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Predict your back pain!

Many have a bout of back pain, then think no more of it. Often you get a second bout! In some cases it turns into chronic long lasting pain that has you demanding pointless MRI’s and screaming for  painkillers like an addict.

This could be your opportunity to  live the rest of your life back pain free. Whilst the isometric flexion tests is only one of many tests, it’s a very useful one. Hook your feet under an object ( or get someone to hold them down) and sit up to 45 degrees with your arms crossed across your chest. Ideally your back is held in a “neutral spinal position”.

Time how long you can hold this position?

The standards are these: men need to be able to hold this position for 136 seconds, women 134 seconds. Less is a substantial  risk factor for future back pain.

If you thought your core was great because you can do lots of  “functional fitness” sit ups and weird crunches, but you fail this test, you need to add soem very specific training to your regime asap.

Incase its news to you,  your core needs to be able to isometrically contract all day long to support your spine! This test  is a very good indicator if you are preparing for that Functional task.

Join the mailing list so I can help you  stay pain free!

The big warning.
Some back pain is really serious: check your RED FLAGS by clicking here 

Piriformis Syndrome

There is a sneaky little muscle in your bum that often makes your back , or legs hurt.

It’s sneaky as, whether or not you have a booty or a skinny ass,  its a muscle that hides underneath the big ( or skinny?) obvious bits.

It creates a lot of mischief. So Voila, the piriformis is the muscle to blame. Its this muscle that I’ll often try and find and “trigger point” if I see you acting  or moving in one of many ways. If you are going to have back pain,  you might as well understand the anatomy

So this is where it lives.

piriformis location

When I’ve found it, here is where I’ll try and press

Piriformis points

I’ll often press or rub each point with my thumb about 10 times. Often I’ll try and teach you how to find these points with a Lacross or massage ball.

Obviously, there are other muscles in this area that I’ll identify and treat, but this is often the cause of a lot of back pain

Well, thats why Ive probably shoved my thumb in your bum!

If you have back pain, do get in contact and I’ll see what I can do to help.

I do a lot of work with the Backaholic programme at Crossfit London in E2 , and I help people cure there back pain. Strangely Im just a massage therapist, but as I teach people to olympic lift,  clamber over objects and do lots of cool  gymnastic stuff, Ive been forced to deal with the bad backs my clients bring to their sessions

The big warning.
Some back pain is really serious: check your RED FLAGS by clicking here 

Is your back pain “psoas Syndrome”

Read more here.

According to the abstract

“Psoas syndrome is an easily missed diagnosis. However, it is important to consider this condition as part of the differential diagnosis for patients presenting with low back pain—particularly for osteopathic physicians, because patients may view these practitioners as experts in musculoskeletal conditions. The authors describe the case of a 48-year-old man with a 6-month history of low back pain that had been attributed to “weak core muscles.” The diagnosis of psoas syndrome was initially overlooked in this patient. After the correct diagnosis was made, he was treated by an osteopathic physician using osteopathic manipulative treatment, in conjunction with at-home stretches between office treatments. At his 1-month follow-up appointment, he demonstrated continued improvement of symptoms and a desire for further osteopathic manipulative treatment.”
Frankly, the stretches recommended in this report are quite standard. The diagnosis of ” weak core” in itself should always be challenged as being too simplistic,  there will almost always be glute, postural,  limb flexibility, manipulation issues to be taken into account
The big warning.
Some back pain is really serious: check your RED FLAGS by clicking here 

Necks on a plane

Who didn’t love that great film, Snakes on a Plane: great plot, well acted, well paced  and utterly believable.

In that great tradition, can I present, “Necks on a plan”

neck issues

Air travel presents a great opportunity for you to abuse your body and create long lasting pain. Probably not quite as effective as  buying the services of a Mayfair dominatrix, but  still, pretty good.

To really make your neck hurt, let it drift forward and down as you stoop to read: if you can switch your abs off too and “hang” for 1, 2, 3 , 4 hours, you will really over stress those upper back and neck muscles and develop some really great pain. For free ( excluding the cost of the flight,  of course).

If, however you don’t want the rest of your week blighted by  agonising neck pain, why not , gently,  engage your abdominal muscles ( “tone” rather than tension) and rest  the back of your head on the head rest. The clue is in the name. HEAD REST: something on which to rest your head!

DOAH!!!! I hate to say, it. Your mother was right!. Don’t slouch, and sit up

So, necks have  a lot to do with the upper body and shoulder mobility ( and lack of it). Why not come to one of our amazing “shoulder mobility” masterclasses

-ShoulderAnatomy

The relationship between the tampa scale of kinesiophobia and low back pain rehabilitation outcomes

Thanks to Gregg et al for

The relationship between the tampa scale of kinesiophobia and low back pain rehabilitation outcomes.

For those of you who are terribly ignorant about such things, “The Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) is commonly used in clinical practice to quantify levels of pain related fear of activity or re-injury in patients presenting with back pain. Patients with high levels of kinesiophobia are often considered at greater risk of developing long term activity limitation and chronicity. There is, however, little evidence to support this assumption”

Gregg et al used a questionnaire on 313 patients of a back clinic.

The study concluded that “The Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) provides no benefit as a screening tool to predict pain, functional and work outcomes following rehabilitation. Measured changes in TSK scores following rehabilitation do not correlate strongly with similar, concordant changes in pain scores, functional levels or return to work outcomes”.

Well, who knew