For Parents Back pain- We have good news!

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gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
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I haven't been on for awhile because I truly thought dd was on her way out. Even though she has been thinking about selecting next year's floor music, I just had to shake my head and wonder how she could go on. She has had back problems for a couple of years now, and it got worse this year after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in her vertebra. She took some time off to let it heal and then started her spring sport- pole vaulting, where the back pain started all over again. She had an MRI and we just got the results. No fractures or danger of anything that could snap causing more injuries, so she is clear to resume activity. As for the pain: she needs to strengthen muscles surrounding her spine to support all the strain placed on her back by the various sports she is involved in. So, now she will start a regimen of strength and conditioning to focus specifically on the back as well as abdominal area to get her ready to continue training in both sports. I have to wonder: Do other gyms do exercises and drills to strengthen all the many back muscles that run along the spine? Seems dd's former gym had neglected this area, though they condition sooo much to help the rest of the body. We noticed that all the girls had back pain. Maybe if coaches would spend a few extra minutes focusing on this very important body area they could help alleviate some of this pain. Just a thought. I'm happy that dd isn't going to be out for several more months and in a back brace. I'm happy she can still continue with her athletic activities. And, we found a coach that is willing to work with her on a regular basis to build her up to where she needs to be. What great news!
 
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JessMom

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I have to wonder: Do other gyms do exercises and drills to strengthen all the many back muscles that run along the spine?[ /quote]

That is GREAT news! I have no idea which exercises would work the back muscles . . . can you describe or name some. I agree thats really important!
 

gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
208
I have to wonder: Do other gyms do exercises and drills to strengthen all the many back muscles that run along the spine?[ /quote]

That is GREAT news! I have no idea which exercises would work the back muscles . . . can you describe or name some. I agree thats really important!
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These are just a few: 1. Trunk Stability- Have gymmie get on all 4's- hands and knees. Raise right leg and opposite arm, keep trunk rigid and stomach tight. Hold for a few seconds to maintain balance. Then switch (left leg and right arm) Do 20 of each.

2. Lie flat on floor on back with legs bent. Lift buttocks. Slowly extend right knee keeping stomach tight. Repeat with left knee extended. Do 20 sets.

3. Arm/Leg lift. Lie flat on floor on stomach with arms and legs extended. Lift right leg and opposite arm keeping knees locked. Hold. Repeat switching arms and legs. 20 times.

4. Lie on floor on back. Raise buttocks from floor keeping stomach tight. 20 sets.

5. Prone Planks. Lie on stomach. Raise onto elbows and toes keeping stomach tight and back in neutral position.

There are probably many more exercises to strengthen back muscles if you check on line or consult with a trainer. Again, these must be done regularly and continuously to strengthen and maintain the health of the back.
 

bogwoppit

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We have just been going through this too. DD's coach has asked to see what exercises she is doing and has in the past added some in, but in the end DD does them at home every night by herself as there is not enough time in her gym workout to add 20 mins of extra conditioning and this issue seems to be her s alone in our gym.

DD is doing some exercises on a stablity ball, they are great for really making all the core muscles kick in, and she does a few on the floor like the plank and also the plank on each side.

Check out some of these more advanced skills Stability Ball Abs Workout

Stability Ball Ab Routine - Video | Free Workout Guides

Of course as with any back issue these execises should only be done if they don't HURT!!! SO many back issues come from weak abs and I see that my DD has inherited some issues from the dad side and it will mean that she will always have to do that little bit extra to protect her back as she grows up.

On the ball there are so many things they can do to strengthen the deeper ab muscles and it is almost fun.

Nice to hear about your experience with this, it's better not to be the only one..
 

gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
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Bog- Thanks for the ball workouts. We have a ball at home so dd can do these in addition to her others. I think that every gymnast could benefit from strengthening back muscles whether they think so now or not. My theory is that there are two types of gymnasts: those that HAVE back pain, and those that WILL HAVE back pain. So, every bit of conditioning in that area will help.
Our problem is dd won't do her exercises unless she is pushed, so doing them at home isn't something we can count on. Luckily, her pole vault coach is going to take the time to work with her on a one on one basis during summer practices to get her up to speed. I guess that ball will be in my car soon! It's going places!
 

bogwoppit

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Well with our 12 year old rat bag we told her that if she doesn't do the exercises that she cannot do any sports at all, that soon motivated her!!! I also let her do it watching crap teen shows on the tv with me and then indulge in a fudgesicle whilst putting heat on her back! I also do the workouts with her sometimes and show her new stuff when she starts getting bored as there are so many different ways to work the abs, especially on a ball.

I totally agree about the back issues, gym is very hard on the spine and whilst they are growing so much it puts them at even more risk for injury/pain. Hopefully teaching them about core stability early on will mean that as adults they will be more aware and proactive in dealing with the first sighns of pain.

Great that her coach will work with her. We have stability balls in the gym so DD can use them herself in the summer and the workouts are longer, but in the regualr season she is usually only there for 2.5 hours at a time.

Good luck with the workouts.
 

gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
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Well with our 12 year old rat bag we told her that if she doesn't do the exercises that she cannot do any sports at all, that soon motivated her!!! I also let her do it watching crap teen shows on the tv with me and then indulge in a fudgesicle whilst putting heat on her back!
Good luck with the workouts.
I'll have to try that one! Dd LOVES those teenage crap shows. In fact, that's all she has been doing - lying on the couch watching teenage crap shows - since she was told by the doc to "eliminate all physical activity". Maybe the ball thing will work....and help to ween her back into the real world.
 

Tim_Dad

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Nov 3, 2008
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Region IV (Missouri)
Well with our 12 year old rat bag we told her that if she doesn't do the exercises that she cannot do any sports at all, that soon motivated her!!! I also let her do it watching crap teen shows on the tv with me and then indulge in a fudgesicle whilst putting heat on her back! I also do the workouts with her sometimes and show her new stuff when she starts getting bored as there are so many different ways to work the abs, especially on a ball.
LOL Good motivation, as long as it's not just words like it is under our roof. We're guilty of saying things like "If homework isn't done, you're not going to gym! And this time we mean it!". Then when gym time comes around...we of course cave. :( I think Nastia knows this.

Motivation is almost mandatory for home-conditioning. It doesn't even have to be Gym related motivation either. You can use conditioning as a form of compensation for something else she wants.

For example, Nastia recently announced she wants a new kitten since our cat passed on last summer. We thought about it and decided if she wants a kitty, she has to earn it. Disgruntled of course, she needs to show me she can (consistantly) do her age in push-ups, pull-ups, leg-ups on stall bars, and hold a handstand for 15 seconds. She's pretty close on most already... but she'll definately need to work herself more to get there.

If she REALLY wants a kitty, she'll do it. And if not..that's OK too. (I could do without a cat again).

Conditioning with her is definately motivating (and fun). I would suggest not using conditioning as a chore, or form of punishment. Conditioning should always be a positive activity, never a negative.

fwiw: Most AB, and upper leg workouts will cross-train back muscles. Don't forget that stretching also helps prevents injury. If watching crap teen shows, the least she can do is sit on the floor and stretch.


She took some time off to let it heal and then started her spring sport- pole vaulting.
LOL. Bungee Jumping class must have been full. Ahh to be immortal again.
 
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bogwoppit

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LOL Good motivation, as long as it's not just words like it is under our roof. We're guilty of saying things like "If homework isn't done, you're not going to gym! And this time we mean it!". Then when gym time comes around...we of course cave. :( I think Nastia knows this.

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Gosh no, I am the hard *** of the house. I was a childrens nanny for many years and raised a good number of kids before my own, I believe in only making consequences that you are prepared to follow through with. Of course there have been times that I have regretted it and had to follow through with something that I might have said in haste. Now I think hard before I lay down the law. But a basic set of rules, realistic expectations and a really good sense of humour get us a long way in the parenting stakes!

Kids learn very quickly just how far to push and that's because we train them well! If they know you will cave they will use it every time.:D
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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I agree with gymnomore that most gyms get caught up in working on other parts of the body and tend to forget the back or just throw in a few stretches and call it good. It is hard to get the girls to do MORE conditioning at home when they're doing alot in the gym. My gymmie came home the other night and was so sore......they spent about 45 minutes just on upper body stuff---curls, all kinds of versions of pull ups. Thing is for her as far as upper body is concerned, she's one of the strongest in the gym and could have benefited from 1/2 that time to work on her back.

Seems like mine is starting to listen a little to her body and is doing some stretches on an exercise ball if her back is a little tight and some other things while watching those teen TV shows!!!!! Maybe Zach and Cody look better upside down.

One simple thing we found to alleviate alot of back pain was to check gymmie's mattress. It was really a mess. She tried sleeping in a bed in our guest room and said her back felt better after 3 nights. Went and got her a new mattress that she felt was good(horrors is taking a gymnast to a store with lots of mattresses!!!)----back pain is not nearly the issue it was even 2 weeks ago.

BTW---Tim_Dad----get poor Nastia a new kitten. C'mon, you know the whole family will love it!!!!
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
According to MY dd, Zach and Cody look good any way you look at 'em!

And oh my gosh, I did not even think about a new mattress!!! Shame on me! Dd has had that mattress almost her whole life. It was passed down from her sister who got it way back 16 years ago! Funny, we never think that the kids need new mattresses, but she is as big as I am so ...duhhh! Of course, she needs a new mattress! That will be my next mission!

Tim- Comeon I agree with the above post. Get a kitty!
 

Tim_Dad

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Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
BTW---Tim_Dad----get poor Nastia a new kitten. C'mon, you know the whole family will love it!!!!
By that I take it you think my conditions are "over the top"? :confused:

Yea, "poor Nastia". What about "Poor Tim?"

Shoot. I thought it was a good idea too. Now y'all are making me feel like a real dolt.

I thought about just getting a kittne... really i did, but she's so darn spoiled now as is (clearly my fault), that DW and I are trying to break the old habit of 'get what I want or i'll cry' routine. My hope is that this idea may work out beneficially. I don't think it's too overwhelming. Like I said before, she's almost there already. 90% in fact conservatively.

We honestly have very few rules in our house and mostly expectations. Probably my fault as well. I'm a real softy that deals with common sense and fairness issues more then being a hardliner with so-called house rules (that I would unlikely enforce anyway). With my son (19), we had a simular deal. I would help buy 1/2 of pretty much anything he really wanted (such as a car), as long as he paid the first half. Tthis limited his choice to things he could actually afford, and give up any dreams of a Fararri and such.

Besides, she wants a long-hair!! (ewww) I would rather have an Egyptian Moa, or even a Savannah. :D


BTW: Checking her Mattress.... very good idea!! I know it worked for DW and I. fwiw: I suffered with back pain for a long long time. Turned out it wasn't even my back, but a problem with my legs. I have stretches now that took care of any pain I once had. Always get 2nd opinions from a real orthopedic / sports medicine physician. I wish I had.
 
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