Tag Archives for " back pain "

Addressing Low Back Pain while Performing a Squat (Weighted or Unweighted)

Athletes around the world regularly perform weighted squats. Research has shown that squatting has a direct impact on your body’s power, which is the ability to overcome a resistance with speed (Loxtercamp, 2018). Therefore, squatting can result in great power and an increase in sprint speed. General benefits include increased flexibility, greater core strength, as well as protection from injury as a result of better coordination of the body. 

However, squats have been known to cause unwanted low back soreness. Although squatting will work the muscles of the lower back, if the low back becomes the most targeted region during the squat, chronic soreness and overuse injury can occur. Previous injury to the lower back, poor technique, as well as weakness of the core or surrounding muscles can contribute to this overuse of the back muscles (Gordon & Bloxham, 2016). Barbell back squats are also the most common for causing back pain as the weight is loaded across the back (Loxtercamp, 2018). If you find this movement difficult, but still want to add weight to your squats, you may want to opt for goblet squats or front squats. 

Goblet Squats

Front Squats

Prevention

  • Proper footwear
  • Progressing weight/load too quickly when squatting
  • Correct stance and posture
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_CuIKf227A
  • Spinal alignment
    • Ensure you’re looking straight ahead or an upward gaze 
  • Joint mobility 

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

Gordon, R., & Bloxham, S. (2016). A systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on non-specific chronic low back pain. Healthcare. 4(2). doi:10.3390/healthcare4020022

Loxtercamp, B. (2018). Influence of attentional focus on a weighted barbell back squat among experienced performers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 50(1). doi:10.1248/01.mss.0000536504.18312.43

Low Back Pain & Running: Wall Plank Knee Highs

Does your lower back get sore from running or sports that involve running? Are your core and hip flexor muscles weak? Is your hip movement altered?

This exercise may be helpful. Start by doing a posterior pelvic tilt to flatten your lower back and keep the inner core muscles engaged below your belly button to stabilize this posture. Going into a plank position on the wall, bring one knee in a straight line up towards your chest and then lower it back down.

Repeat this on the other side while alternating each knee to chest doing a total of 10 repetitions for each side. Perform a total of 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each side.

If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Neutral Spine Posture

Start on hands and knees position on a yoga mat with a reverse arch in the upper back. You are wanting to keep your tailbone upper back and head in alignment.

How Can Flat Feet Lead to Poor Posture?

Prolonged sitting in front of a computer, in a car, or at a desk can result in poor posture habits that ultimately cause a wide range of problems such as chronic back or neck pain.

Flat feet is a key risk factor for poor posture. This foot condition can be caused by genetic factors, weak arches, injuries, arthritis, tendon ruptures, or poor footwear. It occurs when there is a collapse in the foot arch which causes the feet to overpronate, or roll inwards. This places high stress loads to the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back, which lead to pain and stiffness throughout the body.

A few tips to keep the body in alignment is to bring your shoulders down and away from your ears to not hunch the upper back. Evenly distribute your body weight to the front, sides, and back of the feet. Remember to take frequent breaks during long periods of sitting or staring at a screen. Lastly, proper footwear or orthotics, and strengthening or stretching of the deep neck flexors, trapezius muscle, abdominal muscles, and hip muscles may help correct poor posture.  
Watch the videos below for some quick and easy exercises to help alleviate pain and strengthen muscles for good posture:

Chronic Neck, Shoulder, Elbow Pain or Stiffness: Ulnar Nerve Flossing

Strengthening Hips, Pelvis and Low Back: “Psoas March”

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

10 Easy Foam Rolling Techniques

Foam rollers have become a widely used tool for muscle recovery. In response to working out hard during training, the collagen and elastin fibers in the connective tissues surrounding the muscles become more dense and rigid forming strong adhesions commonly known as knots. Building knots can prevent normal muscle contraction and cause pain. The role of foam rolling in self-myofascial release has been known to break down these adhesions, which can improve range of motion, mobility, posture, and muscle recovery. A few important tips: engage your core throughout rolling, relax, remember to breathe, avoid rolling directly over your bones, joints, neck and lower back. Below are TEN great foam rolling exercises to target the entire body (source: http://www.mensfitness.com). Slowly roll on the targeted area until a tender spot is found and remain on that spot between 30 to 90 seconds.

1. Upper back roll

Lie down with your back on the floor. Place a foam roller underneath your upper back and cross your arms in front of you, protracting your shoulder blades. Raise your hips off of the ground, placing your weight onto the roller. Shift your weight to one side, rolling the upper- to mid-back. Alternate sides.
2. Calf roll

While seated, place a foam roller underneath your lower leg with the other leg placed on the floor supporting some of your weight. Place hands at sides or just behind you, and press down to raise your hips off of the floor, placing your weight against your calf muscle. Roll from below the knee to above the ankle. Repeat on opposite leg.

3. Groin roll

Lie face down with one leg on top of a foam roller so it’s against your inner thigh. Shift as much weight onto the foam roll as can be tolerated. While trying to relax the muscles of the inner thigh, roll over the area between your hip and knee. Repeat on opposite leg.
4. IT band roll

Lie on your side with bottom leg placed onto a foam roller between the hip and the knee, and top leg crossed in front of you. Place as much of your weight as is tolerable onto your bottom leg. Roll your leg over the foam from your hip to your knee. Repeat on opposite leg.

5. Hamstrings roll

While seated, extend your legs over a foam roller so that it is positioning on the back of the upper legs. Place your hands to the side or behind you to help support your weight. Using your hands, lift hips off the floor and shift your weight on the foam roll to one leg. Relax the hamstrings of the leg you are stretching. Roll over the foam from below the hip to above the back of the knee. Repeat on opposite leg.

6. Quadriceps roll

Lie face-down on the floor with your weight supported by your hands or forearms. Place a foam roller underneath one leg and keep that foot off the ground. Shifting as much weight onto the leg to be stretched as is tolerable, roll from above the knee to below the hip. Repeat on opposite side.

7. Lats roll

While lying on the floor, place a foam roller under your back and to one side, just behind your armpit. Keep the arm of the side being stretched to your side as you shift your weight onto your lats, keeping your upper body off the ground. Repeat on opposite side.

8. Glutes roll

Sit with your butt on top of a foam roller. Bend your knees, and then cross one leg so that the ankle is over the knee. Shift your weight to the side of the crossed leg, rolling over your glutes until you feel tension. Repeat on opposite side.

9. Lower back roll

In a seated position, place a foam roller under your lower back. Cross your arms in front of you and protract your shoulders. Raise your hips off the floor and lean back, keeping your weight on your lower back. Now roll over back and forward, keeping your weight off the spine and on the muscles to one side of it. Roll over your lower back. Repeat on the other side.

10. Chest roll

Place a foam roller on the floor. Lie face-down with the foam roller at shoulder height and extend one arm forward. With the foam roller just below your armpit, press your chest into the foam and roll in small movements and release tension in your chest. Roll back and forth on your chest, then extend your other arm and repeat.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.