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What is Your Body Telling You?

Our bodies are very intricate and fascinating, it can tell us so much about our environment and what it perceives as something it likes or perceives as a threat. Question is, how often do we actually listen to those feelings that out body is trying to tell us? It’s very easy to just push through and continue on with what we are doing. We are only human and we like to rush through things to get to our end game but, is that always beneficial to us as a whole? Can your body handle that pace and for how long?

Your body is always adapting to our environment and doesn’t always like to do so in a linear fashion!

“Speed Hides Need”

A very interesting topic was introduced to me this past weekend, “speed hides need”. Meaning your body will find a way to complete a task in the most efficient way, not necessarily the best way. What truly spoke to me was that rushing feeling we get when we are completing tasks. “It’s just one more ________” or “I just don’t have the time for _________ right now”; common phrases we tell ourselves and maybe don’t think about what our body wants or needs. Think about it if you’re rushing to do something is it the same quality until the end? Likely not! This is where “speed hides need” comes into play! As an example you’re doing a squat close to the last repetition, are you consciously thinking about the quality of that movement or the quantity? If you’re speeding through your body may not always be ready, the way it tells us something was too much is through pain, and often unexplained pain is de to those unruly compensation pattern. By speeding through that movement your body is trying to hide that need and mask anything that would sense that you are off in your movement.

What Can my Body Tell Me?

Great question! Your body can tell you when you are maxed out! It can also tell you when it perceives a “threat”. This threat doesn’t mean someone who’s about to sneak up behind you. Rather, your body is telling you “I just can’t do that right now”. Ever get into a stretch and you just feel like you can’t relax into it that well? This may be a sign that you just don’t have that flexibility (yet!). Or this could mean you aren’t in the right mindset for it at that time. When we stretch we want to be relaxed, often if you are rushing through it or it’s uncomfortable your body and brain work together to signal a perceived threat or discomfort. This means something else may tense in response to this perceived stress preventing you from getting that full benefit. This is why it’s important to breathe! A few deep breaths in and out through the nose can do wonders, and help bring you into a better mindset!

Let’s talk about your body

Fight or Flight

This may be a concept you’ve heard before in school long ago. This relates to the nervous system and how your body perceives the environment. This tends to signal the body to be in a high alert mode. Meaning that you may be hypersensitive to the stimulus around you. When this occurs we need to find a way to downregulate (lower) that sensation so we can complete daily living tasks. This could be your fears, pain, or simply stress. It’s our job to figure out how to bring that down to a happy level. After all making your body feel its best is our top priority!

What makes you happy? It may be a pet, or it may be a hike in the woods, we want to know so we can help you best!

How Can We Help?

This is why we like to get to know you and what your goals are! This helps us determine what sorts of techniques will help your body best and determine how much “homework” to give you. This may be why we give you some breathing exercises or remind you to breathe when doing your exercises! Remember we work with your body to give you what it needs!

Written by: Michelle Gaudet BSc, CAT(C)

Certfied Athletic Therapist

Categories
Blog Competitive Edge Sport Therapy

Pain Flare Up? Don’t Panic!

Have you ever experienced a pain flare up just when you thought you were managing your injury well? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Whether you’ve experienced this flare up while you’re receiving treatment or while you’re self-managing with exercises and stretches, our first thought tends to be “something is wrong”.

We’re going to dive into why this often happens and why we shouldn’t automatically panic.

Pain isn’t always a bad thing. Hear me out, some pain is actually good! For example, if we weren’t able to feel pain we could place our hand on a hot burner and feel nothing. The result…well your hand would be pretty burnt.

So why do we panic when we’re dealing with an injury and we get a pain flare up?

It comes down to education and being aware of why it’s happening. When injured, our bodies go through pain cycles so it’s normal to experience different phases of pain while progressing through your rehabilitation (treatment from a therapist, exercises, stretches, etc.). Whether you’re dealing with a new or old injury, you’re bound to experience some kind of flare up along your recovery.

Typically, when dealing with an old injury that the body has become used to, the flare up will come a bit sooner once you introduce change (i.e exercise, stretching, treatment). On the other hand, when dealing with a new injury the flare up comes a bit later because the body is adjusting to the new changes and stresses.

In simple terms: it’s ok for it to feel worse before it feels better!

Here are a few tips to help you deal with a pain flare up:

1) DON’T PANIC!! Breathe. You’re ok!

2) Try to find the what and why. Ask yourself “what was I doing?”, “did I do too much?”, “was I trying something different than I’m used to?”.

3) Modify what you’re doing. Reduce the weight, limit the movement, use proper body positioning, etc.

4) Do NOT consult Dr. Google. If you’re really worried and can’t seem to calm the pain down with time, reach out to your Athletic Therapist for help.

5) Ride the wave. Remember it is normal and it will pass with some modification and time.

Written by Marilyne Doucet

Certified Athletic Therapist

 

Categories
Blog Foot or Lower Leg Injury

Foot Pain or Foot Tightness Keeping You Down?

Does the bottom of your foot ever sound or feel crunchy when touching it? Do you suffer from pain on the arch of your foot in the morning when getting out of bed? Is it hard to walk and does that sometimes cause heel pain?

If you answered YES to any of the above, you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis.

What is a plantar fascia? It is a connective tissue that runs the length of the bottom of your foot, by helping maintain the arch of your foot when walking or running. This makes it an important structure to help facilitate proper walking and running mechanics!

How does plantar fasciitis happen?

When you increase the amount of walking, or do too much with improper mechanics, it can cause injury to the plantar fascia. There can also be underlying issues coming from your knee or your hip – crazy! On the other hand, you might remember a specific injury to your ankle, which could have resulted in an acute injury to the plantar fascia.

What can I do to decrease the foot pain at home?!

Certainly, there are a couple stretches can be done at home which could help decrease some of the foot pain or foot tightness:

Firstly, the standing calf stretch
  • Standing calf stretch
    • Standing facing a wall, place both hands on the wall in front of you
    • Choose a leg to stretch first, and extend it behind you
    • Your back leg should be straight at the knee, and the whole foot should be on the ground (ensuring your heel is flat on the ground)
    • If you’re unable to have your knee straight with the heel on the ground, then bring the back leg closer to you – this will get easier as you continue to do this stretch
    • Hold for 20-30 seconds
    • Switch legs
    • Repeat 2-3 times on each leg
Secondly, rolling the bottom of your foot
  • Rolling the bottom of your foot (your plantar fascia)
    • Take a golf ball or lacrosse ball or frozen water bottle
    • In a seated position (less intense) or a standing position (more intense)
    • Start at the heel of your foot with the ball or water bottle, and slowly move the object to your toes
    • You might hear or feel some crunching – which is normal!
    • Roll the bottom of your foot from the heel to your toe pads, 4-5 times
    • Repeat on the other foot

This is a good start for what you can do at home to help alleviate some of the foot pain you may be experiencing! Often times, there are other underlying issues which can cause plantar fasciitis, for instance, biomechanical compensations, and this can be caused by years of compensation patterns being developed elsewhere in the body.

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If you are looking for more information on how to alleviate and resolve your foot pain or foot tightness, you can apply to speak with a therapist below!

Written by: Taffin Evans

Certified Athletic Therapist