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Spinal muscles are an essential part of back pain relief and prevetion

Importance of spinal muscles rehab to relieve and prevent back pain

pilates_back rehab_carlsbadDid you know that muscles have a critical role of supporting your spine, preventing and reducing back pain? Very often medical professionals underestimate the importance of the deep stabilizer muscles helping your recovery process from the back injury.

Studies show that after first episode of back pain, the deep back and abs stabilizer muscles become impaired and stop working properly. Those muscles are not recovering themselves, even when your back pain is gone. After that initial recovery your back and spine are still unstable and vulnerable to re-injury. So the fact is that very often poor spinal stability and support are directly linked with acute as well as chronic back pain.

The deep stabilizer muscles have a big role in taking off the total load from your back and let your spine and back heal better itself. So, in order to getting a long term solution to relieve back pain and prevent future injuries, a proper exercise program is essential.

Achieving and maintaining spinal stability

ImageThe human spine is unstable without its musculature and muscle control. The deep muscles, which are close to the lumbar spine, function is protecting spine from injury and their dysfunction shows as low back pain. Researchers have found out that people with lower back pain lose their ability to properly contract deep stabilizer muscles (probably) through pain inhibition. Deep back muscles – Multifidus and deep abdominal muscles Trasverse abdominus – are vital in controlling the lumbar spine. If those stabilizer muscles fail to function, stability may temporarily be provided by mobilizer (external obliques, rectus abdominal) muscles instead. The precision of movement is lost, leading to an observable movement dysfunction. So, finding the right muscles to train is a crucial part of an effective back rehabilitation. Unfortunately, many “traditional” back exercises only engage superficial muscles and actually may even increase uncontrolled mobility (instability) and decrease stability in the lumbar spine thus increasing risk of re-injury.

Spinal Stabilization training with Physical Therapist, or Pilates with very experienced Pilates instructor or Physical Therapist, will help you find and train your deep stabilizer muscles. These both methods focus on improving mechanical support of the spinal joints through specific deep muscle contraction exercises and clients learn to dissociate the use of deeper muscles from the use of the more superficial muscles.

Pilates for back rehabilitation and prevention
Pilates develops spinal (core, back) stability. The exercises focus on developing the strength and flexibility through appropriate use of the spinal muscles, which act as stabilizers and create vital support for the spine. Training with an experienced Pilates instructor improves your body awareness and teaches you how the proper muscle functions support and protect the spine. The Pilates method is designed to condition the whole body and will also help your overall muscle control, coordination and proper movement patterns.

Spinal stabilization training for back rehabilitation
Spinal stabilization training (used often by Physical Therapists) refers to back rehabilitation exercises specifically designed to isolate stabilizing and strengthening weak muscles of the spine as well as pelvic hip region. The SST is gradually progressive and specifically designed based on your specific needs and conditions. Spinal Stabilization training helps ensure movement in a controlled pain free range with proper muscle activation.

Pilates as well as Spinal Stabilization training focus also on improving overall muscle balances and posture which often heavily contribute back pain or are even the cause of the back pain in the first place. Both training methods are safe and effective way to rehabilitate back pain as well as prevent back injuries. Investing in your back and spinal health is important and with pilates or spinal stabilization training you will get a long-term solution to get rid of your back pain, or least learn to manage it. You will get sooner back to your active lifestyle and sport what you love!

Our PhysioWise Back Rehab program, in Carlsbad California, is specifically designed for people with back pain caused by herniated disc, sciatica, bulging disc, SI-joint dysfunction, scoliosis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis,spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease etc. The program is combination of Pilates exercises and Spinal Stabilization training and taught by Physical Therapist & certified Pilates Instructor.

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5 Common Misconceptions About Sciatica

5 Common Misconceptions about Sciatica

Sciatica is a medical condition
Sciatica is a symptom of another medical problem, not a medical condition on it’s own. Sciatica is generally caused by compression of lumbar nerves L3-L5 or sacral nerves (S1-S3) or by compression of the sciatic nerve itself. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body, the pain extends from lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg.

Sciatica is always caused by herniated disc or Spinal Stenosis
It is true that sciatica is often a symptom of herniated disc or spinal stenosis, but also piriformis syndrome, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis, facet joint syndrome and Si-joint dysfunction can cause sciatica.

Best treatment for sciatica is bed rest
Bed rest is not recommended. Inactivity will usually make the pain worse. Without exercise and movement the back muscles and spinal structures become impaired and less able to support your spine and back. Proper exercise and slight activity help exchange nutrients and fluids within discs to keep them healthy and prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Chiropractor is the only who can help me to relieve my sciatic pain
In most cases people recover from sciatica (depends diagnosis) without any specific treatment. In some cases chiropractor’s care can give you a short-term pain relief but in some cases it will even aggravate the pain. Active forms of back rehab are more effective in the long term and almost always necessary to get rid off the pain. When you engage in a proper exercise program you can recover more quickly from flare up of sciatica and are less likely to experience future episodes of pain.

Pilates is a good exercise form for sciatica
Pilates is generally a good exercise form and rehabilitation for sciatica, but only when taught by a highly experienced pilates instructor or physical therapist trained in Pilates. Pilates is a whole body exercise form which strengthens the deep spine stabilizer muscles that support your spine. It also correct your muscle balance posture and muscle recruitment patterns. It is not recommended to do Pilates based on your own by books, DVDs or Youtube even when they are aimed for people with sciatica. Pilates group classes (mat & reformer) are not recommended either. Investing in a proper one-on-one training with an experienced pilates instructor / physical therapist is the best way to relieve pain and get your active life back.

Our PhysioWise studio in Carlsbad, California specializes in Back Rehab program with combination of Spinal Stabilization Training and Rehab Pilates.The both are specifically designed for people with back pain and sciatica caused by spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, osteoarthritis, herniated disc, bulging disc, SI-joint pain & dysfunction, piriformis syndrome, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis and osteoporosis.  For more detailed information about our programs please visit our website physio-wise.com.

Pilates – The best way rehab orthopedic injuries

  • Pilates – The best way to injury recovery and prevention

Knee-injury If you are injured and have pain, did you know that there is more to recovery than just getting rid of pain? If your rehab only focuses on pain it will always miss the root cause of the real problem. The fact is that pain and injury oftentimes change the way how you use and move your body. The neurological connection between brain and muscles is not working properly and body starts to compensate. The compensation patterns create altered alignment in the joint, leading instability (too much uncontrolled motion) and abnormal wear on the joint surfaces. It also puts excess stress and tension on ligaments, tendons and muscles. When the muscle imbalances and faulty compensatory movement patterns are left untreated, there is a chance that you will suffer from that same injury again or additional injuries somewhere else.

The key to orthopedic rehabilitation is not only to get rid of pain and injury, but also identify and treat muscle imbalances and faulty movement patterns. Unfortunately, that is not often the case in a regular Physical Therapy. Therapists are often too busy and do not have time to look at the whole picture of how you are compensating or how to treat your muscle imbalances. If you really want to get rid of your injury and complete your rehabilitation after Physical Therapy, take private Pilates classes with an experienced hands-on-skilled Pilates instructor, or even better, with Physical Therapist who is trained in Pilates.

exercise-therapyPilates rehabilitation also works as an alternative for Physical Therapy, or together with Physical Therapy. I strongly feel that Pilates really is a missing part these days in orthopedic (musculoskeletal) rehabilitation. In Pilates, clients become more responsible for their own rehabilitation process. It is not just going to a therapist, lying down and receiving passive treatment by a Physical Therapist. Pilates is an active form of rehabilitation which can addresses a specific injury site while rehabilitating entire body. It can vary from specific isolated movements to more dynamic ones as necessary for that stage of rehab. A successful recovery includes regaining deep stabilizer muscles strength, joints’ controlled mobility and achieving muscles flexibility back to the normal level – that’s what Pilates exercises are all about. Pilates focuses also on the total body integration, working the whole body on proper alignments and posture, improving your joint stability and mobility – all those aspects that you need to recover safely and effectively.

However, it’s important to notice that there is big difference between teaching Pilates as a form of fitness and using it as a form of rehabilitation. If you are injured and consider Pilates, it’s important to make sure that your instructor has experience to work with injuries. An experienced Pilates Instructor or Physical Therapist trained in Pilates can provide an individualized rehabilitation program based on your special needs and conditions by identifying and correcting your muscle imbalances and faulty movement patterns. By investing in your sessions, you will get an injury-fee, well-balanced and well-functioning body. Not that bad investment at all, or what do you think?

More about PhysioWise pilates rehab training for orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation, please click HERE

SI-Joint Back Pain and Treatment – Exercise Therapy in Carlsbad, San Diego

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Back pain and SI-joint dysfunction treatment – Exercise therapy

Sacroiliac (SI) joint’s dysfunction is somewhat of a mystery and difficult to identify. However, SI-joint dysfunction is very often source of hip or low back pain but underestimated by doctors and chiropractors. It is much easier to treat hip or low back pain than Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction. People with SI-joint pain do not get relief if the underlying problems and real source of their hip and back pain are left untreated.

SI joint is located between Ilium and Sacrum. It is working as a shock absorption for lumbar spine. So, the sacrum is mechanically associated with the spine, but also affected by alignment and movement of femur.

Any lumbar spine, pelvic and hip region asymmetry, leg-length discrepancy or loss of motion in one joint might alter the forces and can affect abnormal mechanical stress and symptoms in the SI-joint.

ImageI have many clients who got lumbar spine fusion and many years later have painful SI-joint dysfunction. This may happen after L5-S1 fusion, but also people with L4-L5 fusion may have problem on their SI-joint. Naturally, sacroiliac joint is the place that compensate to missing spine motion after the fusion.

There are 35 muscles that attach directly to the sacrum and they produce synchronous motion of the trunk and lower extremities. Decrease in the length and strength of these muscles causes adaptive shortening and muscle imbalances and faulty, compensatory movement patterns of pelvic girdle. SI-joint manipulation by chiropractors or Physical Therapists does not probably work long term, but might get short-term pain relief. The muscles overall have more important role in treating SI-joint dysfunction. Most cases SI-joint problem is really caused by muscle imbalances and compensatory movement patterns than the joint itself. Also, a home-exercise might not work either due to pain and misalignment of pelvic and spine. People with SI-joint dysfunction need to get some “AHA”-moments about their body awareness, posture and alignments.

Our body parts are designed to work together and the best treatment is to treat the body as a whole, and people with SI-joint problems will benefit of that approach, too. Many back pain and SI-joint treatments fail because they only treat symptoms, not looking for how your whole spine-pelvis and hip are functioning together.

Si-joint dysfunction clients need very specific therapeutic exercise program which focuses on neuro-muscle integration by balancing overall pelvic and spine muscles. Pilates is a good exercise form, but not enough if you don’t have a Pilates instructor who has the knowledge about SI-joint dysfunction. Usually instructors do not have that expertise and I’m surprised that even many Physical Therapists have not enough knowledge how to treat people with SI-joint pain. In my experience SI-joint pain decreases tremendously when individual gets more stability and strength in their gluteal, deep core stabilization and pelvic floor muscles as well as flexibility in their hip rotators. Unfortunately, this will not happen overnight…it takes time, approximately 3-6 months. However, the end result is priceless – NO MORE PAIN or at least less pain and stronger muscles around the joints and spine!

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For More about PilatesWise Active back pain and SI-joint dysfunction rehabilitation, please click HERE

Restorative Pilates Class For Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Chronic Back Pain in Carlsbad, CA

Restorative Pilates For Chronic Pain And Overall Wellbeing

 

This class is for everyone, but it’s specifically designed for chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, lupus, myofascial pain syndrome, chronic back pain and osteoarthritis. The class is an unique blend of pilates, therapeutic strengthening and stretching exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques, myofascial release techniques and MELT method.

 

Proper exercise program is the best treatment for chronic pain. Movement heals physically and physiologically. Our classes focus on

  • Strengthen supporting muscles surround your joints and spine
  • Mobilizing joints and spine and emphasizing full range of motion
  • Stretching tight muscles
  • Releasing unnecessary muscle tension
  • Releasing myofascia and hydrating connective tissues
  • Relaxing body and mind

This all support your wellbeing physically and physiologically – and the most importantly – relieve overall pain.

 Are you in this pain cycle? We can help you out of it with our Restorative         Pilates class, taught by Physical Therapist & certified Pilates Instructor.

Classes are held on

  • Wednesdays at 11 am and
  • Saturdays at 9.30 am.

All classes are by appointment only and space is limited for max 5 people.

Please call or text 760.481.4943 to reserve your spot.
NOTE: 
Your first class is FREE!

Rates: Single class $18, 10 class package $150 ($15/class)

For more about our Pilates fitness and Rehabilitation program, please click HERE

Knee Injury – Torn Meniscus and Rehabilitation

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The knee is the largest joint in the body. The knee joint has two crescent-shaped cartilage menisci, one inside (medial) and another on the outside (lateral) of the knee. The menisci stabilize the joint, absorbs shock, and disperse lubrication known as a synovial fluid. They are essential for an efficient functioning of the knee. A meniscus injury can lead to critical impairment and overall biomechanics of the knee joint.

Meniscus tear is the most common knee joint injury. The motions that require pivoting, twisting, over-flexing the knee and sports with sudden stops (tennis, basketball) may cause meniscus damage. The most commonly injured meniscus is the one on the inner side of the knee, the medial meniscus.

Meniscus tear onset of symptoms are gradual. The pain is in the inner side of knee and you may hear or feel a pop sound when the injury happened. The knee joint may also click and lock and feel that it is giving away. It may also be swollen and is hard to straighten up.

A blood supply on the meniscus in very poor, and that’s why the meniscus injury heals slowly. If you are an athlete and want to continue your sport, you may need an arthroscopic surgery. If you are middle aged and not that active anymore, the rehabilitation with physical therapy or even pilates with a physical therapist are good ways to rehabilitate your knee injury.

Knee rehabilitation with or without arthroscopic surgery should focus on re-gaining knee’s normal range of motion, enhancing strength of quadriceps (especially vastus lateralis and medialis) and hamstrings muscles and decreasing unnecessary muscle tightness of IT-band and hamstrings muscles. Close attention should also be paid to the overall muscle control, coordination, balance and proprioception.

Pilates for knee rehabilitation with a skilled Pilates Instructor and Physical Therapist is good, safe and efficient way to rehabilitate your
meniscus tear and knee injury. While traditional physical therapy helps you with your knee injury and pain, with Pilates you are going to rehabilitate and strengthen your whole body and prevent efficiently re-injuries by correcting your faulty movement and compensation patterns and improving your overall alignment and posture. We in Pilates rehabilitate the root of pain and injury, not only injury itself and that is what makes the difference resulting a pain and injury free body. Therapeutic / Clinical Pilates rehabilitate and prevent at same time. Pilates is something you should seriously consider when you need a rehabilitation or post-op rehabilitation on your knee injury.

More about PilatesWise knee injury rehabilitation and prevention program, please visit our website and click HERE

Pilates and Spinal Stabilization training is the best way to relief the SI-joint pain

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Did you know that 25% of lower back pain is sacroiliac joint related? However, sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction is often misdiagnosed and overlooked by doctors and chiropractors. Si-joint pain may be referral pain into the lower limp, which can be mistaken for “true” sciatica from a herniated lumbar disc.

Si-joint dysfunction means Sacroiliac joint hypermobility (instability) or hypomobility which causes lower back and buttocks pain and stiffness. If there is hypomobility (too little movement) chiropractors manipulation may help, but if there is hypermobility (too much movement) chiropractors might be the last think what you want to do…you don’t want to increase movement which might cause even more pain. Unfortunately, sacroiliac joint pain is more often caused by SI-joint hypermobility (instability) than hypomobility. Sacroiliac Joint hypermobility may be traumatic, biomechanical, hormonal or inflammatory joint disease. I have been working with many Si-joint pain sufferers (mostly women) and they all have some issues about the lumbar-pelvis region biomechanics, which is very typical cause of SI-joint hypermobility and pain. Pain due to biomechanical injuries will usually come over a period of time and often due to increased activity or a change in occupation/sport.

Common biomechanical problems which cause SI-joint hypermobility are leg length discrepancy, overpronation, twisted pelvic and muscle imbalances. I’m helping people with the last two cases and podiatric job is to help first two. Usually Si-joint pain clients might have all of those problems. One of my client was a college basketball player who got first sprain ankle then two hamstring pulls and then a terrible SI-joint pain. When she came to me, she got pain all the time and the pain increased when she was active. It was hard to see how she was suffering, not only the pain but also being non-active. Working with her almost a year, she is today PAIN FREE and exercise again – that is the best reward what you can get! I have also been successfully worked with people with inflammatory SI-joint disease like Ankylosing spondylitis. Those clients have also imbalances and compensation of lumopelvic region because of pain. Surprisingly, proper motion is one of the best treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis clients.

Pelvic & Spinal Stabilization training with Pilates together correct muscle imbalances and re-educate your body work more ergonomically, safely and efficiently. The both exercise methods are gentle and pain FREE.  The exercise/ rehab program has to be designed an individual special needs and focus on helping to strengthen the key muscles around your lumbopelvic region (deep back and abs muscles, glutealis muscles and hip rotators) and stretches tight muscles around your hip joint which are usually hamstrings, hip flexors and external hip rotators. If you are looking for Pilates program, please notice that not every Pilates instructor has enough knowledge about SI-joint dysfunction, neither back pain, so be sure that your Pilates Instructor has more education than just basic Pilates comprehensive certification program  before you start any Pilates sessions. Anyway, Therapeutic exercises and Pilates are great way to rehabilitate your Si-joint dysfunction and really increase your quality of life with less pain, or even better – totally pain free.

For More about PhysioWise program in Carlsbad, CA, please visit our website http://www.physio-wise.com.