Lower Back Pain Therapy

As a teacher of yoga and a part of the Advanced Myotherapy team, I hear many unique bodily complaints. All are valid and deserve correct care and attention. Lower back pain is a common issue that often stems from multiple factors, which are individual and may be a sign of more serious issues. It is best to seek professional support so that you can fully understand the cause of your pain and eliminate the issue completely. Here I offer you some general tools that can be used in the recovery or avoidance of lower back pain.

You will need

-a comfortable quiet space

-a heated wheat bag

-a large sleeping pillow

-a blanket

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-42-09-pmTo begin I recommend thermal therapy in the form of a large heated wheat bag. Place the wheat bag along the ground and arrange your lower back to lie onto the heat. Lay down on your back, with the head in line with the spine, arms a little away from the body, the knees bent and the feet wider than hip distance apart. The knees can fall into one another here to flatten the lower back and align the spine.The heat will allow the lower back to relax and prepare muscles for lengthening. Close the eyes, breathe deeply into the abdomen and focus on the movement and sensation of your breathing and your body.

(5-10 minutes)

Now that you are centred and the muscles relaxed we can safely work on some stretching and strengthening exercises.

Mula Bandha

The mula bandha, or root lock, plays an important role in the stabilisation and posture of the entire spine. Activating it takes the pressure off the lumbar spine. Here’s how to locate this specific muscle area. Men contract the area between the anus and the testes while women, contract the muscles at the bottom of the pelvic floor, behind the cervix. To begin with contract the whole network of muscles in this region. With practice, guidance and awareness you can get more specific. For now stay in your lying down position, remove your wheat bag, check that you are comfortable and explore the contracting your mula bandha. Work on activating, holding for 5 seconds with steady breath, then releasing for 10 seconds with steady breath. Do this 5 times, or any other amount that is comfortable for you.

(2 minutes)

Pavanamuktasana – wind relieving pose


Keep the spine and back of the head on the ground and draw the knees into the chest, bringing the hands to the knees to squeeze them into the trunk of the body. You can spend some time circling the knees around to massage the lower back on the ground. This pose will help to gently lengthen the spine, relieving tension in the lower back, hips and thighs that can lead to pain and poor alignment.

(2 minutes)

Supta matsyendrasana – reclined spinal twist

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-44-34-pmNow make sure your pillow is close by, place the feet on the ground as close to the buttocks as possible, and let the knees fall over to the right side of your body. The knees are stacked on top of one another and can be supported by a pillow if they don’t comfortably meet the ground. Reach the arms out wide in opposite directions and in line with the shoulders, keeping both of your shoulders in contact with the floor. Then turn the head to gaze over the left, creating a complete gentle spinal twist. When moving into the stretch be mindful of sensation and practice full embodiment – being present in your body.

(3 minutes per side)

Bidalasana – cat cow posture

Consciously move from a supine position into a comfortable table top position. Check the alignment of the joints – wrists (or fists for those with wrist pain) directly below shoulders, knees below hips (maybe a blanket under the knees for knee discomfort) and the feet in line with the legs.  Elongate through the crown of the head and the tailbone in opposite directions. Inhale to drop the belly and draw the tailbone and gaze upwards (cow pose), pause to breathe into the stretch then exhale and arch the back, draw the navel and mula bandha in, reaching the crown of the head towards the tailbone (cat pose). When you are comfortable with the two poses you can move comfortably with your breath deep and slow breath between the two. Inhale to cow, exhale to cat. Maybe close the eyes to focus inwards here. This allows for the expansion of self awareness and prevents injuries by helping you explore and honour your own boundaries.

(3 minutes)

Massage MelbourneBalasana – child’s pose

Open the knees wide, sit the hips back onto the feet and begin to walk the hands and upper body forward until the forehead can rest on the floor (or stacked fists). Arms can be supporting the forehead, stretched forwards in front of the head or down beside the body. Take the support of a cushion under the pelvis and belly if you need. This is one of Yoga’s most restorative postures and will help relieve the stress and tension that often comes with pain as well as the physical tightness in the lower back.

(5 minutes)

Savasana – corpse pose

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-47-32-pmFinally lay down on your back, take a cushion under the knees, and cover your body with a blanket. Now extend the legs down hip distance apart and let the feet flop to the sides. Bring the arms a little away from the body with the palms facing upwards and the head in line with the spine. Finally tuck the chin slightly into the chest to lengthen the back of the neck and close your eyes. This is the best way to finish your practice and offers the opportunity to relax on all levels. Focus inwards on your breathing and allow the body to be still, tension free and open to receiving all the benefits of your Yoga practice.  

(5 -10 minutes)

A few tips..

–  Try to practice these postures daily

–  If pain or discomfort is experienced through this sequence discontinue and see myself or one of the therapists at Advanced Myotherapy

–  Your sleeping position is important to get right when it comes to lower back pain. Try adjusting your sleep posture to savasana with a cushion under the knees or a side sleeping position with the spine in a straight line and a cushion between the legs.

– Avoid all unconscious lifting and bending. Always move with a straight spine and when squatting activate the mula bandha and core to project your spine.

–  Learn how you sit, stand, and move in a way that keeps your spine in proper alignment and alleviates strain on your back.

Most importantly, make space in your life for your pain. It is present and means that something needs attention. Don’t numb the pain or try to push through it, honour the pain, adjust your lifestyle and try to allow it for what it is. A chance for healing, an opportunity to build on your self-understanding and self-compassion. The more you look after and love your body, the incredible vessel for your being, the richer your life experience will be.

By Hannah Beggs

Hannah Beggs Yoga CarltonHannah teaches Myo-Balance classes in the Advanced Myotherapy Rehab room and is a Yoga Alliance registered Hatha Yoga instructor. She came to Yoga when she was traveling through Nepal with her family at the age of 16. She has been expanding her understanding of the ancient Indian natural sciences since this time.

After using Yoga and meditation to heal her own physical, mental and spiritual imbalances Hannah decided to study in India to become a teacher and share the practice with those who understand the value of health and wellbeing through alignment.

At the heart of her teaching journey is the love for guiding people back to alignment with their best version of their perfectly unique glorious selves.

 

5 Signs you should try Myotherapy

5 Signs you may be due for another tune up
  1. You have chronic neck and back pain…

Spinal restriction placing pressure on the nervous system causes pain. Tight muscles and fascia along the spine (erector spinae) is the leading cause of this pain.

Often people say they visit various therapists for spinal adjustments without lasting results. The reason for this is due to the fact that tight muscles are the origin of the condition, not the resulting spinal and neural pressure that comes with pain.

2. You’re getting frequent headaches and migraines…

Addressing the root cause of symptoms, often originating from poor postural habits, we combine treatment with self care education which has a lasting impact. Treating the neck alone without addressing the habitual causes often result in only temporary relief from pain. 

3. Old injuries still stop you from being able to do what you used to…

Injuries from years ago even still today, are stopping you from certain activities you once loved. Myotherapy breaks up scar tissue around trauma areas that haven’t yet healed properly, from deep tissue release work to dry needling trigger points to rid you of any residual muscle memory of old injuries. 

4. You are noticing your own bad posture and shallow breathing…

Shallow breathing is a symptom of bad posture resulting from internally rotating shoulders, especially common in side or stomach sleepers and office workers. Noticing your own bad posture is a sign you’ve left treatment too long. Maintaining muscular balance is essential for spinal health and will prevent a multitude of ailments from herniated discs to even worse – spinal nerve root compression.

5. Your usual shopping centre massages are not working…

The random rub downs miss all the key points, fail to warm up the muscles and while you generally walk in on the spot, they simply missed all the spots! You even tried pain killers and they only masked the stress, leading you to soldier on and make things worse! Feeling like a visit? BOOK NOW

 

Our Self Care & Posture Correction classes target specific musculo-skeletal imbalances to address individual weakness and restriction causing pain. The small class sizes offer intimate one on one focus to instil correct posture for individually targeted realignment.

ClicBOOK NOW or call us to ask about our 2 for 1 intro offer.

Stand taller with our therapist run Self Care alignment classes specific to your needs. Book any time online and gain far more benefits from the individual focus you wont get from large fitness, Yoga or Pilates classes.

 

Foam Rolling for Pain

Foam rolling for ‪ myofascial‬ release and posture correction‬ to bring the ‪‎shoulders‬ back can help relieve many pain symptom in the body. From headaches and neck and shoulder pain, foam rolling can reduce a range of physical complaints from muscular imbalance.

Myotherapy incorporates a holistic approach in educating clients in self care for long term results. Office workers and trades people often have roFoam roller carltonunded shoulders as a result of their working habits. Myotherapists call this the activities of daily living, which are a strong focus of our work, to instill corrective care to counter balance any repetitive strain potential for future or repeated injury prone vulnerabilities. 

We use a range of different tools including Trigger Point Foam Rollers to encourage our clients to use effective techniques to gain the most out of there personal goals for either maintenance or recovery. Laying on or self massage with the use of a trigger point foam roller is a fantastic way of recovering from debilitating pain, be it from overuse in sports and endurance activities or simple pain, tension and stiffness.

Allowing the spine and muscles to reverse themselves into a balanced and corrected alignment, using a foam roller can fast track posture correction where treatment alone would not compete.

We encourage our clients to take an active role in their muscular maintenance so as to not only “make our job easier” but to ensure more of a longer term balance that can be incorporated to prevent ongoing and persistent pain symptoms.

Natural Neck Pain Solutions

The leading causes of neck pain include:

  1. Misaligned shoulders that are typically rounded, which lead to:
  2. A poorly aligned neck (forward tilting), which leads to:
  3. Tremendous strain on the neck muscles, which leads to:
  4. Chronic pain, build up of strain, with potential long term effects (migraines and headaches, etc.)

Postural imbalance resulting in rounded shoulders and neck pain is also a common source of headaches!

Below we share a few exercises that are effective as home self care for the improvement of posture to reduce upper back, shoulder and neck pain.

power posture myotherapy

Foam rolling or laying on a tightly rolled towel and placing it under the spine – is a wonderful way to relax the shoulders back, opening the chest and pectoral muscles to reduce strain on the upper back and dramatically improve posture.

Doing so for up to 10 minutes to reverse poor posture at the end of each day is an ideal way to prevent pain from stiffness also effecting our overnight muscular balance long term.

To lengthen the muscles of the neck bring your ear to the shoulder, place your hand on the ear and gently guide your head to the shoulder to deepen the stretch. Hold for a minute each side.

 

 

 


Self care exercises are great way to maintain and often prevent restrictions although finding and addressing the cause of the problem is essential to long term results.

At Advanced Myotherapy we can help by assessing your lifestyle to find the cause of the restrictions which may be caused by things such as your sleeping position or posture at work.

Depending on the origin of the restriction, you will be given more specific self care exercises which can be done at home that will target specific muscles to further relieve restrictions and maintain normal muscle range of motion.

Carlton Pregnancy Massage

Healthy Pregnancy & Better Birth

The incredible changes of a women’s body in pregnancy takes enormous adjustments from hormonal activity to increased fluids and pressure that can cause significant strain. Myotherapy encourages the ability to maintain essential balance for a healthy pregnancy and stress free fetal development.

Pregnancy Myotherapy encourages expectant mothers to help give their baby the best start to life with correct posture and pelvic balance. Specific care for the changing needs of a women in pregnancy means it is vital to understand the bio-mechanics of the body to help prevent common pregnancy ailments and conditions.

From the hips and lower back often struggling to support the growing belly, Myotherapy works with a range of symptoms such as anterior pelvic tilt from constant hip flexing to internal shoulder rotation from side sleeping and growing chest weight. Benefits of treatment in pregnancy include vital circulation compromised by added pressure on major veins and arteries especially through the pelvis, affecting the legs.

Regular treatments prevent accumulated stress inhibiting fetal development birth. Birth preparation & education helps prevent unnecessary need for medical interventions that require significant rehabilitation.

There are many things that can be explored to help prevent a stressful pregnancy and birth experience that we encourage women to consider, mentioned below.

3 Ways to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy

Pre-natal Yoga

Yoga for birth helps maintain balance for the growing body to prevent blood stagnation and postural strain. It also has the benefits of increasing essential flexibility for birth while enhancing vital strength and energy often depleted in pregnancy. Helping to eliminate waste and toxins that accumulate as the bodily fluids increase, pre-natal Yoga helps maintain a strong immune system, vital for the demands of pregnancy. Reducing stress and cultivating calm, Yoga prepares the body for a more efficient labour and birth, particularly for the pelvis and perineum to prevent strain in labour. Nina Isabellla from Mamashanti Yoga for Birth teaches many birthing skills in her workshops. She also runs regular classes, retreats and a private clinic for those wanting more one-one focus.

Pre & post-natal treatment

The gravitational shift occurring in fetal development increases the likelihood of lower back pain. Sometimes morning sickness, dizziness and nausea reduces the ability to exercise and keep active, further weakening the integrity of muscles.

Pre-natal treatments maintain balance where blood stagnation occurs because of restricted mobility in the body. Regular treatment can mean the difference between a comfortable, relaxed pregnancy and one more defined by aches and pains.

Myotherapy can also decrease recovery time after giving birth, which often requires great physical endurance akin to athletic performance. Helping restore pelvic balance and postural alignment, Myotherapy supports new mothers in giving their baby the best possible start to life.

Swimming

Swimming offers a safe means of exercising as the water supports weight, decreasing the gravitational stress on the spine and limbs. Enhancing the ability to use oxygen, swimming helps encourage healthy fetal development for lasting benefits after birth.

Being buoyant in water helps baby assume the best position for birth. Swimming also more importantly prevents transverse or breech positioning during pregnancy, thereby lowering the risk of medical interventions during birth.

Myotherapy teaches the importance of the posture & pelvis in pregnancy

3 Tips for a Better Birth

Birth education

Labour positions have a great deal to do with pain intensity due to the opening of the space within the pelvic bones as well as it’s structure working with gravity. Lying on your back in labour works against gravity, increasing pressure on the sacrum, making birth more difficult. Labour is less stressful when able to move freely in different positions. Find Birth Education workshops in your area, to learn more about how to make birthing easier. Di Diddle’s Birth Education course in Fitzroy offers fantastic insight into how best to navigate natural labour and birth.

Natural pain relief

Pregnancy is the best time to learn about natural pain management to prevent unnecessary struggle during birth. Using hot showers or a bath (deep water immersion) during labour significantly reduces pain intensity. Having support people massaging the lower back & sacrum during contractions, while an upright or forward leaning position is also found to help women give birth with less strain.

Birth Preparation

Stretching and exercising regularly prepares for the endurance and surrender needed to labour as baby descends during birth. Fitness increases cardiovascular health, to prevent the risk of high blood pressure in labour causing fetal distress.

Recommended resources:

 

Benefits of Massage & Myotherapy

 
 
Muscle Therapy, including Myotherapy and Massage have been found to promote endless health benefits.
Myotherapy and Massage are found to have far reaching health benefits from reducing blood pressure to helping with stress management. In 2013 The International Journal of Preventative Medicine published a study revealing the incredible link between massage and blood pressure. In conjunction with the benefit of reducing blood pressure, the study revealed there was also a drop in markers of inflammation, suggesting massage doesn’t just help the heart, it has a far more holistic effect.
Reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, regular Massage has been found to help reduce the effects of aging.

A recent research study states that anxiety sufferers undergoing withdrawal from psychoactive drugs experienced both significant immediate and sustained reduction in symptoms. By improving the experience of the withdrawal process, providing patients with healthier approaches to managing the way they feel, the study concluded that massage may help retain patients within service areas, improving overall wellbeing. This study was published in the Journal of Alternative & Complimentary Medicine (2010).

 
Studies have also shown significant reduction of symptoms in endometriosis / painful menstruation sufferers, after receiving a series of (massage) treatments. Results showed that the severity of pain and symptoms subsided immediately and lasted up to six weeks. The research concluded that massage therapy can be used to reduce menstrual pain and endometriosis as an inexpensive method of treatment with no reported side effects. Findings showed that there was a significant difference between the intensity of pain before the intervention started and immediately after. This study was published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research (2010)
 
Research has also showed significant improvements in fatigue and insomnia in massage patients. Massage has been shown to promote fast recovery in patients who have undergone surgery for a range of conditions, even preventing surgery in countless cases. We ourselves at Advanced Myotherapy have seen a number of successful recovery cases who have previously been recommended surgery, but thankfully sought a  (our) second opinion.
Read some of our client feedback below.
 
“I’d like to thank you for the awesome work on my back and legs. 6 months ago I couldnt walk and now I have done the dandenong mountains 1000 steps 2 weeks in a row. You are a life saver. I feel so much better and happier with all the pain gone. Keep the good work up. Again thank you” – Nazih Dib
“Told I needed surgery for Achilles Tendonitis, I wanted a second opinion. After treatment I became more aware of my own contribution to the condition and have since recovered fully without surgery.”- Theo, TNM Consulting
“I had doctors telling me I needed surgery,  now they are scratching their heads after seeing my follow up scan only months later. NO more herniated disc!” – Grant Smith, Sound technician
“I was diagnosed with CTA – carpel tunnel symcrome, tendonitis and fibromialga and was treated by a Psysio for 4 months once a week.  You have done more for me in one session  than the physio did in that whole time and the tingling is almost gone already.”– Malina Larm
“Self Care is the key word for 2012….highly advocated by Advanced Myotherapy ….thanks for the inspiration Advanced Myotherapy…..although I am ageing I get much more out of my body than ever before!”  – Cindy James
“Thank you for a great treatment today and the follow up plan. It was my first experience of a dry needling treatment today, I can truly recommend this treatment. Feeling more movement already.” – Sandra Cleary
“I had severe pain in my elbow and lost a lot of strength in my fore arm. Now I’m back to work as usual without restriction.” – Ramsey Pedro, Electrician
“Running a highly demanding corporate organisation with a family at home, I came to Advanced Myotherapy on recommendation, for the severe pain down my leg. I am now free from the debilitating pain I was constantly in. I highly recommend Advanced Myotherapy for anyone seeking better health.” – Lazarus, Skillup Australia
“Advanced Myotherapy came highly recommended to me for the treatment of my painful feet. I have now been able to maintain an active lifestyle with a more conscious awareness of recovery and self care.” – Cindy James, Interiors That Fit
“Success in the melbourne marathon in tough conditions a pb of 5.06 half an hour faster than expected! Legs feel great thanks to training and Advanced Myotherapy!”  – Joanne Baxas
“Thanks a lot! No matter what persistent pain I have, you make them disappear in an instant! You are a true PAIN MAGICIAN!!!”  – Veronika Nemes