By Helen Kim, DPT
It is a common misconception that all yoga stretches (or classes) are beneficial for every existing low back ailment. You may have read different things online or have been given all sorts of advice from other people regarding causes of and treatment for low back pain. It is true that stretching and strengthening are important for the body to recover from an injury, but exercises vary greatly and in some cases can be harmful. This article will summarize some common causes of back pain and illustrate a few yoga poses safe for each type of condition.
Before starting any type of exercise routine, talk to your doctor or physical therapist.
Disc Bulge/ Herniation (without sciatica)
If you have a history of a disc bulge or herniation in your low back, take things slowly and avoid any extreme forward bending and twisting. Bent knees and blocks under your hands are always good options to maintain a neutral spine (natural arch of the low back).
Breathing While Exercising Part I- Strength Training
By Afriqiyah Woods, PT
Often after an orthopedic injury people start a new strengthening routine for recovery and improved functional and athletic performance. When an exercise is considered, people do not necessarily contemplate the influence of breathing. Breathing is important for efficient oxygen delivery for healing and repair. While taking a deep breath (inhalation) your diaphragm contracts and moves downward, then relaxes during exhalation, which causes the chest cavity to shrink and intercostal muscles to relax. Doing the opposite, holding your breath during exercise, can impede the return of blood flow to the heart, possibly cause a hernia, possibly cause a blood vessel strain, and possibly cause a rise in blood pressure. While lifting weights for rehabilitative purposes, the golden rule is that you should exhale on exertion (the effort phase of exercise).
By Crystal D. Thomas, PT, DPT, CSCS
What is cross training and why is it an essential training method to prepare for a marathon? Cross training is the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness and performance in one’s main sport. Cross training is essential for runners to prevent overuse injuries that are associated with repetitive impact activity.
Introducing Swimming, Cycling, Agility Plyometric training and Yoga, while adding one or more strength exercises to your routine can drastically improve your running technique, speed and stride length.
Breathing While Exercising Part II- Breathing While Running
By Afriqiyah Woods, PT
During aerobic activity breathing seems somewhat involuntary. It is important to use your lungs as much as possible during aerobic activity due to the high demand of oxygen. A diaphragmatic (or belly breathing) technique should be followed without letting the chest rise or fall. Diaphragmatic breathing allows for your muscles to receive oxygen during intense moments of exercise. On a daily average, depending on the activity, a person breathes 17,000- 50,000 times.
What is a standing Desk? A ‘standing desk’ is desk that allows you to stand up comfortably while working. Some versions are called ‘height-adjustable desks’ or ‘sit- to -stand’ desks.
There has been a lot of conversation over the last few years regarding the preference of a standing workstation and its efficacy in influencing health benefits versus a seated workstation in an office setting. Researchers have also looked into the benefits in productivity while using a standing desk. Standing desks are a great way to help enhance a healthy lifestyle, however, it is important to understand how to properly use one.