Muscle News Daily April 29 2014, 0 Comments

How different is low back muscle strength among different athletes?

We all know we can't treat a patient or client the same. An athlete shouldn't just be considered an athlete. They may vary among sports. This study  here reinforces that thought process. They looked at the strength differences in 3 different planes of movement of triathletes, volleyball and soccer players. 

Strength measures were similar across all three groups for extension and lateral flexion to the left, but lateral flexion to the right was significantly stronger than the control group with the most to least going to soccer, volleyball and then triathlon athletes.

What's scary is that all three groups showed weakness in the abdominal muscles, with large differences in flexion and bilateral rotation compared to the control. 

The conclusion? Sport specific training does not lead to balanced trunk musculature and core stability and may be responsible for muscular imbalances that lead to future injury.

Could trigger points be the cause of pain in people with post-meniscectomy (knee surgery)?

I always love a good study on the presence of trigger points. This study is no different. They looked at 33 patients with post-meniscectomy pain, aged 46 to 60 years of age, to a control group. The results confirm some of my findings from experience.

Those with post-meniscectomy pain had more 'active' trigger points but a similar number of 'latent' trigger points. The active trigger points were also associated with a higher pain intensity.

I always find that trigger points are often overlooked. We tend to focus on increasing strength, flexibility and balance but 
this study shows the importance of assessing for active trigger points. That's one of the reasons i created the Muscle Wizard. Focus on the active strengthening program at the clinic or gym, but let the patient do their own trigger point program at home with the Muscle Wizard.


One crucial reason to focus on active scapular protraction can benefit the upper extremity

Do you focus on teaching your patients or clients how to do active scapular protraction? If not, it's time to start.

A recent study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that there was significant strength increase and muscle activation of the serratus anterior, upper trapezius, flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor carpi radialist and palmaris longus after performing active scapular protraction. 

This is a great study to point to the importance of scapular protraction exercises. I think I'll be doing some of these during my resistance training workout at the gym.

Why its a good idea to add some unstable surfaces to a typical bridging exercise

I love bridging exercises. They're great at activating the core muscles. I also love seeing some of my patients that can squat 400 pounds fall off a gym ball every time they do a bridging exercise. They have a rude awakening on how weak their core actually is. The question is, does adding an unstable surface do any more for a bridging exercise? 

A new study answered that question. They found that an unstable surface increases the muscle activities of the lower extremity and trunk. So start adding an unstable surface and make your patients or clients get more out of their bridging exercises.