Category Archives: Lower Back pain North Wales

Pain in my right lower back

Pain in my right lower back

 

Lower back pain , almost everyone has it, or has experienced it at some point.

The most common issue I see is a tight or weak (though muscles can also be weak and tight) lower back muscle, known as the Quadratus Lumborum (QL)

Mel Collie | Quadratus Lumborum

Usually one side can be working for the other so one side will feel tight and painful, the other side can be weaker, but also painful, how do you decide which one to stretch and which one to strengthen? if you decide to stretch the painful side and thats already weak, you are stretching a weak muscle, which can and very often does, create further instability in this part of the body, which will mean the brain has to compensate elsewhere in the body.

However, without guessing or hoping it will go away, I test it against its synergists, and one of those is your glutes.

We sit on them a lot, they don’t function well, so something has to do that work, there are other muscles that can come into play like the Piriformis, but also look to the lower back.

Thats why its wise to get these muscles tested against each other, so you aren’t guessing at what is working and what isn’t.

Once the glutes have been tested and we’ve got them working, the QL can get back to doing what it does , which is side bending , rotation and helping with exhalation.

So, if lack of rotation is an issue, you could have an issue with your obliques, neck, shoulders,m but also get your QL muscles tested too.

You have an amazing computer in your head, the brain will always find another pathway so you can keep moving, no matter how obscure. So you can see, that where the pain is, isn’t always where the problem is, it can be telling you that the muscles in this area are carrying an extra load from an area thats underworking.

Sounds a little confusing doesn’t it. So if you do have back pain, find a therapist who has knowledge of Neuro Kinetic Therapy under their belt, as they will not guess whats going on, but actually test, and as we are all unique, thats the best thing you could ask for your body, not a cookie cutter approach, but an individualised session.

Bliss.

Melanie Collie

www.melcollie.com

melcollie@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Effective abdominal exercise you probably aren’t doing…

Mel Collie | Effective abdominal exercise you probably aren’t doing…

Sit ups are popular if you are after an abdominal exercise, and thats ok, as long as your lower back and neck aren’t doing the actual sit up work for you and you are also doing other stuff as well, like rotational exercises for example, power lives in rotation if its a great midsection you are after…however, the most repetitive exercise you do, every day, is breathing, the overlooked muscles, the diaphragm, is a major part of your core, and if your aren’t breathing well, you are using your neck muscles, which means your inner core stabilising system is well and truly on holiday…

How to use your breath effectively

Practice – lie on your front, gently allow the lower belly to press into the floor as you breathe in

This can be very tricky for some of us, as we are told to pull our bellies in all the time to create a look of having a flatter belly, when in fact what this does it to encourage breathing into the neck and chest…I’m guessing they are tight enough from sitting at a computer all day or driving for a living, or watching TV most evenings. Your shoulders don’t need any more tension.

So, when you exhale, the lower belly will come back by its own elasticity.

You may feel light headed and dizzy. The brain may not be used to having as much oxygen as you are now taking in, because you have been a shallow breather for a while. You may also find that your blood pressure and heartbeat come back to a normal range for a human being.

How does that diaphragm move?

When you exhale, it relaxes upwards, like an umbrella, pushing out the used air into the lungs, this is why, an exhalation, when lobber than the inhalation, allows oxygen to be pushed into the blood supple.

When you inhale, the diaphragm contracts, it collapses downwards.

If this is the first time you are practicing this with awareness, its better done lying down, so you don’t also have to consider posture as well. Practice it for one repetition before you get out of bed,and before you go to sleep

Just 1 rep?

Yes…just one – if I ask you to try it for a minute x 4 a day, you might do that for a couple of days, then forget, because life takes over and practicing breathing may not seem so important to you when the kids are screaming and you’ve got the shopping to do , the dinner to cook and the house to clean.

1 rep is doable.

Then it becomes a habit.

You will naturally do a few more when the times right.

The benefits, apart from a healthier heart, better nourishment from your nutrition, reduced anxiety and stress, better abdominal connection which can help pelvic floor and ab tone, reduced back pain and better movement in the ribs…are many..

But you know what..its up to you. I’ve realised that you can’t tell someone to do something, but you can help someone who asks, who wants to change, who changes by trying something out themselves.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

 

Mel Collie | What should you have for breakfast?

Mel Collie | What should you have for breakfast?

We want cheats and short cuts towards a leaner healthier body. As a health and fitness consultant, one of the common questions is ‘What should I eat for breakfast? ”

As you a dieter, always searching for the solution to your problem, cutting foods, exercising more, wanting fast results in the shortest amount of time…is a dieters approach which you may have done before, and found yourself back at square one again. Frustrating isn’t it?

Body change is not linear or predictable…nor is it fair…damn it!

You are unique, I’ve said that to you before though… because its true.

It takes time, change takes time, and effort, and your results will be different to your best friends efforts or even those results you got last time. Because life has changed, you may have more stress now – with the kids, the house, the job, your relationships, your finances have changed…all these everyday life things affect your hormones which in turn affect your cravings and energy levels.

Your metabolism changes all the time, its not static, the world turns, things change, always.That means you change, every day, you are never the same person twice.

Be flexible in your approach to your diet, your lifestyle, your mindset because you don’t want a one size fits all approach..you are different.

Accept that, then you can truly untie the knots and listen to what your body is saying, what cravings are, if your sleep isn’t happening…why, if you are hungry after eating a carb rich breakfast …why, if you are tired after eating a sandwich at lunch time..why, if drinking coffee is a must to keep you awake and get you going in the morning…why..

Know what your struggles are, where it falls down and begin your journey of being a detective.

I’m not a breakfast person, Im not hungry in the morning, if I do have breakfast I would like to have protein(eggs – omelette/scrambled/poached) and greens (kale/watercress/spinach)- because they fill me up and keep me full until late lunchtime – thats 1 or 2pm, and even then I’m not feeling so hungry that I feel I have to eat something, I can go on until dinner and not eat, just drinking water to keep me hydrated. This means that the protein and carbs I’ve eaten has kept my cravings and energy in check, I’ve found what works for me.

These are my personal preferences, doesn’t mean that it works for you though, you have to be a detective and find out what works for you.

Awareness is key, because you do what works for you.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

 

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Your feet are hurting , maybe your heel is burning and keeps you awake at night, it could possibly be a plantar fascia issue..

 

You used to rub a tennis ball over the fascia and that did the trick…for a while, but it always came back.

 

It may be a simple test, but when I assess you for plantar fascia, I will look at your single leg stance.

 

What happens when you stand on one leg.

 

What happens to the foot, does it roll in or out, what happens to your toes..do they scrunch up?

 

Does the same thing happen on the other foot?

 

Do the muscles in your toes seek stability, they are probably doing that if they scrunch up, grabbing at the floor with the tips?

 

What happening to your big toe? Does it lift up, lose contact with the floor?

 

What is happening further up the chain, in the shin, the calf, the thigh, the glutes..the neck and the head.

 

Very often the foot pain is a symptom, and rather than place a plaster over it, would you like to know why , find the cause, deal with it and then understand the “why”?

Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes
Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes

Our bodies are so amazing at compensating, that we don’t even realise it. Quite fascinating.

 

The patterns it has, the patterns that change, through injury or just bad movement habits picked up over the years, the brain will choose the path of least resistance.

 

Its my work to unravel the pieces and put back the jigsaw, but without guessing or going by the text book. By testing your bodies compensations and finding out its “why”. Because we are all unique.

 

Single leg stance testing  – its my favourite “go to” test to unravel a puzzle.

You can try it out on yourself, you may find one foot pronates – flattens, you may find the other one supinates, lifts up, the arch increases.

The muscles in the foot start in the lower leg. You may find the outer shin muscles can be quite tender to massage, its a good place to start though, by massaging the tender areas, it will feel like you are pressing on a bruise, for 2 minutes, be gentle though, until you feel the high toned area begin to “give” a little, then increase the pressure a little more.

After 2 minutes, do a glute strength exercise, a standing donkey kick is a good one. Bending the knee, and kicking back to the wall behind, with a flat foot, as though the bottom of the foot is pressing the wall away. 5 reps should do it.

Repeat the whole thing 4 times a day.

However, because this ia a blog post and Ive not assessed your posture, this is a very general “go to” exercise, your glutes may not be the issue, it maybe the neck, the jaw, the lower back..but the glutes are a good place to start, after all, we all sit more than our bodies like us to, and glutes “switch off” when we sit, and other muscles take over and of the job.

We are an amazing piece of kit!

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

How strong is your core? Is there something else compensating for your abs? Want to nail those core exercises? Fed up with nagging lower back pain?

Assessments and treatments from Portreath, Cornwall from May6th 2016.

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Check the NKT website for a practitioner near you
 http://neurokinetictherapy.com/certified-practitioners

Mel Collie | Should You be Doing Pilates For Your Core?

Mel Collie | Should You be Doing Pilates For Your Core?

In answer to my core question which was “Are you happy doing this kind of training, do you actually like it ?”(because if you are doing something you loathe, you probably won’t stick at it for long…) she replied…”Well, I know I really should be doing Pilates for my core, shouldn’t I ? ”

She is currently doing 3 sessions a week of 15 – 20 minute strength training.

That means moves like squats, lunges, shoulder bridges (this isn’t an exclusive Pilates exercise), push ups , running on the spot, rows, rotational moves, arm strength moves like bicep curls, shoulder presses, tricep kick backs, lat raises.

Does all of that mean she is NOT using her core?

Doubt it..

Where is your core?

…is it just your belly?

Well, many of us do believe it is, but its way more than that!

It also includes(not exclusively…) your spine, your lower back and upper back, your shoulders, your neck, your pelvis, your upper legs, your inner thighs, your bum, your knees, and especially your foot positioning…

When the feedback from your feet to your brain gets messed up the resulting movement pattern will be unorganised.

However, Pilates is very much touted as the go to exercise for your core

For some people who adore pilates, it is just that, which is great…for them..

But please, lets stop the touting ( usually by Pilates instructors , and I am one of them!) that its the only way to train your core

It isn’t

Thats a lie

I’ve seen many Pilates people have no core at all and using neck muscles instead (that was me!)

You can do as many core exercises as you like, but still have – possibly – weak Psoas as you use obliques instead to compensate, weak Psoas as you use the neck to compensate, weak TVA( a major “core” muscle) as you use breath holding and/or neck muscles to compensate.

And there could be other compensations along the line, because you are unique! Your movement patterns are yours, not off the shelf.

What can you do? Get tested.

An NKT specialist will help you “find” your core, and use it effectively, to recognise compensations, how to release them and get these unorganised patterns organised, so you an be effective in whatever training you chose to do to work your core, Pilates, Yoga, Weights, Cross Fit, HiiT, Swimming, Surfing, Running, Rowing, Climbing, Boxing..the list goes on.

Mel

www.melcollie.com