When starting exercise or returning back to exercise, people often book themselves in various fitness classes and incorporate HIIT/running into their fitness program. However without correct progressive overloading, this may lead to injury due to high impact and muscle weakness. Some common injuries when returning to exercise include lower back pain, Runner’s knee and Rotator cuff injury. Here are a few tips on injury prevention and pain reduction. To see Millie doing the exercises click here.
Low back pain
Low back pain can arise from many sources including but not limited to muscle spasm, inflammation and joint pain. Heat can be a great home modality to help reduce pain and inflammation. Try applying a hot water bottle to the affected area with one layer of cloth covering for 5 minutes twice a day. The muscles in the lower back can tighten up when you have back pain here is a quick and easy stretch to help:
Low Back Stretch Procedure (see video above):
- position yourself lying on your back
- Bend both knees together and slowly drop the legs to one side, keeping the upper body on the floor
- Turn the head to the opposite side to the knee and keep the shoulder pressed into the ground
- Hold for 30 seconds on each side.
Runner’s knee also known as iliotibial band syndrome (ITB), which is inflammation of this fascial band running along the outside of your upper leg/thigh. Often the pain can be felt in the band itself or at the point where it attaches to the outside of the knee. Often ITB syndrome is a result of weak glute muscles causing poor alignment of the knee. By strengthening the glutes with this simple clam exercise you can help prevent ITB syndrome from re-occurring.
Clams (see video above for demonstration):
- Position yourself lying on your side
- Stack your hips, so your hip top is directly above your bottom hip
- Lift top leg off the bottom leg keeping the feet together
- At the top hold the leg raised for 3 secs
- Slowly lower back to starting position
- Complete 3 sets of 10 reps
Rotator cuff strain (Shoulder strain):
The rotator is made up of 4 muscles (supraspinatus, teres minor, infraspinatus and subscapularis), which support the shoulder and help it perform rotational movements. A common cause of shoulder pain is irritation of one of the rotator cuff muscles called supraspinatus. Irritation of this muscle and tendon can cause pain especially when lifting your arms above shoulder height. Strengthening the rotator cuff helps to support the shoulder joint and reduce pain. Shoulder abduction is one way of strengthening the supraspinatus tendon.
Shoulder Abduction Strengthening:
- Place the end of the theraband (stretchy band) under the foot
- Grab the other end of the band with the same side arm
- Keeping shoulders relaxed and away from ears, raise the arm to shoulder height and slowly lower the arm to your side. Ensure to perform slowly and controlled both ways.
- This exercise can also be done with light weights if a theraband is not accessible.
- Complete 3 sets of 10 reps on the affected shoulder.
Millie is specially trained as a sports physiotherapist to help with all 3 of the above injuries so if you are still suffering or need someone to take a look then call 0208 780 0898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org book in for an assessment with Millie.