Ever hear me talk about your Lumber Multifidus muscle? Often ignored by personal trainers, this muscle is essential in establishing a solid foundation of support for your lumbar spine, allowing you to progress your training to a higher level sans injury. Let’s talk about why it’s so important and how you can strengthen this integral stabilizer:
1) Without them, our spine would have problems!
The multifidus muscles help to take pressure off the vertebral discs so that our body weight can be well distributed along the spine. Additionally, the superficial muscle group keeps our spine straight while the deep muscle group contributes significantly to the stability of our spine. These two groups of multifidus muscles are recruited during many actions in our daily living, which includes bending backward, sideways and even turning our body to the sides. Studies have shown that the multifidus muscles get activated before any action is carried out so to protect our spine from injury.
2) The key is training your body to breathe while engaging your multifidus!
One of the reasons so many people have lumbar back pain is a result of not taking full breaths using their diaphram muscle in their lower abdomen. So often we take short quick breaths using our upper back and neck muscles because this is the most efficient way to get oxygen to our heart quickly. But when not in quick need, it’s important to contract that diaphram so that the multifidus learns it should be engaged all the time. Taking long sustained breaths in and out retrains your body to use your diaphram rather than your upper neck and shoulder muscles to breathe. You can imagine the tightness and pathology you may sustain by breathing from your neck, shoulders and back rather than from your deep abdomen–The upper extremity muscles get tighter and more bulky (theoretically causing lactic acid buildup and reduced oxygenation). This can result in a compression of the cervical spine and a weakness in the lumber multifidus.
3) Key exercises for keeping this muscle strong:
The immune system is supposed to be our greatest defense in defending against pathogens and rebuilding damaged tissue. Without it, your cold would win and your sore back would never heal. Chronic inflammation, brought on by an immune system in overdrive, could lead to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Inflammation-signaling cells or C-reactive proteins (CRP), is a molecule released by the liver as part of the immune response. These levels should go back to normal levels after defending the body, but instead hang out in the blood. What keeps the battle going? Recurring irritants, such as cigarette smoke, for one. Or, as we now know, carrying too much extra weight, or simply getting older.
What do the Lakers star Kobe Bryant, the quarterback Eli Manning, the Olympic marathon runner Ryan Hall and the presidential candidate Mitt Romney all have in common? Foot pain. Believe it or not, Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common sports injuries, and it’s also one of the least understood.
While Plantar Fasciitis is a very common injury, the consensus on the cause and treatment remains clinically a mystery. Little is understood, medically, about overuse sports injuries in general and that’s why, as a result, they remain difficult to treat.
Most medical professionals agree that Plantar Fasciitis is, very basically, an irritation of the soft tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, attaching the heel bone to the toes and forming your foot
Doctors discovered that she suffered a labral tear in her right hip. Actually this is not an uncommon injury in athletes. Read on for preventative exercises and a lesson in hip anatomy!
Symptoms include hip pain or a “catching” sensation in your hip joint. Initial treatment may include pain relievers and physical therapy (see below for exercises). Using arthroscopic techniques, surgeons can remove loose fragments from within the joint and trim or repair the hip labral tear. Surgery should only be for a worse case scenario injury as complications like scar tissue, range of motion and infection can result.
The labrum is a strong fibrocartilage which forms a gasket around the socket of the head of the femur. It secures the femur to the pelvis. Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy:
Part of Lady Gaga’s issue lies in her workout routine. Obviously during performance, she is used broad range of motion, dynamic movements. To prepare for these quick broad movements, an athlete must strengthen the muscles that support the joint–specifically your pelvic girdle. These muscles prevent your pelvis from rotating forward or back, maintaining a neutral position. When your pelvis has laxity (or flexibility) this often means you may be prone to pain in your hips, back, and legs due to the incorrect position. Do these exercises to prepare for dynamic movement and stabilize the pelvis. I recommend 2x per day, 10 reps each.