Pelvic floor dysfunction with pregnancy and after childbirth

 

During pregnancy the hormone relaxin helps to relax stabilizing ligaments around your pelvis.  This helps to ease the passing of your baby through the birth canal. In some cases, these relaxed ligaments don’t return to their normal  pre-pregnancy properties.  If they don’t, this can leave you with pelvic ligament laxity and instability.

 

Why are My pelvic ligaments important?

Your pelvic ligaments are important in controlling your movements.  Weak pelvic ligaments can cause your pelvic floor muscles to contract continuously against an unstable base. These contracting muscles that are continuously in spasm will generate pain.  Loading through these unstable joints, whether with walking, lifting or moving,  can also increase the stress on your other core muscles in your hips and your back.

 

WHat are risk factors for pelvic floor promblems?

There are many scientific studies discussing reducing the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction after a natural vaginal delivery, especially if assistance had to be used (i.e. episiotomy, forceps). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated: “severe perineal lacerations… are more commonly associated with increased risk of pelvic floor injury, fecal and urinary incontinence, pain and sexual dysfunction with symptoms that may persist or be present many years after giving birth.” 

Stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse are strongly associated with having a vaginal childbirth and with multiple births.  Contributing factors are likely mechanical and neurovascular injury to the pelvic floor during childbirth.

 

What if I Have Pelvic pain but I didn’t have a Traumatic Delivery?

Pelvic pain after childbirth isn’t uncommon.  If your pelvic floor pain lingers beyond the normal healing time frame of 6-8 weeks and no known source is found, then injured, sprained or weak ligaments and instability of the pelvis should be considered.

 

 

Pelvic Health

The pelvic floor is the region spanning the bottom of your pelvis from the front (pubic bones) to the back (tailbone) and from side to side (sit bones). What role does your pelvic floor play in your day?

Pelvic Health

Pelvic Therapy

Over activity in your pelvic floor muscles can cause difficulty with intercourse, emptying your bladder or bowel, and using a tampon. What are some of the signs that you may need a pelvic therapist?

Pelvic Therapy

Your Core

Core weakness can appear as pain with performing seemingly light tasks, difficulty with repetitive tasks or inability to master the complex patterns in sports. But what is your core and what can you do?

Your Core

 

 

FAMILY PHYSIOTHERAPY, ASSESSING AND TREATING PERSISTENT INJURIES AND PAINS FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THORNHILL, MARKHAM AND VAUGHAN

 

The physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy have been providing high quality assessment and treatment techniques using safe and evidence based techniques to the residents of Thornhill, Markham, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Vaughan and Toronto. Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and take the time to provide you with the one on one care necessary to quickly get you back to the activities you love doing.  Comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.  Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, contact the clinic to schedule a consultation to get you back on track.  Don’t let pain ruin your day!

 

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

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What can I do for my knee pain

 

Summer outdoor fun can often lead to the occasional aches and pains. Not every pain is worrisome and in non pandemic times you probably knew how to change your exercise routine to manage the occasional pain. But with gyms just starting to re-open and apprehension about in person classes, we’re getting a lot of questions asking about how to self manage knee pain.  From self diagnosing to icing and bracing, read on to learn more about how to manage your knee pain.

 

What caused your knee pain?

Your injury may have been traumatic with a memorable impact during a sport, training or awkward stumble. 

If you don’t recall an injury or painful event, then you may be experiencing a referral of symptoms from another area such as your ankle, hip or back. Weakness or stiffness of these areas may be overloading your knee. 

 

What does your pain feel like

Pain that feels like an ache is often being caused by muscle pain. Burning or stinging may be due to swelling or a nerve related symptom. Sharp and catching symptoms are often associated with injuries to structures within your knee. If your knee is locked, physically stuck either bent or straight, it can indicate that something is jamming the joint which could be cartilage fragments or a torn meniscus.

 

Where does your knee hurt?

The location of your pain will often give a good indication of what your  problem is. Joint pain can often refer down to the inner or outer calf. Local inner or outer knee pain that is the result of a trauma can be either your medial or lateral collateral ligament respectively. Pain at the front of the knee can be knee cap pain, the patellar tendon or an IT band pain.

 

What bothers your knee pain.

Knee cap pain often hurts when kneeling or sitting with your knees bent and feels better to sit with the knee straight. It can also be bothered with squatting or on stairs. 

Localized front knee pain below your kneecap is often the patellar tendon or a small inflamed fat pad and may have been related to ramping up your activity or training too quickly.

Pain from swelling, arthritis and meniscus often hurts with putting weight on your knee or pivoting on your knee.

 

Is your knee swollen?

Swelling will often be seen or felt as a bump in the back of the knee and with filling in of the dimples at the front of your knee.

Hot swelling will often indicate that you’ve injured something with a rich blood supply. The faster the swelling the more richly vascularized the tissue. That’s why an ACL injury or fracture will instantly swell but a meniscus injury may not bother you immediately. 

If your knee feels swollen but but doesn’t look swollen and if your knee isn’t warm you may be feeling mild generalized swelling for knee arthritis. 

 

 

Were you able to continue your activity?

When severe ligament or structural injuries have occurred, your symptoms will come on quickly and you shouldn’t have been unable to continue your activity. These include traumatic meniscal injuries, ligament injuries (MCL, LCL or ACL).

 

 

Have you had any change in your medical history or activity level in the past few months?

Your knee is a joint that does well with controlling bending forces. Problems tend to arise when it isn’t getting help from other areas that control twisting. This can include your foot or ankle, hip or back. Imbalanced exercise routines, previous pains in these areas or a more sedentary period of time can contribute to pain at the knee where no injury is recalled.

Some medications such as antibiotics can have the potential side effect of tendon pain or rupture.

 

 

What I do for My Knee Pain?

If you have a swollen acutely painful joint then resting from the aggravating injury and icing are the first steps. Cross training with a non weight bearing exercise like swimming or cycling can help you maintain your conditioning.

 

What brace can I use for my knee pain.

If a traumatic ligament injury occurred, a knee joint brace with “stays” on the inner and outer part that control your medial and lateral mobility will help to reduce your pain.

Pain with running that comes on gradually and is above or below the outer knee can often be managed in the short term with an IT band strap that is applied above the area of pain.

A patellar tracking brace can help with your kneecap pain.  However, compression of the brace on your knee cap may cause an increase in pain so make sure that the brace feels like it’s helping.

A patellar tendon brace can often help to reduce the pain you’re having from a painful patellar tendon. 

Arthritic knee pain will often feel better with a general compression type of brace. These braces won’t give you support but help to retain heat and can help with mild symptoms. 

If your arthritic pain isn’t being helped with this type, braces that can decompress the painful area of your knee are the next step.  These “offloading” braces come in different models and price ranges depending on your need.  If you need help with one of these options, our team of physiotherapists can measure you and guide you towards the best bracing option for you.

 

FAMILY PHYSIOTHERAPY, ASSESSING AND TREATING PERSISTENT INJURIES AND PAINS FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THORNHILL, MARKHAM AND VAUGHAN

The physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy have been providing high quality assessment and treatment techniques using safe and evidence based techniques to the residents of Thornhill, Markham, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Vaughan and Toronto. Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and take the time to provide you with the one on one care necessary to quickly get you back to the activities you love doing.  Comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.  Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, contact the clinic to schedule a consultation to get you back on track.  Don’t let pain ruin your day!

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

 

 

The College of Physiotherapists has now confirmed that physiotherapists can resume non urgent care in clinic effective immediately as long as policies, physical distancing measure and personal protective equipment (PPE) are in place. Video sessions are still encouraged for those that want to reduce their risk of infection.

What are the measures that Family Physiotherapy has taken to ensure the health and safety of everyone entering the clinic?

To make it easier to find what you’re looking for, we’ve put a few of our most recent resources below:

Physical Distancing and what to expect at your in clinic session 

Clinical disinfection procedures

COVID-19 Screening document

Video physiotherapy treatments

 

Stay safe and healthy!

The Family Physiotherapy Team

 

 

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Family Physiotherapy, assessing and treating persistent injuries and pains for the residents of Thornhill, Markham and Vaughan

The physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy have been providing high quality assessment and treatment techniques using safe and evidence based techniques to the residents of Thornhill, Markham, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Vaughan and Toronto. Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and take the time to provide you with the one on one care necessary to quickly get you back to the activities you love doing.  Comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.  Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, contact the clinic to schedule a consultation to get you back on track.  Don’t let pain ruin your day!

 

 

 

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

 

 

Do I have a serious back problem?

Fortunately, most low back pain episodes fall under the category of non specific low back pain. As our previously blog post discussed there is a very good chance that you’ll experience back pain at some point in your life.

Some conditions can produce back pain that are more urgent to medically assess and treat. While statistically they don’t occur frequently, they fall into one of these categories:

 

Spinal Cord compression

In most people the spinal cord ends just above your low back. A group of peripheral nerves continue down through the rest of your spine known as the cauda equina for their resemblance to a horse’s tail. If either the spinal cord or the cauda equina are being compromised your symptoms will include:

  • Loss of sensation in your “saddle” the area that you wipe after going to the bathroom
  • A new change in your ability to hold in your feces or urine. Specifically, the inability to properly empty your bladder or a bowel and bladder that spontaneous empties when full without you being able to control it
  • Loss of sensation of both legs
  • Inability to control the muscles of your legs

 

Infections

Spinal infections are another potential serious source of low back pain. These symptoms will generally be associated with a fever and a history of infection. They are more common if you are immune compromised or use intravenous medication.

 

Cancer

Cancer of the spine can cause pain. The cancer can cause destruction of bone leading to bone pain. Cancer causing back pain can be ruled out if you’ve had no past medical history of cancer.  If you have had a history of cancer, are experiencing a new episode of low back, are experiencing a significant amount of unintended weight loss and pain that wakes you up at night, your doctor will refer you for an MRI to rule this out as a source of back pain. 

 

Fracture

If you are a healthy adult a spinal fracture requires significant traumatic force.  This can occur with a fall from a significant height or a motor vehicle accident.  If you have osteoporosis then large amount of forces are not required to fracture your spine.  In either of these cases your doctor will order an X-ray to rule out a fracture.

 

I don’t have those

Middle arrow of facet joint pointing to fracture of pars interarticularisThat’s a good thing! Just because you don’t have the above, or if they’ve been ruled out, it doesn’t minimize the back symptoms you have. The first step is to give back pain some time to improve. Try and keep moving as much as you are able to pain free. 

Most episodes of back pain will have a direction if preference. Some structures, like the spinal facet joints, when aggravated, become more painful when standing and feel better with sitting. Exercises such as biking would become a good way to maintain your fitness while respecting your pain.

Other areas like the muscles of the back, discs and ligaments often prefer positions of standing. Exercise that maintain back extension would be the best start and could include walking or swimming. 

 

Shouldn’t I get an MRI to see what’s going on?

Numerous studies have shown that in early stages, MRIs become important to rule out the above emergencies and urgent problems. The amount of “problems” found on X-Rays and MRIs increase as we age, but that doesn’t mean that these discovered problems are the source of your symptoms.  MRIs also become necessary if the worst pain is leg pain and not improving with conservative management. At that point an MRI will determine if you are a candidate for back surgery to take pressure off of the affected nerves.

Studies show that early imaging increases the number of surgeries performed but in the long term shows no benefit over those in a conservative treatment program.

 

I don’t want surgery but the pain isn’t going away

Video appointments are easy and can help you now with your pain

If your pain is continuing for more than 2 weeks then conservative management becomes the next strategy. With social distancing, this will likely involve a video consultation. If you’ve ever used the internet then you have the tools for a video consultation.

Your physiotherapist will take a detailed history to determine what factors may need to be addressed including past injuries and limitations. Various movement tests, nerve tests and joint tests can be performed without hands on touch to determine the best way to reduce your pain and get you back to normal. You will be taught exercises to reduce the pain and improve your function. 

During social distancing these sessions may be done online. A tailored program to address your pain, core strength and areas contributing to your symptoms will be prescribed.

 

 

 

Family Physiotherapy, assessing and treating persistent injuries and pains for the residents of Thornhill, Markham and Vaughan

The physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy have been providing high quality assessment and treatment techniques using safe and evidence based techniques to the residents of Thornhill, Markham, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Vaughan and Toronto. Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and take the time to provide you with the one on one care necessary to quickly get you back to the activities you love doing.  Comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.  Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, contact the clinic to schedule a consultation to get you back on track.  Don’t let pain ruin your day!

 

 

References

Chou R. et al. “Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A joint Clinical Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the Pain Society” Annals of Internal Medicine 2007; 147: 478-91

Health Care Guideline: Adult Acute and Subacute Low Back Pain Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement January 2012 (15th ed.)

Jacobs W. et al “Surgery vs conservative management of sciatica due to a lumbar herniated disc: a systematic review” European Spine Journal 2011; 20: 513-22

 

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

 

 Ergonomics

 

Your body wasn’t designed to be sedentary for hours at a time.  But there are more ideal positions for your neck, arms and legs that can reduce the chance of sustaining a repetitive strain injury.  Whether you’re using a sitting desk, standing desk or are getting used to working from home, the right setup can make all of the difference. Check out the links below for a few of our posts on these topics!

 

FAMILY PHYSIOTHERAPY, ASSESSING AND TREATING PERSISTENT INJURIES AND PAINS FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THORNHILL, MARKHAM AND VAUGHAN

The physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy have been providing high quality assessment and treatment techniques using safe and evidence based techniques to the residents of Thornhill, Markham, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Vaughan and Toronto. Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and take the time to provide you with the one on one care necessary to quickly get you back to the activities you love doing.  Comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.  Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, contact the clinic to schedule a consultation to get you back on track.  Don’t let pain ruin your day!

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

 

 

Our patients know that while we are always available to treat you for injuries that you’ve encountered, we also love seeing people that are trying to achieve a higher level of fitness.  Social distancing has made it difficult for our community that prefers the motivation that one feels from a group setting. I had the opportunity to sit down with owner and trainer of Valour Martial Arts, Pete Arcalas .

 

DV: So Pete, how long have you been involved in training Martial Arts?
PA: I’ve been coaching Muay-Thai since 2004. I moved to Thornhill in 2008 and started Thornhill Kickboxing where I was a mobile trainer, working with people in their home and condo gyms and outdoors in parks when the weather was nice. I started Valour Martial Arts + Fitness Club in September, 2019 to better service our community.

DV: It’s been a tough start of the year for a lot of people. With social distancing it been tough for people to keep on track with their health and fitness goals. How can martial arts fill the gap?

PA: It’s important for us to practice social distancing at this time but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep track of our fitness goals just because gyms are closed. We have to be able to improvise and adapt in our current circumstances.
We are running online versions of our programs throughout April – both Muay-Thai and Bootcamp classes. I’ve always stressed to my students that focused practice at home is important if they wish to make noticeable gains – skills, flexibility or aesthetics. Our online classes will provide participants with a template on how they can build their own easy to follow program that will ensure that they stay on top of their health and fitness
DV: For some of our community that have never been exposed to martial arts, is it a safe form of exercise?
PA: Yes, of course! Many think that because Muay-Thai or Boxing is a sport that’s done in a ring versus someone else, that the training is always going to be you pitted against a partner. This is not the case at all. When working with others, I make sure that they learn the fundamentals  of our sport – stance, footwork and how to properly execute techniques such as punches, kicks, knees, elbows. When one has learned the basic moves (I use a very simple system that even a first-timer can pick it up within minutes), these moves can be done safely by shadowboxing or on a punching bag, or with a partner.
DV: Is there a certain baseline of fitness that should be achieved before someone considers this?
PA: Not at all. Anyone of all fitness levels and ages can start whenever they’re ready to begin their martial arts journey. Here at the Club I do a quick survey with participants trying it out for the first time on where they feel they rank on a scale of 1-10 for their current stamina, strength, flexibility and other factors. After determining this, we work on a plan that ensures an upward trajectory in all categories.

 

 

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

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 working from home

Are you spending more time on your laptop in the comfort of your home? Many of us now do. With social and physical distancing rules in place, you may be working and studying from home.
You probably know that slouching for long periods of time can hurt your neck. It can cause shoulders to feel pain too. When you slouch, you curve your midback, placing your shoulder blades further apart and causing your shoulders to rotate in. This can create pain by putting your rotator cuff muscles on stretch. It can also lead to compression of your rotator cuff tendons, causing pain and inflammation of the tendons with movement.
That doesn’t sound good, but what can you do to avoid this?
  • as difficult as it is, do NOT use your laptop on the couch or in bed
  • invest a bit of time to set up a proper home work station
  • if you can, use a docking station and have a separate keyboard, screen and mouse
  • if you don’t have a separate screen, then place your laptop up to your eye level and use a separate keyboard and mouse so that you’re not hunching over, looking down and having your forearms unsupported
  • if you must use your laptop, as its name indicates, on your “lap”, then place a cushion underneath it, tilt the screen back to avoid looking down and support your arms with pillows under your elbows
  • take stretch breaks every 30 minutes
If changing your home work station isn’t enough to resolve your symptoms, our team of physiotherapists is also working from home and can help you. A virtual assessment respects social distancing and can get you back on track. Contact the clinic for more information!

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

Are you noticing that your neck and shoulder muscles have been sore? Have you noticed if you’ve been spending more time in front of a computer or screen?  Poor posture from shortened muscles can be one of the reasons.  In a previous blog post we discussed how these muscles can cause headaches.  Watch the video to see how to stretch out the most common tight muscles.  

 

Related Posts:

 

 

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Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

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I had the opportunity to sit down with staff physiotherapist Marven Bani to talk with him about his recent knee surgery experience and how it’s affected his health and fitness goals for the year.  

 

Q: I understand that you had a physically challenging start to the new year recovering from your ACL surgery. How did you first injure your ACL?

 

A: The ACL tear happened on the basketball court going for a lay up about 4 years ago, I landed on my left leg and had a sudden giving out of the knee, heat a loud pop and immediately knew that my ACL tore.  
Q: So why did you choose to manage the first injury without surgery?
click the image for our blog on meniscal tears

A: Based on a lot of research, initially I was hesitant since there was a lot of evidence that showed you were more prone to arthritis later on in life if you surgically repair an ACL and meniscus. However, I found my knee was giving out more playing sports (basketball) and eventually tore my meniscus playing through it. Once I got the locking due to tearing my ACL and wanted to continue playing basketball, I felt it was time to get it done in order for to me to play sports.  

 

Q: Makes sense. How did you make sure that you came out of the surgery in the best shape possible? A: I started working on a prehab program 6-8 weeks prior to surgery to ensure strength of specific muscles and build stability for both knees to help my recovery and limit atrophy post ACL reconstruction. It’s important to make sure the other knee is strong enough to take all the extra load during the recovery process. Following a healthy diet plan was essential to optimize recovery and going to the gym was crucial to build consistency.     Q: That’s great, and we can see you still putting the work in at the clinic.  With the surgery out of the way what are your fitness goals for the year A: This year my fitness goals is to lose 10 lbs in 3 months by going to the gym 5 times per week, following strengthening and cardio program and of course a strict diet. Later this year; I want to return to playing basketball by November.  In order to make a successful comeback I need to ensure full strength and stability of my left knee prior to returning to avoid re-injury.    
A: Yeah I’ve been increasing my time on the bike (built it up to 20 mins), doing stairs (ensuring no hip hike), speed walking on the treadmill, I’ll be progressing it to jogging on the treadmill, eventually more sport specific conditioning (focused on basketball).
 
 
Q: Having gone through this process, has it in any way changed your approach in managing sports injuries or post surgical patients?
 
A: Yes totally, I have more of an appreciation for our physiotherapy field, going through the process of being a patient is complete eye opening and it’s great to realize the power of rehab on recovery post surgery. Having been treated by my colleagues at the clinic and seeing results is very rewarding. The process of rehab does take discipline, hard work and patience! I have developed a passion for treating and assessing knees.  I also find that I’m able to relate to patients that have gone through the process.
 
 
and

 

 

Marven Bani

are two of the physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy helping you recover from your knee injuries and helping you achieve your fitness goals.
 
 
 
 
   

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

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Functional Core

There’s more to the core than just the deep muscles of the spine. Our previous blog post discussed the inner unit muscles and the role they play on spinal stability. But is that all that you need?

Functionally, there are more muscles involved in controlling our movements and improving our sports enjoyment and day to day activities. These additional muscles involve local muscles of the trunk and those connecting the trunk to the limbs.

 

How do the superficial muscles help me?

A commonly used example that the exercise kinesiologist Dr. Stuart McGill uses is comparing your spine to a fishing rod.  Imagine that you’re trying to make this fishing rod stand up on its end. If you let go, the rod will fall over because there’s nothing to support it. If you wanted to make it stand on end, you could use ropes tied from the tip of the fishing rod to the dock below.

If you were to do this, where would you attach them?

If the ropes were very close to the base of the fishing rod they wouldn’t provide very much stability. You would want ropes that attach further out.

 

The big 3 core exercises

Similarly, by themselves the deep inner unit muscles are not sufficient to support our spine during functional movements. For our spines, the larger ropes attaching further away are the more superficial muscles of our trunk. They include your abdominal muscles (internal obliques, external obliques and rectus abdominus) and your quadratus lumborum muscles.  Dr. McGill is a proponent of the big 3 exercises to train the outer core. These exercises are:

  1. Sideplank
  2. Bird dog
  3. Curl-up

 

Side Plank

 

The beginner side plank or side bridge starts with the hips in a neutral position with the knees bent to 90 degrees.  The object of the exercise is to raise your hip and thigh up on the support of your knee and elbow.  Though this is a beginner exercise, if these muscles are deconditioned you may find that you cannot raise up.  Alternatively, you may find that you experience discomfort in your neck or shoulder.  There are modifications that your therapist may prescribe to ensure that this exercise is right for you. 

Progressions may include performing arm or leg movements during this task or progressing you to straightening one or both knees.

 

Bird Dog

The bird dog can be a more challenging exercise engaging your hamstrings and gluteus maximus muscles in addition to the lumbar erector spinae. One of the biggest challenges of this exercise is ensuring that you’re starting in a neutral spine position. If a stick is placed along your back, it should be touching your sacrum, midback and the back of your head.

 

While performing the full version of the exercise you will require sufficient control of rotational forces trying to pull you out of position. If you find yourself falling over or unable to hold the position the exercise can be modified in a number of ways. This may include:

  1. Sliding a limb without losing contact with the ground
  2. Lifting only one limb at a time 
  3. Using an exercise ball under your abdomen to assist with proprioception and to take some of your body weight

 

Curl-up

The curl-up exercise is meant to engage the rectus abdominus muscle.  Unlike crunches, the goal is not to perform large amplitude movements of the spine.  Emphasis is placed on maintaining neutral spine posture during the exercise and bracing the abdominal wall.

 

How would I know if these exercises are right for me?

These larger core muscles play an important role in supporting our spines in neutral postures during day to day and in higher level activities. Painful movements during day to day activities can be in part related to poor control of spinal movement resulting in excessive flexion or extension of your spine.  Proper activation of these muscles will allow you to keep a neutral and supported spine whether you’re getting up from a chair, carrying the groceries in one arm or while you’re at the squat rack in the gym.

 

Why can’t I do these exercises properly?

Chronic postures at home and work, sedentary lifestyles and previous injuries are all factors in how you progress with these exercises.  In some cases the first symptoms are stiffness with attempts to increase your performance in sports or performing activities that you don’t normally do. Ignoring the problem doesn’t resolve it and can lead to future problems that are more difficult to treat.

 

Which are the right exercises for me?

If you’re recovering from low back pain, the first step is to get an appropriate assessment by a physiotherapist experienced in treating spinal conditions is key. Part of the assessment should include ruling out more serious problems that may need further investigation. During the assessment, your physiotherapist will check your strength, neurological system and patterns of movement; for example, they may use different cues to elicit movements that produce or alleviate your symptoms. This is done to piece together an individualized program tailored to your needs.

 

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Family Physiotherapy, assessing and treating persistent injuries and pains for the residents of Thornhill, Markham and Vaughan

The physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy have been providing high quality assessment and treatment techniques using safe and evidence based techniques to the residents of Thornhill, Markham, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Vaughan and Toronto. Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and take the time to provide you with the one on one care necessary to quickly get you back to the activities you love doing.  Comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.  Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, contact the clinic to schedule a consultation to get you back on track.  Don’t let pain ruin your day!

 

Contact Us

Located in Thornhill we are conveniently located near Markham, Richmond Hill and North York.

2300 John Street Unit #7 Thornhill, Ontario

Contact Us Today