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14.08.2015

Chronic shoulder and neck pain, lower six pack workout - Reviews

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Adaptive shortening and tightness of front chest muscles – Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor which makes raising and expanding the chest more difficult. Sometimes it's the Lower Trapezius and lower fibers of the Serratus Anterior that are too strong and short (Lower Trap dominance) while the Upper Trapezius is elongated and weak. Complicating any of the above faulty postures may be excessive differences or asymmetry between left and right halves of the body. And most important — always remember to stand with weight evenly distributed between right and left legs.
Improve Shoulder Blade Stabilization to Thoracic Spine by strengthening Rhomboids, and Lower and Middle Trapezius. Reduce asymmetry between right and left sides of the body by consistently standing with weight evenly distributed over both feet, sitting with both feet flat on the floor, not favoring one side over another when holding children or carrying heavy items, and not lying on the same side in bed to read. Develop the habit of self-correcting posture during the process of strengthening postural muscles, and continue that habit after good postural muscle strength has been achieved and improved posture becomes easier to maintain. Use your specific posture faults as a guide to help decide which muscles need strengthening and which need stretching. Picking the exercises that you like doing probably strengthens muscles that are already strong and doesn't help muscles that are weak; which worsens muscle imbalance. Don't just strengthen the muscles seen in frontal view such as those of the chest, front of shoulder, the abdominal 6-pack area, fronts of thighs (quadriceps) and upper arms (biceps); that stretches and weakens the opposing muscles in back, which are responsible for keeping us erect and in good posture alignment. Duration of stretches: Studies done in young and middle-aged adults show that a minimum hold of 30 seconds gives good results, while 60 seconds does not improve the outcome (ref). Perform strengthening exercises in a controlled and mindful manner to protect joints and to maintain correct postural alignment. If a workout causes pain around a joint, figure out why (or get an expert to help) before continuing.
Second key practice: along with straightening the mid-back area, regularly take a few slow and complete breaths to expand and lift the chest to full capacity. When lifting, pulling or pushing weight, concentrate on keeping shoulder blade movement controlled. Sway Back: Short, tight Hamstrings pull down on posterior pelvis, tilting it backward and flattening the normal lordotic curve.
Also notice whether one's body weight is evenly distributed over the soles of both feet, from side to side, and front to back.
Accordingly, the first step is to really look at oneself from the front, back and side, and preferable while performing daily activities.
To change one's posture, to change anything, means turning away from the old, comfortable ways of moving, interacting or just being in the world, and accepting a degree of short-term discomfort. But a caveat: once the work is done, and the muscles restored, if the slouching habit returns, so will poor posture.
Standing and sitting tall positively effects the way people feel about themselves and how they conduct their lives. As reported by Muraven, Baumeister and Tice (Longitudinal Improvement of Self-Regulation Through Practice: Building Self-Control Strength Through Repeated Exercise, J.
Include Upper Body Alignment: Keep the mid back straight and chest lifted without excessively arching the back (in both sitting and standing) by elongating spine from hips to chest. Different Types of Faulty Posture Call for Different Corrective Exercises: Specific exercises can be helpful and are used to strengthen weak, over-stretched muscles and stretch short, tight muscles that are unbalanced by long term faulty posture. Fix the Shoulder Blade Exercise to improve forward head, pull shoulders back, strengthen shoulder blade anchoring, and free up neck motion.
Squats are extraordinary for improving strength of the posterior chain especially hip extensors and gluts.
Use an adjustable, swivel-type mirror in front and a full-length mirror behind to observe yourself in profile without turning the head. Posture changes from moment to moment often with mood and energy level, but tends to stay in a range.
Sway back: stiffen and hyper-extend the knees, throw the hips forward and feel the mid to upper body shift backwards to balance, while the chest caves in and the very top of the back and head curve forward. Flat back: Tilt pelvis backward and note the flattening of the lordotic curve of the lower back. Strengthen Thoracic Spine Extensors and Reduce Kyphosis with Fix the Shoulder Blades exercise and Upper Back Extension exercises. Also Stretch Chest Muscles, Intercostals (Between the ribs), Abdominals and Accessory Muscles of Respiration such as Scalenes and Pectorals with a few deep diaphragmatic breaths, several times a day. Upper Trap Dominant: Stretch upper trapezius and strengthen lower trapezius with Pull Down part of Fix the Shoulder Blade exercise. Strengthen Low Back Extensors (Flat Back and Sway Back): see Back Extension, Multifidus and Transversus Abdominis exercises.
Stretch Low Back Extensors with Posterior Pelvic tilts (Kyphotic-Lordotic only) On a firm padded floor surface, lie on the back with bent knees and have feet flat on the floor.
As many of my regular readers will recall, last year I developed very serious post-surgical chronic neck pain that extends from the base of my neck, across my right shoulder, down my right arm and clear through to the fingers of my right hand. The pain in my right shoulder and arm feels like a sharp steak knife cutting into my flesh and varies between simply painful to being so intense at times that I have to go to bed in the middle of the day to try to get my mind off the pain. Chronic post-surgical pain was for me a wholly unanticipated outcome, so we’ve given a lot of thought to possible explanations and to whether or not there might be some way of correcting the problem. Initially, we thought that scar tissue on peripheral nerves nearby the surgery incision area might have formed and be pushing against several major nerves in the vicinity of where these major nerve bundles enter the spinal cord.
For many months I was needlessly further distressed because the neurosurgeons at Tongren Hospital here in Kunming insisted that what I was experiencing was not a normal consequence of their work, and they could not offer any possible explanation for what had obviously happened to me.
So at the end of last year, my Dad switched his neuroscience research focus from primarily regenerative medicine to pain management research and clinical options for me. Over the last few weeks Dad has again been traveling to different countries in Europe and North America and has interviewed highly experienced neurosurgeons, with special thanks to the world-class neurosurgical team at Indiana University. As it turns out, Dad has learned that acute post-surgical peripheral nerve pain is not as uncommon as we had originally thought. Plainly there are always risks when opening up the spinal cord, and experienced neurosurgeons advise against any kind of cord surgery unless absolutely essential – this because operating on the spinal cord frequently results in “unintended consequences” … no kidding! Certain readers may be interested in how major peripheral sensory nerve bundles enter and get spliced into the spinal cord … and how any type of spinal surgery can affect these spinal nerves on a permanent basis, sometimes leaving the patient in chronic pain for years.


From the diagram below you can see there are two blue tube-like structures that enter the spinal cord on the left and right … these are called the dorsal root ganglia.
In my case, entering the cord was necessary to remove large fluid-filled cysts (circled in red) that were growing quickly and ascending into areas above my original C-6 injury to choke off nerve control of my breathing. Performing a laminectomy and then cutting open the Dura Mater to gain direct access to the ventral (front) side of the spinal canal has clear potential to stretch the nerve fibers inside the spinal cord.
The problem with this is that once a patient has been “sewn” back up, some of the spinal nerves remain stretched and do not return in their original positions.
It is quite common that this stretching of sensory nerves can result severe post-surgical nerve pain, as has happened to me.
Once I learned from Dad’s recent investigations the likely reason for my chronic neck pain, somehow this helped me in dealing with the issue, because in my particular situation the operation that resulted in the neck pain was absolutely essential for survival. I just wish the Kunming surgeons had been more forthcoming and alerted me to the potential side effect of severe post-surgical neck pain so I did not spend so many months after surgery thinking I was losing my mind. In all these circumstances, I do accept the risks and “unintended consequences” that always come along with spinal surgery. However, a few months ago I met in Kunming a Sri Lankan patient who is paraplegic, and he, too, had come here for spinal cord surgery to remove multiple cysts in his spinal cord canal. This fellow is today back home in Sri Lanka, but I’ve learned he has been repeatedly calling Tongren Hospital to complain about chronic thoracic pain that is so debilitating he can no longer work. The bottom line is that spinal surgery is sometimes essential for survival, but the risks need to be made known to the patient before surgery and critically evaluated.
From bitter experience, I can tell you that having severe chronic neck pain and barely being able to sit up in a manual wheelchair is another challenge that could and should be avoided by spinal cord injury survivors who do not absolutely need to have this surgery.
Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. One of the hazards of using trigger point therapy release techniques on well deserving clients and ourselves is that the repetitive and precise pressure we administer can, over time, cause us unintended injury if we do not take preventative precautions. Thus the front neck flexors weaken and atrophy from disuse (not enough work) rather than from overwork like the back neck extensors. These are the two muscles that suspend the shoulder blades from the cervical (neck) spine, and they become increasingly more important stabilizers of the shoulder blades when the upper body is hunched over and shoulders are rounded forward; and the stretched, weakened Rhomboids, and Middle and Lower Trapezius, no longer firmly anchor the shoulder blades to the more sturdy thoracic spine.
With good stabilization of shoulder blades by these larger muscles, very little force is transmitted to the more delicate cervical (neck) spine by the upper trapezius and levator scapula, even when heavy loads are lifted. Sometimes an inciting incident such as one-sided spasm of the lower back leads over time to postural asymmetry between right and left sides. In right-handed persons, the right lateral trunk muscles may be compressed between a low shoulder and a raised hip.
Sometimes the head and neck will also tilt down to the right, resulting in pain and tightness of the left lateral neck muscles, which are under increased stress as they try to support the off-balance head (Asymmetric Upper Body-B). Frequently standing with one hip thrust to the side causes stretched and weakened hip-stabilizing muscles on that side.
Shoulder shrugs with weights can be used to strengthen upper trapezius, but do not allow shoulder(s) to drop all the way down before or after the shrug in order to decrease downward range of motion. Posture at rest depends on the sum total of balances or imbalances in muscles and muscle groups that operate most joints of the body. Give posterior muscles such as back extensors, gluts and triceps at least equal time, if not more, to compensate for the way we customarily use our bodies. Power training is more effective than strength training for maintaining bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (Stengel et al, 2005) The only difference between the power training group (PT) and strength training group (ST) was speed of concentric phase. If backs of the hands usually face forward, then the side of the arm is actually twisted to the front, and the head of the upper arm bone is internally rotated forward in the shoulder socket. In brief: Lie prone (face down) on floor, place arms in one of the four positions, have thumbs pointing up and keep shoulders down away from ears, squeeze the shoulder blades together while lifting arms and chest (but do not lift the chest more than 1 or 2 inches off ground to avoid hyper-extension of lower back and excessive load that may damage delicate facet joints.
Strong abdominals pull up on anterior pelvis further accentuating posterior tilt and weak hip flexors allow it. What a surprise, when I realized that standing against a wall felt unnatural because my normal posture was, and always had been, leaning forward and bent at mid-back. The body is always changing and one of the ways it changes is to adjust to how it's habitually used.
It helps if one has strong belief, backed up by reasons and evidence, that posture improvement is important and necessary. Studies in both men and women show that briefly assuming an open and expansive posture decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, increases testosterone and increases feelings of power and tolerance for risk. For tight chest muscles and upper abdominals, do Thumbs-Up and Bruegger Exercises, Wall Angels or Wall Standing Exercise, also Pectoralis Minor Stretch (note precautions), and frequently remind oneself to keep the chest lifted. For tight chest muscles and upper abdominals, do Thumbs-Up and Bruegger Exercises, Wall Angels or Wall Standing Exercise, also Pectoralis Minor Stretch (note precautions), and frequently remind oneself to keep the chest lifted, by lengthening spine from top of pelvis to ribcage.
Avoid crunches, which strengthen rectus abdominis (6-pack abs), which acts to pull down the rib cage and depresses the chest. Such a mirror set-up also serves as a visual reminder and a way to practice good posture while your body sense (proprioception) is still adjusting to what good posture feels like.
Tilt pelvis forward and note increased lordotic curve in the lower back and pouching out of the entire abdominal area. With this exercise the strengthening and rebalancing of neck flexors and neck extensors occurs naturally.
Keep chest high by elongating the trunk instead of arching the back, as part of improving posture in standing and sitting. Some patients report a reduction in the intensity of pain over the course of a year or two, but it’s not yet clear to me if the throbbing pain ever quite goes away. Frankly, though, I find it extremely hard to accept that my surgeons told me point-blank and repeatedly that they had never ever before had any patient report the kind of pain I had complained about for so many months. I’m sure your recent summarises of your time in China will be an inspiration and so helpful to others with spinal cord injuries. The weakness of front neck muscles is why many chronic neck pain sufferers are unable to lift their heads when lying on their backs. The brachial plexus becomes compressed by the coracoid process of the shoulder blade when it is pulled forward and down by a tight pectoralis minor.
The best clue to depressed shoulder is that the collar bones are horizontal or slope down toward the shoulder joint; and in the back, the shoulder blades are held too low.


If chronic, the muscles along the compressed side of the trunk become shortened, tight and prone to spasm when turning or twisting in daily activities.
Shrugging up high without weights and holding for 30 seconds will help stretch tight lower traps.
Also, in bouncy stretches the extent of the stretch is uncontrolled and before one realizes, damage may already be done. Sit with back straight and both feet on the floor, not one leg folded under the butt or one leg crossed over the other. The External Oblique abdominal is elongated and weakened from accommodating to the backward sway of the upper trunk.
On the side with the lower hip, core muscles between upper body and lower body are stretched. No wonder I couldn't easily bring my head to touch the wall behind me and later would have neck pain from trying.
So instead, one must arrange for a two mirror set-up that shows side and back views (see such a set-up here); and then be completely honest with oneself in front of the mirror (tougher than you'd think).
Those reasons may include: 1) reducing chronic musculo-skeletal pain, 2) delaying age-related spinal changes, 3) helping to prevent injuries, 4) improving appearance, and 5) changing one's life for the better.
Determining the right exercises and how to do them correctly is the province of physical therapists and sometimes other physical fitness professionals.
Chest sunken, muscles between the ribs (intercostals), upper abdominals and accessory muscles of respiration such as pectorals are shortened and tight; shallow breathing is the norm. Take some deep breaths during the day and notice how good it feels for the lungs to expand unimpeded when the chest is lifted. The mirrors are also used to monitor shoulder blade stabilization and correct activation of back muscles during the Fix the Shoulder Blades exercise and dumb bell lifts. Hunch mid to upper back to accentuate thoracic curve; and usually the lordotic curve of neck automatically increases to compensate (except in anatomical flattening of the cervical spine). Tilt the pelvis backwards to flatten low back on the surface by tightening abdominals† (a pulling up towards the upper body, and in with lower abdominals). Tilt pelvis back to flatten low back against the wall by pulling up and inward with the lower abdominal muscles. You have had more than your fair share of bad luck and horrendous experiences, and yet you find the energy to construct such elegant blogs. Effects of load and contraction velocity during three-week biceps curls training on isometric and isokinetic performance.
Eccentric exercise may cause delayed onset muscle soreness in the belly of a muscle, but with rest, the muscle heals and quickly adapts to prevent damage and soreness when the exercise is repeated. On the side with the higher hip, core muscles are compressed and thus short and tight; also the gluteus medius, the main hip stabilizer muscle, is over-stretched and thus compromised in helping center the head of the femur in the hip socket. And the bathroom mirror only provides a front view, which doesn't show a forward head or a hunched back, especially when we're focused on blemishes, bags under the eyes, beard hair or wrinkles (and for women, applying make-up to hide them). A thorough postural analysis generally consists of observing overall alignment of body segments and joints, testing and measuring for muscle strength, weakness, elongation or shortness, joint flexibility, stability and range of motion etc., and prescribing the necessary therapeutic exercises, as well as making sure the client performs them correctly and without harm to themselves. For a single depressed shoulder do shrugs only on the affected side, until shoulders are evened out. Unfortunately the pair can't avoid their anatomical role of suspending the shoulder blades, so both muscles end up being pulled down by the weight of the shoulder blades plus the arms that hang from the upper outside corners (shoulder blade houses the shoulder joint). Observe your back in a 2-mirror set-up and notice the movement of the shoulder blades as you lift your arms to the sides and up.
Tight Low Back Extensors pull upward on the posterior pelvis and weak Hip Extensors cannot counter the pull. With the right exercise and correct use, muscles regain optimal length, strength, and resistance to stretching. Sometimes the motivation needs to be more immediate such as reduction in existing chronic pain or desire to improve appearance.
Refer to an illustrated pain pattern such as the one below to visualize the muscle you are treating and determine if your symptoms match the chart.You can use either end of the Backnobber II as a sturdy substitute for your fingers to palpate your upper trapezius for tenderness and tight bands of muscle tissue that may cause referred pain when pressed. This constant traction produces irritation and hyperactivity of the Upper Trapezius and Levator; they keep trying to raise the shoulders up toward the ears. Many people, when standing still, habitually shift their weight to the same hip and leg every time without realizing.
For example, to close the elbow, the biceps in front of upper arm contracts, while triceps at back of arm lengthens; and to open, the triceps contracts, while biceps lengthens).
If you use a light weight, you might notice how particular back muscles strain to stabilize the shoulder blades as they pivot apart and glide to the sides. Excellent for strengthening mid-back extensors, middle and lower trapezius and stretching chest muscles. If the pelvis tilts backward, the sacrum and lower spine back are pulled backward, which results in straightening of the lumbar curve as seen in Flat Back Posture. And sometimes there are rare epiphanies of self-awareness, such as when I'd given up finding help for my neck, and having glimpsed myself looking so old and bent over, I finally realized: that if nothing else in my life ever improved, I could at least fix my posture. What is obvious, though, is that when they correct their sway back posture and stop hyperextending hips and knees, the appearance of their bow legs is much improved. If a person with Flat Back hyper-extends his or her knees, and relaxes the external obliques, the rest of Sway Back posture is a natural consequence.
In the long term, areas of muscle attachment on cervical vertebra and nearby joints, such as facet joints, become inflamed and sore; facet joint pain from pre-existing arthritic degeneration may worsen. Avoid direct pressure on bone such as the vertebrae.The goals of a self care strategy for you as a therapist and for the clients who come to you for care will include reducing discomfort and stiffness, restoring function, increasing range of motion and improving strength posture and balance.
In some cases (like mine) neck muscle and joint inflammation become so severe that joint mobilization and therapeutic massage, rather than relaxing the neck, cause worse pain. The Backnbobber II is a key tool to help achieve those goals and augment your professional care.1.



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