Pain While Quarantined From Perpetual Mouse, Keyboard, and Phone Use with Charles Bram

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Hello, it’s Bill the knee pain guru. With another edition of The pain education podcast, brought to you by The comella Foundation. Today, we got a special guest is a buddy of mine, Charles Bram. Charles and I go back a few years and we reconnected not too long ago within the past few weeks, and we jumped on a call and he was just sharing with me some of the challenges that he’s seeing with people because of all this quarantine and lockdown stuff. So I thought I’d asked Charles to come on the call today and we would talk shop on how he approaches issues with perpetual mouse keyboard and phone use from being quarantined. So welcome Charles in. As you were telling me right before, I like to be referee coach, so… Coach, would you please introduce yourself?

Alright, I’m Charles for the last 11 years, I’ve been doing personal training, I’ve coached well over 500 people at this point, and the vast majority of them have had some sort of ankle, knee, hip, lower back, shoulder or neck pain. It’s one of the big reasons that people come to me. They wanna get their mobility back, they wanna move more pain-free… Yes. They wanna be stronger. Yes, they wanna lose some weight, but I think as we get older, and most of my clients are aged 35 plus all the way up into the late 70s and early 80s, when we start to lose their mobility, life just isn’t as much fun, you… Hey, you wanna go for a hike? Not my backwards. Hey, you wanna go play tennis? No, my shoulder hurts. You wanna do a little bit of rock climbing? Late Rocky. Now, looking up my neck hurts, or can you help me paint my ceiling… Can’t raise my chin, life gets gradually piece by piece harder to live when you have pain in your joints and you begin to lose your mobility.

Oh, I wanna ask you, do you think that’s normal? Do you think that’s the way it needs to be? How about that? And that would probably be a better question. It is normal because so many people are suffering with it, but is that really the way… It needs to be.

Okay, okay, that’s a great question. So I’ll tell you the same thing that I told my father. My father came back from his doctor’s office five, six years ago, and I had been telling them, you know, you might wanna consider getting a different doctor or somebody who’s going to tell you all the problems that are occurring in your body because you’ve been overweight for so long losing mobility on all these kinds of things, and it comes back on and I’m perfectly good with my doctor, he tells me I’m average, and that’s okay. So Dad, your body doesn’t care how old you are, or that your average for the population, there’s healthy, there’s not so good health, there’s unhealthy and there’s danger zone, you’re about to die. Average for our population is pretty much unhealthy, I just look around, walk into any mall, Metro, stop, anything like that, and just kind of observe the people walking by, the younger people tend to walk very easily, and the older people may have a little bit of trouble walking they’re slightly off balance, their stride is a little off if you really pay attention, you notice these things, and you’ll also notice that as people age, they’re just larger than they were before, but this is not a function of age, it’s a function of the habits that we have as human beings, and the longer we have these habits, then the additional weight piles on, the lack of mobility occurs, and then a really funny thing happens when we have less mobility and we’re not as strong as we used to be in where kids…

We wanna buy cars where you push a button and the door opens for you rather than you opening the door yourself, you wanna push a button and it moves the chair back, so you can easily get in and out of the car and all these things, rather than our life showing us where we’re having these issues that we need to work on, we’ve worked to a point where we can afford to buy things that make our life easier, which then makes it even harder and harder and harder. I’ll give another great example, if you see people walking with a cane and many times in a wheelchair, if they’re in their 70s and 80s, this didn’t necessarily happen with a car accident or something dramatic like that, it happened gradually week after week, year after year, and folks didn’t notice the danger signs, and so what I hope to do is work with people that have noticed some danger signs and stop them from progressing along that path and get as much of the strength and mobility and function back into their joints that they can… And I always caveat that though, because this is important, if you’ve got a severe tendon, we can’t fix that, that only surgery is gonna help and that may not completely solve the problem, but if this is something that is related to muscle in any way, or just a general limit in the range of motion, we can help you get that motion back, we can help people the strength around the joints, and we can make it feel like you reverse the aging process, and.

There’s a couple of analogies that I use in working with clients, one is a car analogy. If you get… If the frame is crooked, no matter how much you drive it, it’s not gonna straighten out, and that’s what a lot of people do, it’s like they have that the frame gets cricket from an accident injury, surgery, trauma, whatever that is. And it causes the body to compensate. Now it’s crooked, so to speak, you’re not standing straight, you’re not sitting straight, you’re not walking straight, you’re not running straight or exercising straight, and it creates a dysfunction that’s more easy, you’re up to injuries. And then… So that’s one of the analogies. The other analogy was the analogy of the frog in the pot… If you put a frog in a pot of cool water… Or, I’m sorry, the proper way to describe it is if you put a frog in a pot of hot water, the frog I hop out of the water, but if you put a fraud in a product, cool water and then turn up the heat, gradually… What ends up happening is the fraud will cook in the pot, and that’s where I think a lot of the population has been that frog in the cool water and gradually day after day after day, they get less mobility, less function, more pain or stiffness.

And it’s like, Wow, that’s just what happens when I get older.

I have old man knees. That’s that kind of thing.

Okay, before we get off in the weeds, ’cause I see this conversation going in a bunch of different directions, let’s get back on topic, which is around the whole concept of quarantine in some capacity over the past year, the American population, the population of the world has somewhat been limited for a number of different reasons, not exercising as much, staying more at home, and when we were talking the other day, you had said you had identified three areas of the body that had a propensity for injuries to occur or issues to occur specifically because they were doing work at home? Sitting in front of a computer. Yes, in those three areas we talked about were the shoulders, the lower back, and… Why am I not finding them? Knees, thank you. I should know that. Okay, would you speak to that dynamic of what’s been going on, what you’ve been seeing in the gym… Alright, alright.

So as you know, it’s all a big long kinetic change it. So one area tends to have a problem than the others can develop problems as well, so as we trace this back with people over the last six to nine months, what we’re seeing is they came out of their regular work environment, and over the years, companies have gotten pretty sophisticated in the types of desks and chairs, and the way the monitors are set up in this type of thing, so that people aren’t in as much pain, right. So we’ve got desks that raise up and down, some people even have the ability to walk in a little treadmill at work or ergonomic or are kind of stuff… The chairs are built in all kinds of different ways, you can lean back in them, you can pull forward and go up and down side to side, and you move the arms, all of that kind of stuff. So people are used to working in environments where there’s thousands and thousands of dollars spent on supporting that person to be able to work eight, 10, 12 hours a day at that station, now they go into their home and people are setting up a laptop on a countertop, maybe on top of a desk, perhaps the kitchen table, or they’re thrown that laptop down in their lap while they’re sitting on the couch and they’re looking down at this thing like that, and perhaps the worst is kind of throwing a pillow behind them and they’re laying in the bed, this time of day.

I’m so guilty of all of those…

Go ahead. So people used to tell me it was very difficult to get up and walk around and get mobile during the workday because maybe they were stuck with phone calls or they were just doing some data entry, they’re looking at spreadsheets, all this type of thing, but they were getting up in there, we’re going to the kitchen, they were getting up and doing several other things, meet with somebody in another office, go up a couple of floors to get a conference room… This type of thing, it’s all changed now, you could lay on the couch and you could be there for eight hours straight and not move it off. Yeah, so we’re seeing a higher incidence of shoulder, neck and wrist pain, hips, knees, all of that.

And is it because they’re holding that position for an extended period of time or a lack of movement… Can you break that down a little bit more to help someone who’s listening to this or watching this, watching the podcast, in a way that they can begin to understand these dynamics that are happening in your body… Sure, sure.

Yes and yes. Okay, so if we’re sitting in the same position for a long time… Let’s talk… Lower back for a second, okay? If you’re lower back is slightly rounded out and you like that for three hours straight, your body has been pushing in that direction the entire time, all of your weight of your trunk in your head and everything is just pressing down and pushing back this way. Normally, if you’re up and walking around and you’re getting pressure from all size your maybe reaching over here at… Grab something in and out of a car. Whatever it happens to be. So when we sit for a long time, not only were getting that pressure there, but then the body does something really strange, the brain starts to lose contact with the muscle fibers that around those joints, so we become much stronger in one direction and much weaker in the other direction. So to give an example that someone can test out at home, lay on your stomach and kinda push your hands and your chest and just sort of press up, leave your hips on the ground, and is there a significant amount of pain in your lower back now that should be nice and mobile, you see people doing these yoga moves, you’re like, Oh wow, that’s so elegant, the way that person moves, well, that’s the way you’re supposed to be able to move with your lower back, but if you’re immediately getting into some pain, probably you’ve been sitting for too long, and over the years, we’ve developed some disc issues down there…

Okay, let’s say it’s a shoulder issue, a lot of people will read with their arm for… Oh, I guess you can see it here with their arm for like that, holding the mouse, so all the time that shoulder is sitting slightly out of joint enrolled for, so all the muscles in your chest become tighter and the muscles back here becomes stretched and strained and then gradually may not, but at some point in time, the brain starts to lose that contact back there and those muscles get weak and you can’t pull the shoulder back into position anymore, and so a quick, easy way for somebody to check if they have problems with that is raise your arm up and Can you rotate your arm backwards? Yeah, got it. If you can’t, and a lot of people can’t, they’ll end up doing something like this, and their brain tells them they’re rotating backwards, but in reality, they’re moving their bicep, and the brain has lost connection back there.

I wanna interrupt you for one second, ’cause I have two clients that I’ve been working with with frozen shoulders, and what I’ve been finding is that exact pattern, the scapula, the engagement of the scapula between the scapula and the spine, the muscle right there that would squeeze the scapula in and down isn’t able to contract, it’s like It’s not neurologically, it’s not firing in the correct order, so they’re going to raise their shoulder and the raison, everything with the pattern you were talking about, the chest shoulder, everything is all engaged except the scapula in the back, that’s supposed to pull down, that allows the shoulder to go up… Anyhow, yeah, I’m right there with you in terms of what I’ve been seeing as well, when it comes to the shoulder… I didn’t mean you get you off track…

No, no, no, if we get way too far in the weeds on that particular stuff and people start tuning out, so the same kind of thing can happen with your knees, the same kind of thing can happen with your ankles, but potentially another one that most people aren’t aware of is their hip flexors? Shortening up? Yep, okay. And it’s because we sit all the time, we sit to drive, we sit to eat, we sit to work, we sit for all of these various kinds of things, and so an easy way for somebody to see if that’s a problem is to lay on their back, raise their legs straight overhead and drop it down, and if your knee wants to bend on the way down before your heel hits the ground, then your hip flexes are probably shortened up, and this could be causing back pain, and if we track that back, it’s probably from sitting all those hours maybe on the couch, in the couch is comfy, right? You can move your hips for a little bit, you can lean into it, and your lower back is just gonna completely round out, so that’s the majority of the problems that people are coming to me with based on covid, it’s the college, it’s the…

Sitting there like this, even afterwards, when is the worst day end? Well, you put the laptop down and you bring the phone up to your face and you’re just sitting like that, and so that brings both shoulders, right.

Could you speak to… And this is more of a talking shop kind of deal, is it the hip flexors are too tight or the quads get weak, ’cause I’ve noticed that’s something that I’ve been working with lately is hip mobility for myself, and I will… In terms of just a regular movement down, it’s not a big deal, I don’t have the leg bending, but in terms of getting full extension of the leg, let’s see what I’m standing up with my leg out in front of me. I find that there is a tension pattern that is preventing my leg from straighten out, and I also have… It feels like a weakness in the quad in a way that I never knew my quad could get strong. Sure.

And people see this a lot of times when they do an exercise like a pistol, where you stand on one leg and you squat down that other leg… That’s sticking straight out in front. They’re like on a Charlie Horse a year doing that. Yes. Okay, so we immediately wanna think about the quad ’cause hey, that’s a little bit of a problem, but it could actually be an issue with the hamstring as well, if you are struggling against the hamstring to pull the legs straight, now that quad is working much harder than it would normally be just to straight leg, so for instance, if you were sitting on a chair, I’ll just turn to the side here, and if I stick my leg out straight, I can feel my quads engaged, but it’s really not that big a deal, I’m just… So my leg is in the same position as if I was standing up, but when I stand up, my hips change, and now suddenly the hamstrings have to stretch further in order to straighten the leg out. Okay, so that becomes an inhibitor.

Like the antagonistic muscle concept… Yeah, bisecp-tricep hamstring, quad. Gotta. Okay, so we’re looking at these patterns that are perpetuated by perpetual mouse keyboard phone use, we talked about the shoulders, the lower back, the knees go. And talk about the needs a little bit more. I’m interested in your take on the… What you’re seeing when your quads start to go to sleep a bit from sitting for long periods of time, and our viewers may really have experienced this at some point, you’re sitting back into a chair, like… There’s these like shares, I have one at home, and the hip, it’s significantly below where the knees sit down into it, and you lay back lit, it’s awesome for watching TV, and if I sit there for a couple hours watching me, I go to get up and I can immediately feel it in my knees.

My quads have gone to sleep somewhat, right, they’re not active, and so they’re suddenly having to really engage, or if I walk around a little bit and I’ve tested this out and I sit back down in the chair again, I can get back out of it normally is when people are sitting for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours every day and they’re not getting up like they used to when they were at work, you might even have somebody to step by your desk and you have to stand up for just three seconds to show them something, a piece of paper, and then… But you still got up, you got out of that chair, right. So these quads, they’re getting weaker and weaker, and weaker and weaker, and they have lost the ability to all work together, and in order to get up out of that chair, combine that with your glutes as they sit in opposite ends, opposite joints. Okay, if the glutes aren’t able to fully engage and the quads aren’t able to fully engage, now you have a tremendous amount of pressure pulling against your knee cap… No, sure. Okay, alright, and this over time causes a lot of pain because you start to get micro tears and adhesions and such on those little tendons that are attached to your patella on either side.

Okay, I’m following you. And so, yes, if you can strengthen those quads, you can say you can strengthen your glutes, a lot of knee pain will greatly diminish if it’s caused from sitting like that, a great test that I give somebody to see if they have some weak blues and people are really surprised by this. So like, what do you mean? My legs not go, so you lay down flat on the ground, face down, raise one leg, so you’ve got it at 90 degrees, drop that toe down and try and put your heel up on the ceiling, and many people that have been sitting sitting, sitting over quarantine, they can barely get their leg to come off the ground, maybe an inch or something… I know, like I feel like I’m pushing so hard. But it just doesn’t wanna go. The quads are asleep.


So the biggest, most powerful muscles in your body aren’t working, and that means all the smaller muscles, all the weaker muscles are trying to do that same job. And our brains are amazing. It can figure out 20 different ways to do something, but that doesn’t mean it’s doing it effectively. We wanna get those glutes back active again.

Now, the question I wanna ask you is around, there’s some clients you are working with pre-covid, and there’s clients you’re working with… I won’t say post yet, recently, as of recent, you’re starting to work with these clients, can you give what you’ve seen in terms of the results of how a person was functioning in your gym when they were working out before all of this lockdown quarantine stuff hit and then now afterwards, how that’s affected their body, their strength, their mobility, their flexibility, their health… Can you kinda speak to that a little bit?

Yeah, so I had some people who stopped coming in and stopped working out with me right when all the news started hitting gym are death, stay away from gyms. Okay, cancellation notices. And then in the last couple of months, a few of those folks have started coming back, they’re like, Oh hey, things are getting better, let’s… And my health is really going down hill, so I’m hearing a lot of that, just in general, the males, they’re not feeling like they felt… Before, I’ve tried to stay active, I walked. I tried to do some working out, and then they’re like, Well, the consistency just wasn’t there after work, that bottle of wine is really calling to me, it’s just very frustrating if… I can’t spend time with friends, I’m feeling pretty isolated, I’m fighting more with my kids, I’m fighting more with my husband, I’m finding more of my wife, these kinds of things, and so the workday can finish it four instead of six maybe, and that glass of wine comes out the beers, come out, whatever it happens to be, and 20-minute walks three or four times a week isn’t making it half and occasionally doing a set of push-ups, jumping on the stationary bike here and there, or getting on the elliptical, maybe going for a short bike ride around the neighborhood.

It has just not kept pace. Folks are coming back and they’re telling me, I feel like I did when I first started here three years ago, that kind of thing, a range of motion, maybe 10-15% decrease in ranges of motion, significant more joint pain across all joints, less mobility in the spine overall, less ability to control the spine, doing something like a squat or a deadlift, where you really need to articulate everything that’s happening in your back, loss of control over your knees when you’re squatting, for instance, your need to track out as you’re going down… Right, to make sure we’re getting the rotational muscles to pull into place and fully stabilize your hips, that’s just sort of gone by the way side, so we’re having to re-teach movement patterns. Alright, so everything has changed somewhat now, of course it’s individual, some people did a lot more than others over that time period, but also new folks that are coming to me are calling me and saying… They used to work out at the gym. And rather than going back to a gym, they just don’t feel like they used to, and they feel like they need somebody to get them back on track.

Right, and sure enough, we spend that first day working together, going through a series of exercises that kind of show them and I where their mobility is, and strength and weakness, and coordination and balance and all of these kinds of things, and so sometimes I’ll chase my balances even if I wasn’t expecting that to happen. Other than that, we’re seeing folks have put on between 10 and 20 pounds.

And college, going to college again.

It very much is, and I’ll ask you why do you think that happened? And they’ll say, Well, I used to make my lunch and bring it with me to work, and now I just kinda go into the kitchen and I’ll eat whatever happens to be there, and if there’s a bag of chips, oh, maybe I don’t feel like making something right now, I’ll eat a couple of handfuls of chips and this will hold me over for an hour and then I’ll make a lunch that it doesn’t really happen, so then you grab the ice T with a bunch of sugar in it or something else, and you kind of grazed from 11 o’clock until six. And then you dinner… After the wine and the beer. Point of the fear. Yeah, and of course, as we all know, if you start drinking before you’ve had dinner, your inhibitions for eating crappy food kinda goes away, and… It happens for me too. I’ve been doing this for 11 years professionally. If I do have a couple of beers across the street with some of my clients or friends, and I see somebody get the nachos, I’m like, I want nachos…

Yeah, I fall into those same traps as well, but… Yeah, it’s so interesting. I think these are… It’s the frog in the pot, the rothe, handful of chips, the glass of wine, the beer and things like that, which I of itself isn’t bad. That doesn’t seem to be a course correction, it seems like a slippery slope that people keep regressing. What would you say to someone who feels themselves slipping, they’re in their 30s, they’re in their 40s, in their 50s, and all of a sudden they’re like, Oh man, the things aren’t… Like it was when I was in my 20s, and now I have all these dynamics, family, financial stresses, all these other things, what can they begin doing, like how could you begin to course correct something like that and feel like you’re making any progress? ’cause it could seem overwhelming, it really should… To my back hurts, my knees hurt. I get crappy sleep, it hurts to move. I don’t wanna exercise or lift weights like I used to… Just speak into it. What would coach Charles say?

Alright, so there’s a really interesting aspect to human psychology that’s at play here, if somebody is really feeling like crap, they’ll go see the doctor, Hey, doc, what’s wrong, and maybe that gets to medication, or maybe they get escalated up the chain, Oh, you need to go see a specialist, they go see the specialist, a specialist takes X-rays or whatever it happens to be, maybe your blood pressure is way up, we get a draw blood and see what’s going on there, there’s a whole lot of diagnostics in place, so it’s very normal for a person who’s got a head cold or trouble breathing, Hey, let’s go see the doctor, but when it comes to other danger signs, knee pain and such, the human psychology says, Let’s wait until this is a real problem, and then let’s go see the doctor.

That’s interesting, I hadn’t thought about that. Go, I love it. This is good.

And then what does the doctor typically say Here, go take some aspirin, go take some Advil, try this for four weeks, if you still got pain, come back and see me, so as you… And I know that just mass the pain. So what would I suggest instead? I suggest coming to professionals such as ourself who are used to dealing with movement, mobility, pain, strength, all of these kinds of things, and get evaluated, and if you don’t wanna come see somebody like us, maybe go see a chiropractor who is also very adapted observing the way a person would move and when things are not operating correctly, ’cause it might be a real simple, tight muscle, it just needs to be loose and not pay back. You’re walking fine again, everything is good, but a lot of times the chiropractor also tell you, Hey, we identify this dysfunction, I helped you at this instant, but If you don’t strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip and a day or two, you’re gonna feel that same pain you’re gonna be right back in here, man, and I’m happy to work with you and it’s probably gonna take four to six weeks or eight weeks, but I want you to start doing some strength than…

Here’s a couple of exercises, or perhaps you might wanna go see a personal trainer, so people tend to think of all of us professionals as being quite expensive, but they don’t think about going to see the doctors and the specialist as being expensive. This is just something you need to do, in fact, all over the news, it’s like, Hey, healthcare, healthcare healthcare… I wish there was the cry from the media of personal trainer, personal trainer trainer, get your feet, get your fitness level, love, get your fitness level up, and so somebody can come in and see you, they can come see me and we can help them to determine what’s going on and trace back, Hey, I’ve got shoulder pain, let’s trace back and see what’s going… Oh, you spend six hours a day holding the mouse… That’s probably a problem. What can we do now to fix this? And it’s not gonna happen over night. A lot of people don’t wanna hear that. They want the magic tells.

One thing I’d like to add to the scenario, ’cause I think that scenario is great and I see… There’s a couple of different types of people. One is, fix it for me, and the other is, show me what to do, help me understand what I need to do. So you could meet me at another level, I could meet me at a better version of myself, even if it’s only in a couple of days, and I would encourage anybody watching this to look for that coach, that therapist, whoever it may be, that has that ability to meet you at that better version of yourself, a couple of days, week down the road, a couple of weeks, and realize this is an investment in the quality and longevity of what’s going on in your body. And that’s what I hear you saying. It’s like you’re gonna give somebody a tool to use to begin to strengthen a weak muscle that is going to reveal how you’re gonna be stronger in some ways and weaker in others, that will then ultimately make your body healthier down the road. Right, right. And some level of pain relief can occur immediately, and people are frequently surprised by that, and they’ll sit in struggle.

It’s like a kid with math, they still so long with the doing some Math problems, they don’t wanna ask your parents for help anymore, they don’t wanna ask their teaching Palmer, they don’t want their friends and think they’re stupid, they’ll just sit there and struggle with it, and so you’re in sixth grade to have it… Sure. With math, by the time you were a senior in high school, you don’t even wanna take math… It’s a dirty word. Let me stay away from it. Tolerant can be just like that, it starts out as something that’s annoying, and then it can progress to the point where you don’t even wanna move the shoulder, you just kinda walk around sort of like this… And somebody wants to move that army. Don’t even touch me. And you’ve now accustomed yourself to… This is the rest of my life. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Regarding pain, and this is a concept that once I wrapped around… Once I wrap my head around this for myself in my own journey, that pain in the body is only irritation of nerves the width of an eyelash, and you get that pressure off of those nerves, the pain goes away. Now, this of course is with the basis that they’ve gone to the doctor first to determine that nothing is broken or torn, we covered that in the beginning here right now, like frozen shoulder, lower back pain, knee pain, whatever it is, as long as something is not broken or torn, the only thing we’re dealing with is nerve irritation and we bring the body back into balance, whether it be strengthening or stretching or mobility, or breathing, or… There’s a whole bunch of stuff we could bring into the equation… I completely agree. The pain could go away pretty quickly.

Yeah. How do you start? You start that diagnostic. Right. We, I hate being test it, it puts us in a position where we don’t like it very much, and what if you find out bad news, you don’t wanna have bad news and human society would rather just sort charge forward and ignore everything that’s around us, but I wanna encourage everybody listening here, you got pain in your shoulder, you got paying your knees, lower back, whatever it is, you go talk to somebody, you can do a little bit of diagnostic for you and help you to understand what’s going on, and then help you to figure out a path to get from A to B, maybe you can… Not completely heal everything. I’ll give a personal example. I have lower back pain at the moment of probably like a level two out of 10, every day of my life, I have level one or level two, I had an MRI done, and there is one disc ’cause that’s half the size of all the other discs in my back, and that just happens to be within an inch or so of the area that’s always bothering me, so it kind of makes sense, there’s a physical issue and it drives the nerves and such, but to me, living with pain level of one to two is something my brain can ignore…

When it was 8 9 and 10, I could not ignore that, and trying to figure these things out on my own was very, very difficult, several years of learning, I wish I would have just come directly to people who could help me get there a lot faster.

Now, someone watching this, and I know for me, whenever I’m looking for a professional, I’m in an area that either it’s a new area of study for me, I don’t even know who to ask or how to begin with that. A lot of times, unless I hear someone share like this, I don’t know if the guy down at the corner, the physical therapist, or the gym or whoever it is, knows what you’re talking about, because I’m not even able to make that connection. What you’re saying sounds good, coach Charles, but I go down to Coach Joe over here. It sounds the same, but it doesn’t seem the same, how can a person qualify or quantify who they’re dealing with… Okay, I’m gonna tie this into people coming to contact you, we’ll get that.

That is a great question, and I’ll pull us back to human nature again, okay. When it comes time to spend 50, 100, 200, 500, we have a tendency to wanna spend that money correctly… If you know what I’m saying, yes. When you go to buy a car, a new car, you don’t expect that car to have any problems at all, that’s why you’re paying 50 grand for the new car instead of five grand for the 25-year-old used car with 186000 miles on it. Right now, it’s comfortable to do that because the expectation is, I buy the new car, it’s gonna work… The troll was working with professionals is that you’re never absolutely going to know 100% until you walk through the process. Now, on the other hand, if we’re buying books, let’s say you go to the bookstore and there’s 20 books on back pain, the average person would be willing to buy three or four books on back pain by different authors and different approaches, and take those home, and they read through the books, and they’ll maybe get a little bit of help out of that process, they don’t look at the other three books that don’t work quite as well as the One Book as wasted money.

They’re like, Oh, that was just part of my research. I learned a little bit from book one, I learned a little more from book too, and learn something different from Book 3 book 4 seem to have an approach that worked best for my particular lower back pain great. Now I’m on the road moving, and weirdly, I actually feel more comfortable going and dropping 100, 200, 500. With a professional now, because I’ve seen a little bit of improvement. Hey, it looks like someone who really knows what they’re doing. Could help me out. So the human nature is, we’re willing to spend money on multiple different books, but we’re absolutely scared to drop money on several professional… Okay, okay, that make sense. But the reality is that you may need to work with two or three or four professionals in order to get the best solution for your exact situation, somebody who understands where you’re coming from, can diagnose what’s going on… I’m an engineer by training. So diagnosis is what I do. It’s built into my psyche, I solve problems, tear things apart to try and figure them out, and I enjoy doing that kind of thing. I know that a lot of other personal trainers are not like me, they’ve got some certification in whatever, there’s dozens of certifications out there, and some of them may or may not have my background and understanding, but personally, I had neck pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, knee pains and I spend a lot of time working with professionals, reading the books, testing all of these things out, and that gave me a really deep bench to work with a 25-year-old personal trainer who’s never really had any major pain in his life, it looks like he’s in great shape that I may not be able to come at it from the same perspective.

He may only have three short little approaches, and if that doesn’t work, I can’t really tell. So what’s the best way to evaluate them? Get on the phone. Most of us has been in business for a long time, we offer a free consultation, 15, 20 minutes, jump on the phone, if the person’s not asking you the right questions to get you talking about what’s going on, they’re probably… I could be able to help you very well in person either, but if they’re able to ask you probing questions and you feel yourself answering those with more than yes and no, but you’re actually giving details and such, and you’re starting to feel like, Oh hey, this guy… Is actually walking down a path, helping me to understand what’s going on, now I probably do need to come in and meet with this person, so they can help me fix this problem.

Yeah, that makes sense. I was also, I really like the interaction, the initial interaction on the phone with this coach trainer type of person and seeing what questions they’re asking me as a person suffering in pain, and I’m also thinking from a person in pain to maybe show up on that call with a list of questions, like I do a little bit of due diligence, a little bit of preparatory work beforehand, so when they show up on the call, they have an idea of… Well, how long would it be before I see results? What has been your experience with someone with my… In my situation, I’m thinking of questions on the fly here, but something, it’s like, what does the outcome this person wants, even though it may be limited because I have pain and I really don’t know the potential of what I can… My body is capable of at this point, but I had maybe three or four or five questions that would help me learn what I wanna learn as a client of this person, that I think that would be helpful as well in that initial interaction with that person.

So the most obvious question is, Hey, have you worked with anybody with this type of problem… Right, and what kinds of results have you helped them to get… Now, of course, each individual’s results are going to be different from… Right, sure. So just like this, financial commercials, right? Your results may vary. And it’s absolutely true. Same with drug commercials. Yes. But I would wanna make sure that they’re not just focused on pain by itself, right? I want them to be able to talk about movement functionality, I want them to be able to talk about strengths, I want them to be able to talk about overall fitness, and even be able to guide them on things like What kind of weight range should they be in ’cause… Let’s be frank here, sometimes pain, especially in lower back and knees and hips is caused by you’re caring way too much weight, and so if the body never has an ability to recover because it’s always under stress… I just imagine this first, I give this as an example to folks, let’s say you were 50 pounds over weight, every time you get out of a chair, it’s like you were doing a squat with 50 pounds across your back, and people were like…

Yes, this makes a lot of sense. You can almost hear over the phone… A light bulb going off, right? And so we need to be able to holistically treat the entire process, it’s just pain in a particular area, at least in general, it’s not… So we wanna understand where the pain comes from, we wanna understand the movement dysfunction, but we also wanna understand the general health of the person and are they within a reasonable weight range for their frame. So if a person has a really small risk, collar bones, shoulder width and all this kind of thing, their frame is small, even if they’re tall, they probably shouldn’t weigh X, but another person who’s short has a really broad frame, really thick risks, and the cans and big collar bones and such, that person may be significantly more at a shorter height, and so they wanna be able to talk with somebody who understands this stuff just off the top of their head and can guide them in that process. Hey, I’m 150 pounds. Is this something that… ’cause I get asked these kinds of questions, I’m five foot three, and I weigh 150 pounds, should I do something about my way? I’ve always carried a lot of extra weight, so let’s talk about it in detail, and then have somebody who can talk…

Diet with them, right? Pain may be inflammation.

It. So I e-figure.

If we’re just focused on the physicality of movement and such, but we’re not addressing what might be going on with food intake, we could be missing 30 or 40% of the issue, and that’s.

A big chunk, and just to qualify inflammation, we’re not talking about inflammation from an injury, we’re talking about systemic inflammation in the body as a result of food, water, air, we breathe. I had a podcast a few weeks ago with a guy who was talking about the effects of WiFi on the physical body and issues like that, so we’re constantly bombarded, the body is constantly trying to ward off inflammation, and… I hear what you’re saying is that this is more like a systemic through the entire body that’s contributing to what we’re dealing with.

And then last, as basic questions, they should be able to… The personal trainer, the pain professional, should be able to talk to them about sleep. If the professional doesn’t understand the relationship of sleep to what’s going on with the whole body, then… Again, they’re missing out on something. It could be 20, 30, 40% of the equation. You could have the most fantastic work out in the world, you could have a perfect joint movement and such, you’re eating like an Angel every single day, but if you’re getting four and a half to five hours sleep, 10 days in a row, your body is never getting into a position where it can fully recover and the workouts may be doing more damage in the long run and the strength gains and such that… Well, you’re probably missing on these strength games too, if you’re only getting foresee, but a lot of desk workers, keyboard warriors, as some people call them, get any situations where there is a launch occurring with some software package in three or four weeks leading up to that, they’re hardly getting any sleep, they’re getting calls at midnight from somebody that needs help, it helped us, whatever it happens to be, and…

Yup, they’re up to one and then they gotta be up at work at 6 o’clock the next morning dealing with the next issue, or they can only do updates in the middle of the night, so they’re doing swing sleeps where they’re trying to sleep in the middle of day for a few hours. Your fitness professional should be able to talk to you about the holistic approaches to everything that’s going on with pain in your life…

No, that’s great, that’s good stuff, ’cause I think it broadens the perspective of what may be going on in a person’s body when they’re talking about shoulder pain, lower back pain, knee pain, and things such as that. Charles, I know we spoke about this, you’re not necessarily set up yet to work with people remotely, but if someone were to reach out to you and want to work with you… How would they get in touch with you?

Well, actually more recently, we have set up… Zoom is a very effective… We used to do a hodge-podge of things, but the zoom is working out really well now, where I’m not as set up is to work with people from a quote Distance coaching kind of thing, where I give you through email a set of things to do and then you just go and do them. But we can get about 80% to 90% of the capability in place over Zoom… Okay, okay, that we can… Through coming in in person, and the easiest way to learn a little bit more about our basic four-week program where we get people started is 2 x jump start dot com, that’s the number two, the letter X, and then jump start dot com. Okay, and why do we call it 2 x? Well, the first X, ’cause you need a little bit of a kick in to see the pants to get going again. Right, that’s great. And then the second X, if you will, the two is the whole idea is to help the person develop new habits and behaviors that they can keep for the rest of their life, so if you’re coming to me for shoulder dysfunction and pain and such, we’re gonna teach you all the fundamentals of exercise, just like we do, those who don’t have pain, but we’re gonna help you to identify the behaviors that are impacting that pain in the first place, and changes that you can make to your lifestyle, including work, home, travel, whatever it happens to be, so that you can get out of pain for the long haul, habits around eating, new habits around exercise, and new habits around sleep, new habits around accountability, so it’s a basic four-week program and essentially somebody can go to that website, read through if they see the types of things that they like, they can set up an online consultation form and then go straight to my online calendar, and from there we can get on and talk and people can tell me the nitty-gritty of their individual personal issues, problems, pain point.

All of these kinds of things, and I’ll listen, I’ll ask questions, you get a little more detail information and at the end, we just kinda make a good decision of whether we’re a good fit to work together or not, whether it’s in person or over some…

Got it. And are you able to… One of the things, we’ll put a bonus down below this, you have a video or something, a movement saying something you have that you could share with the crew, so what is… If you go to my Facebook page, well, we’ll get a link to that, we’ll put it down below this for…

And if you go into the video section, in the videos, I have demonstrated each of our basic warm-up exercises and how to adjust to those exercises based on what you may or may not have at home to be able to do them. So for instance, people tell me all the time, I can’t do a push-up, so in the video, we’ve shown them how they could use something like a desktop or a counter top or even against the wall too, to get that push I’ve done. And what these exercises will help the person to do is determine dysfunction on their own, it… I can’t get through that full range, like he’s demonstrating that I can’t do that full range of motion, so if they jump on the phone with me and they say, Hey, I tried to move my arms all the way back like this, but I stopped to tell there but like 80% of that. What’s going on? And we’re talking on the phone. Okay, great, now I can help you even more initially to see what’s going on, so there’s nine of those videos that are listed there…

Okay, well, I’ll get the link from those… I’ll get those from you, we’ll put it on the bonus page on the website, so we’ll have that some people could check those out. We’ll have the information on how to get in touch with you, the 2X Jump Start dot com, any other contact information you’d like to share with us, and we’ll put that in the show notes below this video, it all be on the comella Foundation website in the pain education corner. Coach Charles, anything else you’d like to share with us before we wrap this up?

I think just make a personal appeal, I have lived through so much pain in my life, and it could have been so much easier if I would have started to address the pain much earlier rather than later on, so I can just encourage everybody, whatever pain you may be getting to. You’re not too busy. You can start now, you can start really simple, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time, and you can start to get out of pain much more quickly, the longer you let the pain go, the more it’s set into your brain, the more dysfunction occurs, the harder it’s gonna be to fix the pain later on, and eventually you may need surgery like a knee replacement and hip replacement, all of those kinds of things, so I can just personally implore people, Hey, you’re in pain, let’s start doing something that… That’s not a natural part of growing older. I love it.

Great. Well, Coach Charles, thank you so much for being here, really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, your experience, your take on physical pain in the body and how it’s related to the quarantine situation, lockdown and showing up in the physical body. Up. Okay, Where was a… Yes, so thank you for your knowledge experience, expertise and all of that. We’re gonna wrap this up for now, there’s gonna look back at this one and there’s another one in the work, ’cause at the beginning, we were going down a different path and we course corrected, but I definitely want you back for another one. There’s some other topics I wanna chat with you about is… Sure.

Absolutely. That, yeah, I enjoy having conversations and we live this stuff every day, right here, I’m here Monday through Saturday, every single day, we live this stuff, and it’s really great to see people’s faces change like you, that smile in a… Oh, wow. Looking at it a… You’re feeling better?

Yeah. Okay. When we’re gonna wrap this up. This is Bill paravanno, the knee pain guru. Thank you much for being on the pain education podcast, brought to you by The comella Foundation, and we will see you on the next one. Take care.

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