Normal Muscle Pain or Injury? What to do

Normal Muscle Pain or Injury? What to do

What is the Normal Muscle Reaction Expected after Pilates

Pilates is a strengthening based program, so our aim is to work your muscles in ways they are not used to and address your major needs and goals. From a biological perspective, this means that muscles are worked a little bit more than they are used to coping with so there is a small degree of disruption to the join (z-line) between each small unit (sarcomere) that make up the muscle. This causes a release of inflammatory chemicals in the muscle which begin the process of muscle growth. This reaction can cause “soreness” and a heaviness feeling in the muscles from 24 to 72 hours after exercise and is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness). This reaction is normal and is the first step in your body’s process of building muscle. Your body will then repair and build muscle to a larger degree than the amount of disruption caused by the DOMS.

When we do any exercise process we are always on the edge of causing a degree of disruption to the muscle, a bit less than the body can compensate for and will grow above in the next few days and a bit too much damage, which causes “pain” and is more than the body can grow above. This line is not always well defined, so we will always ask you how you feel on your next session to determine if the exercises were the right amount for you or too much

How Do I Know It Is DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) and Normal?

DOMS is felt in the muscle itself, usually begins at it’s attachment and extends to the muscle belly, eg in the quadriceps, you will feel a soreness from the top of the thigh, through the front of the thigh up to just above the knee. It usually starts the next day or two days after your exercise session and should feel like a “soreness” or a heaviness sensation. The muscles will feel a bit weaker for a couple of days and you may find it difficult to perform lowering type activities, such as walking down stairs, but this sensation will resolve over the next 2-3 days

How Do I Know It Ts NOT Normal and Should be Addressed?

What you shouldn’t feel is a “pain” sensation, such as a “sharp, stabbing or hurting” sensation. Pain should also NOT be felt on the joint line or areas other than the muscle itself, eg at the front of the knee cap or along the back of the knee joint. If this has occurred, it can mean the lining of the joint has been irritated and we need to assess the area again or adjust your program so that it better meets your needs.

What Do I Do If I Have DOMS or I Think I Have an Injury?

If you have DOMS, the best thing to do is to come in for your regular Pilates session. Counter-intuitively, exercise will help bring blood to the area, help flush out the inflammatory chemicals and make the muscles feel better again.

If you think you have an injury, DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SESSION. It is important that we assess the area again and adjust your plan if needed. It is also a very important time to help you manage the issue so that the problem is resolved as fast as possible.

Michael Dermansky
Senior Physiotherapist & Managing Director of MD Health

Time Efficient Exercise

Time Efficient Exercise

We are all busy and can struggle to find time to fit everything in to our day, so when it comes to exercise we want to get as much from our workout as possible. The following tips will help you to make your workout more time efficient, whether it is in the gym, swimming, cycling or going out for a run.

1. Time Your Rest Periods Between Sets and Exercises

Sticking to a set rest period between your exercises at the gym or work periods when doing interval training will not only improve the efficiency of your workout, but it will actually improve your program as rest between sets is a critical exercise variable. Use an alarm on your phone or wear a stopwatch to keep your rest periods on time during your workout.

2. Superset Your Exercises

Supersets are a great way to make the most of your time in the gym. This can be done by alternating between sets going from an upper body exercise straight into a lower body exercise. This allows you to complete two exercises in the time it would have taken to do one, while your upper body is recovering between sets your lower body is exercising.

3. Have a Planned Workout

When you go to the gym it is good to have a plan of the exercises or planned out the amount and type of intervals you will perform when running or swimming. Having your exercises written down and ticking them off as you do them ensures that you don’t waste time during your workout wondering what to do or doing more than you really need to.

4. Leave Your Phone Behind

With today’s smartphones and social media just a finger swipe away, having your mobile with you in the gym can be very distracting and can slow down your workout. It is very easy to use your phone to procrastinate and while you should be doing your next set of squats you are too busy telling your friends on Facebook that you are at the gym!

By Jack Hickey
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health Pilates

Workout Wednesday: Bridging Exercises

Workout Wednesday: Bridging Exercises

Workout Wednesday: Bridging Exercises

Workout Wednesday: Bridging Exercises: This week Jack Hickey, Exercise Physiologist at MD Health, and Mark Charalambous, Physiotherapist at MD Health, demonstrate the correct technique for basic, intermediate and advanced bridging exercises.

Bridging is a great way to strengthen the glute and hamstring muscles.

Workout Wednesday: Bridging Exercises:

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Workout Wednesday: Bridging Exercises

Advanced Bridge

Workout Wednesday: Shoulder Rehabilitation Exercises

Workout Wednesday: Shoulder Rehabilitation Exercises

This week in Workout Wednesday Jack and Mark demonstrate basic shoulder exercises to strengthen the stabilizing and postural muscles around the shoulder blades.

Conservative management for people with shoulder impingement normally includes exercise therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles as well as scapular stabilising muscles. Research has shown that exercise therapy can be just as effective as surgical intervention for the reduction of shoulder pain in people with shoulder impingement. The goal of exercise therapy is to increase the strength, endurance and/or muscular hypertrophy of the scapula stabilising and rotator cuff muscles. Control and progression of exercise variables including intensity, duration, frequency and load are crucial to achieve this. However, most clinical research studies in exercise for shoulder impingement vary widely in their prescription of exercise and do not closely control these exercise variables.
Method: A recent research study looked at the benefits of a closely controlled progressive resistance training program for people diagnosed with sub-acromial shoulder impingement. Participants in this study were assigned to either a progressive resistance training (PRT) group or a control group which performed no exercise. Participants in the PRT group participated in exercise therapy to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder twice per week for 2 months. The exercise variables in this study were closely monitored and progressed over the 2 months to optimise increases in muscle hypertrophy, strength and endurance.

– This extract was taken from Monday’s blog article ‘Progressive Resistance Training for Shoulder Impingement’ by Jack Hickey. Read it here:

Workout Wednesday: Shoulder Rehabilitation Exercises