Category: Stretches

Entegra Health | Remedial Massage Melbourne

Lower Back Stretch

lower back stretch

At Entegra Health, Parkville, a common area of muscular concern is lower back pain. Whilst lower back pain often involves a variety of factors and muscles contributing to dysfunction; the primary muscles commonly involved are: the Quadratus Lumborum (QL), Piriformis (Gluteus muscles), Iliopsoas (Hip Flexors), Hamstrings and Adductors.

What Is the Main Lower Back Muscle?

lower back stretchThe QLs are the primary lower back muscles, and deepest abdominal muscles. They are located between the lower back, above the sacrum (tail bone) and the final rib. The QLs originate in the lower back/sacrum and insert into the anterior (front) of the pelvis.

What Are the Functions of the QLs?

The QL muscles function in association with the Hip Flexor muscles in the front of the pelvis, the spine and ribs, to support actions involving lateral (side to side) extension and flexion of the torso. The QL muscles are also considered pelvic stabilizers, actively involved in an anterior (front), or posterior (back) tilt. In contrast, the Hip Flexors act as antagonists, functionally alternating between lengthening, or stretching, and contraction.

Due to the attachment of the QL muscles to the lower ribs, the QL muscles also support respiration (breathing) to an extent, in conjunction with the upper thoracic (Rhomboid and Pectoral) and intercostal muscles (muscles between the ribs).

What Tension Related Problems Can Occur in the QLs? | Lower Back Stretch

At Entegra Health Parkville, common conditions of the QL muscles include standard lower back tension related conditions, to persistent (chronic) inflammatory conditions. More severe although common conditions associated with the QL muscles include Bulging Disc (herniated spine), and Sciatica, involving inflammation of the sciatic nerve located between the vertebrae in the lumbar spine.

Symptoms commonly present with QL tension may include pain in the lower back, and/or reduced range of motion in side-to-side actions. Other common symptoms associated with acute QL tension and/or pain may include difficulty with basic daily tasks including standing from a sitting position, putting on shoes, or getting dressed.

Common aggravating factors associated with general tension or soft tissue injuries, may include:

  • Repeated use causing strain, or overuse of lower back (QL) muscles
  • Weak abdominal muscles
  • Increase in lower back weight bearing loads (i.e weighted squats)

How Can I Reduce Lower Back Muscular Tension?

At Entegra Health, we highly recommend consulting your Remedial Massage therapist during your treatment (or through a Telehealth Consultation), to determine the most appropriate treatment management plan for you. Common management plans may include a combination of regular Remedial Massage treatments, and self care options including stretching and/or strengthening programs, to effectively reduce general muscular tension of the QL muscles between Remedial Massage treatments.

Lower Back Stretch

Many simple stretches exist to effectively lengthen and reduce tension in the QL muscles of the lower back (see Entegra Health stretch library). Stretching the QL muscles may also assist the reduction of tension in the knees and ankles, therefore also reducing the potential for soft tissue related conditions such as plantar fasciitus.

Strengthening

Strengthening the QL and abdominal muscles is important to effectively support stabilization of the pelvis and lower back. Exercises to strengthen the QL muscles include free weights to strengthen the lower back, and the abdominal muscles. Examples of supportive exercises include crunches/sit-ups and weighted squats.

Enquiries

For further information regarding Remedial Massage, or treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources including stretch and exercise video resources can also be found on our website.

Enterga Health
Lower Back Stretch
Remedial Massage Melbourne

Adductor Stretch

adductor stretch

Have you experienced pain or discomfort in your groin muscles after a walk or run? At Entegra Health, many clients experience inner thigh and groin related tension, due to tight Adductor muscles. Whilst groin tension is a common occurrence, it’s essential to incorporate effective stretches and regular Remedial Massage into your training regime. 

Where Are the Adductor Muscles?

The Adductor muscles comprise five muscles (the Adductor Longus, Adductor Magnus, Adductor Brevis; Pectineus and Gracillis) that form a fan shape between the inner thigh and Femur (thigh bone). As such, they are often referred to as the Groin muscles.

What Are the Functions of the Adductor Muscles?

adductor stretchThe Adductor muscles are responsible for ‘Adduction’ of the legs, or bringing the legs together, and stabilization of the hips and pelvis. Along with the Quadricep, Gluteal, Illiopsoas, Tensor Fascia Latae and Hamstring muscles, the Adductor muscles also assist in the extension of our legs while walking, running and cycling. The Adductors are also responsible for rotation of the hips in association with the Hip Flexor and Gluteal muscles. 

What Tension Related Problems Can Occur in the Adductors? | Adductor Stretch

At Entegra Health Parkville, common tension related conditions of the Adductors may include: muscular discomfort or pain throughout the Groin muscles, and reduced range of motion, or pain in the hip or knee. Other common symptoms associated with acute Adductor tension, may include lower back pain, in association with the Hip Flexors.

Common factors associated with Adductor tension may include:

  • Repeated use causing strain, due to overuse of Groin muscles
  • Weak Gluteal muscles 
  • Tension/shortened Hip Flexors due to sitting for prolonged periods
  • Tension/shortened Hamstring or Quadricep muscles
  • Increase in exercise/weight bearing loads (i.e weighted squats) 

How Can I Reduce Lower Back Muscular Tension? | Adductor Stretch

At Entegra Health, we highly recommend consulting your Remedial Massage therapist during your treatment (or via a Telehealth appointment), to determine the most appropriate treatment management plan for you. Common management plans may include a combination of regular Remedial Massage treatments, and self care activities including stretches and/or strengthening programs, to effectively reduce general muscular tension of the Adductor muscles between Remedial Massage treatments.

Stretches | Adductor Stretch

Many simple stretches exist to effectively lengthen and therefore reduce tension in the Adductor muscles (see Entegra Health stretch library). Common examples include standing Adductor stretches; and sitting stretches (Butterfly). Stretching the Groin muscles may also assist in the reduction of tension in the hips, knees and lower back.

Strengthening | Adductor Stretch

Strengthening the Adductor muscles is imperative to effectively stabilize the pelvis, hips, knees and legs, and prevent soft tissue injuries associated with these joints. Exercises to strengthen the Adductor muscles include squats and resistance based training including leg adduction with a theraband, or Pilates exercises such as inner thigh lifts.   

Enquiries

For further information regarding Remedial Massage, or treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources, including stretch and exercise video resources can also be found on our website.

Entegra Health
Adductor Stretch
Remedial Massage Melbourne

Quadricep Stretch

quadricep stretch

Are you a runner, cyclist or walker? At Entegra Health, many active Remedial Massage clients present with leg tension related soft tissue concerns. Whilst these are fantastic ways to reduce stress and increase cardiovascular health, tension resulting from these activities may also contribute to a variety of muscular discomfort in the leg muscles.

Where Are the Quadricep Femoris Muscles?

As the name suggests, the Quadricep Femoris muscles (Quads) comprise four muscle groups that originate in the hip and femur in the front of the thigh, and attach to the tibia (large shin bone) beneath the Patella (knee). The Quads cross both the hip and knee joints, and are therefore often associated with tension and/or dysfunction at either site.

What Are the Functions of the Quad Muscles?

The Quads are responsible for extension of the legs, and flexion of the knee for activities including walking, running and cycling. The Quads function in conjunction with the Gluteal (buttock) muscles, Iliopsoas and Tensor Fascia Latae (Hip Flexors), Hamstrings (large muscles behind the upper leg) and Adductors (muscles located along the inner thigh) to perform these functions. The Quad muscles are also responsible for rotation of the hips, in association with the Gluteal and Hip Flexor muscles.

What Tension Related Problems Can Occur in the Quads?

At Entegra Health Parkville, common tension related conditions of the Quads may include: muscular tension throughout the Quad muscles, and reduced range of motion and/or pain in the hip or knee. Other common symptoms associated with acute Quad and adductor tension, may include lower back pain. These conditions may create further musculoskeletal imbalances, such as due to consequently walking with a limp.

Common aggravating factors associated with Quad tension may include:

  • Repeated use causing strain, due to overuse of Quad muscles
  • Weak Gluteal muscles
  • Tight Hip Flexors due to sitting for prolonged periods
  • Increase in Quad weight bearing loads (i.e weighted squats)

How Can I Reduce Lower Back Muscular Tension?

At Entegra Health, we highly recommend consulting your Remedial Massage therapist during your treatment (or via a Telehealth appointment), to determine the most appropriate treatment management plan for you. Common management plans may include a combination of regular Remedial Massage treatments, and self care options including stretches and/or strengthening programs, to effectively reduce general muscular tension of the Quad muscles between Remedial Massage treatments.

Quadricep Stretch

Many simple stretches exist to effectively lengthen and reduce tension in the Quads (see Entegra Health stretch library). Stretching the Quad muscles may also assist in the reduction of tension in the hips, knees and lower back (lumbar) spine.

Strengthening | Quadricep Stretch

Strengthening the Quads is important to effectively support stabilization of the pelvis, hips, knees and legs. Exercises to strengthen the Quad muscles include squats and resistance based training including leg extensions with a theraband, or free weights.

Enquiries

For further information regarding Remedial Massage, or treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources including stretch and exercise video resources can also be found on our website.

Entegra Health
Remedial Massage Melbourne

Hamstring Stretch

hamstring stretch

hamstring stretchAt Entegra Health, we hope you’re all keeping safe and active where possible, at work and home. Many of you, like us, may be finding your local park especially helpful with numerous benefits to your overall mental and physical well being. Whether you walk, run, or take your pet outside for exercise, it’s important to make sure you cool down effectively and stretch afterwards to prevent tension, pain and soft tissue injuries.

Where Are the Hamstring Muscles?

The Hamstring muscle group comprises three muscles: The Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus that originate at the Ischial tuberosity at the back of the upper thigh, and attach to the tibia (large shin bone) beneath the Patella (knee). As the Hamstring muscles attach to both hip and knee joints, they are therefore often associated with tension and/or dysfunction in these areas.

What Are the Functions of the Hamstrings Muscles?

The Hamstring muscles function in conjunction with the Quadricep muscles located at the front of the upper legs, that are responsible for flexion of the knee when walking, running and cycling; and rotation and straightening of the hips. The Hamstrings also function collectively with the Gluteal (glute) muscles, Iliopsoas, Tensor Fascia Latae (Hip Flexors), and Adductors (muscles of the inner thigh) to perform these actions.

What Tension Related Problems Can Occur in the Quads?

At Entegra Health Parkville, common tension related conditions of the Hamstrings may include muscular tension, pain or strains throughout the Hamstring muscles, reduced range of motion and/or pain in the hip, or behind the knee. Other common symptoms associated with acute Hamstring and Adductor tension, may include lower back pain.

Common aggravating factors associated with Hamstring tension may include:

  • Repeated use/overuse causing strain of Hamstring muscles
  • Weak/in-active Gluteal muscles
  • Tight Hip Flexor muscles due to sitting for prolonged periods
  • Increase in Quad weight bearing loads (i.e weighted squats)

How Can I Reduce Lower Back Muscular Tension?

At Entegra Health, we highly recommend consulting your Remedial Massage therapist during your treatment (or via a Telehealth appointment), to determine the most appropriate management plan for you. Common management plans may include a combination of regular Remedial Massage treatments, and self care options including stretches and/or strengthening exercises, to effectively reduce general muscular tension of the Hamstring muscles between Remedial Massage treatments.

Hamstring Stretch

Many simple stretches exist to effectively lengthen and reduce tension in the Hamstrings (see Entegra Health stretch library). Stretching the Hamstring muscles may also assist in the reduction of tension in the hips, knees and lower back (lumbar) spine.

Strengthening | Hamstring Stretch

Strengthening the Hamstrings and Gluteal muscles is important to effectively support stabilization of the pelvis, hips, knees and legs. Exercises to strengthen the Hamstring muscles include glute bridges, hamstring curls and strength based training including deadlifts using free weights, such as kettlebell deadlifts. Many of these exercises also effectively strengthen surrounding muscles including the Glutes and Abdominals.

Enquiries

For further information regarding stretches, home care, Remedial Massage, or treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources including stretch and exercise video resources can also be found on our website.

Entegra Health
Hamstring Stretch
Remedial Massage Melbourne

Glute & Lower Back Stretch (Piriformis)

Glute & Lower Back Stretch

Glute & Lower Back StretchLower back pain is a common area of muscular complaint at Entegra Health. Whilst lower back pain often involves a variety of contributing factors to muscular discomfort; the primary muscles commonly involved are: the Piriformis (Gluteus muscles), Iliopsoas (Hip Flexors), Quadriceps (large muscles in the front of the legs), Hamstrings (large muscles behind the leg and Adductors (muscles located along the inner thigh).

Where Are the Piriformis Muscles?

The Piriformis muscles are one of the deepest Gluteal muscles, located beneath the largest Gluteal muscle; the Gluteus Maximus. The Piriformis muscle is shaped like a pear, and therefore named after the fruit (piri). The Piriformis originates in the sacrum in the lower back, and attaches (inserts) at the head of the femur and lateral (side) hip.

What Are the Functions of the Piriformis Muscle?

The Piriformis muscles are responsible for lateral rotation of the hip, in conjunction with the major hip rotators (Glute Major, Minor; Quadriceps Femoris). The Piriformis is also responsible for ensuring smooth extension of the legs such as when walking.

What Tension Related Problems Can Occur in the Piriformis?

At Entegra Health Parkville, common conditions of the Piriformis muscles include general mild to moderate lower back tension related conditions, to persistent (chronic) inflammatory conditions. More severe although common conditions associated with the Piriformis muscles include Bulging Disc (herniated spine), and Sciatica, involving inflammation of the sciatic nerve located between the vertebrae in the lumbar spine.

Symptoms commonly present with Piriformis tension may include pain in the lower back and glutes, and reduced range of motion in bending and lifting actions of the torso. Other common symptoms associated with acute Piriformis tension and/or pain may include difficulty getting out of bed, standing from a sitting position, or getting dressed.

Common aggravating factors associated with general Piriformis tension may include:

  • Repeated use causing strain, or overuse of Piriformis muscles
  • Weak Gluteal muscles
  • Tight hip flexors due to sitting at a desk based position for prolonged periods
  • Increase in lower back/gluteal weight bearing loads (i.e weighted squats)

How Can I Reduce Lower Back Muscular Tension? | Glute & Lower Back Stretch

At Entegra Health, we highly recommend consulting your Remedial Massage therapist during your treatment (or through a Telehealth appointment), to determine the most appropriate treatment management plan for you. Common management plans may include a combination of regular Remedial Massage treatments, and self-care options including stretches and/or strengthening programs, to effectively reduce general muscular tension of the Piriformis muscles between Remedial Massage treatments.

Stretches | Glute & Lower Back Stretch

Many simple stretches exist to effectively lengthen and reduce tension in the Piriformis muscles of the lower back (see Entegra Health stretch library). Stretching the Piriformis muscles may also assist the reduction of tension in the lower back.

Strengthening | Glute & Lower Back Stretch

Strengthening the Gluteal, QL and Abdominal muscles is important to effectively support stabilization of the pelvis and lower back. Exercises to strengthen the Piriformis muscles include squats to strengthen the Gluteal and lower back muscles, and resistance training including lateral (side) leg extensions, leg lifts, and clam exercises.

Enquiries | Glute & Lower Back Stretch

For further information regarding Remedial Massage, or treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources including stretch and exercise video resources can also be found on our website.

Entegra Health
Massage Melbourne

Cat Cow | Upper and Lower Back Stretch

cat cow stretch

cat cow stretchAt Entegra Health Parkville, we highly recommend gentle stretching techniques between Remedial Massage treatments to effectively manage and prevent muscular tension. Stretching, breath and strength based exercises, also assists the reduction of stress, and facilitates necessary strength required to support the skeletal framework.

Benefits of Cat Cow Stretch

Cat Cow is an excellent full body stretch that effectively releases multiple muscle groups, in two fluid movements. In particular, Cat Cow is an excellent stretch for upper back, neck and shoulder tension; the abdominals, lower back and hips, and mid-thoracic tension. It’s also an excellent warm-up for the entire spine and associated muscles. As a result, Cat Cow stretch often features in various body movement classes.

How To Perform Cat Cow Stretch

Start on your hands and knees (all fours) on the floor, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips, approximately shoulder width apart. Aim to keep your wrists in line with your shoulders, and your knees directly underneath your hips to ensure correct alignment, and an even distribution of weight loading across the joints.

Position 1 (Cow): Begin by curling your sacrum (tail bone) up towards the sky as high as possible. This requires an anterior (forward) tilt in the pelvis. Drop your lower back, soften the abdominals and begin rolling the spine down along the length of your spine. Continue sequentially rolling the spine down, dropping down between the shoulder blades. Finally, slowly raise the neck and head and extend your gaze towards the sky.

Position 2 (Cat): Imagine a cat curling it’s head and tail down, and arching it’s mid-back up. Starting again from the tailbone, curl it around and down, tucking your ‘tail’, and begin rolling your low to mid-spine upwards, arching your upper back as high as possible and extending your rib cage. Finally, drop your head and neck towards your chest, directing your gaze towards your stomach, making sure to keep your stomach curled in, activating the abdominal muscles.

Continue alternating between each movement slowly, holding each pose for approximately 30 seconds before rolling into the next, approximately three times each. It’s a good idea to rest into a neutral spine; either Tabletop or Child’s Pose afterwards.

Things to Keep In Mind

If you are experiencing neck pain, it is best to avoid overextending the neck throughout this stretch, and instead keep a neutral neck when extending into cow stretch, and avoid dropping the head and neck low in cat pose.

Pregnancy may also make this stretch difficult. It is best not to over-extend beyond your comfort zone, and stop at any point if you experience pain whilst performing the stretch.

Enquiries

If you have any questions regarding this stretch, including its suitability for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email; Telehealth consultation or phone. Access to additional free online resources, including our stretch and exercise videos, can be accessed via our website.

Entegra Health
Remedial Massage Melbourne
info@entegrahealth.com.au