Motion Stability's Blog


What stretches should I do before I workout so I do not get back pain? by charlestlee
Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT
There are many stretches you can do to help loosen your back up before you work out. Please keep in mind  that stretching does not guarantee that your back will not hurt – as there other causes of back pain than just tight muscles. Some light stretches you can do to loosen your back include:
Pelvic tilts: Laying on your back with knees  bent – rock your pelvis back – flattening your back against the bed and return to neutral, and if it doesn’t bother you progress to arching your back a small amount. Oscillate back and forth.
Knee to chest: Bring one knee up to your chest, stretching your hip and your back. You can progress to both knees to your chest.
Trunk rotation: Laying on your back with knees bent and together slowly let your knees go to one side – allowing your trunk to rotate. Switch to the other side. If that does not bother you, you can progress to have one leg straight and let the other knee hook over it allowing the spine to rotate more. There should be a slow stretch in your spine.
Cat / Camels: On you hand and knees – you can arch your low back up and down. Focus on a slow stretch trying to move from your lower back and pelvis. Many times people arch their
backs but move mostly from the mid-back or thoracic spine, which does not stretch the lower back as well.
Prayer stretch: On your hand and knees – sit your bottom down to your heels and reach out along the ground with your arms to stretch your lower back. Take your arms and trunk side to side to feel more of a stretch along your sides of your back as well.
Please consult with a qualified health practitioner such as a Physical Therapist to recommend the proper stretches and form.
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How do foot related sports injuries affect the body? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

I pay particular attention to foot injuries and how it relates to the rest of the mechanics of the body. How the foot hits the ground affects how other joints in the body absorb shock as well as how the muscles around those joints work in sports performance.

The most classic example that we see are patients that have a one sided knee, hip or back injury – say the right side. When we take our medical history the patient tells us they sprained their ankle on the same right side ‘way back in high school…but that got better’. But what the patient does not realize is that after the ankle was swollen from the sprain the swelling settles and makes the ankle joint stiffer. As years go by, after running, walking, and playing sports, the limitations in ankle motion directly affect the way the hip works – causing the hip to lose mobility as well. Injuries can then occur at the hip, the knee, or the low back as both the ankle and hip are not able to provide proper support and power production in sports performance.



Can Strengthening your neck muscles prevent headaches? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT
There are different types of headaches. One common type is called a cerivcogenic headaches or neck-related headaches. There is lot of research coming out of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia that has discovered how proper stabilization of the neck muscles can reduce neck pain, whiplash injuries, and cervicogenic headaches.

Proper stability of the neck muscles comes first from the smaller muscles closest to the spine. This includes a wafer thin muscle on the front of the cervical spine called the longus colli. A skilled Physical Therapist can instruct a patient how to contract this muscle in isolation and train its endurance. As the longus colli function improves it is important to incorporate strength of the larger muscles such as the sternocleidomastoid and posterior neck muscles to provide stability and strength for the neck to function during the day and in sport.

Cervicogenic headaches are typically generated from dysfunction of the upper neck vertebrae such as C1-3 vertebra levels. With poor postures or previous whiplash injuries the smaller muscles can weaken or inhibit leaving the joints vulnerable to injury due to lack of muscle support.

By improving proper muscle stability, the cervical vertebrae have better support and can last longer in prolonged postures and sporting activities. In turn, the prevalence of headaches can be reduced.



Why should I work with a rehab specialists for back pain? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

A rehabilitation specialist is able to identify reasons why your back pain is occurring based on the way the you move, palpation of the involved tissues, and rule out serious medical pathologies such as spinal based cancers. Back pain can derive from multiple sources including a herniated disc, a joint injury, a muscle strain, or referred pain from such things as vitamin D deficiency or internal organ issues.  If your back pain is due to musculoskeletal causes, the rehabilitation specialist should then be able to provide an accurate treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of your pain and provide education, exercises, and ideas how to get your back to the functional or sports related goals you have.



Can Strengthening your neck muscles prevent headaches? by charlestlee

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT
There are different types of headaches. One common type is called a cerivcogenic headaches or neck-related headaches. There is lot of research coming out of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia that has discovered how proper stabilization of the neck muscles can reduce neck pain, whiplash injuries, and cervicogenic headaches.

Proper stability of the neck muscles comes first from the smaller muscles closest to the spine. This includes a wafer thin muscle on the front of the cervical spine called the longus colli. A skilled Physical Therapist can instruct a patient how to contract this muscle in isolation and train its endurance. As the longus colli function improves it is important to incorporate strength of the larger muscles such as the sternocleidomastoid and posterior neck muscles to provide stability and strength for the neck to function during the day and in sport.

Cervicogenic headaches are typically generated from dysfunction of the upper neck vertebrae such as C1-3 vertebra levels. With poor postures or previous whiplash injuries the smaller muscles can weaken or inhibit leaving the joints vulnerable to injury due to lack of muscle support.

By improving proper muscle stability, the cervical vertebrae have better support and can last longer in prolonged postures and sporting activities. In turn, the prevalence of headaches can be reduced.



Why can sitting lead to back pain? by charlestlee

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT
Sitting, especially for a long time, can put undue stress on the low back structures. There is a clinical term called ‘creep phenomenon’ that describes how prolonged sitting can hurt the back. ‘Creep’ is like holding the ends of a piece of hard taffy and then watching it slowly stretch out over time. Similarly, with prolonged sitting the structures of the lower back can slowly deform and tissue breakdown occurs. This breakdown can include the muscles, fascia, ligaments, joints, and intervertebral disc in the back. Eventually with enough microtrauma to the tissues back pain occurs.



What conditions can lead to a ‘groin’ pull? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

‘Groin pulls’ typically are due to over-compensation and poor mechanics in the legs and core stability. Groin pulls comprise mostly of the adductor muscles of the inner thigh. These injuries usually occur with sports that requie cutting, pivoting and side to side movement  such as soccer, lacrosse, and football. It can also occur in runners and cyclists when the hip is required to be used in situations like uphill terrain.

Strength deficits with these injuries are not necessarily in the adductor muscles, but instead from the posterior hip muscles – gluteus maximus and medius. The gluteus maximus and medius are the key stabilizing muscles for the hip to be able to plant and pivot off the leg. When the gluteal muscles are not strong enough to stabilize the hip, the adductor muscles are used to compensate. Anatomically, the adductor muscles are primarily designed to pull the hip inwards, but many people do not realize that the adductor muscles also have a role in extending the hip. As the gluteal muscles should extend the hip to push off, run, climb, the adductor muscles can be used instead – and with time groin strains occur due to overuse.

Groin pulls can also happen due to poor foot contact. Especially if someone is more flat footed or pronated, it causes the knee to draw inwards when you step through it. In this position, the adductor muscles are in a better mechanical advantage to stabilize the hip than the gluteal muscles. Again, groin pulls can occur due to repetition in a poorly aligned position.

Differential diagnosis of ‘sports hernia’, nerve referred pain – primarily from the obturator nerve, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, internal pain from the hip such as arthritis, or referred pain from your internal organs should also be considered as they all commonly refer to the groin.