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Hip and knee pains can occur due to injury or for any number of reasons and therefore it is important to always visit your practitioner for diagnosis and advice so that you can obtain the correct treatment for your condition.  However, here is a little self help advice that may just help you relieve some tight tissues that can result in hip and knee dysfunction and pain.

This video demonstrates two stretches that are common culprits for these complaints. (It may appear that the video has been cut short and in a way it has; I shortened it as I was speaking too much with information that may have confused you.) The first stretch is for the Psoas muscle and the second stretch is for the TFL/ITB. The only thing you may like to add to the second stretch, to make it more effective, is to raise the arm toward the ceiling, on the same side that you have the knee in contact with the floor.

1/ ILIO-PSOAS STRETCH

The ilio-psoas muscles are one of the major postural muscles; it is the main hip flexor whose origin is the anterior (front) surface of the 12th thoracic to the 5th lumbar vertebrae of the spine and attaching to the lesser trochanter of the femur (thigh bone).
Anterior_Hip_Flexes_ilio-psoas-muscles

When these muscles are tight/dysfunctional they prohibit you from taking a full stride, altering the movement of lumbar vertebra, this can lead to lower back pain, increased lumbar lordosis or an antalgic stance as well as possible hip/groin pain or, in guys (obviously), testes pain (read this if this is of interest to you).

2/TENSOR FASCIA LATAE

The tensor fascia latae (TFL) muscle originate from the iliac crest and insert into the iliotibial band (ITB); aiding in hip stabilisation, flexion and abduction. The ITB runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh, to the lateral condyle of the tibia, or bony bit on the outside of the knee; crossing both the hip and knee joints. The TFL is an important stabiliser structure of the lateral part of the knee as the joint flexes and extends and therefore, they can cause a lot of hip and knee problems.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

SELF-TREATMENT 

Soft tissue work – with your prickly ball or jack-knobber or foam roller (READ MORE HERE)- (we carry all of these at the clinic).

Increase flexibility – by doing daily stretches demonstrated in the video at the beginning of this blog.

Strengthening exercises – stretching is not going to do it all. The mentioned muscles may be having to work too hard because they are compensating for other muscles that are not firing properly. A plan of exercises to strengthen these involved muscles is needed. Your practitioner will be able to tell you which muscles are involved. The most commonly involved muscles are weak gluts as well as foot pronation causing incorrect alignment and function. However, please visit your practitioner as she/he will be able to advise you.

Hope you find this helpful.

Written by Anne French, BSc(Hons), MSc Chiropractic, D. C.

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March sees the arrival of spring.  Nature is preparing for rebirth and renewal.  As beings of nature we should go with the natural flow of things and plant the seeds that will allow new beginnings to unfold and make the way for new discoveries.  This process of renewal happens every year and whatever time of life we are at, we can use the energy and motivation that spring offers to try something new. 

It is never too late to begin a yoga practice.   Yoga is not all about tying ourselves into a pretzel or standing on our head!  It is about meeting ourselves where we are and reconnecting with our body and breath.  We do not have to be flexible or spiritually minded to start practicing yoga.  However, with regular practice we can enjoy the benefits which include a greater awareness of our bodies and how they move; increased range of movement; improved posture and greater strength.  As these changes unfold, we will notice that we move with awareness and ease in our daily lives.  Our confidence builds as simple things, such as reaching and bending become less of a struggle.  As an added bonus, we can help to stave off the effects of ageing and cope better with those things we cannot change!  As BKS Iyengar (one of the world’s greatest living yoga teachers) states:  “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and to endure what cannot be cured.” 

Written by Ginny Haswell, Yoga Instructor  

Ginny offers a gentle Hatha Yoga class each Tuesday morning from 10.30 – 11.30am.  While it is not labelled as a class for ‘seniors’, those in middle age, retirement or simply in need of a gentle and nurturing class have found great benefit from attending.  As numbers are limited to 8 students per class, Ginny can offer individual guidance so that all participants gain maximum benefit and enjoyment from the class.

Here is a testimonial from Coreen, one of Ginny’s regulars in this class:

“Ginny’s Tuesday morning class for the slightly older person (!) has been such a wonderful thing for me. I don’t regard myself as a lover of physical exercise and yoga is the only activity that I have ever been able to keep up for any length of time. The atmosphere that Ginny has created within the group, however, allows you to work in a way that is sufficiently challenging and yet free from any pressure to compete. In the 2 years or so that I have been going to the class I recognise how much more supple and strong I have become – I think it’s essential that you continue to challenge yourself physically as you get older and Ginny sets the bar at just the right level. Finally, somehow, without diminishing our focus, Ginny manages to make the classes fun – I think that might be the bit that motivates me to keep up my yoga.”

To view our full range of yoga classes please see our timetable.

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