Walking Sticks

Injuries affect your mobility and that includes the  effects to your brain.  We actually believe that a common lifestyle flaw as in continuous repetition of moving body parts with different sports activities, especially in the legs can lead eventually to a breakdown in spinal function that leads to the brain.  Alzheimer's is our top information request into the blueeyedcurse.com website and we believe the disease could be traced to nerve issues far from the brain itself.  Unfortunately most do not know that maintaining a balanced nerve network starting when they are young,  could very well prevent the ravages of Alzheimer's and the other mental problems that afflict the aged.  Preventative measures at any age could interfere with a progression.

I had leg and feet problems before I had any indications that my spine was involved, as in spinal stenosis.  There is no question spinal stenosis can be a later issue after you have accumulated other problems along the way.  In fact I am being presently  treated for spinal stenosis,  but that does not mean it was the initial issue that caused my problems.  I am being treated for spinal stenosis because I believe the Chiropractor I use is on the level and is treating me in a way that is curtailing the progress of the stenosis, because spinal stenosis is a progressive disease.  Vertebras in the spine have a tendency to close (collapse) and pinch vital nerves that traverse through the spinal canal.   A medical professional who knows what they are doing can stretch the spine, bring back some spacing and maintain this spacing.  There are machines that have come on the scene for this process.  We believe that these machines could present risks versus the trained hands of a Chiropractor or a DO.  For now we are staying with the trained hands.

Vitamin D3

We have written a ton on the value of vitamin D3 in our other features and you will discover that Vitamin D3 plays a huge role in calcium absorption.  The vertebras being a skeletal formation primarily consisting of minerals needs a plentiful supply to support this skeletal nutrition and vitamin D3 provides the tool to assimilate the intake of calcium instead of seeing it go down the drain so to speak.  You could be taking in generous amounts of calcium foods and supplements but not receive the benefits that you need.  You may be interested in the fact and I am borrowing information from Dr. Mercola that soap and Chlorine can actually destroy the process of the skin manufacturing Vitamin D3.  We practice as Dr. Mercola recommends periods of at least 24 hours after receiving modest amounts of sun, to avoid soap applications other than in the private areas of your body and have installed a chlorine shower filter to avoid the damaging effects on the skin with Chlorine.

A Program

It is possible that if the leg problems I have which again may not have an on going direct connection to the spinal stenosis other than contributing to it at one time or another, can be alleviated this will have a positive affect on the spine and that certainly would be welcomed.  If  I can develop a program that loosens up the tight muscles that have resulted over time in my legs with an intelligent exercise program this would be my goal.

The Step  

Using a step to stretch these leg muscles can be a big help.  I step up and place the front of my feet and toes on the front edge of the step.  I am fortunate to have a grill of sorts from my kitchen that I can grasp on to.   This  gives me the ability to hang the back of my heel and foot off the back of the step.  This will contribute to lengthen the muscles and in the process reduce the discomfort that results from tight muscles.  You can feel the stretch and it should only be done after a warm up period like 200 to 300 reps on a treadmill or for that matter any machine that can warm up the leg muscles.


It is common that injuries that affect your mobility or for that matter rehabilitation after a replacement procedure can be benefited by walking properly.  Walking seems to be one of the most prevalent recommendations for most mobile issues whatever their cause.  On the other side of the coin improper walking can cause major problems over and above what your goals are.  I personally had a physical therapist tell me on my last qualified treatment visit after I was treated for a leg condition that "I had to learn how to walk again" as she watched me walk out of the facility.  It took me a great deal of time and understanding before I felt confident that what I was doing in after self care was the proper methods.

I first started with standard walking without an aid.  I learned that I was stooping over, a bad habit I had acquired before I was put totally out of commission as stooping over takes the pressure off of the skeletal areas that have gone south for one reason or another.  It appears now between various diagnosis from medical pros and my own deductions that my condition which was a combination of nerve damage, muscle and tendon tightness and what they refer to as spinal stenosis was basically what we were dealing with.  It appears as in what comes first the chicken or the egg we will never know what came first with my situation.  Most medical people will take the line of least resistance in their quest to abide by the Hippocratic oath (and litigation) and pin your problems on a failing spine and old age problems.  It is like they are saying if you want to avoid the ravages of old age, don't get old.

The jury is still out as to what was the initial problem.  My theory is it started in my legs with 35 years of hard court paddle ball play and did a tune on the nerve network of my legs and feet.  I acquired a distinct tightness in the outside of my legs that in turn weakened the muscles in the inside of my legs.  This resulted in the tearing of sheath connecting between the muscle and the bone.  When this occurred the nerves were negatively impacted.  It didn't take long for the problem to go north and breakdown my nerve network including the sciatic nerve complex.  In the process my muscle complex started to suffer that affected my Abductor and Adductor muscle complex that stabilizes the knees along on its way to the spinal canal.  It was easy for some of the diagnosis I received being traced to the knees themselves which to this day I dispute with all due respect.

At this point it is clear that a program that brings in the expertise of a physical trainer early in life is no question the way to go, if you can afford it and can make time for it.  When you see weekend warriors going through a series of warms up especially stretching their leg muscles take it seriously because they most likely have had the exposure of a physical trainer that is aware of the needs of a patient and before the proverbial roof caves in on them when they have reached a ripe old age.  Unfortunately reaching  a ripe old age before you start to correct a problem may be too late or at least requires a diligent time period to improve your condition.

After starting  a standard walking program I continued to have discomfort in my left leg that was still suffering from a slip in the kitchen a few years ago.  I decided to try a cane and after using it on the wrong side discovered that a cane should be used on the opposite side of a problem rather than what would seem logical to use the cane on the problem side.  If you look down on the  placement of the cane and the foot on the opposing side of the problem area like a foot, leg, hip issue you will see that the placement actually develops a 2 legged method, one the cane, the other the good leg or better leg and takes a great deal of tension off of the bad side.  The cane we believe should be used for a minimum period and not become the proverbial permanent crutch.

To the left is an illustration of a elderly man that is obviously stooping along with the use of a very short cane that produces what we refer to as the impetus for a hip replacement.  We assume the gent received correct instruction in placing the cane on the right side which would be the opposing side of the subject injured or rehabilitation side.  There are those that are instructed to obtain the standard walker and I am sure for starters they are fine but not to over do the use of them.  There comes a time where the patient has to practice walking methods that are conducive to avoiding peripheral problems  even though it is not easy giving up lets say a walker that does provide relief and stability,  but has some long term negatives.


Scoliosis is a problem that develops in some patients that effect the spine.  Poor posture can be a cause and certainly a patient using various tools such as a cane as the gent above, bending and leaning to one side can lead to the ravages of Scoliosis.

Scoliosis is a lateral (toward the side) curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. When viewed from the side, the spine should show a mild roundness in the upper back and shows a degree of swayback (inward curvature) in the lower back. When a person with a normal spine is viewed from the front or back, the spine appears to be straight. When a person with scoliosis is viewed from the front or back, the spine appears to be curved.


Walking Sticks

We believe that walking sticks in time provide the best way to rehabilitate because they provide the following attributes and they are worth listing.  If you notice the stick on the left you will see a grab handle that you hold as you would a revolver, only with the stick facing down.  You should adjust the height of the sticks so that your arm is holding the stick and is at a little lower than a right angle.  Keep in mind we are not suggesting a one stick operation.  Using two sticks creates a balance to the body and all of your working parts.

1. They allow the patient to share the burden of the weight pressure with the legs on the subject area of the lower extremity that is negatively affected.  In fact when I use the sticks and exert down pressure to share the weight burden on a balanced approach there is no question that I am placing a dynamics in my upper torso that is beneficial.

2.  Stability when walking in a balanced approach it is certainly a plus versus obtaining stability from walking devices that are destined to put the patient in the operating room for correction of perhaps hips, knees or feet issues.

3.  Posture.  One of the most evil habits that can result from injury or for that matter surgery is poor posture.  I noticed as soon as I deployed walking sticks there was an association to erect my self and walk properly.  Correcting your posture will be the first thing out of the gate that you can do to rehabilitate and possibly eliminate damage to other parts of your skeletal.  Misalignment of the spine either in a back view or a side view is common and the preclude to major problems including organic issues, as in bladder, kidney function etc.  You don't want to be dealing with organ issues as you enter your later years because you neglected to correct your posture.


Why do muscles tighten up?

Muscle Soreness and Cramps - Ask the Expert Blog - Free Health and Fitness InformationTight muscles are not only frustrating and painful, but can also limit movement.  Worst of all, they can make it harder to stick to your exercise program.  Knowing how to manage and prevent tight muscles will help keep you exercising.  Muscles can tighten up for a number of reasons.  Three times when muscle tightness can occur are during periods of prolonged inactivity, during exercise, and after exercise. 

During periods of prolonged inactivity, for example, long days and weeks working at a desk, some muscles can get tight as a result of their restricted movement.  When you are seated at a desk, your hips are in a bent, or flexed, position. This puts the muscles on the front of the hip (hip flexors) in a shortened position, and the muscles on the back of the hip (glutes ) in a lengthened position. In addition, as you sit at a desk reaching forward to work on a computer, your chest muscles (pectorals) will be in a shortened position, while your upper back muscles (rhomboids) will be in a lengthened position. Over time, this can result in muscle imbalances with the shortened muscles becoming “tight” and the lengthened muscles becoming weak.   If you look around you, you’ll notice many people have developed poor posture with forward rounded shoulders and underdeveloped glutes .  The key to preventing this tightness due to decreased range of motion is three-fold.  It is important to maintain proper posture, even while seated.  You should also specifically strengthen those small muscles which have become lengthened and weak.  Lastly, you should make sure to stretch the tightened muscles, specifically the chest and hip flexors.

Another time when muscles tighten up is during exercise, for example, a muscle cramp.  Cramps are unpleasant, often painful sensations caused by a variety of factors that include muscle fatigue, low sodium, or low potassium.  Muscle cramps can also happen even when you’re not exercising.  When muscles contract, the muscle fibers shorten, increasing tension in the muscle. When the contraction is completed, the muscle fibers lengthen and decrease tension.   During a muscle cramp, however, the muscle fibers remain shortened and are unable to lengthen due to fatigue or improper hydration and nutrition.  Forcibly stretching the muscle when it is in such a tight, contracted form can tear the muscle fibers and lead to injury.  Allow the muscle spasm to relax and recover before attempting to stretch out the cramp.  In order to prevent these from occurring in the future, make sure to be properly hydrated, properly fed, and not overly fatigued when exercising. If engaging in exercise bouts lasting longer than 60 minutes, consuming an electrolyte replenishing drink may help prevent muscle cramps.

Muscles can also tighten up following exercise. This is felt as muscle soreness.  Delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) can be felt as pain and stiffness in the muscles for 24 to 72 hours post-exercise.  DOMS is most intense following exercises that focus on eccentric contractions where a weight is lowered or slowed. Examples of eccentric exercises include the downward phase of a bicep curl, or downhill running.  The soreness and tightness felt is a result of small ruptures within the muscle.  It can be prevented by gradually increasing the intensity of a new exercise program.  While the soreness will usually disappear within 72 hours of onset, increased blood flow to the sore area, either by moderate intensity exercise or massage may help alleviate soreness.  Stretching does not prevent soreness; however, it is still important to perform some static (holding) stretches after exercise to maintain or improve flexibility.

Proper exercise, stretching, and nutrition strategies can help prevent and correct what can be called muscle tightness.  Proper posture, choice of exercises, and stretches will prevent tightness due to decreased range of motion.  Proper exercise intensity, as well as pre, during, and post-exercise hydration and nutrition can help prevent muscle cramps.  Appropriate exercise progression and static stretches after exercise will help prevent DOMS and maintain range of motion, respectively.