Have you ever considered which of the joints in your body is the most important?
It’s a difficult question… but if I had to answer, the humble shoulder would be right up there. Why’s that? Well consider what life would be like if you couldn’t move your arms at all and they were simply stuck by your sides. Being able to move our hands to manipulate objects, bring food to our mouth, or to communicate are very important abilities for humans.
Where does most of that movement come from? The shoulder!
The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in our body. We can reach right up over our head, behind our back and out in front. When we don’t have any shoulder problems, it can be easy to take for granted just how much we use them. Unfortunately, many people over 50 experience shoulder problems that limit their ability to do daily tasks, the things they love and exercise.
Now there are many different causes of shoulder pain like rotator cuff problems,...
Do you, or someone you know, have knee osteoarthritis? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Knee osteoarthritis affects about 1 in 10 adults of 60 years of age (Zhang & Jordan 2011), but also affects many younger people too, so it is not surprising that many members of the Be Mobile community suffer from this condition.
At Be Mobile, one of our big goals is to reduce the barriers to exercise for as many people as we can. Now, knee pain can be a significant barrier to many forms of exercise and people with knee osteoarthritis tend to be less physically active (Wallis et al. 2013). Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions around knee osteoarthritis that can further limit people’s engaging in physical activity. So, this article will take a look at some of the common misconceptions around knee osteoarthritis and make some recommendations about what you can do about your knee pain.
What is Osteoarthritis?
There is a prevalent idea that osteoarthritis is a...
Pain is a very important evolutionary mechanism. It has evolved over millions of years to protect us, and keep us safe from harm. However, like many other evolutionary mechanisms (such as the drive to eat fatty and sugary foods!) it doesn't always serve our best interests.
What is pain?
If you google search a definition of pain, you might find something like this:
“Pain is a highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury.”
However, recent developments in pain science have changed the way we think and talk about pain, in important ways. A definition of pain that more appropriately fits our current understanding, would be something like this:
“Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.”
Let’s look at the first part of that definition, pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. It is important to understand that pain is not just a physical...
Did you know that nearly 1 million Australian’s suffer from osteoporosis? That’s about 4% of the population (AIHW 2020). Osteoporosis is a major health concern for many members of the Be Mobile Community. Since osteoporosis is most prevalent in older adults (particularly women) helping our clients improve their bone density is one of our big goals! However, many people with osteoporosis are concerned about exercise, especially resistance training for fear of damaging their bones. This blog will address some of the concerns about osteoporosis and exercise. But first, let’s clarify a few things about the condition.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis translated from ancient Greek means “porous bone”. It is a skeletal condition where there is a decrease in bone mineral density - classically seen in post-menopausal women. Osteoporosis is diagnosed by a bone density scan. A T score of -2.5 or below indicates osteoporosis whereas a score between -1 to 2.5...
Back pain is extremely common. In fact, about 75-84% of people worldwide will experience back pain at some point in their lives (Thiese et al. 2014). The good news is that the vast, vast majority of back pain cases are not indicative of something serious. In fact, most cases will alleviate within days to weeks (Hartvigsen et al. 2018). That said, we understand that back pain can be incredibly uncomfortable and frustrating.
So given the prevalence of back pain, we thought it would be good to talk about some of the common myths we hear and give some tips about managing and preventing back pain.
1. Lifting weights, especially with a bent back is bad.
Just like lifting weights makes muscles stronger, lifting weights makes the back stronger and more resilient. Of course, lifting something awkwardly or a load you are unaccustomed to can be a factor that contributes to pain, just like any other part of your body. However, we know that an appropriate resistance training program...
When you think of the core of something, you probably think of the inner part of an object - like the core of an apple, or the core of the earth... or something that is central to the existence of something like ‘the core beliefs’ of a religion. When it comes to the human body, many claim that there is a set of muscles that are of vital importance, especially when it comes to back pain. But is it helpful to define ‘The Core?’
This article will examine this idea of the core muscles, if they should be labelled ‘the core’, whether they are more important than any other muscles, and whether core muscle training is useful for low back pain.
What is the core?
The core muscles garnered hype during the 1990’s when researchers linked back pain with a lack of ‘core stability’. Since then, many therapists have advised clients with back pain to selectively ‘activate’ their core muscles to treat their...
What is it?
Neck pain is a real pain in the neck…. Ba doom Tsh!
But seriously, although it seems obvious, anything that relates to the cervical spine and surrounding structures would fall under the classification of neck pain. However, people who experience neck pain can also have related symptoms in their arms and hands.
If you experience or have experienced neck pain, you’re not alone. In Australia, neck pain has been reported to be as high as 20% of the adult population (RACGP 2018). It is also in the top 5 chronic pain conditions in regards to prevalence (how many people have it) and years lost to disability (Cohen & Hooten 2017). So neck pain is clearly a significant problem. This article will look at why someone might develop neck pain and what you can do about it. We will then go over the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Why does it occur?
We can learn a lot about neck pain from another area of the spine - the low back. Low back pain...
A common belief is that spinal pain is caused by sitting, standing, or bending “incorrectly.” Despite the absence of strong evidence to support these common beliefs, a large posture industry has flourished, with many interventions and products claiming to “correct” posture and prevent pain. Unfortunately, many health care professionals still provide advice in line with this non–evidence-based perspective.
Common beliefs about posture don't match up with the evidence we have
Health care professionals and the wider community typically agree that avoiding spinal flexion is the safest way to sit and bend. People are commonly advised to “sit up straight” and to “don’t bend your back to lift”. The assumption is that maintaining these postures might protect spinal structures and prevent back pain. However, these ideas are not based on good evidence. The evidence that we do have is actually quite contrary to these common...
What is it?
“Tennis elbow” is the common name given to pain on the outside of the elbow. It is referred to in medical research as lateral epicondylitis, lateral elbow tendinopathy or lateral epicondylalgia. We think the most representative term to use is Lateral Epicondylalgia (LE).
That name can sound a little scary, but let’s break down what those words actually mean.
So, Lateral Epicondylalgia (LE) literally just means “pain on the outside of the elbow”.
What causes it?
LE is a tendinopathy (tendon issue) involving the tendons of the forearm, and the bony points of the elbow to which they attach. LE is the most common chronic musculoskeletal pain condition affecting the elbow, and it can cause significant pain, disability and lost...
Fibromyalgia is a condition featuring persistent widespread pain, unrefreshing sleep, physical tiredness and cognitive difficulties. Unfortunately, many people who have experienced this complex set of symptoms have had to face the stigma that comes with a controversial diagnosis. Fibromyalgia is a controversial diagnosis. Some health professionals claim that it does not exist, leaving many patients in a world of doubt and fear.
This notion that fibromyalgia is not a legitimate condition, may come from the outdated biomedical model - a system of medical practice where problems are near solely attributed to biological factors such as pathogens or changes in the functioning of the body’s organs (as opposed to the biopsychosocial model which encompasses psychological and social factors in addition to biological inputs). The biomedical model relies on objective findings such as laboratory tests, imaging and pathology findings to diagnose a disease. Since...