Texas Massage Academy Blog

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Self-Care

3 Exercises for Spinal Stenosis

If you’re not familiar with it, spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal – the space that contains the spinal cord. This is most often caused by degenerative changes; some sort of normal shift or loss that occurs over time, such as with herniated discs, arthritic changes, compression fractures, etc. This stenosis, or narrowing of that space, can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. The two most common places for this to occur are in the neck (cervical stenosis) and the low back (lumbar stenosis). Most often, stenosis can begin with little to no sign that anything is wrong. Progression of symptoms happens over time as the stenosis worsens. The most common symptoms include numbness, tingling, and weakness of the limbs and in some severe cases, organ function may be affected as well.

Acute vs Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is a physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. Inflammation is now a buzz word that you hear almost daily, but knowing what it really means and the signs to look for will be very helpful in better understanding and combatting it. There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic.

Sciatica: What it is & How can Massage Help?

The sciatic nerve branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Sciatica is a condition that occurs when this nerve, which happens to be the largest nerve in the body, is irritated or inflamed, causing pain, tingling, and/or numbness. These sensations are felt along part or all of the nerve path and most often starts in the low back or the buttock and travels down the outer leg, sometimes all the way down to the foot.

Chronic Pain Vs Acute Pain

Pain is something everyone is well acquainted with. It doesn’t discriminate. No matter who you are, what your ethnicity, or the amount of money you have in your bank account; at some point in your life you will experience pain. The problem is when you experience pain more frequently than normal, and it gets in the way of your daily activities or your quality of life.

Listening to your body

The human body to me is such an amazing thing. Not only can it create life, but it can fight off sickness, adapt to its environment, and be molded and formed into what we choose for it. But the most amazing part about the human body to me, is that if you are in tune with your body, it will speak to you. Your body will tell you what it wants or needs and what it doesn’t want or need. Your body will talk to you in many ways, you just have to be sure you’re listening to it.

Why Women are more Prone to Non-Contact ACL Injuries

Sports and injuries have gone hand in hand for as long as sports have been around; but injuries aren’t only reserved for athletes. Physical activity of any kind can be hazardous if you’re not mindful. Let’s face it, if you are physically active or participate in any sport you are very likely to experience some type of injury whether it be a small strain or something more serious. For example, activities that involve changing directions quickly, jumping, and planting your feet can put a lot of stress on the knee; and young athletes are at an especially high risk specifically for ACL injury.

What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery

More than 4.5 million Americans are living with at least one knee replacement. While there’s numerous reasons you may need a knee replacement, arthritis – the degenerative wear and tear on the joint over time – is the most common. Whether you’ve recently had a knee replacement or your doctor just mentioned it as a possibility, looking at what you can expect after the surgery is a great way to decide if and when it’s best for you.

How Sleep Affects Muscle Growth

It seems no matter the time of year, we’re all bombarded with tips on eating right and working out; advice on everything from what you need to eat to lose weight, how many times a day you need to eat, the perfect time to work out, or what exercises you need to do to gain muscle. But one thing you will rarely hear about is how important sleep is to almost every aspect of your health. Sleep is vital for physical and mental recovery, but did you know it also plays a major role in your muscle growth? Yes, one of the most important parts of gaining muscle has nothing to do with the gym or your diet. And remember, muscle growth isn’t just about bulking up, but rather building strong, healthy muscles, regardless of size.

When you stretch is just as important as how you stretch

Many fitness instructors still teach the importance of stretching extensively before and after any sort of exercise, and if you’re a member of a gym, you’ll undoubtedly see this being done often. But what if I told you that many of us have been stretching all wrong? While it’s hard to change old habits, this change is imperative if you want to get the most out of your workouts, and prevent injuries along the way.

Why do your muscles shake during a workout

At some point, you’ve probably been in the middle of an intense, or not so intense, workout when suddenly it feels like your legs or arms are about to give out and your muscles start to shake uncontrollably. Most people figure it’s due to their lack of strength or stamina. Have you ever wondered if there was more to it than that though? Here are a few reasons why your muscles shake when you’re working so hard.