With gyms opening up again and sports teams having training and matches, everyone will be getting much more active over the coming weeks. But after a long rest period, rushing back into training at full speed can cause an injury. So, if it is a casual round of golf or getting back into the gym here are some tips and advice to get performing safely.
Before training, it is important to do a targeted warm-up before you start actively. This might not mean doing a 5-minute cycle before your gym session because instead, it will be beneficial to target to muscles you are training that day rather than just simply getting the heart rate up. For example, if you are going for a run you should focus on warming up your hips and legs. This can be done with exercises such as lunges and side shuffles. Then some hip mobilising exercises such as hip CARs which are attached below.
Fuel your body
Having the right food before a workout is vital to performing at a good intensity. This doesn’t mean consuming protein shake after protein shake but instead having a well-balanced meal before your workout and also throughout the day so you do not feel like you are crashing throughout the day.
Before and during your workout it is very important to stay hydrated. So if you know you will be training later you should make an effort to make sure you are hydrated before. You can also include natural electrolytes into your diet such as coconut water or pink Himalayan sea salt.
After a long period of time off it is normal to have lost some of your strength or general physical fitness. So if you find it difficult to bench press what you used to or the number of reps has decreased don’t get discouraged. Set a goal to work to over the coming weeks and gradually increase your weights and sets. This will give you a great platform to get to where you were pre COVID and pugs beyond where you previously were.
If you have taken a break from the gym and you are feeling stiff or want to prevent a possible injury when you are back training then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
What are the benefits of supplementing your diet with Omega 3?
Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in signalling roles for your heart, muscles and nervous system. This makes them a crucial requirement for you to consume as part of your diet. This should come to 250-500mg per day. If you are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids it can be beneficial to have your diet include foods high in Omega 3 or supplement your diet. These benefits include:
Decrease muscle loss during immobilisation and recovery from injury.
Increases muscle recovery
Helps with cardiovascular health
Omega-3 is also a great natural anti-inflammatory
Muscle recovery? Periods of muscle unloading or limb immobilization result in can cause muscles to get smaller and weaker. It has been shown omega-3 fatty acid ingestion may alleviate immobilization induced muscle loss.
Muscle health? Consuming enough omega-3 fatty acid aids in protection against exercise-induced muscle damage (the feeling you get after a tough workout) with some studies demonstrating that omega-3 fatty acid ingestion reduces losses in muscle strength and the general feeling of soreness following exercise.
How to include it in your diet? Omega-3 fatty acid sources include fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring or plant-based sources such as flax and hemp seeds. To help achieve your weekly requirements you can have two servings of oily fish per week.
If you would like other tips and treatment to help perform at your best, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Have you been working on your mobility and flexibility but over time have not seen that much of a change? This may be because you are failing to address the route cause of the issue.
Currently, runners, cyclists, home gym-goers and more are chasing the idea of getting an increase in range of motion. This is done to either feel less stiff, perform better or just as simple as being able to touch your toes. But the techniques being implemented may not be causing any long term change or potentially your risk of injury. Doing mobility training such as stretches forcing your muscles past their normal range of motion and therefore gives us the ability to perform exercises in more unstable positions.
Following this, the tendency is to then train strength immediately after mobility training in these unstable positions. End ranges are unstable positions so the perceived threat to the integrity of the joint is very high and therefore increases the risk of injury. This is because the body is trying to protect us from that unstable position because it lacks the joint stability to be in that position in day-to-day life. So often people get trapped in the cycle of stretch-strengthen and then repeat, failing to address the root cause of the tightness in the muscles.
Put simply you need to ask yourself why muscle is tight to begin with. This will help you get rid of the mindset of simply stretching a type muscle and therefore allow you to address underpinning factor. And this is how you will make a long-term change to your flexibility.
Some examples of muscular tightness is being down to stability issues are:
Hamstring tightness could be down to core muscle weaknesses
Stiff shoulders could be because of weak rotator cuff muscles
Tight calves should be down to weak muscles at the front of the leg or hip stability issues
In the clinic, we do a full functional assessment on every new patient coming in. This allows us to find the true cause of your pain or tightness and therefore create a long term change. So, if you suffer from long term tightness or muscular pain and would like us to assess and treat you, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
If you suffer from stiff ankles or tight calves this blog post is for you.
The assumption to make when you have tight calves is to stretch the calves. However, to gain length in your calves it is often helpful to train the muscles at the front of your lower leg. This is because they are often weak in people who have chronically tight calves. This is because stretching causes a mechanical change in the muscles whereas strengthening causes a change in the way your body perceives length.
What are the problems if you have poor ankle mobility?
Common for people to roll off the outside of their foot when walking.
Big toe bunions can form
If your ankles are tight when walking your calf is used more, therefore becomes tighter.
Your body mass is more forwards when walking
Collapsing of your foot arch
So when you are at home instead of forcing your knee over your ankle to create mobility in your ankle, try to strengthen the front of your lower leg which will allow you to access more range of motion for the long term. This will be more long term because you won’t be relying on an external input but instead you will cause internal changes that should make more significant differences in muscle function.
How to do this?
Try this exercise called the moonwalk.
Come back onto your toes
As you lower your toes, bring your knee over the front of your toes
As you bring the knee forwards, lift up your toes
If you suffer from stiff ankles or tight calves and would like us to assess and treat you, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Headaches can affect peoples life from work, hobbies and when you are trying to relax at home. The most common headache is tension-type headaches. This can cause pain in the back of the head, into the neck and around your eyes. This typically happens on both sides of the head.
There are many factors that contribute to tension-type headaches. These include:
Not drinking enough water
Holding your head in one position for a long time
Sleeping in an awkward position
Head and neck injury
Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth
How can chiropractic care help your headache?
In the clinic, we can first check the lifestyle factors that may be aggravating your headaches and give you ways to manage them better. This includes looking at your posture and giving home exercises to you. We perform a full examination on every new patient which should identify the triggering factors for your headache.
We will also do various treatment methods that best suit you. These can be:
Soft tissue massage
Active Release Techniques
Drink more water
Especially with the weather warming up, it is important to touch on water consumption for headaches and general well being. The average person should be drinking at least 2 litres of water which is around 8 cups per day. But if you are active and exercising try 2-3 extra glasses per hour of exercise. Getting your recommended water intake will help with the following:
Normalising blood pressure
Regulate body temperature more efficiently
Flushes out bacteria using your body’s natural sewage system
If you have headaches or neck pain and are not sure what to do about them, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Your mid-back as a structure overall is built to be stiff and stable. This is because attaching to it are your ribs which are crucial for protecting your organs that are underneath it.
But a lot of people are in poor postures during the day and therefore have a rounded upper back. If the upper back is stiff then you will be unable to extend your back fully. Not being able to extend your upper back fully has knock-on implications for your neck, lower back and especially your shoulders. So, when trying to fix these issues it is important to not just look at the site of pain but try to fix the mobility in your upper back.
If a fire starts in your house and you running to the smoke alarm and taking out the batteries is similar to just focusing on the site of pain when you get an injury. Without looking at your upper back mobility you can miss the true cause of your problem and therefore not recover efficiently or perform optimally at a chosen sport. This is especially true for gym-goers and throwing athletes.
It is very common for people not to have enough mobility in the upper back and almost no one has enough. We recommend doing mobility work for this area every day.
How to help?
The cat camel is a great exercise to get movement back through your back. This is done by being on all 4’s. Then start by arching your back while taking a deep breath in. Then start to arch your back take a breathe out and tuck your rib cage down at the end of the movement. Then repeat. Aim for 15-20 slow repetitions.
The sphynx variation of the cat camel is great for really targeting your upper back, it is easy to hinge and get motion through the mid-back with just the cat camel so doing this variation might help you target your upper back better. Again start by arching your back and couple the movement with your breathing as this will help expand the rib cage (if your rib cage is not moving well, your upper back is not moving well) and make sure you’re doing the movement slow enough. Aim for 15-20 slow repetitions.
If you suffer from any shoulder issues or want to get more back mobility then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Most low back pain is primarily caused by the way you move and how you sit. During the day there are ways to do these things that put less stress on your back. Your spine has 24 vertebrae and it is common to think that all the parts move evenly. But certain areas take on more movement than others which are called hinge points. This blog post will give you some techniques and ideas to help remove these hinge points and to start getting you more pain free.
In between the segments of your spine, there are discs that act as little shock absorbers. As you sleep the discs gather water and hold the water so they become more pressurised when you wake up first thing in the morning, this means they are easier to injure. After an hour the pressure decreases to nearly normal so this is why it is extra important to be careful in the morning.
Ways to manage this in the morning:
Don’t bend and round your back when getting out of bed
When brushing your teeth, avoid spinal movement. Try and hinge from the hips. You should feel like you’re gliding your bottom backwards in order to lean forwards. It’s fine to lean one hand on the sink for support.
Try not to be hunched over when putting on shoes and socks
Don’t have your back rounded when sitting down eating your breakfast
Other problems for your back throughout the day are when you try to lift something heavy. If your job requires a lot of lifting it is vital to know how to squat with good form.
To do this you should have your feet at shoulder width. Then keeping your back straight you should move your pelvis backwards and keep your heels down. To practice this if you get a pole or a golf club and held it along your spine touching the bak of your head, mid-back and tailbone, the pole or club should stay touching throughout the whole squat.
Also, when you are walking day to day it is important to do this correctly to reduce the strain on your lower back. So try to walk with your chest up and bring your head back and swing your arms. Interesting fact, walking is 12% more metabolically demanding with your hands in your pockets, this shows how your arms play a vital role in saving energy. Doing this will reduce tension in your lower back and walking can be therapeutic for back pain if you do these steps correctly.
I hope this helps, but if you do suffer from back pain and would like us to have a look at your problem and run through advice to get you pain-free, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Tight hip flexors are a common issue we see in clinic.
With tight hips people commonly look for one of two reasons to why they are tight:
– Is it tight because it’s short and so we should stretch it?
– Is it tight because it’s weak so we should strengthen it?
This brings us to an important point.
The psoas muscle plays a role in hip flexion but hip flexors shouldn’t purely be judged off the muscles action but should be judged from the function of the muscle, which for the Psoas is stability of the lumbar spine.
The psoas has a broad origin that is from all the segments of your lumbar spine.
Your lumbar spine has no structural stability unlike for example its neighbour, the thoracic spine. So the lumbar spine relies on muscles to stabilise it.
What can we learn from this?
Rather than attempting to fix your tight psoas by really pushing the muscle into a stretched position or by just directly strengthening it, a different line of attack can be taken by focusing your time on stabilising the lumbar spine and your core muscles.
To really increase the effectiveness when you try to stabilise your lumbar spine and core is focus on resisting force through all three planes of motion for the lumbar spine. These are flexion/extension, lateral flexion and rotation.
To do this you can integrate the Mcgill big three into your workout or daily routines.
Attached below are 3 key exercises to target all three planes of motion for core exercises.
If you suffer from tight hips and would like a full functional assessment and us to take give you tailored advice, feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Antioxidants, herbs and spices are important ingredients in a healthy diet and are very important in helping to treat joint pain and arthritis. Different combinations of these herbs and nutrients are likely to be particularly powerful anti-inflammatories and painkillers, which can improve the progression of arthritis.
Curcumin (found in turmeric)
Boswellic acid (found in Indian frankincense)
Quercetin (found in tea, red onions, apples, citrus fruits)
Bromelain (found in pineapple)
Hydroxytyrosol (found in olives)
Cream-based anti inflammatories:
The major bone mineral is calcium. 99% of the calcium in our bodies is found in bone. Calcium should be taken in via your diet, but one of the greatest factors in calcium balance is exercise. Studies at NASA discovered losses of calcium in astronauts living in zero gravity conditions. They also demonstrated that weight-bearing exercise (such as walking) can raise calcium levels in the body by 2%, which will help slow down the progression of arthritis.
Without magnesium, calcium is unlikely to be used properly. Vitamin D is also needed to enable calcium to be used properly with the body. Boron is involved in the transportation of calcium around the body. It helps the body to retain calcium and magnesium. These are the main players in arthritis. Other key minerals which help managing arthritis include zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, folic acid, vitamins C, K and B6.
Calcium and magnesium:
Supplement 300-600mg daily
Oily fish (herring, mackerel, pilchards, sardines, tuna)
30mins of sunlight daily
Supplement 15mg daily
Supplement 3mg daily
With arthritis, there can be obvious joint degeneration and cartilage depletion. If this is the case, it may be advisable to:
Supplement a cartilage rebuilder (glucosamine, chondroitin) for at least three months
Supplement vitamin C 3-5g daily
The most effective way of tackling arthritis is:
Improve bone strength
Weight bearing (walking) and non-weight bearing (hydrotherapy) exercises
‘Say No To Arthritis’, by Patrick Holford is an excellent read for those suffering with arthritis. If you are struggling with arthritis, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the Lawlor Clinic on 05786 78904.
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Active Release Techniques (ART®) | Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®)