Eliminating Your Pain: Finding Your CONTROL – ALT – DELETE

control alt delete 28When your computer locks up, what do you do?  The CONTROL – ALT – DELETE key combo is probably your go-to plan to put your computer back in business.  How cool would it be if you could quickly fix your body when unexpectedly pain locks you up?

I’m here to tell you that you can do just that!

Unwelcome Guests

We all get them so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us.  Their disguises may vary while their locations tend to be a bit more consistent.  Meanwhile, they are rarely welcome and we never quite know when they plan on leaving.

Who are these mystery intruders?  They have many name such as aches, stiffness, joint catching, shooting pain, throbbing, spasms, stabbing tendon pain and/or deep-bone pain.  Do any of those different forms of pain sound all too familiar?

Onset of Pain

Some of these mild to moderate pains, although not enjoyable by any means, can be justified based on your history.  An old injury or surgery can add merit to why a joint is stiff or why a muscle is not as strong as its counterpart on the  other side of your body.

But what about the sudden stabbing pain in the front of the shoulder when you reach into the frig to grab the milk or when your kneecap catches as you bend down to pick up your shoes?  An injury is almost understandable when it occurs while you lift a heavy weight or run hard up a hill but “…how can I hurt my damn back just sitting at my desk?!”  Those are the pains that frustrate us; athletes and non-athletes alike.

Injury vs Pain

If you have a legitimate injury, get it checked out by a sports doctor, physical therapist or certified athletic trainer.  These quick fixes I’m about to tell you about don’t pertain to serious injuries.  If you’re dealing with a mild to moderate pain, as noted above, you may be able to eliminated it quickly and effectively.

Delving into a deep sports medicine diagnosing injury lesson is well beyond the scope of this article.  Keeping it simple: If your pain started without involving an accident of any sort, a significant change in your activity level and/or is not accompanied by swelling/redness and/or an increased warmth in the area of pain, you might be able to promptly improve your symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns about your symptoms, see your doctor ASAP and get a firm handle on your injury.

Finding Your CONTROL – ALT – DELETE

When my shoulders hurt, somewhat common after many bike crashes, falls and a shoulder surgery, my Go To Fix-It move is: Pushups.  90% of my shoulder throbbing, stabbing and impingement pain will disappear after a quick set of 25 pushups.  I’m literally smiling as I type this because I love pushups!  They are my shoulder CONTROL – ALT – DELETE solution.

I personally have six (6) of these body pain eliminating routines in my personal toolbox which are awesome quick-fixes for my many orthopedic ailments.  They take no more than 5 minutes to complete and they keep me very active, almost pain-free and, as my wife will agree with, much easier to live with.

My question to you: What are your CONTROL – ALT – DELETE’s?

Tips to Finding Your CONTROL – ALT – DELETE’s

Go With What Works – what have you done in the past that helped you with this type of pain with this joint/body part?  Start with what has worked in the past and work on modifying your technique to improve it’s effectiveness and prolong its benefits.

Stop Looking for the Why – When in pain, the WHY is far less important than the HOW.  Eliminate your pain now and worry about your selfie-in-pain FB picture later.

Bilateral Movements – Your body likes balance.  Doing bilateral (both sides of your body) movements like twists, double arm stretches, bike riding, arm circles and crunches are typically the best moves to start with.

Slow Movements & Deep Breaths – Unless you’re a chiropractor, keep all you movements slow and methodical.  Slow and deep breathing relaxes your body and allows you to listen to the message your body is sending to you, be them good or bad.  Remember, you’re trying to “reset” your body to be balanced and pain-free so allowing for ample time in these new positions is crucial.

Posture, Posture, Posture – Poor posture is a very common source of pain in adults.  Viewing front, side and back photos of you standing and sitting will quickly show visual cues to problem areas in your body.  Focus on stretching stronger/short muscles and strengthening weaker/longer muscles.  Head and neck posture is a common problem in our sit-friendly society.

Examples of Simple Pain Eliminating Solutions

Shoulder Pain – Pushups, door stretches, resisted external rotations, ice massage, thumb-up dumbbell side raises, pool water movements, and seated rows.

Low Back Pain – Crunches, hamstring stretches, laying on hard floor with pillows under knees, hip flexor stretches, bike riding, groin stretches, rolling tennis ball into front/side of hip, Yoga downdog stretches and double arm pull-up bar hangs.

Knee Pain – Roller on front/side of quads, quad stretches, controlled quad strengthening, ice massage, hamstring stretches, massaging and mobilizing kneecap, hip flexor stretches, wall sits, Yoga downdog stretches and bike riding.

Ankle Pain/Heel Pain – Yoga down dog stretches, barefoot walking on soft surfaces, arch & calf massage, ice massage, duck walks on grass on heels only, resisted ankle motion: outward and upward, eliminate shoes with moderate to high heels, picking up marbles/rocks with toes and a heel lift if legs are not equal length.

Key Point to Remember

Your body does not want to be in pain.  Your objective for this endeavor is to put your symptomatic body part(s) in a position which is pain-free and strong to allow your body and mind to reprogram all your associated muscles, tendons, joint capsules and fascia to maintain this “happy place” allowing you to move with less resistance and less pain. Period.

I know this concept sounds very different from the all too common; “medicate to reduce pain” philosophy.  Personally, my physical therapy motto is simple:  Trust your body to know what it needs to do its job!

Being active and healthy is NOT a passive process.   There’s no better time than now to get busy eliminating your pain so you can get busy living.

Upcoming Sports Medicine Tips!

Sports medicine logo 27I stopped by Home Depot on the way home from work last night.  This time of the year in the NFL, I have to do most of my home project shopping at night.  I ran into a friend of mine who was in obvious pain.  He had low back pain that was hurting him 24/7.  He asked for my help to decrease his lumbar pain.

I showed with him 2 quick sports medicine tips while standing in the “Electrical Supply” section of Home Depot.  The first tip was to increase his pain-free low back range of motion and the second low back technique is specifically designed to decrease his lumbar pain.  Bill’s pain quickly decreased “a ton” and he gratefully thank me.  It’s always very satisfying to me to help those in pain regain their lives back!

My friend Bill called me early the next morning enthusiastically bragging about how much better he felt.  This is the best part of my job, when I see someone healthy and happy after being so debilitated.  All it took was about 5 minutes of my time to share simple sports medicine techniques that my staff and I use each and every day with our NFL players.

“I knew you were good at what you do, Mike” he said respectfully, “but I was truly amazed how simple your techniques were and how quickly I felt 70% better”.  He went on to say: “You need to tell more people about your physical therapy tricks like I did last night to help them to get better like that” he said snapping his fingers.

I receive about 3-5 sports medicine questions a day from friends, coworkers, friends of friends,…etc via phone, in person, text or email.  I view it as an honor that so many trust my medical opinion and I love helping their efforts to be healthy again.  It takes little time yet the rewards for both sides of the problem are huge.  That’s always been my motivation to create and build MikeRyanFitness.com.

What Am I Going to Do About It?

My friend was right.  I need to expand my Personal Mission Statement: To Enhance the Health of Others by going SMALL.

Starting today, I will be Tweeting and posting on my FaceBook page short and effective sports medicine tips.  These Tweets will obviously be 140 characters or less so they will be simple and to the point to help you get back to being an athlete again ASAP.  I’m excited to share with you quick weekly #SportsMedTip that are designed in the MikeRyanFitness manner:  They are easy to understand,  simple to apply & provide fast result!

I Need Your Help

My goal is to positive influence 2,000,000 people by the end of 2013.  If you like my sports medicine posts and you think they can help others, please take a couple of minutes to share them with others.  By doing so, you’re helping me to help others.

Please keep the questions and comments coming.  The feedback from you the moms and the dads, the athletes young and old, the runners and the basketball players,…etc that help me to provide you the type of sports medicine advice to keep you in the game.

Thank you!     MDR