Breathing is a very primal movement which happens subconsciously. However it can have an affect on how we move and how we stabilize. It also plays a role in regulating our body’s Ph (acidic and alkaline) levels. For neck and back pain sufferers this should be a fundamental movement that is corrected before any other exercises are taken on.
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If you have ever heard that you are taller in the morning compared to any other time during the day, well it’s actually true. Our spine literally becomes longer. The discs in our spine do not receive blood flow like most other joints in our body. Instead, when we lie down at night, fluid around and in our discs increases and hydration is at its highest first thing in the morning. The increased nutrients to our discs is a good thing, but there is a negative side effect.
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Discussing sleep position with patients is an important component of care. The way someone sleeps is rarely the cause of someone’s problem, but it can be one of the many factors that don’t allow their body to recover like it should. If the goal is to provide fast, long lasting relief than all factors need to be considered and sleep position can be a big one. Here is a general rule:
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When you have back pain, whether or not to exercise may become a concern? Not only is exercise safe, but it is recommended. A typical response to experiencing back pain is to take it easy, either staying in bed or at least stopping any activity that is strenuous. While this approach is understandable and may even be recommended in the short term, when done for more than a day or two it can actually have a negative impact on how you heal. Instead, exercise is almost always necessary to alleviate pain and speed recovery.
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Poor posture of the upper back and neck will often result in pain, joint stiffness, and muscle tightness. The cervical spine and the supporting muscles become labored and stressed with a forward head posture. This is a common presentation when the chin protrudes forward rather than remaining in its proper position over the chest. At the spinal level, this can affect the joint movement which may result in wear and tear. An imbalance of the supporting muscles will most often result. The upper trap muscles are among those that become overactive and tight. Continue reading “A Simple Exercise for Neck and Upper Back Pain” »
When discussing any type of back problem we also need to review the relationship that the back has with the other joints in the body, particularly the hip. Recall that the spine is designed to be flexible, but that excessive stress will lead to problems. The hip is unique in that is it designed to be a mobile joint but also depends on muscles to provide stability when needed. Hip stability is crucial when we put weight on a single leg, such as when we walk or run. Excessive stress on the spinal joints will result in low back pain, but as you can see, the problem at the hip may the underlying cause. Continue reading “The Hip and Back Relationship” »