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Posted by on Jan 17, 2022 | 0 comments

How To Prevent Low Back Pain

 

Something I’ve been seeing a lot of is low back pain. Getting a lot of patients that got the pain radiating down their leg, some of it to the knee, some of it to the ankle, some even into the foot. But this seems to be a big problem right now, based on the type of patients we’re seeing. So that’s what we want to address today.

What we want to go over is some of the causes, and then some prevention exercises that you could do to help prevent this. So not only preventing it in the future, but how to deal with it if you get it.

The biggest culprit nowadays is sitting posture. Sitting rounded specifically. A lot of people tell me, “Well, I’m sitting up straight.” It may look like they’re straight, and we’re going to use this as a demonstration. So normal posture in your lower back, meaning your lower back from the right side, should have a slight curve to the back of it, so you’re bent there. A lot of people, when they sit though, their spine becomes more straight, and that’s what we’re meaning by a straight back.

So it may look like from the side that you’re sitting up tall, but you’ve lost that reverse curve. That is the neutral, relaxed position of your spine. There’s so many people who are working on computers and that nowadays, sitting prolonged in those postures, it is one of the biggest culprits for why backs break down.

So Brian and I are going to demonstrate what we’re talking about. 

When people sit, normally then they start getting a little bit lax and then they start slowly slouching a little bit and their back starts rounding a little bit. They’re hanging on soft tissue, and then typically they can start getting pain while they’re sitting there. Or another complaint is when they’re getting up. So when they stand, because these tissues now are a little bit looser and more lax, when you first stand, they’re not supporting you as well. Then you get pain and then people say, “I have to stand there for a minute or two, or I have to walk around a minute or too for it to start feeling better.” That’s because your back was rounded.

So the big key is, you want to sit up straight. Now, if you are not, if you don’t have a back support, here’s where I want to show you how to find this position. So sit about halfway back in the chair. What you’re going to do, you’re going to slouch, finding the end range of that bent forward position. Then you’re going to take and arch your back to the end range of this position. So you go to the two of extremes of that. So the rounding forward, the rounding back, and then after you’ve round it back, you come forward a little bit, and relax right into that posture there. This is how you want to try to sit when you are sitting with no support, meaning your back is not against the backrest.

The ideal situation is using a backrest and a lumbar support. If you don’t have that, you can make it out of a towel. They have commercial ones you can buy. But you would slide your rear all the way back against the seat. You would put this in the small of your back and lean back against it. It puts you on a slight angle back, puts your back in a neutral position, which not only helps your low back, but your neck and your shoulders, because now all these structures back here are in a relaxed position.

As good as that posture is, though, still every 30 minutes, you need to stand up five, 10, 15 seconds. Do a few back bends. If you can walk around for a few seconds, that’s even better, but at least get up, reverse the posture and sit back down.

We’ve had patients come in and say they haven’t moved out of their desk for six, seven hours. So you’re causing breakdown and you want to avoid that. If you start developing back pain, then you want to try to get that under control immediately. The longer you let it go, sometimes the harder it can be to deal with. 

Back pain, a lot of times, will start in the low back. Then it can spread out to the sides or it go to one side. Then it can start traveling down. It can travel to just above the knee. It can travel to down to the ankle on the foot. It can go to the front of the thigh, down to the knee. The further that the pain travels, the worse the problem.

So one thing people get confused on is that if you’ve got any pain that’s traveling away from the midline, your first goal is you’ve got to get rid of the furthest point of the pain. So if Brian’s pain is to here, if he’s doing anything to start bringing the pain back up, he’s doing the right things and correcting it. If he does any motion, movement or activity that sends the pain down, it’s the wrong thing, he’s making the problem worse. So your first goal, you want to centralize the pain to the mid back. And even if your back hurts a little bit worse, but the pain is gone that was traveling, you’re still better. That’s what you need to keep in mind.

So in our next set of videos, we will show a series of stretches you can use to start trying to manage this. If you have further questions, contact us at fitness4lifept.com.

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Posted by on Mar 19, 2019 | 0 comments

Common Causes For Low Back Pain

Low back pain is something that many people deal with. We see a lot of low back pain in our clinic, and we can tell you most of the time it is due to people rounding their back too much. This is also known as flexion intolerance. Backs are bending, lifting and squatting with their backs rounded, which is causing their pain.

Watch our video below to see how you can do some tests at home to see if you are flexion intolerant. If so, give us a call so we can work out a plan to get you on the mend.

Stay tuned to see various exercises you can do to combat your lower back pain safely. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

As always, contact us here if you have any questions or concerns!

 

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Posted by on Aug 13, 2018 | 0 comments

How is the Astym Treatment Done?

astym treatmentAstym® treatment is a therapy that regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. Astym®treatment is highly effective and even works when other approaches routinely fail. One of the main reasons Astym® treatment is so much more effective than other treatments is that it was scientifically developed to resolve the underlying cause of soft tissue problems, rather than just trying to temporarily relieve symptoms. It is one of the most researched and effective therapy treatments available.

Generally, chronic soft tissue problems are due to scarring or degeneration. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons and ligaments. Both scarring and degeneration are common and can result in pain and limitations in movement.

The body’s soft tissues degenerate when inadequate healing occurs, and over time the tissues degrade. Degenerated tissues are weak and prone to injury. Degeneration can be caused by many factors, including age, intense use, improper movement, weakened muscles putting extra stress on other tissues, disease, etc.

So how does this process work?

First we stimulate: An Astym®-certified therapist follows specific treatment parameters to initiate the healing process. She or he will run instruments firmly along your skin, following the direction of the muscle, tendon or ligament. You will feel bumps as the instrument moves along your skin. These bumps are the defective soft tissue. The first couple of treatments may range from being only slightly noticeable to mildly uncomfortable — but stick with it. As your body heals, those bumps will decrease and the area around your old injury will smooth out nicely, indicating healing. There also may be some mild bruising in the area being treated, but don’t worry! That is one indication that the body is hard at work, absorbing the old tissue and laying down healthy new tissue.

Then you stretch and strengthen: It’s up to you to guide how your body heals. Your therapist will give you a customized stretching and strengthening program designed to encourage your body to heal correctly. Stretching tells the new fibers to line up properly, in nice parallel lines. Strengthening makes the fibers stronger, allowing your symptoms of pain and discomfort to go away.

And stay active: We’ve found that if you continue to work, play sports or do your favorite activities while you are enrolled in Astym® therapy, the tissue remodeling will occur in a way that supports these activities. The great news is that the Astym® treatment allows you to participate in these activities without the pain you previously felt. By remaining active during the Astym® process, your old injured area will become stronger.

We are proud to be certified providers of this therapy. For more information or if you have specific questions, please contact us here.

 

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Posted by on Jun 12, 2018 | 0 comments

What Poor Posture Does To Your Body

Poor posture is something that everyone is guilty of. Desk workers, people looking down at their phones extended periods of time, and video gamers are just some of the culprits. Everyone is guilty. The problem is this results in neck pain, upper back pain and headaches. This is caused from maintaining poor posture too long.

For example, if you have a forward head posture, for every inch forward, add ten pounds of weight. Your upper spine and muscles have to maintain this and fight gravity. If you maintain this for too long, eventually your body will break down.

Learn more from Mark on how to avoid pain from poor posture here.

Stay tuned to our series to find out various exercises that you can do every day to help avoid the problems that come from poor posture. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

As always, contact us here if you have any questions or concerns!

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Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 | 0 comments

Other Muscle Groups That Benefit From Strengthening Your Glutes

We discussed last month why your glute muscles are an important part of your body mechanics. Unfortunately, they are compromised primarily from too much sitting. And that is not the only muscle group that suffers. Most people do not actively work their glute muscles, resulting in gluteal amnesia. When you sit too long, your glute muscles will suffer. This will lead to all sorts of health problems.

Now we are turning our attention to some moves you can do that will help with your shoulders, upper back and your hip mobility.

Listen here for more information from Mark about this condition. We even have some entertainment for you in the beginning!

Stay tuned to our YouTube Channel so you can see him demonstrate different types glute strengthening exercises.

Got questions about our exercises or physical therapy? Just ask Mark by contacting our office!

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