In this episode, Rick and I have a fabulous conversation about how he assesses your pain, as if a detective, trying to put all the puzzle pieces together. He looks for the root cause of your pain, so it can be resolved once and for all, and trust me the root cause of your pain is not where you feel the pain, it is somewhere else in your body, and often being triggered by habits that you have! And, you have no idea those habits are causing your pain! Tune into this episode to learn more from Rick about his work as he guides us through some easy tips you can do at home yourself to start to understand some of your own pain. You are not supposed to feel more pain just because you are getting older, you can age painlessly, learn how from Rick! Check out his free gift below too!
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About the Guest:
Rick Olderman is a sport and orthopedic physical therapist with more than 25 years of experience that specializes in helping people with chronic pain experience a pain-free life. He graduated with his Master’s degree from The Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis in 1996. Rick has written the popular Fixing You® series of books — found on Amazon.com — to help people with chronic pain or injuries. Rick wants to show you how to live completely pain-free without the need for medication or surgery.
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Talk About Pain Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/fi/podcast/talk-about-pain/id1593262436
About the Host:
Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner helping people get to the root cause of their health issues. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual – the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
Melissa is the winner of the 2021 Quality Care Award by Business From The Heart and is also the recipient of the Alignable “Local Business Person of the Year “Award 2022 for Whistler.
Melissa has been featured at a number of Health & Wellness Summits, such as the Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit, The Power To Profit Summit, The Feel Fan-freaking-tas-tic Summit, the Aim Higher Summit, and many more! She has also guested on over 60 different podcasts teaching people about the importance of prioritizing our health and how to get get started.
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ldermanImagine getting up every day full of energy is if you were in your 20s. Again, what would that be? Like? What would that be worth to you? What is your health worth to you? Think about it. Your health isn't everything. But without it, everything else is nothing. And yet too many of us are taking it for granted until something goes wrong. No one wakes up hoping to be diagnosed with a disease or chronic illness. And yet, we've never been taught how to be proactive in our health through our school system, or public health. As a registered health coach and integrative health practitioner, I believe it is time this information is made available to everyone. Combining new knowledge around your health and the ability to do my functional medicine lab tests in the comfort of your own home will allow you to optimize your health for today and all your tomorrow's don't wait for your wake up call.Melissa Deally:
Welcome back to another episode of The don't wait for your wake up call podcast. I am Melissa, Deally, your host and very, very excited to bring you a another wonderful guest today. Rick Olderman. Welcome, Rick.Rick Olderman:
Oh, thank you, Melissa. I'm really excited to be here. Thank you for having me.Melissa Deally:
So let me just introduce Rick to you. Rick is a sports and orthopedic physical therapist with more than 25 years experience that specializes in helping people with chronic pain experience a pain free life, how many people listening right now have chronic pain or know someone who does share this episode? Because I guarantee you it is going to be a powerful episode. Rick and I are completely on the same page. We were just laughing right before we started recording that, you know, we're both looking for the root cause and not just masking symptoms. But also, we're both kind of like detectives, trying to figure it out along the way. So Rick, I know you have a book coming out next year, just give that little backstory you just shared with me because it was kind of fun.Rick Olderman:
Oh, sure. Well, I've I've written six books. But that was about 10 or 12 years ago that I've written those, and they kind of described my whole approach. It's called the fixing new series, you can find them on Amazon. But anyway, in those books, I have these little patient stories that kind of kind of exemplify the concept of trying to teach people in my books. And I got so many comments over the years that I really identified with Jane or Deb or you know, whoever, you know, I'd love to hear more about them. So I thought, well, what if I just wrote a book of patient stories, and kind of flipped it over on its head to and talk about the patients and their recovery and the concepts I used, but I won't go so deeply into the concepts of the anatomy and all that kind of stuff. So that's what this next book is going to be about.Melissa Deally:
And the part that I was referring to is you always wanted to be Sherlock Holmes. Oh,Rick Olderman:
yes. So yeah, so that's what we were having a laugh about, because you were talking about how you'd love to be a detective. And I love being a detective. And thankfully, you know, I've had, you know, lots of years of practice at it. But when you understand the body as a system, which is probably what we're going to be getting into a little bit here. Being a detective helps you it helps you look in those on looked in parts before. And that's the thing about Sherlock Holmes, I mentioned that I have a little excerpt for a Sherlock Holmes book about how I've always wanted to be a detective. And one of the things about Sherlock Holmes is he's always looking at things that no everyone else is ignoring. And that's exactly what I do when I'm trying to understand why people are having chronic pain, and how to link their pain with how they're using their bodies.Melissa Deally:
I love it. And I love that you're doing this work. Because also I know there's so many people out there that are in pain, whether they consider it chronic pain or not. But the message I love to share with people is that we don't have to feel worse as we get older. You know, that is kind of a societal thing that you know, you're gonna have less energy, you're gonna have joint pain, you're you're gonna feel worse, because you're getting older, but let's throw that out the window. That is all BS. It does not have to be that way. And there are people who can absolutely help you get rid of that pain. And Rick here is absolutely, absolutely a master at it. But Rick, what got you into this line of work first?Rick Olderman:
Yeah, so we'll, I'll talk about that in just a second. So what you say that we don't have to have pain as we grow older. You know, there's this overused statement that says insanity means that you're expecting a different outcome when you do the same thing over and over again. Well, that's often where chronic pain is coming from. If you're doing the same thing over and over again, how can you expect change to happen in your pain. And so you've got to look in new places. And that's what I think I've found to help people get out of that loop of insanity, and start getting healing because really, once your body operates, well, you'd be surprised that you grow older without pain. So how I got into this was, originally I had back pain when I was young, in my 20s, and I went to a PT, they did some magic to my back, it felt great. Two weeks later, it hurt again. And I thought it's, um, my thinking was, what am I doing, that's hurting my back. And so I decided to go to physical therapy school to find out the insider secrets. And it turns out, there are no insider secrets, at least that are being taught in PT school. So I've always that guy up front, who's always had his hand up anytime a back pain demonstration was happening. I wanted to start my back pain, but nothing ever really helped. So in PT school, and in medicine in general, we're more concerned with identifying the structures that are painful, not so much why those structures are painful. And now wide is the key to solving chronic pain. And this four out when I was had my first job after PT, school, and sports orthopedic clinic, yeah, I could help people with who had you know, post surgery and strains and sprains and things like that. But anything remotely difficult like back pain, sciatic pain, SI joint pain, neck pain, headaches, things like that, I had no six, I was a complete failure. And I was sunk into a deep depression because of that. So I either could quit PT, because I didn't want to be one of those mediocre PTS, you know, that just hurt some people help some other people and are neutral for the others. Right, right. Or I could try and figure this out. But it took a lot of ego to say, Oh, I think I can figure this out kind of when there are people far smarter than me, who've been PTS who haven't yet put this together. But I just had to try. And so the culmination of my last 25 years is trying to find those answers and putting all this together into a simple six a sync system. It shouldn't be complicated, and it isn't. So that's how I got into all of this.Melissa Deally:
I love it. And I love that, you know, it's your journey, because you were asking why. And that's actually very similar to my own journey as well, when, you know, going back, there's, you know, obviously different facets to all of our stories. But when I was struggling with migraines, and they suddenly got worse, and my doctor just wanted to give me a stronger prescription. And something inside me was saying, No, I want to know why they're worse. Because if I know why they're worse, then I can do something about it. Right? Yes. And then that drove me to find a naturopath who then offered me a hormone test. And I'm like, Yes, that's what I want. I want something to test right and figure it out. My progesterone was low fix that migraine is gone. Or I would have had a lifetime of stronger medication. Right. Yes. Right. So that why we were probably those kids when we were younger. Why but why mommy, but why?Rick Olderman:
Yes. The purpose, though, yes. It's awesome. And anytime I anytime I failed as a PT throughout these years, it's been many times because we don't learn if we're not failing, right. But but it's really what we do with that failure. That defines us. And so all those failures were meant that I wasn't finding, I hadn't found the answers yet. Right. So that was the driver for me to keep looking. Yeah, it wasn't until I stopped getting failures that I realized, I think I found out what all of this is about. Right? So those failures are blessings.Melissa Deally:
Yes, exactly. They're teaching you every single time. And you just have to keep keep at it. Right? Yes, we quit. That's the failure. Right? Yes. So and, I mean, I love to when I was reading your ebook, which I know is something that you've offered to the audience. And we'll come and talk to you later. But just reading that, and understanding that connect the connectedness of the body, which obviously I know about as a health practitioner. But also you might have back pain, but you're not necessarily looking at the back to solve the back pain because the back pain can be triggered by another part of the body. So we all know that song, you know, the shoulder bones connected to the elbow, bone, et cetera, et cetera. But it's not that easy, right? Where we feel the pain is not the source of the pain. In many cases,Rick Olderman:
you're absolutely correct, in fact, where the source of the pain is just the weak link in your system. And the back is often the weak link because it's the juncture of two different curves happening in your body. So there's a curve differential, as well as the pelvis is the center of movement for our for our body. And so you've got this big pile or generator, or pelvic bones and so forth. And then you've got this curved transition. And the body doesn't do well with those two things. So yeah, you're right.Melissa Deally:
And so, as we're talking about back pain, can you describe your most common approach to solving?Rick Olderman:
Yeah, so I'll take your listeners through two tests that I do, they're really easy test to understand why you're having back pain. So we're going to figure this out right now. So I'm going to ask everyone who's watching or listening to lie down on their backs with their legs straight, you don't have to see the screen in order to do this test. So don't worry about seeing what I'm doing. Just lie down in your back, it can be on the floor, on the bed on the couch, it doesn't matter. But what I found Melissa is, if you don't do the test to understand it, you're only going to hear my words, and think, oh, yeah, that kind of makes sense. But once you feel the truth in your own body, that's when you're going to know that you're on the right track. So here'sMelissa Deally:
your driving do this now, because the call do is oh, I'll get back to that later. I'll go back and listen, and then we never do.Rick Olderman:
Right, exactly. So So let's assume everyone's lying on their backs with their legs straight on some surface. Okay, so I want you to feel your back and get a sense for how much pain it's in right now. And now what we're going to do, you've been there for maybe 20 to 30 seconds, I want you to balance, bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. And if you prefer, you can hug your knees to your chest. It's whatever you're most comfortable with. So what all we're doing, it's really simple. You're just comparing which position does my backfield bested, when my legs are straight out, or when my knees are bent in some way either to my chest or feet flat on the floor. That's all we are figuring out right now. 99% of your listeners and watchers will say, hey, My back feels a lot better when my knees are bent. Okay, so what is this telling us? It's simply telling us this, when your legs are straight, and you can test this out if you want, you'll notice that your back seems to want to arch off the floor more than when the knees are bent. When the knees are bent, the back is flatter. So we're finding out just a small fundamental issue with your back that it has more pain when it's either arched or trying to move into an arch. And you have less pain when your back is flat. Or we remove those forces trying to pull it into an arch. That's it real simple, not brainy stuff. So then really where the rubber hits the road is well how do I use this information? Okay, so now we're going to have everyone stand up. And I really mean to stand up right now. And so we're all gonna stand and again, you don't have to look at me in the screen. You can look away if you want. And what I want you to notice is and you might notice this about yourself, Melissa, when you're because you're standing here right now, aren't you? I'm standing right now. Yeah. Okay. So when you're standing, do you tend to lock your knees straight,Melissa Deally:
I discovered that I definitely used to tend to lock my knees. And I've been practicing getting out of that. But because I did this test myself, like I lay down on the floor last week, and did this and I'm definitely one that likes my knees bent for sure. And I was standing on Tuesday at a golfing event. And I just did a little quick body check. I went, Oh, my knees are locked, unlocked them. Yes, it's just a good reminder for me to keep doing. And I am at a standing desk. And so reminding myself through the day to do that as well as very.Rick Olderman:
So even with an Uber, in touch an intelligent person like yourself, unconsciously your habit is to lock your knees. Yeah, even no matter how much you knew about the body prior to this, you were locking your knees, it was an unconscious pattern, right? So now I want everyone to notice whether that is your pattern to now what we're going to do is real simple. We're going to ask you to unlock the knees now make them a little softer, and feel what just happened to your back and get a sense of what just happened there. Now if you're not sure, go ahead and lock the knees one more time. And then you're gonna for sure going to feel it. And what you're going to feel is that you're back archers more when your knees a lot, right. Okay, so if we put these two tests together, the first test says, Hey, My back feels better when it's not arched. And then the second test is saying, hey, my habit is to lock my knees, which then artists my back, ding, ding, ding. We've got one answer to your back pain already. And I can tell you an amazing back pain story if you want about a patient with this. But anyway, on locking your knees, that alone can solve a lot of people's back pain or significantly diminish it. So what you want to do for the next three days, is you're going to put your watch if you were one on your opposite wrist, you're going to put a bracelet on your opposite wrist you're gonna wear a ring on the wrong finger, you're gonna wear a strange necklace, put a little sticky.on, your dashboard of your car, whatever reminds you frequently to check in on your knees, because your brain was unused to checking on your knees before, because it wasn't clued into the importance of this, that is an unconscious habit that you have created, that you weren't aware it was hurting you, there are others. And so to break that habit, you have to bring it to consciousness First, change it. And then as you do that more often, that will become an unconscious habit, eventually. So there's one little easy thing that all everyone watching this can do now to start solving their back pain.Melissa Deally:
So is everyone doing it now? Have you got it? Do you know whether you're inclined to lock your knees or not? Probably are. And so now all of those little things, I'm going to change my little wrist bracelets from my otherRick Olderman:
hand, there we go. Yeah,Melissa Deally:
remind me to check in more frequently. Because yes, I definitely was locking my knees. And I think I kind of started learning not to through yoga classes, etc. Where they were always in the different poses, they would always be saying, Don't lock your knees, don't lock your knees, et cetera. And so it's that started a while ago, but I didn't understand why. So I really appreciate your explanation of the why. And that's also what's really important is, I find people are much more likely to do things when they understand why as opposed to being just told to do it.Rick Olderman:
Yes, and this brings up an important point, when when I work with people in a clinic, you know, we do a test pre test, I don't just tell everyone who walks in, Hey, start on lock your knees, I first have to figure out whether they have this tech problem. And then I look at how they're walking and standing. If they're already walking and standing with their knees soft. They're not going to hear me go into this big to do about it. Right. So that's why you test retest is the key to solving problems. And so this is one of two major problems. This usually relates to more central back pain, pain that's in the center of your back. There's a different pattern that relates to unilateral back pain or sciatica or SI joint pain, which we can go over if you want to go down that road too. But it's up to you. Well, IMelissa Deally:
have a question because I often have a use too much more so than now. But lower back pain, lower right backside is something that I've that I've struggled with, through the years. It started back when my daughter decided to be born in 12 minutes. And I was a year in physio, because she just kind of pushed me all out of alignment in her rush to get into the world. So it's now 20 years ago. And through core strength and workouts, et cetera, et cetera yoga, I have come to manage that. But yeah, if you have any tips for that particular region in the back, I'd love to hear it because I'm sure I'm not the only one that has lower right back pain.Rick Olderman:
Okay, so we're gonna talk about pregnancy and back pain for just a sec. And then we're gonna go into the other pattern. All right. So in my back pain during pregnancy book, I show that and women are who have had children are especially vulnerable to experiencing back pain and or sciatic pain. And here's the reason. We've just found that the back hurts more when the back is more arched and our knees lock, right? Yeah, well, a lot of that often is set up during pregnancy. Because as the baby grows, it gets heavier and we lock our knees because of the extra the rapid increase in load. So the knees locking makes it so that we don't have to use our leg muscles, because they're going to get really tired if we keep those knees soft, and we lift this extra 15 pounds, right and lug it around. Plus, if you can imagine just the image of a pregnant woman, their belly is way out in front. So that's pulling them forward into more of a back arch. So now you've got two things contributing to that back arch. Well, what I showed in that book is six months after this woman gave birth, her back did not return go back to their original shape it was it continued to be arched. And what it also did is it set up those habits for her to start locking her knees. And with the locking knees, and the back arching more what's happening with the pelvis is that it's tilting forward, what we call in physical therapy and anterior pelvic tilt. That's not important. But you can imagine that if your pelvis is tilting forward, your back is going to arch more. Okay? So when the pelvis is tilted forward, the thigh muscles in front of the elbow in front of that attach into the pelvis and the front, then become tighter. Okay, so this is one of the things likely Melissa that is contributing to your continued The right versus left low back pain, right as I bet your right thigh muscles are tighter than your left thigh muscles. And, and what that's doing is pulling the rest look right side of your pelvis forward more, more of an extension effect on the right side of your back versus the Left. Right. Okay. So that's one thing we can, it would be easy to test that. But let's assume that's not the case. Right? So what we're gonna do is go into the second pattern that creates a unilateral back pain and sciatic pain. So I'm gonna get my little skeleton helper. Sure. All right. So here's my little skeleton helper. And we're looking at it from the back. So what the second pattern that occurs with that causes most pain unilaterally is that one side of the pelvis gets higher, and the same side of the ribcage usually becomes lower. So I call this a side bending problem. And you can probably see why. All right. So when we have a problem like this, where it increases compression on these tissues on this side of the spine, where it's all tied together, right? Fixing that is really easy. I can fix it in 10 seconds, not a problem. But really, what we have to understand is, why is that pattern happening in the first place. And so often, most of the time, it's due to some old problem in the foot, ankle, knee, or hip. And that the body responds, it's just like, if you step on a tack, and you pull your leg off that tech tack, you will create this pattern, right. So if you have a chronic irritant to some thing in your leg, your body is going to slowly adopt this pattern, right get off of it, right. It's called a withdrawal reflex is a reflex that's hardwired into us when we're born. You can watch videos of babies doing this on YouTube all the time.Melissa Deally:
So again, just human desire to move away from pain to right, yes,Rick Olderman:
exactly safety. Right, and then you'll notice that but if you should, let's say you have this problem on your right side. And so you decide to stand on your left side. To get off of that. If you put your hands on your hips right now, Melissa, and then shift your weight over to your left, you're going to feel that your right side tenses up.Melissa Deally:
When I shift, so my right side like Drew, my waist is tensing up,Rick Olderman:
right. So once you shift to your left, yeah, because you can't keep that heel down on the right side, your body tends to lift it up. Right, it engages the right waist muscles, and you'll feel those more pronounced when you sit. Right, you shift your weight to the left side, the right side hikes up. Right? So shifting off of the side of pain often reproduces the pattern that is actually contributing to the pain rather than solid. Right? Right. The way the body works is if we wait bear on the right side, in fact, you can feel this, if you put your hands on your waist muscles and just kind of walk in place, you will find that the leg where the knee is up, the waist is tighter, the leg where the knee is down, the leg of the waist is softer. The waist is currently. Alright, so it's the same thing as so when I asked you to shift to your left side, it's like walking and you're gonna lift that right knee and you'll feel the waist and muscles engage. Okay, so shifting away from the pain is causing more contraction in the area that's already painful, right? Shifting your way to the side of pain will relax that area. And it's counterintuitive.Melissa Deally:
Totally till right. Never think that right? Yeah, exactly. Move. Okay, not away.Rick Olderman:
But if you move to the towards the pain, but you haven't solved the reason that whole pattern has happened in the first place, then you're going to move towards the pain and then collapsed into it. Because you haven't solved why that problem is, you're off of it, because there's a problem. So I'm wondering with your right side, and this may or may not be truth with you, but it have you do have an old injury on your right side somewhere that you might have developed some weakness or issue with your right side. If not, then I'm gonna guess that it's your thigh muscles that have developed on the right side that are tighter than the left. And it's probably tied tied to some movement pattern thatMelissa Deally:
I would say it's probably more tied to my thigh and quads because I'm a skier so there's a lot of quality in the winter, etc. Right? So yes, other than sprained ankles, either. What? I don't know which ankle probably both? I don't remember.Rick Olderman:
So when you're skiing, do your turns to the right. work the same as when you turn toMelissa Deally:
the left. I don't know I'd have to get back up on the mountain in the winter. Yeah,Rick Olderman:
so that'll be the next thing. Yes, I'm gonna guess that there's a difference in how you're turning to the right and left when you're skiing, right. And once we drill down into that function, we'll start to understand maybe this pattern a little bit For that you have a hidden weakness there that you hadn't realized, because you're very good at compensating for him. So, anyway, so that's the second pattern. So how do you find out if this pattern is happening with you at home, it's really easy. Just take your shirt off and have someone take a picture of your back. And what you'll see is the side that has a side bending problem will usually have a larger crease in the waist than the side that doesn't have it. This will be true, especially if this has been an older problem. Right? that crease will be set if it happened just yesterday, when your body hasn't adapted with a crease yet, right. But this has been going on a while, then you'll see a crease on the side, almost no crease or smaller crease on the other side. Right? That makes sense? Easy test.Melissa Deally:
Yeah, makes total sense. And, you know, I agree with decrease, I saw one of your other images with a woman with a line down that her eyeball Yeah, vertical line, she thought she was completely relaxed. And yet, that line showed how tense she was laying her shoulders together, I guess. But when we do this, day in and day out, 24/7, year after year after year, it becomes the habit, the unconscious habit, and we just keep moving that way, which continues to aggravate the problem, right exacerbate a problem unless we find someone like you to do something about it and get to the root cause, right?Rick Olderman:
It is surprisingly easy to figure this out and solve these things. I tell people all in fact, when someone walks into my clinic with like 20 or 30 years with chronic pain, I almost salivate because it's the people who have been in pain a long time that almost respond the quickest, because I know no other practitioner has looked at them in the way that I'm about to look at them. And that they will respond very quickly. And to see that amazement and shock on their face that even in our first evaluation, that they're going to feel better, they're going to be like, what's going on here, you know, and that's often what I hear from people is, I don't understand what I'm doing. I don't feel like I'm doing anything, but I'm not painful anymore. And that's because those habits that we've been working on are now unconscious habits, good habits instead of bad habits.Melissa Deally:
Yeah, and I'm sure you love the response from them, when after all these years of searching for the problem, you can help them at least, you know, may not be getting rid of 100% of the pain, but you're probably in the first session reducing it by at least 30%. And they're already feeling better in that first session, that that's really powerful. I mean,Rick Olderman:
my standard is third, thank you, my standard is 30 to 50% after our first visit. And because I understand how quickly the body can heal, yeah, you know, we've got these internal healing mechanisms, you cut your finger, it heals, you break a bone, it heals. So all I'm doing is getting the obstacles out of the way, so that those internal mechanisms can go to work for you, instead of against you.Melissa Deally:
If you're enjoying my content, and someone that wants to step into being proactive in your health and learning more, I would love to invite you to join my membership community.Melissa Deally:nk in the show notes for only:Melissa Deally:
I love it. I love it. You know, thank you for there's not enough of you. But we'll come to it because I know you were telling me earlier about some of the tools that you have on your website because you can't clone yourself, but you can help people. So we'll come to that shortly. But before we get to that I was talking about migraines before a lot of people suffer with headaches and neck pain. Can you talk to that and give people some tips as to what they can be doing to perhaps resolve that? Or though?Rick Olderman:
Yes. Oh, I love that you asked this question. So this is the biggest surprise of systemic thinking in the body. Because almost everyone listening who's had neck pain and migraines or any other types of headaches. All of their practitioners have been looking at the neck and the head in terms of the solution. And that's why they're having chronic pain is because the answers aren't found in the neck or head. You found your answers in a hormone balance imbalance, right? But if we look at your body from a musculoskeletal system standpoint, if we look at our shoulder blade, you can see that that architecture of that shoulder blade is very unique. And there's only one other bone in the body that has that kind of architecture. That's our pelvic bone. Right? The pelvis is the center of function for our lower body system. The shoulder blade is the center of function for our upper body system and your rules about yours.Melissa Deally:
Can you just describe that bone because some people are listening? Watching so just describe what's unique about them.Rick Olderman:
So the pelvic bone is a broad flat bone with Have a socket in it right? All the rest of our bones are long bones, right. And the shoulder blade is also a broad flat bone in a triangular shape with a socket in it, every other bone is a long bone that attaches to it. All right, and there were rules about how this, this flat bone should be resting and moving. I won't go into all those rules. But the reason those rules are important to understand is that because when you break those rules, there are muscles that connect from the shoulder blade directly into the cervical spine, and the base of the skull. So when, by fixing this origin of those connections, it unloads the whole system into the neck and the base of the skull. And this is so common that I can't remember the last time I treated neck pain and headaches, and it wasn't the shoulder as the source of the problem. And I believe this is why we have chronic neck pain and headaches is because and I'll bet to all of your people who are listening, no one has looked at their shoulder in terms of its as the cause of the neck pain and the headaches. Once they do, you will solve this problem.Melissa Deally:
I love that and no like in all of my work, etc. You know, no one ever suggested looking at the shoulder blade. But it makes me wonder just because in our modern world, too, we're so often looking down at down at devices, right? So that's putting a lot of pressure on the neck, the head is heavy, and and weight is that then put that I guess that's then pulling on the shoulder bone. So maybe one shoulders pulled higher than the other is that where the issue lies? Or is it got nothing to do with devices and looking down and it's triggered by something else?Rick Olderman:
Yeah, so that's maybe the third or fourth thing I look at, okay, if the shoulder blade hasn't solved the problem, right, and we look at how you're bending your head and neck, right, but almost all the time. If the shoulder blades are not stressing the system, you can bend the neck any way you want to. Right, because we've unloaded the whole system from the beginning. And now it's not at on edge all the time, that painful edge of just hurting, right? It's not on that edge. So if you do anything remotely wrong with the head, then it's going to hurt. Well, that's because it's already charged up right from the poor shoulder scapular dysfunction. Right? Does that answer your question? Yes,Melissa Deally:
it totally does. And it aligns again, with what I talked to in my work that we've got overflowing trash cans. Right. And our health can be okay. Okay, okay, as the trash cans filling up. But then as soon as it's overflowing, things start to go wrong. Right. And so there's always kind of that straw that you know, break? Or what is it needle that breaks the haystack or whatever?Rick Olderman:
Yeah, straw that breaks the camel's back. Yes. And,Melissa Deally:
yes. So my question, though, that I just want to understand there just for my own knowledge is what is triggering the shoulder blades to become the problem? Is that different for everyone? Or is that a very common way we move in our world today or don't move?Rick Olderman:
Okay, so this is a great question. So what is going on here? Well, if you if you understand the anatomy, you will understand that the things that pull the shoulder girdles down. Those are huge muscles latissimus dorsi, that the chest muscles in their front serratus muscles. All right, so all sorts of muscle, the trapezius muscles, the lower fibers, all right, these are massive muscles, and they're all designed to pull the shoulder blades down. And so that's one thing is that these muscles tend to become tight for various reasons. And so they're dragging everything down, and then setting up this little teeny tiny muscle, the levator scapula, which I described as a little pinky muscle that attaches from the shoulder blade into the cervical bones. That's called levator. It's supposed to elevate. So you've got gravity and all these things, pulling it down plus the weight of the arm, which is about 15 to 20 pounds, pulling everything down. You got this little teeny tiny Levator scap, we're trying to pull it up. And that's why when you have pain, it's just like, Oh, it's right here. So that's one of the reasons okay, the other one goes to we you mentioned that you went to yoga a lot. One of the cues in yoga, is that and this may or may not have happened with your instructor is that you're supposed to bring your shoulder blades down and back into the opposite back pockets. All right, that's a common cue and yoga and pilates. And now it's happening in personal training, too. But I don't believe that that is an original yoga cue that has infiltrated yoga and pilates and personal training because of dance, that dancers try to create a long, graceful looking neck. It's the aesthetic of beauty in our culture, that people have long, pretty necks, right? So how do you create a longer neck, you pull the shoulder blades down? Right, right. So all of that cueing to bring this down and back in the opposite back pocket is actually going the opposite of how the shoulder blade is designed to function and the neck system. So that's, that's one of the reasons is that, like you said, you know, your your instructor is trying to get you to unlock your knees, but you never thought to trance late that after yoga, right? Well, the opposite often happens is that, oh, they told me to do this in yoga. So I'm going to do it when I'm not in yoga too, right. And so, because I feel like I'm taller and more wrapped with my shoulder,Melissa Deally:
and I feel like I, I feel like I guess I've been programmed to believe that my shoulder should be back and down, based on that programming. But also, again, to counter that habitual situation of being at your computer with your arms forward, right. And so, as we talked about, before we do something long enough, it becomes the unconscious habit. And we just get into that stance. Yeah, no, that's why because I, I mean, I'm in a standing desk now. So that definitely helps it. And when I'm sitting, I'm on a ball rather than in a chair. But many people are very curved in their upper back and shoulders because of desk work.Rick Olderman:
So let's fix your ergonomics. That, right, right, instead of creating the wrong way to fix the problem, let's fix the problem at its source, right, which is your ergonomics, right. So what should be happening when we're sitting at our desk, and this is a great point, because this is what leads to a lot of neck pain and headaches. All right. So your arms, the arms of your chair, should be close to into your body. Most chairs are too big for people, yes. And their arms are I'm going to back up a little bit, their arms are resting out here somewhere right to get to that arm of the chair. And so they have to lean down a little bit. Yeah, and the arms of the chairs often then don't rise up high enough to allow them to reach out without depressing the shoulder.Melissa Deally:
Right? So yeah, no shoulders low. And now again, we're stretching in one side of the waist, we're compressing the other side of the beast.Rick Olderman:
So what I asked people to do is this is really simple, folks, you can try this at home, just get a pillow from your bed, folded in half, and stuff it between you and the arm of your chair. And that will now be the arm of your chair instead of the arm of your chair. Okay, yeah, and you'll notice that when you do that, that your arm is resting slightly higher, maybe a half inch, maybe a quarter inch, maybe even an edge than it usually would if you were using the arm of your chair. Right, what that's doing that is unloading this whole levator scapula, because now that the chair is holding up the shoulder system, that little tiny muscle that serves into those C one through four isn't being irritated anymore, you've got something else doing the work for it. Right? Then the other thing is, well, where should my computer be? Well, if you're resting with your arm, your arm should be resting where the seam of your shirts. So it should be us in here. So my, my keyboard, can you see my hand? I can? Yes. Okay, so my keyboard should be right where my hand is when my arm is at the seam of my shirt. So if you're not, if that's not happening, if even if you have it at the right height, if you have to reach for it, you've just lost all the support of your arm in your armchair, or the pillow that we've just put in there. Right. So now you've lost everything. So you've got to bring your people closer to you. And if you can't see the screen, scoot the screen closer to two. Right? All right. So if you do this on both sides of your chair, this will likely it will in fact, I had a woman cry, she was so happy that she could sit at her desk chair without pain. And all I did was I showed her this pillow position. She literally started crying because she knew already hit it. It eliminated her pain at work. And these are the principles. This is why it's eliminated pain is because of this phenomenon of depress shoulder blades ran at our workstation is contributing to it. Then once you do that, you don't have to pull your shoulder blades down and back to counter that slouchingMelissa Deally:
because you're not slouching anymore. I love it. Right. Again, IRick Olderman:
just wanted to go one more point about ergonomics. I saw the man's 20 years of neck pain just by having him move moving his mouse. All right, I moved his moving his mouse, his mouse, his mouse was out in front of him like this. So he was reaching for his mouse all day long. And he had neck pain. I did everything I could to solve his neck pain, and I couldn't do it. I said wait a second. Do you use a mouse? You said Yeah, after 20 years. I said where's the thing? He says, Oh, I have it out here. I said no, you gotta move that in here. So I had to move his keyboard over to the left a little bit, put his mouse central more central because they use it a lot. And I said now do that two days painMelissa Deally:
all gone. Amazing. I love it. So I'm on a MacBook Air and the mouse is central on the you know right below the key paired rather than so I haven't used the mouse off to the right for probably 10 years now, but I totally know what you mean. And I know there's a lot of people still using mouse mice. Yes. So yeah, that's awesome. Great tips. Thank you so, so much for sharingRick Olderman:
easy, easy stuff like this.Melissa Deally:
I still have one more question for you though. Sure. Yeah, I sit, I sit on a ball. When I sit. Yes, today I stand. But I sit on a ball when I sit. So I don't have an armrest when I'm sitting on my bike. Oh, what do you say for that?Rick Olderman:
Well, you don't have neck pain or headaches anymore, though. Do I don't know. Alright, so I'm not going to be so concerned about that. Okay, because your system seems to be working okay. Without those that extra help, right. But if you had neck pain or headaches, it would be probably the first thing I would change about whatMelissa Deally:
you're doing have me not sit on the ball and me sit on a chair.Rick Olderman:
Got it. And it makes me wonder about that right sided back pain that you have to, I would be interested in how tall the ball is and what position your feet are in when you're sitting on that ball. And whether your weight bearing on one leg more than the other while doing that. So my those kinds of things.Melissa Deally:
Yeah, my back pain is far better when I use a ball versus a chair. And my back pain is really a non issue now compared to what it was before. Like before, I couldn't even stand to do dishes and things like that. Whereas now I barely even notice it. So. So not an ongoing is definitely not chronic pain. And I don't even necessarily have it every single day. But every once in a while I might wake up in the morning and that side might be a little stiff or something like that, or, yeah, but it's a it's a non issue compared to what it was before for sure.Rick Olderman:
Can I drill down into that? What you just said just a second? Here's I can, my back pain feels a lot better when I'm on the ball than sitting in a chair. All right. So what you're telling me is, there's something about how you're sitting in that chair, that's different than how you're sitting on the ball. And so for those of you listening, the things that are causing you pain, are the secrets to fixing your pain. Right? There's some habit that you have about how you're sitting in that chair, or how that chair is set up the height of it, the depth of it, whatever it is, I don't know. But whatever that is, that's hurting you. And so if you really took the time to say, Hey, I'm gonna spend the next 15 minutes, and I'm going to compare my body sitting on the ball versus that chair. What is the difference here? And then what would be interesting is, what if I changed my chair to mimic what I do on a ball? Would that take care of my pain? And if it does, that helps you drill down even more into the mystery of that right sided back pain.Melissa Deally:
I'm willing to bet I slouch when I'm in the chair that the ball doesn't allow me to do. Fair enough. But that's that's current when I'm slouching, I'm curving my back a different way. But yeah, yeah. But I also like sitting on my ball. Just because there's a little bit more movement, I do tend to wiggle around a little bit more on it. A little bit more core use than just sitting in a chair and doing nothing, which is very easy to do when you just sit in a chair. Right? Yeah. SoRick Olderman:
so the other thing about sitting in a chair is it's easier to have an unconscious migration to one butt cheek than the other. Oh, interesting. Yeah. And you can't do that on a ball. Because the feedback you'll get as well, over here, right? That doesn't happen on in our chair. So there that could be another thing to pay attention. Possibly. Yeah, definitely, most. Definitely. If you're interested, you can export and it's somethingMelissa Deally:
I did before too. And the chair and this is to that point is I would cross my legs. Right. So that then does the migration to the one side. Ball. I don't cross my legs.Rick Olderman:
Is it the right leg going over the left leg? Yes. Okay. So the right hip is more flexed? Yes. So that muscle is becoming tighter, and you're way better on the left side. So that's how you know if the right sidebar, right. So that could be amazing. I love it. I love how you said That's literally how it works. If you've learned basic principles, you can figure this stuff out.Melissa Deally:
Well, I love all of this just guiding me through that. For those of you that listens to this podcast, I do invite you to go back and watch it on YouTube. And I will admit that my podcasts don't get loaded to YouTube as quickly as they do to audio, but give it a few weeks and it'll be up on YouTube. Go back and watch so that you can see you know Rick's explanations in more detail because they're super helpful. But this also shows you how he can help you virtually you don't have to be in the same town as Rick and go and see him in person. He can absolutely help you virtually just as he's done right now. So Rick, I want to ask you the question I asked all of my podcast guests What does don't wait for your wake up call mean to you?Rick Olderman:
You know, I heard this there's a podcast I like listening to called how I built this, and I interviewed this woman CEO, and they said, you know, is your success due to luck? Or is it, you know, brains. And she said, I believe that the harder I work, the luckier I get. So my feeling is, the wake up call is really the harder you're working on things, you know, the faster you get those Wake Up Calls, if you don't give up, then, you know, you don't need to have a wake up call, because you're there.Melissa Deally:
I love it. So yes, again, it's kind of counterintuitive, right? And we, and we don't need to have the wake up call, because we're doing the work. And we're feeling awesome. And that's what you like to do to help people. That's what I love to do to help people. So that's awesome. So how do people get in touch with you if they want to reach out and you know, work with you virtually. But I know you're also very generous, and you have a lot of resources on your website. So if you can explain all of that, and share your free gift that you're generously offering the audience?Rick Olderman:
Sure, I believe that everyone should be able to solve their pain. And I've created downloadable programs to help them do that. And I've given you all the keys similar to what you and I have gone into, you know, habits, tire, weak muscles, behaviors, things like that. So those can all be found on www dot fixing you method.com. And I have five programs I've created from head to toe to solve pain. If you type in fixing you all one word, you can get a 20% discount on those. I've also created a an online training program to teach other practitioners how to solve pain like this. And that's it heal patients faster.com. Again, type in the fix in new code, and you can get 20% off. And I believe most of that anyone, not just physical therapists should know this information. Because all of us who care about helping people with pain should, you know, I feel understand this. And if we all understood this, we could get rid of chronic pain, I really believe so. And then I have a free ebook that you can find on my personal website, which is Rick older mint.com. And you can find my free ebook there, I have a free plus shipping offer there that you can download my semantics audio lessons, which are designed to reduce tension. I have patient stories from my upcoming book there and and you can read it or listen to the audio. My walk is there. So that's the central hub of where everything is. So that's how it all works. I love it.Melissa Deally:
Awesome. And just to clarify on the code for the 20% off fixing you. It's all one word. Yes, lowercase caps doesn't matter.Rick Olderman:
Doesn't matter. Okay, but all one would have. If it does matter that try all caps. I probably tried out with all caps, but I was told that it worked with lowercase too. SoMelissa Deally:
trial caps if people can test it. But yes, so amazing resources that you're offering to people. And, you know, I agree when we understand this, we can get rid of chronic pain. And it's just like in my work, I want to get rid of chronic illness, right. And so having resources and experts like you and offering this in such a way that people can do this on their own is really powerful. So thank you so much for the work that you do. It's awesome. And you as well, definitely will be directing people to your resources and referring to you because I know people that can benefit from your expertise for sure. So as we just wrap up here, what's one last message you'd like to leave the audience with to inspire them to get started today?Rick Olderman:
Well, many people who are listening have failed with other practitioners. And many people tend to think that they're broken. And my message to you would be that you're not broken. You just haven't had the right information yet.Melissa Deally:
I love it. Beautiful message. Thank you so much for joining me on the don't wait for your wake up call podcast. I think this will be a really powerful episode that will help many, many people. So thank you for joining me today. And thank you to my audience for tuning in week in and week out. I love bringing these experts to you sharing this information with you so that you can be empowered in your health journey. Have a wonderful week everyone.