How to Keep Pain from Wrecking your Dream Vacation
Let’s face it, nobody wants to be spending their summer vacation nursing a sore back, knee, or shoulder from an injury that was completely avoidable(and no-that doesn’t mean overdoing it playing with the kids or grandkids, riding all the rides at Hogwarts(3 times), or hiking to the amazing waterfall). No, it is avoidable because if you knew where the problem areas were and were able to take care of them long before the trip. Let’s face it, our daily lives at the office don’t really prepare our bodies for taking time to play with the kids at the beach, spending hours on our feet at a theme park, or even just setting up the camper for a quiet evening. In fact, the main reason people suffer from pain for longer than they should is that they’ve been told to rest, maybe take some pills to “get rid of the pain” or that they can’t do what they would like because they are “just getting older”. But armed with knowledge and a bit of preparation, most of my patients at our Physiotherapy clinic in Tallahassee are able to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, and not have their body be the thing that holds them back. But first, we’ve got to figure out where you are either missing mobility or stability that is stressing other areas of your body potentially setting the stage for pain when you do get active. Need help now? Set up your No Cost Consult Here
How do we do that?
When it comes to pain, we’ve known for a long time that X-rays and MRIs do a poor job of finding the cause of pain. Why? It is because pain is more than just “bone on bone” joints, “bulging discs”, or “arthritis”. This is especially true the longer pain has gone on or when it “comes and goes”. How can that be? When most people have pain, they can usually figure out what makes it worse(even when everything hurts). Most of us then try not to do that thing(which makes sense). This is great for a little bit…but what happens when you then have to tie your shoes(bending your back), have to stand in the kitchen, get something out of the oven, or hold a child? Many just suffer through it needlessly hoping that one day it will disappear as if it never happened. But how to find out why it is doing that? -That’s where Tallahassee’s only 3DM movement scanner, only at Body Mechanix Physiotherapy, comes in.
3DM Movement Scanner-What is it?
The 3DM Scanner is the first imaging device that lets you see where your pain is coming from. How? Through a series of simple movements and techy AI stuff the computer builds a 3D Model of how you move. It tests your posture, balance, how well your back, hips, and knees move and gives you a full report on just what might be the cause of pain ranging from TMJ and headaches to neck, shoulder, and back pain all the way to hip and knee pain as well as plantar fasciitis. And it can do this all in under 10 minutes. Your Doctor of Physiotherapy then helps you understand how your posture, back movement, and how you sit down and stand up all can be the true source of pain. Then, they’ll go over what you can do to treat it naturally without shots, surgery, or dangerous painkillers.
So, what are the six tests?
Static Posture-Why test it?
Correct posture refers to the alignment of body parts for the purpose of minimizing energy expenditure, optimizing internal mechanical forces in the body and avoiding unnecessary stress on the body. What is normal? The traditional way to look at alignment from the side is called the ‘plumbline’ — an imaginary line that travels vertically down through the ear, the shoulder, the hip, the knee and the front of the ankle. With this static alignment, the body is considered balanced. From the front, the body should be symmetrical, with the center of the head over the middle of the feet, and the hips and shoulder horizontal. What posture issues often trigger pain? Often somebody with a posture where their head is tilted forward and their back is flattened will complain of neck pain, headaches, TMJ, low back stiffness and pain, sciatica, and
hip pain. They’ll also often have shoulder problems and tightness in their hamstrings.
Side Bending: Side bending is considered a good test for existing or potential back problems. It mostly challenges the muscles, nerves and joints in the lumbar and thoracic spine. It also involves shifting body weight towards one side, so avoiding one side can also be a sign of an underlying problem in the leg, hip or spine. What is normal? Moving the same distance on both sides is a normal result. The distance reached can be affected by how the shoulders, the trunk, and the hips contribute to the overall movement. More detailed measures of how we use each body part, as well as how the balance point behaves, can be seen in the Biomechanics report created in the Moovment.Lab.
Mini-Squat and Single Leg Squat Why test it?
One and two leg squatting is one of the most basic dynamic postural tasks that we perform in activities of daily living and recreation. We need to squat to get on and off the toilet, to jump in basketball, to walk and to take the stairs. Squatting involves mostly the legs and lower back. Poor knee
alignment during a squat not only makes us weaker in squatting and lifting, but can lead to early degenerative changes in the knees and compromise the hips and lower back. Many have had an injury long ago, and although the pain is gone, our compensation strategies and poor movement patterns can persist. This predisposes us to re- injury. Good knee control is very important for athletes, weekend warriors, or anybody just wanting to stay fit. When it comes to athletes, this is very important, especially for teenage girls, who have a higher risk of knee ligament damage in sports. What is normal? There is always some variation in what is considered normal movement. Our own studies indicate that variation is minimal on the way down (eccentric
phase) and larger on the way up (concentric phase). In this very easy and controlled task, with the feet at
hip width and feet pointing forward, the knees should go straight down towards the toes without falling inwards (genu valgum) or outwards (genu varum) excessively. females. Excessive sideways movement, unsteadiness or a curved rather than vertical knee trajectory can be a sign of problems with the feet, the hips or the knees.
Balance (2 Leg for 10 seconds and 1 leg for 5 seconds) We all need balance to control our bodies and adjust to our environment. When people lose their balance, they can put their joints at risk, lose energy and even fall over. Good balance depends on our ability to keep our balance point (center of mass) over our feet (base of support). This is dependent on postural alignment, control of numerous muscles and joints from the feet up to the head, and the function of our eyesight and balance mechanisms in the inner ear. What is normal? For activities of daily living, we should all be able to stand still on 2 legs or 1 leg for at least 30 seconds without falling. You have tested for 10 seconds on 2 legs and 5 seconds on 1 leg. Sometimes pain or weakness in certain body parts can let us down, like the feet or the hip muscles, and cause us to lose balance. We do our best to compensate for this, often over-taxing otherwise healthy body parts.
The sway pattern is something that shows how still you are. Ideally, your balance point is slightly forward of the ankle, and positioned in the center of the circles on the report. A small to modest sway pattern is normal, but some people have larger sway patterns. This is considered OK, as long as the change in direction is not too erratic. A sway pattern that is located in the second or third circle could mean that you tend to balance near the edge of your base of support. This could mean that have you less room for error in situations where you are
pushed off balance (eg. on a train), or cannot rely on other control mechanisms such as your eyesight (eg. in the dark). Studies show that a more erratic sway pattern is a sign of poor balance.
Have more questions or want to see if the 3DM Movement Scan is right for you?
Reach out to us by clicking on the “call us” button, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to schedule now? Book your scan here. Free for a limited time
Confused about where to start? We got you covered! That’s why we offer free consultations to help you get to the root of why you are dealing with stiffness, pain, or just not performing the way you need to.
During one of our free consultations, the Total Body Diagnostic, we offer expert advice about the worry and frustration of life-changing aches and pains – for FREE, in under 30 minutes.
If this article describes your story and you are looking for some help with overcoming hip pain, we offer FREE consultations, which give you the opportunity to come in and meet us and see for yourself how we can help you.
Here are just a few of the things you will learn in one of our free consultation:
What is the underlying cause of your pain? (hopefully nothing too serious!)
Roughly, how long will it take to fix the problem?
What to do to help – which doesn’t include painkillers, resting or surgery etc.
What other, natural, drug free methods are there to speed up recovery alongside treatment?
Our consultations are great for anyone that may be “unsure” if physio is right for them, and they give you the opportunity to ask questions and see for yourself if we can help you.
If you’d like one of our limited free consultation sessions, please click here to request your Total Body Diagnostic or CALL us on 850-765-2779 to make a no-obligation enquiry.
About the Author
Dr. Brandon Alkire, DPT, CSCS, FMS, Cert. DN, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Strength Coach
Dr. Brandon is the owner and a Physio at Body Mechanix Physiotherapy and Fitness. Four of his favorite people call him daddy while he's been married to his other favorite person for 20 years. He enjoys teaching martial arts and is a Mestrando in Capoeira while in the mornings, he can be found working out with the guys in F3 around town. He's the author of 4 pain relief guides for sciatica, low back, shoulder, and knees and the lead contributor to the Active Tallahassee Blog.