I know that MANY of you are struggling with pain, and you feel there's no end in sight. If you're like many of our clients, the pain is starting to creep in to more and more aspects of your daily life. Not only has the pain impacted you physically, but it's starting to have an impact on you mentally and emotionally as well. Believe me, I know from first-hand experience how debilitating chronic pain can be. My struggle with back pain in the mid-90s wasn't just a physical battle for me. My pain was always at the forefront of my mind. It was all I could think about, and it all-but-consumed me mentally and emotionally. The question of Will I EVER be the same? was asked far too often.
I'm sure that if you're reading this, you can probably relate to as least some aspects of my story. I know my friend, Steven Shea, can relate as well. Steven is a videographer and the man typically behind the camera shooting videos. Now, however, he's taking his turn in front of the camera. Steven is the focus of a new web series titled, Becoming Pain Free, shot in conjunction with our friends at Sonima. Episodes One, Two, and Three are live now, and we'll have new episodes releasing every Monday!
Watch Steven's inspiring journey as he fights to overcome chronic pain and physical limitations and regain control of his life!
WATCH EPISODE 1:
WATCH EPISODE 2:
WATCH EPISODE 3:
QUESTION: Which part of Steven's story resonates most with YOU?
As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete on Twitter, and you can also follow me there as well.
Writing poetry, playing the piano, typing away for hours on end, doing pushups in the gym, driving around town. Those are just a few of the jobs that we ask our wrists to do. Throughout those tasks we flex them, extend them, move them laterally side-to-side, and they also pronate and supinate. If you pause to think about what all the wrists are capable of, you'll realize they're an incredible piece of machinery.
Yet, I hear from SO many of you that you're struggling with wrist pain. And the vast majority of the time, you inform me you're doing one (or more) of the tasks I listed above when you feel the symptoms kick in. However, you also tell me that you're only dealing with pain in one wrist (or experiencing pain more in one wrist than its counterpart on the other side), despite the fact that many of our daily activities require that both wrists get involved. Typing, playing the piano, and exercising all require both wrists to do the same job at the same time.
So, if both wrists are doing the same job at the same time, but each are experiencing very different symptoms, we can't blame the activity for your pain! Instead, we have to look at the body coming to the job. More specifically, we have to look at the difference in shoulder positions. What's true about wrist pain is that it's caused by the shoulder. When the shoulder stops working properly, the wrist gets asked to do more work than it's functionally capable of doing. The wrist pain is simply the body's way of alerting you to an issue in the shoulder. The good news is that the solution is simple: regain function in the shoulder and eliminate pain in the wrist (or elbow, for that matter).
If we retrace our steps even farther down the kinetic chain away from the wrist, we'll no-doubt discover a dysfunctional pelvic girdle as well. Ultimately, we need to ensure that the pelvis is properly aligned so that the spine stacks up properly. When the spine is properly aligned, the shoulders will be in their proper, functioning position, and the wrist pressure will be eliminated!
So, let's get to it! The following three ecises will reestablish a proper pelvic position while reconnecting the hips and shoulders. Follow them in order, and do them daily! Let's get started!
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent.
2. Center your feet along the mid-line of your body and let your knees relax down to the sides.
3. Place the soles of your feet together.
4. Interlace your fingers and place your hands above your chest with your elbows locked.
5. Lower your hands toward the floor above your head and then return them to above your chest.
6. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
STANDING ARM CIRCLES:
1. Stand with your feet pointed straight and hip-width apart.
2. Place your finger tips into the pad of each hand and point your thumbs straight out.
• This is referred to as golfer's grip and maintaining this hand position is important for the exercise to be done correctly.
3. Pull your shoulders back by squeezing your shoulder blades together and down, then bring your arms out straight from your sides up to shoulder level.
4. With palms facing down and thumbs pointing straight forward rotate your hands up and forward in approx. 6 inch circles 40 times.
5. Then reverse direction: palms should now face up, with thumbs pointed straight backward. Rotate your hands up and backward, 40 times.
STANDING ELBOW CURLS:
1. Stand at a wall with your heels, hips, upper back and head against the wall.
2. Your feet should be pointed straight and hip width apart.
3. Place your knuckles against your temples with your thumbs pointing down to your shoulders (golfer's grip).
4. Open and pull back your elbows so that they are against the wall then close your elbows together in front of your face.
• Keep your elbows up at shoulder level, do not let them drop down.
5. Repeat 30 times.
After doing these three ecises, I want you to focus on what's different. Is there less pain? Are you more balanced? Do you have more range of motion in your shoulders? When you get back to the tasks that usually cause you pain, are you able to perform them symptom-free?
I'm guessing you're going to see a difference quicker than you might imagine!
QUESTION: What was different for you? Share your success story with us!
As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy--just click below!). And, don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete on Twitter as well as myself!
Are you sitting down?
I thought so.
It's no surprise that you're (most likely) reading this while sitting down. Want me to make another bold prediction? I know for a fact that your upper back is rounded forward, your pelvis is tucked under, and your spine is flexed. Not the ideal position in which to spend the majority of your day, to put it mildly.
What you may not realize is that the position you’re in is wreaking havoc on your body. You may recognize it by the migraine you get around 3:00 each day. Or maybe you have trouble focusing on your computer screen after a long day of emails and spreadsheets. But, if the title of this post got your attention, then perhaps your wrists are screaming at you and you’ve been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
What exactly does a diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) mean? According to Pain Free at Your PC by Pete Egoscue:
(Those suffering from CTS)…have ‘blisters’ in their wrists. There is friction and stress. These blisters are not caused by using a PC’s keyboard or mouse. They are caused by the adjustments that are made to skeletal misalignment. And they are just as visible as a limp. You can see these adjustments in the position of the head, the shoulders, the wrist, and the hands.
Just like you get blisters on your feet when there is excess pressure or friction, the bones of the wrist are no different. Your diagnosis of CTS is simply the body’s way of telling you that you’re out of balance. There is too much pressure on one area (in this case, the wrist), and your internal warning sirens are sounding!
However, you aren't going to eliminate your CTS by focusing on your wrist. Just like other symptoms you experience throughout your body, you can't afford to have tunnel-vision and focus only on the site of the pain.
The key to eliminating your “blisters” is simple. We have to stay focused on the position of the body rather than the condition of the body. Specifically, we have to change the position of your shoulder. Try this test (from Pete’s PC book) while sitting at your desk:
Sit sideways to a table or desk. Place your forearm on the table, running parallel with your thigh, with your palm down and your upper arm and elbow held at a ninety-degree angle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your right or left side. Pull your head and shoulders back as far as you can. Feel the S-curve develop its arch in your lower back? Hold that position, and glance down at your wrist without moving your head position. You should see that now there is space under the wrist immediately behind the palm of your hand. If there isn’t, your head and shoulders are not fully back. Make sure to roll your hips forward to counteract flexion.
Got the arch in your wrist? Now, let go. Slump. Allow your back to round and your head and shoulders to come forward. The arch in your wrist will flatten. If you continue to push your shoulder forward and down, you’ll feel a growing strain and pressure in the wrist. Pull back on your shoulder, and the pressure will ease.
Pretty cool, huh? That diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome shouldn’t seem quite so scary, now! Right? Think about it: by changing your shoulder position, you impacted your wrist condition. And, the cool part is that you can teach your body how to hold that functional position. Remember, CTS is simply the effect. It's not the cause. By retraining your muscles to hold your bones in their proper position, you've taken charge of your health and tackled the primary culprit (that compromised shoulder position) head-on!
If you have a question about CTS (or any other symptom for that matte) contact us now!
QUESTION: What have you been told is causing your CTS?