Archive for May 2012

Muscle pain – immobility is not the best solution

Massage and movement recommended for muscle pain

If you have low back pain, stiff neck muscles,hip pain or shoulder pain then reducing movement is not going to make you feel better. How often do you wake up in the morning feeling stiff and sore? Muscle pain is often a lifestyle issue. Our bodies like to move, they don’t like to be fixed in a position for hours, for example at a desk, bent over gardening, or slumped in a chair watching TV.

For a healthy body you need to be well nourished, good quality food, not a slice of toast for breakfast but some scrambled eggs or porridge for example which will give your body slow burn energy and lift your blood sugar from its overnight low. A simple stretch routine on waking – the yoga ‘ Salute to the Sun ‘ routine covers all bases and will make you feel limber and energised. Build exercise into you day – every day! Walk when you can, do a little resistance work to keep you muscles strong and your balance and stamina high.

Get a massage. Massage helps to restore the muscles, shift toxins and above all it relaxes you. Come and have a monthly massage  in Ely at my treatment Room in the Ely Complementary Health Centre.

Having massage is part of looking after your body, keeping it in good condition and free of muscle pain. Call and book today and see how it can work for you.

Focus on your core for strength and stability

Exercising dynamically will help to stregthen your core at the same time

A lot of attention gets paid to the core muscles. As a Remedial Massage Therapist I spend a lot of time advising clients to strengthen their core in order to protect their spine. The main core muscles, the transverse abdominals, multifidus and the pelvic floor muscles stabilise the body whilst it performs movements. If the core is not strong then the global movement muscles have to work a lot harder and will try also to stabilise the body. This is where injuries can happen.

The difficulty in learning to strengthen the core is that if there is weakness  in those muscles, it becomes more difficult to isolate them and identify when they are actually being used.

I am even now surprised at how often during muscular testing firstly, glutes fail to fire correctly, then even more so, how few people are actually able to isolate their glutes. The glutes are the power house of the body, we need to know not only where they are on our body, but how to make use of them correctly. If we can’t find our glutes then we have little hope of knowing where our core muscles are.

Dynamic exercises like the lunge automatically make use of the core, it is impossible to balance without using your core muscles. The acid test though, comes whilst executing the lunge. With weak muscles it is difficult for the spine to remain erect. As the glutes, transverse abdominals and obliques become stronger and the hip flexors more elastic staying upright becomes easier. It is essential to keep the pelvis level and the foot and knee in alignment with the hip.

Get your personal trainer to teach your how to lunge in perfect alignment and your core muscles will be getting a dynamic workout. as they get stronger you will get better at identifying which muscle is which and you will become able to engage your core before performing a movement so that your exercise the muscle you want to work on effectively and protect your body whilst you are doing it.