Tag: worcester ma

As much as we would like to avoid it, the numbers show that back pain will visit most of us in our lifetime. There is, however, no need to sound the alarm bells. The most of the common cause of back pain - simple muscle strain - is usually treatable at home. Strains heal reasonably quickly and do not always require treatment from a medical professional. By utilizing a few pain-management strategies, this temporary condition can heal and soon be a distant memory.

 

Here is a list of self-care treatments that can help with back pain:

 

  • Rest: Pain can be in indication that you have done something too strenuously. The muscle(s) may need a chance to recover, and a short period of rest may assist in this recovery. Do keep this rest period short (one to two days) to avoid possibly contributing to a different problem (tightness/pain due to inactivity).
  • Ice/Heat application: Generally speaking, ice has been advised in the first 24-48 hours after injury, and heat recommended for time periods after that. Alternating between the two (heat/ice/heat/ice), known as contrast bathing or contrasting therapy, can also provide some symptomatic relief.
  • Pain medication: For back pain due to injury (especially acute/recent injury), the class of medication called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful for temporary relief of symptoms. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin (Bayer). A pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be helpful.

 

The next step in recovery is to get moving again! There is no need to fear movement during or after an episode of back pain. The best research in back pain recovery and prevention has shown that movement is the best tool in the arsenal. First, start with awareness - notice what positions and movements relieve pain, increase pain, or have no effect at all. Move in those pain free zones and see if you can expand them over the course of a couple of days. Gentle stretching may also help relieve discomfort and help restore your normal movement patterns.

 

To be clear, physical activity is vital to maintaining a healthy back. Even during an episode of pain, regular activity and exercise help maintain joint health and muscle strength. These activities also help maintain a healthy blood flow to the tissues to promote healing. During an episode of back pain, walking and other low-impact aerobic exercises (water aerobics, for example) are appropriate as they will minimize any jarring of the spine.

If your back pain does not begin to subside within two weeks, you may want to consult with your physician. You will want to meet with your physician immediately if any of the following symptoms are also present: severe abdominal pain, fever, loss of bowel or bladder control, numbness in the legs, muscle weakness in the legs, bloody urine, or the pain suddenly travels to other areas of the back. These are all serious symptoms that require examination by a qualified medical provider.

Aside from the self care strategies mentioned above, there are many other common therapeutic interventions that can be used with back pain. There is no one correct course of action, and each person will likely respond differently to these options. Less invasive treatments include physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and personal training. More complex interventions can  include prescription pain medications and steroid injections. The most invasive option of all is surgery, but that is often the last resort after trying all other avenues.

 

Please do not let all this talk of complications and surgery scare you. Most back pain is treatable, recoverable, and in many cases preventable with the right strategies. Any of the professionals here at Worcester Fitness are ready to advise you of your options for managing back pain. In house, we have personal training, massage therapy, stretching programs, yoga, water fitness, and and many other offerings that can fit into your plan of care. So be active, stay engaged, and don’t let a little back pain stop you.

Keeping our muscles pliable is HARD WORK!

Sometimes we don’t have the time to do all the hard work ourselves, and other times we don’t have the ability to do what needs to be done on our own. Stretching is something we all know we should do, but don’t do enough.

Aspects of stretching are as much neurological as muscular, and our therapists are trained in many of these techniques. Often, we mix these techniques in during a typical Sports Massage.

Assisted stretching has been used with professional athletes for several years. Most recently, professional golfers with the PGA enjoy the benefits of assisted stretching and massage at PGA events.

Other high profile athletes, like Tom Brady, have been more interested in pliability over brute strength for performance and longevity.

Assisted stretching is an incredible program ideal for golfers, racquetball and tennis players, runners and athletes from any sport!

Our therapists, Steve and Chris, are available to do regional or full-body stretches. During these sessions, you stay dressed while your therapist works on lengthening your muscles.

Sessions are available for 30 or 60 minutes!

30 minutes - $45
60 minutes - $79

Book an Appointment

Assisted Stretching

Back Pain Action Plan

By Christopher Jones, Worcester Fitness Massage Therapist

Low back pain is one of the most common pain complaints in the United States, with about 80% of people having at least one incident of back pain in their lifetime. Globally, back pain causes more disability than 291 other health problems. In one study conducted in a joint effort between Australian and US-based researchers, 20 years of data from 187 countries showed that just over one-third of work-related disability was related to low back pain. That is a lot of missed work, missed play, and missed opportunities every day. So how did we get to a point where back pain is so common?

Let’s start with a quick look at the back. The back is a strong, supportive structure made up of the bones of the spinal column (24 vertebrae, sacrum, coccyx,) the shock-absorbing discs between the vertebrae, and all of the muscles and connective tissue responsible for movement and stability of the spine. Housed within the protective confines of the spine is the spinal cord, and between the vertebrae are the nerves that extend out to all parts of the body. When the back is strong and healthy, all of these structures work harmoniously to let us work, play, and live our lives. When back pain is experienced, however, it can make it difficult to engage in even the most basic of activities.

Back pain can have many causes, including degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis), disc degeneration, bulging disc or disc herniation, spondylolisthesis (one vertebrae slips forward), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal inside the spinal cord), tumors, and infection. Please note that these conditions can be present and produce no pain symptoms whatsoever. Unfortunately, the most common type of back pain is what is called “non-specific low back pain” where there is no apparent cause for the pain. Other factors that can contribute to back pain include prolonged periods of inactivity, poor lifting techniques, high-impact sports and activities, excessive sitting, and previous back injury. A growing body or current research also points to many psychological factors (anxiety, depression, job satisfaction) as contributing to back pain.

The good news to all this is that the best preventative strategy and treatment method for back pain is to keep moving! Regular physical activity, even something as simple as walking, has been shown to be the most effective tool to prevent and recover from episodes of back pain (especially non-specific low back pain). The best evidence for back pain management shows the effectiveness of a positive outlook on recovery, engaging in as many normal daily activities as possible, maintaining an active lifestyle, and the strategic short-term use of medication when needed. Interventions like heat, physical therapy, massage therapy, yoga, and psychotherapy have also been shown to be effective additions for the treatment and prevention of back pain.

Here at Worcester Fitness, we have a team of professionals ready to help with the prevention and treatment of back pain. Whether you are looking to improve your fitness with one of our experienced trainers, looking for pain relief from our expert massage therapists, or are wanting see if yoga or one of our pool exercise classes is a good fit for you, our team is ready to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction. Back pain, despite the numbers, does not have to be something that “just happens” or keeps you from enjoying the things you love to do. With the right steps, and some expert guidance, you can get back on track!

MAXIMUM OUTPUT CYCLE

Meg Paradis' MAXIMUM OUTPUT CYCLE is BACK!

Join this high intensity/maximum output cycle and strength class, that focuses on power, perceived exertion, speed, and strength! TWO new sessions!  Each individual will be building from their own base gear on the bike, and will have to reach specific watts designated for intervals. Short bursts on the bike, to follow with short intervals of strength exercises off the bike, with all receiving a high cardio intense full body workout.

Class each week will have a different format, more intensified and personal to the participants.

Summer Session 1

Tuesdays • 5:45am-6:45am
May 8 - June 12
5:45am-6:45am

Class Fee- $119-6 Weeks

Open to Members & Non-Members
Limited to 8 Participant

Summer Session 2

Tuesdays • 5:45am-6:45am
July 10 - July 31
5:45am-6:45am

Class Fee- $80-4 Weeks

Open to Members & Non-Members
Limited to 8 Participant

Nick Crossman • Swimming Instructor

Team Spotlight | Nick Crossman

Today we highlight another member of the Worcester Fitness Swim Lesson Team, Nick Crossman. Nick has been involved with teaching young people to swim since he was just 16 years old when he became a swim instructor aid.

Nick took a liking to the water even earlier though! He started his own personal swim instruction when he was only three years old in the Water Babies classes and has been on swimming teams since the age of eight.

Nick was also the captain of the swim team at Sandwich High School.

It's no coincidence then that Nick's favorite place to be is at the beach!

When he's not teaching young people to swim or swimming competitively himself, Nick enjoys playing the piano and cooking. Nick is a big proponent of trying new types of food.

A VERY special Thank You to Worcester Fitness member Joe Peterson for this fantastic feedback! We are incredibly proud of Picky Lanigan and the words like these make our day!

"I never post reviews but I feel the need, so here goes! I have a rare genetic disease that basically limits me to a zero impact work out if any.

I came here in November and met with Picky. I had no lofty expectations, being an overweight out of shape forty-something, year old man, but she made me feel comfortable and welcome. Five months later, while staying aware of my limitations she has helped me shed almost forty lbs in a pool!

Although I know I could never have done it without out her she has made me feel like she is proud of me! This is why I had to leave this review. Thank you Picky!"

 

Last Sunday (March 4, 2018) Worcester Fitness hosted our very first "Spin for Kids" event as part of our Fitness for a Cause Program. The event was in support of our friends at Why Me Sherry's House. We welcomed Why Me families and friends, the Worcester Fitness team, and 55 different riders to the club.

What a ride!

As a group, we raised over $22,000 for for Why Me Sherry's House...in just four hours.

We want to thank every one of the 50+ riders who dedicated their Sunday morning  to raise money for this fantastic organization.

We could not have done this without our amazing sponsors. A very special thank you to all of our friends at S&G Business Consultants, Sansoucy Stone, One Off Apparel, Group Benefit Strategies, Creedon & Co., Barry Electric. We are also grateful to our photographers - Jim Ushkurnis Photography and Joe Santa Maria of  Kill the Ball Media

Still interested in making a donation? It is not too late... visit our donation page!

As we enter into our 40th year, we at Worcester Fitness can look back on a long history of connecting with our community with fondness and pride.  We've always held the fundamental belief that it is our responsibility as a local company to play a leadership role in supporting local charitable organizations who look to us for assistance.  We are a family owned and operated health and wellness club located in Worcester, and we've been here for 40 years.  Our Worcester roots run deep, and we're proud of that.  Staff and members affectionately refer to us as Worcester Fitness Nation.  In 2017, we in the nation answered the call and delivered help to those in need. 
 
2017 may have been our finest year for giving back.  When discussing charity and giving back, we are not just referring to the monetary and in-kind donations to countless causes that we make as a company.  We're talking about the time, effort and money that our members race to offer those who need it the most.  We believe in charity, and love providing the platform for our members to give, but it's the generosity and compassion of our members that drives our philanthropic efforts forward.  2017 saw more than $75,000 raised and donated.  $75,000 in one year, generated by this little health club on Grove Street and it's friendly, kind and generous members!  $75,000 that went to local partners in need such as Ivy Child International, Worcester Animal Rescue League, Why Me/Sherry's House, Veterans Inc, Dana Farber Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, Mary Beth Benison Foundation, Fit Club Foundation, Planting the Seed FoundationAbby's House and Homes for Our Troops.  
 

Staff and members are also strongly involved with the Worcester Public School Mini-Olympics program where we volunteer our time to cheer and support athletes in the Fall and Spring events.  We also provide uniforms for all students who participate, with over 35 colors unique to each school so the young athletes can proudly unify while representing their school.

 
We raised our money in unique and fun ways like our seasonal Touch the Tower  Run/Walk to Bancroft Tower and back.  Our annual Spin-a-Thon held every March has raised $31,000 in the last two years.  Our new Knock-out 90 breast cancer event was held in October and is sure to become a big part of our annual fundraising campaigns.  When two Worcester Fitness members were diagnosed with devastating cancer, Worcester Fitness Nation held a big bash and raised money to assist them in their drive to get well.  Our monthly Yoga for A Cause events raised money for several small, local agencies in Worcester.  The Worcester Fitness Running Team traveled to the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. and raised $34,000 for Homes for Our Troops.  Our year was capped off with our Merry Midnight Madness ultimate fitness and endurance event, we finished the year in style putting us well over $75,000 raised in 2017.
 

2018 is our 40th year, and we have planned a wonderful series of unique, fun, exciting, and innovative ways to engage our members while making significant contributions to local charities right here in Worcester.  For more on our connection to the community, past and future events, please contact me, andy@worcesterfitness.com

Fitness Scramble Results!

By Janine McCarthy
Contact JANINE with Questions 
 
The first ever Worcester Fitness "Fitness Scramble" is in the books and today we announce the winners!
 
The Scramble team "Pittsburgh Steelers" were the Overall Winners even beating the Worcester Fitness Team of employees who had a huge home field advantage!Each member of the winning team will receive a free smoothie!
 
The Steelers Team was made up of these WF athletes :
 
• Megan Briggs
• David Fields
• Doris Gould
• Jane Raabis
• Jen Roche
• Leslie Quinn
• Tim O'Brien
• Jane Jackson
 
The Scramble's MVP was Jane Raabis who was awarded with an official WFN stainless steel water bottle!
 
Congratulations to EVERYONE who participated! Stay tuned for announcements about our next fitness challenge...

Fitness for Young Female Athletes

By Janine McCarthy
Contact JANINE with Questions 
 
Our fitness program specifically designed for young, female athletes is back for 2018!
 
This athletic development program is designed to develop well-rounded & strong female athletes with an emphasis on core stability, proper movement patterns, balance and strength. Increased confidence during practices, games, and most
importantly during non-sport times. Specifically designed for Middle School aged girls (grades 6,7, and 8).
 
Mondays
1/15 - 3/12
3:30PM-4:30PM
REGISTER
 
Tuesdays
1/16 - 3/13
4:00PM-5:00PM
REGISTER
 
Wednesdays
1/17 - 3/14
3:30PM-4:30PM
REGISTER

NEW CLASS • HD POWER!

By Andy Sharry
Contact Andy with Questions 
 
**Breaking News** Worcester Fitness Adds Brand New HD Class for January 2018
 
Tracy McDonald will be leading a brand new HD class beginning January 9!
 
Sweat, Run, Jump, Push, Press, Row and Curl your way to a highly invigorating workout to improve your strength, speed, agility, power, and flexibility. A fun mix of HIIT, Circuit Training, Strength and Resistance Training combined with intense cardio. You'll work all muscle groups to become a strong athlete. Class will meet Tuesday's from 6:00AM to 6:45AM.
 
This class is a high-energy, total-body workout that focuses on every muscle group at an intensity that will simultaneously improve your cardiovascular strength and endurance. Performed to motivating music and inspired by any and every sport, incorporates a variety of exercises and equipment to always keep you on your toes and eager to see what is next.
 
***SPECIAL OFFER***
Try HD POWER for FREE on January 9, 2018
Class Time - 6:00AM - 6:45AM

Charlie LeBlanc

By Andy Sharry and Meg Paradis
Worcester Fitness
 
Charles “Charlie” LeBlanc is a long time, valued member of the Worcester Fitness family dating back to 2000. His smiling face is a staple in our evening indoor cycling classes. He rides hard, but does so with good nature, high spirit and positive vibe. When not in the spin room, Charlie, 59, works diligently in the weight room to maintain his broad shoulders, barrel chest and overall imposing stature. “Charlie is an extremely deep caring, gentle giant’, says Worcester FItness Spin Instructor Meg Paradise.
 
“There is a song that I play as a cool down after spin class called "Humble and Kind". Whenever it plays, he lights up and says to everyone "This song is what it is all about."

Spending time around Charlie, you would never guess that his life story includes a very serious accident that nearly ended his life. As you’ll read, this tragic accident never stole away his faith that he would once again return to health and strength.
 
In July of 2002, Charlie and his friend went on a 14 mile bike ride in the late afternoon hours. Before leaving, he spoke with his wife, and left a message on his mother’s answering machine expressing his love for both. “One thing that this experience has taught me is to never leave anything unsaid. I love you could have been my last words my wife and mother heard from me.”

 
Charlie was travelling 40 mph as he rounded a bend in the road coming from a shaded area to bright sunlight area. There he saw a Dodge Ram pickup stopped in the left lane coming up the hill with its left directional on. Unfortunately, he never saw Charlie and accelerated into the turn. Charlie considered going around the back of the truck but there was traffic coming down the hill and didn’t want to get hit broadside, so he tried to make the turn with the truck. He collided with the truck just at the front fender. “My head hit the windshield and shoulders and upper chest took most of the impact.”, said Charlie. To this day, he really doesn’t remember much of the accident just yelling “NO” immediately before the collision occurred.
 
Moments later Charlie was discovered lying face up on top of his bike, covered in blood. The EMT found that his carotid artery on the left side of his neck was cut. Thankfully, the quick thinking EMT placed his fingers into his neck and straightened the artery, packed the wound and placed him in the ambulance
 
In the accident, Charlie cracked the windshield with his head, bent the windshield strut, took off the outside mirror, blew in the passenger window and crushed in the passenger door. Local police commented that the damage to the large pickup truck was very similar to the damage done when a car strikes a moose. Charlie credits his diligent work in the weight room at Worcester Fitness for saving his life, “This is where the strength training played an important role in my survival. At the time of the accident I was 6’ and weighed 230 lbs with about 12% body fat and I’m certain that my size and strength helped absorb the impact”
 
Charlie had broken the odontoid bone in his neck, fractured his jaw in three places, broke his right collarbone, separated his left shoulder, broke all ribs, collapsed both lungs, bruised his heart and cerebellum, and had a stroke to his brain stem. The doctors gave him a less than a 50% chance for survival and he received last rites several times over the next few days and flatlined a few times that first week.
 

Within a few weeks, Charlie was moved to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and was in a coma for more than a month. He and his family were informed that he would most likely be a quadriplegic and might have permanent brain damage. His robust weight went from 230lbs down to 180lbs, but Charlie was rapidly showing vast improvements in his motor skills. He amazed his family and doctors with how quickly he healed and improved. 6 weeks after the accident, he was transported to Fairlawn Rehabilitation in Worcester, MA where he learned how to walk again. In typical Charlie fashion, by the end of the first week he had discarded his walker for a cane and was mobile again. Finally, he was able to eat solid food, and gained back some of the weight that he had lost. Charlie used his time in the rehab hospital to do some deep thinking, “I could sit there and pity myself or thank God for letting me live. I prayed and told God that if this were how I would have to live my life I’d make the best of it.”
 
Eight months following the accident, Charlie’s returned to his pre-accident weight of 230 pounds, was riding the stationary bike and elliptical machine for 1 hour. The nerves in his leg were showing signs of regeneration and he was totally off all medications. Within no time, Charlie was back outside on his bike, riding for fun and for charity in races like the Great Mass Getaway for Multiple Sclerosis . Once again, he was riding 30, 50, 75 mile rides. “I can attribute my amazing recovery to the incredible people and spin classes at Worcester Fitness. I was fit before my accident, and I know that my high level of fitness helped me recover fully and quickly.”

When Charlie looks back over all that has happened in the 15 years since the accident, he says that all his experiences and relationships with friends and family have all been affected positively. “Several people have told me that this must have been the worst year of my life, and my answer to them is "It was the best year of my life". "I'm Still Here! Miracles Do Happen!” When asked about Charlie, Worcester Fitness Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor Denleigh Grniet said, “ Charlie teaches us how important it is to ask if what is bothering us now really makes a difference. If it won’t matter in 5 months, we should just let it go, focusing on staying positive and gracious.”
 
We at Worcester Fitness are thrilled to have played a role in Charlie’s recovery and return to strength. We love having him as part of our family and are inspired by his strength and resiliency he’s shown for the years since his accident. According to Meg, “Charlie is an amazing guy. It's an honor to know him, and hear his incredible story of strength and survival.”