Archive for the Core Category

Stable to the Core

Donna was overjoyed when she gave birth to her “miracle baby”—Kelly Grace—last year. But shortly after her C-section, the 46-yearold software consultant from West Springfield began to experience pain in her right hip, which grew steadily worse over the next 12 months. Her family doctor referred her to Mark McMahon, MD, at Commonwealth Orthopaedics, who performed arthroscopic hip surgery in May. Although the procedure relieved Donna’s pain, Dr. McMahon recommended post-operative physical therapy to strengthen her muscles and prevent the problem from recurring. For six weeks, she worked with Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, a physical therapist specially trained in core stabilization and Pilates at Commonwealth’s Springfield office. “Core stabilization involves exercises for the deep abdominal muscles, trunk extensor muscles and deep muscles of the back that control rotational movement of the spine,” Wendel explains. “Donna’s pregnancy and C-section had weakened those muscles and made her especially vulnerable to low back and pelvic injuries. loans fl Donna has regained flexibility and stamina as a result of core stabilization and Pilates at Commonwealth. We focused on a combination of flexibility, balance and hip strengthening exercises tohelp her return to her normal activities and quality of life.”    Donna saw  Wendel twice a week and practiced daily exercises at home. Her routine included basic moves such as walking sideways, pivoting and turning, and gradually putting more weight on her hip to strengthen it. “Chasing around after my daughter involves every kind of movement imaginable—walking, running, lifting her out of the tub. I never realized how much my core is involved in these simple moves and what a difference good abdominal strength would make in my daily life,” she says. It also was beneficial to perform the exercises under the guidance of a physical therapist with extensive training in core stabilization and Pilates methods. Ann  […]

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Low Back Pain Treatment and Stretches

You know the drill.  You are in your office, working away.  You drop your pen on the floor, reach over to pick it up, and BAM!  Serious low back pain.  It’s not like you were squatting your bodyweight or scaling a mountain; but, there you are, in a world of pain and wishing you had just left that pen on the floor!  How did you get to that point and what can you do to speed up your recovery and prevent reinjury?  That is the focus of this post. Low back pain (LBP) is a common problem affecting as much as 80% of the population at some point in their lives.  People of all ages, and both males and females are susceptible to acute and chronic low back pain.  Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office (outnumbered only by upper respiratory infection).  Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning not caused by serious medical conditions such as fracture or cancer.  Muscular causes of low back pain or low back myofascial pain syndrome are often overlooked because they are not accompanied by structural abnormalities (i.e. not seen on imaging studies). What may be the cause? Let’s look at factors that may predispose you to low back pain.  Among the many factors are obesity, lack of physical fitness, hypermobile joints, occupation, age, psychological stress, and smoking.  Smoking has been found to have an overall detrimental effect on the intervertebral discs, by causing vasoconstriction (reduced blood flow) and decreased rate of healing.  Other conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis may increase likelihood of low back pain, as may anxiety and depression. When to see a Doctor Before beginning any program of self-care, it is important to rule out serious pathology in the back.  […]

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