More than two-thirds of pregnant women report low back pain and up to one-fifth report pelvic pain during pregnancy. Reports of pain tend to increase later in pregnancy and interfere with daily activities, sleep, and work. About 20% of women who experience low back or pelvic pain during pregnancy report persistent pain for up to 3 years following pregnancy.
Chronic pain is complicated and much research in recent years has revolved around the term “pain catastrophizing”. Catastrophizing is a process of becoming fixated on pain, magnifying the effects of it, feeling helpless, and expecting negative outcomes associated with pain.
Research shows that those who catastrophize are more likely to develop persistent chronic pain and disability. Women who demonstrated pain catastrophizing during their pregnancy were found to be less likely to have been active throughout their pregnancy and more likely to develop persistent pain after.
The recommendation of daily physical activity...
A key component in maintaining strong, healthy shoulder joints is understanding how to differentiate between using actual shoulder movement v. other movements to compensate for a lack of shoulder mobility.
As the above photos demonstrate, more than one motion can be used to reach arms overhead. Many of us mistakenly believe we're using shoulder mobility to accomplish this motion.
The first photo shows someone reaching arms overhead to touch the wall behind them. At a glance, this might look like fantastic shoulder mobility, but take a closer look at what is happening at the rib cage. It moved away from the wall to help move the arms further overhead. Once the end of actual shoulder mobility is reached, rib cage thrusting can help us achieve further movement without using the shoulders but using the low back instead.
Is this a problem? Not always. But if you are looking to improve actual shoulder joint mobility, compensating with rib cage thrusting bypasses the...
Let’s talk about hamstring stretching...
The hamstrings are a large muscle group running up the back of the thigh that attach below the knee and to the base of the pelvis. Hamstring mobility is so important because walking, core stability, and the ability to get on and off the floor all depend on the positioning of the pelvis. Tight hamstrings (caused by lots of time spent sitting) keep the pelvis in a tucked position that is not great for optimal pelvic and core health.
There are several different ways in which the hamstrings can be stretched. The most common one we see is the forward bend.
There is more than one way to perform a forward bend, however the point of a hamstring stretch is to change the length of the hamstrings. Therefore movement should be from the pelvis and not the spine.
A compensation we commonly see for tight hamstrings is an excessive rounding of the spine (picture 1). In this scenario, the spine is being over-stretched while there is not much...
Are you one of the millions of people living with chronic low back pain?
Have you been told by a medical provider your pain is due to arthritis? That you have the spine of an 80 year old? Or there is nothing that can be done about your back pain?
If so, you aren't alone. And unfortunately, what is often left out of this discussion is the fact that aging of the spine is perfectly NORMAL. Yes, it's not even abnormal to start to see signs of arthritis on imaging as young as age 30.Arthritic changes within your joints do not automatically lead to chronic pain and limited quality of life.
So, what gives and where is your back pain really coming from?
Age causes an increase low back pain for a variety of other reasons. About one in three older adults will experience low back pain. As we stated above, there are normal and expected changes in the spine that come with age include changes in posture,...
Do you wake up feeling stiff every morning?
Does it take an hour or two after waking up for that feeling to go away?
Or does that feeling linger all day?
One of the most common questions we get asked is if this is a natural part of aging. Our clients wonder if this is just inevitable or if there is something that can be done to prevent this.
We're here to tell you this DOES NOT have to be a natural part of aging, and that yes, there is plenty you can to avoid waking up with that feeling every morning!
Flexibility, also known as range of motion, can be improved and maintained at any age. Our tissues get stiff because we stop using them, not just because of old age.
We need to take a closer look though because only working on flexibility is not a great solution either. It's vital to keep a good range of motion of all of our joints as we age, but to function at our best we must also have the strength to control our...