Sacro-Iliac Joint Injuries: One-Leg Looped Band Bridges

This is a progression of the Looped Band Bridges.

Begin by wrapping a looped resistance band around your thighs just above your knees. Engage the core muscles below the belly button by pulling the waistline inwards to make yourself skinnier. Make sure you are still breathing, so don’t hold your breath.

Ensure the knees are aligned with your ankles and your hips while you take up the slack in the looped band. Push through your heels with the feet flat on the ground and bridge the butt up keeping both sides of the pelvis level with each other.

Then straighten out one - leg, hold it here for 10 seconds, and then bend your knee and lower your butt back down. Repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets.

This exercise activates the posterior core muscles and progressively strengthens the functional core to help with your dysfunctional Sacro-Iliac joint. If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Sleeping Tips for Back Pain

Back pain can make it tough to sit and/or lie down for extended periods of time. Here are some tips that can help improve your sleep quality over time, while suffering with back pain.  

Stretching Before Going To Bed
Research has shown that intensive stretching or yoga and help reduce low back pain. Stretching before bed can also reduce stress and help improve sleep quality. Check out https://insyncphysio.com/health-benefits-of-yoga/ for additional benefits yoga can provide for you.  
Exercise Your Core
Getting regular physical activity can improve the quality of your sleep. Building flexibility and strength in your core muscles can reduce the chances of back strains and muscle spasms throughout the night. Check out https://insyncphysio.com/core-stability-why-does-it-matter/ to learn more about core stability and ways to improve it. 

Get A Good Pillow And Mattress
Studies show a medium-firm mattress is the most beneficial to most people. A mattress too soft can cause you to sink too deep into the mattress, thus causing joint pain. Test out different types of pillows and mattresses and find the correct one for you.  

Find The Right Sleeping Position
Try not to sleep on your stomach, as this can cause you to arch your back. For most people, the best position is to lie on your side in a fetal position. Another popular position is to lie on your back, but place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the natural curve of your spine. If you are unable to find a good sleeping position, you may want to refer to a specialist or physiotherapist for further help. 

Good Sleep Hygiene
Back pain can disrupt sleep, but many other factors can add to the poor sleep routine, such as bad habits. Try avoiding stimulants in the evening, and avoid heavy exercise right before going to bed. Take time to wind down by relaxing, taking a warm bath, or reading before going to sleep. Removing distractions such as computers and TV’s can also aid in good sleep hygiene. 

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Sacro-Iliac Joint Injuries: Looped Band Bridges

This exercise helps to activate the posterior core muscles to help you with the functional core strength for a dysfunctional Sacro-Iliac joint.

Wrap a looped resistance band around your thighs just above your knees. Engage the core muscles below the belly button by pulling them inwards while you keep breathing… so don’t hold your breath.

Ensure the knees are aligned with your ankles and your hips while you take up the slack in the looped band. Push through your heels with the feet flat on the ground and bridge the butt up keeping both sides of the pelvis level with each other.

Hold this for 10 seconds, and then lower your butt back down. Repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets.

This exercise helps to activate the posterior core muscles to help you with the functional core strength for a dysfunctional Sacro-Iliac joint.

Resistance Band Exercises for the Lower Body

Resistance bands are cheap, portable, and versatile. With a simple resistance band, you can easily do a full body workout. Here are some exercises for the lower body. 

Supinated Clamshell
Loop a band around your legs just above your knees. Lie on your back with hips and knees flexed to 90 degrees. Pull the knees apart while contracting your glutes and hold the position for a few seconds. Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

Knee Raises
Loop a band between the middle of your foot, and hold the band with one foot while lifting the other. Keeping your foot flexed, raise your knee up to hip level, making sure the band is still looped across the top of the raised foot. Pause at the top, and lower your leg back down to starting position. Repeat on the other side. 

Lateral Band Walk
Place feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band. From a half-squat position, take small steps from side to side, while keeping the band taught. 

Glute Bridge
Tie a band around your legs right above your knees. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees. Lift your hips until your shoulders, hips and knees align, contracting your glutes through the entire movement. Increase the difficulty of this movement by repeating the movement on one leg, while sticking the other one straight out.

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Gluteus Medius Strengthening for Sacro Iliac Joint Injuries: Drop Steps Progression Leg Weight

This is a progression to the basic drop step exercise for your gluteus medius muscle.

With a 5 pound ankle weight strapped around your ankle side step onto the stepper with your left foot, with your hands on your hips. The opposite foot is dropped below the step to start.

Hike that right foot up and level with your left foot that’s on the stepper by pushing through the left heel and squeezing the left gluteus medius muscle.

This contraction will cause your right hip to come up level with the left side and allow you to feel that good muscle burn in your left butt. Let the right foot drop back down and the right hip to follow to return to the start position.

Perform 10 repetitions, doing 3 sets daily. This is a great way to activate and further strengthen your pelvic and sacro iliac joint stabilizing muscles after you have injured it.

If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Stretches to do while on an Airplane

Extended durations on cramped, uncomfortable seats for hours can cause your body to become stiff and sore. These discrete simple stretches and exercises can help travellers reach their destination pain-free, while encouraging blood circulation throughout the body. 

Seated
Seated Spinal Twists – Sitting tall, grab onto the arm rests of your seat and twist your torso from one side to the other.

Neck Rolls – slowly twist your neck from side to side, and up and down. Then bring your left ear to your left shoulder, and repeat on the other side. Finally, tuck your chin down to your chest and repeat the steps until you feel the tension release from your neck. 

Shoulder Rolls – sit in a relaxed position with your arms by your sides. Roll your shoulders both forward and backwards.

Ankle Circles – lift your feet off the ground and roll your ankles in a circle.

Standing
Calf Raises – stand with your feet a couple inches apart and raise your heels so you’re on your toes. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering back down. You should focus on stretching out your calves. 

Quad Stretches – In a standing position, bend your knee, grab your ankle and pull it behind your back. 

Pec Stretch – place your hand on a wall with your elbow at chest height. Rotate your body away to stretch out your shoulder. Repeat on the other side. 

In addition to these stretches, don’t forget to take the opportunity to walk around every few hours to get your blood circulating throughout your body. 

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Gluteus Medius Strengthening for Sacro Iliac Joint Injuries: Drop Steps

With nice tall neutral spine posture, engage your core stability muscles below your belly button and keep them engaged the entire time.

Then side step onto the stepper with your left foot, with your hands on your hips. The opposite foot is dropped below the step to start.

Hike that right foot up and level with your left foot that’s on the stepper by pushing through the left heel and squeezing the left gluteus medius muscle. This contraction will cause your right hip to come up level with the left side and allow you to feel that good muscle burn in your left butt.

Let the right foot drop back down and the right hip to follow to return to the start position. Perform 10 repetitions, doing 3 sets daily.

This is a great way to activate and strengthen your pelvic and sacro iliac joint stabilizing muscles after you have injured it. If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise then consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Benefits of Hiking

As summer begins approaching, hiking can be a great low-impact workout to engage in, offering numerous physical and mental benefits. Walking is one of the lowest impact sports around, but with the increased variability that hiking provides, this adds increased difficulty, hence increased health benefits to the activity. According to the American Hiking Society (2013), and Healthy Families BC (2013), a few of the benefits hiking can provide include: 

  • Increased general fitness levels – one hour of hiking can burn over 500 calories depending on level of incline and weight of your pack!
  • Reduced risk for heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels 
  • Improved control over healthy weight, and lowered body fat
  • Improved bone density and osteoarthritis outcomes
  • Reduced stress, improved mood and enhanced wellbeing 
  • Increased flexibility and coordination 

American Hiking Society (2013). Health benefits of hiking. Retrieved from http://www.americanhiking.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Heath-Benefits-of-Hiking-fact-sheet.pdf

Faktor, M. (2013). The health benefits of hiking. Retrieved from https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/blog/health-benefits-hiking

Hamstring Strains and Tendinopathies: Straight Leg Isometric Bridges

As you move past the initial stages of an acute hamstring muscle strain or acute flare up of your tendinopathy you want to start progressively loading it to rehab it properly.

Start by lying down on the ground with your heels placed on a raised step about half a foot high or so to start. With your core muscles engaged and both knees straight, press your heels onto the step lifting your buttocks off the floor.

Avoid bringing your butt too high up so you can isolate primarily into the hamstrings while also activating your core and gluteus muscles at the same time. Hold this isometric contraction for 45 seconds and repeat 5 reps for one to two times per day.

If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise then consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injuries

What is a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain? 

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the knee ligament on the inner part of your knee. It is one of the four major knee ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint. An injury is caused when the a force is too great for the ligament to resist, thus causing an overstretch of the MCL. This can be caused by sudden movements such as a sharp change in direction, twisting the knee while the foot is planted on the ground, or a blunt force to the knee. 

Injury severity?
Grade I

The knee ligament has a slight stretch, but it doesn’t actually tear. Although the knee joint may not hurt or swell very much, a grade I sprain can increase the risk of a repeat injury. Resting from painful activity and icing the injury can be useful to subside the pain.  

Grade II

The knee ligament tears partially. Swelling and bruising around the injury site are common, and use of the knee joint is usually painful and difficult. Use of a weight-bearing brace, or supportive taping are common treatments of this sprain. A physiotherapist may also help by providing strengthening and joint exercises to guide the healing process. 

Grade III

The knee ligament fully tears. Swelling and bleeding can sometimes be present under the skin. The joint is unstable and it can be difficult to bear weight. You can also feel the knee giving way. With a grade III sprain, surrounding structures, such as the meniscus and/or ACL also become at risk of injury. A grade III sprain should be rehabilitated under the guidance of a physiotherapist and/or knee specialist. 

Prevention?

  • Improve patellofemoral alignment 
  • Improve your proprioception, agility and balance
  • Improve your walking, running, and squatting techniques 
  • Strengthen your knee, especially quadriceps and hamstrings

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Healthwise Staff (2017). Medial collateral ligament injury.
Retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/abn2411

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