What is a Stress Fracture?

Having an active lifestyle is so important to maintain a healthy body and mind. But, sometimes we can over do it. A while back I wrote a peice on over training. These days I have been better about listening to my body, and have a better balance with Yoga, running and hiking. It is easy to cross the line, and some weeks I really have to hold myself back and have a Restorative Yoga Session.

However, in the clinic I do see patients with overuse stress fractures from excessive activities with not enough rest between sessions. Sometimes these stress fractures are diagnosed late because the patient is unaware of the symptoms, or other times the patient just push through pain.

fallbrook trail3

One of the most effective ways to avoid a stress fracture is to stop if there is continued pain or soreness. There is a time to push through fatigued muscles, and there is a time for rest. There is a fine line to building, and overdoing. If you feel your mind becoming caught up in the “I must”, or “I have to”, stop and review the reasons you feel this way. Are these thoughts stemming from fears? Remember, if you take care of yourself now more training days will come again quick. If you ignore signals the body is sending you, training and just doing activities you enjoy, won’t be available for weeks or even months down the road.

Just ListenSome reasons why a stress fracture may occur:

  • Prolonged training sessions
  • Impact forces
  • Training on hard surfaces
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Inability for muscle strength to keep up with activity
  • Over training
  • Misalignment
  • Change in diet (malnutrition) or change in menstrual cycle

5th met fxOne common location of a stress fracture in active athletes is in the 5th metatarsal or 5th bone of the foot, or in the Tibia or shin bone.

Some common signs and symptoms of a stress fracture are:

  • A deep nagging persistent pain, especially at night
  • Point tenderness
  • An inability to put weight on the foot without pain

If you are experiencing these symptoms make sure to visit your MD. You are diagnosed with a stress fracture through X-Ray, MRI or bone scan. Sometimes an X-ray may not pick up a stress fracture initially, so its important to be persistent with seeking care and rest if pain persists.  If you do have a stress fracture, the best thing you can do is rest. Depending on the location you may need a walking boot or crutches to allow the fracture to heal with less friction from every step.

If you have any questions please drop me a line: berryhappybodies@gmail.com

Saving Up

As the Holiday season quickly approaches it is smart to take inventory now with how your body and mind are feeling.

lake hodges reverse warriorSometimes it is helpful to view your health as a bank account. When you take time to care for yourself it is like making deposits. The more deposits you make, the more you have to withdrawal during busy times, like the holidays.

When you have energy in your reserve then you feel less depleted and wiped. Which helps your mind to focus with family around pushing sensitive buttons. Instead of reacting to comments, you will have the energy to breathe, refocus and respond in a less argumentative manner, helping to prevent a cascade of heated tempers.

glorious sunsetTo help make deposits into your health bank account, take time to do things you enjoy and which replenish the system. For example, walks on the beach, play time with your pets, Yoga, meditation, or just reading a book. When you give to yourself you will have more left over to give to others which helps for a more relaxing holiday season. Taking care of yourself will also actually help your real bank account as well by preventing excess medical expenses down the road.

wiley beach walk

Fear of Rest

In our society it seems people value their importance by the craziness of their Calender. In the clinic and with my friends, as we try to coordinate schedules I hear it all. Everything from meetings, to lunches, Yoga reverse plank one legclasses, to running schedules, kids, friends, traveling, IOS update malfunctions. We are always moving, stimulated, texting, talking or sitting plugged in. I am a culprit as well.

On the East Coast I attended Relax and Renew a Restorative Training hosted by Physical Therapist, Yoga Teacher Judith Lasater. She reinforced the importance of relaxation and finding quiet and stillness. She also mentioned how sometimes we actually fear rest and the quietness, because the initial letting go can be painful.contemplation And, are we also afraid to be alone with ourselves?

It is usually in this first moment of actually beginning to relax that I realize how wound up, tight and anxious I was in the first place. The first phase of letting go can be uncomfortable physically and mentally. But, it is also in this phase that we receive important lessons our body and minds are telling us, or it is time to integrate all activities and feelings from the day.

relaxing wide leg foldMaybe we need to learn to be more comfortable slowing down, and turning in. Practice makes perfect. The more we stop, the easier and more comfortable it becomes. Until we actually crave the silence. In the beginning Judith recommends setting a timer for a few minutes while in a comfortable sitting or supine position. Sometimes knowing there is an end allows the mind to relax easier.

This is only one way to start at home. If you find you are distracted easily you might consider trying a Restorative Yoga class. Sometimes it is a welcome break from busy life schedules and active workouts or Flow Yoga classes. The next challenge is to unload our busy schedules by prioritizing. But, this is a whole other topic, and one of my biggest hurdles.

How do you slow down?


Summer Inspiration

These days life goes so fast. As we rush from one thing to the next, and cross items off the list, and look forward to the next one, it is important to take a moment and appreciate the now.

kauai storm motivation

This summer just flew by. Concerts, hikes, friends, Yoga, the beach, Camping with my husband and I couldn’t ask for more. At times, however, I had to remind myself to stop and enjoy the moment. And, as I take a deep breath in that moment I finally feel the tension melt away I didn’t even realize I was carrying. The pictures here were captured in those moments. I sunset

Camping in Idywilld

I meditation

Mid hike break

swamis sunset

One of the first Sunsets of the summer at our local beach.

purple sunset

On a beach walk after work.

backyard sunset
Caught in the backyard.

endless encinitas summer

San Diego’s endless Summers….

What is Scoliosis?

There are three normal curvatures of the spine:

spine labeledthe lordotic Cervical, the kyphotic Thoracic, and lordotic Lumbar curves which help you to stand upright, walk and absorb impact and shock during activities of life.

Some people have one or two additional curves of the spine, when shown from the back appear in almost an “S” form. This is one marker of Scoliosis.      scoliosis2

There are two types of Scoliosis: Structural and Functional.

Structural Scoliosis is typically diagnosed at a young age. During a forward bend forward test a Health Care Professional will notice on one side the rib or scapula sits higher. This curvature can be Idiopathic, meaning cause unknown, or because of a bony fusion or change in the body during growth.

Functional Scoliosis is typically diagnosed later in life through similar forward bend test by a Health care Professional. This type of Scoliosis can be corrected when changing positions, or alignments of the body. Functional scoliosis can occur due to a difference in leg heights, muscle spasms, avoiding pain or through a repetitive task occurring over a long period of time.

For both types of Scoliosis, if no corrections are made the curves worsen over time. X-Rays or imaging maybe required to determine the severity of the mis alignment. Depending on the degree  of Scoliosis a patient will experience different severity of symptoms. Some symptoms include back pain; which can either be in the upper back or lower, tightness in the shoulder region, difficulty sitting or standing in one position for a long period of time, or a difference in height or the pelvis or shoulders.  Treatment depends on the direction of curvature, and severity. In some cases a brace or even surgery is required.

Both Physical therapy and Yoga can help prevent further worsening of the Scoliosis and in some cases reverse the misalignment helping to ease pain. From personal experience I can tell you both work, and helped reduce my discomfort tremendously.  If you have any questions e-mail me at berryhappybodies@gmail.com

For information view NIH’s resource page.