We all know it’s important not to slouch for long periods… and that’s easy to say and hard to do! This article from the Globe and Mail has some solid information on movement, and how to “unlearn” that poor habits that keep us all rounded forward!
A diastasis recti (DRA) is the gap in the abdominal muscles that occurs during and after pregnancy while your body accommodates for your growing baby. Here’s some new information that is emerging
- The size of the “gap” in the rectus abdominal muscles is not clinically relevant: really? This distance is what has traditionally been measured to determine the presence of the DRA, but now what is seen as more relevant is measuring the tension through the linea alba (connective tissue of the “gap”). This is determined through a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles
- The function of the linea alba is interdependent with the function of the pelvic floor—the “inner unit” needs to have good control before outer unit and functional exercises. Translation: work on pelvic floor muscles and breath/ pressure control first, then one can add other “core” work—lower abs, glutes, inner thighs, functional exercises like squats and lunges
- Optimal management of intra-abdominal pressure is key: the “canister” of the core is created through the deep back muscles, the pelvic floor group, the diaphragm, the abdominal muscles and the linea alba between the abs—all muscles need to work together and consider the abdominal pressure produced.
- It is safe to move, and women should ensure they stay moving throughout the process of helping their DRA
Once you’re feeling better and don’t have particular pain, you can try these two exercises that target the deep back muscles. They shouldn’t be painful, but rather just challenging for your muscles to do several repetitions or hold for awhile. If either exercise is creating pain, check with your Physiotherapist to make sure they are appropriate exercises for you! Enjoy!
It is surprising to many people to learn that your back muscles are likely not the cause or driver behind back pain. Your brain recognizes that pain is not normal and can go into “protective” mode and the muscles can spasm or not work normally as a result, but they are not often the cause of the issue. Check out this video below to explain more:
We all know that there isn’t likely one movement or exercise that is appropriate for everyone, but the “sloppy” push up can be helpful for many people. People tend to sit slouched and spend WAY too much time with their spine rounded forward, so this is a nice movement to get out of that, and nothing you happen to do in your day puts your back near there unless you make a point of it!
Remember, the “sloppy” push up should not be painful. If it is, it’s best to consult with your Physiotherapist to see if this exercise is appropriate for you at the moment.
This is Part 2 out of 5 short videos on Your Journey to a Better Back, and we’re speaking about the importance of movement– it doesn’t have to be a new sport or formalized program at the gym. Here we list various strategies that one can easily incorporate at work.
Here is Part 1 of 5 short videos on “Your Journey to a Better Back.” We’re starting with how to sit properly using a lumbar support– that is key to helping back pain!
- Sitting posture is key! We all know it’s not a great thing for the body to sit for many hours every day, so at least have most of that time with minimal stressors on your body. Sit with a supplemental lumbar support so that your spine can easily maintain the natural inward curve in the lower back that is present when you stand. When you correct from the bottom, it helps to align everything higher up. More than that, keep moving around in your chair—rock your pelvis forward and back or side to side every now and then—just keep things moving a bit.
- Breathing is underrated! If you’re sitting in a slouched posture for long, you aren’t able to take in a maximal breath to expand your lower lungs. Not cool. As soon as you sit up straighter, it allows the lowest part of your lungs to expand fully when you take a deep breath—this is important to bring oxygen to tissues, calm your nervous system, and help blood flow.
- Your desk set-up is important: the ergonomic design of your work station should keep your head neutral looking straight ahead, your shoulders relaxed so that your elbows are bent to ~90 degrees and you can still reach the keyboard and mouse, and your chair height allows your knees to be at or below the height of your hips.
- Move your body: sitting properly is WAY better than not, but it’s still not great to stay there for hours on end. Move! Strategize to stand and move around your area when you take a phone call, or schedule a walking meeting, or drink enough water that you regularly have to get up to use the bathroom!
- Drink enough water: ideally we want about 8-12 cups of fluid per day in order to replenish our body’s store of fluids. These fluids help with all bodily functions: blood regulation, digestion, breathing, muscle and joint function, and brain activity. Keep it in you!
If you’re not sure about your desk ergonomic set-up or how to use a lumbar roll to sit, speak with your physiotherapist, or check out an earlier post here
An interesting article where I both wholeheartedly agree and don’t agree: the researchers report that “the best form of exercise is the one that you are going to stick with”. Exercise in the form of general movement is generally fantastic, but often there are specific directions/ movements that could actually help repair the problem– read more
If this interests you, you will find the blog from July to be a great read.
View original article: www.scientificamerican.com
So it has been said that motion is lotion, and nowhere is it more important than your spine! Whether it’s shifting your sitting position or standing up to grab something or going for a little walk—make sure you keep your body moving. Every little bit counts.
Why? Almost all of your bones—including your spine– have a layer of cartilage at their ends that acts as a cushion and help spread the pressure you put through your joints with everyday movements. Surrounding the ends of the joints are capsules that hold a thick fluid that helps to lubricate the joint. When you move around even a little bit, that fluid is pushed around the joint. Another way to lubricate your joints is to drink plenty of water.
While I will still gladly ask someone with back pain to spend time sitting with a supplemental lumbar roll and correct sitting posture, newer research shows that shifting position in the chair frequently is better for spine health. If you have been sitting still for awhile, try rocking your pelvis forward and back several times to change the alignment of your pelvis and spine. This takes only a few seconds and then you can get back to it!
If you’re the type of person that needs to reward yourself for your positive behaviour, it might be worth investing in an activity tracker. The annoying vibration to inform you to move your 250 steps each hour is a helpful reminder, and it’s great to get your accolades at 10,000 steps in your day!