Breathing – it is kind of important

We take about 20,000 breaths a day so breathing well can help us in a lot of different ways. We see many people in the clinic and a common thread would be an inability to breathe with full, deep, slow and relaxing manner and  yet they never attribute this in any way to why they may be in pain.

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So what does breathing have to do with knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain or pain in any other area of your body?
First and foremost if you aren’t breathing well, lets assume this to be having the ability to take nice slow, deep breaths in and out through the nose, then the chances are you don’t totally relax. If you aren’t relaxing properly then the chances are you aren’t sleeping as well and if you aren’t sleeping well you could your recovery ability is impaired. The relates to your ability to recover from your workout, your day at work or an injury.

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Avoiding lower back pain when deadlifting

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.

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Improving hip mobility

The role of hip mobility comes up regularly in the clinic but how much movement you need depends on what your goals are. If you want to be a gymnast the the  quantity and quality of movement needs to be high but if you have less lofty goals of maintaining good hip health for running then we still want quality movement but the amount we need is significantly less.  Having said this regardless of our goal maintaining a normal range of movement in the hip can help reduce the chances of creating problems in our backs, knees and ankles. Continue reading “Improving hip mobility”

Is spinal alignment or other structural issues the cause of back pain?

Back pain is often spoken about in structural and biomechanical manner where you can get the impression that you may have to give up doing what you love to do be it golf, crossfit, rugby or gardening because you have issue X. The big issue with this is that it on the one hand over simplifies the problem and catastrophises it all in one go so that you are left thinking that your wonky leg is the cause of all your pain and trying to run on it is a recipe for disaster. Continue reading “Is spinal alignment or other structural issues the cause of back pain?”

What does having a leg length difference mean to your back pain?

The idea of having a leg length discrepancy and how it might relate to back pain or other issues is something that comes up in the clinic all the time. Having a difference in leg lengths is quite common though for the most part these will only be noticeable when lying on the couch rather than when standing as they aren’t congenital, that is to say there isn’t a difference in the length of the bones. The apparent difference comes from tension in the soft tissues of the thigh and hip which pull on the femur and/or pelvis giving the appearance of a difference in length between the two legs. Continue reading “What does having a leg length difference mean to your back pain?”

How do biomechanics relate to injury?

There’s often a lot of fuss made about biomechanics and injury prevention and how they relate to one another. In the clinic this tends to appear in the misconception that the better my running technique is, or other appropriate activity,  the less likely I am to get injured. Yet whilst this is true to some extent there’s less of a direct relationship than you might think between biomechanics and  injury. If we are looking at how likely we are to get injured how well the movement is performed is less important than how much load is placed on the tissues involved when performing it. So how much you do has a much bigger impact on whether an injury might occur or not rather than the actual way you’re doing it. Continue reading “How do biomechanics relate to injury?”

Revisiting the spinal flexion debate: prepare for doubt by Greg Lehman

This is great piece by Gregory Lehman and though a long one well worth reading it all. He looks at the pros and cons of maintaining a neutral spine and allowing spinal flexion to occur. Needless to say the case isn’t clear cut and it depends on your goals, tasks you require to do amongst other factors.

 

http://www.greglehman.ca/2016/01/31/revisiting-the-spinal-flexion-debate-prepare-for-doubt/