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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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” »
The popularity of running has grown over the years and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. According to the Annual Running Report conducted by Running USA, the number of marathon finishers has grown tremendously over past two decades. In 2010 there were over a half a million reported marathon finishers. One of the reasons running has become so popular is because of its accessibility. All you need is a pair of running shoes and you’re out the door. No coaching needed, right? Or is there more to it? Can poor running form and mechanics put someone at a greater risk for injury? There are two main causes of overuse injuries related to running; over-training and faulty biomechanics.
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Pain in the front part of the knee or around the patella (knee cap) is a common complaint. Although direct trauma can cause knee pain, it is most often related to overuse or a cumulative injury. Common diagnoses include patella-femoral syndrome or runner’s knee, and patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee. The knee is designed to be stable and requires muscular strength and control.
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Whether you are squatting at the gym or sitting down in a chair your hips should do most of the moving. This is referred to as a “hip hinge”. Think of a hip hinge as shifting the weight of your hips backwards as you lower your body. The same motion is reversed as we rise. So a simple task like sitting and rising from a chair should involve hinging at the hips. Unfortunately we subconsciously lose this ability if it’s not practiced. If you watch a young child bend down to pick something up a tremendous amount movement takes place at the hips. As we age, sit more, and lose joint mobility we begin to cheat this movement by overusing our spine and knee joints. Overuse and too much flexion in both of these area will eventually result in pain. So often times teaching a hip hinge is great advice.
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With most painful conditions, a whole person approach, at least to a degree, should be taken. With that in mind we sometimes have to consider the feet and how they can have a tremendous effect on the rest of the body.
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