It is around this time of year – approx. 6 to 8 weeks after implementing our New Year’s resolution to “get fit” – that injury is often experienced. “I was exercising so well, why did I get injured?” is a question often asked when clients come in to see us at InTouch Physiotherapy. The answer is encompassed in your exercise LOAD and why it can be your best friend or worst enemy.
LOAD = MECHANICAL STRESS + physiological stress (I will talk about physiological stress in another post)
This exercise routine should be effective if done regularly. We usually recommend three times a week. Don’t hesitate to come in if you are not sure about what to do to get fit for skiing and general advice on how to prevent skiing injuries.
Do you ever experience pain in your back while doing back bending poses (eg. upward dog, wheel)? Or knee pain while doing a lotus pose?
It may not be your back or your knees that give you the sharp pain, but instead one of the common causes is due to the tightness in your hip and buttock muscles (gluteus, piriformis, tensor fascia latae). The reason is that when you are doing a back bending with tight glutes, the mobility of the pelvis and the lower back decrease leading to a “blocking” in the lower back. On the other hand, if you try to get into a lotus pose with tight glutes, you may tend to rotate from your knees instead of from your hips, which may cause a twist or sprain in your knees. Read more
The soleus and gastrocnemius muscles make up the calf complex or ‘baby cow’ as it’s sometimes called. Calf strains are quite a common injury that we see in the clinic. These can occur during sprinting (such as running after a loose ball in soccer), during a strong push or drive movement (such as scrumming in Rugby), and also due to jumping and landing (such as in netball or basketball). Small grade 1 strains take 10-21 days to settle down, grade 2 injuries about 3-5 weeks and bigger grade 3 with muscle retraction (common) can take closer to 8 weeks to recover.
The popliteus is a small flat triangular muscle that sits in the back of the knee joint. Its primary motor roles are knee internal rotation (twist inwards) and assists with knee flexion, and it can also externally rotate the femur and leg when the foot is fixed on the ground.
Causes of injury
It is usually injured due to a large force on a weight-bearing knee that may also injure ligaments and capsule leading to a potentially unstable knee.
The popliteus may also be injured due to repetitive compression and tension due to particular types of knee joint motions such as when practising Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ).
Most professional athletes and recreational gym participant have at one point used deadlift as part of their training programme. This is an excellent exercise as it requires various body parts from head to toe to work in unison to perform the movement.
Looking at the picture of two different lifters at the set-up phase lets quickly analyse the male lifter first: he lacks hip flexibility thus can’t get low enough, his Thoracic spine is kyphosed (rounded) and it is obvious to see that his abdominals are not braced and ready for the lift. Furthermore his shoulder blades are not pulled back to start the movement. He will be prone to injuring his neck, shoulders and lower back.