What is spondylolisthesis and what should your goal for exercise be?

Oct 03, 2019
 

What is spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition of the spine. It occurs when one of the vertebrae
slips out of alignment and rests on the bone, or disc, below it. It usually impacts the
base of the spine, but the issue can occur further up. The condition may be caused
by damage through trauma or fracture, or simply by genetics.


Spondylolisthesis can cause moderate to severe pain and may affect movement or
quality of life. The good news is that the condition is often treatable, and exercise
can help.


Should you exercise with spondylolisthesis?


Suffering with spondylolisthesis shouldn’t have to stop you doing anything you
want to do, as long as you’re taking care. It is not just about the types of exercises
you should or shouldn’t do, it’s about how you go about those exercises and being
mindful of what you’re trying to get out of them.


What should your goal for exercise be?


Before you rush off to do the high intensity workout, it’s important...

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How much exercise should you be doing with Scoliosis?

Sep 19, 2019
 

Scoliosis is a curve of the spine, presenting as either a single, ‘c’, curve or double, ‘s’, curve. Scoliosis can impact people in different ways depending on which part of the backbone, or spine, is affected.

This spinal curve can occur at any age and in some sufferers can cause severe pain, particularly if the rib cage becomes twisted causing breathing difficulties, or where muscles are tight.

Should I exercise with Scoliosis?

If you have Scoliosis you may feel that you can’t or shouldn’t exercise. Perhaps because you’re worried it will hurt or you’ll cause further damage.

And while this could be true for traditional fitness exercises, there are therapeutic exercises – those that focus on rehabilitation - that could help to improve your symptoms as long as they’re carried out in the right way.

I often find that those who come to me with Scoliosis are nervous of exercise and, where the condition has occurred late on, feel...

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7 Ways To Begin Injury Proofing your Lower Back

Sep 05, 2019
 

Do you suffer from lower back pain? Or have you in the past? Chances are if it’s the latter you won’t be in a hurry to repeat the experience.

 

Debilitating and frustrating in equal measure, low back pain can impact your everyday and affect your sleep too, leaving you feeling miserable and exhausted.

 

The good news is it’s never too late to put in place a few good habits to protect your spine, strengthen the muscles around it and ultimately reduce the chances you’ll pick up a lower back injury.

 

In the video above you’ll find seven ideas that you can put into place straight away – so what are you waiting for?

 

Build resilience to prevent injury from everyday movements

 

You may be conscious about hurting your back when you’re playing a sport or working out, but often you’ll find it’s the ‘normal’ movements like bending to pick up a Lego brick or twisting awkwardly to get into the car, that...

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Improve your spine health by activating your glutei muscles

Aug 23, 2019
 

Your glutes are the big muscles of your hip, bottom and lower back - they’re the ones
you feel when you do a deep squat. And they are really important when it comes to
keeping your spine healthy. When working to their full potential, your glutes can
carry a lot of the load that would otherwise fall to your lower back meaning less risk
of injury to your spine or damage to the smaller back muscles.

The relationship between glutes and back pain
By making sure your glutes are working hard you can reduce stress and tension on
your lower back.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It’s not necessarily!


Many people have something called gluteal amnesia meaning the glutes shut off
allowing other muscles to do all the work instead. This means that your spine may
not getting the protection it needs from the surrounding muscles day to day as you
move around. But worse than this, for many people, even when they are using the
correct exercise to build core strength and stability and reduce back pain,...

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Spine Health and the importance of exercise

Aug 08, 2019
 

People often don’t appreciate how important exercise is for the spine both in terms of building strength and increasing resilience. Incorporating simple stretches and movements into your day is a great habit to get into whether you currently suffer with lower back pain, you have in the past or you just want to protect yourself against future problems.

But the methods I show you in the video above don’t concentrate on the traditional fitness exercises you might normally expect. Instead we’ll look at three ways in which exercise can help to support your spine both now and in the future:

  1. Transferable skills
  2. Building resilience
  3. Activating the glute muscles

Back and spine strengthening exercises

If you suffer from a weakness in your spine, traditional exercise can cause stress to build up, creating pain or discomfort when undertaking certain movements. By instead concentrating on specific exercises that have been designed to support the spine you’ll be able to...

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How to improve your hip flexibility

Jul 25, 2019
 

Hip flexibility is important for low back pain, Lordosis and building core strength & stability. It helps your body function properly and can reduce the risk of muscle imbalances and pain. Knowing how to improve your hip flexibility is therefore a key part of keeping your joints healthy.

The importance of flexible hips

For this blog I’m going to focus on its benefits for posture particularly, Lordosis.

  1. Many tight muscles are protecting an unstable joint. In order to improve Lordosis, stretching is essential but together with the right exercises to stabilise the hip and spine.
  2. If the muscles of your hips are stiff and tight they don’t absorb shock very well. This can make simple tasks like walking and running detrimental to your joint health. Not because they are bad in and of themselves but because they cause more shock.
  3. As your joints become more stable and they are able to absorb more shock this reduces pressure on your low back and allows your lumbar spine to...
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The importance of exercise for low back pain part 4

Jul 16, 2019
 

Exercise for low back pain should be therapeutic rather than for fitness, this stage comes next. As your back becomes painful your body will tighten muscles to protect the spine but this creates a muscle imbalance.

Why does your body create a muscle imbalance?

The quick answer, to protect the spine short term but this creates a long-term problem. The psoas muscle becomes tight because it’s closest to the spine and offers short-term stability to spine. If this tightness stays long term it can put unnecessary stress on the spine and trigger back pain.

If one muscle tightens its opposite muscle relaxes

If your psoas becomes tight your gluteal muscles (buttocks) become relaxed. The goal of exercise is to readdress this balance, it means relaxing the tight muscles (psoas) with stretches and activating the relaxed muscle (gluteals) with exercise.

What stretches loosen the psoas muscle?

The psoas starts each side of your lumbar spine and up to the mid-back and diaphragm. It ends on...

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7 stretches to help alleviate Scoliosis

Jul 01, 2019
 

Scoliosis is a posture that creates a s-curve in your spine. There are many reasons for Scoliosis, from genetics to osteoporosis of the vertebrae. This blog isn’t discuss why you might have it, but what you can do about it.

 

Stretches for Scoliosis

 

My last blog was about the best exercises for scoliosis and today’s is about stretching for Scoliosis. On their own exercises or stretching can help, but both together is much better. The goal of stretching is to reduce Scoliosis, slow it and reduce muscles tension. There are many stretches that will help and you can learn 7 of them in the tutorial above. With these 7 stretches there are simple principles to follow;

 

  • Stretch in the opposite direction
  • Stretch your hips and shoulders
  • Stretch over head

 

Stretch in the opposite direction

 

If you have Scoliosis you’ll know which way your spine curves. Stretch it in the opposite direction to lengthen the tighter muscles. It will also help...

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The importance of exercise for low back pain part 3

Jun 14, 2019
 

Exercise for low back pain is an important treatment to make your back better. In part 1 we talked about what is Exercise for Low Back Pain and part 2 was about Exercise as Rehabilitation. Now you’ll about exercise as way of protecting your back.

 

Your low back

 There are two main parts to your low back, your pelvis and spine. The aim of Exercise for low back pain is to protect your spine using your muscles, tendons and fascia. To protect it they should stiffen, creating a structure to hold it in place. The better is can stiffen the more protection your muscles, tendons and fascia can offer.

 

Your muscles, tendons and fascia

 Your core muscles are the ones that protect your spine, tendons attach your muscles to bone and fascia hold all your muscles in position. Your core muscles should all work together, so exercises that try to isolate single muscles (like sit-ups and crunches) don’t protect your spine.

 

 Your Core

 ...

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5 exercise to help improve Scoliosis

May 29, 2019
 

Scoliosis is a condition that creates an S-shaped curve in your spine as you look from the back. How to treat scoliosis depends on how severe your curve is. The main aims for treatment is to slow or stop the progression of your Scoliosis, relieve breathing difficulties and other symptoms.

Regular exercise is a great way to keep your core strong, help maintain better posture and relieve these symptoms. It’s also important to understand that there are better choices than “traditional fitness exercise”. Fitness exercises can overload the spine and put unnecessary stress on the muscles.

Scoliosis exercises

Performing exercises that are more specific to Scoliosis will protect your spine while reducing the risk of progression. These exercises should strengthen your whole core and stabilise the hip and shoulder joints around it.

Exercises should…

  1. Encourage better balance
  2. Contract multiple muscles of the core

All your exercises don’t have to do both of...

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