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back pain

Stability and posture of the upper back

It is important to have a good stability and posture of the upper back. No matter if you are a runner, swimmer, cyclist or use the gym it is key to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine. If you have a weakness in your upper body, you will learn to compensate through unwanted stress of the lower back, shoulders, hips and knees.

These easy exercises will enhance:

  • Shoulder stability
  • Rotator cuff strength
  • Increase scapular (upper back strength)

back-postureThe scapular area consists of:

Shoulder blades, rhomboids, rotator cuff, middle trapezius, posterior deltoid and subscapularis, These are all stabilizing muscles of the upper back.

Lacking strength in these stabilizing muscles will cause our posture to suffer and will result in stress and pain in other areas.

 

Exercises:

Prone Y over stability ball
Keep thumbs pointed upward and gently bring arms to parallel to the floor. Slowly and controlled.

Prone T over stability ball
Focus on initiating the movement with the muscles between the shoulder blades versus the shoulder being driven forward.

Prone W over stability ball
Squeeze shoulder blades as close together and downwards as you can. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then relax.

kerry-gym-managerLook after those backs buddies!
Kerry
x

Blog Post by Kerry
Group Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

Back Pain – signs, symptoms & treatments

Back pain is a very common musculoskeletal complaint affecting 80% of adults at some point in their lifetime, although the symptoms and severity will vary greatly. Many factors may contribute to your condition including injury and diseases, but for some cases there is no specific cause and clinicians refer to this type of pain as ‘non-specific’ or ‘mechanical low back pain’.

There are some signs and symptoms that must not be ignored. You should always seek urgent medical advice if you have back pain and:

  • A loss of control of your bladder or bowel
  • Numbness around your genitals, buttocks or surrounding area
  • Chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

How can I lower my risk of developing back pain?

  • Carrying extra weight, especially around your belly, puts added stress on the muscles in the lower back and can affect your posture and position of your pelvis; in turn leading to lower back pain

    back-pain

  • Weak muscles and abdominals are unable to support your posture and trunk when you move, which can lead to overloading the small muscles in the back which are not designed to do this job and lead to injury
  • Your occupation could also affect your back. Those with manual jobs are at risk due to heavy lifting and repetitive bending, whilst those with sedentary jobs are at risk due to the amount of time they sit, particularly if they tend to slouch

 

How can I treat my back pain?

Try to keep mobile
It may be tempting to remain on bed rest until the pain subsides however evidence suggests that remaining mobile may actually help reduce the intensity and duration of your back pain as well as prevent it from returning. Start off with low impact exercise first such as walking or swimming

Take pain relief
People often worry that taking painkillers will make the symptoms worse by masking the pain, however by taking painkillers while you are in pain it will allow usually you to continue with your daily routine which in turn will often speed up your recovery

Try Physiotherapy
A physiotherapist can help identify the root cause of your back pain and use a variety of techniques including massage, acupuncture and home exercises to reduce your pain and prevent it recurring

Pilates
There is lots of evidence to support the idea that a weakened core puts pressure on the little muscles and supporting structures in the lower back. Therefore by strengthening the muscles which support our trunk and core, it will minimise your risk of developing back pain as well as help to ease the pain if you are already suffering.

Useful Info:

Dont suffer in silence, contact our friendly team to see how we can help you.
Main Clinic: 01442 870686  reception@ejphysio.co.uk

Blog Post by Jade
Emma James Physio

Ralf – My Apos Story

I have been an amateur runner throughout my life. However I hadn’t actually participated in races up to about 5 years ago. Approaching my 70th birthday also saw me running 10 km and even a semi-marathon in 2017.

In November 2017, training for my first dash of a full marathon I experienced terrible pain on my left knee. It did not come about suddenly but gradually grew over a few days. I stopped running since I was unable to make even a few hundred meters without feeling atrocious stabbings on my lower leg. Even walking became horribly difficult.
Not only my running life seems to have ended but daily chores involving my legs would preoccupy my thoughts for years to come.

The conclusion was evident: left knee arthritis. ‘’You have to alter your whole lifestyle. If you feel that this state affects only a quarter of your daily activity you are not ready for knee surgery. However a few more years of lowered energy and you definitely need one’’.

I was against surgery as I had heard of many cases of unsuccessful results. In May 2018, my sister, who is also a runner but definitely better than me, advised me to look into AposTherapy. She had witnessed the positive results in many of her friends who came back to run after years of forced inactivity.

The therapy started in May and went throughout the summer months, growing from 30 to 60 minutes a day. Some days when I did not find time to walk, I just put the computer on a high table and wrote standing.

In October my first baby runs took place: Only half kilometer or so. I was rejoiced by the fact that the pounding reduced although it came back after some distance. I continued every day with the therapy, even going out to the supermarket with my Apos shoes.
In November my weekly runs were up to 6 km although excruciatingly slow, taking me 1 hour when during that period previously I would have run a full 10 km.
My clearest objective for a nice start to the New Year was a Parkrun. These 5 km courses on Saturdays in parks all around Britain are great introductions for people of any age, who want to change their lifestyles by short runs.
I consistently delayed my first parkrun since even the slowest runner will finish in 45 minutes (9 minutes/km) and I was not sure the volunteers will wait for me, at about 50 – 55 minutes.

Therefore I was astounded when my first Parkrun was completed in 35 minutes. The 400 participants had probably created a magnetic field that just carried me to the end.
This was the most worthwhile gift for the New Year. I could run, respectfully. Of course there still was slight pain afterwards but the progress was evident.

It was nothing short of miraculous for me. I have to admit that Apos was not alone in this marvel. The open sea swims in summer and weekly strength exercises in my local gym were evidently helpful in reinforcing body and legs.

However first award goes to Apos. I am thoroughly happy and naturally reflect it on family and friends.

Blog post by Ralf
Apos Therapy customer

20170525-img_0583

4 facts to look after your back!

In aid of Back Awareness week here’s 4 facts to help you look after your back!

 

1. Your back is stronger than you may think

Most people all over the world will experience back pain during their life. It can be disabling and worrying but it is very common and rarely dangerous.
The spine is a strong, stable structure and not easily damaged so in most instances it is a simple sprain or strain. In these cases, 98 per cent, (according to research data) people recover reasonably quickly. Let your physio guide your recovery.

You rarely need a scan and it can do more harm than good. This is because seeing perfectly normal changes to their spine can cause people to avoid the activities they should be doing to get better, such as exercise and movement in general.

2. You should not fear bending or lifting

Bending and lifting are often portrayed as causes of back pain and while an injury can occur if something is picked up in an awkward or unaccustomed way, it’s most likely to just be a sprain or strain. The important thing is to practice and get your body used to carrying different loads and weights in a way we find comfortable and efficient.

Exercise and activity reduce and prevent back pain.

Exercise is shown to be very helpful for tackling back pain and is also the most effective strategy to prevent future episodes.

3. Painkillers will not speed up your recovery

There is no strong evidence on the benefits of painkillers and they do not speed up recovery.

They should only be used in conjunction with other measures, such as exercise, and even then just as a short-term option as they can bring side effects.

Exercise, guided by a qualified professional, is safer and cheaper, is considered the preferred option.

4. Surgery is rarely needed

On average, the results for back surgery are no better in the medium and long term than non-surgical interventions, such as exercise.

So a non-surgical option, which includes exercise and activity, should always come first.
Physiotherapists provide expert advice, guidance and treatment for back pain.

This is to help reduce your chances of future episodes, while improving your overall health and wellbeing.

Check out these links for more info:

 

Back Pain

Back Pain

back-painBack pain is a very common musculoskeletal complaint affecting 80% of adults at some point in their lifetime, although the symptoms and severity will vary greatly. Many factors may contribute to your condition including injury and diseases, but for some cases there is no specific cause and clinicians refer to this type of pain as ‘non-specific’ or ‘mechanical low back pain’.
There are some signs and symptoms that must not be ignored. You should always seek urgent medical advice if you have back pain and:

  • A loss of control of your bladder or bowel
  • Numbness around your genitals, buttocks or surrounding area
  • Chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

 

How can I lower my risk of developing back pain?

  • Carrying extra weight, especially around your belly, puts added stress on the muscles in the lower back and can affect your posture and position of your pelvis; in turn leading to lower back pain
  • Weak muscles and abdominals are unable to support your posture and trunk when you move, which can lead to overloading the small muscles in the back which are not designed to do this job and lead to injury
  • Your occupation could also affect your back. Those with manual jobs are at risk due to heavy lifting and repetitive bending, whilst those with sedentary jobs are at risk due to the amount of time they sit, particularly if they tend to slouch

 

How can I treat my back pain?

Try to keep mobile. It may be tempting to remain on bed rest until the pain subsides however evidence suggests that remaining mobile may actually help reduce the intensity and duration of your back pain as well as prevent it from returning. Start off with low impact exercise first such as walking or swimming

Take pain relief. People often worry that taking painkillers will make the symptoms worse by masking the pain, however by taking painkillers while you are in pain it will allow usually you to continue with your daily routine which in turn will often speed up your recovery

Try physiotherapy. A physiotherapist can help identify the root cause of your back pain and use a variety of techniques including massage, acupuncture and home exercises to reduce your pain and prevent it recurring

Pilates. There is lots of evidence to support the idea that a weakened core puts pressure on the little muscles and supporting structures in the lower back. Therefore by strengthening the muscles which support our trunk and core, it will minimise your risk of developing back pain as well as help to ease the pain if you are already suffering.

 

What is Pilates?
pilatesPilates is a low impact form of exercise aimed at strengthening the whole body, especially the core. Whether a beginner or an elite athlete and regardless of age and gender, Pilates could be beneficial for you. Practioners argue there is a wide array of benefits to practicing Pilates including improving muscles strength, balance, joint mobility and even stress relief.
Here at Emma James Physio, we offer a range of different classes including Clinical Pilates which are led by highly qualified instructors. View our Pilates timetable here >>>

Where can I go for help?

If you have back pain and would like to see how we can help, please call us 01442 870686 or visit our website www.ejphysio.co.uk

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