Back Again (Pun Intended)

Back problems – solved! 🙂

I’ve been treating my back with lots of foam rolling and stretching. My lower back isn’t stiff anymore, and the stabbing pains when leaning forward and deep squatting are gone. We’d decided with my coach that I’d abstain from deadlifting until my back is better and it was a good call.

I got a lucky break last Thursday as I had tried to get an appointment to my physical therapist at Espoo who I usually see when I have problems with my back, but he’s currently on sick leave. I visited Lahti last week to help my parents and decided I’d try to get an appointment there, but wasn’t very hopeful to find anyone as qualified, let alone get an appointment on such a short notice. But I did! So I saw a physical therapist who’s also specialized in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy – OMPT.

Definition of OPMT by The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists:

“Orthopaedic Manual Therapy is a specialised area of physiotherapy / physical therapy for the management of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, based on clinical reasoning, using highly specific treatment approaches including manual techniques and therapeutic exercises.

Orthopaedic Manual Therapy also encompasses, and is driven by, the available scientific and clinical evidence and the biopsychosocial framework of each individual patient.”

I have tremendous respect for physical therapists in general. When I worked in occupational health care, good physical therapists were a true asset in helping my patients with their health issues. Besides normal musculoskeletal problems and rehab, I also prescribed exercise as medicine for metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases etc. and physical therapists could help with all of those conditions. After I studied acupuncture, kinesio taping and different manual therapies myself my appreciation for physical therapists’ skillset has only grown.

By the way, I just ordered some new kinesio tapes from Bodytech – besides giving fantastic courses in kinesio taping, fascial manipulation techniques and much more, they sell great quality products for physical therapists and other professionals. I buy all my taping material from them. I can’t wait to use these new patterns!

kines.saksa kinesiosininen

My appointment went well. First I told my new therapist, Tero, about my back history and what kind of symptoms I was having, after which he assessed my movement patterns. I was asked to deep squat, bend my back into different directions, and walk on my toes. He then tested my muscle strength and flexibility and moved forward to manually examine my back.

My problems are caused by the hypermobility of my back. My lumbar spine has too much free movement, partially due to the old stress fractures (spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis) when growing up. So my body tries to compensate for that by stiffening around thoracic area and my SI joints to prevent the movement. My left sacroiliac joint was really sore and stiff as was my lower thoracic area, especially between 12th thoracic vertabrae and 1st lumbar vertebrae. So the treatment focused on manipulating movement for those areas.

Image source

Read more about spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis here:

Tero advised me to concentrate on getting as much movement as possible into the thoracic spine and SI joints to prevent my back problems in the future. I should also concentrate on stabilizing my lumbar spine. So more yoga and pilates for me, sounds great! I need to avoid sitting as much as possible. It’s great that I’m able to work at home and talk while standing or walking with my Bluetooth headset :).

I was told exactly the same thing by my previous therapist, Marko. So maybe I should really take heed of their advice… Now I’ve been back to my beloved torture-pilates at Espoo Krav Maga twice and can already see the difference. This week is super busy for me but I’ve promised myself I’ll start attending yoga again come October. My coach Anni has also recommended it.

My back is now a 100% better. Last Sunday I had a great workout and no problems at all:

  • Box squat 5 x 5, 45 kg. Last set AMRAP 12 reps 🙂
  • Deadlift 5 x 5, 75 kg. Went smoothly as ever without any pain!
  • Back extensions with 15 kg weight 3 x 8
  • Did some calves and rear delts as well. Must keep that physique in shape…

I guess I’ll be talking to my coach at some point about my desire to compete in figure in the future. Right now I need at least a year of good strength and muscle building routine and enough stability in my health issues to even start thinking about it. My diet is going great right now – update coming this weekend! After I’ve dieted into lower bodyfat, I’m planning on going into a long reverse diet and trying to get my daily calories and carbs as high as possible. But that’ll be next year’s project.

Take one day at a time and stay consistent,




3 thoughts on “Back Again (Pun Intended)

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