If you are experiencing arthritic symptoms in your thumb, you are in good company. Joint pain in the thumb is a very common problem and is considered to be second in prevalence only to arthritis in the knee. But, what is arthritis, really? Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints – the places where 2 bones meet. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic, autoimmune condition that generally affects all the joints in the body. Osteoarthritis, on which this article focuses, typically affects individual joints and is much more common. Arthritic symptoms can include joint pain, stiffness, locking and immobility, as well as swelling, tenderness, weakness and joint redness.
Basketball is one of my favorite topics and even more so when the Golden State Warriors are crushing it in the play-offs. This post, however, is not about the glory of victory, but about the pain of defeat for the Warrior’s head coach, Steve Kerr.
In June 2015, Kerr underwent surgery to remedy lower back pain. Just 3 months later he had a second surgery to deal with complications from the first. Now, a year and a half later, Kerr’s situation is worse than ever. Along with constant lower back pain, he continues to suffer from severe headaches, nausea and other debilitating symptoms resulting from a medical error, which occurred during that initial surgery. read more…
A great amount of interest has been paid to “A Fix for Turf Toe”, which was posted in this blog one year ago. Since that time, hundreds of athletes have emailed me seeking help with this problem. Many parents have reached out with concerns about a child athlete’s turf toe. While many inquiries have been from football players, I was surprised to receive numerous emails from athletes in basketball, tennis, soccer and track & field as well. At the time of inquiry, some of the injuries were fresh, which is my favorite point of entry, but many others were chronic. For those long lasting cases, most of the athletes had tried conventional treatment methods with little success. So, with Super Bowl #51 in mind, I have penned this sequel, to give you more information about my revolutionary treatment protocol.
These days between Christmas and the New Year allow us a unique perspective into both the year behind and the one ahead. It is a wonderful time to look back at our successes, and failures, our joys and sorrows and our relationships, both good and not-so-good, and consider what we want to build on, what needs to change and what we want to let go of. In looking back, I like to ask myself these questions about the previous year:
How did I treat others? How did I treat myself?
Did I eat well? Sleep well? Manage my stress and time effectively?
Was I able to honor my commitments? Did my brilliant plans turn out brilliant? read more…
I continue to receive many emails from high school, college and professional athletes asking for help with turf toe. Early detection and treatment make a big difference in these cases and it can completely change the course of the injury. Utilizing an effective treatment protocol also has a huge impact, as I will illustrate with the following examples.
One athlete who contacted me had his turf toe aggravated for over 6 weeks without relief. He eventually decided on surgery. This was after a month and a half of wearing a boot and immobilizing the toe joint. The surgery was successful, according to the doctors, but unfortunately, his toe is still in pain all the time. He is currently considering whether or not to have another surgery. Meanwhile he is implementing my technique of taping and self- treatment and is improving.
The nervous system (NS) is the most sensitive of all the body’s physiological functions. It is also the least understood. Comprised of the brain and spinal chord, along with all the peripheral nerves and neurons that originate in the spine, the nervous system is powered by electrical impulses. Unlike the digestive, circulatory or respiratory systems, which involve the predictable exchange of solids, fluids and gases, the electrical impulses propelling the NS are less structured and more subtle.
The bulk of the NS operates on autopilot. It is called the Autonomic Nervous System and controls all other physiologic functions and their respective organs and glands. The voluntary, or Somatic Nervous System controls our musculature and is under our conscious command. In this blog we will focus mainly on the Autonomic Nervous System, that which is “automatic” and not typically under conscious control.
The Autonomic Nervous System is made up of two components, which act opposite to each other. The “Rest and Digest” system, commonly known as the parasympathic nervous system (PSN) counteracts the “Fight of Flight” system, otherwise known as the sympathic nervous system (SNS). Together these 2 systems help regulate the other involuntary systems in the body such as digestion, respiration, circulation and the like. read more…
Headaches, neck pain and shoulder discomfort frequently arise from a common source; improper placement of the scapula or shoulder blades. Our previous blog described the impact of scapula placement on the brachial plexus and explained how an elevated scapula creates tension and stress in the human system. Now, finally, as promised, this article will detail self-care techniques to resolve these issues.
At Dorfman Kinesiology we utilize 3 main tools to help patients feel better forever. The first is biomechanic adjustment. With regard to the scapula, improper placement is common, yet making the correct adjustment is easy. Simply bring the shoulder blades down and back. This movement will facilitate an opening in the chest. Find that opening. This is the best position for the scapula bones. And it makes an immediate difference by removing pressure on the brachial plexus, which is a bundle of nerves located in between the neck and the shoulders. These nerves branch out through the arms to each hand, as well as up into the neck and head. Pressure on the nerve leads to tension and discomfort where ever that nerve leads. Removing the pressure allows the tension to naturally subside. read more…
As you begin to read this article mentally check out your shoulders. Are one or both elevated toward your ears? If so, release them. Push the outside tops of the shoulder blades down and back while moving the bottom tips in and towards each other. This movement will facilitate an opening in the chest. Find that opening. This is the best position for the scapula bones (aka shoulder blades). And it makes a difference.
In considering a person’s “wellness” we look at both their anatomy and physiology. Anatomy includes the hardscape of an individual’s body: the skeletal and muscular systems. Then there is the softer structure, the joints, fluid spaces, and disks, which comprise a person’s physiology. This is the realm of swelling, digestion, circulation and other processes in the body that involve fluid. The smooth muscles/organs, such as the heart, stomach, liver and lungs, are all part of our physiology.
What we often forgot in our quest for wellness is that our anatomy and physiology are created by the food we eat. They are storehouses for nutrients. And they transport material, both good and bad. In this way there is a direct correlation between what we eat and how well our anatomy and physiology function on a daily basis and over time.
Over the years I have found that eating good quality food is more important than exercise. This may sound odd coming from a kinesiologist who has spent a lifetime working with movement, but it’s true. If I’m giving my body the essential nutrients it needs to operate at an optimum then I am dealing with less by-products of the stress of the system. These by-products negatively impact the quality of digestion, respiration, circulation and other physiological processes. And these effects are cumulative.
On average, a person walks about 115,000 miles in his or her lifetime, roughly equal to four trips around the Earth! (According to the American Podiatric Medical Association). So, since we are walking (a lot) anyway it makes good sense to refine our gait to optimize its affect on our health and wellness. If walking influences our physiology and anatomy in a positive direction, that repetition adds up. It’s cumulative. And likewise, it can go in the other direction.
In the last article we identified the tendency for individuals to elevate the hip/pelvic girdle while walking. This up and down movement is being initiated by the side or lateral muscles. Now we will look at gait movement from the front-to-back. read more…