Without the strength of the muscles around it, the lumbar spine can only support about 20 pounds. So obviously the muscles that assist in spine stability must always be working. What happens when the demand on our lumbar spine increases? How do we get the most out of our muscles when performing activities that require core stability especially when there is increased weight involved?
Plantar fasciitis can be very stubborn and eventually become a chronic problem. That’s not to say that many of these cases don’t resolve on their ownin just a few weeks, they definitely do! But if symptoms persist longer than a month or two, typically the recovery time is prolonged due to the repetitive strain continually being placed on the plantar fascia.
The sacroiliac joint, or SI joint, is another common culprit of low back pain. In fact, up to 30% of low back pain can be attributed to this joint. It’s formed where the sacrum (tailbone) and ilium (pelvis) come together on either side of the body. It’s an important joint because it transfers weight from the lower body to the upper body and vice versa. Why does this matter? Well, every time you walk or run your SI joints distribute the shock from the ground across the pelvis, which reduces strain on the spine.
The average human head weighs about 8 pounds. Each day we all walk around with a bowling ball (our head) balancing on a toothpick (our neck). We are designed this way to allow for the full range of motion we all know and love. Even under the best circumstances, this places a lot of stress on our spine. But leaning forward even just 15 degrees pushes that weight up to 30 pounds, and with a 30 degree tilt its closer to 40 pounds!
The muscles that support the scapulae (shoulder blades) play a big role in neck and upper extremity health and function. Weakness or faulty movement of the scapulae contribute to abnormal stresses to the structures of the shoulder including the rotator cuff, as well as contribute to recruitment of other muscles. This becomes a compensation pattern that can lead to overuse and pain. Continue reading “Scapular Stability” »
When talking about the back, we are actually talking about the spinal column, which consists of a series of small bones called “vertebrae” stacked on top of each other. Each of these bones is connected to one another through a series of joints. The first is the intervertebral joint, which is formed when two vertebrae are joined together by an intervertebral disc. The second and third joints are known as facet joints. These joints are located on the back of the spine and consist of the small, bony processes that extend back from the vertebral bodies. These joints between each vertebrae allow the spinal column to bend, which is important to all of our every day movements. However, spine mobility comes at a cost because it makes the spine less stable. In fact, research has shown that by itself, the spinal column will actually collapse and buckle under as little as 20 pounds of pressure. Continue reading “For Your Spine’s Protection” »