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prevention

Deadlifts: Great exercise, but is it for you?

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Deadlifts: Great exercise, but is it for you?

When patients walk into the clinic and tell me that they have injured themselves at the gym, the first thought process that enters my mind is “I bet they did deadlifts” and 90% of the time, I’m right. Why is this a thing? How come it is such a great exercise that everyone promotes, but so many people get injured?

Don’t get me wrong, I think deadlifts are a great exercise to gain strength and build muscle. But why are you doing them? Do you want to get better at the movement? Do you want to compete in a powerlifting competition? Or are you someone just doing them because you saw on Youtube that they are a great way to get stronger? Deadlifts when done incorrectly, can put an immense amount of pressure on your low back. The forward bending movement, together with the heavy weight a lot of the time injures the discs of the lower back. Correct form is so critical with deadlifts and without proper coaching, engagement of the core, form, and back control it can be quite a dangerous movement pattern for a lot of people. 

For me, it’s about risk vs reward. If you’re doing deadlifts because you want to get better at them or have a competition coming up, then great keep doing them. You’re most likely a person that knows what you’re doing. However, if you’re someone just doing them cause you heard someone say they are great, I suggest doing other exercises that engage the same group of muscles. There are many great alternatives to deadlifts that decrease the load on your low back and yes, you will still get the results that you are looking for. 

If you have injured yourself performing deadlifts at the gym, our team at Complete City Health are experts in Lower back pain injuries. Make sure to book an appointment for a detailed analysis of what is causing your pain. 


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Low back Pain: Are you experiencing these symptoms?

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Low back Pain: Are you experiencing these symptoms?

Low Back Pain is one of the world’s most common symptoms. It causes more global disability than any other disease!

Low back pain is the common term we use to describe a symptom, but it does not tell us the CAUSE/WHY the pain is there from the beginning. A disc injury is a common term that we hear, and here are some key characteristics that can determine if you have a disc lesion.

  1. Pain is worse in the morning than at night. This is because discs hydrate during the night, which can increase the size of the disc, pushing the surrounding nerves

  2. There is associated leg pain (Pins and needles, numbness, muscle weakness may also be present)

  3. The pain goes all the way down into the calf or heel

  4. Bending forward causes the most pain/Bending forward and twisting is the mechanism of injury

The pain in the legs can somewhat guide us into which area of the low back may be injured. For example, a L4/5 disc lesion may have toe weakness with glute/lateral leg pain where as a L5/S1 lesion can present with ankle weakness with glute/hamstring/heel pain. Understanding the location of the pain means that we can address it as soon as possible before symptoms get worse.

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Is your breathing technique causing Low back and Neck pain?

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Is your breathing technique causing Low back and Neck pain?

I’m assuming most of you think you know how to breathe.. I mean it’s simple enough, inhale exhale. But did you know that the way you breathe could be causing your low back or neck pain? Let me explain.

A “proper” diaphragmatic breath should look like the image below. As you breathe in, your stomach should be pushing out. As you exhale, the belly goes in. Now if you’re reading this, I want you to analyse yourself and see how you are breathing. Are you doing it correctly?

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Now how does breathing abnormally affect low back or neck pain?

Our diaphragm is a primary muscle that enables us to inhale and exhale. It also has attachments to the lumbar spine (L1-L3). When muscles are dysfunctional, their corresponding insertion points can also be dysfunctional thus causing pain.

One of the most common faults to abnormal breathing is chest breathing. That is, using muscles of the neck and chest (Scalenes, SCM, Pec minor) to get a good breath in. Now, do this over the course of many many years, these muscles are overworked. Overworked muscles can become dysfunctional which can lead to pain. If you are someone who uses their chest to breathe, there are methods to reverse this. Our chiropractors at Complete City Health can help you regain the normal pattern, and train your body to be optimised!

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Chronic Shoulder pain: Consider this

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Chronic Shoulder pain: Consider this

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in our body. I always say to my patients, there’s a trade off between mobility and stability. If joints are mobile, usually not so stable, like the shoulder. If a joint in stable like the hips, mobility can become an issue.

Shoulder pain can have many different causes. It can range from trauma, bio-mechanical dysfunction, instability, etc..

One cause can be coming from your neck. That’s right, your cervical spine.

Let’s have a look at the image below.


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Our Cervical spine houses a bunch of nerves that we call the brachial plexus. These nerves come out like branches and supply sensation, motor control to our upper limbs. When these nerves get damaged (trauma) or has a poor environment (spinal degeneration) surrounding it, it can cause the “symptom” of shoulder pain, but the “CAUSE” is actually stemming from the cervical spine. When is the last time you had your spine checked?

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The effects of sitting long hours

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The effects of sitting long hours

A recent study shows that the average person only spends 1 hour and 15 minutes of their day not in a seated position. Is it any wonder therefore that we are seeing an ever increasing number of injuries simply due to poor posture and poor core stability.

Facts:

1.       Your body is not designed for sitting, let alone sitting for most of the day. The pelvis was never evolved to disperse weight in a seated posture.

2.       Your body will adapt to any situation which is most common – whether this is beneficial or not.

3.       Prolonged sitting and poor posture is the primary cause of spinal degeneration and overuse injuries.

For this blog, I’m going to give you a couple of simple tips on how to get more movement during your day and simple ways to keep your skeleton aligned and functional.

1.       If you use public transport, get off a stop earlier. Most people are on a rushed schedule in the morning but you just have to make a little time to get a whole lot more movement.

2.       Incidental movement is the new ‘in’ term. It is for a reason though so increase the amount of little patches of movement you get through day. Walk around the office more, get drinks of water, get up and talk to people, use stairs where you can. These little bits of movement really add up when done often enough.

3.       If you do Yoga already, add on one extra class a week. If you don’t do yoga, START!! Yoga is the simplest way to exercise the body in the opposing way to what sitting does. It increases your core strength and stretches your upper body in extension.

4.       Stretch every day. We brush our teeth daily, but what about our spine? Straighten up Australia is a Chiropractic 3 min exercise initiative to improve your spinal health and the way your body functions.

5.       Get adjusted by your Chiropractor regularly. Inevitably with sitting you will load certain parts of your spine which will often get stuck, causing pain or no pain but always causing dysfunction. Getting your spine adjusted by a chiropractor ensures correct spinal movement and counteracts sitting.

Our spine and nervous system governs all functions and organs, and lack of movement and spinal misalignments cause dysfunction and therefore ill health.

If you haven’t had your spine checked, call us now for your initial consultation at Complete City Health.

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