Tag: worcester massage therapy

We can help you determine if you might be overtraining

You can’t flip open a magazine or turn on the television without seeing or hearing someone going on and on about the multitude of benefits from getting regular exercise. No doubt each of those messages will be accompanied by recommendations of what to do, how long to do it for, and what results you might see as a result. And so we piece these recommendations together and suddenly find ourselves working out hard every day, sometimes multiple workouts in the same day. But is that much exercise a good thing?

 

In short, it depends. Many athletes engage in multiple workouts every day. For the non-athlete, however, doing that much without the proper coaching can do more harm than good. The term we use to describe exercising too much is “overtraining”. It is likely that almost every athlete and most health-conscious exercisers have experienced this to some degree, even without realizing it. If ignored, overtraining can set you back and even lead to injury.

 

We recognize overtraining by noting certain symptoms that tend to cluster together. For example, lack of energy, being easily fatigued, and feeling irritable are strong indicators of overtraining. Other reliable gauges are a lack of motivation to exercise, frequent sickness, prolonged muscle soreness, and lack of progress. These symptoms, especially when experienced together, make a convincing argument that you are overtraining.

 

There are an array of remedies for overtraining, and most are quite simple and economical. Rest, taking a few days off for an extended recovery period, is often the most effective intervention. Take the time to analyze your nutrition and hydration to make sure it is sufficient for the activities you are engaging in. Meet with a certified personal trainer to examine your exercise program so that it can be made more efficient and specifically tailored to your goals. Have session with a licensed massage therapist to help with muscle soreness and fatigue. Try a Pilates, yoga, or a spin class if these are not in your usual routine.

 

If after reading this article you are questioning whether you might be overtraining, please consult any member of the staff here at Worcester Fitness. We can help you determine if you might be overtraining and can recommend an appropriate intervention to get you back on track. As they say in medicine, “the dose makes the poison.” This is as true of exercise as it is with everything else. Be vigilant, work hard, play hard, and never be afraid to reach out and ask a professional for advice.

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.

Rock Tape

By Roland Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness 

Worcester Fitness Massage Therapist has been offering free Rock Tape seminars at Worcester Fitness lately and they've created quite a buzz amongst our more performance driven athletes.

What is Rock Tape?

According to the official Rock Tape web site ( RockTape.com ) :

"All of the effects of kinesiology tape came from the mechanical and neurosensory actions of the tape. When kinesiology tape is placed on the skin, some pretty cool things start to happen. Because of the stretchiness of the tape, it mechanically lifts and, in some cases, compresses the skin it is applied to. When you consider a cross-section of human skin and the underlying tissues, you see that each layer of tissue is connected to one beneath it through slips of tissue often referred to as, “skin ligaments.” Because of this, if you create a lifting effect with tape on the skin, this effect transfers to deeper layers, effectively decompressing the tissues beneath where the tape is applied."

Steve Dozois applying Rock Tape to Worcester Fitness member David Lamontagne.
Steve Dozois applying Rock Tape to Worcester Fitness member David Lamontagne.

Testimonial

..."some of you attended Steve's presentation last night as part of the Wellness series where I was able to get a demonstration of the Rock Tape process. All I can say is WOW - usually I have "cement " legs after a long run but I just got back from a 10 miler with Kate (she did 20!) and the calves feel AWESOME! Now I just need to find if it comes in a body suit! Check with Steve on what other services he offers runners and all athletes as we enter the busy race season!"

David Lamontagne, Worcester Fitness Member

David performing split squats with Rock Tape applied to calf muscles.
David performing split squats with Rock Tape applied to calf muscles.

Back Pain

"Had my back taped right before noon HD class. It is about 1 hr post class. Back pain at this point much less than normal. Looking forward to see how tomorrow will be after morning classes."

Mark Oliver, Worcester Fitness Member

Learn more

 

If you are interested in learning more about Rock Tape and how it can benefit you and your fitness performance, please contact us by filling out the contact form below!

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