Saturday, May 22, 2010

Check out these great tips for low back pain..Thanks, Luke!

In addition to visiting Dr. Russell for treatments, there are a few simple exercises you can do at home to help reduce back pain.

Lower back pain is often started by misaligned hips. When your hips don't line up the way they are supposed to, they cause your low back to take on the strain that should be loaded on strong glute muscles.

So, to help Dr. Russell keep your hips aligned and get rid of back pain, you need to focus on 3 simple things:

  1. Loosen up the muscles that are pulling your pelvis out of place

  2. Activate and strengthen your butt muscles to train them to carry your upper body

  3. Develop lower back endurance

Below are some of the exercises we use in my Carson City Bootcamp that you can easily do at home - they'll help you a lot. And at the bottom of this post is a simple routine that uses all of these exercises to address the CAUSES of low back pain - misalignment and neural deactivation.

Fire Hydrants and Hip Circles

These strengthen your gluteus medius and really loosen your hips up.

If you spend any time at all sitting during the day, you NEED to be doing hip circles to keep your hips loose.

A key with these is to keep your back flat while you move your legs.

Hip Flexor Stretches

Your hip flexors are the muscles that pull your knee up toward your body. When you sit, these muscles are shortened.

Over time, your hip flexors will tilt your pelvis out of alignment. This keeps your nice strong glute muscles from being able to do any work and you wind up with low back pain and a lack of tone in your butt.

The key to this stretch is to actually STRETCH. Too many people just go through the motions. Push into the hip you're stretching - hard.

Glute Bridges

These are one of the best exercises for activating your butt muscles. This wakes up the nerves in your glutes and gets them ready for action - like supporting your back.

An important thing to remember is to press down through your heels... if you press with your toes your quads take over a lot of the work.

Bird Dogs

This is a key exercise for lumbar endurance. Dr. Stuart McGill has shown that for preventing back injuries, endurance is more important than strength.

By keeping your spine in a neutral position, you are training the muscles in your back to support you.

To get the most out of this exercise, point your arm straight out in front of you and have your leg lifted level straight behind you.

Bridging Leg Lifts

This is a combination exercise that works on glute and low-back endurance, while simultaneously loosening your hamstrings.

The biggest thing to remember is to keep your hips as high as you can and stretch back as far as you can while keeping your leg straight.

A Quick And Simple Program To Reduce Back Pain

  1. 3 way hip flexor stretch - 20 seconds each position - repeat other side

  2. Piriformis stretch - 30 seconds each side

  3. Glute Bridges - 20 reps with a squeeze at the top

  4. Bird Dogs - 30 seconds each side

  5. Bridging Leg Lifts - 10 each side

There you go, five easy exercises that will help get rid of your back pain! Go for it!


Luke Wold is a personal trainer in Carson City, NV. He offers rapid weight loss fitness training and nutritional programs to anyone who wants to look great quickly.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NCVA Tournament/ Sports Medicine

For two weekends I was able to work with some great athletes. I evaluated and treated injuries relating to shoulder, knee, hip, back, neck, ankle, thumbs, wrists etc. If you could injure it, they did it. This tournament was huge, it is put on by NCVA and is a National Junior Olympics qualifier for the teams that place high in the tournament. Thousands of volleyball players participated and we saw on average 150 plus injured athletes on a daily basis. Some just required ice and rest, others were sent for x-rays and a possible cast. So for this blog I thought that I might share some insights that are important when practicing in the world of Sports Medicine.

1) Nutrition. While walking around the convention center I couldn't help but notice that a lot of the teams were busy eating between matches. Some teams brought their own food. Fruits, veggies, gallons of water while others went to the snack bar and were gorging themselves on greasy pizza and lemonade drinks that had so much sugar that it could put you into a diabetic coma. I'll let you decide who you think was ready to play and who was sluggish on the court.

2) Taping. Not all tape jobs are created equal. Taping is an art and it takes a lot of practice to get it right, not to mention doing to correctly so as to prevent injury. Many times an athlete would show up in our room and tell us they rolled their ankle. They didn't understand how it could happen because they had their ankle taped for support. Well when the tape came off it was apparent that it was just put on for looks because there was no support whatsoever to the ankle joint. If you have any questions about taping, please have a professional help you or apply it for you so as to avoid serious injury.

3) Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Kenny Rogers said it beautifully, but you really do need to know when to hold off and when to call it quits. With 3 days of tournament play and an injury on the 1st match of the tourney you need to know when to let it rest so that you can play the following 2 days and help out your team. For a more serious injury it might be best to sit the whole thing out because a permanent injury might just ruin your chances of performing well for a lifetime.

4) Have Fun. One thing that I did see consistently from all the athletes was that they were having fun. And when your having fun your mentally in tune with your teammates, more alert and better equipped to bring your A game.

I will be having a Sports Injury Prevention Class soon, that will help you stay in the game and performing well by avoiding injury. Stay tuned for dates and times.

If you have any questions about Sports Injuries feel free to call my office 775-882-3555 and ask for Dr. Russell.