Superman Exercises: Lower Back Strengthening

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Dr. Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has a simple lower-back exercise you can do at home without any special equipment. Before you try these exercises at home, especially if you have any history of pain, it is important that you be cleared by your doctor or physical therapist.

The “superman” exercise is useful to people who are beginning a lower-back strengthening regimen. There are also variations of the “superman” for those who may need an intermediate exercise.

This particular group of exercises focuses on training the back, buttock, thigh and shoulder muscles. It can be done prone, kneeling, and on an exercise ball. Prone Superman is the best position to start out. It takes pressure of the knees and pelvis, making it ideal for those with sore knees, hips, or poor stability.

 

Starting Position

  • Lying prone on a stable surface, a rug or carpet is preferred. Elbows bent with forehead resting in your hands.
  • Place a pillow under your hips for comfort.

Into Action

  • Start with a single backwards leg raise. Raise only a few inches, your hips should not come off the pillow. Simultaneously extend the opposite arm upwards with the thumb pointing towards the ceiling, this way the shoulder muscles become engaged.
  • Make sure to keep your eyes pointed at the floor so your neck is neutral. Your hips should also be pointed at the ground, and not rotating during movement.
  • Hold for a 5-10 seconds, then lower the arm and shoulder at the same time.
  • Alternate sides.

 

The endurance required to hold the core supported is the main focus of this exercise. As you feel the need to progress the exercise, try holding each position for longer periods of time. Once you have mastered the prone position, you can move on to the kneeling position, pictured below.

superman final

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we provide personalized therapy programs for each patient. Our staff works with every patient to build a therapy programs tailored to their goals. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert physical therapist!

(714) 997-5518

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

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Dr. Grace Walker shares two lifestyle tips to reduce knee pain

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, shares that patients seen for knee injuries find dramatic results by a few life style changes. Research shows that knee injury patients who utilize physical therapy, along with these tips listed below, find greater, longer lasting relief.

stock-photo-81368917-runner-touching-painful-knee-athlete-runner-training-accident

 

  • Be conscious of your footwear

    • Women might love the look of those high-heels, and men the comfort of sandals, however these types of shoes are just as unsupportive as they look. One wrong step in heels or sandals could be disastrous, not only for the ankle, but the knee as well. The same misstep in ergonomic footwear, may be correctable and more forgiving on the knee. Women should also know that “the higher the heel, the more the knee will bend when the foot hits the floor. This put a lot of strain on the knee joint, especially for women who are overweight.”  (Christensen 1)
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

    • Overweight men are five times more likely (and women four times more likely) to experience knee osteoarthritis. Research shows that a “loss of at least 10% of body weight is associated with moderate to large clinical improvements in joint pain.(Asay 1)

To see the second part of this article, “Three areas of exercise to reduce knee pain”  featured on our blogger website, click the link.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to help address all of the potential variables that may be causing knee pain. We look at the “whole person” when treating knee pain to provide insights as to why one might be experiencing excess strain on their knees but also in the hip, ankles and even a weak “Core”. We also look at our patients Body Mass Index as well as the daily activities demand.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

 

 

References:
Christensen. Ann Rheum Dis. 2007 Apr; 66(4): 433–439. PMCID: PMC1856062. Effect of weight reduction in obese patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta‐analysis
Asay JL, Favre J, Titchenal MR, et al. Effects of high heel wear and increased weight on the knee during walking. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 2014.
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Grace Walker uses Revolutionary Pressure Point Techniques as Physical and Occupational therapist

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Pressure Points and Persistent Aches and Pains

A common cause of persistent and strange aches and pains that usually go under-diagnosed are pressure points , or muscle knots. Most of these trigger points (TrPs) are common and, on condition that you are educated on where each trigger point is, they can be massaged at home! These TrPs are the most useful and satisfying areas to apply pressure to muscle.

That being said, the focus will be on two common TrPs treated at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center that have helped hundreds of patients suffering from low back pain, trochanteric bursitis and sciatica. These points are the obscure gluteus medius and minimus muscles. Other muscles such as the gluteus maximus contribute to lower extremity pain as well, but the gluteus medius and minimus are significant culprits to pain in the buttock, legs, hips and back.

These muscles are located in the deep lateral part of the glutes and are a common but unsuspected source of pain. This pair of muscles is “the deltoid of the butt”– they lift the leg just as the deltoid muscle of the arm lifts it out to the side.

 

Where exactly is the pressure point?

This pair of muscles is not a single specific pressure point, but a small area where you can find a noteworthy pressure point or points. This area is on the side of the hip. You can feel the muscles if you stand on one leg and lift the other out to the side several times. When you start to feel a burn on the sides of your hips, you are feeling your lateral glutes.

Even without symptoms, pressure point techniques on these muscles is still important since they usually harbor latent pressure points points not obvious until they are pressed. These are also normally responsible for stiffness, vague discomfort, and aching throughout the hip and buttocks traveling down into the leg.

Their importance is often unsuspected because the key gluteus medius and minimus pressure points are located way out on the side of the hip, but the discomfort they produce spreads inwards and downwards. It is common for this pain to be strongest right under the butt cheek, thus often mistaken for sciatica.

Because they are hidden, massaging these muscles can feel like a real surprise, proving to be a satisfying discovery of the true source of stiffness or pain.

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center today to schedule an appointment with a caring and empowering physical therapist!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

 

 

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