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Stiff Neck Causes and Remedial Self-Massage for Relief

The pain a stiff neck brings about can be very bothersome and serve as a hindrance when it comes to carrying out the tasks that we need to do everyday. But what exactly causes this tightness in our necks? I was thinking about just general ways that I can give you a little bit of help with some aches and pains. As you know, I've tried to specialize in musculoskeletal, hence the name. We also look at what's going on with the connective tissue as well. Things about joints, the fascia, the nervous system and ways to actually make you feel like you are feeling stable. Today, I'm going to focus on the neck and give you some tips on how you can relieve a ropy and bandy scalene if you’re on your own or cannot come into the clinic to see someone like me.

Causes of Stiff Neck:

  • Looking down for a long period while reading, writing, or using your phone;
  • Excessive or vigorous movement of the neck;
  • Sleeping in the wrong position, which exerts too much pressure on the neck
  • Clenching the jaw;
  • High stress levels;
  • Medical conditions such as osteoarthritis and spinal disorders
  • Trauma to the neck or back due to injuries, a hunched posture, or picking heavy weights; and
  • Sudden movement of the head due to whiplash, which can pull your neck muscles and also can give rise to other serious symptoms.
Source: Vaughan, J. (2021)

Treatment:

  • Feel along the suboccipital ridge all the way along, both sides, to see if they feel even.
  • The area that feels painful, is not the area of complaint.
  • Gently tuck your chin down and feel around the back of the lower part of your skull (the top 3 survival muscles) and feel around the lateral joints.
  • Feel with two fingers and do some cross-fiber work .
  • Keep your shoulders down so you do not activate the trapezius muscles.
  • Once you find the tight ridge, palpate and see if you can feel into the area where the ribs are.
  • Feel for the upper trapezius and duck anteriorly to it, then press your fingers down into that tight space.
  • Palpate around the other side to see if it’s the same or different.
  • Drop your ear down to give a little bit of softness to the tissue of the lateral neck which will allow you to really sink deeper into the muscle.
  • Press and depress onto that region of the lower neck, it is the area that feels like it would be accessing your first rib, by doing this movement we are also making small changes to the restrictions or tightness over the second rib.
  • Laterally flex away from the area and give yourself a little active stretch while sinking down a little deeper.
  • As you work along your neck, press towards it and then gently glide away.
  • Repeat the process one more time this time moving a little more medially. Come closer to the neck dropping down and in.
  • Start to pull away and take the chin away, then try to access those fibers for posterior scalene, dropping down and back then coming along and forward.
  • Palpate and see if that made a difference. The scalene should be feeling less taught and bandy, and you should feel better through the range.
I want you to think about the things that make a difference to the neck. Sometimes we have to look at other distal attachments. We can apply joint play on our first and second ribs if they are stiff, palpate along the clavicle where the subclavius is and work on those fibres. Focusing also on the pectoralis major and minor to improve functional movement of the clavicle and shoulder joints. Assess one side versus the other to see if the problems felt in the neck can be compared to and aligned with the tightness felt in the chest tissues. Watching the video attached to this blog will assist you greatly in some self-treatment options whenever you feel restricted in the neck. References: Source: Vaughan, J. (2021) How to Get Rid of a Stiff Neck. eMediHealth. Retrieved from https://www.emedihealth.com/bones-joints/manage-stiff-neck#some_causes_of_a_stiff_neck
stretching both hands at the back of an old client

Self-Shiatsu for Physical and Mental Healing

  These days, self-care is as important as total healthcare [1] for a person to be able to survive this pandemic, physically and mentally. Self-care is basically taking care of oneself for the purpose of achieving physical, mental, spiritual, and financial well-being. One important aspect of self-care is the physical care which eventually covers the other aspects of self-care.  Musculoskeletal specialist Paula Nutting interviewed her guest,  Leisa Belmore, a shiatsu specialist from Toronto, Canada. She has been a shiatsu specialist for twenty years already. Her approach is more western than its origin in the east. She is working in an integrative clinic in a hospital with other biomedical and complementary practitioners. The clinic especially focuses on creative artists who suffer physical injuries, chronic conditions, and mental issues. Shiatsu points on specific body issues for physiological reactions. She also has written and collaborated on research papers with medical practitioners, including a behavioral therapist, nurse practitioner, physiotherapist, chiropractor, registered dietician, massage therapist, social worker, psychiatrist, and soon, a language pathologist. According to Belmore, not taking care of oneself is detrimental to the career of an artist. While in lockdown, she opted to run her workshops virtually, teaching self-shiatsu as well. She addresses the neck and shoulders as well as the hands and arms. According to her, the most prone to injury is the hands, not just for the shiatsu therapist but also for chiropractors, other manual therapists, massage therapists, and physical therapists. As for the shiatsu therapists, their thumbs are usually the most commonly injured joint due to the treatment style of the Shiatsu, thumbs are the tool to compress on the relevant chi points of the body.    Leisa gave some tips on Self-Shiatsu:  
  1. Finger-to-wrist stretching, rotation of the hand, joint and finger rotation
 
  1. When doing shiatsu, use the pad of the thumb of the finger, not the tip.
 
  1. Extend the thumb when using it; don't flex it.
 
  1. Apply gradual pressure to the area between the thumb and the point of the finger.
 
  1. There are three pressure points that must be applied to each in between the fingers of the hand.
 
  1. After applying pressure on the points in between the fingers, the phalanges are addressed next. Every joint of the fingers has points that need to be pressured on by pressing them from front to back and on the sides too.
  These tips can help a person calm down. She has her website where there are several videos they can watch to learn how to do self-shiatsu to assist with anxiety and sleep disturbances [2] as well as the app for shiatsu, too. These videos and apps were able to help with sleeping patterns for some patients as well as concentration problems. Leisa demonstrated how to do it gently for the flexibility of the muscles and the nervous system. She specified that the neck and shoulder muscle areas are good places to work on. She demonstrated how to do the sub occipital area of the neck by putting both hands just above the occipital area and holding the area longer. If it feels tight or tender, then move to the right side, the next point, and do the same, then on both sides of the spineous processes. Repetition is good to achieve better results.  Posture has been adversely affected because of the increased usage on the computer while working at home and being busier than working on site. To improve postural positions we can address various points in the sternum and the chest area remembering that stretching is also very important to include in self care.  The incidence of anxiety has increased since COVID and we need to be mindful that some treatment may not be applicable to people with specific medical conditions or who are reticent about it. It is better to start small with little things to do and if they are doing anything positive, encourage that. Some have self-esteem issues. Since spending time in solitude can be boring, she suggested trying small goals such as meditating for ten minutes twice a week. She also added self-care tips for everyone, such as stress management to help sleep. Have a little time for ourselves to do something that we enjoy, such as walking, reading a book, or simply hanging out with friends. She also created a variety of PDF's for some specific health conditions. Leisa created them so that they are easy to understand and do not contain medical terms for easier understanding. Self-care sessions such as self-shiatsu, stretching points, are self-care for specific needs. She shows them how it is done, talks to them, and lets them demonstrate it to her. When asked about lower back pain, Leisa started in the lumbar region, pressing on the erector spinae along the lateral edges of the lumbar vertebra; this is good for sciatic pain she said. Then next is the part of the pelvis near the spine, which is good for people who stand or sit for prolonged periods of time. It is comfortable to apply Shiatsu on the massage table, but keep it at a low height for best biomechanics i.e. using your body weight for pressure. For the hands, there are several stretches made to remove tightness in the soft tissue. For the face, the pad of the point finger is used to press on the points below the eyes and the brow bone above the eye area. If the patients’ learn Shiatsu, they will have more control over their conditions, especially in areas concerning their mental health. Leisa’s latest study was on care-partners with patients with dementia and shiatsu therapy. She had first hand experience being able to work with her father, who had dementia, and realized that they could have interaction without the need for words. Further study needs to go towards the mental wellness of both carer and the patient using this style of therapy. This simply shows that Shiatsu is not just for physical relaxation but also for the appeasement of the troubled mind. Together with other medical and complementary practitioners, it can support the goal of well-being for everybody.  

View the entire Ask-Me-Anything event with Leisa below:

    1 - Self-care | Public Health | Royal College of Nursing (rcn.org.uk)  2 - Effectiveness of Hand Self-Shiatsu to Promote Sleep in Young People with Chronic Pain: a Case Series Design (nih.gov)
thumb and index fingers pressing on a man's nape

Suboccipital Muscles Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Today let's learn more about the suboccipital muscles pains, causes, symptoms and treatments? Do you have clients and patients that come in to see you that have recurring tightness in those upper cervical muscles, especially the ones attached to the skull? We call them our suboccipital muscles and they're the ones that our patients will say; these are the muscles that are really, really tight.

What are the suboccipital muscles?

The suboccipital muscles are a set of four paired muscles in the back of the neck. The suboccipital muscles attach to the atlas (C1), axis (C2) and occipital bone, connecting the atlas to the axis and the two vertebrae to the base of the skull. They are deep to the trapezius, splenius and semispinalis muscles and superficial to the atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial joints. The suboccipital muscles commonly become tense and tender due to factors such as eye strain, wearing new eyeglasses, poor ergonomics at your home office computer setup, grinding the teeth, slouching posture, and trauma (such as a whiplash injury).

Suboccipital muscle pains symptoms

However, when the suboccipital muscles become tight, any of these symptoms may occur. These could include:
  1. Stiff neck
  2. Neck pain
  3. Headaches with a band of pain on the side of the head that extends from the back of the head to the eye. This type of pain feels deeper in the head.
Messages sent to the brain may be affected; reason why some people who have headaches may also experience sensory symptoms, including dizziness and visual instabilities.

Suboccipital pains treatments

Most treat them with one or a combination of things like neuromuscular techniques, muscle energy techniques, glides, joint capsule mobilizing, but here’s something that's a little bit more global, and something that I've found in the clinic that has got a little bit more lasting results with my clients’ and patients’. In this video, I started with assessing my patients upper cervical range of motion.
  1. Pushing the chin forward to see the quality and quantity of range she had (this is the extension of the upper cervical spine)
  2. As she pulls the head back we are testing her flexion
  3. Neck we looked at the quality and range of seated forward flexion of the spine, we need to look at the bigger picture when we are treating focused on the large myofascial lines (this assesses your thoracic spine)
  4. Observing any stiffness within her lumbar region
  5. Next, we assess passive ranges of upper cervical flexion and extension. We rule out any joint or inert tissue with this. If the head moves further through range, I know it is mostly muscular/soft tissue, if it is still heavily restricted I am erring towards the joints of the cervical spine. Active assisted would be getting them to try to get a double chin into the head back maneuver.
  6. Then, bending her knees and putting her feet flat, we get her to do some bridging actions. Get those big power driver buttocks muscles to bring her hips and pelvis off the ground. Always ask to move up into the bridge slowly so that the gluteal muscles are the primary target, quick moves can push the pelvis into an anterior tilt and cause the hamstrings to contract. We want the glutes to be the driver in this technique.
  7. Applying the traction to the suboccipital ridge when she’s elevating and relaxing off your pressure to the skull as she lowers herself. We increase the drag along the whole paravertebral erector spinae group with every move. Getting up into that position requires squeezing those glutes.
  8. Rolling down bone by bone, starting with a thoracic and then going down to lumbar vertebra is great because it forces the buttocks to stay in control of the move.
  9. As you do this technique take the pressure off the skull traction but try to find more of a chin flexed position between each hold. We are focused on lengthening the full paravertebral muscles.
  10. Each hold is for the count of 5.
The video shows us retesting Kristen to see what her neck and lumbar ranges were like. The movements on upper cervical flexion and extension looked quite a bit better glide. The seated flexion was probably the greatest of postural changes but the subjective pain had reduced dramatically along the right lumbar erector spinae and the suboccipital ridge on the same side. Use this for any clients that present with suboccipital pain, chronic tightness up through those erector spinae, and those who have got low back problems that you might be able to do this to assist with low back by acknowledging that we can work on the skull as well. NB* The erector spinae is not just one muscle, but a group of muscles and tendons which run more or less the length of the spine on the left and the right, from the sacrum, or sacral region, and hips to the base of the skull. They are also known as the sacrospinalis group of muscles. Watch the full video instruction below:
closed eyes woman cupping her neck with both hands

Neck and Shoulder Pain At Work? Try this!

Even before Covid, people have been prone to spending hours in front of a computer, either for work, school, or even just for entertainment. This is what we are going to fix here by doing some simple neck and shoulder exercises for office workers.  And when we’re in front of computers, we tend to disregard our posture. Most people who sit in front of their computers all day tend to lean their necks forward. Long periods in this position are bound to give referral pain patterns. It is important to do short exercises that will get them into neck extension. Before we even begin with exercises, there is an important thing to consider. The chairs that you or your patients use must be of the right height for the legs and back. It must have back support and elbow rests. This is important because often, an uncomfortable chair can affect our posture when we sit, which is one of the leading causes of neck and shoulder pain.

Step-by-Step Guide for the Neck and Shoulder Office Exercise

In this article, I will share with you a few easy exercises to check your range. It is important to see how comfortable you are when you go into flexion, extension, and rotation. These exercises (neck and shoulder office exercises) will help determine whether you feel any restrictions in your movement whatsoever.

For the neck:

  1. Sit up straight, slowly tilt your head forward, bringing your chin to the chest.
  2. From this position, slowly tilt your head upward, until you are looking at the ceiling.
  3. Return to the starting position, looking straight ahead.
  4. Turn your head gently to the left, then to the right. Return to the starting position.
  5. Lastly, slowly lower your head to your right shoulder. You should be able to do this at a 45-degree angle without any restrictions. The shoulders should not hitch up, and instead, remain still.
  6. Return to the starting position, and repeat, slowly tilting towards the left shoulder.

Arm ranges to check with adductions, abductions, and flexions:

  1. For the starting position, hold your arms out on both sides.
  2. Raise both hands up overhead. Repeat 5 times. this is to check elevation.
  3. Return to starting position. Then slowly swing your arms forward to check horizontal flexion. Repeat 5 times.
  4. Return to starting position, then stretch them backward to check extension. Pull your shoulders back as far you can. Repeat 5 times.
  5. Lastly, do figure of 8 movements.

For the elbows:

  1. Hold out your arms in front of you, palms up.
  2. Bend your elbows up towards you. Repeat this 5 times, then return to the starting position.
  3. Twist your arms outward gently. This is to test internal and external rotation.
  4. Lastly, try to do the figure of 8s movement with your elbows.

For the wrists and hands:

  1. You will start with the same starting position as the one from elbows. Bend your wrists upward five times.
  2. Then, move them from side to side.
  3. Lastly, do figure of 8 movements.
  4. Go back to starting position, then flip your hand over so that your palms are facing down.
  5. Bend your fingers 5 times.
  6. Then stretch them out, holding them apart from each other. Repeat this five times
  7. Lastly, try making piano movements with your fingers.

Another tip for your neck and shoulder office exercises

After these neck and shoulder office exercises, make them go through the neck ranges again, to see if they get any changes. Another tip I have today is to tuck the chin back into your neck. I always use the analogy of pretending that someone you really don’t like is coming up to you and is trying to give you a great big kiss on the chin. Naturally, you would be recoiling your head back.
  1. Tuck the chin in. This is the starting position.
  2. Hold your arms out to your sides, and then pull your shoulders back, like step 4 for the arm movements. hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Relax.
  4. Repeat it 5 more times.
I recommend doing these 2 to 3 times every day, as doing so will give you a lot more flexibility as well as reduce the pain in your neck and shoulders. For a demonstration of the movements, please watch the video.
both hands massaging man's neck

Target Platysma or Neck Pain Easily using this Method!

This is one of my 3 favourite muscle names in the body – it’s in your neck and it’s called the platysma! First of all, what is the platysma? It is a muscle that begins at the jawline, right at the mandible, and runs down in a fan shape to the superior portion of the clavicle. It is responsible for helping the mouth and lips to move. Specifically, it is the muscle that we use when we react with fear or fright – when our mouth is drawn down or to the side.

Image from Wikipedia

Many therapists miss out on getting the best outcomes because they overlook this little muscle. In fact, did you know that a lot of neck-related pain can be traced to the platysma? As therapists, 75% of people entering our clinic complain of either neck or lower back pain! If you are focusing your techniques at the back, which is quite often joint-related or soft tissue around the traps, splenius, etc, then can I ask you to try this simple technique on your next neck pain client?

I could go as far as to say unless we address the tightness in the platysma. We won't get full neck movement.

Your First Moves

First, you must assess your client’s neck range. From a relaxed, sitting position, have your client lookup or go into full neck extension. Watch and be vigilant on the lift to note any tightness of the anterior neck esp the flat band of the platysma. Have your clients return to neutral or as neutral as they can. This video will show you step by step how I teach the muscle and surrounding soft tissue via way of an active glide. This way both of you are working together. Plus, they are increasing their afferent and efferent nervous system. They will also increase their agonists and antagonists, and myofascial trains.

Active Glide

For therapists out there, when we do active movements, it means that both you and your client or patients are actually actively involved in the process.

1. Stand on the treating side, in this case, stand on the right and have the client turn their head to the right, as far as they can go comfortably. 2. Place two fingers or knuckles. If you have OA issues just above their right clavicle at the midline closest to the supraclavicular notch and sink into the tissues. The fingers will be facing out towards the AC joint on the superior line of the clavicle so that you can take up the tissue along with its attachments. 3. Have your client slowly rotate their head back towards the left as far as they can go comfortably. 4. As they move their head allow your fingers to glide along with their muscle. Work with a pace that mimics the speed of the rotation and at the tension of the hypertonic muscle/fascia. 5. I always apply any technique three times before I re-assess. NB* make sure you DO re-assess! 6. Repeat the same process on the other side.

The Results

As you’re doing this, it should feel “tight” and “stretchy” or “burny” to your clients – all signs of fascia, muscle, and/or tendon. Have your clients test their range again, by moving their heads up, down, and side to side. The results can be astronomical in pain management, posture, and range. You should be able to see the tissues are not as taut as this time around.

The beauty of this work is that you can offer it to clients as homecare.  This is an attempt to release any ongoing restrictions felt in the neck. This is another cool technique that adds value along with the other ways to assist in neck pain that we've discussed in earlier videos.

Have fun and hope this helps you and your clients in the future!  
pressing a man's jaw and cheeck

This is How Jaw Clenching Destroys your Glutes!

Hi team, I thought we might talk about some stuff that you may NEVER have thought of before. It’s the links that the body has in our myofascial and neural lines of the body, and this is all about the jaw and jaw clenching and its effects on the strength of your gluteus maximus. Being a part of the face, the jaw and the jawline are often perceived as a marker of beauty, but this facial feature is more than just a mere accessory. Our jaw is part of the alimentary system, as well as our defense system when we go into what is termed our VENTRAL-VAGAL social engagement which is part of Porges Polyvagal Theory. Clenching the jaw is a primal act and if you think about it, survival of having it traumatically removed is part of keeping our species alive. The same primal move it probably accessing our FREEZE reaction, one that comes from DORSAL VAGAL SHUTDOWN which generates from about 500 million years ago and can be linked to immobilizing emotionally also. When the FREEZE component occurs it reaches along the spinal nerves and dampens the full chain of muscles that will propel us forward, gluteus maximus being the greatest in this action, the hamstrings involved as well but to a lesser degree.

Our Jaws in the Modern Day

Moving forward 500 million years where we live in a world of ongoing stress, increased hyper-vigilance, high acid systems we see more and more people you clench or grind their teeth. These habits may have varying reasons, like stress, anxiety, or different types of arthritis. Too much jaw clenching may result in cracking of teeth, TMJ dysfunctions, headaches, tension and pain in the neck and head, and farther afield including the paraspinal muscles and muscles of the lower back. It is surprising how stress and/or chronic jaw clenching can have such a significant impact on our glutes, but that is the truth of it. There is an easy way to test this, but you must first have someone else around to help you.
  1. Lie down completely relaxed, and bend your right knee up, with your foot planted firmly on the floor.
  2. Have your friend attempt to lift up your right foot, while you use your glutes to resist.
  3. Now, clench your jaw, and have your friend attempt to lift your foot once again. Try to resist.
You will notice that your glute strength has been reduced significantly while your jaw is clenched. Jaw clenching not only affects the muscles near the face, it tends to reproduce right down to our lower bodies. People must be mindful of their jaws, as a bad jaw can lead to a multitude of pain and tension all over the body. You could also watch the full demo of this exercise in the YouTube video below.

Glutes and Hamstrings Easy Stretching while Sitting

Being an office worker can be a REAL hazard to how your muscles naturally align, how strong they are, and in too many cases how SHORT they can become!! We tend to think of upper body strains e.g. that tight NECK and SHOULDERS but we need to address your lower body as well. This is especially true if you’re sitting for long hours and to be fair who isn’t RIGHT?? What happens is that your hip flexors tend to shorten, this in turn creates tightness of your quadriceps, and to make matters WORSE this causes your hamstrings to pull up feeling stiff and short. We now have tight and shortened hamstrings that have close links to weakened buttocks and tight deep hip rotators. The remedy is to take the time to stretch your upper body which is our necks, shoulders, and chest, AND include stretches to your lower body - butt, hamstrings, quads, and calves. So, when you’re waiting for those files to download or just taking a well-earned break, you can apply these two stretches in an easy seated position. I mean what could be EASIER!! Stretch number ONE is for your buttocks or gluteus. But let us first have a little background about this muscle group. The gluteal muscle group is composed of three muscles-- gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. This team of muscles creates the shape of your buttocks and work together when you sit to stand and walk, run, sidestep, the list goes on. The gluteus maximus is one of the strongest muscles in our body and is mainly responsible for the backward movement of the thighs and legs, aided by the two remaining gluteus muscles. Let’s unpack the damage long periods of sitting does - your gluteus minimus tends to weaken and some people complain of the feeling of a “numb-bum”. This can be caused by restriction to the blood supply to the muscle or it can be that the shortened muscles impact some of our nerves. The sciatic nerve is deep in the gluteal group but we will talk about that in a separate article.  Stretching the buttocks region (as shown in this small video) is one way to alleviate this feeling of pain or numbness. To do this while sitting down, first, you need to swing one leg over the other in a crossed position, while making sure that you are not crouching forward. The KEY is that your back STRAIGHT sits as tall as you can and just bend forward from the hips. What you are actually feeling is a stretch in your glutes and not a curve in your back. Again, most people get this stretch wrong by doing a curved crouching position. You need to keep in mind that you're doing this stretch for your buttocks and NOT for your BACK. This is a good glute stretch and tries to stay there for about 20 seconds, repeat for the other leg to definitely reap its benefits. Now, after the glute stretch, we want to do the hamstring stretch. Again, let me tell you about the hamstring muscles. Hamstring muscles are located in the posterior compartment of our things. This muscle group consists of three muscles: biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. These muscles help in movements of the knee, hip, and legs while running, walking, bending your knees, and squatting. So the most common injuries in the hamstring muscles come from a sports injury. While this holds true, sitting for long periods of hours can make your hamstrings tight so it's best to stretch those muscles to avoid tightness. We stretch the hamstrings in the seated position too! All you need to do is to move a little further forward on your chair. Straighten out one leg but don’t LOCK the knee, we want to focus on the muscles and NOT the nerves in this manoeuver. Now just lean forward as far as you can. Again, you need to make sure that your back is straight and not curved so that the focus of the stretch is not on your back but on your hamstring muscles. Your ankles can be more relaxed here too so you can focus on your hamstrings and NOT the calves. Yep, that will be in another article for you to focus on! You can do this stretch for about 15 to 20 seconds for each leg. Both glute and hamstring stretches are easy to do and can be managed into your workday without disruption. Work time, break time – really anytime within your day. I hope you find these stretches useful. Try to apply them especially if you suffer from lower back pain and watch out for my next article in my journey to keep you balanced, stable, pain free and self-managed in work, rest or play. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Major Problem that Wrecks Your Lower Back

The Major Problem About Having Lower Back Pain. Have you ever wondered why your body feels older and achier than you’d like? Recurring lower back pain? Neck pain, headaches or migraines? You think about the things that you have been doing recently and realize that you’re not really doing anything particularly wrong. You’ve been stretching at your desk in the office, getting up from the chair and moving around if sitting for too long in front of the computer but you just don’t know why you feel like you do. But you know what!

The "Secret Culprit"

There is a “secret” culprit that can be responsible for a majority of the pain your experiencing in your pelvis and all the way to your spine and neck. Want to know what it is? It’s actually your wallet or iPhone that you put on your back pocket while sitting in your car or just sitting all day in front of your computer.

Don't Get Surprised!

Surprised? Well, a lot of people are SHOCKED when I tell them that this little culprit continuously in your back pocket can be the main reason why you’re having so many pain issues, especially your lower back. A lot of people don’t realize the damage caused by consistently sitting on your phone or wallet for lengthy periods of time. Especially when it’s full of credit cards, ID’s, coupons, and receipts that you don’t even need. Imagine doing this every single day! You’re unknowingly causing yourself back and neck pain because the wallet causes you to elevate one part of your hip, distort your posture, and put continuous pressure on your spine, causing misalignment. Try this now, put your wallet, purse or phone in your pocket and sit down, one hip is now elevated and your hip or sacro-iliac joint is higher than what it ought to be. You have created a scoliotic curve in your lower or lumbar spine. This scoliotic curve is the start of small changes all the way up through your spine. I see clients presenting to my clinic complaining of pain in the lower back pain, pelvic pain, and spinal pain anywhere along the mid back all the way to the shoulders and the neck. Not only that but migraines and headaches too. We treat to balance the muscles that have been tightened, shortened, lengthened and stressed in my clinic and your homecare plan is take that NASTY object out of your back pocket when sitting. Again, that major problem about having lower back pain strikes!

Important Note

*If you're long driving and sitting with a bag under one of your hips, especially in the case of cab drivers and those who do regional driving as well, you’ll realize that one of your legs is sitting longer (or shorter) when driving. Having overstuffed purse or wallet can put pressure on you piriformis muscle that seriously affects your sciatic nerve, causing you to have sciatica-- a pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve and into the buttocks, hips, and the lower back all the way down to each leg. So always be mindful of the way you're sitting in the office or in your car.

So the answer to that Major Problem About Having Lower Back Pain...

Make sure that you create the HABIT of removing things from your back pocket before you sit down, the outcome is even and balanced pelvis. You’ll definitely see and feel the difference of having to sit without anything on your hips. Let’s reduce the incidence of back and neck pain, migraines or headaches, and even scoliotic spine because of that single culprit: your stuffed wallet. There you have it! I hope you learned about the great tips I shared with you so you can avoid having a lot of pain issues on your hip, back, and neck.  
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