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11/17/15 1:25 PM

The purpose of this blog post is to provide people who participate in CrossFit or other high intensity work-outs with an opportunity to self-assess their potential risk of injury and identify any asymmetries or muscle imbalances they may have developed. There have been several studies that demonstrate certain factors correlated with an increase in injuries. These include age, sex, body size, flexibility, history of injury, etc. Although we cannot change many of these risk factors, we can certainly reduce our risk of injury by correcting muscle imbalances and asymmetries when appropriate. There are simple and effective ways to self-assess ourselves, and there are exercises out there that can help to correct them. 

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Written by Kevin Brown, PT.

Kevin Brown is a contributing author and a licensed physical therapist.

Topics: tips, strains, exercises, strengthening, risk of injury

Lumbar Strain: The Need-To-Know's

2/27/14 3:44 PM
Most often referring to a group of muscles called the lumbar paraspinals, lumbar strain is a condition in which these muscles in the low back stretch too far or actually tear from too much stress. These muscles run vertically along the spinal column and suppport the spine, as well as the weight of the upper body.

What causes Lumbar Strain?

  • Poor conditioning
  • Improper lifting/Bending techniques
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • 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.


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Topics: Low back pain, back pain, strains