Archive for the ‘Torn Muscle’ Category

Cyclists, Time on the Mat Means Longer on the Road

May 13, 2014

indexWhy should road cyclists? They don’t require the flexibility of dancers, golfers or tennis players. There’s no leaping, twisting or lunging in cycling, just hours spent locked in a flexed position craning the head to gaze forwards.

I may have answered my own question but the simple answer is comfort. Most cyclists are all too familiar with nagging lower backache. It can cut short a ride or even force riders off their bikes and on to the physio’s couch.

The discomfort might be higher, around the trapezius or neck muscles as the upper body is braced for long periods over the handlebars. Or lower, as the glutes or quads contract and shorten after hours of hard pedaling.

Road cycling is a rush. There is no feeling in the world like having the wind in your face on a cold, crisp sunny day as the fields fly by. But a body held in the cycling stance needs regular rebalancing to maintain comfort and prevent injury.

The obvious benefit of yoga is to stretch out tight hamstrings, glutes or quads in order to both avoid injury and create a level of riding comfort. By restoring muscle length cyclists can ‘reset’ the body and feel fresh and ready to ride again.

But that’s not the whole story. Here’s four more reasons why 20 minutes of yoga, two or three times a week, will keep cyclists riding stronger, for longer:

1. Spinal Extension – Yoga’s gentle backbends ease the spine from the flexed cycling position into extension. Backbends also open the front of the body, stretching the chest, or pectoral muscles that shorten over time while riding. Think Sphinx pose, though, rather than Wheel and monitor the back carefully.

2. Lateral Movement – Cyclists operate in a forwards-only or sagittal plane of motion and strive for upper body stillness. This often leads to tightness in the stabilizing muscles of the outer hips as well as the IT band. Lateral, or sideways movements like Triangle provide a deeply satisfying stretch.

3. Lower Back Relief – Sinking into Extended Child’s Pose, post-ride will ease out the lower back (and shoulder) muscles. Add some strengthening postures like Locust in between rides to reinforce the lumbar region, an area vulnerable to injury in the cycling stance.

4. Core Strength – A strong core is vital for posture, power, injury prevention and comfort. Most road cyclists have weak…


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Repairing and Rebuilding Torn Muscles

February 18, 2014

torn muscle

A workout recovery is essential if you have over-exerted yourself during an exercise session. A good indicator of straining yourself too much during a workout is if you find that your muscles have become torn. Such tears require immediate repair and rebuilding. Muscles are best defined as contractile tissues that further stem from the mesodermal layer of your embryonic germ cells.

Your body’s muscles perform many important functions, chief among them being the production of both motion and force. This motion may either be the internal movement of your organs, or simply the actual locomotion of your body itself. Torn muscles are serious workout injuries, and if you find yourself with torn muscles, you ought to do everything possible to treat them as soon as possible.

Types of Torn Muscles

If you find yourself with a torn muscle, you will experience one of three types. The first type of torn muscle is the first-degree strain that only involves less than 5 percent of your muscle. This torn muscle will only result in mild pain and barely a loss of strength or range of motion in your muscle. The next type is the second-degree strain. It is a partial tear that is characterized by more than mild pain with each muscle contraction. However, you may not have the ability to walk or stand without limping or feeling pain. The worst type of muscle tear is the third-degree tear, which is an utter tear along the total width of the muscle, disallowing you to contract it at all. This type of tear may need immediate surgery since internal bleeding may result.

Treatment during First 72 Hours

After you realize you have torn your muscle, you have got to stop whatever you are doing. Apply an ice pack to the torn muscle area for 20 minutes, and this will slow down the flow of blood to your injured muscle area. Take care not to ever massage the torn muscle area or apply heat to it; doing either will result in more blood flow to the area, which disrupts the opportunity for your muscle to heal.

Wrapping the torn muscle area is also a good idea, as this will compress and support your damaged area. You should also take care to ensure that your torn muscle area is kept elevated above your heart. Seeing a doctor is recommended, too, so you can determine exactly how serious your tear is.

Treatment after 72 Hours

You ought to apply ice for periods of 15 minutes at a time, for up to four times a day; after three days, you may alternate between ice and heat treatments. Since torn muscles are liable to be torn once more, you are recommended to undergo physical therapy to build up the strength of your torn muscle. With regards to physical therapy, a good idea to pursue is a monitored program which actually measures the progress of your return to muscular strength, so that you are less likely to aggravate the tear in the future.

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