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.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
Chances are you know someone with a hamstring injury or have had one yourself. If you have had a hamstring injury you will know first hand they can be very difficult to get rid of. Also, you are faced with the problem that if you have a hamstring strain you have a very high chance of re-injuring the hamstring again.
But what are hamstring tears?
Class I: There are only a few muscle or tendon fibers are torn. You will usually have pain during or after activity which would be worse when sprinting. There may be a small amount of swelling and discomfort. Usually associated with minimal strength loss. You will likely be able to walk directly after the injury.
Class II: A partial tear of the fibers. You will usually have pain during activity which stops activity. There will be a significant loss of strength and a significant amount of pain. You will likely have some pain when walking.
Class III: This is when there is extensive tears to the muscle, you will usually have felt pain immediately and may have fallen to the ground. Your range of movement at 24 hours is usually significantly reduced with pain on walking. There is usually weakness in contraction.
Class IV: A complete rupture of the muscle/tendon. This will be associated with a huge loss of muscle function, often an inability to walk due to pain and massive bruising on the back of the thigh. This class can often be less painful than class III.
How to help
If you have suffered a low-grade strain of your hamstring, here are some explanations of exercises that you might find useful. If you have sustained what you think may be a grade 2 or above injury, it is recommended that you go see a medical practitioner for some hands on help and to effectively rehab the muscle.
A good exercise to start for a low grade hamstring strain is a bridge. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Drive your heels into the ground and imagine you’re about to get punched in the stomach (this will make sure your core is braced). Then drive your hips upwards and squeeze your butt muscles. You should then hold this postition for 5 seconds and then lower yourself to the starting position. If this is painful then STOP, you don’t want to over strain the tissues that are healing. 2-3 sets of 15 reps.
Also it is important to work on your balance. To do this, stand on one leg, then do a small hip hinge and attempt to hold this position for 10-20 seconds. Start with your eyes open and then once you are comfortable with this you can try doing it with your eyes shut which will make it much more challenging. Also, try to do this exercise barefoot. 2 sets of 5 holds.
If would suffer from recurrent hamstring issues, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
Hip pain is very common in people who exercise regularly. But how can you help your hip pain and tight hips?
To prepare the body to be able to squat or lift weights pain-free, you should improve your sense of balance and general control single-legged.
Think about it, when was the last time you trained single leg exercises? I mean, really trained it? But it’s never too late to start incorporating it into your workout routine.
The hip airplane which was designed by Dr. Stuart McGill with the aim of being an active flexibilty exercise deals with both balance and general control head-on so will seriously challenge you to perform it equally side to side.
Therefore, the hip airplane will test and improve the stability of the muscles in and around your hip.
Even people who can squat huge amounts of weight can struggle with this and it will lead to injury. This is because of progressively causing micro-trauma to your tissues because you don’t have the functional stability around your hip. So, people of all athletic ability can benefit from training single movements.
So why is the hip airplane so important for the squatting movement pattern?
When you squat you femur’s are in an abducted position (so they’re pointing out) with your feet also out in relation to your pelvis. Your pelvis is the stable point around which your femurs will move and rotate in their socket.
So to recreate this movement but to work on stability rather than strength you can use the hip airplane. This is because instead of having your foot out to the side and your pelvis in neutral, the foot is now directly underneath your body and you will deviate the pelvis.
How to do the hip airplane
Firstly do the exercise barefoot to activate the small muscles in your foot which will help create a stable structure from the ground up.
Starting position: Then go onto one leg and bring your front leg upwards to 90 degrees.
Then bend your torso forward so it is over your leg in contact with the ground, do this while kicking your back leg behind you.
Keep your trail leg straight.
(If you know common weightlifting movements then this is very similar to the single leg roman deadlift or RDL).
Then slowly bring your belly button towards your leg in contact with the ground and then out to the side. Then return back to the starting position.
Aim: Practice quality of the movement with good form. But as a rough guide aim for 1-2 sets of 10-20 repetitions. But this exercise is all about control so even if you can only do 3 to start. Slowly build up from there.
As you do this exercise more and more you will get better at balance and your steering ability in rotation. As you improve you can start leaning further forward to make the exercise harder.
If would like a full functional assessment and to get some tips and feedback on your exercises, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
Gaelic sports usually cause athletes to work their hips mainly in an externally rotated position due to the demands of the sports. This can cause a significant decrease in hip internal rotation as the body will compensate due to the increasing demand on the hips to open in one direction over the other.
Why does this matter?
This matters because having such imbalances will cause your body to create more compensatory patterns which can eventually lead to decreased performance or injury.
If you have limited hip internal rotation, then eventually the way you walk and move might be changed.
For example, you could start walking with your feet and toes pointing out more as your hips will not have the full movement to allow your foot to go back to a neutral position. The foot and ankle will then no longer be functioning in their optimal patterns and might start overpronating to allow you to keep walking undisturbed. The knee may also start picking up the slack for both the hip and ankle which could put more stress on the knees and the body as a whole. With every step, you are reinforcing these patterns which can eventually lead to pain or injuries.
So to make it simple, the most common injuries related to poor hip mobility are:
Low back pain
Hamstring and Groin strain
But this is not to say that your upper back may not be affected by this as well. It all depends on how you move. Take a squat for example, if your hip mobility is limited your body is going to find other ways to move through the position you are putting it through. We already went through the changes in the lower extremity when talking about walking. Now let’s talk about your back: if your hips can’t sit through the motion needed, your lower back might start rounding to allow you to go lower, and then your upper back might overextend to allow you to keep looking forward while squatting down.
Those are just examples, you understand by now it’s all about your own body patterns and whether your compensations are putting you more at risk for injury.
One good exercise to work on hip mobility is the 5 months hip & pelvis separation from Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS). This exercise helps your body work on hip and pelvic movements. Giving you more motion but also more control in those areas. It is important to work on both mobility and stability so that all increases in range of motions and overall movements still allow you proper control to avoid risk injuries.
During this exercise, make sure to keep pressure through the downward knee and foot, as well as the downward elbow throughout.
If you want more information or have any aches or pain, contact the clinic on 057-8678904 to see how we can help.
Pregnancy can be a daunting time for any woman with each pregnancy being different and new hurdles may crop up throughout. So it’s important to be as prepared as you can be both physically, emotionally and mentally, in order to deal with everything that may come as best you can.
Here are a few things that I commonly tell my mums when it comes to physical well being.
I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is for mum to stay active during pregnancy as it helps to prepare for the demands of carrying a child and for labour. A woman’s body goes through so many changes it’s good to be ready for these challenges. Exercise can help women through pregnancy not just physically but emotionally too, which must not be taken lightly. So if you’re active, fantastic stay that way. There may be days when you don’t feel up to doing much other than eat or sleep, please listen to what your body is telling you. It’s telling you for a reason. The key is to always listen to your body and adapt workouts to suit.
However, do not start something new if your body is not used to it as this can create problems and if there are any concerns always consult your health practitioner.
Chiropractic can help with maintaining healthy pelvic and spinal movement during your pregnancy by resolving discomfort such as back pain, sciatica, hip pain. Treatment aims to provide natural relief and works with your spine and pelvis as your body changes shape and different loads are placed on it. This along with Fascial/ soft tissue release encourages optimal fetal positioning for birth, which in the long run will help reduce likelihood of C-section. Exercises are also given to target the pelvic floor and core strength, primarily through developmental movements. (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisastion- DNS)
Left hip mobility (Lead Hip) is key to a consistent golf swing. A loss of internal rotation mobility can cause major issues with your swing and can also create compensations in other areas of the body, leading to injuries.
Poor lead hip mobility can lead to the following:
Knee & Ankle Issues
Swing Fault: Sway
Here’s our top 4 Hip Internal Rotation mobility drills for Golfers:
Hip Windshield Wipers
Single Leg Hip Drops
Hip Internal Rotation PIR with Tubing
Andreo Spina 90/90 Isometric Holds
Want to improve your golf game? Improve your hip internal rotation to see greater gains and more consistency in your swing! Check out our video below on some drills to help you improve.
The Lawlor Clinic specialises in Golf Injuries & Performance Therapy. Providing Sports Chiropractic to professional golfers on the PGA & European Tours since 2009.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic
Chiropractic | Active Release Techniques (ART®) | Sports Injuries
A common condition we see frequently in the office is knee pain. In a lot of cases we can trace the pain in the knee back to a dysfunctional joint above or below it, unless you got a direct trauma to the knee itself.
This is largely because the ankle and the hip have far more range of motion and thus more risk for injury and dysfunction than the knee itself. The knees are hinge joints, which means they primarily move in flexion and extension, with a bit of rotation. The femur (thigh bone) sits on top of the tibia (shin bone), cushioned by the meniscus (cartilage) in-between the two. It’s all held together by a lot of strong ligaments, along with the muscles of the thigh and calf there to support as well. Here are 3 common factors:
1. Big toe dysfunction– this problem is more common than you would think. When the big toe gets stiff and loses movement, the body starts to compensate to try and get the same range. This leads to the ankle collapsing inwards and also the knee along with other problems further up the body. This inward collapse of the knee toward the other one is called a valgus stress- and you don’t want to have this!
2. Ankle mobility– limited motion, specifically dorsiflexion or lifting the ankle up towards the body, requires the knee to go more forward to make up the distance lacking at the ankle. Knees forward over the toes is another risk for injury. There is too much strain on the knee in that position and eventually something will give.
3. Glute activation-or lack there of. With our modern lifestyle we are sitting much more, which means the glutes are not getting worked as much as they should be. Specifically, weakness in the glute medius and other external rotators can predispose us to valgus stress at the knee…. which if you remember: you don’t want to have this!! Try these clam shells to get your glute muscles firing:
There are many other reasons why you may have knee pain, but these are some of the most common we see in the clinic. Instead of straining the knees with your movements, why not work on moving properly through the ankles and the hips to take the pressure off them and prevent future injuries? Want to get your knee pain assessed? Contact us today!