Posts Tagged ‘back pain’

Salvere Blog: Psst … This Trainer Does Not Do Burpees

November 29, 2016

And here’s why. How many of you sit for hours each day — at the office, driving, watching TV, etc? Back pain tops the list in reasons for missed work. Over half of all Americans admit to pack pain at least 1x per year and about 80% of us will experience it during our lifetime at some point. This being said, we can do some things to work on minimizing our potential for problems through our movement program. Conversely, we can do some things to increase our risk for potential problems as well.

As a trainer, I sift through all exercise possibilities and options to determine who will be doing the exercise, what they want to accomplish, where they are now with their fitness, where they’ve been in the past and any other important information such as injuries, accidents, illnesses, etc. From there, I set a plan for the workout and I do this for myself as well as my clients.

Since many of us sit for hours each day, we need to take this into consideration when doing our workouts. Personally, the small benefit of exercises that carry a greater potential to stress the lower back such as Burpees and Mountain Climbers can be made up for in other movements. In exchange, substitute exercises that will help to counter the effects sitting has on our backs, hips and legs.
by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. To contact her, call (410) 707-0055 or email
We welcome your thoughts and ideas!  Thank you for reading and taking the steps to become a healthier YOU.

Salvere Blog: Exercise Makes You Gain…

September 9, 2015

by Salvere Health and Fitness

Exercise, why do we do it?? We’ve talked about it quite a bit on this blog, not surprisingly! As we continue to work through the purpose for exercise in our American society, we seem to circle around to losing weight. And the success or failure that surrounds this goal and the impact on long term consistency. How does it feel after you put so much time, energy and effort into your fitness then the scale stays stuck on the same number? I know, I know, we’ve talked about this before — And, staying true to the purpose of this blog, lets look at this whole thing from a different angle.

What if, we start talking about fitness, exercise and movement in a way that we focus on what we GAIN? I sat down and came up with a list that I present to you below.  Do you have anything to add???

Healthier Blood cholesterol
Improved Blood pressure
Improved Blood sugar
Higher quality of Sleep
Fewer Days missed work due to illness
Less Days/hours missed due to back or other pain
Consistently better mood
Better focus
Improved relationships
Pain free joints
More productive
Easier to do daily life functions
Slower resting heart rate
Improved Posture
Shorter recovery heart rate
Better endurance
Less stress
Higher self confidence
More relaxed
Less anxiety
More creative
Improved mobility
Stronger bones
Improved complexion

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.
We welcome your thoughts and ideas!  Thank you for reading and taking the steps to become a healthier YOU.

Salvere Blog: Tendonitis, Bursitis, Fasciitis — Oh My!

June 24, 2015

How many of you experience some sort of hip, knee, foot or back pain? Either randomly or with regularity — Ever heard “oh its tendonitis”, “you have plantar fasciitis”, “must be bursitis”?  Then were you sent away with a brace or some sort of instruction to rest and/or ice?  Or some reason that it’s because of running or exercise?  Did yours disappear only to return months or years later?

Okay, so why all these questions. Lets investigate a little further.  First thing, lets define the -itis part of the word.  Derived from Greek and Latin, when you see ITIS on the end of any word, it simply means there’s inflammation. So many times we get freaked out when we hear this diagnosis.  TendonITIS = inflamed tendon  BursITIS = inflamed bursa sack   tonsilITIS = inflamed tonsils … getting the picture? Often this does not mean anything grandiose — nor should it be ignored. Take a look at what caused the pain to arrive.  Has it been slowly coming on? Were you in an accident? Do you have zero memory of anything specific causing it?

So when an “itis” arrives, you have two different situations going on. Pain and inflammation in the immediate time frame and the cause of the “itis” in the long term. The first thing you want to do it take care of the immediate.  This could mean ice and ibuprofen (or other anti-inflammatory) or something bigger. Also, take advice from a trusted professional trained to address these issues. Often the “itis” causes us to stop all activity. Look into what causes the pain and many times, you can work around it.

Now, the long term. Especially If this issue tends to be recurring for you, take a step back and address the bigger picture. Your answers to the questions above addressing the cause of the pain will help to direct your long term solution(s). This may take a little digging and investigating.  Often times, the cause of pain comes from somewhere far from what is screaming for attention. Take time to work on it and include the exercises into your long term, healthy living plan.  Pain means your body is telling you something is wrong — Listen to it and don’t let it go to long.  It does not have to sideline you if you address the underlying issues.

by Lisa Martin , owner and trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

Salvere Blog: Ahh — Stretch for that Aching Back

June 2, 2015

Last month, we discussed the correlation between tight hips and low back pain. Specifically, we looked at how tight hip flexors can exert a forward tug on the pelvis which causes a similar pull on the low back, and voila, back pain. Image your pelvis is like a cereal bowl full of milk and cereal.  Optimally, we want everything to stay in the bowl by keeping it level.  Tight hip flexors could cause the milk and cereal to spill out the front by tipping the bowl forward.

For those of you who enjoy a visual of the actual muscles involved:

Hip-Flexor diagram

In the weeks to come, we’ll offer a few quick and easy exercises you can do to alleviate and prevent low back pain caused from tight hip muscles. The first exercise can be done before you even get out of bed in the morning!

Place a firm blanket or pillow toward the edge of your bed and have a seat on it. Your legs should be hanging off the bed with the edge of the bed touching the back of your knees. Slowly lower yourself onto your back. Draw both knees into your chest. Gently press your low back into the blanket or pillow. This will prevent you from overarching your back.

Keeping the right knee drawn-in toward your chest, extend the left leg toward the floor, over the edge of the bed. You will soon start to feel a stretch across the top of the thigh near the hip of the left leg. Be sure to keep the other leg bent in order to keep your low back pressing toward the bed and to protect your low back. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.  To feel the stretch more, scoot yourself a little so the knee hangs a little more off the edge of the bed.  Repeat same technique switching legs.

Here’s a visual of the stretching position, imagining the table as the end of the bed:

supinehipflexor-edge of bed

Remember, this is only one stretch of many and should not cause pain. If so, it might not be appropriate for you.  As always, pay attention to your body and how things feel, specific to YOU.

by Lynne Olsen , trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lynne, email her at or call her at (443) 540-7564.

Salvere Blog: Oh My Aching Back!

May 11, 2015

If you suffer from chronic, or even occasional low back pain, you are not alone. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time. Over 80% of us will experience low back pain at some point in our lives. Back pain is the second most common reason that people visit their doctors, second only to upper respiratory infections ( The good news is that your low back pain may originate someplace other than your back and it may be curable.


It might come as a surprise to you to learn that some low back pain stems from tightness/shortness of the muscles of the hips.   Specifically, when the hip flexor muscles are overly tight/short, they can cause discomfort in the low back.   The hip flexors are comprised of two muscles; the illiacus and the psoas.   In conjunction, you might have heard them referred to singularly as the illiopsoas or simply, the “hip flexors.”


The name, “hip flexor” comes from their function of lifting the knee (a.k.a. flexing at the hip) as when you climb stairs, walk, or run.  If you’re a runner or a cyclist, you are certainly familiar with these muscles and they are probably tight. On the flip side, if you sit at a computer all day, these muscles are likely to be short and weak.


Here’s where we connect the hipbone to the backbone; or more accurately, the illopsoas to that pain in your back. Due to the fact that the illiopsoas attaches at your hips and at your spine, when the illopsoas get tight/short, it causes your pelvis to rotate forward (anterior pelvic tilt).   This increased curve in your low back affects the alignment of your entire spine which in turn leads to a forward (jutting) head position and pain between the shoulder blades. Got that too? Of course, tight/weak hip flexors and an anterior pelvic tilt are magnified tremendously by wearing high heels, spending hours in front of a computer monitor, driving a car, and sitting on the couch!


Back to the good news: proper conditioning exercises combined with improving range of motion might help relieve your back pain. Bear in mind that it is always best to rule out a structural issue or mechanical injury such as a herniated disc. In the event that no injury is found, find a conditioning program and stretching that you can do safely to feel better!


by Lynne Olsen , trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lynne, email her at or call her at (443) 540-7564.


How’s Your Alignment Looking??

August 8, 2014

By Lynne Olsen, Certified Personal Trainer

“ . . . let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”
– Theodore Roosevelt, 1898

The word, “alignment” means the proper positioning or adjustment of parts in relation to one another (Merriam-Webster, 2014). We get our car tires aligned to keep our vehicles running smoothly and to lengthen the life span of our tires. No one wants to end up stranded or have a bumpy, inefficient ride. Alignment of the human body serves the same purpose. Properly aligning our skeleton means we breathe more easily, move more efficiently, and limit our chances for injury. That is to say, we can lengthen our life span and have a less bumpy, more enjoyable ride.

When it comes to playing sports, working out, or performing any physical activity, we often lose sight of form and alignment. Our focus becomes, scoring the point, pressing 20 lbs. more, achieving the “perfect” yoga pose, or lifting the heavy box . . . and we will do it at all costs; even herniated discs and pulled muscles.
Generally, proper alignment means, “stacking” the head over the spine and the shoulders over the hips, knees and ankles. Here are a few rules to help keep you aligned and running smoothly:

• When sitting in a chair, try to keep your hips and knees at the same level. Maintain a subtle natural inward curve at your low back and sit tall and upright. When standing up from a chair, move your hips forward to the edge of the chair and use your leg muscles to stand.

• When standing, keep your head stacked over your heart and your heart over the center of your pelvis. Draw your shoulder blades gently toward one another. Maintain the natural arch of your low back as you draw your belly button toward your spine. Your feet should point directly ahead with your kneecaps in line with your middle toes.

• Alignment becomes only a little bit more complicated when we add movements such as twisting and bending. The basic principles still apply.

To learn more, or to make sure that you’re moving in proper alignment, find a personal trainer, coach, or yoga instructor that you trust. Proper alignment means that you will lessen your chance for injury, function with less pain, and move with greater strength & ease.