Out of all low back pain cases we see, this one is the most common. Whereas pain due to irritation of the disc is typically caused by repetitive forward flexion, low back pain can also be caused by too much movement in the opposite direction. The facet joints in the low back are motion-restricting joints, they help provide stability and prevent excessive movement in different directions. When there is too much extension backward, these joints become irritated and inflamed and a condition known as facet syndrome develops. It is often seen in individuals with a sway back posture (overarching at the low back) and jobs or sports that require a lot of overhead activity.
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There are a variety of reasons cervicogenic headaches arise. They can begin shortly after some traumatic event such as a fall or following a whiplash injury like a car accident. However, more commonly these headaches develop over time from repetitive neck movements, prolonged poor posture, decreased cervical muscle strength, or osteoarthritis. The workplace is a major contributor, especially with jobs that require sitting at a desk or computer, frequent heavy lifting, or repetitive head movements.
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When a patient presents with low back pain we also need to understand the relationship that the lumbar spine has with the other joints in the body, particularly the hip. The hip is unique in that is it designed to be a mobile joint but also depends on muscles to provide stability and movement. The faulty hip movement will require the spine to move more than normal in an effort to compensate. Excessive stress on the spinal joints can result in low back pain, but the problem at the hip may the underlying cause.
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Breathing is a very primal movement which happens subconsciously. However it can have an affect on how we move and how we stabilize. It also plays a role in regulating our body’s Ph (acidic and alkaline) levels. For neck and back pain sufferers this should be a fundamental movement that is corrected before any other exercises are taken on.
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Poor posture of the upper back and neck will often result in pain, joint stiffness, and muscle tightness. The cervical spine and the supporting muscles become labored and stressed with a forward head posture. This is a common presentation when the chin protrudes forward rather than remaining in its proper position over the chest. At the spinal level, this can affect the joint movement which may result in wear and tear. An imbalance of the supporting muscles will most often result. The upper trap muscles are among those that become overactive and tight. Continue reading “A Simple Exercise for Neck and Upper Back Pain” »
The popularity of running has grown over the years and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. According to the Annual Running Report conducted by Running USA, the number of marathon finishers has grown tremendously over past two decades. In 2010 there were over a half a million reported marathon finishers. One of the reasons running has become so popular is because of its accessibility. All you need is a pair of running shoes and you’re out the door. No coaching needed, right? Or is there more to it? Can poor running form and mechanics put someone at a greater risk for injury? There are two main causes of overuse injuries related to running; over-training and faulty biomechanics.
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