Tag Archive | active back rehabilitation

IS YOUR BACK PAIN CAUSED BY MYOFASCIA? (by Pilates Wise Carlsbad, San Diego)

Fascia covers whole body and it provides structural support around our organs, muscles, joints, bones and nerve fibers. Fascia helps prevent and minimize localized stress in particular muscle, joint or bone. It is always under tension as long as gravity is present, and it also provides stabilizer components that helps our posture and allows us to perform movement automatically.

Fascia has been viewed clinically as a potential source of dysfunction. The research has found that chronic pain patients have some pathological changes in their thoracolumbar fascia. The thoracolumbar fascia is a tough fibrous sheet covering the back. It is tensioned by the muscles above, side and below. The fascia works as an attachment to several muscles and plays an important role of stabilization of the thoracolumbar and pelvic regions (as well sacroiliac joints). The thoracolumbar fascia attaches to the external obliques, internal obliques, transverse abdominals, latissumus dorsi and gluteus maximus. Because these muscles are connected through the same fascia, myofascia chains may contain restrictions and dysfunction in one area that influence another remote area. The thoracolumbar fascia also contains three nerve endings and may play a neuro-sensory role in lumbar spine pain mechanism.

Thoracolumbar fascia’s role as a cause of back pain is something that it is not shown by x-ray or MRI and is often underestimated by doctors. Chiropractors and spinal specialist treat spinal pain as a pain from vertebras or disc, but that is not always the underlying problem and may be a big reason why the back pain becomes, and continues, chronic. In most cases of back pain, especially in sub-acute or chronic back pain, the cause of the underlying problem may be more in muscle imbalances, poor posture or even myofascial dysfunction than spinal structure itself.

 

There are many specific stretching techniques about how you can release and mobilize the thoracolumbar fascia yourself, for example rolling with the foam roll. Besides releasing fascia, it is still very important to take care of your (deep stabilizer) muscles strength around your spine. Spinal stabilization training is specifically designed for people with back pain. It is scientifically proven to be very helpful exercise method for rehabilitating your back more safely and efficiently. For more information about Active Back Pain Rehabilitation, please click HERE

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Pilates often referred by Physical Therapists and Chiropractors

Pilates private sessions are a wonderful tool to rehabilitate your body after injury or Physical Therapy. It’s gentle and low-impact exercise form where your body can heal without putting too much pressure on your injury side but still working out your whole body. After injury your muscles learn to work different, inefficient way and sometimes you will need professional eyes to correct your faulty muscle recruitment and faulty compensation patterns. These two issues make your healing process much more complicated and risk of other injuries increases if you don’t notice how you are actually using your body.

Already about 70 years ago during the second world war Mr. Pilates developed his method to treat soldiers who were injured at the war. He created a specific hospital bed where he used resistance of springs and bands. He was very clever guy and really ahead of his time.  Pilates is today a great and practical tool for rehabilitation and many Physical Therapist as well as Chiropractors have noticed that. However, many Pilates studios are owned by certified Pilates Instructors who unfortunately have very limited knowledgeable about orthopedic rehabilitation or post-rehabilitation. Pilates Instructors might want to grow their businesses so badly that they are willing to take clients who have many health problems, but don’t exactly know how to deal with those problems. I see a big risk of injury or re-injury here! Pilates is a really good rehabilitation tool but Pilates instructors would need much more education about anatomy, biomechanics and orthopedic injuries & rehab than the standard comprehensive Pilates education offers today. For example, all back pain is not the same, and Pilates instructor who has had back pain herself and recovered from it by doing Pilates, is not necessary a good teacher to teach other people with back problems. Pilates is a good tool, but the teacher has to know exactly how to use that tool properly, efficiently and safely for each client. People with back pain have usually more problems and issues than just weak core muscles.

Very often Physical Therapists and Chiropractors don’t know about how long the Pilates instructors education is and how little they actually know about anatomy, injuries and rehabilitation. As a Physical Therapist myself, I was very surprised when I heard that one chiropractor referred his client of age 88, has osteoporosis and two lumbar vertebrae fractures, to a Pilates Instructor. I know that this Pilates instructor was very experienced, but not educated as a Physical Therapist, and I don’t think that this client was general ‘Pilates material‘. Pilates is a great and versatile exercise tool but in this case only taught by a skilled Physical Therapist. Pilates Instructors are expected to know what their skill level is and where their limits are. Unfortunately, today’s economy puts a lot of pressure on Pilates business owners, and even though they don’t have enough education they will take and treat rehab clients as any other normal clients. If you are looking for a Pilates studio to rehabilitate your injury or post-rehab after Physical Therapy, do your homework first and ask questions from studio’s instructors to find out how skilled and experienced they really are for your case. I definitely recommend Pilates for everyone who is looking for rehabilitation or post-rehabilitation after Physical Therapy – just be sure that your instructor is really experienced and educated in that field.

For more about PilatesWise  active back rehabilitation, orthopedic injury rehabilitation and sport injury recover and prevention, please visti our website http://www.pilateswise.com .

Check out also this pilateswise video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R40kIPla2Dc

Is Spinal Decompression Therapy as Good as Advertised for Relief Back Pain?

 

Spinal Decompression therapy is a non-surgical treatment for people with back pain caused by herniated disc, bulging disc, degenerative disc disease or sciatica. Spinal Depression therapy provides gentle decompression / traction of the disc and let the disc heal itself by helping to get more space between vertebras.

Now, is this magic treatment / therapy as good as advertised for relieve back pain? Well, like every treatments, some people may get help from it but some may feel even more pain after the treatments. Why? Using traction for treatment of bulging and herniated disc may also aggravate the condition. So do your research before starting this treatment.

The advertisement says “Spinal Decompression therapy is the latest non-surgical breakthrough technology”. Really? Believe or not, this “latest” back pain relief therapy / treatment is not new at all! When I was studying Physical Therapy in Finland in mid 80’s, we used to work with very similar spinal decompression table as used today and that treatment was called “spinal traction”. The traction table was exactly like this amazing new technology table. When I graduated at the beginning of 1990, this wonderful spinal decompression therapy method suddenly disappeared. Why? Because the treatment showed to be ineffective and too expensive. One Physical Therapist made some research to see what this “spinal decompression” was all about and found out that since II Word War Physical Therapists have been offering “Spinal Compression” = “Spinal Traction”. Recent studies also found that traction is ineffective for the relief of pain in the lumbar spine – just like Finnish PTs already realized 25 years ago. Seems that old treatment is coming back again but unfortunately this does not make this treatment any better.

Spinal Decompression treatment is also really expensive, about $100-$150 /visit. And if you get some pain relief that might be very short-term because the very underlying problems of your back pain are still there: poor posture, improper body mechanics, weak spinal supporting muscles, and repetitive stress can cause vertebrae to compress the disc or to slip out of their alignment which adds pressure to the discs, thus causing pain. These are really the underlying problems which need to be fixed too. Any spinal decompression therapy or manual therapy is not going to help improve your posture or muscle imbalance.

Almost all of my Pilates clients have back problems and some of them came to me after nothing else was not working. Very often doctors and chiropractors underestimate how important it is that patients take more active role of their own back rehabilitation. Active back rehabilitation with carefully designed exercise program is proven to be much better long-term back pain relief than just handing out home exercises, manual therapy or spinal decompression therapy. Our active back rehabilitation program in PilatesWise is designed and performed by a Physical Therapist. It includes comprehensive assessment, spinal stabilization training, McKenzie method and Pilates training, which does not only help relieve back pain but also keeps your back healthy and strong and prevents from future injuries. You have only one spine and back, so start taking care of it.

For more info, please visit our website http://www.pilateswise.com