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
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.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
Our feet play an essential role in how we transfer our body weight when we move, provide vital information to our brains for position awareness and sometimes are even called upon to help out our weak cores. We need to look after them and have them strong enough to meet these many demands. Modern foot wear, orthotics and lack of time walking around bare foot all contribute to weak intrinsic foot muscles and it is these which we need to strengthen.
Try the following movements shown in the video below to see how strong your feet are
1. Foot Crawl
2. Big Toe Up while keeping other 4 down
3. 4 Toes Up keeping big toe down
4. Toe Pianos
5. Toe Spreads
“In order to master it you need to practice it”
Start with doing any weak or difficult movements everyday for 1 minute
If you would like to book an appointment please contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can help!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Chiropractic, Golf & Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)
Good luck to everyone running the grueling Dublin Marathon in a couple of weeks time, including our very own Karen, running her second marathon! The weeks leading up to the marathon will be tough, and not only the actual running of the race, but the recovery can be just as painful! So with that being said, here are our top tips for a fast recovery.
Recovery After the Race:
How fast you recover after a tough race depends on a number of different factors including:
Actual time spent in running preparation
How much rest you got pre-race
How good your nutrition was pre-race to fuel your body
Our top tips to aid recovery:
Rest: In the next 7-10 days try to get as much rest as possible, aiming for 8 hours sleep per night. This will help speed up the recovery process after the marathon.
Ice Baths: If you can withstand the cold, ice baths are a great way to help fight delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
Nutrition: For electrolyte recovery try Nuun or BioSteel performance and recovery drinks. With each meal consume some protein (15-30g), take omega 3 supplements, plenty fruit & vegetables especially pineapple which is high in an anti inflammatory called Bromelain. It is advisable to take in essential mineral salts that will have been lost through sweat during the marathon. We recommend Himalayan Salts to help replenish these salts.
Keep moving: Avoid running for the first days after the marathon, but do take short walks and move as much as possible
Laser: Laser therapy is a great post-race tool to help aid recovery. It helps speed the healing process in the tissues
Kinesiotape: Lymphatic Applications and Cut Outs will help the drainage of the legs and to help reduce DOMS.
Sports Massage/foam rolling: Both are good ways to help your body to recover after the race.
For some of you, you may have picked up an injury or two during the race. It is important to have these injuries assessed and treated appropriately. Don’t just let it go! Call us today to see if we can help with your marathon recovery!
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization | Active Release Techniques (ART®)
Plantar Fasciitis (PF) can be quite a debilitating disorder. It is commonly described as having pain under the heel of the foot or along the arch of the foot. It is a progressive disorder, where the first few steps in the morning are painful, along with barefoot walking, or pain wearing flat shoes. Prolonged standing, walking or running can aggravated the pain. Many different treatment options have been proven to be effective in treating PF, such as deep tissue work, stretching and manual therapy. But, are there any additional therapies that are effective at treating PF, for example, if the hands-on approach is not yielding results to your liking?
At the Lawlor Clinic, we utilise Class 4 Laser Therapy for a variety of conditions, including PF. But, is it any good? Are there positive results with this approach? Or is it all a load of nonsense? Let’s see what the evidence says.
Class 4 Laser Therapy
With laser therapy, a light beam is placed on the injured area in an effort to affect cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, wound healing and immune response. The idea is that this will fight the inflammation in the fascia, reduce heel pain, and increase recovery time. 2 papers have evaluated the effectiveness of Class 4 Laser Therapy on chronic PF, and have a strong quality of evidence as they appear on the Cochrane Database of Research.
X2/week for 3 weeks
X1/week for 6 weeks
Before, 1week, 2weeks, 3weeks, 6weeks, 8weeks
Before and at 6weeks
Results – Plantar thickness
A difference in plantar thickness, but not statistically significant (not meaningful)
Results – Pain
Statistically significant improvement (p<0.001)
Statistically significant improvement (p=0.001)
These two studies demonstrate that after 6 sessions of Laser Therapy, the PF pain had significantly reduced when compared to placebos. This shows that laser is effective in treating PF, but it is important to explain to patients that research suggest that the most effective treatment approach is 6 treatments either x2/week for 3weeks or x1/week for 6weeks and then the patient can make up their mind which they would rather.
Comparing Laser to Extracorporal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
The idea behind ESWT is similar to LLLT. In ESWT, a probe is placed on injured area and shockwaves are pulsed in through the skin to stimulate angiogenesis (new blood vessels) and neurogenesis (new nerve cells). In theory, these aspects stimulate wound healing mechanisms. Again, 2 high quality papers compared the use of LLLT vs ESWT:
X3/week for 3weeks of either ESWT / Laser
X3/week for 3weeks (ESWT)
X3/week for 4weeks (Laser)
Both given stretches for 3 months
Before and at 3 weeks
Before, after 1st session, after 3 months
Results – Plantar Thickness
Reduction in plantar thickness, more significant reduction in ESWT
Results – Pain
Statistically significant reduction in pain with Laser, not in ESWT
Statistically significant reduction in pain with ESWT, not in Laser
The data above suggests there is no difference between using Laser or ESWT for treating PF. This is because of the conflicting evidence above.
In summary, the evidence demonstrates that Laser (once completed for 6 sessions between 3-6weeks) is very effective in reducing pain levels in those with chronic PF. If you are suffering with PF, or any foot pain, please do not hesitate to contact us today