prevent or treat tennis elbow are ball squeezes and rubber band extensions. If you do have pain in your elbow, and you have already done your R.I.C.E. treatment (see last week’s blog) then do the following exercise to alleviate or prevent further trauma to your elbow.

Ball squeezes / Rubber band stretches.

Step 1: Preferable a stress ball, especially if you are having pain, or a tennis ball if you are doing preventive care. Hold ball in palm of your hand, stretching fingers around it as to get a good grip. Squeeze the ball holding each squeeze for a couple of seconds then releasing slowly. Set a timer for about 2 minutes for 2-3 sets. Gradually increase your time. You can also carry the tennis ball with you in your car and at every red light on your way to / from work squeeze the ball.

Step 2: Get a rubber band, (wide / narrow), resistance should depend on the amount of pain you are having at the time. The strength of the rubber band should slowly increase as the amount of pain you are having decreases. Place the rubber band around the most distal part of your fingers (usually just under the fingernail). Slowly try to open your hand / fingers feeling the resistance from the rubber band. Repeat as above: 2 minutes for 2-3 sets.

Thought: You should do this exercise for both hands / elbows, not just the elbow that hurts.

August 16, 2010 at 12:25 am Leave a comment

Thoughts to Ponder: Beyond the Cosmos

[H]ow can God hear the prayers of billions of people all at once? We live in one dimension of time–our time line. But God may live in at least the equivalent of two time lines that cross at right angles, like two sides of a square. Both lines can extend infinitely far and still only cross at one point. At any one instant in our time, God could spend an eternity listening to everyones’ prayers individually. Then, He could move a tiny instant further along our time and spend another eternity there…Read the full article in LiveLiving Christian Health and Wellness eMagazine.

August 10, 2010 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

R.I.C.E

No, I am not referring to the complex carbohydrate you should be including in your meal plan. However, I am referring to an acronym one should remember as the first course of action to any immediate injury. As a former athlete and now athletic trainer / physical therapist this is an acronym I use on a daily basis in my work environment. Every time I sprained my ankle playing basketball or on the occasional muscle pull during a workout this would be my first reaction. R.I.C. E stands for the first 4 immediate first aid measures to be taken in order to relieve pain, decrease swelling to injured site, and protect the area that has been injured. If this action is taken immediately it can speed the healing process significantly and decrease further complications.

Injuries resulting in inflammation of the damaged tissue most often present with symptoms and signs of bruising, swelling, bleeding (internally and/or externally), and pain at the injured site. Pain that is sharp or stabbing is usually the first sign of damage. The most important time to do R.I.C.E. treatment is the first 72 hours of an injury, better known as the “acute phase” of injury. By all means if one needs to go to the ER or call 911 immediately they should do so. This DOES NOT take the place of emergency medical help that may be needed for serious injury.

Steps to the R.I.C.E treatment:

1. R – Rest: STOP doing what you are doing!: playing, training, running, jumping, etc.. Get medical attention if necessary and allow your body to rest. This step is significantly important for protection of the injured body part: muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, tissues. You do not want to cause or create further injury to the area or surrounding area by continuing your activity. When your body is at rest this is the time it uses to heal itself.

2. I – Ice: Prepare a bag of ice, frozen peas, cold pack anything in your freezer that will form to the body part. Wrap the frozen ice in a thin towel, or paper towel, and then apply it to the injured site, surrounding the whole area. Cold treatment decrease pain and swelling by constricting blood vessels reducing blood flow to the area. Do this for ONLY 10-15 minutes at a time and OFF for 20 to 30 minutes throughout the day. Don’t forget to do it right before you go to bed to help calm the pain and inflammation which will help you sleep better. Longer exposure to cold (more than 15 minutes) can cause damage to your skin. So be careful on how long you expose your skin to ice. Do NOT fall asleep with the ice on.

3. C – Compression: Helps decrease and limit the amount of swelling to the injured site. Swelling will slow down the healing process. One easy and effective way to compress an injured site is by using an ACE bandage. CAUTION: Do not wrap the site to tight. If you begin to feel throbbing pain, if the wrap feels too tight, or you notice increased swelling distally to the bandaged site your wrap is TOO TIGHT. Take it off and re-wrap it. If it is a hand or ankle then check the nail bed for capillary refilling. Pinch your toe or finger nail and see how fast is changes back from blanching (white) to color. This time should only be a second or 2.

4. E – Elevation: Place the injured or affected area above the level of your heart. This also helps to reduce swelling. This step is the one most often ignored, but don’t forget swelling slows down the healing process. An example of elevation: injured ankle: Lie on your back on the couch or bed and prop a couple of pillows under your leg, lifting your knee / ankle above the level of your heart. Try to eliminate the gravity dependent position as much as possible.

Once again, this DOES NOT take the place of immediate or follow-up medical treatment. If your pain and swelling increase or is persistent go to the ER, call 911, or your primary care physician, depending on the severity of YOUR SYMPTOMS. Every step you make after the injury affects your healing process.

August 9, 2010 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

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