Your low back, more specifically your lumbar spine, has the ability to move and bear enormous weights (see the 1155 pounds below). This ability is unique when compared to the other regions of the spine. To effectively bear enormous loads, such as 1155 pounds, the low back must be in a stableposition. When not in a stable position, low back pain follows.
It’s that time of year again. The CrossFit community is gearing up for “the Open.” The CrossFit Games Open is a worldwide competition that takes place over a five week period. Last year athletes from over 100 countries registered online to enter and complete a series of workouts. The workouts are timed, judged, and scored. Athletes are then ranked based on performance. Top performing athletes move on to regional competitions and from there to a worldwide event, the Reebok CrossFit Games. The athletes that qualify for the CrossFit Games are the best in the world. Most have sponsors and contracts. They are professional athletes. This is the sport of CrossFit. Read More
It’s that time of year when the weather is getting just right for a nice evening run. It also is the time of year for lots of scheduled races and running events. That typically means that we are seeing an increase in the number of athletes present to our clinic with running injuries.
Virtually every runner has experienced or knows of someone that has experienced the dreaded plantar fasciitis. Even if you’re not a runner, you likely know of the heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis as it is the #1 cause of heel pain.
Anatomy of the foot
The plantar fascia is a strong fibrous band of tissue on the bottom side of the foot. The plantar fascia runs from the calcaneus (heel) and fans out to each of the metatarsal heads (base of each toe). This fibrous tissue plays a role in establishing the longitudinal arch of one’s foot. The arch of one’s foot allows us to absorb and transmit the forces more efficiently than a flat or pronated foot. This force transmission is comparable to the action of a spring. Read More
“My knee hurts!” This phrase is all too common, and if you’re a runner, chances are this is something you’ve struggled with. To help you get a better idea of what’s going on in you knee, let’s take a closer look at one of the most common running injuries: Runner’s Knee.
People often approach me with questions about a pain they are experiencing with a current injury. Without a doubt, the most common question those individuals pose is: “Should I being icing?” My answer tends to surprise most, but a vast majority of the time the answer is “No!” Ice is wonderful for decreasing the amount of pain a person is experiencing, but beyond that there aren’t a ton of therapeutic or rehabilitation properties. In other words, icing isn’t going to help you get better any faster.
Injury to the lumbar spine can happen at the most unexpected times. Many times, the fault is a lack of abdominal activation and lumbar stability. When we move quickly and the spine is unprepared for a new force or stress damage can occur to the intervertebral discs or spinal ligaments. To prevent injury it is important to reinforce the support structure of the lumbar spine, including the abdominal musculature. Dr. Brooks will take you through a pelvic tilt exercise that can be used to train spine supporting core muscles. Practice this technique in sets of 15-20 repetitions daily. I recommend 3×15 – 5 days a week.
Low back pain is a constant struggle for some… but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes irritation of your lumbar spine can happen because you aren’t moving right through your hips. Many times, when we bend over to reach something at a lower level we flex forward at the waist instead of the hips. This poor movement pattern can result in injury to our lumbar spine, and over time will cause chronic pain and discomfort. To help you move through the hips, try implementing this technique daily for 2 weeks. I recommend 3 sets of 15 once a day for best results.
Upper back pain and stiffness is a common complaint amongst office workers and athletes alike. To help counteract daily activities which leave our spine stiff and achy, an “Around-the-World” technique can be used. This technique will build both coordination and mobility by dynamically inducing rotation through the thoracic spine. Note that a foam roller is used to help keep your hips stacked on top of each other, keeping your hips and lumbar spine stable, isolating the thoracic spine.
Take a look as Dr. Brooks demonstrates the Around-the-World. An added bonus of this technique is that it is also a good movement to open the shoulders.
Perform several reps of the movement on each side, spending a total of about 4 minutes working on this movement.