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! 
woman stretching her legs

5 Best Post-Workout Stretches to Prevent Hip and Back Pain!

When doing any physical exercise at home, your main goal is to strengthen and tone your muscles. But after those activities, you always need to do stretches to allow your muscles to return to their normal resting tone. The 5 BEST Stretches to UNRAVEL Back and Hip Pain is what we will be discussing here in this article.But why is it important to make sure that after you have a full program or workout, you need to do stretches?In our previous articles, we have talked about the different benefits of doing a stretch especially on affected areas when you constantly sit down or in a stationary position. For today’s article, we will talk about why stretching is important after physical exercises and the 5 MOST beneficial ones that that TARGET regions that can cause back pain.But first, let me answer our previous question.

Why stretch after a workout??

Stretching is an important phase not only done before any physical exercise in the form of movement through full range to warm the tendons and joint capsules but more so after your workout or any strenuous activities that you did. This is crucial because it not only helps in boosting your flexibility but also helps you avoid the risks of injuries. It also decreases the muscle tension you create when you work-out and keeps your muscles in their preferred resting tone. What’s great about stretching after is that once completed, you’ll feel much more limber, movements more fluid, your joints will have better motion range, and you will be able to move through the balance of the day/evening feeling UNRESTRICTED.Now let’s get into our 5 powerful stretches i.e. "the 5 BEST stretches to unravel Back and Hip Pain" that you can do to keep your muscles flexible and in their normal tone. This is most especially applicable to those office workers, sedentary workers, drivers or anyone who works from home.

Quadriceps and Hip Flexor Stretches

So let’s start with the first two stretches on quadriceps and hip flexors.1.The first thing you need to do is to lie down on your side, grab your top ankle and pull it toward your buttocks, try to get your heel as close to your buttocks as possible.
  1. If you feel tightness in the hip region then focus more on pushing the hip further forward to target the upper portion of your thigh muscles.
  2. Hold that position for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds. And if you have chronic tightness, hold that leg for a good 1 minute.
  3. Do these steps for the other leg for 20 to 30 seconds or up to 1 minute if needed.

Glutes Stretch

Once you have completed both sides, now in your sitting position, you can now proceed to the next type of stretch for your Glutes.
  1. From your initial sitting position, lie down on your back and cross your right leg over the other.
  2. Bring up the left leg (so that it carries the right one up) towards your chest, grab that leg behind the knee and pull them both as close to your body as you can. You should feel a deep and wonderful stretch in your butt (Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Minimus).
  3. Repeat these steps starting by crossing the left leg over the right and really spend time exploring the tight areas of the buttocks any loosening those fibres.

Hamstring Stretch

The next set of stretches is for your hamstrings.
  1. Go back into a sitting position. This time straighten out your legs but make sure you don’t LOCK the knees. This needs to be a muscle stretch and not targeting the nerves.
  2. Then reach your arms out towards your ankles or toes with your both hands.
  3. Try to keep your back as straight as you can simply pivoting from the hip joints. You want to feel the stretch along the back of the upper leg, your hamstrings, and possibly your calves and avoid feeling too much in your lower back.

Inner Thighs Stretch

Now, let’s proceed to our adductors, these are the muscles of your inner thighs and can get extremely tight. Many people forget to stretch them but in my EXPERIENCE these groups can cause a lot of issues to the hips, buttocks and back. In fact when was the last time you stretched your inner thighs?????
  1. Now again in your sitting position, spread your legs apart as wide as you can, try to keep the feeling of your sit bones on the floor so you don’t roll into a low back curve. If it’s too difficult perhaps sit up against a wall to keep the back straight. You want to feel your adductors stretching.
  2. Reach out with your arms, hands, and with the straightest back you can manage try to get your elbows and possibly your chest to the floor. We can increase the effectiveness by targeting one leg at a time, grab one foot with both hands, lean your body down towards that leg. Rest into the stretch for 30 seconds. In this way you are also working on the deep rotator muscles around the hip joint.
  3. Repeat these steps into the other leg.

Pectoral Muscle Stretch

For our final stretch, we are going to focus on our chest. Our previous 4 stretches focused on the lower body but our chest muscles are so often tight from inactivity or post bench press types of weight training. We want to open up the chest region, stretch the pectoral muscles and underlying smaller rib stabilizers by using a foam roller.
  1. Lie down place your foam roller along the line of your spine, you should feel a little unbalanced because you are only one the roller and very little of your back is in contact with the floor.
  2. Open your arms wide and rest them on the floor, this will stabilize you, now you can feel the stretch, your chest is fully open. Feel the extension of your back as well and enjoy that wonderful stretch of opening up the chest and front of your shoulders.
So there you have it, the 5 BEST stretches to unravel Back and Hip Pain, in less than 5 minutes you’ve set yourself up for happy muscles.

Neck Pain at Work? Try This Easy Chest Stretching!

In today's blog post, we will talk more about stretching the chest in the office to help relieve neck pain.   With our STRANGE new WORLD, I have to ask these questions to my patients so often now…Are you working from home? Always in front of your computer for hours and hours each day?When we’re NOT at our regular work station with the ergonomic chairs and desks we seem to experience back and neck pain much more commonly.If that sounds like you then it’s a sign that you need to do something about it!Find strategies to help ease that pain.One of the most effective and easy ways to do that is to stretch the muscles in question. Well, at least it will help until you get to your therapist for their treatment skills!But before we dive into that, let me first talk about why stretching your muscles is important.

Let's begin knowing about Stretching the Chest in the Office to Help with Neck Pain...

This encourages the muscle’s ability to stretch (increased elasticity) it also allows for a better resting tone for your muscles. That means they can feel softer when you’re not doing anything. Feel them now for me – grip your upper trapezius (neck/shoulder muscles), do they feel tight when you squeeze them? That can indicate poor resting tone, yet another indicator that they could do with a stretch. (Stretching the Chest in the Office to Help with Neck Pain)With this in mind, we need to make sure that we regularly stretch those muscles to keep them strong, flexible, and healthy even when you’re just sitting around all day or have that cardio workout in your focus. Without stretching your muscles first, they would be short, less elastic, and tight. And when you make sudden, unmeasurable movements or do immediate heavy physical exercises, those activities can increase the chance of muscle strains and tears. This is why athletes and people who would do physical exercises go through full ranges of movement to warm the muscles and joints before workouts and take the time to stretch after their activities. They are trying to avoid injuries. 

So below are some of the benefits of stretching in our body:

  • Improve posture
  • Decrease back pain
  • Improve and prevent loss of range in motion
  • Prevent injury
  • Alleviate muscle tightness and tension
  • Decrease muscle soreness
  • Improve blood circulation
Chapmans Reflexes Brisbane Course

More on Stretching the Chest in the Office to Help with Neck Pain...

Stretching also makes you feel good because this taps your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the rest and digest system in our body. This system helps slow our heart rates, improves the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, and increases the production of the “good” hormones that repair the body.Pretty amazing, right? So before you LAUNCH down in front of your computer or perhaps even now while you're sitting and reading this article, why not make the decision and stretch those tired and exhausted tight muscles.It literally takes only a few minutes; come on - I invite you to stretch and follow the steps that I’m gonna share with you on the video link or read and follow below!For this purpose, we’re going to focus only on stretching your chest muscles to alleviate your neck and back pain.Chapmans Reflexes Courses

So here are the steps you need to do to keep your neck and back healthy and free of pain.

  1. When you’re in front of your computer, place your hand palm on the side of your computer screen, twist your whole body to the side and place your other arm on the top of your chair. You would feel the tension in your chest muscle at this moment. Then finally turn your neck to the side away from your computer to stretch your neck and back.
  2. Repeat the first step but this time instead of the palm, use the back of your hand and do the same. At this moment you not only feel the tension in your chest muscle, neck, and back but also in your arms. This is perfect if you have been typing on your keyboard all day and your arms and hands are just sore.
  3. Use your other hand and repeat steps 1 and 2. 
After these steps, you would feel that your chest muscles, arms, neck, and back have been stretched and loosen a bit of tension that has grown over you while continuously working in front of your computer for hours.For better results and relief for your neck and back pain, do these stepsonce or twice daily. That’s it for this article. I hope this helps give you RELEVANT tips to feel better and healthier while working from home.
Back to Top
Product has been added to your cart