‘Tis the season for making resolutions, focusing on self-improvement, and charting the course for the year ahead. What are you doing to improve yourself in 2018? One small step that can make a tremendous impact in many areas of your life is simply to establish good self-accountability. How credible are you? Many of us are loyal to commitments we make to our friends, family, and coworkers but we may routinely neglect to fulfill our promises to ourselves. When was the last time you put off a work out, failed to follow through with a diet goal, or simply lost momentum with a good training program?
Creating the discipline of good habits is beneficial to all of us! Whether you are looking to reboot your home exercise routine or seeking to redeem your diet after an avalanche of holiday feasts – consistency is the key. Daily diligence defines the difference between crashing through a fad and building a foundation of good habits that can improve your life. In some areas of life, this need for consistency is obvious, for example: brushing your teeth. If you wish to have fresh breath for your date on Friday night, is brushing your teeth just once on Tuesday going to cut it? Nope! Good oral hygiene requires that twice a day commitment every day of the week. Other areas of our health will benefit from applying this daily discipline as well.
So, here are 5 easy ways to help build credibility with yourself and to insure you follow through with all of those good intensions.
- Make an appointment with yourself – Schedule time on your calendar each day, even if it is just 20 minutes, to do your home exercise program. Honor this time the same way you would honor any other medical appointment.
- Reward yourself when you follow through – Improving your health is its own reward, but you may need other tangible incentives to keep you motivated on your course. Make a barter system with yourself – “For every 10 minutes I spend on this treadmill, I will get 10 minutes of guilt-free Netflix ve
- Get friends and family onboard – One of my patients found the best way to correct his posture was to recruit his children, “It’s open season, kids – anytime you can catch me slouching, call me on it and I will give you a dollar.”
- Keep it visible – Put those running shoes in a high visibility area of your home so that you have a visual reminder to gear up and get outside for a jog. Are you using a theraband for your exercise routine? Don’t hide it – hang it in plain sight so that you are prompted to put it to good use!
- Teach what you’ve learned – If you have mastered a new exercise or healthy recipe, share it! Pay it forward and reap the benefit of better understanding through teaching. You know you have truly mastered a technique when you can teach it effectively to someone else.
So let me know – what do you do to encourage yourself to follow through with your commitments to yourself? Have you tried any of these suggestions before? Do you have new ideas you’d like to share with us? Let’s support each other in making 2018 a year of abundant good health!
TMJ pain can be a real problem for its victims, limiting their ability to chew and talk, and interrupting sleep. Often, headaches even limit the person’s ability to concentrate! Various treatments have been proposed to alleviate the symptoms of TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) pain, many of which are very complex and even invasive. Looking at the TMJ as “just another joint” and not predetermining that it has to be complicated has been very freeing for me in using a mechanical approach. Let me explain using a patient example from this week in clinic.
My approach is modeled after the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, although very little about TMJ specifically has been written or published about it. (1)
Symptoms and Experience
Now, about the patient. (Name and other identifying information has been omitted to protect privacy). This patient complained of intermittent left jaw pain with wide opening of the mouth. He stated it only occurred then, and otherwise it really was not painful. However, chewing tough foods, he admitted, was sometimes painful. His worst pain occurred with rapid opening of the mouth and could be as intense as 6 on a scale of 1-10.
Therapist’s Evaluation and Findings
Objective findings were limited and painful opening with slight left deviation, limited and painful protrusion, limited and painful right deviation, and no pain or limitation with retraction, or left deviation. Repeated tests performed actively by the patient of protrusion first, then of right deviation resulted in producing the patient’s symptoms, no worse after, but also no change in baseline ROM or pain. Forces were progressed to patient applied over-pressure to right deviation. The patient reported that this produced his pain initially, then decreased pain as he performed more repetitions. Subsequently, he reported wider opening with less pain!
Home exercises were assigned, which naturally consisted of patient applied over-pressure into repeated right deviation every hour or two as per typical McKenzie protocol. On the second clinic visit two days later, the patient stated he was already 50% improved! This finding confirmed the mechanical diagnosis of derangement syndrome. In this classification, there is a good prognosis for rapid and lasting recovery from the problem.
Get Yourself Evaluated
This is only one clinical example of a purely mechanical TMJ problem. While there are examples of TMJ issues that are not derangements, or even mechanical, often a mechanical cause of the pain can be found and the patient helped by mechanical therapy. It is well worth a thorough examination to determine if your TMJ pain has a mechanical component, and to get appropriate treatment which would otherwise be missed.
Our hearts go out to the survivors and the families of victims at the Boston marathon explosion…
Please pass on the word around town: MDT Physical Therapy will treat any of the Portlanders (OR) who were injured in this terrible Boston marathon tragedy at no out of pocket costs* to the athletes or their families in 2013. Please call us at 503-244-6232 for full details & arrangements.
Our prayers go out to you…
*Valid for treatment started in 2013, up to 5 visits if patient has no/poor insurance benefits; proof of presence at the Boston Marathon required. MDT Physical therapy reserves the right to discontinue the offer at any time.