Lumbago- also known as lower back pain is one of the most common complaints I receive from clients who are interested in training but are fearful as they feel that their back has kept them from their goals. Often, a back injury or irritation can take some time to rehab back to health and in some cases require more aggressive intervention- however that does not mean you should avoid keeping fit and active; in contrary, remaining stagnant is probably the best way to accelerate weakness and degeneration to and injury or wear and tear in the Lower back. But first lets talk anatomy- our lower backs are comprised of a complex network of spinal muscles, nerves, bones, discs and tendons- ANY of which could be causing you your pain; in the majority of cases the culprits tend to be one or more of the following:
* A degenerative disc from wear and tear (degenerative disc disease), or even a bulging disc due to improper lifting or a sudden trauma to the back for example (Herniated Disc).
* Irritation of large root nerves that lead to the legs (Sciatica) - often this type of pain is felt more intensely in the buttock/leg region more than the actual lower back itself. Other times pain can be simply from irritation of the smaller nerves in the lower back.
* Strained supporting muscles of the back caused by repetitive improper lifting or even poor posture (erector spinae)
* Damage to joints, ligaments or bones (Stenosis, Osteoporosis, Arthritis)
Symptoms of lower back pains can as a result vary depending on the cause- for example pain from a muscle strain can be excruciating and temporarily debilitating, while pain from a degenerative disc can be mild and intermittent- it is hard to tell either way however as symptoms vary individually to each person; the best way to receive a proper diagnosis is to see a physiotherapist, Orthopedist or Neurologist who will likely refer you for an X-ray and/or MRI to get a better look and understanding of what is happening.
In the majority of cases, lower back pain cases often improve within 6 weeks without the need for surgery, in most of those cases rehabilitation and lower back exercises as well as general and core exercises are included, although depending on severity and the patients pain levels sometimes more aggressive intervention is required such as medication, epidural, steroid treatments and lastly surgery (both invasive & minimally invasive, although this is quite rare and is only done when all other alternatives have been exhausted).
While the science jargon may sound daunting; it is important to understand that lower back pain is NOT a prison sentence to your activity and exercise regime; if you are currently in the acute stage of an injury it is of course advisable to take it easy at first but once you get the green light it is imperative to your prognosis to begin with a physio/rehab programme with a professional in order to irradicate the flaw in biomechanics/form/weakness etc that lead to your injury to begin with- you WILL get stronger and life with LBP WILL get BETTER.
*Totalprecon offer a comprehensive package which uniquely merges physiotherapy with bespoke personal training with one of our experienced Biomechanics trainers- if you feel you may have an issue with Lower Back Pain and would like to get back to your usual self but require some guidance, give us a call on +971507284774 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to help :)
- Totalprecon ''Where Physio Meets Fitness''
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Mums and mums to be- this post is for you. As I sit here 9 months pregnant I reach for my laptop about to write up some posts for LinasDailyDose but I feel stuck for once.. I have so much material that I can and of course will share with you but this evening I feel like sharing something a little more personal.. as it has been my life for the last 9 months and I cant help but think of all the beautiful mums I interact with on a daily basis through Totalprecon and wonder if this is something they just may need to hear.
This evening I want to address pregnancy & confidence. The real version of it.. not the glamourized social media version. Not the fitness model who kept her abs through all trimesters and looked like a Victoria's secret model 2 months after giving birth. I want to talk about the everyday mums out there who gained weight (as you should during pregnancy which is healthy for you and your baby) but perhaps too much weight, who retained so much water that even their nose expanded (me! whoever thought that was even possible?!) , who struggled to look in the mirror at new stretch marks and loose skin that they never had before, to the hardworking mums who had a long day of taking care of two babies while tending to another growing one in their belly as well.
The two pictures above are of me (Left: before pregnancy while prepping for a bodybuilding bikini competition) and (Right: nine months pregnant at my baby shower) - its not hard to tell ive packed on a few pounds with my pregnancy, a lot of it is water weight due to pregnancy as well as being diagnosed with preeclampsia, but a lot of it is also good old fashioned fat :p I gained weight extremely quickly month by month, at first I was going crazy- how could this be? Im eating right, im exercising within reason and im still gaining a ridiculous amount of weight! I was losing my mind, I felt so self conscious, wondering how people would view me, my friends, family and most of all clients- my career revolved around health and fitness after all; I kept thinking to myself, what kind of an example am I setting for people? It only got worse the more pregnant I got, and id say I probably missed out on a lot of joys in the start of my pregnancy because of how consumed I was with my changing face and body. until it hit me... IM PREGNANT! why on earth was I confused that my jeans didn't fit anymore? am I silly?? I am growing another human being- this human being happens to be adorable but also needs to eat! Slowly but surely I began to get over myself, yes the girl on the left seems really pleased with her body but that is what she is- a girl. The one on the right is a woman- who has learned to love herself no matter what the outside looks like, who learned to love and appreciate the journey of carrying her baby boy which she owes to him and herself, who learned to roll her eyes at the comments some people had- why? because its her journey and nobody elses. I will get back to my previous figure without a doubt in my mind- and I will no doubt share the entire journey with you; but for now I am happy, I am confident and proud of this body, for doing something the body on the right could not. I am my baby's home- how dare I criticize that? My husband still looks at me the same way he did the day we first met, and that is because of my smile and soul, not my new (hopefully temporary lol) nose. Of course there are changes that happen to a woman's body that cannot be reversed after pregnancy but you will come out as a mum at the end of it.. and I highly doubt stretchmarks, skin changes or even an overhang will matter even remotely when your baby looks in your eyes and you feel a love you've never known before. Mammas- love yourself, love your body, love your flaws and imperfections, love your journey in this life, make the most of the special moments because when all is said and done and our time is almost done on this beautiful earth- it is those moments that you will look back on and smile with a nostalgic tear in your eye- you wont be worried about how you couldn't get back to your pre baby body back when you were young. Believe me. Live your life and love it, for it is a wonderful life to live..
Could it be that an active and athletic individual will be sharper mentally later in life than someone who is more stagnant? Research is telling us that that very well may be the case- and that inactivity can actually put us at higher risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Reasons behind this could be due to the fact that exercise actually encourages the brain to grow new nerve cells. The brain is the master of flexibility and manages to develop new neural connections throughout different events in our lives, neurons are encouraged to work better after exercise due to an uptake in the growth factor in the brain- this can increase blood flow and get neurons firing faster which actually increases our concentration, and even alters genetic patterns.
Other Exercise benefits to the brain include:
* Release of serotonin which improves mood
* Release of endorphins can lessen the sensation of pain
* Release of dopamine improves creativity, memory & learning
* Release of Brain-derived Neurotropic factor (BDNF) protects and repairs neurons from degeneration.
* With regular exercise, over time the Hippocampus (area of the brain in charge of memory and learning) grows in size.
That being said- put down the TV remote and grab your running shoes, tennis racket, bathing suit- whatever tickles your fancy- just get your body moving and your brain will thank you for it later ;)
New year new me! Or is it? Did you know that up to 80% of new years resolutions fail? It may seem surprising given the new revitalised energy you may have to kick butt this year; that pizzaz is crucial however so you definitely dont want to lose it, you just want to learn how to make the most out of it so that you are one of the 20% who do make that resolution stick! No matter what sort of resolution it is; for example- quitting smoking, spending more time with a loved one, or even finally having the body you have always wanted- most of them fail because of unrealistic expectations and goals. You are literally uphauling your entire life- reprogramming and rewiring the way that your brain thinks. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking, so you can not just expect to say I will lose 30kg and viola its done. One way I believe that can make that a more realistic goal to achieve is by setting SMART goals:
(S)pecific: what is your goal?
(M)easurable: find a goal that you can track the progress of so you can actively see the change.
(A)ttainable: Make sure you have the available requirements to go about this goal- do you have the right finances in order? did you set your time out correctly? make a short easy to reach target to begin with.
(R)ealistic: yes you may want to lose that 30kg asap but is it realistic? Start with 10kg for example and work your butt off towards that- it will reinforce your sense of achievement and is alot less disheartening and daunting than looking towards such a far away goal that you feel you cant reach.
(T)ime-bound: Using specific dates and times is important for the success of your goal. Implementing rewards is also important to stay motivated to keep on track.
while SMART goals are important to keep you on the road to success so are other factors/tips that in my opinion, everyone should be mindful of:
* Focusing on the present- what can you do now to get you closer to your goal? not what could you have done yesteday or what you could do tomorrow.
* Concentrate on forming new thoughts and new behavioral patterns- in essence; change the way that you think- your exsisting thought process never lead you to your goal in the past- why would it now? Start with a clean brain slate. You need to think new to change new. You know whats positive and what is not- start there.
* Focus on one goal instead of many scattered ones.
* Find a helpful friend or someone to rely on to help keep you on track. This could even be a personal trainer to help get you to where you need to be if you lack the knowledge and resources on how to get there.
* Celebrate any small goals achieved in between major milestones.
* Lastly, enjoy life and enjoy the journey and as i always say to all my clients -
TRUST THE PROCESS!
Happy new year from all of us here at The Totalprecon team :)