Spinal Exercises: How and Why?

Exercises should be a regular part of our daily activity and weekly routine. As a chiropractor, we always advise our clients to maintain a healthy lifestyle and physical activity is a habit that we constantly encourage.

There are many benefits such as healthy muscles, bones and mobile joints. It also helps us burn calories and increase endurance. Exercising also has immediate benefits such as better sleep at night, better skin and a better ability to cope with stress and the demands of daily life. In a long term perspective, exercising can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All this leads to a reduce risk of dying prematurely and becoming obese.

A common question posed by clients is how often they should engage in physical activity, what is considered an intense exercise or something lighter and more casual. We is recommended that you engage in activities for at least 30-60 minutes a day for 5 days a week. We always remind clients that it is not necessary to exercise for an hour straight. Even a 10-15 minute session 4 times a day, is equally as effective.

When it comes to the intensity of exercising, if you are able to speak easily, it is considered a light to moderate exercise. It is good to try to raise your heart rate but again, it is not necessary. Having some light cardio and then moving to postural, spinal exercises is ideal. This prepares your muscles for exercises and keeps the blood flow active.

Another common misconception is that exercising should be intense and difficult from the start. Do not over stress your muscles and joints! This is how injuries occur! I always recommend that clients start at an easier pace and with lighter weights. As your coordination improves, so will your balance, overall muscles tonicity and movement patterns. This is a much better way to approach and start exercising.

A simple/basic workout routine for your spine can consist of
1. ‘Dead Bug’ exercise: same side and opposite side X 15 times
2. Bridging: hold for 30 secs X 3 times
3. Squats: 10 times
4. Planks: 30 secs X3 times
5. Side planks: 30 seconds X3 times

This is a skeleton spinal workout routine for the most beginner of clients. You should try to do this set twice a day. As time goes on and as your form improves, you can slowly add weights, increase the number of repetitions and the intensity (how long you would hold a position).

If you have questions or would like to start exercising but have a concern regarding your spinal health and posture, you can always give us a visit. At Healthworks, we will love to help you find a routine tat suits you and your needs. Till then, happy exercising!

Spinal Exercises: How and Why?2021-03-03T11:45:18+08:00

Tension Headache

Headache is a common nervous system disorder with a prevalence of 48.9 %. Tension headache is a primary headache in which it is responsible for the prevalence of 26.5% among other headaches. Contrast to migraine, in tension headache, women are only slightly more affected than male (the female-to-male ratio of TH is 5:4) and the average age of onset (25 to 30 years) is delayed. The peak prevalence occurs between ages 30 to 39 and decreases slightly with age.  A few studies have shown that absenteeism resulting from tension headache can be as high as three times more than that seen in migraine.

Till today, clinical and neurophysiological studies have not been able to determine the exact cause of tension headache. However, studies have indicated that there are possible factors that may trigger this disorder.

Factors for Tension Headache
1) Deficiency of Vitamin B12
2) Deficiency of Vitamin D
3) Poor posture
4) Poor management of stress
5) Lack of quality sleep

Symptoms of Tension Headache

1)  Lasting from 30 minutes to as long as seven days
2) Minimally two of the following four characteristics:
– pain is found both sides
– pressing or tightening quality
– mild or moderate intensity
– not exacerbated by routine physical activity, eg walking or climbing stairs

Management
The best non-pharmacological therapies for tension headache are physical therapy, biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Relaxation, exercise programs, and improvement of posture are critical components of physical therapy. Several other treatments, including massage, manipulation, acupuncture, and osteopathic manipulative medicine, have also shown improvement in both acute and chronic presentations, using measures such as increasing range of motion of the head.

Here at Healthworks, with our skills and experiences, our chiropractors and physiotherapist are equipped to help you with your headache. If there are any question regarding the information of this article, please contact us at myhealthworks.com.my or call/ WhatsApp us at 018 9828539.

Tension Headache2021-03-02T14:09:40+08:00

Chronic Ankle Instability

Diagnosing and Managing Chronic Ankle Instability

The ankle joint consists of many bones, ligaments and tendons that plays an important role in maintaining its stability. Consequently, ankle instability happens if any of the related bones, tendons, or ligaments are compromised. The tibia and fibula are intimately joined by the interosseous membranes. These two bones also share connections with the ligamentous complexes of the foot so that any sprain on the ligaments can also potentially cause a distal fracture in the bones of the lower leg. Additionally, the tendons from the muscles of the lower leg—mainly the Achilles tendon and the peroneus longus and brevis, are closely associated with the bones of the foot. Injury to these tendons will likely result in ankle instability.

Mechanism of Ankle Instability

Due to the complexity of the ankle joint ad surrounding structures, any injury to the bones, tendons and ligaments can result in instability. For example, any impact on the heel of the foot from jumping from a higher to lower level will produce a vector of the force directed into the distal tibia. And this can cause fracture and dislocations of the tibia or fibula and cause ankle unsteadiness. Such an injury to the tibia causes an increase in contact stress between the tibia and talus and is an important pathomechanical factor in unstable joints.4 Additionally, the fibula may also have a profound effect on ankle stability.

Damage to the tendons and ligaments supporting the ankle joint can also cause ankle instability. Lateral ankle instability can cause laxity of the superior retinaculum which the ligaments wraps around the proximal ankle joint. This laxity can cause a peroneus brevis split and, in turn, this split results in chronic ankle instability.

Diagnosis of Ankle Instability

When a person present with ankle instability, the first step is to determine whether the injury demands emergency care. During first line of care, the physician should asses the history and etiology of the injury. Most of the ankle injury is ankle sprain and is usually ligamentous or may include bone fractures. With fractures, the person will experience bony tenderness on palpation of the posterior edge of the distal tibia and fibula, or on the medial and lateral malleolus. Inability to bear weight on the affected foot immediately after the injury are also the signs of fracture that requires immediate emergency care.

With ligament injury, the lateral ligamentous complex is more prone to damage due to the anatomical position of the ankle in plantarflexion and inversion. Because of this, most of the ankle sprain occurs while the ankle is in plantarflexion and inversion.

Physiotherapy Management for Ankle Instability

Once the diagnosis of ankle sprain is made, conservative management is always preferred. During the early stage of mild sprain, RICE protocol are usually implemented. For Grade 1 and Grade 2 ankle sprain, a form of immobilization using ankle brace will provide stability to the ankle and provides the ability to walk and climb stairs without further injuring the ankle. When ankle instability is due to compromised integrity of the tendons, management is aimed at correcting the cause of the pathology. Exercise therapy has been the mainstay of treatment to improve the outcome in cases of tendon laxity.

Early functional rehabilitation of the ankle should include range-of-motion exercises and isometric and isotonic strength-training exercises. In the intermediate stage of rehabilitation, a progression of proprioception-training exercises should be incorporated. Advanced rehabilitation should focus on sport-specific activities to prepare the athlete for return to competition. Although it is important to individualize each rehabilitation program, this well-structured template for ankle rehabilitation can be adapted as needed.

Many researchers have examined the effects of various training regimens on the characteristics of chronic ankle instability and the symptoms of acute ankle sprain. The available research regarding rehabilitation of ankle injuries and chronic ankle instability focuses on a wide variety of exercises and programs. Many experts have succeeded using a type of balance board to improve strength and balance measures in subjects with acute injury and CAI. Others have found that incorporating a variety of coordination-training exercises produces significant improvements in measures of strength and proprioception.

Here in Healthworks, our physiotherapist will perform a thorough assessment regarding your injuries and design a general guidelines and precautions. If there are any queries regarding this article, feel free to contact us at 018-9828539/ 03-6211 7533 or drop us an email at contact@myhealthworks.com.my

Chronic Ankle Instability2021-03-02T13:56:23+08:00
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