What is my pubic bone exactly?Read More
Magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as MRI, can be a valuable and important tool but how reliable is it? MRI’s are utilized by many physicians in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal injuries. An important thing to keep in mind is thatRead More
Pain is a normal experience that everyone has to deal with at some point: it is inevitable. The suffering from pain is what you can control. Research is showingRead More
Diastasis Recti is a condition that typically occurs following a pregnancy in which the two halves of your abdominal muscle splits. There may be a gap you can feel between the walls of the abdomen, usually around the belly button. Occasionally there may be a bulge present, depending on the size of the diastasis.
Can it be fixed?Read More
It is estimated that approximately 50% of pregnant women will experience some kind of low back pain during their pregnancy, or during the postpartum period. Of those that experience low back pain, only about 50% of them will seek advice from a healthcare professional; with only 70% of those women actually receiving treatment.
- Mechanical: Weight gain during pregnancy, increased abdominal size, shifting of the center of mass forward; all can increase the stress on the low back. When the abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate the growing uterus, muscle fatigue typically occurs which results in an increased load on the spine. Another common finding is weakness of their gluteus medius, or the outer glute/hip muscle.
- Hormonal: Relaxin is a hormone secreted during pregnancy, and it causes your ligaments to get lax, which in turn can cause your pelvis to become unstable. This includes not only the SIJ (sacroiliac joint), but the entire low back resulting in instability of the pelvis and poor alignment of the spine.
There are many benefits to massage, both the type of manual massage performed by a Physical Therapist, and also by a massage therapist, to include:
- Analgesic effects
- Increased circulation
- Improved range of motion
- Decreased Trigger Point activity and Muscle hypertonicity
- Increased overall well being
Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, and Licensed Massage Therapists all have training in various massage techniques to enhance the desired outcome of your treatment and your Physical Therapy experience.
- Alleviate pain and discomfort. It might not sound pleasant, but before, during or after a good Physical Therapy session, you may experience some muscle soreness and pain. Massage therapy added into your treatment can help alleviate some of that discomfort. Not convinced? The term PhysioTherapy was even used back during the Civil War Era. With so many wounded soldiers, there was almost always a shortage of morphine. Massage was used as a substitute to aid in pain management - some of those manual techniques are still used today in Physical Therapy.
- Give your body a boost toward recovery & healing itself. Massage can increase blood flow to the affected, or sore area. Improved circulation helps to facilitate the recovery and healing process of the body. It can also help reduce DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Endorphines are also released with massage.
- Help to gain Range of Motion. In applying manual massage to an area of the body, soft tissue, deep tissue and many other massage therapy techniques introduce a stimulus to the affected areas. This causes a sedating or stimulating effect depending on the desired outcome. The therapist can feel where there is tension & trigger point activity, and the patient is also able to give feedback. With those same pain management & sedating effects also comes more ease of range of motion.
As a Physical Therapist, I am asked a lot of questions about low back pain. With so much information available to us online from various sources - both reliable and unreliable, both too general and too specific, it is hard to know what to believe is truth or the best practice for most individuals. These are general guidelines to get you started based upon the common questions I am asked.
I know I have a lot of comfy places to sit at home, couch, recliner, love seat and this is often where I end up sitting at the end of the day. I have had many patients come and say they sit on their couch with their feet on the coffee table or sit in their recliner with their feet up. They say, it feels great while sitting there, then it is painful getting up due to low back pain. This is because your spine is flexed or rounded especially when you have your feet up. This is one position you want to try and avoid at home. Try to sit with your feet on the floor and try not to slouch when sitting at home. Try sitting in a more upright chair, kitchen chair or dining room chair. I know these aren’t as comfortable but they are better for your back.
Ice or heat?
If you just hurt your back yesterday, then ice is the answer. Ice is good for new or acute injuries for 24-48 hours. Ice helps to decrease the blood flow to the area which helps to decrease pain and inflammation. If an area is swollen or bruised, use ice. Now if you have had back pain foRead More
Back pain is very common in the population and often can become chronic. Our spine has three different curves that occur naturally. Our lumbar spine and cervical spine have the same curve and the thoracic spine has the opposite curve. There is less stress placed on our spine when these curves are maintained. Many times during the day whether we are sitting, lifting or doing activities around the house, we diminish or reverse these curves in our spine. When we repetitively do this, often times it can lead to back pain.Read More
Back pain is quite common, around 80% of the population will experience it at some point in their lives. What is causing it? More often than not, too much bending and twisting can create more low back pain. Since everything is in front of us, we bend thousands of times during the day. If we are able to decrease the amount of bending we can do just a little bit, this can make a big difference in developing back pain.Read More
In a recent study led by Shelley Goodgold, PT, 55% of the children surveyed carried backpack loads heavier than recommended. These overloaded & improperly fit backpacks can cause various back problems in growing children. In this same study, one third of the children reported back pain that led them to seek medical attention, miss days of school, or abstain from physical activities.
Choose the Right Backpack & Fit it Properly...
HDTV’s, laptops, clothes…the amazing deals of Black Friday are upon us, and with all of this comes some potential pain too! While you are busy shopping and taking advantage of all the great deals, we often forget about ourselves and what we are doing to our bodies. Here are some quick tips to help you come out of Black Friday with only financial pain…
Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint! Black Friday is a daylong event and you need to pace yourself. This means you will want to sit and take rests as needed, especially those of you with arthritis in the back who may have increased pain with walking and standing.
What causes Lumbar Strain?
- Poor conditioning
- Improper lifting/Bending techniques
- Improperly warmed up muscles
Symptoms of Lumbar Strain...
- Pain around the low back and upper buttocks. This pain is most often aggravated with activity, and alleviated with rest.
- Low back muscles spasms.
- If you notice loss of control of bowels or bladder, progressive lower extremity weakness or severe, constant pain - you should contact your physician immediately. These are all signs of a worsening injury to the spine.
The good news, Lumbar Strain can be treated...
- Physical Therapy. PT's will instruct you in properly conditioning exercises to recover from the current episode, and prevent another from happening again. Your PT will likely instruct you with some specific stretching and strengthening techniques for the low back, hips and abdomen.
- Relative Rest. As lumbar strain is often caused by too much stress to the lumbar paraspinals, your physician and PT will likely prescribe rest or taking it easy, as well as medications. Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants are the usual go-to's in cases like these.