Reducing Chronic Inflammation

Do you suffer from ongoing pain from overuse or an old injury? Maybe it’s your shoulder, calf, foot, etc. It’s like…it’s so inflamed that it just can’t heal. Maybe you’re doing your best to recover. Seeing a physical therapist or a doctor, but it still feels like 1 step forward 2 steps back? I’ve been in this place for over 4 years…and I’ve found something that has been a game changer for my recovery!

This may not look impressive to some…but I did it completely pain & inflammation free! I did a workout this past Saturday. In total I completed 50 banded strict pull-ups, 100 elevated push-ups, 200 air squats and rowed 1500m. Yes, I used to be able to do the pull-ups and push-ups unassisted, but that simply isn’t where I’m at right now…and yet, I’m incredibly thrilled and grateful to be here! It’s a great step for a shoulder that I injured 4+ years ago. Here is my story…

At first I just ignored the injury…hoping it would get better on it’s own. It improved a little…but not totally. I then started running a restaurant and just mostly forgot about it. It wasn’t quite right, but I wasn’t using it much either. Towards the end of running the restaurant, I started to miss the gym…so I showed up one day – did a workout – and was immediately followed by TERRIBLE shoulder pain. Ignoring and not using it for 3 years definitely did not fix it.

I tried to hit the gym a few more times with similar results. It was NOT happy. Sleeping was difficult because it hurt so much and it was starting to affect my livelihood. I’m a personal trainer and I could no longer demonstrate shoulder exercises. I couldn’t enjoy outdoor activities, AND I had a trip planned to Hawaii that I wanted to be action packed. A bum shoulder was really cramping my style! So I sought out a physical therapist.

They got to work and almost immediately, the resting pain went away – because at that point, it was painful even when I wasn’t moving it. I thought that this was going to work and work fast! It was working, but not fast. They got it to be primarily pain free, but I still couldn’t complete many movements and I eventually ran out of money for therapy. So I continued my journey by learning everything I could and applying that along with what they had taught me.

I kept running into a problem with inflammation. Meaning – It would feel fine – I’d do some exercises to start re-strengthening it  – it would feel safe. Then, the next day it was on fire! Pissed off! Even though I had done everything the way I was supposed to!

That has been the reoccurring theme this past year. It’s so much better than it was, but I had started to lose hope that it would ever feel “normal” again. And working out was pretty defeating most days. But not anymore.

Since the beginning of this week (around Sunday/Monday) it has felt like someone replaced my bad shoulder with a near perfect shoulder! Almost overnight it went from about firing at 60% to 85/90%! I finally got rid of the inflammation that was preventing my recovery! How did I do it?

Food. I took a few food groups out of my diet for 30 days that are known to possibly cause inflammation & digestive issues. I have done this before – but not strictly since my shoulder injury. I knew that certain foods cause inflammation in the body – but for the most part – I don’t eat those foods and highly doubted the few that I did eat on occasion, would have much of an affect on me. Boy was I wrong.

This past Whole30 has been pretty awesome. I have amazing energy levels. Am having hardly any stress/mood swings. I’ve got some ab definition. My skin is clearer, my poop is better, I’m sleeping better than ever. But I never would’ve imagined that it would’ve had this much of an effect on my shoulder. Maybe a small improvement, but this feels like a miracle. I keep telling my friends, “I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t in my body right now!”

I see friends that are living with what seems to be the same nagging pain much like my shoulder. It’s preventing them from working, being active, or just fully enjoying life. So I just wanted to share my story. When I first noticed my shoulder – by not noticing it (that’s how normal it feels) – I started to cry. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to move it freely again. To be able to do pull-ups and push-ups without it flaring up on me

If you are having trouble with chronic inflammation, and would like to explore what some changes in your nutrition might be able to do for you, Whole30 offers all of their program information for free at www.Whole30.com. If you would like someone to help guide you through your journey, I offer nutrition coaching and customized meal plans. And if you are interested in exploring nutrition combined with fitness and learning some tools to help make healthy habits last, I have a program coming up – keep your eyes open for more details coming soon!

My shoulder still isn’t 100%, and for awhile now, I’ve felt like the next step to recovery is helping to get my strength back – and now that the inflammation has subsided, I am doing just that! Still listening to my body, taking it slow, not pushing through any pain. And at the end of the day, I am grateful for this set back in my health, mobility and training. It has gotten me to slow down and pay more attention. It has taught me ways to help stabilize the joints and certain muscles that can usually use strengthening to correct postural issues. And most of all, it has reaffirmed the role that I know solid nutrition plays in our overall health and well-being. Which makes me a better trainer and gives me more tools to help people! Stay healthy my friends!

-Heather

2 thoughts on “Reducing Chronic Inflammation

  1. Hey. I read about your business in today’s newspaper. welcome to the area. I had a problem with my knee and found a woman in Yellow Springs who fixed it using Myofascial release techniques. I think you would like them, but they are out west for the winter. They will be back the middle of April. Patti and Julie. Patti’s number is 808.651.8105. She was a personal trainer at one time too.

    1. Thanks for the information Dennis!!

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