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lower back pain

The importance of pelvic floor health in a sporting population

What is your Pelvic Floor?

Your pelvic floor is the group of muscles and ligaments in your pelvic region. The pelvic floor acts like a sling to support the organs in your pelvis – including the bladder, rectum and uterus or prostate.

Contracting and relaxing these muscles allows you to control your bowel movements, urination and for women particularly, sexual intercourse.

The importance of Pelvic floor health

What issues can you face with a dysfunctional pelvic floor?

Pelvic floor dysfunction is the inability to control the muscles of your pelvic floor. This term refers to a range of issues such as:

  • urinary issues, such as the urge to urinate or painful urination
  • constipation or bowel strains
  • lower back pain
  • hip pain
  • pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
  • discomfort during sexual intercourse for women
  • adductor pain

The importance of pelvic floor health in a sporting population

weight-lifting-womanAthletes are at greater risk of stress urinary incontinence due to their continued exposure to increases in intra-abdominal pressure throughout training.

What does this mean? Well, most sports involve one of two exercise forms; jumping and landing (eg. running, athletics) or the Valsalva maneuver (eg. weight lifting).

These two activities exert different deformations upon the pelvic floor due to their distinct direction and type of pressure loads.

Hip & Adductor injuries in a sporting population

hip-pain
Did you know that your pelvic floor muscles are directly attached you your hip muscles?

That’s right, the hip bone is connected to the pelvic bone and the pelvic floor muscles are connected to the one of your hip muscles: the obturator internus (OI)! It is reported that 64-72% of patients with hip dysfunction also experience pelvic floor dysfunction. This is largely due to weak lateral rotators and tight adductors.

 

How can we help you?

Personal Training
A personal trainer can help you to strengthen your lateral rotator muscles to help prevent hip dysfunction.

Sports Massage
A deep tissue massage of the adductor muscles can help to relieve muscle pain and tension, as well as overloading the pelvic floor.Pelvipower_magnetic_field_training_EJPhysio

The PelviPower Chair
This non-invasive method involves sitting on a chair as the pelvic floor muscles contract up to 25,000 times by the magnetic waves in the seat. One to two training sessions per week are adequate to effectively strengthen the pelvic floor.

Pelvic Floor Trainers & Toners

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My Pelviva

Pelvic Floor muscle trainer with reactive pulse technology

Pelviva is an award winning, life changing, Pelvic Floor muscle re-trainer that uses a specially developed stimulation programme to treat the symptoms of bladder leakage in women.

Receive 10% off purchase price when you use the code EmmaJames at checkout when you purchase online.

Visit the Pelviva Website for more details and how to buy.

Secret Whispers

secret-whispers-logo-web

Secret Whispers ™ is a pelvic floor toner for women. Its 6 Step Pelvic Floor Exercise Strengthen & Tighten Your Pelvic Floor Fast. It helps with – pregnancy, childbirth, incontinence and bladder control.

Secret Whispers ™ pelvic floor packs are available to purchase from our main Emma James Physio clinic or online:

Click here to Purchase Secret Whispers Products

india-wayland
Bye for now 😉
India
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Blog Post by India
Sports Therapist at Emma James Physio

Top 10 lower back pain Myths!

Lower back pain and the unhelpful beliefs that could negatively impact your behaviours

 

Most of us will have inevitably suffered from some form of lower back pain in our lives, to varying degrees of severity and volumes; but it’s almost certain to have affected us somewhere along the way! That opening statement in its itself is a perfect example of how beliefs and experiences around back pain can negatively impact our behaviours, fortunately I am going to now expand on it and point you in the direction of some fantastic editorial research that has recently been published for the benefit of the general public.

back-painLower back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide, but the way we as health care professionals and you as patients understand the pathology may differ. In an ever-progressing world of research; there are even gaps of knowledge within sub-groups of practitioners that negatively impact the way LBP is perceived and treated. We hear about it through all media channels and we have an understanding of the ways pain management is prescribed and how we are instructed as patients to manage LBP. Common beliefs and understanding on these factors can influence the way individuals perceive and understand LBP and ultimately the affect it can have on the way you live your life.

In this blog I will review the aforementioned article and address the fact’s from my own point of view and experience;

Ten unhelpful LBP beliefs;

Unhelpful LBP beliefs are common, culturally endorsed and not supported by evidence.

Myth 1:  LBP is usually a serious medical condition

You can feel debilitated or in an amount of pain that indicates a serious pathology; but the facts are the vast majority of LBP cases are not life-threatening pathologies that cause permanent disability.

Myth 2: LBP will become persistent and deteriorate in later life

There is no strong research to support an association with age and deterioration in LBP; age is not a risk factor – we are all subject to the same level of risk; of which there are very well supported methods of managing LBP.

Myth 3: Persistent LBP is always related to tissue damage

Having a reoccurrence of the same type of LBP doesn’t mean the same structures are being damaged to an increasing degree each time – it may feel that way because the pain can get worse but the soft tissue structure that are involved in LBP will heal within a normal time frame. There are a multitude or internal and external factors that relate to pain replication which can be managed and overcome.

Myth 4: Scans are always needed to detect the cause of LBP.

Scans are unlikely to tell us anything different to what we already know. There can be the same scan presentation in a person with and without LBP; again, it’s the multi-faceted level of factors contributing to our pain which are more important than scan results.

Myth 5: Pain related to exercise and movement is always a warning that harm is being done to the spine and a signal to stop or modify activity

There are really clear and accurate ways to monitor painful responses during exercise; most of the time – pain is acceptable during exercise/rehab and is more likely to be beneficial than harmful. Increasing your exposure to painful movement/tasks is one of the more effective way to reduce your sensitivity to these painful triggers.

sitting-at-desk-pain

Myth 6: LBP is caused by poor posture when sitting, standing and lifting

A really common one; posture does not cause pain, plain and simple. Stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, periods of persistent working/inactivity are more likely to be the cause of posture related pain rather than the position its self. Get up, move, meditate, talk to your peers and share experiences; it will make a difference.

Myth 7: LBP is caused by weak ‘core’ muscles and and having a strong core protects against future LBP

Our ‘core muscles’ control spinal movement; so, it makes sense that weakness increases our injury risk, right? Wrong. Varying the degree and quality of movement in our lower back; along with the able to transfer weight through our trunk gives us more dynamic movements; but weak muscles do not cause pain.

heavy-lifting

Myth 8: Repeated spinal loading results in ‘wear and tear’ and tissue damage

Heavy lifting and forward bending do not wear out the spinal discs, it actually lubricates them and some studies have found evidence to support increasing strength of discs with increased loads, just make sure these movements are familiar and build them up.

Myth 9: Pain flare-ups are a sign of tissue damage and require rest

Similar to Myth 5; there are a number of factors that can cause pain replication, sensitivity related to previous movements, tasks, scenarios and intrinsic factors are most likely to be the causes of pain; and your practitioner should talk you through understanding this and how to manage it before you refer back for re-assessment (if needed at all).

Myth 10: Treatments such as strong medications, injections and surgery are effective, and necessary, to treat LBP

These interventions are invasion, have varying success rates, complication risks and secondary symptoms; the long-term benefits are not guaranteed. Of course, there are pathologies and examples where these treatments are more likely to be necessary; but for the majority of LBP patients; they just aren’t needed.

 

adamSo that’s it, also check out this useful infographic about Back Facts
Keep your eyes peeled for more on this subject!
Adam 😊

Blog post by Adam
Senior Physiotherapist at Emma James Physio

 

Sleeping Posture and Lower back pain

How you sleep plays an important role in managing back pain, as certain positions place more strain on the back than others. Generally, back sleeping and supported side sleeping are regarded as most ergonomic, while stomach sleeping tends to be most associated with pain.

Whichever position you prefer, here are some tips for staying comfortable.

good-and-bad-sleeping-positions

 

  • Reclining may be beneficial for your back because it creates an angle between your thighs and trunk. This angle helps to reduce the pressuer on your spine.
  • Disc herniation happens when part of a disc pushes out of its normal space.
    Curling your torso into a fetal position opens the space between vertebrae.
  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.
    The pillow will keep your hips, pelvis and spine in better allignment.

Alignment is key

Be careful while turning in bed. You can get out of alignment during twisting and turning motions as well. Always move your entire body together, keeping your core tight and pulled in. You may even find it helpful to bring your knees toward your chest as you roll over.

Tips to reduce lower back pain

back-pain

  1. Dont twist your back or make rapid jerking motions
  2. Get in bed by sitting on the edge of the matress. Supporting yourself with your hands, bend your knees and lay on your side. Then adjust your position as needed.
  3. Get out of bed by rolling on your side (facing the edge of the matress) and bend in your knees. Supporting yourself with your hands, carefully swing your legs to the floor and stand up straight. Get up from the seated position.

Special Offer

and-so-to-bed-logo-ejphysio-offerOur friends at And So To Bed are offering a special discount code for Emma James Physio customers which is an additional 10% off all And So To Bed products when purchasing online.

Use online code: ASTB10 at shopping basket. Offer available until 31st December 2020.

 

india-wayland

Bye for now 😉
India
x

Blog Post by India
Sports Therapist at Emma James Physio

Lower Back Pain – What works best?

Non- Pharmacological (medication) treatment for chronic low back pain- what works best?

A recent pre print article in The Lancet looking at 77 research randomized control trials (which are deemed a high quality of research trial) concluded that best treatments include massage and exercise. A combination is often the most successful approach- massage to reduce pain then exercise to increase movement and strength.
Resistance training in children

It is a common misconception that resistance training stunts growth and is damaging to children.
In fact, research shows that resistance training increases bone strength which decreases the risk of future sports related injuries (Alan Bishop, Director of Sports Performance, Men’s basketball, Uni of Houston)

Resistance training in children must be done under the expert guidance of a trained professional though with an emphasis on technique.

 

Weight bearing exercise in osteoporosis treatment

The addition of weight- bearing exercise (45- 60 minutes 2/ week for 6 months) to medical treatment of osteoporosis increases bone mineral density more than non weight- bearing exercise and significantly improved the quality of life of patients with osteoporosis.
Achilles tendon pain
Often the curse of the runner, especially this time of year as runners increase their distances in training for the Spring Marathons.

The issue is often:

  • Training errors- increasing training distance/ frequency too quickly
  • Weakness in the calf muscles
  • A combination of both

Research suggests that eccentric calf training is more effective than natural history (‘wait and see’/ rest) or traditional physiotherapy (massage, ultrasound, stretching) in improving pain and function.
This programme should always be supervised by a trained physiotherapist

 

More Information:
Chartered Physiotherapy
lisaPaediatric Physiotherapy

I hope that helps shed some light on lower back pain.
Lisa
x

Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
Emma James Physio

A look at sports injuries – Spondylolisthesis in gymnasts

Spondylolisthesis is the slipping of all or part of one vertebra forward on another vertebra. It is most common in children 5-8 years old and it occurs in about 5% of the population. For gymnasts, it is thought that the slippage occurs as a result of repetitive hyperextension activities (bending backwards).

Description of condition in laymans terms

Spondylolisthesis is a forward shift of one vertebrae on the other, usually L5-S1, which is towards the bottom of the spine. The typical presentation is one of mild low back pain that occasionally radiates into the buttocks and posterior thighs, especially during high levels of activity.

Five top ways to promote quicker healing (including services at Champneys)

By creating an optimal psychological, nutritional and physiological environment, the body is able to focus purely on the job in hand – healing the particular injury/ailment.

 

The services provided through the Regenerate programme at Champneys Tring in Hertfordshire can help to create this ideal environment in the following ways:

acupuncture-enews

  • Decrease emotional stress and distractions and ensure you are having the correct amount of rest and sleep
  • Decrease environmental stress
  • Ensure best and optimal circulation (acupuncture, kriotherapy)
  • Optimal and appropriate nutrition (nutritionist)
  • Exercising within the pain-free range and at an appropriate level for maximising healing potential (hydrotherapy, physiotherapy)

 

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Regenerate is the UK’s leading residential medical centre based within the world class Champneys Tring Health Resort in Hertfordshire. Offering a bespoke professional service for injury rehabilitation, Regenerate provides the ultimate medical expertise and treatments required to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from all aspects of injury. Clients also benefit from using Champneys many services, as well as their luxury spa facilities and treatments.

Regenerate provides the highest standards and employs leading professionals in the medical fields under the Directorate of Champneys Medical Director, Dr Michael Curtin MB ChB Dip Med Ac. MF HOM. Regenerates multidisciplinary team includes: Doctor, Acupuncturists, Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Movement Therapists, Nutritionists, Personal Trainers, and Motivational and Mental Skills Coaches. They will conduct comprehensive examinations and diagnostic testing, and provide appropriate treatment which may include physiotherapy, acupuncture, clinical pilates, kriotherapy, nutritional therapy, exercise and rehabilitation programmes, sports massage, vibrogym therapy and altitude training, amongst others.

More Information

Blog Post by Emma James Feb 2016

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