Of Pain and Torture, AKA Physical Therapy

bromelain and iceIf a picture paints a thousand words, what story does this picture tell?  I’ll give you a hint:  PT.  Physical Therapy, otherwise known as Pain and Torture.

⇦These are the things my physical therapist told me to do four times a day:  exercise, ice and anti-inflammatory.

My anti-inflammatory of choice is Bromelain, a mixture of enzymes found in pineapples.  These protein-digesting enzymes block the body’s production of compounds that cause swelling and pain.  The suggested dosage of Bromelain as a digestive aid is 500 mg per day, taken with a meal.  But for an injury or for arthritis, up to 2000 mg on an empty stomach is recommended.

I began taking 500 mg of Bromelain a day and didn’t notice much improvement.  But when I bumped up to 2,000 mg, my pain level was remarkably reduced, and my inflammation began to lessen at a much more noticeable rate.

Even though I started this post with a PT insult, to be fair and completely honest, I’m extremely pleased with the therapy I’ve received.  If you need a physical therapist in the Birmingham area, I can recommend an excellent one!  And if you’re looking for a natural anti-inflammatory, you just found it!

Important:  Because bromelain breaks down fibrin, a blood-clotting protein that can impede blood circulation, individuals on blood-thinning medication or with bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, liver disease, or kidney disease should contact their healthcare provider before taking bromelain.  Bromelain should not be taken with tetracycline or by individuals who are allergic to pineapple.  Bromelain and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) should be discontinued 1 to 2 weeks before any surgical procedure to reduce the risk of post-operative bleeding.

Are You Smarter than a 7th Grader?

7th grade Life Science questions: 

  • Are bones alive?
  • What two substances comprise the bone matrix?
  • True or False:   Bones increase or decrease their mass as needed.

Are you smarter than a 7th grader?

If you’ve studied the 7th grade Apologia textbook, Exploring Creation with General Science, you know the answers to these questions!

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Are bones alive?  Yes, your bones are composed of living cells.  Bone continually changes to meet your body’s needs.

What two substances comprise the bone matrix?  Collagen and minerals.  Collagen is a flexible substance that belongs to a class of chemicals known as proteins.  Minerals are substances found naturally in the earth.  Collagen and minerals work together to make bones both strong and flexible.  The collagen gives bones their flexibility; the minerals give bones their hardness.

True or False:  Bones increase or decrease their mass as needed.  True.  Bones that bear weight must be firm.  So, if you exercise, your bones will be stressed and will respond by increasing their mass to become more firm.  If you are inactive, bone tissue will be taken away.

General Science

Now!  We’re all at least as smart as the 7th graders who’ve studied this book!

I’m getting the exercise my bones need now, but I still have a lot to learn about the minerals.  Calcium is only one of the minerals my bones need.

What have you learned?  Care to share?  I’d love to hear from you.  Email or comment and tell me what you’ve added to your diet to help your bones.  Thanks!

Weight-Bearing and Muscle-Strengthening Exercises

I’ve heard from several of you who have also been working in the bone density department.  Thanks for your encouragement!

I thought you might like to see more detail of what my friend Kristin shared with me.  The “Exercise for Strong Bones” pages include information from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, modified slightly for me.   If you can’t read it, click on the images to enlarge.Exercise for Strong Bones, National Osteoporosis FoundationExercise page 2I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t understand the connection between exercise and bone health.  I was hoping I could just take a supplement and forego the exercise, but that’s just not how the body was designed.  I’ve learned some fascinating things about bones and muscles, so check back here later for more of my discoveries.

Please share what you’ve learned about building bone density!  I love to hear from you!

Exercise for Strong Bones

Those were the words at the top of the page my friend Kristin sent me.

Exercise for Strong BonesExercise…

Up until this point, my entire exercise life could be summarized in a few words:  housework and an occasional walk.  And, as the technician had said, “Whatever you’ve been doing, it hasn’t been enough.”

So, Kristin came over and helped me get started with an exercise routine.  I began with 6-pound weights, a list of exercises, and Kristin’s encouragement to work out for 30 seconds and rest for 15 seconds.

I found a free app to help me with the intervals, and I think the fun of that app kept me going those first few days.  I found it at pushpress.com, and it has a great feature called Audio Assist.  I have no idea who these people are, but their encouraging voices tell me when to start and when to rest.  I chose the voice of Elyse Umeda, simply because hers was the most like Kristin’s of all the choices. 🙂  When I get all the way through my workout, that voice says, “Time!  Great job!”  Ah!  Music to my ears and to my tired muscles!!

pushpress app

This is how my routine looks now after working up just a bit.  I work for 40 seconds and rest 20, and my whole workout takes about 27 minutes.  I now work with 8-pound weights for my first cycle and then switch back to the 6-pounders, and I also wear 3-pound ankle weights.

My plan includes three days of this workout, three days of other exercise (once a week it’s 30 minutes of intense housework, sometimes it’s a vigorous walk, and occasionally it’s my regular workout exercises except without the weights), and one day of rest.

I feel my muscles.  I sure hope it’s helping my bones!!

weights