Body Gears_July Issue



NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body Regain Your Freedom Instead of your body holding you captive and preventing you from enjoying life to the fullest, take back control and start on the path to greater freedom of movement!

INSIDE: •Freeing the Mind to Free the Body • The Blue vs. Red Experiment: How Colored Light Can Influence Pain • Staff Spotlight • Exercise of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight



NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body


Freeing theMind to Free theBody

Ever heard of a thought virus? Maybe you aren’t familiar with the term, but you’ve almost certainly heard the phrases, “riddled with arthritis” and “everything hurts when you’re 60” and “I’ve got a bad back” and the list goes on. On the surface, these commonplace phrases may seem like offhand remarks but they’re signs of people creating an identity around being someone who’s in pain which continues to perpetuate the pain cycle. A thought virus is any notion that is scary or threatening and though nearly always incorrect, will maintain or even increase pain. Pain is a defense mechanism the brain uses to protect the body. When tissues are damaged, the brain uses pain to stop you from loading or stressing those tissues in order to give them time to heal. However, all of your body’s tissues have the capacity to heal within 3-6 months which means pain lasting longer than this is at least partially influenced by a lurking thought virus.

For conditions such as arthritis or other age- related changes, pain is not directly indicative of tissue damage as many people believe. One of the most damaging things a healthcare professional can do is look at someone’s scans and then say something like “You’ve got the back of an 80-year-old.” The brain of someone younger than 80 immediately interprets this as the body being in danger and uses pain to alter and even inhibit movement, thus perpetuating the pain in a self-fulfilling prophecy. When it comes to age-related findings on scans, remember that the ageing process started when you were 25 and happens very slowly. This means your scan looked the same the day before and likely months or even years before your pain started. In fact, when we look at 5,397 pain-free knees across 63 studies, 24% had cartilage defects (jumping to 43% if we look only at those 40 years and older) and 25% had osteophytes.

Again, none of the people with these imaging findings experienced any knee pain! So then, what is really triggering pain if it’s not merely the presence of tissue changes? The most critical determinant of pain is context and next article in this month’s newsletter outlines a great example of this. There is solid evidence that knowing why we hurt helps us to heal and reduces pain. So, instead of attributing pain to your tissues, attribute it to a protective brain response. Look out for the scare tactics Big Pharma uses in their commercials (words like erosion and irreversible) and build these anti-viral thoughts into your brain instead:

I can be sore but still be safe. I’ll pace it, no need to race it. My brain and pain are changeable. I can do a little more each day.


The Blue vs. Red Experiment: How Colored Light Can Influence Pain

Have you noticed how pain medication commercials always use red to indicate areas of pain? When describing a spinal disc herniation, does the phrase “red hot disc” ring a bell? Red is pretty universally associated with heat, pain, and tissuedamage. Itdoesn’thelpthatblood isredtoo. With that in mind, scientists developed a clever study to see whether they could manipulate their subjects’ perceived levels of pain by using this learned color association. They placed a metal rod cooled to -4oF on the hands of 33 volunteers for half a second, 32 times each. The rod was attached to a panel with a red and a blue light and one of these lights was activated just prior to or at the same time as the rod touching the skin. The participates were told they would be experiencing probes of different temperatures (lies!) and were asked to rate the pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, and the temperature (rated from extremely cold to extremely hot) using 11-point scales.

D e s p i t e n o t changing the temperature of the rod, when the red light turned on, the participants rated it ashotandwhen the blue light turned on, they perceived it as

cold (byadifferenceofabout5.5points).The red lightalsoresulted inhigherratingsofpain intensity and unpleasantness. Additionally, if the red light turned on just before rather than at the same time as the rod touching the skin, pain was rated as more unpleasant (though not more intense). This warning effect was not present for trials using the blue light. Finally, with the red light, participants rated the pain as more intense and the temperature hotter when they watched the rod touch their skin as opposed to watching only the lights.

Basedonthesesignificantfindings,theresearchers concludedthatwarnings,attention,andassociated meanings relating to tissue damage (such as the color red)areallcontextualcues thatcanalter the experience of pain.  Basically, the preconceived notions you bring to the context of your pain experiencehavethepowerto increaseordecrease both pain intensity and unpleasantness. Let’s start changing you or a loved one’s injury story intoahealingstory.Email info@bodygears. com to meet with a physical therapist educated in modern pain science.


Exercise of theMonth Try this exercise to reintroducemovement to a sore back or neck

Staff Spotlight

Dr. Toshi Odaira, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Toshi earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the City University of New York’s Hunter College in Manhattan. She also has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Bates College in Maine. Toshi is a manual orthopedic physical therapist experienced in Functional Dry Needling. Toshi is also a Women’s Health Therapist experienced with pelvicfloor rehabilitationandablehelpwomen withavarietyofpelvichealth issuesaswellasprenatalandpostpartum needs.

Rotation Series

Certifications and Training Doctor of Physical Therapy Licensed Physical Therapist by the State of Illinois APTA/IPTA Member Women’s Health Therapist Education City University of New York, Hunter College Doctorate in Physical Therapy, 2014

Lay on your back with your knees bent and reach your arms straight up to the ceiling with your palms touching. Start by rotating your head and your arms in the same direction, 10 times to one side. Next, rotate your head the same direction and your arms in the opposite direction 10 times. Finally, rotate your head and your knees to the same side with your arms going in the opposite direction 10 times. Then, complete this series again rotating your head in the other direction. This should not be painful and you can start with a small range of rotation to your tolerance, increasing the range as able.

Bates College Bachelor of Biology, 2006

Patient Success Spotlight


CongratulationstoDr.KatieAlbert,PT,DPT,OCS on becoming an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists! To be recognized as a specialist,Katiehascompletedover2,000hours ofdirectpatientcare in theareaoforthopedics and successfully completed a rigorous written examination. The specialist certification is a formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills. You can find Katie at our Oak Park clinic.

"I began with Elizabeth who helped me rehabilitate my knee after a very serious surgery (Distal Femoral Osteotomy).  She was not only incredibly knowledgeable about my condition, but she took the time to go deeper and work with me on understanding my pain. She provided me with materials regarding the psychology behind pain that have helped me understand and frame my challenges in a new light. My surgeon has been consistently impressed with the progress I've made under Elizabeth's guidance. A few months ago I began seeing Bailee for issues related to my pelvic floor.  Bailee is well informed about the newest treatments and possesses the sensitivity needed to treat pelvic floor concerns. I loved working with her, and can honestly write that it felt like a breakthrough.  I'd been dealing with pelvic floor pain for several years and had been told time and time again by other medical professionals that there was little I could do, or I should "just live with it".  I am so grateful that Bailee didn't accept this and wanted more for me.  She's helped me feel better, and my condition is improving, for the first time in years.” - Becca K. on Yelp My condition is improving, for the first time in years.


Request AComplimentary Screening


Schedule Your FreeDiscovery Session | 877-709-1090 VISITOURWEBSITEORGIVEUS ACALL: Whether you’re recovering from an injury, training for a competition, or you’re striving for better health, wellness and freedom of movement, Body Gears can help you achieve your optimum self. This 20-minute appointment will allow you to meet a physical therapist, share your story, and complete a mini-assessment. The purpose of this screening is to answer two questions: 1. Which techniques will help you change your story? 2. How can Body Gears help you achieve your functional goals? Our physical therapists will be able to quickly provide you the information you need to take the next step. We hope it's with us!

HEALTHY RECIPE Eating Right Never Tasted So Good!

SHARK WATERMELON FRUIT BOWL INGREDIENTS • 1 medium watermelon (about 5 pounds)

DIRECTIONS Place watermelon lengthwise on a cutting board. Slice off a 2-inch chunk from one end of the watermelon and discard. Using the flat end as a base, stand the watermelon up. Starting at the tip, begin to cut the watermelon in half, stopping about two-thirds of the way down. (Don't cut all the way to the cutting board.) Make a second cut, starting at one of the end points of the first cut, angling up and moving in a curved line toward the end point on the other side to create a large wedge. Remove the wedge, creating an open mouth for the "shark." Reserve the wedge. Using a vegetable peeler, slice off 1-inch-wide pieces of watermelon skin along edges of the mouth. Discard the watermelon skin. Using a small paring knife, cut triangular incisions along the top and bottom edges of the mouth, forming teeth. Scoop out the inside of the watermelon, leaving 2 inches at the bottom, to form a bowl. Chop the scooped-out watermelon into chunks and reserve. Cut a half-rainbow shape from the reserved watermelon wedge. Skewer the half-rainbow into the back of the watermelon, rind-side up, forming a fin. Arrange blueberries and blackberries around the base of the watermelon. Fill the watermelon bowl with the reserved watermelon chunks, strawberries, raspberries and pineapple. Skewer blueberries on the sides of the watermelon to form eyes.

• 2 cups blueberries (1 pint) • 2 cups blackberries (1 pint) • 4 cups strawberries (1 quart) • 2 cups raspberries (1 pint) • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks

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