me&my health up

Pain & Exercise

July 09, 2020 me&my wellness / Mitch Hooper Season 1 Episode 8
me&my health up
Pain & Exercise
Show Notes Transcript

Chronic pain is on the rise and statistics show that up to 50% of people are affected by chronic pain. Mitch Hooper, Exercise Physiologist (EP) from Longevity EP discusses the causation of pain and what we can do to support it. Mitch shares his top tips for managing pain and to support general health & wellbeing.

me&my Health Up seeks to enhance and enlighten the wellbeing of others. Host Anthony Hartcher is the founder and CEO of me&my wellness which provides holistic health solutions using food is medicine, combined with a holistic, balanced, lifestyle approach. Anthony holds three bachelor degrees in Complementary Medicine; Nutrition and Dietetic Medicine; and Chemical Engineering.

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Anthony Hartcher:

Number eight episode of me and my health app. Today we're privileged to have back, Mitchell Hooper from exercise physiology with longevity. So how are you Mitch?

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, I'm good. I appreciate being 25% of the podcast guests ratio. Let's get it.

Anthony Hartcher:

you're a champion, cuz that's what I've got. Yeah.

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, that's right. That's right. It's a good time for that.

Anthony Hartcher:

We're on a roll actually, and hopefully we'll get another win against the Manly Sea Eagles. This coming Saturday so

Mitchell Hooper:

it's right. Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher:

I look after my fellow Eagle supporters. So Mitch, we touched on in the last episode that you're this marathon runner turn power lifter. Now. I want to hear the story behind this. And I'm sure the viewers want to hear the story.

Mitchell Hooper:

Sure. Sure. Well, it starts a bit before that. So I played American football at uni. And then I was done with that. And then I put on, but 30 kilos in three months. And I obviously knew that something had to change. I was still interested in fitness. It's just my undying love for food was never going to go anywhere. So I knew I needed to combat that somehow. So I lost heaps weight, entered a bodybuilding contest. And then from there, again, I just couldn't stop eating as ravenous. So I thought great way to combat that would be marathon running. And marathon running was was too much I got bored of it after a while. And then then I decided, you know, powerlifting embrace the bodytite. It all revolves and relevant for the podcast, but it all revolves around eating and eating lots of food.

Anthony Hartcher:

You certainly got the frame that needs lots of calories. That's why they had you in the Gridiron Team, your massive units. And you know, it's amazing how you know, you could carry, you know, your frame over 42 kilometres and do it so well. So, congratulations.

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, thank you. Thank you. Stupidity.

Anthony Hartcher:

Hey, I'm keen to find out your underlying philosophy around health and wellness. We didn't touch on that in the last episode. So it please share with this your, your philosophy?

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, right. Okay. So I'd say I'd say number one thing that's most important for everyone in general is to move more. That's really general advice with, with how our society is gone with, obviously, with cars with a lot of desks, especially even more relevant now with working from home. But the more you can move, the better shape you're going to be in the lower your risk for any comorbidity, the lower your risk for arthritis, causing you pain, better weight management, etc. So that would be number one, I'd say number two is to get strong. So strength is actually the number one correlated with independence. So you often see older people who have, you know, they tell you they walk 5k Every day, their whole life and the heart's in great shape, their lungs are in great shape, but they lose the strength to even do something as simple as stand up from the toilet. So I would say if you do those two things, you're, you're certainly on the right track to staying healthy and achieving longevity.

Anthony Hartcher:

Okay, so that first one is for everyone is to move more. And secondly, and prove your strength. So more conditioning and, and their first one, Mitch, you touched on the pain and arthritic pain and today's episode and the reason why I got your back is on is to talk further on the pain subject. So that was a good segue into pain. And I'm keen to get your insight around pain, the drivers of pain and what we can do about it, if we're suffering any potential condition that's driving pain, or is it you know, in a past injury, that we we still get the phantom pain from that past injury? Just really kind of give you insight around this? Because I know you're very passionate about this topic.

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, yeah. And it's probably the part I enjoy most about my job when someone comes in there and pain and then they come back and they go, You know what, I feel so much better because the quality of life hits that you take when you're in significant pain, especially if there's uncertainty surrounding that pain, then it gets into your mental well being as well. So it goes hand in hand with the, the kind of movement away from looking at imaging to diagnose to diagnose your source of pain. So a lot of the time we only have one spine, and so you'll get a you get a scan of your spine and you go oh, okay, your discs are degenerated and that's why you're in pain. But there's also several people with an identical skin that are in no pain. The same thing they did a There's a famous study on doing slap tears in the shoulder, which is I don't need to go into detail but tears in the shoulder that that can cause people pain, and people over certain age, the prevalence was something like 80 to 85% of those people had tears. And the qualifying factor to be in the study was that those people could not be in pain. And so it's very interesting how what's physically going on in the body is actually not always correlated to your sensations. So pain is always a sensation. It's not always damaged.

Anthony Hartcher:

Right? Okay. That's a great point. Because, you know, obviously, it's that sensory neurons giving feedback back to the brain in terms of their feelings and discomfort, or, you know, pain associated. And, and you're saying, well, they can be damaged there. But you may not get that sensory feedback to say that it's, it's painful. And some may, you know, some people can have the tear, and experience no pain and others with the tear experience exacerbating pain. So that's one camp or the other camp. So in terms of, I guess, if for you in terms of what you do, it doesn't matter which camp you're sitting in, whether you got pain, or you're without pain, you've got damage, you know, a torn muscle or tendon, you essentially helped that person gain that mobility back? Do you take a different approach with someone who has pain? Or to someone who doesn't? Or how do you approach it?

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, so if someone doesn't have pain, then we're still screening their function constantly. And so oftentimes, they they have ways that they're compensating for a damaged tissue, and they don't feel any discomfort at all. If that's the case, we try and build back the function and build back the movements within normal healing times knowing that they may have a an injury there. But yeah, it's it's when someone comes in and they are in pain, for example, that the biggest thing is finding out why what were the circumstances around the pain? When did you start feeling the pain because let's say you have back pain, and you've been told you have degenerative discs? Well, we know that that could may or may not be the cause. The cause may be that you're inactive, the cause may be that you've had some hugely distressing events in your life. Or, you know, oftentimes the cause is, you just hurt yourself, and you just need a couple of weeks. So as healthcare practitioners, it's really our responsibility. If someone is in pain, we screen why we give expectations around how long that'll last, a pathway to full function. And letting people know that you know that they're not broken, they, their body's amazing in what it can achieve. And as a downfall of that complex system between the brain and the body is that the brain can sometimes imagine things that aren't there. And in cases like fibromyalgia, for example.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you've got those war veterans that still carry that pain from that, you know, the amputation of the leg, they no longer have the leg, it's healed and everything, but they still bear that pain of that leg. Phantom Pain as well. And but you, you raised a really good point, it's around, you know, as you said, when you with a client who's experiencing pain, it's going back to the time when it happens and what was going on and, and potentially, that pain may be associated with the emotion around that traumatic event, as opposed to the physical damage, like you're saying the physical damage could have well and truly healed to a point that, you know, that person should be experiencing no pain, but they're still carrying the same pain intensity as when it first happened, potentially.

Mitchell Hooper:

Yep. Yeah, yeah. Well, because it's, it's not always what I'm driving it really, it's not always a mechanical thing. It's not always a tissue that's torn. It's not always X, Y, or Z. And so for example, someone could be in tolerances to spine flexion when they're standing, and they bend over and they curl up, because they damage their back from, say, doing a deadlift incorrectly, or they picked up a pen and they something happened and they think they have slipped this etc. But you get the same person seated in the same spinal flexion under the same load. And no, no, that's fine. And so there's different strategies around how to load that how to introduce that if it's actually a damaged tissue, or if it's a psychological aspect,

Anthony Hartcher:

okay. And in the case of the psychological aspect, you bring in like a psychologist or counsellor, or, you know, do you refer out to get that element of emotional support?

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, so certainly we can and it really is case by case. I mean, that's the that's the whole definition of exercise physiology. There's no one size fits all and if something is major, then certainly, certainly, we work with a full team but if something is relatively minor, you got to get to know the person and then it's just a matter of, you know, if they hurt themselves picking up a pen. You explain to them Why'd you hurt yourself picking up a pen? Well, there's an injury risk with picking up very light loads, just like there's injury risk of picking up very high loads and the safest is actually somewhere in the middle. And you can you can use it, the same example I gave to you can use the seated spinal flexion. And , you can put a two kilo dumbbell and have them hold that in front of them. In spinal flexion. You go, how does that feel? And they go, okay, yeah, that's fine. And then you well, why does that? Why is that fine now, but the same load when you bend over? That that causes pain? So you start to get people around the thoughts and the idea that, okay, it's not in my head, because it's a real sensation. But it is something that is a sensation, it's not a mechanical issue. Yeah. Sometimes it's sometimes it is, it is a little bit of a little bit of trickery as well to get them there, which I probably shouldn't admit. But if, if they're very concerned about doing an exercise, and they go, No, I'm not doing I'm not doing a deadlift because I hurt my back. And it's just, it's not something that I can do. You can easily get them and go, would you mind just picking up that three kilo weight bringing it over here for me and they go into grab it? You know, you just did a deadlift, right.

Anthony Hartcher:

Isn't that the magic? You do? Is that That's your your secret sauce? It's the Colonel Sanders secret sauce of exercise physiology

Mitchell Hooper:

That's right. That's right. But yeah, the mind is the mind is so powerful in deciding what you can and can't do. And educating is one of the biggest things where that's how you get the fastest results. Really?

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, absolutely. I'm a big, big believer in that, you know, empowering the client through education and giving them that why and understanding and, and it helps them to obviously enact and do things properly and, you know, carry through with your recommendations. So, so glad you you know, there's a few points I picked up on the fact that you saying everyone's completely unique and different and comes you know, with a different set of problems and you know, your work with that individual. And it is there's not a one size fits all in terms of what you do. For someone. It's very specific and individualised. So I love that in terms of what you do, as well as how you educate them and empower them around experiencing.

Mitchell Hooper:

Well, in empowering is such, it's such an appropriate word to use. And that should be really the number one asset on everyone's resume, who's an allied healthcare professional or a doctor? Because, yeah, oftentimes, we will get them better, we'll get them healthier, but we're just showing them the pathway, and you're not putting the food in their mouth, and I'm not forcing them to do something. It's just you do X, Y, and Z, you're gonna be healthier than you were before. And and we're on this path together.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah. It's that old adage of you. You give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, you teach him how to fish. You feed him for a lifetime. And that's exactly what we do. So yeah, love it. Yeah.

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, exactly. It's always it's always better to get constant business through people happy people's referrals than lifetime clients, because they require your services.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yes, Fantastic. Well, Mitch, so what's your top tips for managing pain? So for anyone experiencing any viewer or listener experiencing pain? What do you recommend they do? What are your top tips?

Mitchell Hooper:

Hmm, good question. So the top tip would have to be, find out what it is. Okay. So you have to see an allied healthcare professional, you have to get it sorted. Because my general advice is, if you have pain, it's probably okay, you can probably still move. But there are circumstances in which you may need surgical intervention, you know, you turn to kill these me telling you listen, you're probably going to be fine, is pretty bad advice. But you find out what it is first. And then number two, understand that pain is simply a response from your body. And it's just a feeling, it may or may not be physical damage. So a great analogy here is if you pinch your skin, and you pinch you go, that really hurts. I'm going to stop that. But it doesn't indicate that I'm in serious danger. So it doesn't always mean that you're in danger. And then if I were to pinch my skin time, after time, after time after time, over time, it's going to stop hurting as much. So oftentimes, especially with things like arthritis, it hurts. I know it hurts and, and that's unfortunate. We don't want you to be an excessive thing. But things like moving it are going to be painful, but over time, it's going to be less painful and it's going to feel better.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, no great. Great tips, Mitch. That's why I've got you on for 20% of the you give such sound advice and very well rounded thought out. And you know, I just love your approach to patient centred care. So, yeah, it's really good to have you on and just I guess in concluding this topic, what are your top tips around maintaining good health?

Mitchell Hooper:

Yeah, I suppose that goes back to your first question, the podcasts and top tips for maintaining good health was gonna be, from my perspective number one is, is move. And however you move that's moving is winning. If you're out of breath, if your heart rate is up, that's a good thing. Especially if you're exercising, you have no underlying condition, your heart's beating like crazy, it's probably fine. If you have no underlying condition, you can be a bit you can work yourself really hard. And I suppose the same thing I said in the last podcast, your body's not a car, you're not going to wear up because you moved it too much, because you did too much of this or that. Everything's really building tolerance to different things. And whatever you want to build your tolerance to, then you can do it, you move more, you get healthier. And that's how you achieve longevity really.

Anthony Hartcher:

So my take away certainly from my point of view, is to move and to move more and I've been seated all day in front of a computer so move and get outside and get some sunshine and move my body. So thanks again now Mitch, thanks for joining us and how people how can they best contact you?

Mitchell Hooper:

Good stuff so you can get to us through Facebook longevity or Instagram longevity PT au Ross on Google longevity exercise physiology and personal training. Yeah, if you're in pain, you need some advice. You need that screening I talked about. Definitely feel free to reach out and contact us.

Anthony Hartcher:

Absolutely. There's no better person to contact so thanks. Mitchell Hooper. Thanks for wrapping up episode eight on pain. And yep, in conclusion, it's move more and remember your number two is strength and conditioning and if you need support in doing either or both. Contact Mitchell Hooper from longevity EP. So thanks again, Mitch, and have a wonderful afternoon and look forward to having you back sometime in the near future.

Mitchell Hooper:

We only got a couple podcasts ago to keep up the ratio. Thanks.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, absolutely.

Mitchell Hooper:

speaks soon. Have a good day.