Pain Relief - Performance - Results

Manhattan Physical Therapy

Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center is a leader in pain relief and injury recovery located in Midtown New York City. The four specialized physical therapists on staff go beyond standard physical therapy by challenging their client???s bodies to build core strength, flexibility, and increase range of motion.

Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center has an excellent track record of success treating back pain caused by strains, degenerative disc disease, piriformis syndrome, spondylolisthesis or whiplash injuries.

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Postpartum Back Pain: Why You May Still Have Pain After Delivery

You’ve just completed one of the most physically taxing (and emotionally rewarding) experiences of your life: growing and delivering a healthy, happy baby. While most of the symptoms associated with pregnancy quickly disappear after delivery, there is one common annoyance that follows many women into their postpartum days: back pain. Back pain can put a damper on the time you spend with your little one, but understanding the causes of this discomfort can help you reduce its effects.

What Causes Postpartum Back Pain(And What Can You Do About It)?

Your body accomplished some amazing feats while you were pregnant. Your muscles stretched and moved out of the way to accommodate your growing uterus while your joints relaxed to help ease your baby’s passage during your delivery.  As they stretched, your muscles became weaker, negatively impacting your posture and straining your back. Furthermore, loose joints may have left you feeling unstable, causing additional pain.

These stretched muscles and loose joints won’t snap back to their former state overnight. Instead, they need time after your baby is born to regain their strength. During this time you may continue feeling the discomfort that was so familiar while you were pregnant. You can give your muscles a head start back to their former strength by exercising as soon as your doctor gives you the okay.

Having a new baby presents you with a variety of tasks that place stress on your lower back. Instead of conveniently riding along wherever you go, your little one is now dependent on you to pick her up whenever she needs something. Picking up an eight-pound infant fifty times a day can stress your back, leading to more pain.

Your baby is only going to get bigger and heavier, so it’s important to focus on smart lifting habits as soon as possible. To lessen the impact on your back, bring your baby close to you when picking her up rather than stretching your arms straight out. When picking her up from a low surface, bend at your knees rather than your waist. Finally, avoid standing outside your car to remove your child from her car seat. Instead, kneel on the back seat to get closer and put less strain on your back.

Breastfeeding is an excellent choice for both mother and child, but mothers may be so focused on finding the right latch that they neglect their posture while nursing. Bending over your baby during feedings can strain both your back and your neck, so be cognizant of your positioning before you allow your child to latch. Bring your baby to you rather than bending down to his level and be sure to sit in a chair that offers you plenty of support.

If you are experiencing postpartum back pain, know that you are not alone. Many women experience this discomfort for weeks or even months after they deliver. Fortunately, regular exercise and staying conscious of your posture can help keep your back from coming between you and your new baby.

What is Muscle Imbalance and How is it Detected and Corrected?

Each major muscle or muscle group in our body has an opposing muscle or muscle group, which allows the muscle to create movement. For example, the biceps opposes the triceps (allowing the arm to bend), the abdominal’s oppose the lower back muscles (allowing the back to bend and flex), and the quadriceps opposes the hamstrings, (allowing the knee joint to bend).

It is important that opposing muscle groups both be developed and stretched similarly, for the best results in terms of improved strength and efficiency. In fact, if one muscle or group is stronger than its opposing muscle, a muscle imbalance may develop. Research has shown that muscle imbalances can leave you much more prone to overload injury, pain and poor posture.

As a specific example, if you do push-ups regularly but don’t do pull-ups or rows, it is likely your chest is stronger than your upper back and you have a muscle imbalance. Weight lifters often develop imbalances in their chest and back muscles. Non-athletes can also develop muscle imbalances over time, from picking heavy things up such as children or groceries using poor form, poor posture, or sitting in one position for an extended period of time.

How are muscle imbalances detected and corrected?
No matter how expert you are at sports, you probably have some muscle imbalances that need attention. If you are a recreational exerciser, it’s highly likely. A qualified and certified athletic trainer (ATC), physical therapist (PT) or certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) can provide you with a professional evaluation of your muscle balance, imbalance, and movement issues. A common technique for detecting muscle imbalances is known as a Muscle Balance Assessment (MBA), which consists of a series of tests that evaluate the range of motion in your joints as well as the strength and flexibility of your muscles. Muscle imbalance negatively affects the performance of your muscles and joints, and the MBA will help identify areas that need work to improve strength, flexibility, and efficiency.

It’s important to note that some muscle imbalances are caused by disease, nervous system disorders, or structural problems in the body. Those kinds of muscle imbalances cannot be treated through corrective exercise. If that turns out to be the case for you, your physical therapist will refer you to an appropriate health professional to try to address the root causes of your muscle imbalance.

After the evaluation, assuming your muscle imbalances are due to poor training or technique, the key to correcting muscle imbalances lies partly in choosing appropriate exercises to “balance out” the imbalance, and partly in retraining the movement patterns that caused the imbalance in the first place. Corrective exercises not only help restore balance between the major muscle groups involved, but also among the adjacent muscle groups that contribute to muscle imbalance.

The corrective exercises prescribed by your physical therapist or trainer will likely include stretching exercises, particularly for the stronger muscle group. These stretching exercises will contribute to restoring muscle imbalances and will improve the overall efficiency and resilience of both muscle groups.