Why Your Sleeping Position May Be Causing Headaches
A Sleeping position that has your head tilted puts pressure on your spinal cord and will cause headaches. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times, and the reasoning is so logical it’s easy to understand.
Your spinal cord runs from your brain, through each of your vertebrae, down your arms and legs. Nerves pass out of the vertebrae and go every cell in your body, including each of your organs. When you are sleeping it is important to keep your head, neck, and spine in a horizontal plane. so you aren’t straining the muscles that insert into your vertebrae.
The graphic above is a close-up of your skull and the cervical (neck) vertebrae. Your nerves are shown in yellow, and your artery is shown in red. Consider what happens if you hold your head to one side for hours. You can notice that the nerves and artery will likely be press upon. Also, since your spinal cord comes down the inside of the vertebrae, it will also be impinged.
In 2004 the Archives of Internal Medicine published an article stating that 1 out of 13 people have morning headaches. It’s interesting to note that the article never mentions the spinal cord being impinged by the vertebrae. That’s a major oversight!
Muscles merge into tendons, and the tendons insert into the bone. As you stayed in the tilted position for hours, the muscles actually shorten to the new length. Then you try to turn over, but the short muscles are holding your cervical tightly, and they can’t lengthen.
The weight of your head pulls on the vertebrae, putting even more pressure onto your spinal cord and nerves. Plus, the tight muscles are pulling on the bones, causing pain on the bone.
Your Pillow is Involved in Your Sleeping Position and Headaches
The analogy I always use is; just as pulling your hair hurts your scalp, the muscle pulling on the tendons hurts the bone where it inserts. In this case it is your neck muscles putting a strain on your cervical bones.
For example, If you sleep on your left side and your pillow is too thick your head will be tilted up toward the ceiling. This position tightens the muscles on the right side of your neck.
Dozing off while sitting in a car waiting for someone to arrive, or while working for hours at your desk. The pictures above show a strain on the neck by falling asleep without any support on your neck. Both of these people will wake up with a headache, and with stiffness in their neck.
The best sleeping position to prevent headaches is to have your pillow adjusted so your head, neck, and spine are in a horizontal line. Play with your pillows, putting two thin pillows into one case if necessary. If your pillow is too thick try to open up a corner and pull out some of the stuffing.
Sleeping on Your Back
If you sleep on your back and have your head on the mattress, your spine is straight. All you need is a little neck pillow for support, and a pillow under your knees.
Stomach sleeping is the worst sleeping position for not only headaches, but so many other aches and pains. It’s a tough habit to break, but it can be done. This sleeping position deserves its own blog, which I will do in the future.
Treating the Muscles That Cause Headaches
All of the muscles that originate or insert into your cervical vertebrae, and many that insert into your shoulder and upper back, need to be treated. The treatments are all taught in Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living, in the neck and shoulder chapters. Here is one treatment that will help you get relief…
Take either a tennis ball, or the Perfect Ball (which really is Perfect because it has a solid center and soft outside) and press into your shoulder as shown. You are treating a muscle called Levator Scapulae which pulls your vertebrae out of alignment when it is tight.
Hold the press for about 30 seconds, release, and then press again.
Your pillow is a key to neck pain and headaches caused by your sleeping position. It’s worth the time and energy to investigate how you sleep, and correct your pillow. I believe this blog will help you find the solution and will insure you have restful sleep each night.
Wishing you well,
Frozen Shoulder and Pain
Frozen shoulder is a very complicated condition that can last for a very long time. Recently I’ve had a client coming to me for relief of a very painful shoulder problem. “Mary” is suffering from “Frozen Shoulder.” It doesn’t sound so bad, yet the simple diagnosis hides the fact that this condition causes more than just pain. Mary’s shoulder joint was so tight that she had minimal movement in any direction, and sleeping was a nightmare! Regardless of which way she slept the ache would wake her several times a night, often in tears from pain.
Physical therapy wasn’t helping at all. Her frozen shoulder kept getting worse. The only relief she had was by taking strong pain-killing drugs. The all-too-real fear of opioid addiction caused her to only take the drugs when the pain was unbearable. She is a hairstylist so this situation was having a very negative effect on her income and future. On a more personal note, it certainly wasn’t helping her intimate relationship with her husband. She was getting frantic for a solution.
The client of a co-worker had come to my office when she was in pain, and she gave Mary my card. That was the beginning of a long journey to relief. Fortunately, it was a journey that is helping her more than she’d ever imagined possible.
Frozen Shoulder – The Cause
Your shoulder has more muscle attachments than any other joint in your body.
Several muscles don’t attach right into your shoulder joint. As each muscle pulls on your arm or shoulder blade, your shoulder moves.
This is the reason that your shoulder and arm can move in so many directions. More than 15 muscles need to all work together to enable you to have a full range-of-motion with your shoulder and arms.
Frozen shoulder is caused by several, or many, of these muscles all being held taut because of multiple spasms. When one muscle contracts, another must lengthen to allow for the contraction. For example, consider how your shoulder moves when you play a sport. While swimming the muscles of your chest are pulling your shoulders/arms forward, and your back muscles need to lengthen. And, when you want to reach back to take a tennis swing, the muscles of your chest must lengthen. Or, when you want to lift your arm up to hit a volleyball , the muscles that bring your arm down must lengthen. Then you reach down to pick up the ball, the muscles on top of your shoulder must lengthen. It’s always a matter of opposing muscles both needing to do their part in order for you to move your shoulder and arm.
Frozen Shoulder – The Treatment
Actually there are too many treatments to do into detail here. If you have been receiving Pain-Free Living for some time, you have many of the treatments in previous blogs.
Basically, if you have stiffness in your shoulder you need to look at the movements you can’t make. Next, look to see which muscle needs to be lengthening in order to make that movement. This is the muscle that needs to be treated to start to release your frozen shoulder.
One treatment you can do is for your infraspinatus muscle. This is the muscle that pulls your arm back.
Put a ball on the belly of the muscle, which is at the center of your shoulder blade, and apply pressure. Hold the pressure for about a minute, release for 5 seconds, and repeat. Do this several times and then stretch that muscle.
To help people eliminate pain and stretch safely I created a program called Focus Flexibility Training. This DVD program shows you how to treat all of the muscles of your shoulder, and a whole lot more. When it comes to Frozen Shoulder, you’ll ultimately need to treat most, if not all of your shoulder muscles. It’s not a fast treatment, but it does work!
Wishing you well,
Short Leg Syndrome is a condition where one leg is shorter than the other This leg length discrepancy frequent causes a long of aches and pains. from the neck to the feet. However, is your leg actually shorter, or is it just pulled up into your pelvis and appearing to be shorter?
You need to have x-rays and measure the bones to prove that they are different lengths. If the bones prove to be the same length then muscles are causing the short leg syndrome symptoms.
I received a message from a concerned father about his son, a dedicated teenage athlete. His son plays sports despite the pain in his tight hamstrings and having short leg syndrome . His message read:
My son has been suffering from tight hamstrings from the age of about 12. He played on regardless as he was a exceptional player and the team needed him. He was told by a physio to do stretching for his hamstrings but it has persisted. We have noticed that one leg is shorter. He now plays football and does boxing and is very fit, but he is suffering very tight and sore hamstrings. The pain is lower on left and high near to the Gluteus Maximus on the right leg.
Why Muscles Can Cause Short Leg Syndrome
Short leg syndrome commonly happens when the muscles that insert into the top of the thigh bone (femur) become tight. When the muscles go into a spasm (knot) or a contraction (shorten) they pull UP on the bone.
In the case of the psoas and iliacus muscles, they will be pulling the thigh bone up toward the pelvis.
The tension in these two muscles not only cause short leg syndrome but a list of other conditions. You may also have a pelvis rotation which causes overstretched hamstrings, sciatica, groin pain, knee pain, and low back pain.
It gets complicated because the pelvis rotation causes one of the thigh muscles to shorten pulling your pelvis DOWN in the front. While all this is happening your thigh bone is being pulled UP, giving the symptoms of short leg syndrome.
Meanwhile, muscles in the back of your body are having to compensate for the pelvis rotation. Which brings me to the gluteus maximus, the thick and strong muscle of your butt. This muscle also inserts into the top of your thigh bone. When the gluteus maximus is tight it pulls up on the thigh bone, drawing it toward your pelvis. Another cause for the appearance of short leg syndrome.
The three gluteal muscles all insert into the top of your thigh bone and pull it up toward the pelvis.
This action is required in order to walk. However, when any of the muscles are in spasm they pull your thigh bone toward the pelvis.
The last muscle we’ll discuss that causes the symptoms of short leg syndrome is the tensor fascia lata. This muscle goes from the outside of your pelvis and inserts into the top of your thigh bone. The tendon, called the iliotibial band (ITB), continues down and inserts into the outside of your knee.
Since the tensor fascia lata inserts into the top of your thigh bone it can cause short leg syndrome.
The tensor fascia lata muscle merges into your ITB and inserts into your knee. When it is shortened by a spasm you will feel tight along the outside of your thigh. Many people complain about a tight ITB and rub their leg, but it’s really the tensor fascia lata muscle that is in spasm.
Your tensor fascia lata muscle needs to be released to stop knee pain, hip pain, and short leg syndrome.
Are the Hamstrings Involved in Short Leg Syndrome?
No, not really, although the pelvis rotation is involved in hamstring pain. As your pelvis is going down in the front, and up in the back, it will cause your hamstrings to overstretch.
It is easy to imagine what would happen if the hamstrings were being overstretched. Pain is felt at the top of the muscle, along the bone, and also behind the knee.
Stretching, or treating the spasms that are common in hamstrings, would be a potential cause for further injury.
The hamstrings should always be treated last to prevent the muscle fibers from stretching further.
An Easy Treatment for Short Leg Syndrome
As I mentioned, there are many muscles involved in short leg syndrome. For the sake of time and length, this blog will only support one treatment. However this treatment is important and it will give benefits to other problems, including short leg syndrome.
An easy self-treatment is to lie on a ball. You can also do this standing up and leaning into a wall.
In my book Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living teach how to treat all of the muscles involved in short leg syndrome.
Short leg syndrome is a term to describe the problem, but the source of the pain is often overlooked. It will benefit you to explore the muscle involvement before you opt for expensive orthotics or medical treatments.
Wishing you well,
Shoulder Joint Pain and Sports:
Shoulder joint pain was preventing a father from throwing a baseball to his son and he was very distressed. He was complaining to a friend of his, who is a client of mine. Even though he had been recommended to go for surgery, his friend convinced him to give muscle therapy a chance. So yesterday “Frank” came in to see me.
He demonstrated throwing a ball, but he could barely lift his arm, and he definitely couldn’t bring it back. He said that his time with his son is precious to him, and that their favorite pastime is throwing a baseball. If I could just help him do that he would be happy.
Why Muscles Cause Shoulder Joint Pain
Your shoulder has more muscle attachments than any other joint in your body. A muscle pulls in only one direction, muscles never push. When you consider all the movements you can make with your shoulder and arm, you can see why there are so many muscles involved.
The important fact is when a muscle is shortened from spasms, it will cause pain at the insertion point on the bone at the shoulder joint.
The reason is evident when you consider an analogy I frequently use to describe joint pain. If you pull your hair at the end, it hurts at your scalp. However, you don’t need to massage your scalp, you don’t need to take aspirin for the headache, and you definitely don’t need brain surgery! You just need to let go of your hair!
The exact same thing is true to stop your shoulder joint pain. You just need to let go of the tight muscles that insert into your shoulder.
The Muscles That Cause Shoulder Joint Pain
Perhaps you’ve heard of the rotator cuff muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. However, my experience has proven that there are a lot of other muscles that aren’t considered shoulder muscles, but that will cause shoulder joint pain. Those muscles are your biceps and triceps, your levator scapulae, and your latissimus dorsi (among others).
While not rotator cuff muscles, your biceps and triceps both originate deep within your shoulder joint. The other two muscles will move your shoulder blade (scapula). When they are in spasm, which shortens the muscle fibers, it will cause a strain to be placed on the muscle tendon, which will then cause a strain, and pain, on your shoulder joint.
How to Release Shoulder Joint Pain
There are so many muscles involved in shoulder joint pain that I couldn’t show all of them here, that’s why I wrote Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living.
However, I do want to show you how to do one treatment, for your infraspinatus muscle.
But first, back to “Frank.” I treated each of the muscles mentioned, and then using Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living, I showed him how to treat each of the muscles of his shoulder. He was thrilled! He could easily, and painlessly, throw a baseball. In fact, he went outside and tried it just to make sure.
The key is self-treatment. Muscles will again shorten up until you train them to be their normal, longer, length. You can’t go to a therapist as often as necessary to make the muscles return to their proper length. However, you can treat yourself every day! That’s how you really stay flexible and pain-free — frequent self-treatment.
An Easy Treatment for Shoulder Joint Pain
The following pictures are from Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living
Step 1: To treat your left infraspinatus, put the Perfect Ball in your right hand and bring it under your arm, going back as far as you can so you are on top of your infraspinatus muscle.
Step 2: Lean into a wall. Find the “hot spot” (the spasm). You’ll know you’re on it because it will hurt.
Step 3: Stay still for 30-60 seconds, then move a little bit to roll the ball back and forth on the muscle.
Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living will explain this further, and will give you pictures and descriptions of how to self-treat the other muscles that cause shoulder joint pain.
It just takes a little bit of direction and effort to learn how to self-treat. But, I’ve seen so many times that you CAN stop shoulder joint pain!
Wishing you well,
Side stitch pain feels like a pin is being pushed into the muscle between your ribs – and it hurts! In fact, it’s enough to make you stop running if you’re out exercising. Or you’ll take very shallow breaths if your suddenly attacked by a side stitch pain.
The most common cause of side stitch pain is a spasm in your intercostal muscles, the tiny muscles that attach your ribs together.
When you take a breath in, your external intercostal muscles contract to make your rib cage expand, and your internal intercostal muscles contract so you can draw your ribs together and force the air out of your lungs. This is a smooth movement, until you add something like heavy coughing, or rapid, deep breathing.
If, for example, you are having an allergic reaction to leaves molding in the fall, or you have bronchitis or a post-nasal drip, you may have bouts of uncontrolled coughing.
Or, if you are an athlete you may be panting after a challenging workout or run.
In both cases you are rapidly opening and closing your rib cage as your body quickly draws in more air into your lungs. This rapid and repetitive movement can cause a spasm to form in your intercostal muscles. The spasm, a tiny knot in the muscle fibers, prevents those fibers from expanding as you try to draw in your breath. And you feel the muscle tension as a side stitch pain.
1.Using your fingertips, press directly into the side stitch pain point. Use you opposite hand to add strength to your movement.
2. Hold the point for 30 seconds and then take a slow, deep, breath so your rib cage expands fully.
Repeat this 2-3 times.
This simple treatment stops side stitch pain as soon as it happens so you can get back to breathing easily again. It’s easy to self-treat when you have just a little direction of where to go to find the pain, and how to do a self-treatment.
You can discover how to eliminate pain quickly using my book, Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living This book is a “how to guide” to the body, and will save you time and money, and most importantly, give you relief!
Wishing you well,
Julie Donnelly – The Pain-Relief Expert
Powerful Thigh Muscles Provide Sculling Strength and Speed in Olympics 2016
By Julie Donnelly, The Pain-Relief Expert
Powerful Thigh muscles are a key to providing sculling strength. While exercise is vital, so is releasing the tension that forms in muscle fibers during exercise. The recent 2016 Olympic games demonstrated strength and power in many of the sports, including one of my favorite sports, sculling. Sculling exercises the entire body, especially the quadriceps – the thigh muscles.
Congratulations to USA Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls competitors Andrew Campbell, Jr. and Josh Konieczny!
Watching the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls competition (2:17:06) at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, it was clear that powerful thigh muscles are required to provide sculling strength and speed.
Sculling is a sport that uses every major muscle in the body and demonstrates the body at its finest. As an American, I cheered loudly as the sculls were gliding through the water. Having had the honor of treating the USA team during their training season, I could really appreciate the strong and powerful thigh muscles that brought Andrew and Josh to Brazil.
After winning over stiff competition in the USA, and having amazing times worldwide, Andrew and Josh raced to 5th place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. This is an incredible feat and they should be proud of their accomplishment.
I also want to congratulate the athletes from France (Gold), Ireland (Silver) and Norway (Bronze) for their accomplishment! It was a tight race, and each athlete was a joy to watch – especially since I’m a muscular therapist. I really am amazed to watch an athletes muscles, particularly their thigh muscles, working with so much power.
How to Release Tension and Increase Strength
I’ve been teaching athletes how to do the Julstro Self-Treatments since 1997, and this simple treatment is great for releasing tension in your thigh muscles.
Spasms in your thigh will cause a long list of problems, including hip pain, low back pain, groin pain, sciatica, and knee pain. Plus it decreases your strength as you straighten your leg. Obviously this is can be a problem for athletes who need all the strength they can muster.
To release the spasms that can inhibit strength and power in the thigh muscles, you can simply use a length of PVC pipe and press down on your thigh. Slide (don’t roll) from the top of your thigh to just above your knee joint. It will force the metabolic waste (hydrogen ions) out of the muscle fibers, and blood will be drawn into the muscle.
The race was exciting, and I hope that it helped to encourage young athletes to take up the sport of sculling, and to exercise to have strong shoulders and arms, and powerful thigh muscles.
If you love sculling, or any sport that requires strength and power, it takes more than just exercise to get in peak performance shape. You will benefit by also releasing the tension in muscles so they are flexible and have full range-of-motion. I’ll be happy to help you!
Wishing you well,
Sculling Photo Credit: Getty Images
Carpal Tunnel Treatment for Common Symptoms is Part 2 of my previous blog: Muscles Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms. Technology is wonderful, but it has its limitations. I couldn’t use the same name twice (Search Engines consider that SPAM), even with “Part 2” added.
We’ve discussed the muscles and nerves in your neck, chest, and upper arm, and how they will impinge on the median nerve and refer burning and tingling into your wrist and hand. The muscles we’re discussing in this blog not only will cause burning and tingling, but will also cause pain in your wrist and hand. Plus, these muscles will put a strain on your carpal tunnel and will impinge on the nerve as it travels through your carpal tunnel. Fortunately a simple treatment will release the tight muscles and take the pressure off the nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment: Forearm and Hand
The muscles on the top of your arm (B) are called the Extensors.
Your extensors originate at your elbow and insert into the carpal bones (back of your hand) and into your fingertips.
Your Flexor muscles (A) are on the underside of your forearm.
The flexors also originate at your elbow, they come down your forearm and merge into the tendon at your wrist. The tendons then go through your carpal tunnel and then insert into your hand and fingers.
When your hand is flat on a table and your extensors start to contract, you lift up your hand (B). But you can see that the flexors (A) on the underside of your forearm will need to lengthen to allow this movement.
When your flexors are tight (commonly from repetitive movements) they won’t lengthen to allow your extensors to pick up your hand, and the taut flexor tendons may trap your median nerve in your carpal tunnel. This is a major cause of carpal tunnel syndrome because the nerve is being trapped right in the carpal tunnel. It was one of the primary keys to my symptoms, and an important part of the carpal tunnel treatment protocol.
Why Muscle Tendons Cause Numbness in Your Fingers
As you look at this graphic you’ll see the flexor tendons surrounding the median nerve as they all pass through the carpal tunnel. Also, notice the carpal bones, which are where the extensor muscles attach. Finally look at the thumb muscle called Opponens Pollicis. This muscle originates on the bridge to the carpal tunnel (called the Flexor Retinaculum), and when the muscle contracts you bring your thumb into the center of your palm.
The flexor retinaculum is the ligament that is severed during carpal tunnel release surgery. As you look at how close the median nerve is to the flexor retinaculum you can see where a potential surgical mistake could severe the nerve. This accident disables the hand and isn’t reversible. Also, severing the flexor retinaculum means your thumb loses its base, and you lose strength
This is the reason I refused surgery and sought a different carpal tunnel treatment.
As I studied each muscle and saw how they each impacted the median nerve, I realized that if I released the spasms in each muscle that it would take the pressure off the nerve. And, sure enough, that’s exactly what happened!
It took me about 90 minutes to figure this out (it will only take you 15 minutes to do all of the carpal tunnel treatments to yourself) but in just that short amount of time I released ALL of the pain and numbness in my hand and wrist. I was beyond being thrilled — I saved my career!
Eventually I figured out how to put this entire process into a DVD program to teach people all over the world how to eliminate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. I even developed a specialized tool to help people get the correct pressure and focus for each spasm.
A Simple Carpal Tunnel Treatment for Your Thumb:
(Pictures and description are excerpts from The Julstro System for Hand/Wrist Pain and Numbness)
To release the spasms in your thumb muscle, place your opposite elbow into the thick portion of your thumb as shown in the picture to the left.
Use your fingertips to guide your elbow along the muscle. Move your elbow in a line from the center of your wrist to the base of your thumb.
Use sufficient pressure to really feel the muscle and the tender points which are spasms in the muscle fibers.
When you find a spasm, hold the pressure for 30 seconds and then deeply move back and forth a little bit.
If you are experiencing hand/wrist pain or numbness, before you make the decision to go for surgery it is worthwhile to read everything you can about muscles and numb fingers. You can’t undo surgery!
Wishing you well,
Julie Donnelly – The Pain-Relief Expert
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms Caused By Tight Muscles!
In 1997 I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome: wrist pain, tingling and numb fingers. The pain and burning was horrible, it prevented me from even picking up a pencil or holding a glass. As a massage therapist it was devastating, my hands are my livelihood! I tried everything and finally had to close down my therapy practice because the pain was so severe. I knew I wasn’t going to go for surgery, but carpal tunnel syndrome was a hurdle that was pushing me out of work and I didn’t know where to turn.
Finally, I started to think of the logic of the body. While everyone was looking at my wrist and forearm, the median nerve that causes the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t start in my arm, but where does it start? Research showed that the nerve actually starts in your NECK! Who would have thought!
I found the solution to my problem, and I’ve been bringing it to people worldwide ever since.
How Muscles in Your Neck Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms:
A bundle of nerves called the Brachial Plexus (see three lines in neck of drawing) comes out of your cervical vertebrae and at the top of your shoulder the fibers divide into three nerves:
- The Median Nerve – which goes to your thumb and first two fingers
- The Ulnar Nerve – which goes to your ring and pinky fingers
- The Radial Nerve – which goes to your wrist
Your Scalenes muscle is in front of, and in back of the brachial plexus.
When the scalenes are in spasm they put pressure on the bundle of nerves and it can cause tingling and numbness to be felt all the way to your fingers. The purple shading shows the referred pain pattern for the scalenes spasms. In my case this was the primary cause of the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms I had in my thumb and first two fingers.
BTW, your scalenes also cause that burning feeling you get between your shoulder blades. You are rubbing your back, but the cause of the pain is actually in your neck!
How Muscles in Your Chest and Upper Arm Can Cause the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
The bundle of nerves goes along the front of your body and at the top of your shoulder it breaks into the three nerves (listed above) and they go under a bone called the coracoid process (a part of your scapula/shoulder blade).
There are three muscles that attach to your coracoid process, (the biceps, pectoralis minor, and coracobrachialis). When any of them are in spasm they will pull the bone down onto the three nerves, causing tingling and numbness to radiate down your arm and into your wrist &/or hand. This is one of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, yet most medical practitioners don’t consider these muscles when searching for the cause of numbness in your fingers.
A Julstro Self-Treatment That Releases Tension in Your Shoulder and Off the Nerves to Your Hand:
You can self-treat your upper arm muscles that are putting pressure on the coracoid AND also on your shoulder joint.
Simply make a fist and press into your biceps, using your opposite hand to help push your elbow so you can go deeper into your biceps.
Hold the pressure for 15-30 seconds and then continue the pressure while you S-L-O-W-L-Y open your arm. Release the pressure, bend your arm, and repeat 2-3 times.
End of Part 1 –
In the next Part I’ll show the muscles of your lower arm and hand and why they cause carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Plus you’ll get a self-treatment that is great for taking the pressure off your carpal tunnel.
Wishing you well,
Julie Donnelly – The Pain Relief Expert
Thigh Muscle Pain Hampers Rowers
Thigh muscle pain can hamper a rowers ability to powerfully force his/her body back as a key part of the rowing pattern.
Movements are done simultaneously: as the thigh muscles are pushing the seat back, the rowers arms are pulling back on the oars.
It is the smooth interaction of the two movements that enable the rower to glide smoothly toward the finish line.
Thigh muscle pain is caused by repetitive strain injury to the quadriceps muscle fibers. As the fibers are forcefully contracting while the rower is straightening out his/her legs, hydrogen ions, an acid, are formed. The hydrogen ion buildup causes spasms to form in the thigh muscles, and pain is felt as the acid is being forced through the muscle fibers.
It is vital to force the toxins out of the thigh muscles in order to release the tension that is being placed on the pelvis and knees, and to stop the pain.
To complicate matters, because of the muscle attachments to the bones and joints, the thigh muscle will also cause pain to be felt in the hip, low back, and knees.
Thigh Muscle Pain Treatment
This is an easy treatment to do, and one that uses a strange “tool”….. a 12” length of PVC pipe.
Start by sitting and holding the PVC pipe easily in your hands. Don’t grip it too tightly or you’ll end up hurting your forearm muscles.
Begin at the top of your thigh muscle and press, don’t roll, all the way down to your knee.
The most important thigh muscle is called the Rectus Femoris. (Go to #13 on graphic shown in this link)
This thigh muscle not only has pain caused by its own repetitive strain, but also because muscles in your low back can be rotating your pelvis and causes a domino-effect that shortens the muscle.
After you do 2-3 passes along the length of the muscle, stay on top of one of the spasms (you’ll feel the bumps as you go down your leg), and just press while slightly rotating the PVC pipe to force the toxins out of the muscle fibers.
This treatment, and MANY others, is demonstrated in my book Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living. Or you can get the eBook version and an excellent, unique, stretching program that incorporates self-treatment with Yoga stretches by purchasing Focused Flexibility Training.
Thigh muscle pain, or any other muscle-joint pains, won’t go away on their own! If you have pain, you need to be proactive and force the toxins out of the muscles, and then safely stretch the fibers back to their proper length. It’s easy-to-do, and you’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel.
Wishing you well,