Act 2: You're On!

The Biomechanics of Getting You Out of Pain, with Dr Sharon Sharpe

June 30, 2022 Kate & Rhonda Season 2 Episode 6
Act 2: You're On!
The Biomechanics of Getting You Out of Pain, with Dr Sharon Sharpe
Show Notes Transcript

Are you sick of walking around in pain? Maybe your injury has healed, but you still have a nagging sense of discomfort. Yes. Are you a golfer and your game is just off? Are you looking for something to give you a winning edge? Have you had to give up activities you love because those activities no longer feel good in your body? Well, you have tuned into the right podcast because there is a chance not all those activities that you love are gone for good. And we have just the person to address some of the questions you might be having about daily ailments that are limiting your fun and sense of well-being. So, let me tell you a little bit about our guest today.

Dr. Sharon Sharpe is the owner of Achieve Therapeutics. She is a licensed athletic trainer and licensed massage therapist with a doctorate in Biomechanics from BU; it is Sharon's goal to provide care for individuals who have some sort of ongoing or recurring issue that keeps them from doing the activities they enjoy. Sharon has a vast toolkit of hands-on therapies. She has helped people for over 30 years in injury care, and she believes people do not have to live in pain. And, wait until you hear about the groundbreaking work she's doing with golfers. And, here's the thing about Achieve Therapeutics. It provides a new path to wellness and freedom of movement through myofascial release therapy, and other treatments. Their goal is to remove any stress or unnecessary tension and to make you feel relaxed and comfortable and able to resume and excel at the things you love to do.

Highlights include:

“...if you think of like Spider Man's outfit. And because the fascia is all interconnected, so if I grabbed the shoulder of Spider Man's outfit and yank on it, the whole outfit goes that way, not just the shoulder, you can have pain in your shoulder, that's really the result of something that's happening in your hip, or your knee or anywhere. All my treatments are full-body treatments with a focus on the problem area. Sometimes the problem area isn't the problem.”

“ It's just a technique where you hold; you get a body part in a position and you sort of balance it with your hands. And you hold it there, and you just wait. And sometimes it takes forever. Sometimes it's pretty quick, but eventually the tissues will soften. It's kind of a craft, you know, you have to figure out where you need to put it to get it to balance.” 

“I have a wide range of ages and activity levels. So I have one young man who is a hardcore, you know, weightlifting; he runs, he does all this stuff. And I have an a woman who's in her 90s, who has a hip problem, and she just wants to be able to walk around her house. And I do treat younger kids, sometimes not very often, but they have to come in with their parents.”

“I'm looking for the cause. I'm looking for, why do you have this problem? Or, why does it keep coming back? And because you get hurt, you stopped doing whatever you were doing, and you feel better. But then as soon as you start doing it again, your pain comes back. So to me, there's a fascial restriction somewhere, - somewhere, that's putting undue stress on whatever it is that's hurting. So I'm looking for that. I'm not necessarily looking solely at your shoulder, if you have shoulder pain, I'm looking at your upper back, I'm looking at your ribs and your neck. And I'm looking at your hips, because it could come from a restriction in any of those places. So I'm, I'm trying to solve that puzzle.”

For more information about our guest, Sharon click on the link below:
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Rhonda: Welcome to Act 2:

You're On. Join Us Weekly at our studio roundtable. As Rhonda

Kate:

and Kate invite spectacular guests to weigh in on staying vibrant and healthy.

Rhonda:

Launch your next great app with authenticity and purpose.

Kate:

Summon your courage superstar and step into the limelight. So grab a coffee

Rhonda:

or a martini

Kate:

and let's set the stage for a grand entrance. It's Act Two.

Act 2 Share Our Stage:

You're on.

Kate:

Greetings, friends and welcome. Kate Leavey here on a happy day in the Act Two You're On studio because we're welcoming a friend into the spotlight today, Dr. Sharon Sharpe. And I have the great pleasure of podcasting with my dear friend and dynamic co host.

Rhonda:

Thank you Kate. It's Rhonda Garvin Conaway here. And we would be remiss if we did not share that we're joined by our very talented producer, Cathy cars. Well,

Kate:

Listeners, are you sick of walking around in pain? Maybe your injury has healed but you still have a nagging sense of discomfort. Yes. Are you a golfer and your game is just off? Cathy Carswell, is your game off. Are you are looking for something to give you a winning edge? Have you had to give up activities you love because those activities no longer feel good in your body? Well, you have tuned into the right podcast because there is a chance not all those activities that you love are gone for good. And we have just the person to address some of the questions you might be having about daily ailments that are limiting your fun and sense of well-being. So, let me tell you a little bit about our guest today. Dr. Sharon Sharpe is the owner of achieved therapeutics. She is a licensed athletic trainer and licensed massage therapist with a doctorate in Biomechanics from BU; it is Sharon's goal to provide care for individuals who have some sort of ongoing or recurring issue that keeps them from doing the activities they enjoy. Sharon has a vast toolkit of hands-on therapies. And, I know because I have experienced some of them, and she is a healer. She has helped people for over 30 years in injury care, and she believes people do not have to live in pain. And, wait until you hear about the groundbreaking work she's doing with golfers. And, here's the thing about Achieve Therapeutics. It provides a new path to wellness and freedom of movement through myofascial release therapy, and other treatments for day to day and d health concerns. Their goal is to remove any stress or unnecessary tension and to make you feel relaxed and comfortable and able to resume and excel at the things you love to do. Welcome, Sharon.

Sharon Sharpe:

Thank you. Okay, thank you, Rhonda. Thank you, Cathy, great to be here.

Kate:

Well, we're delighted that you are here. And it is really great for us when we end up with a friend of the studio, because we all know each other through the arts. And also Sharon and I know each other from my various athletic ailments. Now, I am excited for people to kind of hear what you do and know that they don't have to live in pain.

Sharon Sharpe:

I am an athletic trainer. So, I bring that set of skills along with me and athletic training for those who don't know and not everybody does it. We are the people who take care of athletes' injuries. So we're the ones who run out on the field when somebody goes down and gets them off, takes care of them immediately. We also get them to the doctor if they need to, and do all the rehab. So we're from start to finish service - but I came to this through that route. I was an athlete in college, I was injured. So I came to understand, you know, the need for the services of those people to take care of you. And so that's kind of where I chose my career path right from then on. And I worked at a couple different places. I spent most of my career at Wellesley College, which was wonderful, before I went to get my Doctorate. And because I thought I wanted to teach, and I taught for probably five years and realized that I really missed working with people and helping people and getting my hands on people. So, I had to get a massage therapy license to do that. Because an athletic training license at the moment doesn't allow me to do that. So that's how I got here. Originally, I was like, Well, I just want to be the athletic trainer to everybody who doesn't have one. So, someone comes in I can evaluate their injury. I could treat their injury. I could give them exercises to try to keep it from coming back. That's why I came to this.

Rhonda:

So you had your own personal experience with pain with an injury and the upset. Many people do but they don't necessarily go into the field. So what was it about your experience that really lit a spark in you. I'm curious.

Sharon Sharpe:

I was very, I was always interested in the sciences, and especially the physiology, we were required to take one course and I literally took three. So it just fit right into that human body. And that led me to my Biomechanics degree as well. So yeah, it's just a really a curiosity about, about our bodies, and what you know, the amazing things they can do, and the amazing processes that happen, so that we can do that.

Rhonda:

And, when Kate was reading your bio, I thought this, this person is a badass. So I'm thrilled that you're gonna give us some wisdom today, because it is impressive what you've done to work with the human body. And clearly it is a passion, something I have had many conversations with people about. And admittedly, I have not taken the action for myself. But I get excited about the topic is how fascia affects the pain in our body when we have injuries. And I was hoping to keep it really general. And maybe you can shed a light on it for me a little bit more and get me to move into action. So I actually do something about injuries I'm dealing with, and for those who are listening, because I think they might be carrying around similar things, whether you're in the first act of your life, or act two, or maybe even Act 3.

Sharon Sharpe:

Well, I do most of the work I do - is with fascia. And the reason for that the fascia is, if you think about looking at an anatomy chart, you see all the red as the muscles, and then there's this white stuff. That's fascia. Not only that, though, it makes a baggie around all our organs around all our muscles, all our blood vessels, it surrounds everything. And it's all interconnected. So if you really, I saw a video that is kind of disgusting, but what they did was, they took cadaver, and they actually took out the fascia, like the outer layer in one piece. I mean, if you've ever seen Body Worlds, they have all these - with the vessels. And this was just a sheet of fascia and, and there are different layers and different thicknesses depending on where in the body it is. And it keeps our shape. It keeps everything in the right shape, and it has different tensions on it. So it's pulling in different directions. And it hopefully, if you haven't been injured, it pulls in exactly the right direction, so that your body parts are in the best orientation to move, then if you get injured, it's very sticky stuff. So if you don't move something for a while, it sticks together, and it forms adhesions, and this limits your range of motion. And even though your injury heals, sometimes that stuck stuff just stays stuck. And it has to be released.

Kate:

So it's not just me and my fascia.

Sharon Sharpe:

It's not just you.

Kate:

My fascia isn't just dumb - I am glad In have my fascia, but sometimes, I feel like, why are you holding on so then I have to go and have you know, somebody like Sharon.

Rhonda:

That was the best explanation I've ever heard actually, of what fascia is that visual, very impressed, and I can see why you are a teacher.

Sharon Sharpe:

Here's another visual for you. And this is one I use in class if you think of like Spider Man's outfit. And because the fascia is all interconnected, so if I grabbed the shoulder of Spider Man's outfit and yank on it, the whole outfit goes that way, not just the shoulder, you can have pain in your shoulder, that's really the result of something that's happening in your hip, or your knee or anywhere. All my

Kate:

Yeah, it's so fascinating. treatments are full-body treatments with a focus on the problem area. Sometimes the problem area isn't the problem.

Rhonda:

If if you've got this problem, and you have the injury, and the fascia is doing what you described it to be doing. What can you do about it?

Sharon Sharpe:

Well, there are lots of different techniques. And there are lots that I don't do, but I do a technique that I learned from a physical therapist, who learned it from an osteopath. And he wouldn't give it a name, because he didn't know if he was licensed to practice. So, yeah, so his name was Dave and my friends and I who learned it from him just

call it :

Dave stuff. It's just a technique where you do hold, you get a body part in a position and you sort of balance it with your hands. And you hold it there, and you just wait. And sometimes it takes forever. Sometimes it's pretty quick, but eventually the tissues will soften. It's kind of a craft, you know, you have to figure out where you need to put it to get it to balance. That's the main technique I use

Kate:

...and it's wild because then you walk out of there and you're like, "Oh, this is what it feels like to not be in pain." So you started off as an athletic trainer, so you were working with athletes who were at their prime. So who's coming through the door of Achieve Therapeutics now? And also what? Well, I have a second question as a follow up, but I'll ask that one first,

Sharon Sharpe:

I have a wide range of ages and activity levels. So I have one young man who is a hardcore, you know, weightlifting; he runs, he does all this stuff. And I have an a woman who's in her 90s, who has a hip problem, and she just wants to be able to walk around her house. And I do treat younger kids, sometimes not very often, but they have to come in with their parents.

Kate:

So my follow up question was, how is achieved therapeutics a little bit different from other traditional providers?

Sharon Sharpe:

Well, I'm different, because number one, I'm looking for the cause. I'm looking for,why do you have this problem? Or, why does it keep coming back? And because you get hurt, you stopped doing whatever you were doing, and you feel better. But then as soon as you start doing it again, your pain comes back. So to me, there's a fascial restriction somewhere, - somewhere, that's putting undue stress on whatever it is that's hurting. So I'm looking for that. I'm not necessarily looking solely at your shoulder, if you have shoulder pain, I'm looking at your upper back, I'm looking at your ribs and your neck. And I'm looking at your hips, because it could come from a restriction in any of those places. So I'm, I'm trying to solve that puzzle. Yeah. Well, that's what it is a puzzle, or you're super smoothing it backwards. And I also appreciate that you're not looking just to have return clients who come to you forever; you're looking to help people figure out how to stay out of pain. And I feel like that - that is not every provider. Well, it's not exactly a good business model.

Kate:

Yeah, but you get referrals,

Sharon Sharpe:

But it is very satisfying. I had a person come to see me who was a friend, and she was going on vacation and and had done something to her back. And she called on a Friday morning, and she goes, We're leaving tomorrow, early in the morning, you know, I need you to help me. So she came in and I treated her and she she didn't feel so great. And it's like, well, usually it's the next day, if it's a back. And she sent me photos from her vacation. She was rock climbing. She was kayaking, she was biking that to me, it was like, Yes, that's why I do what I do. So you go from hardly able to stand to, you can free up those tissues so that you can do the movement you want to do.

Kate:

Yeah, that's gotta be incredibly satisfying to be a real healer and to relieve people's pain. That's great life work.

Sharon Sharpe:

Doesn't always work like that. But yeah, that was a nice, that was a nice experience.

Rhonda:

Sharon, I understand that you work with many people who golf. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Sharon Sharpe:

Well, during COVID, I took the opportunity to take a couple of courses on a golf movement, and golf, fitness and golf medicine. And it's from theTitleist Performance Institute. So Titleist is the big golf company. They have amazing physical therapists and athletic trainers who work with professional golfers and, and all levels and their courses about there's a sort of 12 or 13 item screen that you can do on someone to see if they have the range of motion that they need to be a consistent golfer. What I do is I run through that screen and we find - Okay, so these are the areas where you're having trouble. And then we do a quick videotape of your swing from the side and from the front. And you can see they call they don't call them errors, we call them swing characteristics.

Rhonda:

Very compassionate,

Sharon Sharpe:

Yes, well, you can have this characteristic and still be an awesome golfer. So they don't call them errors. So they match up like you match up, here's your screen. And these are the limitations you have. And this is what your swing looks like. And we can say that the reason this is happening in your swing is because you have this limitation in your motion, and then we can work on that and I can give you quick program to get started to correct some of those things. And then if you have pain, then there's a whole different screen, which I've been using since I learned it - I've been using it on everybody who walks in the door because it relates the pain to the capability to move. And it's really showing me the relationships like of the hip to the whole upper body to the arm to the hand and it's really been an eye-opener for me. You know, I started out to do it so I could work with golfers, but I'm using that particular screen, which is called a selective functional movement assessment and it's for anybody

Kate:

Well, we're getting vigorous head shakes from Cathy Carswell who is a golfer, so she she'll be making an appointment. So, I have to imagine golf - well, that's got to be tough on the body.

Sharon Sharpe:

Actually, if you're swinging smoothly and without - yyou know It's not, it's really not.If you are winding yourself up because you have restrictions, then it becomes more difficult. Or more well, it is difficult and it's difficult to play well. But to do the act just go play. It's not, it's not really that hard on your body.

Rhonda:

I am so curious because you applied this this training to any person that kind of goes across your threshold. Do you ever turn off what you know, in public in social settings? Are you always doing like little assessments on how somebody walks or what's going on? I've always wondered,

Sharon Sharpe:

It's funny, because I'll be in the mall or someplace and I'll see somebody walking and I'm like, Oh, my God, they're not walking around on those feet, or you're like, you need some insoles come to see me quickly.

Rhonda:

And you have to restrain yourself from offering unsolicited advice.

Sharon Sharpe:

Oh no, I don't have to do that.

Kate:

Besides the massage therapy and the fascial work, what other tools or strategies can you offer folks?

Sharon Sharpe:

I do cupping, which is myofascial decompression. So if you've seen it, everybody's seen it. And make leave circles on your body, which look like bruises but they're not it's just blood being brought to the surface. But what it does is it really helps me to loosen up fascia, if somebody's really stuck, throw a couple on there for five or 10 minutes in it, it just pulls those stuck layers apart. So that's a tool I use. I do a technique called positional release, where you put the body in a position where the particular muscle you're targeting is at its most slack. And you wait for like two minutes, and it will eventually relax. That's kind of a difficult one to do. Because people are like, well, what are we doing? Nothing's happening.

Kate:

Yeah, that speaks to societally where we are

Sharon Sharpe:

I am like, just wait, just wait. So but that's, that's pretty cool. when it actually happens, and somebody just goes, Oh, my God, what just, I do some instrument assisted myofascial techniques, when that's just with a tool, stainless steel tool, but you just kind of run it along the tissue, it's all these things are intended to free up fashion, and releasing,

Kate:

...and that cupping thing - people who don't know, it looks like a medieval torture. So was it actually created and discovered as a torture device, I don't know. I know, my daughter has it done. She's a collegiate athlete, and she hasn't done all the time, and swears by it, who came up with

Rhonda:

That's extraordinary. that.

Sharon Sharpe:

It's an ancient Chinese medicine technique, they It feels great. and in fact, when I took the class, they teach you that it's a glass cup, and you light something on fire and stick it in. And that makes the air very thin, and then you stick it on The three of us should just come in and she could just fix us the body. And that's how you do it. And I'm like, Yeah, I'm not going to be holding torches in my office. So I have two kinds, I have a silicone kind that you just basically squeeze the air out of and let it go. And then I have a pump time that you put it on and you pump the air out. But one of the techniques that I really like to do with it is once you have it on there for a little while, you can actually lift it and move it. So you can all. go like the whole length of a muscle that way. We will have a party and bring the snacks.

Kate:

I know when you get into a certain decade in your life. That's ideas now - who wants cake? That's what I want to do For my birthday, now - write that down. That's what I'm expecting now.

Rhonda:

I am really curious, because you brought up you know what is coming? There may be people who haven't heard of it, or they've heard of it. And then the idea of it might be intimidating. Maybe the whole idea of any kind of medicine that isn't traditional, can be intimidating. What would you say to those folks listening that have sort of one idea about the services you offer? How to maybe consider a different perspective about them? Or how this might help service them in feeling better?

Sharon Sharpe:

The way I approach this. I mean, I'm an athletic trainer. So I come from a profession that is evidence-based if if I don't have evidence that I'm not going to do it. And sometimes the evidence is I've done it on somebody or it's been done on me and I know it works and doesn't maybe doesn't work for everybody. When I have somebody who's a little nervous. I just try to explain this and here it is. I do it on myself. Here's what happens. And it's intended to separate layers that are stuck together. If it's at all uncomfortable, we can take it off. There's no side effects, except that you get marks and usually they go away in a day. Sometimes not but usually they do so I just tried to explain, you know, here's why I want to do it, here's how long we'll have it on for. And this is what you can expect to feel. And if you feel anything that you don't like, then we'll go with a different plan. Because I have lots of tools, you don't like that one, we'll take out another one,

Kate:

Well, I have to imagine you have a great way of putting people at ease, because you are so well, you're a gentle person. But you are so logic-based, like you just explain it and you give them they can give you feedback, or you can choose something else that's got to be very empowering, especially if people are nervous. So we're coming to this part of our conversation that we love. That's called the golden nugget. So it's a part of this little segment where we invite you to weigh in on I don't know what our listeners might need to know to be successful in their next great actor or at a point of transition or reinvention.

Sharon Sharpe:

Well, one great point of reinvention for me was when I went to get my doctorate at age 45. And I was sort of thrown in with this young man, Dan, who was 22. And we were both in the same program doing the same thing. And we were just completely overwhelmed the two of us in the beginning, were walking, I remember we were walking down the street one time talking about it, and how are we going to do this? And I said, "You know what, Dan? People do this. We're smart people, we can do this." So that's kind of been my mantra of like, people do this. I can do this.

Kate:

And I love that story. Because you know, we can be mentors to younger people. But boy, do we hear a lot of advice from people these days to have a younger mentor - so to be in a class - for anybody who might be thinking about going back to school when you're 45 and getting your PhD. I wonder if you can speak to that for a moment and just say, you know, was that really hard? Or...?

Sharon Sharpe:

Well, honestly, yeah, it was hard. And it was great to have Dan, because he had this unlimited supply of energy that I didn't have. Right, so he kind of dragged me along, at times. I got my PhD because I was working at Wellesley College for 18 years. And I was just getting really tired of traveling in a van for four hours and standing out in the rain. And I wanted to do something else. And I wanted to get a doctorate. And my father always wanted me to get a doctor, just I don't know why you don't have a doctorate. So I'm like, "Well, I'm just going to see who has a program." And rather than - usually you get a PhD, because you have this burning interest in something and I'm like, "Okay, what's out here that I can get even mildly interested in enough to do a research project." And so I found it extremely energizing, just to be - and I miss it, I miss being like, because we'd have seminars - there were probably seven or eight of us in one room for an office. So there were always all these really lively discussions. And I kind of miss that. But it's - I learned so much. And, you know, I didn't know that I was going to learn that much. Because I thought I knew quite a bit about the human body just in the first week, I was amazed. I would encourage anybody who has the opportunity and the stamina, and the support system, that you definitely need the support system to go for it.

Kate:

Yeah, that's great, great advice.

Rhonda:

It's a great story. I regrettably am the person today to remind us all that we're coming close to the end of our conversation. But before we do, Sharon, we're really interested in knowing what's going to come next for you - is it more of the same or tell us a little bit about your vision for yourself,

Sharon Sharpe:

Probably more of the same - I am, I'm starting to get into custom made insoles. So because you know you're the base of support is critical. And if your base of support is mushy, you're going to have problems your knees and your shins and your hips. I found a company that it's relatively simple. It's not in place of a podiatrist. But it is really for like 95% of people. It's a really nice orthotic, a nice install that really will help and I've had a few people that I've given that are pretty happy. So that's my next thing and also my next thing is I want to play more golf - to play more golf.

Rhonda:

Have you had someone do the assessment on yourself?

Sharon Sharpe:

I have not. I probably should.

Rhonda:

Well, you'll have to come back on and let us know how that goes.

Sharon Sharpe:

And once you healed Cathy over there, you can take her out I can check her out The course was an online course so we couldn't like - work on each other Well, thank you for joining us today. What a treat like always we learn something when I'm in your presence. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Kate:

I am grateful for this conversation and this great - you know, healing that you're giving to the world; It's good

Rhonda:

And the world needs to know how to be in touch with stuff. For sure. Thank you all so much. you. So, with that in mind, when you go online, you can find Sharon and the work she's doing achievetherapeutics.com that's achievetherapeutics.com and see what's happening with your golf, your feet, your fascia - she does it all . Very impressive. Thanks, Sharon. And of course, thank you to Cathy Carswell, our very talented producer for making this all possible.

Kate:

And so I think it's leftto me to say go forth, be brave, live well and do good because it's act two... you're on. Act Two you're on was brought to you by act 2 Share our stage. You can find us an A2yo.com and also on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Rhonda:

Please download listen and subscribe. Wherever you find your podcast. You can support us using Patreon for buy us a coffee mug.

Kate:

I do like coffee.

Rhonda:

No no, you don't need any more caffeine, Kate. Buy us a coffee is a platform that folks can use to support entrepreneurs and artists like us

Kate:

so we can keep providing resources for the doers and dreamers to find connection, purpose and the skills needed to create a sustainable, fulfilling life to better serve the world. And also so we can buy more coffee.

Rhonda:

Oh Kate, thanks for listening everyone.