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sydney chiropractor

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Neck stiffness & pain: Consider this

Now by far one of the most common issues that I see as a Chiropractor is neck pain/dysfunction/stiffness whatever you may want to call it. It’s super uncomfortable to have Chronic (lasting longer than 6 weeks) neck issues as you use it for pretty much everything. Everyone has probably had an episode where by their neck muscles feel very “tight” and leads to them getting headaches/migraines. If this is you, you need to read on.

Now having tight muscles can be from various causes. From overuse, past trauma, muscle imbalances from poor posture, occupational predispositions and the list goes on. One factor that many seem to overlook is structure. Our spine is designed with curves, what we label as ‘Lordosis’ and ‘Kyphosis’ (see image below)

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Our neck has a natural curve we call cervical lordosis (a reverse C curve) and we want to maintain that. Why?

Let’s look at this image below. Can you see all those ligaments behind the vertebrae? Not listed here are muscles which we have A LOT of behind our neck. Now imagine over time when your neck loses this curve and starts to straighten (right image). Can you visualise how all these ligaments and muscles are going to have increased tension due to poor structure? What can cause the neck to curve the other way? With our daily habits of looking at our phones, sitting in front of our desks at the computer, and generally just sitting in a ‘hunched’ posture throughout our daily lives has put our necks under a lot more pressure.

If you are one of the people who constantly get massages and never seem to be getting results, this may be your reason. Tight muscles are a SYMPTOM of something underlying. Finding the CAUSE is what we do.

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Postural Exercises

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Postural Exercises

If you want to improve your posture and decrease pain , theses exercises will help.

WAXING

Sit up straight with elbows at sides and bent to 90 degrees (right angle).

Push shoulders together and down, with palms facing the floor.

Make a waxing motion in the air while maintaining the above position. **Keep elbows "glued" to sides while completing motion.**

Do this for 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times.

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WALL ANGELS

Stand against wall with feet shoulder width apart.

Gently press low back against wall.

Place back of elbows, forearms, and wrists against wall.

Bring arms up and down slowly in a small arc of motion while keeping elbows in contact with wall.

Do this 10 times.

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PRONE LYING SCAPULAR EXERCISE

Lie on stomach on a pillow, with forehead resting on a rolled towel to keep neck in neutral.

Bring arms out to sides with elbows bent to 90 degrees.

Lift arms up while squeezing shoulder blades together.

Hold each 3-5 seconds, and do 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions.

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THERABAND ROWS

Sit up straight on a chair.

Keep elbows very close to sides and pull back on a resistive band as shoulder blades come back and down.

Return to start position slowly.

Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

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ISOMETRIC ABDOMINAL EXERCISE

Sit in chair with back supported.

Tighten stomach as if someone were going to punch it.

Press fingers into abdomen and tighten abdominals even more to resist pressure of fingers. ** keep breathing!!!**

Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

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WALL SLIDES

Stand with buttocks, and back against wall.

Bring feet to 12" from wall. **Keep back against wall.**

Lower down until knees are bent to about 60 degrees keeping abdominals tight.

Raise back up to where knees are slightly bent.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

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SIT TO STANDS

Sit at edge of chair with feet slightly behind knees.

Stand up while keeping neck erect and spine erect. Your back should not bend forward.

Immediately return to sitting, but do not put full weight on chair.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions slowly.

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