back pain

Last week I discussed how where possible we want to keep your desired activities in your routine. This might be running, squatting, cycling this part doesn't really matter rather it is the concept of making your rehab as relevant as possible. Last October I was looking for a way to incorporate more movement/exercise into my week. I would generally run twice a week and lift twice so I was looking for an easy movement session and decided on GMB's Elements program. This is a basic movement program that I felt I could do on the days I was looking after my wee boy when he went for a nap.

What aspect of pain comes from actual tissue damage and what comes from my brain being careful? This was a question from one of our Facebook followers. It's a pretty big topic to say the least. What we experience as pain is an output from our brain in relation to the input it receives from the tissues of the body and our experiences such as previous injury to ourselves or others we know, what we read about it or see on TV, what else is happening in our lives at the time. Interestingly the  International Association for the Study of Pain describes pain itself as an experience.

During an appointment at Performance Sports Therapy we are able to make meaningful changes in how you move and feel. Unfortunately these changes do not always ‘stick’. It isn't that unusual to get told by people that they felt great for 2 to 3 days and then they stiffened up again. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about because of the reasons why you are feeling tight are not what you might think. iStock-600092726

So what can be causing lower back pain when you are deadlifting? If you are deadlifting or other pulling movements and you aren't creating enough tension through the body then this can create extra stress in areas that aren't really expecting or ready for it.  When we are doing pulling movements from the floor we need to take the slack out of the upper body by first gripping the bar hard and then by pulling the bar towards us by contracting the lats.

The term Trigger Points (TrPs) is often used by therapists to describe localised tender spots that may refer pain to other areas when stimulated.  Whilst there seems to be less argument about whether they exist or not there is more about what they might be and there are major issues with being able to find them, perhaps 50/50 at best, and the reproducibility of actually being able to find them, 18%. In fact in 1992 a, admittedly small, blind study was carried out on them using using both those with Myofascial TrP's and fibromyalgia. Yet the best of the best of Trigger Point specialists including Simons, of Travell and Simons writers of the Trigger Point bible, and 3 others couldn't find or agree on any  where they were given as much time as required to find them. For myself they were never a good fit in any treatment I was trying to carry out as the treatment of them seemed to be the polar opposite of what I was trying to do otherwise, that is relieve pain not cause more pain. The treatment of TrP's for most manual therapists seems to revolve around pressing hard on something that is already sore and use the symptoms to help understand what the underlying problem may be and treat that not the symptoms, I've always felt that they were symptoms of an issue elsewhere rather than a problem in and of themselves. There is certainly more evidence to suggest that TrP's  may be a sensitization of the nervous system, possibly centrally. This carries even more weight when you consider that the areas that the referred pain cover are very similar to the path of the peripheral nerves. There is a great short piece over at the HumanAntiGravitySuit giving a couple of lovely diagrams of how the idea of TrP's may be more about nerves.