Core stability for Dancers – try our Dance Pilates

Are you a dancer who wants to improve your technique, flexibility or just prevent those niggly injuries that can keep you from training?

Here at Bureta physio we have a dedicated physiotherapist who can help you with this.

As a dancer you will be aware of the importance of core stability to improve turns, control arabesque and prevent many back issues.  You may already being lots of training for it but are you really doing what you need to do to get the most out of it.

Core stability is not about doing hundreds of sit ups, getting a ‘six-pack’ or being able to hold a plank position for 3 minutes (although these do still have their purposes!)

True Core Stability IS…

  • The ability to control the spine dynamically, that is, with movement.
  • Fine co-ordination of all of the muscles that control your trunk, not just the abdominals.
  • The ability to adjust the level of control needed, depending on the situation.
  • Creating a stable base off which to work the limbs.
  • Stabilizing the mid-section to allow smooth and effective transfer of force through the body.

While everyone needs some level of core stability, some people need more than others. For a dancer, core stability needs to be fantastic fine coordination of all of the muscles to allow controlled mobility of the pelvis and spine with movement, rather than bracing in one spot.

So How Do We Do That?
True core stability exercises are extremely hard to do properly and very easy to do wrong. The purpose of our specific dance pilates courses are to ensure you understand the finer details required to gain true core stability and a progressive system of exercises the train your muscles in the best possible way.

Flexibility
Our dance pilates classes also provide ways to improve your flexibility in a safe but effective manner.  Unfortunately we often see injuries that are caused by over-stretching, especially on young bodies that are still developing.  Its not that as a physiotherapists we are against improving flexibility but this can be achieved through controlled and safe methods not putting joints or muscles through undue stress.

Lucy Poole, one of our physiotherapists here at Bureta is experienced with working with dancers both from a amateur level through to professional so you can get the most from your dancing.  This can be through a one to one physiotherapy session, one to one pilates classes or in our group dance pilates classes.

The goal of the classes is to improve dance technique and reduce dance related injuries that we see a lot in the clinic.  Simple postural and muscle balance adjustments can make a huge difference to current performance and prevent time off due to injury.

They will run for 6 consecutive weeks at a cost of $80 for 6 consecutive sessions.

Heading to the slopes to ski or snowboard? – you have got to read this first!

Ok so the last couple of days in the bay have been super cold for our standards

Winter is here and many people will head to the snow for a well earned break. While skiing/boarding comes naturally to some, others spend most of their time unsuccessfully negotiating the equipment and terrain. Whatever your level of experience, skiing/ boarding can be hazardous and contribute to injury. The physiotherapists in our practice can help. We can ensure that you are prepared for the slopes by minimising your injury risk through specific exercise programmes, fitness regimes, strengthening and warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.

To avoid injury this snow season, the physiotherapists in our practice recommend you:

Be fit to ski/snowboard

Begin to incorporate ski-specific exercises into your regular exercise routine at least eight weeks prior to your holiday. This will promote use of the muscles and joints required for skiing. Strengthen the muscles specific to snow sports (thighs, butts, core stabilisers and triceps) to reduce the risk of injury and increase your enjoyment and endurance on the slopes. We can outline ski-specific or board-specific exercises whilst prescribing a conditioning programme to improve your core stability and muscle strength. Ultimately, your performance on the slopes relies on your fitness, so talk to us about how to achieve an optimal fitness level. We have access to a number of gyms around Tauranga and can write you a ski or board specific program and you won’t be tied into a long term membership!! Talk to us about Bureta Physio’s corporate gym rates 

Look after your back

When travelling distances to reach the mountain, rest every two hours and stretch. See one of our physiotherapists for effective stretching advice, and if you have had problems with your back come into the clinic and pick up a Lumbar roll for the trip which means when you unfold yourself after the trip you are ready to go

Warm up, stretch and cool down

Before hitting the slopes, warm up like you would with any other sporting activity. Stretch your thigh, calf and arm muscles check out or blog on dynamic stretches. Start your day with easy runs to loosen up (make sure you also do this after each rest break.) Once you have finished skiing for the day, remembers to cool down. These activities will better prepare your body to avoid injury. We can show you warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.

Ski within your capabilities

Beginners should take advantage of a ski lesson and not succumb to the pressure of keeping up with experienced skiers. Don’t be afraid to rest when you find yourself getting tired. Fatigue can increase your injury risk. And remember, the more unfit you are, the more tired you will become. Injuries often happen on that last run of the day!

To avoid injury on the snowfields this winter, consult one of our physiotherapists on how to best prepare your body.

Core Strength and Back Pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles. These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace. They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body. The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable. When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off. Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem. This leads to recurrent low back pain. Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain. Improving posture may reduce pain immediately. Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again. This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist. Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further. These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly. We also offer pilates classes and strength classes which incorporate core strength. Call us now to book into our classes. New times and more classes coming 2015…………. New schedule up on website in Jan

Is your posture hurting you?

Blog posted by Nic Craw, Physiotherapist at Bureta Physiotherapy

As human beings our bodies are made to be standing upright on two feet. With advancing technology, the internet, computer based work, learning and communication we are spending more and more time sitting. This has an effect on your spine, especially if you have an injury or an ongoing niggle.

In standing our spines have a series of natural curves known as a lordosis in the Lumbar (lower) and Cervical (neck) spine and a kyphosis in the Thoracic (mid-upper) spine. These curves allow for normal movement, shock absorption and maintaining our centre of gravity over our feet.

When we sit down it can be difficult to maintain these natural curves and most people are not aware of their spinal posture when they sit. Often when we sit, our pelvis rotates backward (posteriorly), flattening the Lumbar curve (lordosis). Flattening of the lumbar lordosis leads to an exaggerated bent forward upper back (thoracic kyphosis) in order to maintain our centre of gravity over our pelvis where we bear weight in sitting, which in turn causes the head to protrude forward.

When educating clients about their spinal posture I often get them to maintain their poor sitting posture and get them to stand up. Clients find their posture in standing to be stooped and bent forward. Maintaining this position for even a short time can lead to or aggravate numerous spinal related problems both in sitting and standing.

computer-posture1

To improve your spinal posture in sitting, start at the pelvis ensuring it is rotated forwards giving you that natural lordosis in your lumbar spine – (a lumbar roll can assist this if you sit for long periods – available through the clinic). Once this pelvic position is set it becomes much easier to pull your shoulder blades back and tuck your chin in to achieve an upright sitting posture. One of the fundamentals of treating spinal pain is re-educating clients on posture

Maintaining this posture requires a strong core, shoulder blade stabilisers and neck strength and the team at Bureta Physio can guide you through a program to improve these areas and your postural awareness in sitting. If you spend a lot of time sitting either at work or play then maintaining a good spinal posture is very important not only when recovering from a spinal problem but to prevent them developing in the future.