Want to strengthen your "core"? Will Pilates, yoga, ball exercises or crunches do the job? Yes if you have NEVER had back or abdominal painl IF you have had back pain, think again!
Your deepest "core" muscles will be slow to contract soon enough to protect your back when you lift, kick or reach for something. What to do? Visit a physical therapist that has a diagnostic ultrasound machine that can view your deepest "core muscles" (transverse abdominus).
Here is a video of viewing the deepest core:
Part of the "core" is also the pelvic floor. If you have stress incontinence, the ultrasound machine can be used to view the pelvic floor muscles to help you recover your strength. Here is a video:
We have diagnostic ultraosund at Comstock Physical Therapy. Come on in to get YOUR core assessed!
The levator scapulae muscle causes a lot of pain. Stretching and giving the muscle trigger point massage will give you only temporary relief. How do you get a permanent fix? Take the strain away!
The muscle is strained, or has too much tension on it when it is always stretched. The muscle lifts the inner upper corner of the shoulder blade up towards the neck AND also rotates the shoulder blade down, so the outer corner is lower than the inner corner.
The actual treatment is to strengthen the muscles which pull the shoulder blade back as well as those that lift and stretch tight muscles which pull the shoulder blade forward.
Does the Biceps muscle remind you of Popeye? If you eat enough spinach, it will get big:)
The long head of the biceps pulls on the shoulder and the short head pulls on the shoulder blade, and when it is tight it can pull the shoulder forward causing the shoulder bone to slip forward a little, out of alignment. This condition is called "anterior humeral glide syndrome: and can have the side effect of causing impingement and pain in the rotator cuff.
Tight biceps can also cause tennis elbow by straining and pulling the forearm into pronation if it is too tight.
So Stretch those biceps!
The peroneus muscles are on the outside of the lower leg and ankle and usually get strained when the ankle gets sprained. This makes sense to most people because the tendons run so close to the outside of the ankle.
But…..the peroneus longus tendon crosses UNDER the foot after running along side the ankle bone to help support the arch. It attaches in the middle of the arch on the bottom side.
Here is a picture of the bottom of the foot:
When the peroneus longus tendon insertion starts to pull and get irritated, it can feel like plantarfasciitis and be confusing. However, the fix is usually the same, stretch your Achilles and plantarfascia and strengthen the side to side muscles as well as get manual therapy. Sometimes orthotics help too. Your physical therapist is particularly well trained to fix this condition.
The teres minor muscle is one of the rotator cuff shoulder muscles that is very small, but BOY is it a trouble maker!
One of this muscle’s main jobs is to rotate the arm bone out with the arm bone is elevated to shoulder height (like you are getting ready to pitch and cocking your arm back) as well as to provide a braking system on the shoulder as the pitch is actually released. This muscle also cocks the football back when the quarterback is getting ready to pass, as well as slows down the throw when he throws it to a receiver. Mark Sanchez is using his teres minor to pass the football as we speak.
Its other main job is to help the other rotator cuff muscles keep the ball of the shoulder centered in the socket.
One funny feature of this muscle I have noticed in my practice is that when someone has a frozen shoulder (when a shoulder gets really, really stiff) this muscle spasms a lot more and is much more painful than the other rotator cuff muscles. Sometimes applying acupressure to this muscle will help the shoulder get a lot more flexible.
This muscle hurts a lot with driving, especially if someone with a bad shoulder rotates the steering wheel with the bad arm over top. If you hurt when you do this motion, you will know it is the rotator cuff because this will hurt.
This week's muscle is the PSOAS. It is a long muscle, about as long as your biceps, and it runs from the side of the spine to the front of the hips. It is right in front of the kidney, and runs behind and under your pelvic organs.
Its main job is to flex the hip. In a pinch it will contract to protect the spine, but when this happens you can get a lot of back pain because your back joints and discs are jammed. How to fix back pain when the psoas contracts to protect the spine? Strengthen the transverse abdominus to contract first, that way the psoas goes back to being a hip flexor instead of a back protector (http://comstockpt.com/2012/02/01/806physicaltherapyolympia/)