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Core & Spine

The content below is not meant to replace assessments and diagnoses from trained medical professionals. The content being shared is a visual resource that compliments custom home programs created by certified athletic therapist, Melissa Deonaraine CAT(C), for patients whom she has physically assessed and treated in clinic. Always check with your medical provider before trying content found on the internet is safe for you to try. 

Disclaimer

Abdominal Stretch Supine on Exercise Ball  

If you want to cool down from your workout with a chill stretch, this is the one to try. Keep in mind that you want to focus on your technique which will help you to stay on the exercise ball. 

Leave this stretch for a later date if you're not as flexible and comfortable with your body. Patients tend to be afraid which causes them to stiffen their bodies. 

Note: If you're not comfortable being on the exercise ball, try the pelvic mobilization technique with the exercise ball to feel comfortable before you challenge yourself. 

Quadratus Lumborum (QL) "Ragdoll" Stretch

If you're not sure where to start with strengthening your shoulders, this exercise is a good place to start to create a foundation. Many people skip that step which leads to issues later on because they're depending on multiple muscle groups to activate instead of training your body to target and isolate structures. 

I'm doing this exercise seated on an exercise to double dip by adding an element of balance and proprioception to activate my core. 

Back Stretch Seated at Workstation

No excuse to not have time to take care of yourself. Everyone has back pain thanks to our society and how much time is committed in the same position for extended hours. 

If anyone asks what you're doing, just say you're looking for your contact lens. Just kidding... or am I? Laughter is good for your body and soul. 

Standing Back Stretch

This stretch may appear "simple" and that anyone could just do it. Just because you can move your body doesn't mean that you're moving in efficiently wit the proper biomechanics. The hardest part about this stretch is letting go of your fears. Focus on your breathing to help you get through the stretch. You can easily perform this stretch anywhere since you don't require anything but the ability to stand tall.

Version #1

Version #2

Trigger Points

There are lots of therapy tools you can use to get pain relief. Trigger point balls are helpful but can be intense depending on how much pain you're currently experiencing.

 

Focus on your breathing to help you get through intense moments using a trigger point ball. The type of ball you use can also affect the outcome (i.e.. lacrosse ball may can cause bruising from being too firm). 

 

There's no need to roll around with the ball. Let your body relax and stay still so the trigger point technique can be effective.  

Seated Technique

Floor Technique

Lower Body Self-Massage with Rolling Stick

Rolling sticks are helpful with body care whether it's with for injury recovery or maintenance. This device can be used actively by an individual or passively with the athletic therapist using the stick to prep the area before treatment. 

 

Not all rolling sticks are created equal. My preference is the Intracell Rolling Stick because it has different firmness depending on your body type and activity, individual rollers with a flexible bar makes contact with more surface area that's comfortable. 

Athletic individuals can use the rolling stick dynamically to help them get ready for physical activity. 

I was at an international event when I asked the therapist with the aquatics team, why did they prefer the Tiger Tail stick instead of the Intracell rolling stick? He shared with me that his leg hairs got caught in the latter. 

There's a win for anyone who shaves their legs! If you want to use a rolling stick that have individual rollers but have a lot of body hair, try rolling the stick on top of your clothing instead of directly against your skin. 

Lower Body Massage with Foam Roller

There was a period of time when everyone was big into foam rollers. Don't get me wrong, they are great however I would advise that anyone with shoulder or upper body injuries stay away from this rehab tool. The foam roller requires the user to support their body weight with their upper body. Something like the rolling stick would be less stressful for those individuals with upper body concerns.

Back to memory lane, remember the rumble roller? It was a sign of being "hardcore" if you could handle those dense, protruding inserts on the very firm roller. If that's your thing, enjoy. Just remember that forcing the tissues to relax won't help. Use within moderation to not end up being bruised. 

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