Every day we work on different machines. Some that have a user-friendly experience while some that are rather complicated and meant to be dealt with by the experts alone. Some come with a user manual and some we manoeuvre and figure out, just somehow. Among the latter category lie the human muscular skeletal system. As individuals we learn about it throughout our lives. But the good news is there are experts who can enable us to use it better, help us cure it when strained and maintain its health for a smooth functioning and a long life. 

Here, the role of joints is integral for better movement. And of course, the most well-known of them are the knees. They bear the weight of the upper body, while also maintaining the flexibility so an individual can walk, run, sit and stand with ease. It cannot do it alone and so has the three muscles around it to give it the strength that holds a vital role in the entire process.

First are the calf muscles that are just beneath the knee. They are considered the second heart in the body. Surprised? Well when the heart pumps blood to every part of the body, the calf muscles play an integral role to pump the blood back for oxygenation against gravity, much like the heart. These muscles need to be given adequate attention through strengthening exercises, stiffness in these can lead to the neighbouring knee joint to stop working efficiently. Second are the hamstring muscles. Well known to fitness experts, these are three muscles at the back of the thigh that help bend the knee. These tend to shorten and tighten leading to a subsequent weakening of the spine. Third are the quadriceps. As the name suggests these are four muscles that straighten the knee and you can thus imagine the role it plays in the health of your knee!

They say the knee gives way in old age. Consider this, when does a machine actually stop working? When it’s not taken care of, when the battery has had trouble and has not been replaced or when it has been lying idle. Well, that’s the same for the knee joint – take care of not just the knee but the neighbouring muscles by adequate exercise, diet, rest and appropriate footwear. 

Earlier, in the case of women and men the problems would vary. Wondering why? Purely based on the role they might have to play and thus their lifestyle. But today with the genders sharing responsibility, and thus roles being similar, the problems have also thus become similar for both. 

Machines do not see gender, nor age and thus it’s purely how you treat it and attend to it. While the above may be considered as a user manual for most of us, it is imperative that you frequent the expert to get a perspective as to what part needs what kind of attention. Start today!

Dear friends,

Today, I am going to tell you about the ABC’s of stretching exercises as I have seen most of the times my patients are not aware about the basics of stretching exercises. Stretching can be done in several different ways, but one technique—Static stretching is probably safest and is also simple and effective Static stretching involves easing into a stretch to the point where you begin to feel mild discomfort–never beyond—and then holding that maximum position for 10 to 30 seconds.

Research has shown that holding a stretch longer than that doesn’t provide any additional benefits and that briefer stretches probably won’t do you any good. I think it is very important to know the do’s and don’ts of stretching in order to avoid any damage to tissues.

Stretching Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Never stretch a cold muscle; always warm up first you’re stretching at the end of your exercise routine; or warm up muscles with a slow walk or with a five – or 10 – minute stint on the treadmill then stretch.
  • For most stretches you want to be down on the floor so you can relax your body, especially the area that you are stretching. If you don’t relax the area you’re stretching, your muscles will tighten slightly and you won’t make much progress.
  • Don’t hold your breath while stretching. Your muscles need the oxygen. Exhale as you try to stretch farther.
  • Stop if you feel any pain. Pain indicates you’re damaging tissues. You should feel the stretch, not pain.
  • Form is everything. Don’t cheat your stretch by contorting your body or using other joints to compensate for inflexibility
  • If you feel any unusual pains or feel sick in any way, stop and see your clinician.

Human body is perhaps the most unique creation of God. It acclimatizes itself to the surroundings and environment it lives in; gives you signals every time it needs attention and even heals wounds and pains with its own strength. It is only when it has exhausted all its strength that it seeks help – this is why it is extremely important for us humans to hear and understand our body.

These supposed symptoms are what lead you to doctors who eventually help treat the problem. But what happens when you ignore these symptoms?

Let me tell you a story from the 1990’s about an old man who often complained of shock like sensation in his leg. This pain was so excruciating that the 60+ year old man was not able to walk, sit and stand like others at his age. He would often sit with one leg bent and the other extended. Back in those days, there was no Google and very little information about posture, and perhaps little information about the name of problems. Extremely dedicated to his job, he never looked out for help from doctors, because of the supposed lack of treatment to such a problem, and the belief that surgery would be dangerous for him at this age. These myths are prevalent in society even today and many continue to suffer the pain in this scare.

This gentleman had a medical condition called Sciatica, a pain that extends from the hip, back and outer side of the leg. The real question is can it be cured?

Here’s the good news – the condition of Sciatica can be relieved through conservative methods and Physiotherapy, without surgery! Moreover, Sciatica is only a symptom. It could be caused by the compression of the spinal nerve root in the lower back, where the sciatic nerve might get pressed between the vertebrae in the lower spine. The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain). While there maybe varied reasons, one needs to look into whether it is an acute or a chronic problem; acute problems may take 6 weeks to recover while chronic problems might take a little longer. Of course, age, lifestyle, nutrition / eating habits play a vital role in speeding up the recovery process. This holistic treatment is mandatory for the individual to get back on track else the problem may come back.

Post recovery, it is essential for individuals to continue a set of exercises 4-5 days a week only to ensure that the body never gets back to the problem stage again. Needless to say, it is good practice to incorporate a few exercises in one’s daily life so as to stay healthy, whether you have a pain/problem or not.

While everyone is bouncing back during these trying times, they’re also complaining of stiffness and pains owing to these long hours of sitting. Hence the need for a more disciplined lifestyle with a balance of work and the right exercises to stay physically healthy, leading to positive outlook towards life in general.

Reminded of the old gentleman from my childhood days, led me to think about the paradigm shift in technology that has allowed us to understand the signs, symptoms and treatments of many physical problems, all at the click of a button. But is this entirely reliable? Or does it create a sense of anxiety for many? A doctor takes his time to examine and diagnose the problem and so the information available on public platforms must always be validated by a medical practitioner. So next time, seek advice from the experts in the field, while keeping in mind what your body is telling you, half knowledge never does any good!

I would like to explain it in a very simple way that how to get treated when you are suffering from arthritis. The best way to have control on your arthritis is to know basic eight steps:

1.Get to know your problem:

The more you know about a problem, the better you will be able to deal with it, and the better acquainted you are with arthritis, the better equipped you’ll be to overcome it.

2.Choose your long-term goal:

Chances are you want to resume a much-loved activity like going for a walk on the beach, walking in a park or playing with the children or grandchildren, for example—that arthritis has taken away from you. The best goals are specific, well-defined ones such as “I want to be able to walk a mile without pain.

3.Decide on a strategy:

Once you have your goal, you need a treatment strategy for reaching it. Certainly, there are no lack of treatment approaches available. If so, you could take number of approaches including weight loss, an exercise program, or using anti-inflammatory drugs.

4.Draw up your weekly take-charge plan:

For someone with arthritis, that old Chinese saying, ‘A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”, is literally and figuratively true. In creating your weekly take-charge plan, you decide on a short-term goal and then assign yourself specific actions for achieving that goal.

5.Put your take-charge plan into action:

Now comes the hard part: following through on the strategy you have devised. If your goal of losing a pound over the next week calls for cutting out 500 calories per day, you may have to skip that morning doughnut and afternoon cappuccino.

6.Monitor your progress:

As the week passes, note how well you have done in completing the actions you have assigned yourself in your take-charge plan. Congratulate yourself if you have been able to stick to your plan, but don’t punish or berate yourself if you did some backsliding. Nobody ever said that changing a habit was easy.

7.Adjust your action plan:

If you don’t attain the short-term goal called for in your weekly take-charge plan, figure out what went wrong and identify a way to correct it. If you lost only half a pound, maybe losing one pound a week was too ambitious. Or, as it turned out, maybe one pound was easy and you could safely lose a little more. Either way, you probably need to fine-tune your action plan.

8.Build on your success:

Success, as you know, is one of the best of all motivators. If you have achieved your short-term goal for one week, the momentum from the success will carry over into the following week—and inspire you to set a more ambitious goal. As you target and attain new goals, you will find yourself actually overcoming your arthritis in the process.

  1. Goals to relieve pain.
  2. Role of Shockwave therapy in plantar fascitis.

 

The goals of treatment for plantar fasciitis are to:

  • Relieve inflammation and pain in the heel and allow small tears in the plantar fascia ligament to heal
  • Improve strength and flexibility and correct foot problems such as excessive pronation so that you don’t stress the plantar fascia ligament and allow you to go back to your normal activities
  • Most people recover completely within a year. Out of 100 people with plantar fasciitis, about 95 are able to relieve their heel pain with nonsurgical treatments. Only about 5 out of 100 need surgery
  • Treatment that you start when you first notice symptoms is more successful and takes less time than treatment that is delayed
  • There are many methods you can try to relieve the heel pain of plantar fasciitis. Even though their effectiveness has not been proved in scientific studies, these methods, used alone or in combination, work for most people
  • Rest your feet. Limit or, if possible, stop daily activities that are causing your heel pain. 
  • Try to avoid running or walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete.
  • To reduce inflammation and relieve pain, put ice on your heel. 
  • Wear shoes with good shock absorption and the right arch support for your foot. Athletic shoes or shoes with a well-cushioned sole are usually good choices. Try heel cups or shoe inserts (orthotics) to help cushion your heel.
  • You can buy these at many athletic shoe stores and drugstores. Use them in both shoes, even if only one-foot hurts. Put on your shoes as soon as you get out of bed. 
  • Going barefoot or wearing slippers may make your pain worse.
  • Do simple exercises such as toe stretches, calf stretches, and towel stretches several times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning. These can help your ligament become more flexible and strengthen the muscles that support your arch. (For towel stretches, you pull on both ends of a rolled towel that you place under the ball of your foot.) Plantar Fasciitis: Exercises to Relieve Pain.
  • Avoid using only heat on your foot, such as from a heating pad or a heat pack for at least the first 2 or 3 days. Heat tends to make symptoms worse for some people. If you use contrast baths, which alternate hot and cold water, make sure you end with a soak in cold water. If you try a heating pad, use a low setting.

If your weight is putting extra stress on your feet, your doctor may encourage you to try a weight-loss program.

Role of Shockwave therapy:

In my clinical practice of 16 years, I have experienced shockwave therapy as a great technology to enhance our practice in such a way as if it is a blessing in disguise. Shockwave Therapy is a great machine even for manual therapists as it saves their hands and also a lot of your energy and time. This fine and effective way to break adhesions and to reduce extra calcification like bony spur in heels and shoulder etc are a much-needed device in every clinic.

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is the most common reason for heel pain. The efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) as an ideal alternative to conservative treatments and surgery is controversial, and almost all

Pneumatic Shockwave Therapy produce Radial shockwaves. They are called Soft Shockwaves and penetrate deep and effectively without focussing energy at a single point. This is the best and most effective technology used in pain management. Patients feel very comfortable during the treatment and pneumatic shockwaves have much wider range of applications. I have seen many of my patients who have been suffering from chronic Plantar fascitis from several years, recovered well with the help of shockwave therapy. But one needs to know the correct application of technology to get the best results. I have been using Storz Shockwave therapy at physio acti since last 3 years and it has really contributed well to give best and effective treatment to our patients.

My Dear Friends,

Every one of us suffer from some sort of neck and back problem in our life time and then get resolved accordingly.

But there are some individuals who are persistent with some unusual pain and aches throughout their lifetime.

Then they start to live with it as if there is no treatment or cure for it. I have seen many such patients coming to me where I diagnosed it as Myofascial pain syndrome.

MPS is also known as chronic Myofascial pain (CMP), is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain in multiple Myofascial trigger points (knots) and fascial constrictions.

Some characteristic features of Myofascial pain syndrome are as follows:

  • Focal point tenderness
  • Reproduction of pain upon trigger point palpation
  • Hardening of muscle upon trigger point palpation
  • Pseudoweakness of involved muscle
  • Referred pain & limited range of motion following approximately 5 seconds of sustained trigger point pressure.

KEEP IN MIND, WHEN YOU HAVE SUCH SYMPTOMS MEET YOUR PHYSICIAN OR PHYSIOTHERAPIST IMMEDIATELY

TO GET FAST RECOVERY FROM THIS PROBLEM.

The latest techniques and modalities we use to treat such problems are as follows:

  1. Myofacial Release Technique (MFR).
  2. Soft Tissue Release and Muscle Balancing Techniques.
  3. Dry Needling technique.
  4. Stretching and Ecentric Strengthening exercises.
  5. Shockwave Therapy.

Generally, I use a very holistic approach to treat such patients to give them best and effective treatment.

Prevent Back Pain with 8 Easy Steps

Dear friends,

Did you know how you can prevent back pain?

It’s very easy to have control on your body if you can follow basic principles of your body mechanics. In my opinion, human body is the best and most complicated technology in the world. However, you can control and maintain it by working on simple body mechanics habits and modifying your life style.

I would recommend to follow the precautions and do simple back exercises 4-5 days a week in order to prevent from back pain and aches. As you all know prevention is better than cure, it means you should adapt a healthy life style and improve your body mechanics habits without any delay.

There are few basic back precautions you must follow to prevent back pain:

Do’s and Don’ts with Low Back Pain

  • Sit as little as possible and then only for short periods
  • Place a supportive towel roll at the belt line of the back especially when sitting in a car
  • When getting up from sitting, keep the normal curves in your back
  • Move to the front of the seat and stand up by straightening your legs
  • Avoid bending forward at the waist
  • Try to keep the normal curves in your back at all times
  • Do not sit on a low soft couch with a deep seat. It will force you to sit with your hips lower than your knees and will round your back. You will lose the normal curve in your back
  • Do not place your legs straight out in front of you while sitting. (e.g. sitting in the bath tub).

Dear friends,

Happy Ramadan to all of you and hope everyone is following all rules and regulations of lockdown to fight with deadly pandemic covid-19. Today, I thought I must discuss a topic on Tension-type headaches and migraines in eve of current situation where everyone of us are suffering from tremendous anxiety and mental stress and thus resulted in tension – type headaches and migraines. The most common type of headache is a tension-type headache. These are sometimes called stress headaches. A headache is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help. Recent research shows that most headaches are a combination of both tension and migraine. Whether a headache is caused by the muscle tension or the muscle tension results from the headache, treating that muscle tension can provide significant relief from the pain. Tension-type headaches are often due to muscle imbalances in the neck and shoulder muscles. Even though the head is where you feel the pain, the cause is usually a strained muscle in the neck or shoulder area. Many migraine headaches are also caused by muscle imbalances, but some are not. Other factors contributing to a migraine are diet, brain chemical imbalances, lack of water, and hormonal imbalances. Today`s topic, addresses migraines and headaches caused by muscle imbalances. Check with your healthcare provider, as you might have a headache not caused by muscle imbalances or dehydration. Common causes of headaches: Many lifestyle habits can contribute to a headache. The following are some of the most common I have come across in my practice. Poor posture, especially head forward of the body or arms held extended for long periods of time. These postures are typical of driving and computer positions. They put a lot of strain on the neck and shoulder muscles that can lead to a headache. Emotional or mental stress, anxiety, TMJ and/or teeth grinding at night. This kind of stress makes your tight muscles even tighter. Fatigue and/or lack of sleep. Fatigue upsets the chemical balance in the body and can lead to a headache. Dehydration. Lack of water can make your joints and/or muscles ache a lot more and lead to pain in the head. Eyestrain. Eyestrain can cause a headache due to muscle imbalances around the eye. If you wear glasses, make sure your prescription is up to date; if you do not wear glasses, see your eye doctor, as you might need them. Periodically give your eyes a rest. While at the computer, take a break and stare out the window for a few minutes. This shift in attention gives the eye a different focal point and helps to relieve eyestrain. Caffeine withdrawal. When giving up caffeine, always do it slowly. Slowly coming off caffeine and keeping well hydrated can mitigate the effects of withdrawal. Hunger. Low blood sugar can also lead to a headache. Eat a balanced diet at regular intervals to keep the blood sugar even. Do not skip meals. Protein and healthy fat help to keep blood sugar levels more even. Reading in bed with head propped up. This is a common practice that leads to many headaches. This position significantly strains the neck and shoulder muscles. Low or high blood pressure results in headache.

Dear friends,

I know every one of us is going through a huge frustration and uncertainty during this lockdown period. However, we need to be positive and engage ourselves with the right things, which can boost our moral as well as immunity. As far as our immunity is concerned, we need to take good care of right diet and right exercises. Today, I am going to give you some important tips to do exercises in a right way without harming your physical fitness. They are as follows:

  • Muscle imbalance account for 80% of the pain you will experience in your life.
  • Poor posture is a telltale sign of muscle imbalances.
  • Muscle imbalances are caused by overusing certain muscles and underusing others.
  • Muscles that are too long usually feel much tighter than muscles that are too short. Until you can identify the muscles as too short and tight or too long and tight, you will not know what pose to select to correct the imbalance.
  • Muscle imbalances can either be developed or exacerbated by doing the wrong yoga pose, Pilates, or strength training exercise for your current musculoskeletal condition.
  • In general, muscles on the backside of the body are too long, except for the calves. Muscles on the front side of the body are too short.
  • Stretching muscles that are already too long is a common mistake in yoga, gym and other fitness classes.
  • There are five major muscle imbalances you need to identify.
  • Right exercise regimen or right yoga can correct these muscle imbalances in a relatively short time once you learn how to choose correct exercises or poses for your symptoms.
  • Correcting muscle imbalances will give you better posture, more energy and reduce or eliminate many painful conditions.