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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Patella

The Most Common Injury

Updated: Mar 30

The most common injury I encounter with people are back problems.  Whether chronic, occasional, or injuries requiring serious medical care this is the injury I encounter the most.  At the onset of a session a client may share with me their back is

bothering them.  It could be from sleeping wrong, sitting for a long period or even over exercising.  Many times it is a flare up of an existing back condition they have.  Whatever the instigator - a long drive; a tight lower back from certain activities, these can become a chronic concern. Under these circumstance I will modify the workout plan to reduce additional strain on the back and incorporate the necessary stretches to release the pressure and sometimes severe pain. Chronic means reoccurring more frequently than you would like.  Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help or miss work. Back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Globally 540 million people suffer from back pain at any given time. Eight out of ten people in the US experience back pain at least one or more times and 50% of all Americans employed, that’s about 80 million workers, claim to have back pain every year. Whatever your circumstance it is imperative to stretch daily, before and after exercise.  Strengthen your core – that means strong abs, lower back and gluts.  Your form when exercising is critical.  If it is not a back exercise your back should not be involved - that's where a lot of injury occurs. The core muscles need to be stronger to stabilize your back.  You should start out with more gentle exercises and gradually building your workload accordingly.  Here are a couple of daily stretches you should be doing if you have back concerns or if you want to prevent from having a problem.

Lower back stretch-hug your knees to your chest and relax the back into the floor-great morning stretch.  This should be done every day regardless of if you have an existing condition or just to prevent a condition.

Hamstring stretch-to release backs of thighs that pull into lower back.  Your goal is to get your leg straight as in the picture directly over the hip-be patient and work at it every day.  Most people have tight hamstrings and this causes tightness in the lower back.  You should be able to bring your straight leg up over the hip - if not - that is your goal and you should work on it daily.

QL stretch (quadrates lumborum)-strip of muscle from the bottom of ribs to the hip that get tight and cause restrictions in the back.  Start with knees up and gently drop them to the side breathing into the stretch and then do the other side.  This is a stretch everyone should do to maintain a healthy lower back.

Piriformis stretch-to release glut muscles that can spasm from over exertion or sitting too long and results in putting pressure on the sciatic nerve causing tightness in hips and lower back.  This can flare up as a very painful occurrence or mild but to prevent it do the stretch after walking, sitting long periods, exercising, biking, etc.  You may have heard of someone complaining of pain radiating down the leg or they can't stand up straight.  Depending on the severity the problems can be debilitating.

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