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With such large numbers of people affected by lower back pain, it is no surprise that myths and misnomers run rampant.  Approximately 80-85% of people in the industrial nations will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.

LBP is generally classified as either chronic or acute. Chronic pain from any source is historically defined as pain lasting greater than three months. This definition is based on the general healing time for tissue of 8-12 weeks. An acute episode of LBP has a rapid onset and progression and is usually the result of a trauma (such as a muscle strain) or impact.

What You Must Know

Acute Episodes of Back Pain Respond Better to Ice Than Heat

One of the predictable responses of the body immediately following an acute back episode is for the surrounding muscles to spasm or “splint” the involved area to limit motion for protective purposes. This creates a second layer of problems: the classic pain-spasm cycle.

Heat is often comforting and, following an acute back injury, it can relax the spasm. However, along with the application of heat comes an increase in metabolic activity to the area, which is not desirable following an acute injury. Increased metabolic activity translates to increased swelling/edema at the site of the injury.

Ice or cold application has the opposite effect of decreasing local metabolism and reducing swelling/edema. Ice will also have an analgesic effect by impairing the transmission of pain signals.3

Stretching Alone Gives a “Sugar Fix” to Back Pain

When muscle tension is felt above and beyond a person’s normal “baseline,” the instinctive tendency is to stretch that muscle or muscle group. This lengthening of the muscle fibers — and therefore the embedded stretch receptors — is generally perceived as beneficial to the individual performing the stretch. As muscle tension is reduced (temporarily), local blood flow equalizes and segmental alignment improves; there is a positive result from the stretching episode.

But, just like eating a chocolate bar when you are hungry, the results are short-lived. The muscle tension/tightness in the back is typically part of a more complex scenario — a scenario that will also involve the aforementioned guarding response in the spinal musculature, inhibition and/or weakness to antagonistic muscle groups and underlying motor control issues related to functional instability. Add to this any underlying issues contributing to LBP from dysfunctions distant to the lower back, and it is clear that stretching a tight back alone is an incomplete strategy.

Lower Back Pain Can be Caused by Your Feet

The foot, with its 26 bones and 33 joints, is the body’s interface with the ground. As such, issues with the foot will impact on the rest of the kinetic chain from the ankle to the neck. Consider the common foot abnormality of hyperpronation. Hyperpronation causes an increased anterior pelvic tilt as a result of increased medial rotation of the shank and femur. This in turn increases lumbar lordosis.4

In the case of unilateral pronation or hyperpronation, a functional leg length can occur in addition to the increase anterior tilt to the pelvis. A leg length discrepancy can cause a sacral tilt in the frontal plane followed by a compensatory scoliosis.5

In both of these cases (and there are many more) the biomechanics of the lumbar spine were impacted by the foot. Correcting foot issues with orthotics requires help from a medical provider. As exercise professionals, we should be keenly aware of the long-term neuromuscular and fascial adaptations throughout the body that have occurred over the years in response to the foot issue.

Never Stretch Your Back First Thing in the Morning

More specifically, avoid flexing your spine upon waking. It is a common response for people who experience stiffness first thing in the morning in the lower back to want to flex their spine. This may involve standing in unsupported forward flexion, as with touching the toes. According to spine researcher Stuart McGill, the discs are more hydrated and “full” following a night’s rest. As such, the discs are less flexible and the bending stresses are much higher, as is the risk of damage.

Added to this, upon waking and without warming up or exciting the nervous system, motor unit recruitment will be slower.6 This translates to poorer eccentric control by the spinal extensors during unsupported forward flexion and greater reliance on the passive ligaments and fascia of the lumbar spine. These structures do not have the same ability to fine-tune motion of the lumbar segments, leaving the lower back further predisposed to injury in the morning.

Muscle Endurance is Initially More Important than Muscle Strengthening

Ask anyone exercising with a history of LBP why they are exercising and they will usually reply, “To get my back stronger.” The reality is that many people with LBP have strong backs because they overuse their backs. A common biomechanical compensation for restricted hip mobility is an increased work load placed on the lumbar spine. In terms of activities of daily living and most occupational demands, the back muscles are required to maintain low-level contractions over prolonged periods of time. Lack of lumbar endurance has been shown to be a greater predictor of LBP than lumbar strength7 and a characteristic of patients who catastrophize their pain.8

Most stability exercises should incorporate an endurance component because clients should not be attempting to contract their stabilizers at high levels of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). In his book Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s ManualDr. Craig Liebenson estimates that during the course of the day we only need to contract our spinal stabilizers at about 5% of MVC.

This article was pulled from Ptonthenet.com.  Keep checking back here for I will share important Health and Fitness knowledge with you from around the world right here at Hollywood Fitness!

Written on January 12th, 2012 , Blog, Workout Tips

7 Tips on Having a Healthier Self Esteem

1. Get quality sleep

As you’ve heard it said many times before, it is important for an adult to get quality sleep between 7-9 hours a night. Structure your day so that you will be able to wind down prior to your bedtime and have that quality sleep your body needs and deserves.

The earlier you have to get up, the earlier you need to go to bed. It’s a great way to rest from the stress of the previous day, and re-energize for the upcoming day.

2. Surround yourself with people that encourage you

As typical human beings we tend to be very hard on ourselves. We are our toughest critics. The last thing we need to is spend time with people that are critical toward us. It erodes at your self esteem, and is unhealthy. Spend time with people that see you and value you for who you are. They end up becoming “wind beneath your wings,” and truly making you feel as though you can accomplish anything.

3. Exercise regularly

Exercise raises your serotonin levels (the “happy” hormones). It gives you confidence when you overcome physical challenges. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment and it’s a way of telling yourself, “I value you.” Exercising sends you a message that you are worth taking the time out for yourself to make your body and mind healthier and stronger.

4. Eat a clean, healthy diet

Eating a clean, healthy diet is another way of sending the message to yourself that you value yourself enough to feed your body only the best. Avoid processed foods. Focus on foods that are fresh, like vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Remember to avoid the salt and sugar. A healthy diet keeps your hormones in balance, and makes for a healthier, happier, more confident YOU!

5. Finish what you start

Something motivated you to start that project, whether it’s the demand of the boss at work, or the need to freshen up your home. It could also be an exercise program. Once you find the motivation to start something, realize there will be obstacles that may get in your way. Each time you overcome that obstacle, you develop a deeper sense of accomplishment, which fuels your self esteem. It is a great feeling to start something, and it’s an incredible feeling to finish it. Cross your finish line!

6. Eliminate “can’t” and “but” from your vocabulary

Those obstacles that can get in your way when working toward a goal, typically come from a lot of self statements that begin with “can’t” and “but.” Take a day to just catch yourself, and note how many times you use those two self defeating words. The next day, turn those two words into “can,” and completely eliminate “but” from your vocabulary. No excuses… you CAN do anything you truly set your mind to! As you accomplish those goals that you CAN accomplish, your self esteem will sky rocket.

7. Focus on your personal gifts

All of us were created with unique gifts. We ALL have something we are really good at. Get in touch with your gift, and focus on that in your day to day living. Sometimes we get caught up in comparing ourselves to others, and if they happen to be better at us at something it erodes our self esteem. You are your own unique you. Find what makes you special and zone in on that. As you focus in on what you are naturally good at, again, your self esteem will sky rocket! You will feel happier and more productive in your life!

I hope you found these tips useful! Please keep checking back for more helpful Life Improving tips here at Hollywood Fitness!

Squats and Split Squats for the Glutes!

Working out the legs is going to burn a ton of calories and also help tone up your entire body? Well here’s a way to work the legs and also target the butt muscle especially!  You will be burning a ton of calories, building fat blasting muscles, working on endurance and your cardio vascular system, while targeting the Butt which will give it a nice size and shape.

I have had plenty of guys not just women tell me they want to have a nicer butt. Its common with women, but it also feels good for us guys to hear compliments on our butts!!  Squats and Split squats are two exercises you should add to your workout. You can do these with a barbell on your shoulders or with dumbells by your sides. When doing squats remember to stick your butt out and down rather then just bending your knees for your knees should never pass the toes!  On split squats you will have your feet spread apart one in front one in back almost like your doing lunges, but your mainly just moving up and down with a little bit of a foward motion to really hit the butt on the push back.  Always think about the muscle your trying to hit, that will help you adjust your motion to target it better. I recommend doing 3 sets of 12-15 squats with light to moderate weight, then do 2 sets of 12 split squats on each leg with light to moderate weight. If you want or need more in depth explinations on how to properly do these two excersizes, or for more tips on the spot contact me at adamkipling99@gmail.com or 323.692.1020.

If done properly, you will feel your butt sore like you’ve never felt it before. You will also feel a roundness and a firmness that you’ve been hoping for! I have plenty of more tips on targeting the butt so please feel free to contact me, but definately keep checking back with Los Angeles fitness!

I just wanted to introduce myself, Hi my name is Adam Kipling and I am The Los Angeles Personal Trainer.  I am the founder of The Los Angeles Bootcamp and I also offer training over the internet, In Home Personal Training, or Personal training at private gyms with no extra gym fees or memberships needed!  This site is for Health and Fitness tips.  In other words its a blog!  I want to help people as much as possible so I will use this site to give great information, but also keep people informed about my LA Bootcamps, and also news about my Personal Training Specials.  Health and Fitness are two of my biggest passions so I’d like to share what I know with you.

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