Well my birthday was yesterday, and I turned 55. I guess I’m now a “middle aged” guy, although I have to keep pinching myself to remind me of that. I remember as a kid when my father turned 40-I thought WOW, my dad is old! Anyway, you’ve probably noticed a new photo on the website-a sure sign of mid-life crisis. There are also some video clips relating to low back pain and hip strength/flexibility. In my 20+ years of practice, I’ve seen a strong correlation between weak and tight hips and low back pain. We sit on the very muscles we should be strengthening and tighten the ones that should be kept flexible. I’ll have some more videos using a foam roller to loosen up tight muscles.
I’ve got an impacted tooth (of course it happened while sleeping Friday night so no access to my dentist until Monday), but it did not keep me from working out both Saturday and today, although I had a great excuse since I didn’t sleep much the past two nights. I felt much better afterwards, and I’m glad I did.

The Mayo Clinic newsletter had a report on arthritis in the hands. I’ve run across this issue many times with patients and I’ve had the best results with an old recipe, one that baseball pitchers use to strengthen their grip and forearms-a bucket of rice. If you are suffering from this condition (or if you want to improve grip strength), get a large bucket and fill it 2/3 with rice. It should be big enough to stick your arm in to about mid-forearm level. Place your arm in there and open/close your hand, fingers, etc. The rice bucket works much better than the squeeze balls since you can move in all directions.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.