Click here to watch this video of Mike explaining why sit ups is not an ideal exercise during and after pregnancy. Mike will also show you a more appropriate and effective exercise instead of sit ups.
Core Stability – How It Will Be Even Better In The Future
Following Nicholas’ rehabilitation after his disc prolapse, we have been working hard to determine the best way to incorporate some of the additional core stability training, in particular, Multifidus training, as part of everyone’s Pilates program over the next few months. So why is this important?
What Does Multifidus Do?
The Multifidus are a small group of back muscles which make up some of the deepest layers of the back muscles. In particular, they make up the ‘Local Stabilizing system’ of the lumbar spine, which means their major role is to keep one vertebrae (eg the top vertebrae) ‘stable’ over the other vertebrae (eg the bottom vertebrae), so that the power muscles, such as the erector spinae muscles can move the spine safely. In other words, the multifidus control the amount of glide one vertebrae has over the other. If this is ‘uncontrolled’, it puts pressure on the support structures such as the discs and facet joints, causing injury.
How Does Multifidus Differ From The Abdominal (Transversus Abdominus) Muscles In Core Stability?
These muscles work together, but are not the same thing. The Transversus abdominus muscle wraps around the body and attaches onto the spine indirectly through a thick layer of connective tissue called the thoraco-lumbar fascia. The multifidus muscle attaches directly on the lumbar spine and has a more direct action in maintaining core stability. Multifidus also attaches onto the thoraco-lumbar fascia, so the muscles are linked and enhance each other’s actions
How Do We Train Multifidus?
We can now view multifidus directly on ultrasound. Viewing the activation of this muscle will now become a standard part of your re-assessment and we will work on teaching everyone how to contract this muscle during their Pilates sessions over the next couple of months
To Re-train These Muscles
• Kneel onto your hands and knees
• Make a small arch in the lower back
• ‘Squeeze’ the muscle of the lower back ‘in towards each other’. You should feel the muscle in the lower back puff up. Hold for 3 second
Don’t worry, we will be practicing these exercises during your Pilates sessions
Written by Nicholas Charalambous
Physiotherapist at MD Health
Exercise Myth Busted
“You Shouldn’t Exercise While Pregnant”
Many women are afraid of exercising whilst pregnant, however it is highly dependent on what type of exercises you choose to do.
For example it is very important to maintain the strength and stability of your joints especially your pelvis. During pregnancy the ligaments that support your pelvis become more relaxed, which means you are more dependent on your muscles for stability.
If you have weak muscles you are at risk of back and pelvic pain. Maintaining the strength of the muscles that support the joints will reduce the pain and support your pelvis during labour.
The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
There are many other benefits of taking part in a specific exercise program designed for you and your body’s needs such as:
• Improved strength of your back and gluteal (buttocks) muscles which can help manage back pain as your baby grows
• Improved posture
• Improved core and pelvic floor control
• Improved circulation
• Weight management
• Improved sleep and stress relief
• Prepares your body for labour
• Recover from labour faster = faster return to pre-pregnancy fitness and a healthy weight
All of the above positive outcomes will allow your pregnancy to be a much smoother process for you and your baby.
Exercises that are safe during pregnancy:
• Pilates – core and pelvic floor strength and stability
• Specifically chosen resistance exercises for increasing your strength
Exercises to avoid:
• Contact sports
• After approximately 16 weeks you should avoid exercises lying on your back due to the risk of your baby slowing the return of blood to your heart. Exercises in side lying, standing or sitting are fine.
• Jumping or activities that risk falling such as skiing or horse riding
Recommendations for you:
We recommend that before you decide to exercise whilst pregnant you must speak to a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist to design a program specific for you. That way you know that the exercises you are doing are safe and will benefit you and your baby!
Please share this article with your expecting friends or contact MD Health on 03 9857 0644 for a FREE Full Body Assessment. We would be happy to help design a program for you!
Article written by Beth Chiuchiarelli
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health
Pelvic Joint Dysfunction in Pregnancy
Pelvic Joint Dysfunction is a common problem during pregnancy and is related to hormonal effects on the ligaments/joints, weight gain and postural changes during pregnancy.
This blog article will help you with the common problems associated with pelvic joint dysfunction during pregnancy. It should be used in combination with MD Health’s Physiotherapist’s/Exercise Physiologist’s advice.
The pain associated with this problem tends to occur when there has been asymmetrical distribution of forces (i.e. putting more weight through one leg compared with the other).
Activities that may aggravate the pain:
- Walking up stairs
- Poor posture
- Getting in/out of bed or the car
- Jogging, long walks
- Prolonged standing
- Rolling side to side in bed
- Single leg stance
Activities that may help relieve/reduce the pain:
- Try and keep distribution of forces equal between the legs
- When rolling in bed, put a pillow between your knees and roll with knees together on either side of the pillow
- When getting in or out of the car, try and keep order ativan online your knee together and swivel on your bottom
- When walking, use smaller steps to decrease the time spent on one leg
- When walking, maintain good posture and try not to waddle because this places increasing stress on the spine and hips
- Ensure that you use correct sitting and standing postures
- Abdominal and buttock muscle strengthening exercises- incorporate these into activities of daily living whenever possible:
- Gently lift your pelvic floor muscles and pull your lower abdominal’s in toward your spine
- Squeeze your bottom (particularly when lifting or getting up from sitting)
- Keep your back upright
- Keep breathing normally
- Pelvic tilting
- When seated, use arms to take more of the load (i.e. pushing off a chair with arms rather than an increased force through the legs)
- Rest in horizontal position
- Wear flat heels-well cushioned insole
- You may need an abdominal brace to help decrease the load on the pelvis
Written by Michael Dermanksy
Senior Physiotherapist and founder of MD Health
Guidelines of Taping
Although taping is widely regarded as an avenue of injury prevention and treatment, it is important to understand when, how and more importantly why to use it.
In the last couple of years there has been a massive craze in multi-coloured and funky taping patterns seen across athletes, but what exactly do they do? The evidence is quite stretchy when talking about actual changes in electromyography (EMG) muscular activation or proprioception (the bodies ability to recognize where it is in space) or even range of motion of the joint. So why then do it? Apart from the “cool” factor there are some instances where taping a certain part of the body can greatly aid in the reduction of pain or irritation to the area, or even preventing further injury , e.g. ankle taping.
When to Tape:
Prior to taping any body part it is imperative to consult a medical professional on the correct methods of taping, which brand of tape to use as some people may be allergic to them, or of course if it is appropriate for them . A comprehensive exercise plan is recommended prior to considering tape as a method of treatment as studies have shown that taping areas such as the pelvis can actually REDUCE the deep core muscles activation due to the tape taking or mimicking the role of muscles, or in fact lose proprioception in the ankle for those who have been taping for long periods of time.
The Most Common Areas Where Taping May Help:
Ankles: Following acute sprain to help prevent further damage, or for high grade tears or chronic ankle sprains during high level activity
Knees: E.g. for acute Patellofemoral pain syndrome to decrease irritation and friction due to mal-tracking of the patella (knee cap), frequent dislocation or subluxations, or tendinopathies or tendinitis.
Shoulders: E.g. Effective in acute rehabilitation of Rotator cuff Injuries, Sub Acromial/Coracoid Impingement, or frequent dislocations or subluxations
How to Tape:
There are plenty of instructional videos online which can guide people on how to tape specific body parts however it is recommended that a medical professional’s advice is consulted in order to make it specific as possible.
Taping a body part is not something that should be relied on. It is merely another treatment option available out there IF appropriate. A specific assessment and tailored rehabilitation program, which taping may or may not be a part of, is the best way to address any issues.
Written By Nicholas Charalambous
Physiotherapist at MD Health