NW Sports: Pain and Weight Gain

Just a quick check in, how are we doing with our 2018 resolutions to lose weight, get healthy again, and be more active?

If you’re feeling good about it and determined to reach you goal, good work!

For the rest of us, let’s get back on the horse by starting with some ‘knowledge is power’.

First, did you know that your muscles burn fat more quickly than any other thing in your body?

Second, did you know that your brain shrinks when you’re inactive?

Third, did you know that loss of joint movement over time can cause early arthritis and joint pain?

If you made a goal to be healthier and slimmer in 2018, starting to move more is the quickest way to reach your goals.  Here are some of the many benefits to an active lifestyle:

Feel better for it!

o   Feeling blue?  Moving around, especially when you exercise for more than 20 minutes produces ‘feel good’ hormones and naturally occurring happy drugs for your brain.

o   Feeling weak?  Moving regularly builds strength and confidence.

o   Feeling fat?  Moving will help you burn more calories, boost your metabolism, and help burn excess fat.

o   Feeling winded?  Regular movement and exercise helps your heart and lungs feel stronger and improves endurance.

o   Feeling tired?  Getting regular movement helps you sleep better at night making sleep more restful, and boosts energy levels immediately.

o   Feeling pain?  Joint movement is one of the best ways to decrease pain, especially pain from osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis).

o   Other benefits: improves blood sugar, improves some important health markers in blood tests, reduces blood pressure over time, reduces need for many drugs over time, increases strength and balance

What if I have pain when I move?

The best thing to do if you have a pain with any kind of movement is to get a proper assessment from a muscle and joint rehabilitation doctor.  A proper assessment is the most important thing you can do and often determines whether you accomplish your goals.

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation has a new meaning.  It used to mean, ‘something you did after surgery’, but now it has a much more broad approach as, ‘something you do to prevent an injury, resolve a pain, or recover from surgery’.

Rehabilitation is being used by everyone ‘in the know’ about muscle and joint problems.  As a healthy, and active person with no injuries, I can tell you that I do rehabilitation every time I exercise.  I know where my weak points are, and I can use that ‘knowledge as power’ to take more control of my destiny and actively prevent a life changing injury in the future.  It’s brilliant!

Rehabilitation often works best for things like:

Neck pain, low back pain, slipped disc problems, arthritis, knee pain, shoulder pain, rotator cuff problems, tendinitis, pre-surgery, post-surgery, fusion, bursitis…I could go on.

Getting an expert to assess and diagnose your condition, and what rehabilitation would be best for you specifically, is simply the best way to get active if pain is in your way of doing what you want to do.

Some tips and tricks to get you started:

·   Set a timer and get up every time the alarm sounds.  Start with every 60 minutes and work down to every 20 minutes.

·    Movement is better with a buddy.  Find a friend who can not only move more with you, but can also help keep you accountable.  This can be in person, over the phone, over Skype, or by mail if you’re patient.

·    Excess weight puts exponentially more wear and tear on joints.  Make sure you know what your healthy weight would be by speaking to a doctor before you start buying all of Bert’s Red Apple lettuce and celery.

·    Cut out added sugar.  Keep any sugar consumption to fruits and vegetables (yes, there is sugar in vegetables, and reducing your sugar intake can help you taste it better)

·    Commit to something small, and do it every single day.  Doing it daily makes it a habit, and habits add up over time.

·    Drink more water.  5 Gold Stars if you can drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  I.e. You weight 200lbs, then drink 100 oz of water (fluid, kidney or heart problems?  Speak to a doctor first).

Dr. Dan’s main take away points

1.      Being inactive causes weight gain, puts too much wear and tear on joints, and increases pain.

2.      There are too many benefits to list for having an active lifestyle.  Don’t miss out!

3.      Choose the best starting place with a proper assessment by a qualified professional to increase chances of success.

4.      Start small, start daily.

Dr. Dan Michael is a Doctor of Chiropractic at NW Sports Rehab in Madison Park. Contact him at (206) 328-5466 or visit http://www.nwsportsrehab.com/