Archives for Mobility

Thoracic Mobility To Prevent Shoulder Pain

Over the years there’s been a rise in desk work-related jobs along with more time spent on cell phones and other mobile devices. Sitting for long periods at a time or frequently looking down at our cell phones can lead to issues in the shoulder, neck, and back as time goes on. One example of this is Tech Neck, which I’m sure you’ve heard of! Most often these issues arise from repetitive postures and positions we develop over months to years rather than something that may have happened yesterday or two days ago.

Continue reading “Thoracic Mobility To Prevent Shoulder Pain” »

The Hip and Back Relationship

golfWhen 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” »

Can Tight Hips Cause Low Back Pain?

The short answer to this is yes, tight hips can cause pain in the lower back.  We can dig a little deeper into this question to shed light on when it becomes a larger factor in causing and slowing recovery of a painful condition or episode.
Continue reading “Can Tight Hips Cause Low Back Pain?” »

Thoracic Spine Mobility

foam-roll-thoracic-spine2Your thoracic spine starts just below your neck and continues to the level just above your belly button.  It consists of 12 vertebrae and also articulates with all 12 sets of your ribs.  Although I never want to only focus on a single area of the body, movement here is crucial.
Continue reading “Thoracic Spine Mobility” »

Hip Hinge

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.
Continue reading “Hip Hinge” »

The Hip Flexor Stretch

hip-and-pelvis2Adding hip flexor stretches can have a positive effect on function of the hip and pelvis, posture, and ultimately reducing pain when performed correctly.  The hip flexor is a group muscles that assist with, doing just what is says…flexing the hip.  If you sit at a desk for work, this will most likely be tight. The muscles originate and attach as high as the spine and as low as the thigh, just above the knee.  Of course most of the muscles will have attachments at the hip and pelvis itself.  Statically when they are tight or restricted they can cause a forward rocking of the pelvis.  We call this “sway back” posture.  Ultimately what this does is cause an increase curvature in our lumber spine.  Also, if the muscle group is tight the hip joint will become limited resulting in overuse of the low back muscles to compensate.

Here are the basics of how to properly stretch the hip flexor.
Continue reading “The Hip Flexor Stretch” »