165 Lilly Rd NE, Suite B, Olympia • 360.455-8014

Lower Back Pain

Muscle of the Month: Biceps

Does the Biceps muscle remind you of Popeye?  If you eat enough spinach, it will get big:) 
 

Aside from having great guns  the bicep muscle can surprisingly cause elbow and shoulder pain when it becomes too short.

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! 

Back Pain When Shoveling Snow? Try a few of these exercises {Olympia, Wa}

Did you get an achey back after shoveling snow?  You may wonder why that happens.  It happens because the deeper supportive muscles get tired and the larger lumbar paraspinals take over but they become achey.  Here is a picture of the lumbar paraspinals:

What exercises can you do?  First get onto your bed or floor, and stretch your hips back towards your knees.

Then, to relax the larger muscles and strengthen your core, contract your pelvic floor (Do a Kegel’s) and while holding the Kegel’s, pull your tummy in towards your spine.  Hold for 5 seconds, and do 10 repetitions.  Here is a picture of the deeper core muscles:

Have fun in the snow!

Why does an ankle sprain cause back pain?

Have you ever sprained your ankle, and noticed that your back began to hurt? Why does one lead to the other?

Sprains can take 6 weeks to 3 months to heal.  If you want to run before that time, you should wear a brace and be checked out by a physician or health care provider first.  

In addition to the actual sprain having to heal, injuries to the ankle also cause secondary problems as a result of being off your feet for so long and having pain.  You may have noticed that you begin to limp.   When you limp, your hip muscles get very weak, and so do your knee muscles and your calf muscles. You can also develop back pain.  

In addition, you balance will suffer and you will be more likely to re-sprain your ankle again when running.

What can you do to decrease your back pain from walking with a limp?

First, make sure you don't have a fracture, and get checked out by your physician or primary care provider.

Secondly, use the RICE (rest, ice elevation) formula in the short term immediately after you sprain your ankle.

Thirdly, Begin to do gentle range of motion exercises, for example drawing the alphabet with your foot. Add gentle strengthening of the knee, hip and core to reduce back pain when walking with a limp.

Fourth, when your physician clears you to use a brace and not be in a cast boot or on crutches make sure to gentle strengthening exercises of the foot. You can use surgical tubing or theraband for foot exercises. Biking for cardio conditioning is a good idea.

Fifth, once your strength and movement is a little better you can begin strengthening in weight on your bad foot. Add some balance exercises.

Of course you may want some guidance to help you recover sucessfully and get back to full time running.

At Comstock PT, We’re Team Players

Have you ever been treated by a physical therapist, chiropractor and massage therapist at the same time for lower or upper back pain, or neck pain?

Did they:

A) work together as a team and respect one another?

Or

B) did you feel as if you were betraying one health professional if you also saw a different one?

If it was “B” you probably felt like you were stuck in the middle between your different care providers.  You are not sure if their treatments are working together or at cross purposes.

Welcome to a fresh approach, an approach where the client is the center and the providers work together for your benefit.  If you are receiving chiropractic and massage therapy, we will work with your other care to providers to coordinate care and make sure treatments work together.

We work with a number of local chiropractors to assist you in receiving an exercise program which will support your other treatments.  We cross refer back and forth.  We also do this with massage therapists.

In short, if you add PT rehabilitation with your chiropractic and massage, your adjustments may be smoother and easier.  PT will help you hold and progress the gains you make in chiropractic and massage therapy.

 

 

Back Pain runs in families!

I am often asked as a physical therapist, "Do herniated discs run in families?" I often respond that I don't know, but it seems that way.

Well, now we know!  It does run in families, and people who have a cousin or grandparent who have had a herniated disc have an increased chance, according to this article:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/back-pain-runs-in-families/?ref=health

What does that mean for YOU if you have relative with back pain?  

  • keep in good physical condition overall and exercise regularly
  • keep your core muscles firing correctly and your MusclesInSync
  • make sure to squat to pick up things from the floor
  • step out and lunge with your forward leg if you have to reach (such as vacumning) and avoid bending at the back with your legs together