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Study of Motion

Understand Your Low Back: How to Protect and Care for Your Back

Have you ever wondered why some exercises are considered better for your back than others?  Or do you want to understand your back better and have some good strategies to protect your back while exercising or working?

Your spinal joints are small with sensitive nerve structures while your feet, knees, and hips are big with less sensitive structures and more suitable for weight bearing and movement. Learning to move with your feet, knees, and hips while keeping your spine stable is the key concept of core training and protecting your back. 

In this series of articles I will discuss the anatomy of your low back, common causes of conditions like arthritis and other low back pain, and the big idea of core training and some things to avoid for your low back.

Your Spinal Cord: Protects and Provides Movement
The main purpose of your spine is to protect your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is the direct link from your brain to the rest of your body. Nerves in various parts of your body tell your brain about what’s going on in that part of the body and send the information to your brain. Your brain then issues a response to that body part.

In short, your nerves relay important information about the state or health of your body and send it to your brain while your brain figures out what to do about the information.

However, the spine also allows for a great deal of movement.  Much of the current research on low back pain has shown that certain movements may cause undue stress on structures of your spine and lead to pain. This article explains how those movements may lead to certain types of degenerative changes [...]

Pain While You Sleep? 3 Ways to Change Your Sleep Positions to Be More Comfortable

You sleep for at least 8 hours a day. It is common especially as you get older to notice that when you wake up you may feel stiff, wake up with numb hands, or pain in your neck and shoulders. Therefore I am often asked what is the best way to sleep. Most experts agree that whatever position your body tend to go towards is the best.

If you find that you are waking up with pain and suspect that your sleeping position is causing your pain try these sleeping modifications. I have tried these myself and I really thought these were some of the best modifications I have seen.
Back Sleepers: Reduce Stiffness in Your Back and Keep Your Arms and Hands from Falling Asleep

Perhaps when you sleep on your back you notice your arms and hands become numb in the middle of the night. Sleeping with your arms at your side or resting on your belly places a stretching stress on your nerves which may cause your arms and hands to fall asleep.

To prevent this you can place two small pillow under your arms. This will help support your arms which will help prevent your arms from becoming numb.

When you sleep on your back your pelvis your pelvis rotates slightly forward causing your back to arch. This may cause your low back to feel stiff and achy while you sleep.

To help prevent excess pressure on your low back it can be helpful to place a pillow under the knees. This may help with stiffness and tension in your low back. 
Side Sleepers: Reduce Pain in Your Neck, Shoulders, and Keep Your Arms and Hands From Falling Asleep
Sleeping purely on your [...]