3 Back Strengthening Exercises

Are you currently suffering from back pain? Regular exercises can help to relieve back pain, strengthen your back muscles and even lower the chances of you suffering from an injury! Many people in the world suffers from back pain and many uses pain relief medication to keep the pain in a tolerable level. What many people do not know is that by engaging in regular back strengthening exercises, they can not only relief the pain in a drug free condition but also prevent them from reoccurring! Below are some simple yet wonderful back strengthening exercises that can be done by people of all ages.

Hip Bridge

Hip bridge is an exercise that stimulates muscles which contributes to having a good posture. You should be able to feel a stretch in your hip and quads and feel an increase in your flexibility level. Hip bridges when done correctly will strengthen the back muscles, glute muscles and stabilises the spine.

How it is done: Start off the exercise by lying flat on a yoga mat which your back, feet and hip shoulder width apart in a relaxed position. Bend your knees slightly and squeeze and contract your hip muscles as you lift it up. Your knees and shoulders should be in a straight line and hold it there for 5 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 15 times.

Superman

The superman exercise as its name suggest is done lying on your chest in a superman position. It can strengthen the back muscles and increase the flexibility of the back. It will help to strengthen the glute muscles as well as the erector spinae muscles.
How it is done: Start off the exercise by lying face down on a yoga mat and stretch both of your hands forward. Slowly raise your torso, arms and legs purely with your abs strength in a “flying” position. Hold this position for 10 seconds and slowly return back to the starting position. Repeat for 10 times.

Bird Dog

Bird dog exercise will help to improve the hands, feet and muscles coordination, something that we need on a daily basis to keep the spine in a straight and stable condition. It will also help to strengthen our glute muscles, back muscles and hamstrings.

How it is done: Start off the exercise by getting in a kneeling position on all fours with the knees slightly apart. Contract your abs and extend your right leg backwards and your left arm forward. Hold in the position for 5 seconds and return back to the starting position and change sides, with your left leg backwards and your right arm forward. Repeat this exercise for 10 times.

Back pain is due to many different reasons but their main contributing factor is due to weak back muscles. Back strengthen exercises will help to firm them up and ensure that they are in a proper alignment.

Importance of wearing protective equipment for sports

With the increase in number of people engaging in sporting activities, the number of injuries has surged. Constant exercise is beneficial for health and although there are always risks involved, the benefits far outweigh them. Through usage of protective equipments when engaging in sporting activities can help reduce injuries and make the sports much safer. However, it is important to use the correct protective equipment meant for the particular sporting activity. Using a pair of soccer boots help to protect the ankle from ankle injuries as the studs help to provide a firm grip. However, using the same pair of boots for running will cause serious injuries.

Helmets

Helmets are basic protective equipment and many people tend to not use them due to the fact that most are bulky and feels uncomfortable. However, helmets are important if you are engaging in sports such as inline skating, skiing, cycling, hockey and baseball. Make sure that the helmet you are wearing is meant for the particular sporting activity. Do not use a cycling helmet for hockey as they are not meant for it. The helmet must also meet their respective safety standards such as the CPSC standard. Make sure that the helmet fits snugly on your head as an ill fitting helmet can cause more harm than good in the event of an accident.

Eyewear

Eyewear is also an essential protection equipment that is often neglected by people. Most eyewear are made of polycarbonate which provides good impact protection for the eyes. Activities such as ice hockey and baseball requires adequate eye protection. It is important to use eyewear that is certified as non certified ones will shatter upon impact and the shrapnel will injure the eyes. If you wear glasses, make sure you purchase one that has prescription lenses.

Mouthpieces

Mouthpieces are important if you are playing contact sports. Mouthpieces covers your teeth and gums and prevent injuries to them. If you are intending to participate in sporting activities such as football, hockey, boxing and wrestling, you should invest in a good quality custom moulded mouthpiece.

Footwear

Different sporting activities require the use of different footwear mainly due to different demands and playing surfaces of the activity. For example, although soccer and rugby are played on the same surface, they require different boots to be worn mainly due to the different demands and rules. Rugby boots require bigger studs to allow better gripping of the surface.

Using the correct protective equipment for the right sport is important. Not only that, the protective equipment needs to be well fitted. Using the right ones will greatly reduce your risk of injury and make the game more enjoyable.

4 contact sports that you may suffer from a sports injury

Despite all the safety measures taken to prevent injuries during sports, it is difficult to avoid it. There is no truly safe sport out there but some sports do pose a higher risk of injury. There is a group of sports called contact sports and these are at a higher risk of injuries. Examples of contact sports include rugby, wrestling, soccer, American football, ice hockey and boxing. These contact sports not only expose the cervical spine to injury, they are also easy targets for head traumas, neck pain, headache and insomnia.

Rugby

Rugby is probably the sports with the highest demands. You need to have good stamina and endurance for all the running. With prolonged running comes the increased risks of overuse injuries such as tendinitis, shin splints and bursitis. There is also the traumatic injury risk when collisions occur with other players, causing fracture of the fingers and collarbone, dislocation of thumbs and shoulders and spraining of the ankles. Since there are no face protection gear in place, fractured or broken nose are also common injuries. In more serious cases, concussion can happen when there is an injury to the brain. Players can suffer dizziness, blurred vision and feeling nauseous.

Wrestling

Wrestling is a physically demanding and stressful sport which is packed with injuries. Some common injuries are to the face and head. Sparring can result in bruises and scrapes. One of the most common injury is Prepatella bursitis as wrestlers are required to be in a slightly bent position, placing tremendous stress on their knee caps. During matches, sudden twisting movements to avoid being hit can result in the tearing of ligaments.

Soccer

Soccer is a sport that combines speed with agility and flexibility coupled with strength and endurance, making it a difficult sport that is also at risk of injury. During sudden change in direction, one foot may still be stuck in the turf, causing a twisting motion, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in the process. Soccer players also commonly suffer from shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and patellar tendinitis.

Ice hockey

Ice hockey is a very popular sport that is not only exciting but also dangerous! Players are faced with constant collisions with each other and the walls, hockey sticks, sharp skating blades and a fast travelling puck. Most injuries are caused by direct trauma such as collisions, body checks, accidental hits from hockey sticks and pucks. These can cause laceration to the head and face. Since ice hockey involves hitting the puck with the hockey stick, it can cause fractures to the wrist if the hitting technique is done incorrectly.

Contact sports are at a higher risk of injuries as compared to other sports although no sport is injury free. It is hard to avoid injuries during the game although there are no players out there who aim to injure another on purpose. When you decide to play the game, you would have known the possible risks and it is your ultimate decision to continue in it.

Physiotherapy VS Orthopaedic Surgery

Whenever someone suffers an injury to his musculoskeletal system such as muscle strains, sprains, ligament tears, broken bones or dislocations, he will have to make some difficult decisions on whether to go for physiotherapy or undergo orthopaedic surgery. For example in the case of an Anterior Cruciate tear, the patient will need to ask himself whether he still intends to continue with the sports in future or he will stop playing it forever. Often if he decides not to continue with the sports in future, he will not need to undergo surgery and physiotherapy is sufficient. If he still wishes to get back to his sporting lifestyle, an orthopaedic surgery is definitely required. Most surgeon will recommend patients to go for the fastest option available – surgery. They believe that a quick response will prevent any possible long term complications such as osteoarthritis or damages to the meniscus. Some however will recommend physiotherapy to allow patients to be able to stand on their own and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy aims to help free patients from any pain that he is currently experiencing and prevents them from coming back again, allowing patients to lead a better quality lifestyle. Through physiotherapy, patients are able to build up their muscle strength and endurance, restore their range of motion and improve their hand and feet coordination, decrease any pain and reduce the swelling and inflammation of joints. Physiotherapy is effective in helping heal any injured joints and muscles. However, they must be conducted under the guide of a professional therapist.

Orthopaedic surgery

However, when tissues and muscles are injured to an extent where physiotherapy is no longer effective and the injured areas must be stitched back together, orthopaedic surgery is required. In the case of a serious fracture, surgery is also required to allow proper healing. Physiotherapy can help to strengthen the muscles, tendons and tissues surrounding the injury so that they can support and help compensate for the injured part. The chances of someone suffering the same injury is higher if surgery is not performed. As such, most surgeon will tell patients to undergo surgery if they really wish to participate in the sports in future.

Depending on the extent of the injury, certain treatment is more effective as each has its own pros and cons. For example, physiotherapy can help in muscle strains and sprains. Orthopaedic surgery is required for a complete ACL or meniscus tear. Surgery is often the last thing on a doctor’s mind and he will recommend for physiotherapy to see if it helps.

6 ways to avoid getting injured during exercise

If you are someone that is just starting to exercise with the intention to stay healthy and fit, you can be very prone to injuries. Injuries are probably the fastest method to destroy your exercise regime and make all your effort go to waste. Observe some of the tips below to make sure you protect yourself from unnecessary risk and avoid sports injuries.

Warm Up

Warming up is probably the easiest and most important part of an exercise. A proper warm up will make sure that your muscles are no longer stiff and hard. When your muscles are loosen up, the tendency for injuries is reduced hugely. Many people tend to neglect warming up as they prefer to use that amount of time to work out instead. However, it is never good to apply too much pressure to your muscles suddenly. A simple 10 minutes warm up of light jogging or walking is sufficient enough.

Know your limits

Your main aim of exercising is to lose weight, gain muscles and stay healthy. As such, you may be tempted to go all out to maximise the workout quality. However, there is just a very thin line between no pain, no gain and a serious injury. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is overworked or wrong. If you start to notice swelling and severe pain with stiffness, stop whatever exercise you are doing immediately. An injury will cause whatever progress you’ve made to be null and you will have to restart everything again.

Using proper equipment

You need to carry out your exercises and work outs in a safe environment and you need quality and effective equipments such as clothes and shoes. Do not be tempted by cheap prices. Instead, invest in quality ones with better technology and comfort. It’s always better to have one set of quality sportswear rather than many inferior ones.

Hydration

Hydration is extremely important especially in a hot and humid place like Singapore. When you are totally hydrated, you are able to avoid injuries such as heat stroke, heat cramps and dehydration.

Rest

We understand that the desire to train is high but bear in mind that overtraining will increase the chances of you getting injured. Your body recovers when you are resting and if you do not give your body the chance to recover, it will break down one day and the consequences will be undesirable. Make sure you take a few well deserved rest breaks each week.

Cool down

Last but not least, cooling down. A proper cool down is as important as the warm up and many people often neglect this part. Your body is still at the maximum intensity and you need to slowly let it regain its normal pace. Take this time to do body stretches in muscle groups that you just concentrated on and it will help prevent any soreness or pain.

Avoiding injuries during exercises can be easily avoided if you observe the above few tips. Know your body’s limits and do not do what is impossible. Instead, slowly build up your body’s ability to increase the weights and endurance level.

Top 5 Sports Injury Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

There are many reasons why athletics get injured while doing their sports activity and One of the most common reasons is neglecting the importance of warm ups, as well as stretching. However there are some injuries that do not happen instantly and such injuries will only get worse when you start to ignore the symptoms that build up from it.

Knee injury symptoms

Knee injury is one of the common injuries that most sportsmen are facing today. Here are the few symptoms which one shouldn’t ignore when you’re facing the knee injury:

  • When your knee is unable to move within your normal range for more than a day, it is an indicative problem that there is an internal swelling. When this happens, there will be a need to consult an orthopedic specialist. This form of injury includes other joint injuries as well.
  • Besides, if you’re unable to exert your full weight on the injured knee, it is a sign whereby you need to rest your leg for a day or two. Should this problem persist, there will be a need for you to consult a doctor.

Pulled Hamstring symptoms

The first symptom when you encounter a pulled hamstring is a sudden sharp pain at the back of your leg. This is usually encountered during high-speed trainings such as sprinting or when heavy pressure exerted while performing the workouts.

There are also other symptoms, such as bruising, swelling, spasm and it will be hard for you contract your hamstring. The symptoms are such as:

  • Bruising occurs when there are small tears that cause bleeding. This will eventually result to bruising at the back of your thighs.
  • Swelling, which usually causes muscle contraction, is a symptom that usually occurs due to the accumulation of blood from an injured hamstring.
  • Spasm, due to the sudden effect (sprint) to the muscle, its control of contraction is generally confused. This might cause the muscle to be stimulated.

Calf Muscle Strained symptoms

The muscle is strained is because it has been stretched too much. Should there be greater pressure exerted, it will result in a muscle pull or even a muscle tear. These symptoms of calf muscle straining vary from 3 different grades:

  • Grade 1, least amount of disability which usually does not have much effect on the activity that the sportsman is participating.
  • Grade 2, bruising and swelling may be involved which might cause a substantial form of discomfort to the sportsman. This may limit him from participating certain vigorous activity.
  • ¬†Grade 3, this strain will restrict sportsman from walking and further worsened the swelling and bruising condition.