Why workout alone when you can workout together? Grab your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, friend, roommate, or teammate and follow along with Linda and John Lynch for a great 15 minute workout!
Do you get headaches, neck tension, shoulder or upper back pain?
Have you had sinus issues or problems with vertigo or dizziness?
Do you get jaw pain or has your dentist said you have TMD or TMJ?
Have you heard of forward head posture or text neck and think you might have it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably have misalignment of your head and neck.
Your head is supposed to be balanced directly above your shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle from the side and supported by a smooth S-curved spine. From the front your head should be squarely positioned over level shoulders and hips, and knees and feet that point straight ahead.
When you have chronic head or neck pain your doctor will often offer a diagnosis. Many of these diagnoses are of unknown cause (scoliosis, torticollis, thoracic outlet syndrome), blamed on "normal aging" (arthritis, stenosis, disc degeneration, disc herniation), or said to be caused by an injury (disc herniation/rupture, thoracic outlet syndrome, torticollis), while others are known to be caused by poor misaligned posture (text neck, tension headaches, TMD). In reality, all of these symptoms in many if not most people are directly related to poor posture and the resultant compensation that happens because of it.
Imbalances in any of the load bearing joints (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders) can cause the spinal column to lose it's vertical alignment and natural S-curve, which will throw the head out of good postural alignment. When the head moves forward (forward head posture), tilts laterally, rotates, or moves out of alignment in any other way, it can cause a multitude of issues including: neck pain, shoulder and upper back pain, headaches, dizziness, balance issues, breathing issues, and sinus congestion and pain. You might be diagnosed with text neck, TMJ or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders and pain), cervical stenosis, cervical disc herniation or rupture or degeneration, thoracic outlet syndrome, scoliosis, arthritis, cervical dystonia or torticollis, or tension headaches. Regardless of the diagnosis the most important thing to figure out is the underlying cause of the problem, which in cases not involving traumatic accidents is often misaligned or poor posture. (But even in cases of car accidents, neck curvature and head position can predict severity of injury from whiplash.)
Check out this great image that shows the relationship between neck posture and whiplash injury.
Misaligned cervical vertebra, characteristic of forward head posture, are caused by misalignments of the pelvis and lumbar and thoracic spine. These misalignments cause over time wear and tear of the tissues of the neck which can lead to cervical arthritis, stenosis, disc herniation or degeneration, and overworked muscles of the neck and upper back that lead to shoulder, upper back, and neck pain along with tension headaches and breathing issues.
When the head tilts our of balance (forward or down, to the left or right, etc) the inner ear and sinuses are affected because they both work on principles of vertical and horizontal alignment with gravity that keep the fluids working correctly. This misalignment of the fluid canals with gravity can cause balance issues, dizziness, and sinus congestion and pain.
The exercise video below by Sonima.com and narrated by Pete Egoscue contains a series of postural alignment exercises to help correct a misaligned head and neck and relieve associated symptoms. Let me know how the routine works for you in the comments section below.
Being a mom is a rewarding yet hard job. A study found that mothers will spend on average 27,250 hours in their lifetime shopping, cooking, and doing household chores - that equals 1,135 days of their lives!! 72% of moms with children over 1 year old work, and those moms with a full-time job will spend 13 hours a day between work and household chores.
Things that keep mom busy:
That doesn't leave a lot of time for exercise!
The solution? Get in exercise whenever you can and wherever you are. This workout video by Sonima.com and Pete Egoscue is 15 intense minutes of exercise you can do in the living room, backyard, or park and can be done all together or in 2-3 minute parts. Next time you are fatigued and tired and ready to plop down on the couch and zone out to Facebook, try this workout and notice how much energy it gives you.
Leave your comments below.
Fun mothering facts
Children's postural alignment
Fun family workout
Pete Egoscue on infants and alignment
Children's declining fitness
Osteoporosis is being diagnosed more often and at younger ages than ever before. In fact, between 1990 and 2000, there was nearly a 25% increase in hip fractures worldwide. Europe and the Americas accounted for 51% of all fractures which is a hugely disproportionate amount. Why is this?
If we look at America for example:
What is it that causes more people every year to get osteoporosis?
Why is it that America and other westernized countries have much higher rates of osteoporosis than less developed countries?
I believe it has to do with our posture. Americans have terrible posture which is getting worse all the time. Children, teenagers, and young adults have worse posture than any generation before them. Our bodies work on this wonderful principle called “vertical load”. This means that our bodies are designed in a manner where each of our major joints are designed to stack vertically one on top of the next. Shoulder over the hip, hip over the knee, knee over the ankle.
Our posture should look like this:
When our joints are aligned vertically, gravity is applying a constant force down through our bones, strengthening them. This is happening whether we are sitting, standing, running, skiing, or golfing. But if our joints do not line up vertically, then gravitational forces are not having this positive effect on our bone density and can even start to have a negative and degenerative effect over time.
The answer to the mystery of why our bones are getting weak is very simple: because our posture is indeed weak and misaligned. When we realign our posture our body does what it is designed to do: increase our bone density. And it does this without the need for drugs such as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Didronel and others that all have negative long term effects on our bone structure and overall health. Wouldn’t you rather do it the natural way? I know I would.
If you would like a free postural evaluation and personalized discussion about your body, bones, and overall musculoskeletal health contact me today. At Oregon Exercise Therapy I specialize in helping people just like you relieve pain, restore function, and rediscover your bodies amazing ability to function pain and limitation free no matter your age.
As much as I love blues music, being a musician and playing music doesn't have to hurt.
Studies have shown musicians experience musculoskeletal pain at a higher rate than non-musicians, but this does not mean playing a musical instrument is bad for the body. Your body is designed to play a guitar, violin, saxophone, piano, or the drums pain free. Playing an instrument can be thought about the same way as playing a sport - each instrument, just like each sport, places specific repeated stresses on the body. With repeated playing the body will adapt to the demands placed upon it and adjust. These adjustments can be adaptations in muscles, bones, connective tissues, blood vessels, nerves, etc.
The body is such an amazing stimulus response organism and it will adapt to what you ask it to do.
Repeatedly throwing a baseball will strengthen the muscles involved in the throwing motion and increase the range of motion of the shoulder joint. This is a normal and natural response of the body to movement/demand. But when a person throws hundreds of baseballs daily with one arm and not the other, the body starts to become imbalanced. Now not only is one arm stronger and exhibits a larger range of motion than the other arm, the rest of the body starts to compensate for this imbalance. The dominate shoulder might drop down and forward which rotates the same side hip forward and twists the knees and feet out of balance. This is a recipe for pain and injury up and down the body.
The same imbalance patterns happen when someone plays an instrument repeatedly. Playing a guitar right handed will lead to the right shoulder rotating forward and up and will cause internal rotation of the right arm. The left shoulder will drop back and down. The right scapula will abduct (protract) as the left scapula adducts (retracts).
Playing a violin will lead to many of the same imbalances as playing a guitar. The woman below will end up with imbalances in her neck, shoulder, and back muscles from the repeated demands of playing the violin. These imbalances can lead to neck, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand pain and injury.
Being a drummer can also lead to postural imbalances and eventual pain or injury. Common imbalances created by drumming are forward head posture, thoracic flexion, lumbar flexion, and rounded shoulders.
Whether you play baseball or guitar the key to becoming pain free is the same: balance the body. Restoring postural alignment and balance will both relieve pain and future prevent injuries. The first thing you need to do is identify your postural imbalances and then figure out what specific exercises/stretches will restore proper strength, flexibility, stability, and position to the muscles and joints. As function is restored, your posture will return to balance, and allow you to play pain free.
If you would like a free postural evaluation contact me today. I will help you understand the relationship between your dysfunctions (what's not working), compensations (what's taken over instead), and your pain (the resultant symptoms). Then we can formulate a plan to get your postural alignment restored and you can return to playing pain free.
Sports and the blame game
Functional posture warm-up for tennis
How shoulder posture affects running performance
10 design perfections in the human body
Tennis elbow - why tennis isn't to blame
Let's do a quick posture analysis on yourself. Stand in front of a mirror with bare feet.
Egoscue and low back pain
How to fix neck and shoulder pain with Egoscue
Foot problems uncovered
Knee joint osteoarthritis
Preventing ACL tears while skiing
Are you an athlete? Looking for the best workout program to take your performance to the next level? Want to prevent injuries and extend your career?
These athletes are doing the perfect workout for that. See if you can guess what sport they play as you watch.
Didn't guess it until the end did you? They are Olympic weightlifters. Why would weightlifters waste so much time running, jumping, tumbling, and playing other sports when they could be lifting weights the entire time? To get better at lifting weights, you have to practice lifting weights right? Yes and no. Of course to be able to perform a snatch or clean and jerk with hundreds of pounds you have to practice the technique of those lifts thousands of times but that's not the only thing that is needed to perform better.
Doing one thing - anything - repeatedly will lead to imbalances in the body. Some muscles get stronger as others get weaker. Gains in certain ranges of motion increase, as others decrease. One side of the body might get stronger and more capable, at the same time the non-dominate sides gets weaker. These changes throw the body out of balance, causing changes in joint position or posture along with alterations in movement patterns. These adjustments (compensations) the body has made in response to the demands put upon it will lead to decreases in efficiency and increases in stress, strain, and compression in the body. Compensation leads to decreased performance and increased chance of injury and pain.
Swimmers overdevelop the arm adductors and internal rotators while the abductors, external rotators, and scapular stabilizers tend to get weak.
Cyclists end up with strong quads, hip flexors, and calves and weak hamstrings, glutes, spinal extensors, and scapular retractors.
Tennis, baseball, and other one sided sports lead to athletes developing large imbalances between the dominate and non-dominate sides.
The types of workouts shown in the video above do several very important things for the athletes completing them.
There are several ways to get started with these workouts.
Straighten before you strengthen
Sports and the blame game
How shoulder posture affects running performance
CrossFit: how to survive injury free and achieve success
Tennis warm-up and cool-down exercises
Difference between play and sports training
The human body is designed to stand, just as the body is designed to sit, run, jump, throw, lift, and carry things. But doing any of these activities repeatedly can lead to imbalance in the body and pain. This posture exercise menu is designed for people who have to stand a lot during the day, like cashiers, baristas, bartenders, teachers, nurses, doctors, chefs, hairdressers, construction workers, and mail carriers. These posture exercises when done on a regular basis will relieve back pain, knee pain, and foot pain associated with standing for extended periods by realigning the load joints (ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders), engaging posture muscles, and balancing the body.
Leave a comment below about how these exercises worked for you.
If you'd like personalized help and exercises to help you become pain free contact me today.
How you stand is how you move
10 things that cause posture imbalances and pain
Why sitting and rising from the floor is important for health
10 minute after-work workout
Simple posture exercises for office workers
About Matt Whitehead
I'm an Egoscue Institute certified Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS) and Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET), certified personal trainer, PatchFitness performer, FiveFingers wearer, trail runner, mountain biker, dad, music lover, environmentalist, and wanna-be slam dunk champion. I will be providing you with the latest posture exercises to help you live, play, and be pain free.