Lower Back Pain – Psoas Muscle and the Importance of Water

Lower back pain is such a common complaint and those that suffer with it yet want to strengthen their backs in the gym, may train in ways that put strain on other areas of the body in an effort to protect the area and avoid pain. This compensation can cause more trouble. But before you try to remember how you pulled a muscle or strained yourself lifting something heavy, you may want to try a simple test that could solve the problem. This technique may work if the pain is non specific (where the cause is not immediately apparent or related to causes such as diseases or accidents for example). Water! A tip I was given by a Kinesiologist was to drink a pint of water and see if the pain eased. Life can be hectic and often people rely on teas and coffees to quench their thirst and the body can become accustomed to fewer liquids. The reason this tip make work for you is that the psoas muscle is usually involved in one way or another with lower back pain. This is a strong muscle that runs along the lower mid spine and its function is to primarily to flex the hip and the spinal column. The psoas muscle is also related to kidney function in applied kinesiology and if dehydration is present, this can throw the psoas off balance and pain can be felt. Initially you will probably feel like you need to urinate immediately, but if you keep drinking the minimum 8 glasses of pure water per day, you will soon become accustomed to it and feel a lot better in many other ways too, such as feeling more alert and energetic. So if you drink more tea and coffee than plain water, yet suffer with lower back pain, try drinking a pint of water...

Kettlebells Workouts – Are They An Answer To Back Pain?

Kettlebells workouts New research from Denmark has shown that the cast-iron weights with looped handles known as kettlebells may constitute a promising new therapy to remedy back and neck pain. Sadly, many people with joint pain avoid lifting traditional weights for fear of exacerbating their injuries. However, scientific research has shown that strength training with popular kettlebells workouts, can play a huge part in reducing pain and preventing further injuries. The weights, which take their name from a resemblance to tea kettles, have been increasingly popular in health clubs and gyms over the last decade. They provide a quick route to a full-body workout because they allow us to perform “functional” workouts which incorporate complex manoeuvres that involve many muscle groups at the same time. These functional workouts are so called because they mimic the movement that we perform in our daily lives – lifting, pushing, pulling, jumping, and stepping for example- rather than the somewhat abstract movements that are often found in traditional isolation exercises such as biceps curls. A leading exponent of Kettlebell training J.J. Blea from Alberqurque explained that the bells allow you to “move as one unit” by squeezing core muscles to stabilise the movement as the kettles are swung back and forth. A drawback to Kettlebells is that many exercisers are initially resistant to them because a new type of action is needed. In the recent study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health, the Danish researchers compared two groups suffering from back, shoulder, and neck pain: One who underwent a series of thrice-weekly kettlebell workouts and one that was simply encouraged to exercise. At the end of the experiment, those using the kettlebells reported around 50% less pain as well as improved strength in the trunk and core muscles. Back pain has often been linked to a sedentary lifestyle because,...

Tired, Heavy Legs? It Could Be Your Digestion

Many people report various descriptions for heavy legs.  Initially I am covering the achy, sore, or tired feelings that have only physical contributors to the condition, such as sitting at a desk all day (not medical conditions). Sitting for hours can cause poor circulation which is a major cause of the heavy legs syndrome and if there no underlying medical condition and the feeling worsens when walking upstairs, then curiously enough, you might like to look at your diet for clues. Heavy legs can be due to the quadriceps and hamstrings, but since the upstairs movement initially engages the quadriceps muscles, we can look at the small intestine.  This is because traditionally in Kinesiology, the quadriceps are governed by the small intestine meridian.  You may already know that I am a bit of a fan of Applied Kinesiology, I have had no personal training, but simply report my findings from my own experiences with practitioners. Even in people who have no problems with heavy legs, the quadriceps can still be impaired as they are such a large group of muscles. Wheat Foods that strengthen the quadriceps are yeast, Vitamin B, liver and spinach.  You could try eggs too, but try to eliminate wheat for a while and see if the condition improves.  It never fails to amaze me how the simple leg raise can show people in very basic ways how food can affect the body. Simply lie on the floor and raise your leg, then lower it.  Take a piece of bread and press it against your jaw, raise your leg again and lower it.  Can you detect a heavier feeling with the bread against your jaw?  In people with gluten or wheat sensitivity, quite often the leg will feel harder to lift.  It is obviously a very basic test, but could be the catalyst to major improvements...

Shoulder Pain: Impingement Syndrome, Frozen Shoulder, Maybe Just A Tight Teres Major?

Shoulder Pain can be due to many different reasons, here are three possible causes: Impingement Syndrome This can be mistaken for a frozen shoulder, but this condition involves the muscles of the shoulder that make up the rotator cuff.  Athletes using lots of overhead motions such as swimmers, throwers and tennis players may be more susceptible from this.  Treatment is usually rest, gentle stretching in a warm bath or shower, by trying to get your thumb up and behind your back, but since it is due to inflammation, be very gentle so as not to aggravate the condition. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatories and cortisol shots, but cortisol can end up weakening the tendons so try to avoid these. Could it be just a tight Teres Major? But before seeking drastic measures to treat the worst case scenario, there is a tiny muscle called the Teres Major within the rotator cuff that may also show the same symptoms as a frozen shoulder if it has become tight. It originates on the bottom portion of the scapula and inserts at the back of the humerus bone in the upper arm, close to the armpit.  Various factors can cause this muscle to tighten up and therefore be unable to stretch out enough to enable the arm to rise up. It is said that endocrine conditions can cause this muscle to over contract, causing the shoulder to become stiff, but there are self massage methods that may help to release the tension and therefore enable you to lift your arm. Massage the Teres Major with a tennis ball Your best bet is to visit a physiotherapist, so that they can first figure out why your shoulder is painful and stiff and also to demonstrate where you need to perform any self massage at home.  One tip is to get yourself a tennis...

Shin Splints – Causes and Treatment for the Anterior Tibials

Shin Splints are also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).  The pain is caused by an underlying problem.  If you have been stepping up your game in the gym, or running greater distances, chances are you may get this dreadful pain in the front of your shins.  You don’t have to be new to working out to experience them, even professional athletes do from time to time. Usually the pain occurs because of too much intense exercise, then not allowing a period of recovery.  In my experience, gym users who like running/brisk walking on the treadmill can develop this condition especially when they use an incline which is too steep for the prolonged intensity they give it.  Twenty minutes or so on a sharp incline will test anyone’s poor tibials and can bring on days of distressing pain. The pain is due to the inflammation of the anterior tibial muscles being overworked, this can also affect tissues covering the shin bones and extend to the tendons.  Other causes can be due to flat feet, unstable ankles or inflexible arches, since they tend to place more stress on the tibials.  Worse still are stress fractures, these need a lot of time to heal completely. Sometimes it is a change in routine that can bring on shin splints, suddenly try an intense aerobic class after taking it easy, then you may suffer with tibial pain.  High impact sports especially on harder surfaces such as football, rugby, tennis and basketball can contribute to shin splints as they involve stop start movements with a lot of sudden direction changes. To ease the pain and to heal properly: Rest the legs as much as possible and steer clear of any aerobic activity, but as your tibials will hurt quite a lot in the first couple of days, this won’t be hard to do. ...

Piriformis Syndrome: Could the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) be implicated?

Piriformis syndrome is described commonly as a condition where the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated because the piriformis muscles are too tight.  However there are some opponents to this diagnosis that suggest that this description falls short of the mark.  They suggest that the pain in the buttocks can be due to a variety of other musculoskeletal problems that can affect the hip capsule. It can occur through overuse; for example running and also if you embark on strenuous activity involving the legs when in a seated position, such as rowing and/or cycling.  Hence, if you do not perform lateral stretches afterwards, you may be more susceptible to developing a tight piriformis.  The tightness you might experience can be caused by the repetition of forward movements which may cause an imbalance in the development and size of the hip abductors/gluteus medius muscles.  When you put this together with very tight adductor muscles, this can result in the piriformis muscle to become more contracted and shortened, causing the pain in the butt. But this condition can also occur in underuse, as in the case of people who have desk jobs – being in a seated position for much of the day.  Inactive glutes can also contribute to the development of piriformis syndrome. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – Could this important joint in the Jaw contribute to Piriformis Syndrome? There are some health practitioners and kinesiologists that place the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – the jaw, in connection with the piriformis, especially if it is affected on both sides of the body. A quick treatment I experienced myself included the massage of the muscles in the cheeks – namely the masseter and the buccinator muscles in deep quick offset actions.  The idea is not the cause bruising but to place enough force on the muscle fibres so that they release tension. ...
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