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Past ankle sprains = New body pains

Past ankle sprains = New body pains

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Two standard questions are ALWAYS asked with our new clients at our practice. 

1. Have you had previous surgeries? 

2. Have you ever rolled your ankles? 

In our previous blog post, we discussed the relevance of scar tissue and the affect it can have on the body. Today we will touch on ankle sprains and why they can be holding back your performance. 

People often find it perplexed and amusing why I would assess their feet for a neck or even shoulder issue. Think of it this way. Your feet can be thought of as the wheel alignment to that of a car. When you ‘sprain’ your ankle, irrespective if you caused injury or not, you pretty much just altered the input system to your body. This is known as ‘proprioception’, your body’s ability to know where it is in space. So like a car when you accidently touch the wheels on the kerb, you change the alignment of the wheels and hence how well the car drives and performs. Same scenario happens with the feet with a sprain. The altered input can and will change the mechanics of the body. 

For instance, a sprained ankle can change your centre of mass, placing more pressure on one side of the body than the other. In a performance scenario, this will alter the movement of your deadlift and squat. When the tissue can no longer handle that altered load you know have yourself an injury.

On the other hand, a sprained ankle may make the affected foot ‘unstable’, so it will decide to look for stability further up the chain. It finds you’re mid back (thoracics) as a nice new home. Problem is your thoracics are meant to be a mobile area. Explains why you are now having troubles with your snatch or cleans four months after your foot injury, even though you foam roll the crap out of your back daily. 

The point is simple. Your feet are the gateway to how well you can performane. 

At Kinetic Healthcare we used Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) screens to work out exactly where your issues are holding you back. 

Contact the practice on (02) 9262 6473 to find if we can help you.

5 steps to improve your squat.

5 steps to improve your squat.

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The squat is considered a staple compound movement in any strength and conditioning program. It builds strength in your posture, puts your testosterone through the roof - increasing you strength and size and most  importantly it gets you from having a bum to a booty. 

Unfortunately it is an exercise that is often not performed correctly and can lead to injuries.  Pain aside, this blogs purpose is to help you get better at your squat. 

Below are my five top tips to improving your squat.

#1. Release you hip region post a squat session

Do you experience low back or pain tightness post a workout. Stretching your back may not be the solution. Most likely your low back is doing too much work hence why it is tight/painful. Make it happy by releasing nearby structures. Good area to start is hip region, i.e. your glutes. 

#2. If you have a forward tilt (like the leaning tower of Pisa) work your pelvic floor – pilates is your friend.

Get a weighted plate with arms extended and do a squat. If you now stay upright most likely it is a control issue. I would recommend doing one on one pilates or with someone that knows how to activate pelvic floor. It is a little more complicated than just holding your pee. 

#3. Focus on your breathing during the squat

What is your breathing like during your squat? Do you hyperventilate?

Do you breathe from your shoulders? Not using your diaphragm properly whilst squatting can rob you of at least 30% off your max lift. Concentrate on your stomach as a balloon and consciously imagine you filling that balloon with air without raising your shoulders. You can practice this exercise whilst laying in bed. Be patient it takes time to get used to the movement. However the rewards are well worth it.  

#4. Don’t lift your toes

Lifting your toes causes less activation of your posterior chain (calves, hamstring and glute muscles). Less activation means less power, which means loss of performance. Also it puts your centre of mass of skew. Not good long term for your hip and low back. 

#5. Wobbly knees during your squat – use a band to keep them in place

Do one of your knees buckle in or out whilst squatting. Instead of trying to pull them back in line use a band to place the tension in the direction of the faulty movement NOT away. This kicks of a lovely neurological response to get your body to fire the proper muscle to fix up that alignment. Do not perform this if squatting causes pain with your shift. There could be more going on and you can actually make matters worse.  

So here you have it. Our top 5 tips to get you squatting like an athlete and performing at your best. 


Do you want to improve your squat? Kinetic Healthcare specialises in movement screens to pin point exactly where your issue lies. We also host a series of squat workshops across Sydney gyms. 

Contact the clinic on (02) 9262 6473 to find out more and how to come along to the next one.

Want to learn more about my tips on mobility, download my

FREE mobility ebook

 

Kinetic Healthcare, 

Feel Better, Move Better, Peform

Why scars suck!!!

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Why scars suck!!!

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It constantly amazes my patients  (myself included) who have tried various forms of treatment for their complaint with no change, to then finally figure out that it was their old scar on their elbow having knocked it as a teenager, or even from an old piercing that was creating their problem.

BS I hear you say. Hang on one second, let me explain with an analogy.

Our body is not much different from a computer. We have our physical component (hardware) and the brain with its associated motor patterns (software).

Like the computer, we are born with pre-installed software to help Coordinate the body's movement, this is known as motor control. 

Now let's introduce scar tissue. Scar tissue moves different, feels different and acts different to your normal tissue. More to the point, scar tissue likes to disrupt the signal from the brain to its desired location. Some what similar of what a virus does to your computer. It makes it work different, maybe even more slow than usual and down right annoying. 

Now back to your body, if your scar tissue is changing the way that pathway is being received expect your body to change the way it acts and moves, down repetitively this certainly can lead to low back, neck or even jaw pain.

Neurokinetic Therapy is an assesment tool used at Kinetic Healthcare to determine if your brain and its pathways are being compromised by scars or old injuries which may be a cause to your pain. 

Moral of the story, just cause it hurts there doesn't' mean your problem is there.

Don't just guess. Have it assessed.

Kinetic Healthcare

Feel Better, Move Better, Perform

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Your core and low back. How do they relate to pain and dysfunction?

Muscle fibre orientation of the internal and external obliques

Muscle fibre orientation of the internal and external obliques

Many people would have heard the term 'core' previously. Too be honest it gets thrown around without a proper understanding of what it is but more importantly what it is meant to do.

So first of all core is just not your abdominals. It is made up of your internal and external obliques, rectus and transverse abdominis, quadratus lumborum and diaphragm. 

Great I hear you say but what does all that mean ? Well these muscles all act in unison with one another to create spinal stability. In other words, they help to control fine movement of the back bones of your low back relative to one another. So no stability = dysfunction = poor movement patterns = pain

Now to get just a little techy. If your external obliques switch off ( refer to the  diagram for where they are) your low back will naturally went to extend/arch while causing the ribs flare out and elevate. This could lead to stress on the joints of the low back. If your abdominals are overly contracted that will cause your pelvis to tilt underneath. This slouched posture puts extra pressure on your discs, something you don't want when sitting. 

End of the day these muscles need to work together to provide a neutral spine to provide an even distribution of forces throughout your spine.

Now it makes sense why so often you hear people say they went to pick a pen up from the floor and their back went or they got their child's toy and couldn't move. The problem was not the pen or toy but their body's ability to stabilise itself.

If you have back pain, hip tightness and have tried treatment in the past with no little or no change we would love to talk to you see if we may be able to help.

MOVE BETTER, FEEL BETTER, PERFORM

Kinetic Healthcare

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Tennis elbow. Is the problem really coming from your elbow?

Superficial front arm Line 

Superficial front arm Line 

 

Lateral epicondylitis or commonly known as 'tennis elbow' is an overuse injury surrounding the outer part of your elbow. Often the muscles that attach to this area get overworked, tired and generally cranky often leading to pain. Things like opening car doors, shaking hands and twisting tops/caps off bottles make it worse.

Great. So we know what the pain is, what causes it and what makes it worse. However we should ask ourselves the question why did they become 'overused' in the first place?

For those of you that have read Thomas Myers 'anatomy trains' you will be quite familiar with his philosophy that muscles do not work independently but more so on movement patterns and slings. In other words, muscles are connected to other muscles and tissues. 

I want to bring your attention to the above picture. This here is referred to as the 'arm lines'. As you can see there are few muscles that criss cross one another from the right hand up to the shoulder. These muscles pretty much work as one unit for your upper arm not individually. So for instance your rounded shoulders from sitting too much at work shorten your pec muscles which causes the rest of your arm muscles to change the way they lengthen contract. Boom elbow pain. Another example is a previous shoulder injury that was not treated correctly which led to a change how the shoulder worked, causing the elbow to take more  load on than it is used to. 

On the other hand (pardon the pun) if your hand is moving too much, aka unstable, it will try and stabilise itself at you guessed it, your elbow.

So next time you go and see your physical therapist and they only treat your elbow for your elbow pain you better ask them. ' what about the rest of the arm?'

Kinetic Healthcare

Feel better, Move better, Perform

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