Tag Archives: Recovery

Improve Your Sleep

Do you ever wake up from a night of sleep or a quarantine nap and swear your body secretly did a super intense workout? A lot of factors can contribute to your quality of sleep, but one somewhat simple solution could be due to your sleep position. Now of course, altering your position won’t help you fall asleep quicker or ensure a deeper sleep, but it will help your body feel better in the AM.

 

You’re probably wondering “what is this magical sleep position”? You might also be wondering how am I supposed to monitor this if I am asleep? The good news is that however you choose to sleep right now might be okay with only small adjustments. The bad news is that you can’t watch, you’ll have to pay someone to stay awake and splash water on you every time you move. Just kidding, thankfully.

 

So, here is the simple answer. The spine needs to remain neutral and what that means is that all three curves of your spine need to be aligned. This includes your cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), and lumbar (low back hip area). With that said this does eliminate certain positions but still leaves you with probably your most favorite. Here’s a breakdown of a few tips:

 

Sleeping on your side: This position is one of the most popular and while it is good for pregnant women, it’s still a valid option for others as well.

 

The downfall: your upper leg will stay in hip adduction and internal rotation pulling the lumbar spine. Your bottom arm may also become numb which can lead to impingement. If sleeping on your side with your knees also bent in fetal it can cause shortened hip flexors which can affect the position of the pelvis.

 

The fix: place a pillow between your knees to prevent your top leg from pulling on your spine. A little bit trickier considering you are asleep, but try to rotate sides throughout the night or at least every night to avoid the same arm being on the bottom. Finally, stay on your side if you’d like, but try to keep your legs straight rather than bent.

 

Sleeping on your stomach: Also a comfortable position and may help ease snoring.

 

The downfall: Your head may be turned for breathing, your arm may be overhead, and the cervical and lumbar spine may be more elevated than the thoracic.

 

The fix: Sleep with your face flat down on a pillow by placing your forehead on the pillow allowing you to still breathe but better align your spine. You can also add a pillow under your stomach to raise that to a neutral position. It would also be beneficial to keep your arms by your side.

 

Sleeping on your back: The position commonly known as “the best”, but it still has its own advantages and disadvantages.

 

The downfall: It may aggravate low back pain or sleep apnea. Pregnant women should also avoid this position, at least towards the end. The positive side is that your spine is in a neutral position. There is not necessarily a fix given your spine is already neutral; however, if you suffer from sleep apnea or low back pain it may not be the best choice. When it is all said and done, the most important factor to keep in mind is that your spine remains neutral, no matter the sleep position you choose. It’s a nice treat to know that you still have the ability to choose a favorite way to sleep while also helping you feel much better when you wake. So, grab a few extra pillows and play around with the way you sleep. Your AM self will thank you. 🙂

 

 

Salutations Sultans and Sultanas of Swing.

Today we are going to play a game to help us understand and know the difference between Sprains, Strains & Tears on this episode of Know…Your..Lingo! (Audience participation and applause)

 

Let me lay down the terms and facts about them first. You will be tested on this so bust out your writing utensils, be it quil, dip pens, ballpoint or #2, and paper, parchment, or clay tablets and toss that thinking cap on, even you back there Billy!

 

Sprains go down when a joint (ankle, knee, wrist, shoulder, ect) is forced into an awkward or unnatural position. Sprains are the overstretching or tearing of ligaments. Think of a ligament as a fibrous connective tissue in the body that connects bone to bone to help stabilize them together. A scenario this could happen is when you are walking on an uneven surface and then your ankle turns/twists one way. People often say twist when they refer to sprains.

 

Strains materialize from repetitive movements over a long period of time or from a single incident, where overstretching or tearing of the muscle or tendon occurs. Muscles and tendons are fibers that connect muscles to bones. A chronic strain would be from repetitive movements overtime whereas an acute strain is a single instantaneous stretch or tear. A scenario this could happen is when you are picking up a heavier box from the floor and feel a “pull” in your lower back. People often say pull when they refer to strains.

 

Tears stumble into existence from the ripping of ligaments, muscles or tendons from related actions that would cause those fibers to overstretch and is far  more serious and could take months to heal. Tears could mean surgery or rehabilitation depending on the severity. You may see a tear happen in sports, one of the most know tears would be at the knee more commonly thought of as an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear.

 

Fill in the blank Test.

(Sprain Strain Tear)

Select the correct term above to fill in the blank. 

 

1. Todd was frolicking down Penn ave listening to Hatebreed when he awkwardly stepped in a pothole and _______ his ankle.

 

2. Big Curt has been throwing fast balls all season for UF’s baseball team, but after throwing the game winning pitch in extra innings he felt a pulling sensation in his shoulder muscles. Big Curt believes he _______ his shoulder.

 

3. During the Wizard’s Powerful class one of the members crushes a lift and hits a new PR. Upon celebration the Wizard performs his special PR dance and then magically goes down gripping his knee. Upon further review is appears the Wizard has suffered a ________ at the Knee

 

4. When Sky’s favorite gym reopened (UF) she was thrilled to go train. So elated, that she jumped on the deadlift platform, loaded the bar to 500lbs and gave it the old fashioned college try. About halfway up on the lift she feels her low back get tight and drops the bar. The crowd grumbles and rumbles, saying she must have ______ her low back.

 

5. Mr. Rogers was leaving his television station WQED on a cold Pittsburgh winter day. As he was walking down the stair he slipped on some slippy ice and caught his fall by extending his arms and landing on his writs. He felt like his wrist was jammed or twisted and said “Awe shucks I ______ my wrist.” He immediately healed because he is Mr. Rogers.

 

Thank you for learning and playing on today’s episode of “Know Your Lingo”. Tune in soon for more fun and as always Stay Bumpy my friends.

Cheers,

-CeJ

Answers: 1) Sprain 2) Strain 3) Tear 4) Strain 5) Sprain

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Gone are the days where massages are only available in luxury spas, resorts, and in NFL locker rooms. Many people are realizing the benefits of massage therapy for not only athletes, but for everyone! According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage acts to improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus, and shorten recovery time. In a 2016 AMTA consumer survey, 78% of individuals surveyed claimed their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 months was medical (50%) or stress (28%) related. Perceptions on the reasons for massages are also changing. 71% of consumers agree that massage therapy should be considered a form of healthcare, not just a pampering perk for the rich and famous.

Sore from one of our classes? Good, you should be! Thanks to the benefits of massages on the muscular system, your body can actually recover faster. Massage affects the cardiovascular system by dilating blood vessels helping them work more efficiently to boost circulation, resulting in an increased flow of fresh oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your muscle tissue. This helps relieve tension and reduces soreness.

Studies show that massages are an effective treatment for reducing stress. Massages reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in lower blood pressure. Regular massages can help you manage anxieties and stress allowing for relaxing me time. According to the annual stress survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association: 25% of Americans surveyed experience high levels of stress. 50% of Americans surveyed report moderate levels of stress. That means that 75% of the individuals surveyed are chronically stressed out!

Insomnia knocking on your door? Believe it or not, massages can actually improve sleep. Studies have found a link between massages and healthy sleep. The common denominator? Delta waves. Delta waves are the brain waves connected to deep sleep. Massages increase delta waves, helping you to relax and fall asleep, without having to count sheep.

Did you know that Union Fitness has a massage room with a trained professional on staff? Marco Rigazio MS, LMT has been in the health and fitness industry for over 30 years! Marco has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from California University and is a licensed massage therapist with a special interest in neuromuscular therapy, deep tissue, and Swedish massage. Working with chiropractors and physical therapists, corrective exercise and tissue therapy has been a mainstay for the last 6 years.

Give us a call or send us an email to schedule a massage with Marco!

Sources:

http://www.apa.org/, www.amtamassage.org, www.livestrong.com, www.nccih.nih.gov, www.time.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.healthfitnessmag.com, www.cnn.com