What Is Postherpetic Neuralgia?

The pain of shingles is bad enough.

With shingles, you get a rash on one side of your trunk or face.  It can be extremely painful.

The seeds for shingles are sown when you first get chicken pox (or are immunized for it. )  Once the chicken pox outbreak clears up, the varicella virus that causes it lodges in a dormant state in your body.  Then, years later, perhaps when you are under added stress or your immune system has been compromised, the virus attacks your spinal nerves, causing a rash and the characteristic nerve pain.

Though the pain can be intense, fortunately it typically clears up in two to four weeks.

But in 10 – 30% of cases, the shingles pain doesn’t go away in its usual few weeks.  Instead, it lingers for weeks or months.  Then it’s called postherpetic neuralgia.

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If Bending Backward Hurts

When you stand up and bend backward, or when you do the cobra pose in yoga, the joints between your vertebrae slide over one another.  The joints of the spine telescope over each other like the separate plates of a Japanese suit of armor.

But sometimes, instead of sliding smoothly, the vertebral joints bind or pinch.

Then you have pain, inflammation, and limited movement.  Doctors call it “facet syndrome.”

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How a Foot Adjustment Helps Your Brain Work Better

Why are people so sensitive or ticklish on the soles of their feet? 

Why is a foot rub the most pleasurable (or most painful) part of a massage?

The sole of your foot has a zillion nerve endings in it.  So do the joints of the foot and ankle.  That makes this part of your anatomy extra sensitive.

foot anatomy

There’s a reason we’ve got all those extra nerve endings in the feet.

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Sacroiliac Joint Injury and Piriformis Pain

Every Step You Take – Every Move You Make

Can Your Sacroiliac Joints Take the Stress?


It all comes down to the principles of engineering.

When you’re standing up, gravity is pulling the weight of your torso straight down.

Fortunately, you have two legs and two feet to support you.

Unfortunately, they’re off to each side.  Neither of them is directly under your center of weight.

Roman engineers designed arches to hold up a structure using supports on each side. How does your body pull off this feat of engineering design?

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New Research Emerges on “Wonder Herb”

There’s new research about an herb with potent health benefits.  This medicinal plant

  • Is rich in antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium and chromium
  • Helps prevent Type 2 diabetes
  • Protects your heart from developing an altered rhythm
  • Can lower the incidence of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia
  • May prevent certain cancers, especially liver cancer
  • Wards off depression

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Just Do This Every Morning

Just Do This Every Morning

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Update on Barefoot Running Benefits

Barefoot Running – It’s Less Efficient

Barefoot or minimalist running has been attracting adherents as a more physiologically natural way to run.

A “normal” runner lands on the heel with each stride.  In the minimalist style, the runner lands on the front part of the foot.  Proponents of forefoot landing say that the front-of-the-foot landing style is more physiologically natural and is less likely to lead to runner’s overuse injuries.

But there’s one benefit that barefoot runners can no longer claim – increased energy efficiency.

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Learning to be Healthy is Like Learning to Ride a Bike

When you first learned to ride a bike, someone had to teach you the rules of the road.  In my case it was my dad who taught me:  ride on the right, wear a helmet, use hand signals, and so forth.

It’s all good advice.

But even when you know these rules, you still don’t know how to ride.

bike rider

You’ve learned an external database of bike-riding related ideas.  But your brain, muscles, and balance system still can’t automatically coordinate their actions to keep you in balance and moving forward.  That takes a different type of learning process.

In the world of preventive healthcare, it’s like being told to eat nine servings of vegetables, exercise every day, get adequate sleep, and the like.

It’s all good advice.  And you should follow it.  But it’s an external database of health-related ideas.  It’s not enough.

None of it trains your brain, digestive tract, kidneys, liver, and endocrine glands to automatically coordinate their actions to create improved health.

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Janis Brenner: The Body Does Not Forget

Professional dancers are different from the rest of us.  But there’s one significant way that they’re not different.

Read this article that my guest author, Janis Brenner, wrote a few years back for DanceView Magazine.  She outlines the many layers of injury and bodily stress that have punctuated her years as a dancer, choreographer, singer, and teacher.

Seems like a steep price to pay.

Janis Brenner

Jumping Janis

But her story isn’t much different than that of most of my patients, whether they’re dancers, architects, elementary school teachers, or anything else.

You may not think that you earn a living by moving your body.  But you do.

And, like Janis, your accumulated injuries, accidents, spills, aches and pains have a significant cumulative effect.

But the effect isn’t all negative.  Everything that has happened to you becomes part of your story. You can pretend to ignore the incidents of the past, but your body doesn’t forget.
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Guest Post: Dancer Injuries – What You Need to Know

My colleague Deborah Vogel has more than 30 years experience in dance medicine, training dancers and other performing artists in self-care, alignment and injury prevention.

She provides extensive resources and “how-to” videos on her blog The Body Series.

She’s graciously allowed me to republish one of her articles – Dance Injury Prevention Information – which can help you (even if you’re not a dancer) understand when an injury is potentially serious or when it’s just a “normal” part of being a physically active person.

Dance Injury Prevention Information – Deborah Vogel

How do we distinguish between an injury and the normal “wear and tear” of being a dancer? This is a question that dancers and dance teachers face on a daily basis. We have to constantly evaluate the body’s messages and thus make choices either to rest or to keep going.

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