Motion Stability's Blog


How long will I need therapy for chronic neck and back pain? by charlestlee
 


image source: clinicianleader.com

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT
It really depends, as chronic neck and back pain are usually from a multitude of problems. Some areas could be from tissue dysfunctions such as muscle trigger points, fascial restrictions, joint dysfunctions, or herniated discs. It could be from abnormal movement patterns such as poor muscle stability, muscle imbalances, or improper ergonomics or technique in sports/lifting. Pain itself can be categorized into different types as well..so depending on the type of pain you have, should dictate the type of treatment you get. Lastly, internal issues such as medical pathologies, food intolerances, vitamin/hormonal imbalnces can be causing your pain. Receiving a thorough examination to determine the major contributing factors is vital in comprehensively treating chronic neck and back pain.
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Besides squats, are there other hip exercises to help my knee pain? by charlestlee

image source: primephysique.com

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

If you’re experiencing knee pain, especially with weightbearing exercises, its best to train the hip in non-weightbearing. This would include bridges to strengthen the gluteus maximus, and side leg raises/clam shells to stabilize the gluteus medius. Focus on improving the gluteus medius without overcompensating with the lateral quadriceps or tensor fascia latae muscles.
Once pain decreases in the knee, weightbearing exercises to improve hip stability can then be applied.


Are crunches the best exercise to eliminate my back pain? by charlestlee

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT 

No. There is a misunderstanding that the stronger your abs are, the better it is for your back. Although strong abs can help stabilize your spine, current research indicates that there are different roles of muscles in the trunk. Generally speaking, the smaller muscles of your spine called ‘local’ muscles help stabilize the spine in low load situations such as prolonged standing, sitting, and light movements such as bending to brush your teeth. While, there are ‘global’ muscles that are the larger muscles –  such as the rectus abdominis, obliques, and back paraspinal muscles that are designed more for movement, power, and stabilization at higher impact.
It is important to have both ‘local’ and ‘global’ systems working correctly. The ‘local’ muscles – transversus abdominis, pelvic floor, and diaphragm help provide intra-abdominal pressure to your trunk. This pressure is similar to a sealed can of soda that maintains the carbonation of a drink. If you were to open the can, you would lose its pressure. Similarly, research from the University of Queensland suggests that with back pain the smaller muscles lose control and thus your intra-abdominal pressure is not as effective to stabilize your spine. Also, along the back of your spine is a muscle called the multifidus. The deeper portions of it run vertebra to vertebra and they are also designed to provide stability to the spine.
We can utilize real-time ultrasound imaging to visualize and cue a client to contract the ‘local’ muscles correctly. Once the ‘local’ muscle work correctly, it is important to do exercises that integrate the ‘global’ muscles – not just with the abs, but also the muscles around the trunk. It is much more effective to do exercises that coordinate the use of these muscles rather than just doing abdominal crunches. Please consult with a qualified health practitioner to guide you through the proper exercise progression