10 Chapters
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7. Hip and Low-Back Pain

Sehgal, Angela Basic Health Publications ePub

Chapter 7

Hip and Low-Back Pain

Kate had been an active runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, and rower for years and thrived on activity as an antidote to her sedentary office job. But over the years, musculoskeletal imbalances began to take their toll and intense hip/sciatic nerve pain forced her to quit running and other high-impact activities in her late twenties. She had multiple MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and tried chiropractic treatments, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy, but to no avail. “I never realized how the types of exercises and stretches I was doing were probably causing more harm than good,” Kate says. She then met Kim and began learning the Active Isolated Stretching method, which has made a tremendous difference. This past summer, at the age of forty-seven, she even won a road-cycling championship. Kate sticks with her stretching routine and it helps her through periodic flare-ups. “After living with chronic pain for many years, and trying many conventional and alternative therapies, I feel at peace knowing I have a tool for self-healing.”

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6. Pain in the Arm, Wrist, and Hand

Sehgal, Angela Basic Health Publications ePub

Chapter 6

Pain in the Arm, Wrist, and Hand

As a certified athletic trainer, I (Angela) have treated many athletes with an inflammatory condition of the elbow called epicondylitis: pain on the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) areas of the elbow. This condition is usually caused by overuse. I administer several sports medicine treatments, including icing the area, stretching the arm muscles, applying heat, ultrasound, a tension elbow strap, and referral to a physician for a prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs. The athletes with epicondylitis progress slowly, but being a persistent athletic trainer, I often broaden my therapy regimen to include massage therapy and chiropractic care. This more holistic approach facilitates a speedier recovery for these athletes.

ARM PAIN

Arm pain may be the result of direct trauma or injury (repetitive stress or overuse) to the muscles or ligaments surrounding the elbow, shoulder, and wrist joints. Conditions associated with arm pain include:

• “Tennis elbow” or “golfer’s elbow”: inflammation of the muscles, tendons, or bursa surrounding the elbow joint (Tennis elbow is pain at the outside of the elbow joint; golfer’s elbow is pain at the inside of the elbow joint.)

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9. Pain in the Lower Leg, Ankle, and Foot

Sehgal, Angela Basic Health Publications ePub

Chapter 9

Pain in the Lower Leg, Ankle, and Foot

Tony had competed in track and field at the highest level for six years when he tore his Achilles tendon (he had a 50 percent tear) while training for the 2000 Olympic Games. He flew back from Japan and came to see me (Kim). He started his rehabilitation immediately with regular massage and acupuncture treatments. In the following weeks, I worked with Tony to improve flexibility in the calf and lower-leg area as well as to realign the fibers in the tendon itself. The rehabilitation was a long one, but Tony was able to compete at the next Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

LOWER-LEG PAIN

Lower-leg pain may be the result of direct trauma, a complete or incomplete break of the tibia (shin bone), overstretching, or overexertion of the muscles or tendons. Conditions associated with lower-leg pain include:

• Calf strain: strain or injury to the muscles or tendons in the back of the lower leg

• Calf “cramping”: muscle spasm in the back of the lower leg causing severe pain and discomfort; occurs commonly in the evenings but may occur anytime

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4. Neck and Shoulder Pain

Sehgal, Angela Basic Health Publications ePub

Chapter 4

Neck and Shoulder Pain

Marian is a very active sixty-two-year-old woman who walks three miles every day, travels a great deal, eats carefully to stay slim, and strives to stay “young” and fit. But chronic neck and back pain have bothered her for over five years. She tried massage therapy but the relief was short-lived and, before long, she was in distress again. We taught Marian a series of stretching and flexibility exercises that she can do herself, whether she’s at home or traveling, and her life has changed for the better. “I bring diagrams of the relevant stretches wherever I go and practice them daily,” she says. “Occasionally I have a massage and flexibility session to ‘tune up,’ but I arrive at these sessions relaxed instead of in agony. What a nice change!”

NECK PAIN

Neck pain may be caused by tension, stress, or trauma of the cervical spine and the muscles that attach to it. Conditions associated with neck pain include:

• Whiplash/stinger: a traumatic injury caused by violent motion in the neck

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10. If Your Pain Doesn’t Go Away

Sehgal, Angela Basic Health Publications ePub

Chapter 10

If Your Pain Doesn’t Go Away

We have taken you through an extensive journey of discovery, pain self-identification, and action steps to help you with your condition. But what do you do if your pain does not go away? The first thing to remember is, don’t give up. Your condition may cause pain, frustration, and even depression, but it is crucial to your recovery that you be persistent in seeking a solution and have a positive approach to achieving a better quality of life. Throughout this book, we have shown that a positive mental attitude works, with many examples of people who have overcome or managed their pain with a proactive approach.

In this chapter, we include answers to some additional healthcare questions to help you continue on your journey to better health:

• When should I see a doctor?

• What questions are appropriate to ask my doctor?

• How do I keep the attention of my doctor?

• To what extent do I “stick to my guns” and avoid being put off by my doctor?

WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?

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