FIRST OFF - WHAT IS EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY? / WHAT IS AN EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST?
Exercise physiology itself is the study of the acute responses and long-term adaptations to a wide range of physical activity and exercise conditions in the body. That is, what happens in the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, muscles or brain when we exercise?
In addition, Exercise Physiologists study the effect of exercise on illness and injury in these systems of the body - and the mechanisms by which exercise can reduce, or reverse disease progression (for example how exercise can influence blood glucose without the need for insulin, and help type II diabetics manage their disease). We then use this knowledge to prescribe exercise – just like medicine! In fact, our mantra is that exercise IS medicine!
As a result, Accredited Exercise Physiologists have an amazing understanding of the human body, anatomy and especially at Pear Exercise Physiology- the physiological changes brought on by pregnancy! A lot of changes occur in the body when you are carrying a baby, even more if you are carrying 2 (or even 3!), and exercise can help at every stage of pregnancy.
HOW CAN EXERCISE HELP RESOLVE MY BACK PAIN?
Almost 80% of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. Unfortunately it is a very common, but very treatable, injury. Your spine and the surrounding muscles are designed for movement - and in bouts of lower back pain can become rigid and immobile. Repeated bouts of Lower Back Pain can set off a "spiral of decline", in which someone takes to the couch because of the pain; this inactivity weakens muscles and joints; the person's now-weakened back and core become less able to sustain the same level of activity as before, leading to more pain and more inactivity; and the spiral continues.
Seeking manual therapy for Lower Back Pain is also very common, this is where a therapist such as an osteopath, chiropractor, physiotherapist, or acupuncturist will help manually manipulate your spine to help restore mobility, relax muscles and increase circulation. However manual therapy alone will not resolve your Lower Back Pain – active therapy, where you exercise and physically move these muscles is so important in recovery!
It is important to seek assistance with planning exercise if you have had multiple episodes of low back pain, because the back muscles can respond differently after repeated bouts of back pain.
LOWER BACK PAIN IN PREGNANCY
As many as 75% of pregnant women experience back pain at some point. Most often the pain appears in the second or third trimester and can become worse as pregnancy progresses. Again, although lower back pain during pregnancy is very common – it should definitely not be accepted as just part of the process! Exercise can help.
There are 2 main types of Lower Back Pain commonly seen in pregnancy - lumbar pain and posterior pelvic pain.
Lumbar pain during pregnancy is generally located at and above the waist in the center of the back - and is similar to lower back pain experienced by non- pregnant women. This type of pain typically increases with prolonged postures (such as sitting, standing, or repetitive lifting).
Posterior pelvic pain is four times more prevalent than lumbar pain in pregnancy. It is caused by dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint.
The sacroiliac joint is the junction of the sacrum and the pelvic bones. Hormones released in pregnancy cause this joint to become more mobile to prepare the pelvis for birth! However, this increase in motion causes instability of the sacroiliac joint – which can then become a source of pain. Posterior pelvic pain can be brought on or exacerbated by walking, running, swimming breast stroke, climbing stairs, getting in/out of the car, and rolling in bed.
Posterior pelvic pain is a deep pain felt below the waistline on either side across from the tailbone. It can extend down into the buttock and back of the thighs, but does not usually radiate below the knees.
The pain doesn’t resolve quickly with rest, and morning stiffness may also be present. Although you may want to rest, stretching and strengthening exercises will often improve your pain.
So in summary!
Lower back pain is very common in both the general population and in pregnancy – and we know bed rest unfortunately will not make things better!
Exercise helps improve pain, strengthen back muscles and reduce your risk of on going lower back pain.
Exercise Physiologists provide active therapy and work closely with manual therapists to help you improve and manage your lower back pain.
PEAR EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY IS A SPECIALIST WOMENS HEALTH PILATES STUDIO & EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY CLINIC LOCATED IN CHERMSIDE, BRISBANE.
CHILD FRIENDLY, EASY PARKING, PRIVATE HEALTH REBATES AVAILABLE.
STUDIO ADDRESS: 14 BRAMCOTE STREET, CHERMSIDE WEST, 4032
CALL: 0478 116 700