Blog Image about Relief from Sub Occipital Pain – Effective Solutions with Manual Technique (1)

Effective Solutions of Sub Occipital Pain with Manual Techniques

Suboccipital pain is a common type of chronic neck pain. It affects millions of people around the world, which makes it one of the most common types of neck pain. 

Even though the primary cause of this type of pain is unknown, there are effective treatment options that can help relieve the symptoms. 

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you already know something needs to change in your life and that you’ve tried everything else. 

There are so many reasons why we need to take action against suboccipital pain – not only for our health but for our well-being as individuals too. 

What is Suboccipital Pain? 

x-ray visual of sub occipital pain of a man

It is a condition that is commonly caused by tightness in the muscles and connective tissues around the base of the skull. 

It can also be caused by compression of the nerves in this area. This condition can be very debilitating and cause a great deal of pain.

Causes of Suboccipital Pain

The suboccipital muscles attached to your occiput can be tender and sore if you sit at a desk or in front of a computer for long periods of time. It is common for people who sit for long periods of time to develop tension headaches. These muscles help to keep the head in place and prevent cervical vertebrae misalignments.

  • Prolonged tilting of head especially while working at the desk or when reading
  • Prolonged tilting of the head backwards or on the side especially when you are tucking a phone between ear and shoulder , when watching a screen located to your side, when the person you are talking to sits next to you, when doing painting jobs or when climbing
  • Cold draught which happens when your muscles are tired and got shortened for a longer time and you got exposed to cold draught (I suggest you put a scarf around your neck to avoid this)

Manual Techniques Never Seen for Reduced Neck Range of Motion that may Create Pain

1. Sub Occipital Pain Midfoot  Massive Supination

Asian woman doing to put a lock on the hindfoot sub occipital pain

You'll probably see this with a lot of clients that you'll have one foot that's got massive supination and the other one that's not as supinated. 

Now there are a couple of ways we can address that we can have a look to see if it's the midfoot, the cuboid muscle that is cuboid bone, that has been locked up. 

That's because of the torque or the pull between the tibialis anterior and the perennials that share in a common attachment point of the midfoot. 

Their action is to draw up that foot arch, we can have some jointly restrictions going on with the navicular head and the talus bones. It can be either of these structures that creates a problem, let’s assess in this video.

Let me demonstrate how I've achieved amazing results from it.

  • Put a lock on the hindfoot, and then put your hands on the forefoot that is free floating.
  • Move it back and forth to see if we are able to unlock the intercuneiform joints. Occasionally you feel a click from the action or, sometimes, you'll hear the click. This is NOT high velocity thrusts but simply the joint moving over surrounding bones or a nitrogen bubble release.
  • Then move to the second point. Feel if the navicular or talus bones are sitting just a bit more anterior-lateral than normal. 
  • Both thumbs on the bone/s, rock the ankle into some dorsiflexion for about 30 seconds, while they notice any pain and/or stiffness. It can be quite uncomfortable.

2. Sub Occipital Pain Recurring tightness in Upper Cervical Muscles or (suboccipital muscles)

x-ray visual of sub occipital pain of a woman

Are you a practitioner with clients or patients who come to see you who have constant tightness in their lower cervical muscles, specifically the ones that run along the deeper gutter of the neck, and attached to the base of the skull? 

They're referred to as our suboccipital muscles. These are the muscles that our patients often say are very tight. Comments like “It doesn't matter how much I try it doesn't seem to help the tightness”

In the long run, we are able to do lots of work with neuromuscular techniques. 

We can use exercises to increase muscle energy as well as glides, and we can also do joint capsule mobilization, however this is more universal and something I've seen in my clinic that's gained a bit longer duration for both the patient and the client. 

Following the patient's evaluation of the cervical movement.

Let me demonstrate how I've seen amazing results from it.

  • Ask the patient to go through upper cervical ranges. They will chin poke and chin tuck; trickier to do so I ask them to make a double chin. 
  • They will lie in supine, you'll need to feel your hands descending to the table, and your neck feels as if it's lying flat in front of the pillow. 
  • Have them bend their knees and put their feet flat, creating the bridging motion by elevating the buttocks off the table. They are asked to activate the gluteus maximus, which are those massive bionics power drivers to lift the pelvis and hips off the table. 
  • We can experience some beautiful stretches all the way to that thecal area, and coming down the full line of the spine
  • When we get them into a sustained bridge we then increase the pull at the top of this line by adding a pull or drag on the occipital ridge. We are pulling the neck into flexed traction and it works brilliantly for giving extra stretch and length in resting to the back fascial lines of the body.
  • Apply 3 times before you reassess.

3.  Sub Occipital Pain Severe Lateral Cervical Tenderness

Severe Lateral Cervical Tenderness of a man sub occipital pain

I've been seeing clients coming with really restricted neck ranges and quite extreme cervical tenderness on the lateral side. 

It is possible to perform a lot of work on the neck. However, what we really need to do is to discover how we can assist those clients with homework maintenance. 

We also need to assess so we can get a more detailed look at the things taking place that require change. 

This treatment always occurs after conducting an assessment on the client.

Let me demonstrate how I've seen amazing results from it.

  • Check the ranges of movement through flexion, extension, rotation and lateral flexion. Note before and after ranges.
  • We are addressing the deep and superficial arm lines of the anatomy trains. We look at the links between the entire pathway from neck, shoulder, arm, wrist and hand. This is important because a break in the continuity of any of these will make myofascial pain changes to the patient.
  • If there is restriction in the neck, I will move my attention to the hand and to the finger webbing. This may sound odd but I want you to check your necks and webbing and see if you can’t notice a correlation between tenderness and reduced neck movements.
  • Apply a lubricant rather than oil to your fingers. Oil is too slippery and will not give enough grip as you glide proximal to distal between the MCP joints.
  • Make sure that the patient relaxes their arm. Apply your thumb and fingers in the skin just below the MCP joints and then draw them through the webbing between the fingers and off.
  • Go through the web at least three or four times. After that, the same procedure through all the webs to pick up any tightness, tension or bound feelings between each finger knuckle to skin.
  • Do the same process to the other arm. 
  • Once complete, we will retest ROM and if there is a significant result then this will be part of the home care routine.

4. Trigger point therapy

This therapy involves applying pressure on specific muscles or bands within the muscle that create myofascial pain syndromes. 

These muscles seem to react well to triggering whether it be by compression, squeeze/flushing, acupressure or dry needling. 

Can must be used to confirm that it is the muscle you are addressing and not other neural tissue. 

Some patients love it though it can be quite painful during the application.

5. Massage

Massage is one of the most vague definitions in the dictionary for ways to relieve muscle tension. It includes glides, effleurage, kneading and should include techniques including NMT, MET, MFR. 

The old comments like “improve blood circulation” are no longer valid, nor is drinking water post a massage to remove toxins.

Probably the greatest value from receiving a massage is the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. The body calms to serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and more feel good chemicals aroused in the body. 

There is true value in this kind of relief, especially with clients under a lot of stress.


Stretching is another great way to relieve muscle tension and improve resting tone and active range of motion. There are many different stretching exercises that you can do at home or at work. 

Talk with your remedial therapist or exercise practitioner who will find ones that work best for you and do it regularly throughout the day. 

Remember to breathe deeply while stretching as this will also help relax your muscles.

These manual techniques can be helpful in treating this suboccipital pain and many other types of pain experienced in the body. 

If you’re not sure which techniques are right for you, consult with a qualified massage therapist who can help you choose the best option based on your individual needs.

I have found that these techniques are often very effective in relieving suboccipital pain. 

By applying techniques more distal to the neck can help to release tension in the muscles and tissues around the neck and head. 

This can often provide significant relief from pain and help to improve the range of motion. 

For a better understanding of these techniques please click on the link to the video below.


Watch This Video and Subscribe to Learn More!

You tube -


National Library of Medicine, BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 Published online 2017 Sep 5.Effectiveness of a specific manual approach to the suboccipital region in patients with chronic mechanical neck pain and rotation deficit in the upper cervical spine: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

National Library of Medicine, Author Tom George; Prasanna Tadi, Update January 10, 2022. Anatomy, Head and Neck, Suboccipital Muscles

6 Senior-Friendly Exercises for Better Balance, Strength, & Flexibility Blog Banner

6 Senior-Friendly Exercises for Better Balance, Strength, & Flexibility


As you grow older, your body's physical strength, flexibility, and balance change. Unfortunately, these changes may lead to minor injuries or fatal accidents. In this article, you will discover six senior-friendly exercises you can do at home. It will help improve your balance, strength, and flexibility. Without paying for an expensive gym membership or selling your car (or both).


According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in three people aged 65 and older falls every year. Compared to other life stages, people over 65 had a higher risk of hospitalisation or dying from a fall. Women accounted for 56% of hospital admissions and 52% of fatalities. Based on statistics, for adults 95 years of age and older, there were 14,900 hospitalizations per 100,000. Meanwhile, people 65 and older made up 94% of fatalities and 59% of hospitalizations.

This is worrying because the rate of serious injuries increases with age. Age-related changes in senses and muscle strength make it harder to maintain balance. Lack of balance increases the risk of falling and slipping accidents.

To avoid falling and reduce the risk of injury:

  • Be aware of where you are going before you walk or stand up from sitting down. If there are any obstacles (like stairs) between where you're located and where you want to go, walk with care. So that if someone walks into your path then they'll be able to stop themselves from bumping you.

Age-related changes in senses and muscle strength make it harder to maintain balance. 

  • Your vision: As we get older, the lenses of our eyes lose their ability to focus on distant objects. This can make it difficult to see at night or in low light conditions. If this happens to you or someone close to you, then consult an eye doctor immediately. They can help you check your eyes' health. For example, cataracts or glaucoma could cause permanent damage if left untreated.
senior-friendly exercises- visual image of the ear
Image by Healthy Hearing
  • Muscle strength: Ageing makes muscles less effective at moving around without causing injury. You can keep exercising by doing simple stretches. Try standing up straight against the wall while balancing on one leg. Don't try to think about falling yet!
  • Sensation: Our sense of touch becomes weaker because the skin loses elasticity. As a result, knees, joints, ankles, elbows, wrists, etc. become more prone to injuries.

WATCH: Best Wrist and Arm Pain Relief Stretches & Exercises Playlist by PAULA NUTTING

6 Senior Friendly Exercises for better balance, strength, and flexibility

You can do these senior-friendly exercises at home or in a community centre. They're easy on the joints, effective on the body, and they're easy to learn.

If you have trouble remembering them because of memory problems, don't worry! The good news is that it doesn't matter how much time it takes for your brain to process information. Take your time learning each exercise. Also, you can ask someone around who can help you out if necessary.

The first step is finding a flat surface in your living room, bedroom, or garden. Make sure that there is enough space for you to do these exercises. Be careful! Check the area for obstacles or sharp objects that you may fall into.

1. The Toe Stand

To perform this exercise, stand on one leg and keep your body upright. The key to balance is not to let your knee buckle inwards or outwards. If it does, shift your weight onto that foot and balance. You shouldn't be able to move your foot at all!

The goal of this exercise is to make sure that you can walk around without falling over. Keep your hips parallel to the ground, so they don't drop too much when walking into an obstacle (such as a chair). This means staying focused on keeping good posture while performing this exercise. Don't slump over or lean forward too much - remember we're trying for "good balance"!

2. The Wobble Board

This is one of the most popular and effective exercises to improve balance. All you need is a piece of wood or plastic foam. You can stand on this while holding onto an object like a chair or tabletop (if possible).

Position yourself and plant one foot on each side of the board while facing forward;. Then pull back both feet until they're completely off the ground. This will help train your muscles so they'll be more balanced when walking around later on!

3. Walking Heel-to-Toe Along a Straight Line

Senior friendly exercise 3 Walking Heel to Toe Along a Straight Line
Image by Elder Gym
  • Start by standing with your feet together and hands on your hips.
  • Take a step forward with one foot, keeping that heel down as you do so.
  • Continue this process until you've walked a straight line (from one corner of the room to another).
  • Next time around, try switching which foot you take each time you step forward. Try walking along parallel lines instead of straight ones! This will help keep your balance steady and make it easier for both legs to stay balanced during each step.

If possible, avoid turning too fast while walking heel-to-toe along this path. This can cause dizziness in some people who are new to these kinds of exercises . Take your time and listen to your body! Don't push it too far.

4. The Single Leg Stance

Senior friendly exercise 4 Single Leg Stance

The single leg stance is a balance exercise to improve balance and coordination. To do this exercise: Stand on one leg with the other out to the side.

Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat ten times on each side before moving on to something else in your routine!

Be sure to do this workout at least three times per day if possible—you don't want to get bored with doing it all day long!

5. The Tandem Walk

Senior friendly exercise 5 Tandem Walk

The tandem walk is a great exercise for seniors to improve their balance and strength. It's important to keep your core tight and shoulders back while walking. This will help you to maintain good posture. For this exercise, one person walks behind their partner. They walk forward with their feet positioned together at hip-width apart.

Then, the second person will lead by placing their hands on either side of their partner's waist. Keeping an eye on where each foot lands, so they know where exactly they need to turn next! When performing this activity, make sure that both sets of arms remain straight. Both legs must also move at equal speeds in each step taken by both partners. Otherwise, things might get slippery fast!

6. The One-Legged Heel Raise

Senior friendly exercise 6 One Legged Heel Raise

Stand on one leg and raise your heel as high off the ground as you can without bending at the waist or hips.

Hold this position for five seconds, then repeat with the other leg. Repeat 10 times on each side of your body, depending on your capacity.

Remember to relax and take deep breaths while performing this exercise. Feel your muscles getting stronger and more flexible as you do this!

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Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Falls in older Australians 2019–20: hospitalisations and deaths among people aged 65 and over, AIHW, Australian Government.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016). Australia’s health 2016. Australia’s health series no. 15. Cat. no. AUS 199. Canberra

Muscle Energy Technique Blog featured photo

Know some Muscle Energy Technique for Anterior and Posterior Ilium

What Is Muscle Energy Technique?

In 1948, Fred Mitchel Sr, D.O. developed a type of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) known as the "Muscle Energy Technique (MET)." MET improves musculoskeletal function by mobilizing joints, stretching tight muscles and fascia, reducing pain, and improving circulation and lymphatic flow (Waxenbaum, 2020). In simple terms, MET is a hands-on approach to treatment that uses the therapist's manual resistance to help the patient move their muscles. Hence, it is believed to work by mobilizing adhesions and restoring normal joint motion. As a result, MET provides pain relief, improves function, and reduces muscle tension. While the exact mechanisms are still being studied, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that MET can be an effective treatment for various conditions.

What Are Some Common Active Technique Treatments Aside from Muscle Energy Technique?

There are many different types of Active Technique treatments, but some of the most common include:

Myofascial release: This involves applying gentle pressure to the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles) to release tension and improve blood flow. There has been some debate about myofascial release, with some questioning its efficacy. However, a growing body of research suggests that myofascial release therapy can benefit many conditions.

• Muscle stripping: This technique uses manual resistance to "strip" or lengthens muscles. So, what is muscle stripping? Muscle stripping is a technique that uses manual pressure and movement to separate and stretch the muscle fibers. This is said to help improve blood circulation and promote the healing of injured muscles.

It's used to treat a variety of issues, such as Tendonitis, Muscle pain, Scar tissue, Stress, Fractures, Muscle Knots

Furthermore, muscle stripping is a massage used to treat muscle pain and tension. It is believed to work by breaking up knots and adhesions in the muscles, which can relieve pain and improve flexibility. This procedure is generally performed on the abdomen, hips, and thighs. To perform muscle stripping, the therapist will first apply a layer of oil to the area that needs treatment. They will then use their fingers or a tool to massage and stretch the muscles, which helps break down any knots or tension. This process is repeated until the therapist is satisfied with the results.

Moreover, the side effects of muscle stripping can vary depending on the individual but may include swelling, bruising, pain, and numbness. In some cases, patients may experience temporary difficulty walking or standing.

Nevertheless, muscle stripping is often used to treat chronic pain, tension headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also be helpful for athletes who are looking to improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury.

• Isometric holds: In this treatment, the therapist will ask the patient to contract their muscles against resistance for a certain period. This treatment is thought to help relieve muscle tension because it causes the muscle fibers to stretch and recoil. This helps break down the knots or adhesions that can form in the muscle tissue, leading to pain and tension.

You'll need to find a sturdy surface like a table or countertop to do an isometric hold. Place your hand on the surface and squeeze your hand and forearm muscles as hard as you can for 10 seconds. Release and rest for 10 seconds, then repeat the hold for another 10 seconds. Do this for a total of three rounds.

So, what are the risks of isometric holds? Well, like any type of exercise, there is always a risk of injury. If you're not careful, you could end up straining or even tearing your muscles. That's why it's important to start slowly and gradually build up the intensity of your holds.

Another thing to watch out for is cramping. If you hold your muscles in a static position for too long, you might start to experience cramps. This is usually nothing to worry about, but you should speak to your therapist if the cramps are severe or persistent.

There are a few occasions when you should avoid doing isometric holds. If you're pregnant, have high blood pressure, or are recovering from surgery, it's best to speak to your musculoskeletal specialist before starting this treatment. Additionally, it's important to stop and consult your musculoskeletal specialist as soon as possible if you experience any pain or discomfort during an isometric hold.

How Can Muscle Energy Technique Help With Anterior and Posterior Ilium Pain?

Here are some ways on how Muscle Energy Technique (MET) can help with anterior and posterior ilium pain:

Stretching the muscle helps to lengthen it and improve flexibility. When the muscle is flexible, it can work more efficiently and with less tension. This can help to reduce pain and discomfort.

Breathing helps to control muscle tension and relaxation. It also helps improve blood circulation, providing more oxygen and nutrients to the muscle. This can further reduce pain and discomfort, as well as improve healing.

To maximize the effects of MET, you can also do follow-up self-massage at home. Self-massage helps break up scar tissue and adhesions, which can cause pain and restrict movement. It also helps to increase blood circulation and improve healing.

Does Muscle Energy Technique Have Any Side Effects?

There are some risks associated with using Muscle Energy Technique. As with any physical therapy, there is always a chance of injury. You could pull a muscle or even damage your joint if you're not careful.

Another thing to be aware of is that MET can be pretty intense. Some people find it uncomfortable, and it can take a while to get used to the sensation. It's important to start slowly and build up your tolerance gradually.

As with any musculoskeletal treatment, always consult a musculoskeletal specialist like Paula Nutting before starting MET. They can advise you on whether it's the right choice and help you avoid any possible side effects.

How to Address Anterior and Posterior Ilium Pain?

Anterior and Posterior Ilium Pain can be addressed through stretching, breathing, and self-massage. Stretching is key to releasing tension in the muscle and preparing it for movement. A good stretch technique is important to elongate the muscle without causing pain or discomfort.

Breathing is also essential for effective MET. You need to ensure you're breathing deeply and rhythmically to get the most out of the stretch.

Finally, self-massage is a great way to release any tension that has built up in the muscle. A good massage technique will help increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.

How Can I Stretch Effectively?

There are a few things to keep in mind when stretching effectively.

First, always warm up your muscles before stretching. This can be done by taking a light jog, jumping jacks, or simply marching in place.

Second, be sure to hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds. This will allow the muscle to relax and lengthen.

Third, don't bounce as you stretch. This can cause the muscle to tear and may lead to injury.

How Can I Stretch Effectively?

When using Muscle Energy Techniques, breathing deeply and rhythmically is important to achieve the best results.

Not only does this help to relax the body and clear the mind, but it also helps move the energy around the body correctly.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing is done by contracting the stomach muscles to push the air out of the lungs. It allows you to use 100% of your lung capacity and increases your lung efficiency.

How Can I Self-Massage Effectively?

There are a few ways to self-massage effectively. One is to use a massage ball or foam roller to target specific muscles. Another is to use your hands to massage the affected area. And finally, you can use a technique called compression massage, which involves pressing down on the muscle with your fingers or thumbs. 

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Searching for effective techniques to resolve your patient's hip pain? Paula Nutting, Your Musculoskeletal Specialist, discusses Anterior and Posterior Ilium pain relief using Muscle Energy Technique (MET). Try it now! click here

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Stenersen, B., & Bordoni, B. (2022, January). Osteopathic manipulative treatment: Muscle energy procedure - cervical vertebrae. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from

Cleveland Clinic. (2022, March 30). Diaphragmatic breathing exercises & benefits. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from

Physiopedia. (2022, April 13). Muscle energy technique. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from

Fleckenstein, J. (2010, February 11). Discrepancy between prevalence and perceived effectiveness of treatment methods in myofascial pain syndrome: Results of a cross-sectional, nationwide survey - BMC musculoskeletal disorders. BioMed Central.

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Fix Wrist & Elbow Pain with This Simple Trick!


Elbow and wrist pain are common problems caused by various factors such as overuse, injury, or arthritis. The simplest way to address elbow and wrist pain is to stretch the muscles in the arm and hand through range. Stretching will help reduce muscle tension, which will help with much of the pain you may be experiencing at any of these joints. Manual therapy is another option for people with chronic elbow or wrist pain.

Hence, a certified Musculoskeletal Therapist like Paula Nutting, Your Musculoskeletal Specialist, can teach you numerous exercises that will lengthen and strengthen the muscles around that are problematic in your body. This will usually help alleviate pain in the area.

Myotherapy is another treatment option for people with chronic elbow or wrist pain. Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy that focuses on the muscles and soft tissues of the body (Healthline, 2016). It is a hands-on treatment that uses massage, stretching, and joint mobilisation techniques to relieve pain and improve mobility.

According to the Myotherapy Association of Australia, Myotherapy is a trusted medical specialty that uses evidence-informed assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation for musculoskeletal pain, dysfunction, and injuries. In simple terms, “It helps people in pain to move better and lead their best lives.”

What can Myotherapy treat?

Physical Therapy Vs. Myotherapy

You may have seen physiotherapy and Myotherapy mentioned online or on TV, but what do these treatments entail? Are they the same thing? Do they offer the same benefits?

In this post, we'll explore the differences between physiotherapy and Myotherapy. We'll outline what each treatment involves, its benefits, and who they're typically recommended for.

Physiotherapy uses physical interventions and education to promote, maintain and restore physical function and health. Physiotherapists work with people of all ages who have a range of health conditions, including musculoskeletal conditions (like arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or sports injuries), neurological conditions (like stroke, Parkinson's disease, or cerebral palsy), respiratory conditions (like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cystic fibrosis), cardiovascular conditions (like coronary artery disease, heart failure or hypertension), metabolic conditions (like diabetes or obesity), and cancer.

A study concluded that physiotherapy provides substantial benefits to Australians at all stages of life and in response to many different life events. Benefits include better quality of life such as reduced pain, increased mobility, reduced burden of disease and longer life expectancy, and  avoided costs of healthcare (Australian Physiotherapy Association, 2020).

Physiotherapy is a great option for anyone suffering from injury or illness who wants to regain mobility and quality of life. It can help people of all ages and abilities, from newborns with birth injuries to athletes who have suffered a sports injury to the elderly who are struggling with arthritis.

If you're looking for treatment for a specific condition or want to improve your overall health and wellbeing, physiotherapy could be the right choice for you.

On the other hand, Myotherapy is a type of massage that uses targeted pressure and stretches to release muscle tension. It can treat various issues, including muscle pain, tension headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain. Therefore, Physiotherapy is a holistic treatment that uses various exercises, remedial massage, and body manipulation to help patients recover from injury or illness, while Myotherapy is a more specific approach as it focuses on determining the underlying causes of muscular pain and dysfunction and rehabilitating musculoskeletal injuries.

Both physiotherapy and Myotherapy offer a range of benefits that can help improve your quality of life. If you're experiencing pain or discomfort, either of these treatments is worth considering.

Simple Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Elbow and Wrist Pain

If you're experiencing pain in your elbows or wrists, you're not alone. In fact, it's one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints.

There are a number of things you can do to help reduce or prevent elbow and wrist pain. In this blog, we'll share some tips that have been proven effective.

Use Proper Form When Exercising

One of the most common causes of elbow and wrist pain is using the improper form when exercising. Think about the last time you did bicep curls at the gym. If you didn't use proper form, you might have experienced pain in your elbows and wrists. This is because when you curl your arms, you're putting a lot of stress on these joints.

To avoid this pain, make sure to use proper form when exercising. This includes using the correct weight, keeping your back straight, and not locking your elbows.

Take Regular Breaks

When you're stuck in the same position for hours on end, your muscles can start to ache. Not only that, but if you don't take regular breaks, you risk developing musculoskeletal problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome.

These problems are caused by compression of the nerves and blood vessels in your elbow and wrist. The symptoms can range from mild discomfort to pain and tingling sensations and, in some cases, can lead to permanent nerve damage.

To avoid these problems, take regular breaks from your workstation. Get up, walk around for a few minutes, or do some stretches. If you can, try to vary your tasks throughout the day so that you're not doing the same thing for hours on end.

Use the Right Equipment

One of the best ways to prevent elbow and wrist pain is to use the right equipment. This includes choosing the right keyboard and mouse and adjusting the height of your chair and computer screen.

When it comes to keyboards, it's important to find one that's comfortable for your hands. The keys should be easy to reach, and the keyboard should be positioned so that your wrists are in a neutral position. You may also want to consider a keyboard with a split design, which can help reduce tension in your wrists. The mouse is also important, as it can strain your wrists if it isn't comfortable to use. Try to find a mouse that fits comfortably in your hand and has buttons that are easy to reach. You may also want to consider a mouse with a scroll wheel, as this can help to reduce movement.

If you're having trouble finding the right equipment or are unsure how to adjust your current setup, talk to a Remedial Massage Therapist for help. They can recommend products and advise on making your workstation more ergonomic.

Don't Overdo It

We get it. You're eager to make a change and start feeling better. But sometimes, less is more. Don't overdo it in the beginning and risk aggravating your injury. Start small and work your way up.

If you're unsure what's causing your pain, consult a therapist or doctor who can help you diagnose the issue. They may prescribe a few simple exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles around your elbow and wrist.

Stay patient and be mindful of how your body is feeling. You'll start to see progress if you're consistent with your treatment plan.

Strengthen Your Muscles

Strengthening your muscles is a great way to help prevent elbow and wrist pain. This can be done in several ways, including through exercise, massage, and a brace or splint.

One of the best exercises to help prevent pain is the wrist curl. To do this, you'll need a weight (or canister of water), which you'll hold in your hand with your palm facing down. Next, slowly curl your hand towards your body, keeping your elbow stationary. Hold for a second before lowering the weight back to the starting position. Be sure to repeat on the opposite arm.

If you're looking for a more targeted exercise, try the plank. This exercise works your entire core, as well as your forearm muscles. Start in a push-up position, with your forearms resting on the ground. Hold for 30-60 seconds before repeating.

Stretch Your Muscles

One way to help reduce pain is to stretch your muscles. This can be done before and after you do any activity that might cause pain.

Before you start any activity, stretch the muscles in your arms and hands for a few minutes. You can do this by sitting or standing and reaching your arms as high as possible above your head. You can also clasp your hands behind your back and stretch your shoulders.

After you've finished any activity, take a few minutes to stretch the muscles in your arms and hands again. This time, focus on the muscles in your elbows and wrists. You can do this by gently rotating your wrists in both directions, bending and straightening your fingers, and gently pulling on each finger.

Use Heat or Cold Therapy

You can use heat or cold therapy to help reduce elbow and wrist pain.

Heat therapy can help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or heating gel pack.

Cold therapy can help to reduce swelling and pain. You can use a cold pack, ice pack, or even a bag of frozen vegetables.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If the pain is manageable, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce inflammation and discomfort. Ibuprofen and aspirin are two of the most common types of pain relievers, and they can be purchased at any local pharmacy.

However, it's important to consult your doctor before taking any medication, as they may not be suitable for everyone. If you're pregnant or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should speak to a health professional before taking any medication.

Get a Massage

Massage is a great way to help relieve muscle tension and stress, which can often lead to pain. If you're experiencing elbow or wrist pain, booking a massage with a remedial massage therapist is a good idea.

Not only will they be able to help relieve the pain, but they can also give you some tips on how to prevent it from happening again.

Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing pain and inflammation and has been used for centuries to treat all sorts of conditions.

If you're experiencing elbow or wrist pain, you may consider trying acupuncture. Acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment and can be done in a therapist's office, so it's a great option if you're not comfortable with needles.

Use Trigger Point Injections

One of the most common musculoskeletal pain treatments is trigger point injections. This is a treatment where a small amount of local anaesthetic is injected into the taut muscle fibres causing pain.

The anaesthetic will help release the muscle's tension and stop it from sending pain signals to the brain. This treatment often stops pain straight away and can prevent the need for more invasive treatments further down the track.


Pain in the elbow and wrist can significantly reduce your quality of life. Luckily, there are many things you can do to reduce and prevent this pain. From making small lifestyle changes to seeing a therapist, these tips will help you get on the path to relief. Want to know an easy stretching and massage technique for elbow and wrist pain in just 1 minute?

Watch This Video and Subscribe to Learn More!

Here's a video by Paula Nutting, Your Musculoskeletal Specialist, teaching you how to fix elbow and wrist pain in just 1 minute! Click here

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Australian Physiotherapy Association. (2020, October 1). Value of physiotherapy in australia.

Bernstein, S. (2021, July 31). What’s physical therapy? How to feel and function better. WebMD.

Myotherapy - better health channel. (n.d.). Better Health Channel Australia.

What is myotherapy? (n.d.). Myotherapy Association Australia.

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 (  2 - Effectiveness of Hand Self-Shiatsu to Promote Sleep in Young People with Chronic Pain: a Case Series Design (
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.
Paula Nutting making a demo of stretching exercises for the upper back

Improve Your Breathing and Upper Back using these Stretches!

How life has changed since 2019!!

We see lack of movement caused by so many different things now. The usual sedentary lifestyle from poor motivation, restrictions in where and how to get exercise  AS WELL AS the increase in working from home. This has all amassed to increases in sitting, both on the computer and then in front of the television.

The outcome is restriction and stiffness in the full spine and specifically poor thoracic spine mobility.

We also need to consider those people who have recently experienced violent trauma as which includes motor vehicle accidents, bad falls, sporting injuries etc. These insults also induce pain and immobility on our thoracic vertebrae.

Other precursors to a stiff and painful thoracic spine include people suffering from Osteoporosis in jobs requiring strenuous lifting, patients with a history of cancer, drug abuse, HIV, or partial or complete suppression of the immune response/prolonged use of corticosteroids. These are just a few of those I see in my clinic complaining of “a bad upper back”.

Muscles Involved

The muscles involved in Thoracic Rotations are:

During rotation, the external oblique (EO), rectus abdominis (RA) and lumbar multifidus (MF) muscles act contralaterally, whereas the latissimus dorsi (LD), internal oblique (IO), and transversus abdominis (TrA) muscle act ipsilaterally3,4,5,6). Trunk rotation is a motion involving both thoracic and lumbar vertebrae.1

Some of the most commonly known treatments for pain in the thoracic region include stretching, massage, and some other counter (OTC) medicines.  Others, also try heat and/or cold therapy which helps lessen the muscle pain and stiffness in the short term but have little evidence around the long-term benefits.

So what can YOU do to help if you have a stiff, painful back? If you struggle to get up in the morning, find it difficult to twist to look over your shoulder when driving or simply turning in seated or standing positions.

Here is a quick exercise you can do just about anywhere to help relieve this tension and limited thoracic rotations. Stretch twists of the torso can help improve rib mobility, muscle restrictions, and ultimately diaphragm integrity which is probably the biggest benefit when we consider the need for blood enriched with oxygen.

8 Ways to Increase Lung Capacity For Running

by Runner's Blueprint

Twist and Stretch Exercise

I want to offer you the feeling of length/balance of the spinal segments, feeling taller or straighter, and the overall state of postural strength of the core.  This is also a very good practice to strengthen your Diaphragm & Upper Torso.

  1. In the first sequence, put one hand underneath your leg locking your sit bones securely onto the table or chair, while your other hand is across your body and grabbing the chair to be able to start you on your way to twisting your spine.
  1. Twist as far as you can go and then try to return to the midline using the muscles of your trunk but use that second hand to hold on and resist.
  1. Hold that position for about 10 seconds and return back to the centre position so your back is in neutral.
  1. Take a deep cleansing breath in/out and then relax.
  1. In the second sequence, repeat the twist to as far as you can turn the spine. Then include a head/neck turn in the same direction to apply a small amount of overpressure to the stretch.
  1. Hold this position for 10 seconds, return to centre and take another full breath in and out.
  1. The third and the most important of the three sequences are including ocular or eye movement. This encourages the motor cortex to add more rotation via the descending pathways and usually assists in further changes in the nervous system along with the muscles and fascia.
  1. Rotate both the head and body as far as possible and hold again for 10 seconds.
  1. Now, make your eyes look as far around as you can possibly can and add a bit more stretch.

Watch this 2-minute video for a more visual presentation of this Twisting Exercise.

1 Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine [Relationship between the spinal range of motion and trunk muscle activity during trunk rotation]

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