Archive for October 2009

Pain-Free Golf | Stretch As You Go!

We all grow by stretching and just like any other aspect of your life, a little stretching can literally grow your golf game to your next level of excellence. Unless you’re a circus performer, or your name is Jimmy Olson, it’s highly-unlikely that you enjoy “elastic-lad” flexibility in your body. And yet, flexibility is key to increasing your range of motion and your enjoyment of pain-free performance in your golf. Here are a few simple stretches that will bring a whole new fluidity to your game.

Stretch as You Go – With the repeated motions of our game you often don’t notice those little tensions creep into our body until you are reaching for the aspirin. Stretching as you go from hole to hole is a great way to maintain a state of relaxation and fluidity in your strokes. Check-out these simple easy stretches and see those aches and pains just melt away!

Backswing Stretch – You can do the backswing stretch by standing in your golf posture with your arms hanging initially mid-front with your right-hand over your left (reverse if you are a leftie) so that the backs of your hands touch. Exert a slight pressure between the backs of your hands as you extend your arms through the upper range of your golf swing. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat.

Low Back Stretch – Spread your legs about twice shoulder-width apart. Keep both feet flat on the ground and bend your knees to lower your buttocks until your hamstrings are parallel to the ground. Keep your torso as close to the vertical as you can and your hands in prayer position at mid chest. Once your elbows are at knee height, simply press the elbows outwards against the inside of each corresponding knee, exerting pressure against the palms.

Hamstring Stretch – Start in a relaxed upright position with knees slightly bent. Inhale deeply. On your exhale, hinge forward from the waist while keeping your back straight. Let your head and arms hang loosely. Gradually roll over one vertebra at a time, like a rag doll. Enjoy that long deep exhale as go. If your back/hamstrings are tight, you can relieve any tension by simply bending your knees a little more. Hang in the bent-over position for as long as you like taking long deep breathes and enjoy the great stretch in your lower back and hamstrings. When you are ready, slowly come up, one vertebra at a time and return to an erect upright posture. Repeat 5 times or as necessary.

Neck Rolls – Here are four neck stretches that will give you all the fluidity you need to keep your eye on the ball with comfort and ease.

Ear to Ear – As you exhale, let your left ear fall gently towards your left shoulder from the neutral position. Feel the wonderful stretch on the opposite side of you neck. Hold for a second and inhale as you come up to neutral. Repeat on the right side. Repeat 5 times on each side.

Up and Down – Starting with your head in the neutral position, allow your chin to fall downwards towards your chest as you exhale. You’ll feel a nice stretch in the back of your neck. As you inhale, slowly reverse the motion bringing your head back through neutral and upwards towards the sky. You’ll stretch the front of your neck. – Repeat 5 times.

Left to Right – Starting in neutral position, and keeping your chin parallel with the ground turn your head so that your chin moves towards your left shoulder. Hold for a second before coming back to neutral and repeating on the right side.

Circles – Well they are as the sound. Simply rotate your head downwards and to the left in a circular motion. At the extreme range, start to move your head upwards and eventually to the right when it feels natural. Your eyes will move in a circular motion. Follow the motion upwards and to the right to center so that your eyes now look directly to the heavens. To complete the circle, continue over to your right, downwards and around on the right hand side. At the extreme right, you gaze will start to move downwards and back to the left towards center. At center your gaze will be directly down towards the ground. Repeat 10 times. For counter clockwise, reverse direction and repeat 10 times. Notice the nice movement of this stretch as your head moves around the circle.

A final word – Remember to breathe. Breathe into any areas of tightness or pain and you can enjoy a much more relaxed and enjoyable pain-free game.

Aidan Sugrue
http://www.articlesbase.com/golf-articles/painfree-golf-stretch-as-you-go-131952.html

The Importance Of Working Your Core Muscle

Suppose that at a distance you see a short, stooped figure walking with short, slow steps. Most likely, you will conclude that the person is old. The hunched posture gives you the clue.

Why does aging contort so many bodies in this way? The reason is that many people, throughout their lives, never extend the neck to its full range, and so the muscles shorten. Long hours of reading, sewing, typing, or standing at a workbench take their toll. Eventually deposits of calcium salts in the joints complete the process of immobilization. Once this calcification takes place, nothing can be done to reverse it.

Fortunately, older persons can take action before it is too late. The best action is regular exercise that stretches the muscles and improves flexibility, with special considerations on the core muscles. This kind of response is relatively important for a number of factors that when taken for granted will only lead to serious health problems.

What Are Core Muscles?

Core muscles pertain to the muscles found at the obliques, abdominals, lower back, and the glutes. These four areas of the body are the ones that usually frame the posture of a person. Hence, a good posture reflects the good condition of these muscle areas.

What people do not know is that core muscles are actually the “core” or the central part for all the strength that is needed to boost carry out different physical activities. This only means that if an individual’s core muscle is physically powerful, it will maintain equilibrium on the body and will stabilize the system every time the person is working out and moving.

Strengthening Core Muscles

The main responsibility of the core muscles is to provide enough power to the body in order to enable it to cope up with the dynamic challenges of every physical activity that a person encounters.

For this reason, many health and fitness experts have realized that it is relatively important to strengthen the core muscles than with the other muscles in the body. Through some series of experiments and research, they have found out that having a stronger core can lessen a lot of health problems concerning posture.

For instance, a well-conditioned core muscle can project good posture. It can also improve the endurance of the back all the way through the day.

Why? Because muscles that are included in the group of core muscles are actually the ones that initiate the proper stabilization of the whole upper and lower torso.

So, for those who wish to know and understand why it is important strengthen the core muscles, here is a list of some of the benefits that you can use as references:

1. Strengthening core muscles will improve posture and prevent low back pain of the muscular origin.

This means that as you incorporate stretching exercises in your routine, taking a particular focus on the muscles of the upper and front part of the trunk, including the abdominal and trunk muscles, the activity has the tendency to strengthen the muscles of the back that extend to the spine.

2. It will help tone the muscles, thereby, avoiding further back injury

Exercising your core muscles will strengthen and tones your lower back muscles and buttocks while stretching the hip flexors and the muscles on the front of the thighs.

Achieving this state will deter you from any serious lower back injury.

3. Improves physical performance

Exercising the core muscles with slow, static stretching is just as effective in relieving stiffness and enhances flexibility. Once the flexibility of a person has improved, it follows that he will be able to perform his physical activities at a better state.

4. They do not cause sore aching muscles

Static stretching for core muscles is best for the muscles and connective tissues. And because it employs slow stretches only, it will not cause any soreness, as do the quick, bouncing exercises that rely on jerky muscle contraction.

5. Lengthen muscles and avoid unbalanced footing as you get old

Core muscle exercises lengthen the muscles that have contracted as a result of pain. It also prevents pain from vigorous exercise if they are included at the end of each workout.

Health and fitness experts highly recommend starting core work out immediately and repeating the routine at least 2 times a week. The process can be done after the workout or even during the activity, for about 10 to 20 minutes only.

Indeed, core muscles are absolutely important in determining the good posture of the body. Strengthening them can absolutely eliminate those nuisances of back pains.

Dr. Al Parker
http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/the-importance-of-working-your-core-muscle-84484.html

Objectives of Pysical Therapy

The long-term objectives when it comes to Physical Therapy is basically to teach people how to manage and/or assuage the current symptoms and how to prevent future episodes of pain from returning. Other functional objectives are made based on the patient’s precise complaints, those complaints can be anywhere from inability to sleep through the night without pain, stand/walk for daily activities or exercise, sit for an extended period of time, or turn the head adequately for driving. Certain goals can increase the strength or flexibility of specific sources of pain is then made to facilitate the functional goals of Physical Therapy.

As mentioned before, certain exercises for the neck and back are chosen by the physical therapist based on the person’s ailments and areas of deficit noted on exam. The exercises are also carefully scrutinized to make sure the proper form and technique to facilitate the desired outcome before they are issued for the home program. To make a long story short, not every exercise is right for every neck or back pain.

Physical Therapy exercises for the back usually centers its attention on enhancing the flexibility and strength of the trunk. For instance, lower abdominal strengthening is usually an objective to help better support to the lower back area. This abdominal “bracing” is the groundwork for alternative exercises to assist in stabilizing the lumbar spine. Upon mastering the braces, the exercise can be suitably progressed by the Physical Therapist to include adding resistance with different arm and/or leg lifts while keeping up the taut abdominals and neutral spine in varying positions.

Using exercises to strengthen the back might include lying on the stomach, with or without having a pillow underneath the pelvic area. Depending on the person’s ability, he or she might be directed to place both arms overhead and alternate lifting one arm at a time without shrugging. This might be progressed to lifting on leg (including thigh and all) at a time and then progress to lifting the opposite arm and leg simultaneously. In Physical Therapy stretching exercises might include lying on the stomach and doing a press-up, keeping the hips on the ground. Otherwise depending on the specific pain pattern, the person might be instructed to lie on the back and pull the knees up toward the chest area.

When exercising the neck it is common to often focus not only on basic range of motion, but also on specific neck stretches and strengthening exercises, particularly of the supporting postural muscles. A perfect example of a neck exercise in Physical Therapy is referred to as cervical retraction. Sitting upright, maintaining the level of your chin, gently pulling the chin straight in as if you are hiding against a wall or sideways behind a tree is a good postural correcting exercise to perform during the day, for example while doing computer work. It counters the tendency most people have in sitting to slip into a forward head posture.

For more resources about low back pain or even about herniated disc and especially about damaged discs please review these links.

Groshan Fabiola
http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/objectives-of-pysical-therapy-175985.html

Tmj Treatment | Tmj Symptom : Cure Tmj the Natural Way

TMJ Treatment | TMJ Symptom : Cure TMJ the Natural Way

Firstly, let’s define what TMJ really means? TMJ is the commonly used acronym for temporomandibular joint disorder. The pain associated with TMJ is thought to be caused by displacement of the cartilage where the lower jaw connects to the skull causing pressure and stretching of the associated sensory nerves. TMJ is pain resulting from the wear and tear caused by overuse of the temporomandibular joint. Stress, tension and anxiety often contribute to overuse, as each of these conditions can cause people to grind their teeth or clench their jaws excessively.

Many TMJ patients are unaware of the cause of their condition. A number have TMJ symptoms that do not interfere with their lives. And the symptoms can be both nerve racking and painful such as:

* Patients with TMJ often grind their teeth (bruxism) to find a comfortable bite.
* Deviation of the lower jaw to one side on opening. This is called mandibular opening deviation.
* Continual jaw muscle spasm can cause muscle shortening with limited opening. Looking at the side of a person’s face, you can often make out the lower jaw.The bottom of the lower jaw is usually parallel to the floor. However, many TMD patients have a sharp downward angle. This TMJ symptom is call a steep mandibular plane angle.
* When the corners of the mouth get red, swollen and painful. It’s called angular chelitis and is also seen when denture patients have worn out dentures.
* It is not unusual to see swelling of a TMJ patient’s face. This TMJ symptom is called facial edema. Some sufferers have unusual movements of their necks (cervical torticollis) and lower jaws. (mandibular torticollis).
* TMJ sufferers often have pain in one or both of the jaw joints and TMJ pain is common. The jaw joints may have clicking and popping noises. These are called TMJ noises.

Until now even doctors don’t really know how to cure TMJ permanently. All they do is prescribed strong pain killer for temporary relief. All these medicines fail. Even if they reduce the pain a little for a while in the beginning, they’ll stop working little by little as your body gets immune to them.

TMJ Treatment Exercises

The purpose of the TMJ exercises is to prevent clicking of the jaw and to strengthen muscles which pull your jaw backwards. It will relax the muscle which pull the jaw forwards or to one side as you open your mouth, and this will take the strain off your joints.

Set aside two 5 minute periods every day, at a time when you are relaxed and have nothing on your mind. One good time is just before you go to bed, another is perhaps when you get home from work. Sit upright in a chair and carry out the following manoeuvres:

1. Close your mouth on your back teeth, resting the tip of your tongue on your palate, just behind the upper front teeth.

2. Run the tip of your tongue backwards on to the soft palate as far back as it will go, keeping the teeth in contact.

3. Force the tongue back to maintain contact with your soft palate and slowly open your mouth until you feel your tongue just being pulled away from the soft palate. Do not try to open your mouth further. Keep it in this position for five seconds and then close your mouth. Relax for five seconds.

4. Repeat this manoeuvre slowly over the next five minutes in a firm, but relaxed, fashion.
Thousands of people have already used these exercises to permanently cure their TMJ. Considering how complex this condition is, it’s amazing how well they work for many people.

Another proven TMJ Exercise

1. A deviation is an unwanted shifting of the jaw to one side. When many TMJ patients open their mouths, their jaws deviate to one side. Almost always the jaw shifts towards the jaw joint that is damaged. Over time the good side of the mouth becomes overused and develops problems. This TMJ exercise is used to help reeducate the jaw to open correctly. It must be done in front of a mirror so that you can actually see your jaw open and close.

2. Try and open your mouth straight. This will take some effort because the weak muscles on the bad side will not want to function correctly when you ask them. Open and close correctly for ten openings and take a rest. Repeat another ten openings again and take a rest. Finally repeat ten more. This is called three sets of ten. Do three sets of ten three or four times each day.

3. Stretching can be done by slowly opening your mouth as wide and you comfortably can and then slowly closing. Then slowly opening to the left side as wide as you comfortably can and then slowly closing. Then slowly opening to the right side as wide as you comfortably can and then slowly closing. Repeat these movements until your muscles feel better. You can do this stretching exercise while driving, watching TV, before bed, at work, and during a lot of other times.

4. The next step is to assist your jaw in doing these stretches by using your hand to gently go a bit further than just by opening your mouth yourself. Do not use a lot of force! Do each of the stretching movements as previously described above but use your hand to open a little bit more than you could only with your mouth. If this causes a lot of pain, don’t do it.

5. You can increase the blood flow to your muscles by placing moist hot towels on the sides of your face while you do this exercise. Run a sink with hot water until it fills up about half way. Adjust the hot water so that you can touch it with your hands and it doesn’t burn. Place two hand towels in the hot water and then wring the two towels out. Quickly fold the towels up neatly and place one on each side of your face. Do your stretching exercise until the towels become cold. You can continue to reheat the towels and repeat the exercise until your muscles feel better.

There are also methods that worked for other people but not proven that could for others. Well it’s worth of a try for people that’s just starting to suffer TMJ symptoms. It may lead to your TMJ treatment or some other ways will work for you.

* Changing your diet, especially to get more magnesium
* Using a fanny pack instead of a purse
* Using extra sharp knives in the kitchen
* Seeing a physical therapist who specialized in ergonomics and posture
* Doing yoga postures and ergonomic stretches every day
* Using a back roller
* Trigger point therapy and moist heat
* Reading and studying the books listed above on yoga, repetitive stress injuries and body alignment

Dan Pantaleon
http://www.articlesbase.com/diseases-and-conditions-articles/-tmj-treatment-tmj-symptom-cure-tmj-the-natural-way-59637.html

Tmj Treatment | Tmj Symptom : Cure Tmj the Natural Way

TMJ Treatment | TMJ Symptom : Cure TMJ the Natural Way

Firstly, let’s define what TMJ really means? TMJ is the commonly used acronym for temporomandibular joint disorder. The pain associated with TMJ is thought to be caused by displacement of the cartilage where the lower jaw connects to the skull causing pressure and stretching of the associated sensory nerves. TMJ is pain resulting from the wear and tear caused by overuse of the temporomandibular joint. Stress, tension and anxiety often contribute to overuse, as each of these conditions can cause people to grind their teeth or clench their jaws excessively.

Many TMJ patients are unaware of the cause of their condition. A number have TMJ symptoms that do not interfere with their lives. And the symptoms can be both nerve racking and painful such as:

* Patients with TMJ often grind their teeth (bruxism) to find a comfortable bite.
* Deviation of the lower jaw to one side on opening. This is called mandibular opening deviation.
* Continual jaw muscle spasm can cause muscle shortening with limited opening. Looking at the side of a person’s face, you can often make out the lower jaw.The bottom of the lower jaw is usually parallel to the floor. However, many TMD patients have a sharp downward angle. This TMJ symptom is call a steep mandibular plane angle.
* When the corners of the mouth get red, swollen and painful. It’s called angular chelitis and is also seen when denture patients have worn out dentures.
* It is not unusual to see swelling of a TMJ patient’s face. This TMJ symptom is called facial edema. Some sufferers have unusual movements of their necks (cervical torticollis) and lower jaws. (mandibular torticollis).
* TMJ sufferers often have pain in one or both of the jaw joints and TMJ pain is common. The jaw joints may have clicking and popping noises. These are called TMJ noises.

Until now even doctors don’t really know how to cure TMJ permanently. All they do is prescribed strong pain killer for temporary relief. All these medicines fail. Even if they reduce the pain a little for a while in the beginning, they’ll stop working little by little as your body gets immune to them.

TMJ Treatment Exercises

The purpose of the TMJ exercises is to prevent clicking of the jaw and to strengthen muscles which pull your jaw backwards. It will relax the muscle which pull the jaw forwards or to one side as you open your mouth, and this will take the strain off your joints.

Set aside two 5 minute periods every day, at a time when you are relaxed and have nothing on your mind. One good time is just before you go to bed, another is perhaps when you get home from work. Sit upright in a chair and carry out the following manoeuvres:

1. Close your mouth on your back teeth, resting the tip of your tongue on your palate, just behind the upper front teeth.

2. Run the tip of your tongue backwards on to the soft palate as far back as it will go, keeping the teeth in contact.

3. Force the tongue back to maintain contact with your soft palate and slowly open your mouth until you feel your tongue just being pulled away from the soft palate. Do not try to open your mouth further. Keep it in this position for five seconds and then close your mouth. Relax for five seconds.

4. Repeat this manoeuvre slowly over the next five minutes in a firm, but relaxed, fashion.
Thousands of people have already used these exercises to permanently cure their TMJ. Considering how complex this condition is, it’s amazing how well they work for many people.

Another proven TMJ Exercise

1. A deviation is an unwanted shifting of the jaw to one side. When many TMJ patients open their mouths, their jaws deviate to one side. Almost always the jaw shifts towards the jaw joint that is damaged. Over time the good side of the mouth becomes overused and develops problems. This TMJ exercise is used to help reeducate the jaw to open correctly. It must be done in front of a mirror so that you can actually see your jaw open and close.

2. Try and open your mouth straight. This will take some effort because the weak muscles on the bad side will not want to function correctly when you ask them. Open and close correctly for ten openings and take a rest. Repeat another ten openings again and take a rest. Finally repeat ten more. This is called three sets of ten. Do three sets of ten three or four times each day.

3. Stretching can be done by slowly opening your mouth as wide and you comfortably can and then slowly closing. Then slowly opening to the left side as wide as you comfortably can and then slowly closing. Then slowly opening to the right side as wide as you comfortably can and then slowly closing. Repeat these movements until your muscles feel better. You can do this stretching exercise while driving, watching TV, before bed, at work, and during a lot of other times.

4. The next step is to assist your jaw in doing these stretches by using your hand to gently go a bit further than just by opening your mouth yourself. Do not use a lot of force! Do each of the stretching movements as previously described above but use your hand to open a little bit more than you could only with your mouth. If this causes a lot of pain, don’t do it.

5. You can increase the blood flow to your muscles by placing moist hot towels on the sides of your face while you do this exercise. Run a sink with hot water until it fills up about half way. Adjust the hot water so that you can touch it with your hands and it doesn’t burn. Place two hand towels in the hot water and then wring the two towels out. Quickly fold the towels up neatly and place one on each side of your face. Do your stretching exercise until the towels become cold. You can continue to reheat the towels and repeat the exercise until your muscles feel better.

There are also methods that worked for other people but not proven that could for others. Well it’s worth of a try for people that’s just starting to suffer TMJ symptoms. It may lead to your TMJ treatment or some other ways will work for you.

* Changing your diet, especially to get more magnesium
* Using a fanny pack instead of a purse
* Using extra sharp knives in the kitchen
* Seeing a physical therapist who specialized in ergonomics and posture
* Doing yoga postures and ergonomic stretches every day
* Using a back roller
* Trigger point therapy and moist heat
* Reading and studying the books listed above on yoga, repetitive stress injuries and body alignment

Dan Pantaleon
http://www.articlesbase.com/diseases-and-conditions-articles/-tmj-treatment-tmj-symptom-cure-tmj-the-natural-way-59637.html