More Thoracic Mobility!!!! A Movement Cornerstone

If your thoracic spine is stiff and you’re looking like Quasimodo, you’re setting yourself up for neck pain and headaches (btw looking like Quasimodo is NOT a good thing) -

A thoracic spine stuck in flexion is typically the result of bad posture while you (insert electronic device here). Try these mobilizations to help get your T spine moving better💯. - ALSO - Full thoracic extension has important implications for preventing shoulder pain and being proficient in overhead sports, especially gymnastics and olympic weightlifting, as the last 15 degrees of full shoulder flexion comes from thoracic extension. The T spine also has to extend so that the scapula can tilt backwards to allow for full shoulder flexion under optimal biomechanical conditions. More on that for another day.

Sometimes when you have a really stuck drawer, and all the pulling in isn’t getting it moving, some side to side wiggling will do the trick. Working on thoracic rotation to improve thoracic extension is a similar concept, biomechanically. This ⬆️active stretch is a great way to get the thoracic spine unstuck so that you can stop looking like Quasimodo👏👌💯

Building on the video above video, here’s another hack to improve thoracic rotation mobility, and ultimately extension and your posture. Shout out to @dr.jacob.harden for the modification to the open book stretch to avoid hinging at the TL Junction (where your mid and low back meet)

Turn the sound on if you want to hear @coachkimmie talk about 🍑🍑🍑

How to Fix Your Pinchy Ankle

Technical terms for a minute: 

osteokinematic motion at the ankle = flexion / extension

arthrokinematic motion at the ankle = glide/slide In other words, all joints go through osteo and arthrokinematic motions.

With dorsiflexion, there is also a glide/slide, or the distal end of the tibia would smash into the top of the talus Most joint mobilizations take these glides/slides move with these motions, but not always 😉

Here is 1 of 2 ways to improve your ankle dorsiflexion and stop the ankle pinch. I've seen this first mobilization done differently (with the band pulling from behind).

This really doesn't make any sense to me because the talus is fixed while the tibia and fibula need to move forward🤔.

Therefor the band pulls the tib-fib joint forward on the fixed talus. 

Here’s the next fix to help improve your ankle dorsiflexion. During dorsiflexion, the distal fibula (the outside of your ankle) needs to move out of the way because the anterior talus is larger than the posterior Is this what you need?

Hard to say, but you can do a quick test. Put your bare-foot up to a wall.

Keeping your heel on the ground, bring your knee to the wall. If you can’t reach the wall - 🙈. You should be able to though. Continue to nudge your foot back until you can no longer get your knee to the wall.

Try this mobilization, and assess again.

Shoulder Pain Slowing You Down? This Easy Self-Assessment Might Tell You The Cause!

“Where you think it is - it ain’t” Ida Rolf

We see hundreds of patients with anterior shoulder pain. And while a lot of the time, the biceps tendon is the culprit (but not always), the real source of the problem is a stiff, or stuck, posterior shoulder!

Here’s a quick screen you can easily perform on your own to assess the range of motion of the primary posterior shoulder muscles - teres minor and infraspinatus.

  1. Lean against a wall (this helps keep your scapula down).

  2. Bring your elbow to shoulder height.

  3. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and rotate your hand down without letting your shoulder pop forward or your scapula to move.

You SHOULD HAVE about 90 degrees of motion or in other words, be able to almost touch the wall with your hand.

Limited internal rotation ROM leads to compensations with functional activities and can ultimately lead to pain and poor function. Then you come 😢crying to us to fix you.

Take care of it now!

Tired of living with pain?!?

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You “Kneed” To Know This

 
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KEEP READING TO GET SOME INFORMATION ON WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP GET RID OF YOUR KNEE PAIN!

  1. Strengthen Those Hips!

A significant portion of stabilization for the knee actually comes from muscles at the hip.  If the muscles around your hip are not strong, they won’t adequately control the position of your knee during activity and this can lead to abnormal movement patterns and possibly pain.  A great place to start with hip strengthening is with simple exercises like glute bridges, clamshells, and storks.

 

Here’s how…

 

Glute Bridges:

  • Feet hip distance apart

  • Keep knees directly over feet

  • Push into floor with whole foot

  • Keep back flat, do not let it arch

Clamshells:

  • Keep hips stacked vertically—do not rock or roll

  • Keep heels together

  • Perform smooth, controlled repetitions

Stork:

  • Keep hips as level as possible

  • Keep knee of stance leg slightly bent

  • Push into wall and out against floor

2. Stretch!

Tightness in a few key areas around the knees and hips can increase pressure on your knees or affect the way you move.  If these deficits in flexibility aren’t addressed, they can contribute to pain that can keep you from being able to stay active.  Some key areas to stretch include the hip flexors, TFL, and quads.

 
 

here’s how…

Hip Flexor:

  • Keep back flat, do not let it arch

  • Stretch should be in front of hip

TFL:

  • Cross leg closer to wall behind opposite leg

  • Push hip forward and toward wall

  • Do not side bend spine

  • Stretch should be outer front of hip close to wall

Quads:

  • Keep back flat, do not let it arch

  • Focus on pulling knee back rather than heel to butt

3. Check Your Shoes!

If your shoes are old and worn out they may not be providing adequate support for your ankles, which can lead to altered mechanics at your knees.  Check the shoes you wear the most—if they’ve seen better days it might be time to treat yourself to a new pair. Make sure you get something comfortable that fits well.

4. Lose Some Weight!

The force on your knees can be as much as 8x body weight with activities such as running and squatting and up to 20x body weight with jumping.  That means that losing a moderate amount of weight can significantly decrease the stress on your knees. Low impact activities such as elliptical, cycling, and swimming can help you meet your exercise goals without overly loading the knees while you’re losing weight.  This exercise combined with an appropriate diet plan can help you shed pounds and get out of pain fast!

5. Warm Up!

If your knee pain usually comes on with exercise, doing a good warm-up beforehand can help get things moving and may prevent the pain from starting.  A good warm-up program should include some dynamic stretching for the quads, hamstrings, calves and hips. Doing a combination of these movements should increase joint mobility, help prime your muscles for activity, and improve your flexibility before you jump into exercise.

 
 

here’s how…

Don’t force the motion, this should be a pain-free warm-up.

6. Modify Activity!

If your knee pain has recently started and seems linked to activity, you may need to modify your activities temporarily to allow inflammation to subside.  Avoid higher impact activities like running and jumping in favor of lower impact activities like walking, cycling, elliptical, or swimming. This should be a temporary modification while you work on building up your strength and flexibility.  When you start getting back to your normal exercise routine start slow and build back up gradually.

Your Hips Don't Lie

 
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Keep reading to get some information on what you can do to help get rid of your hip pain

  1. Get Up and Move!

Prolonged hours of sitting can cause your hips to get tight and parts of the joint to become compressed leading to pain and limited mobility.  This tightness and limited mobility can also lead to problems in other areas including your lower back and knees! Simply getting up and moving frequently throughout the day can help to ameliorate some of the negative effects of sitting.  Try setting a timer on your phone to get up every 20-30 minutes and do 2 minutes of movement (try squats, lunges, walking, or even marching in place). If you have the freedom to do so, getting a sit/stand desk is even better so you can split up your day between sitting and standing!

2. Strengthen!

Many people think that pain or feelings of tightness are a sign that they should avoid strengthening.  On the contrary, weakness in a particular area can frequently manifest as a sensation of tightness. It is also important to know that just as the opposite of tightness is not weakness, strength is not analogous to tightness.  A great place to start with hip strengthening is with simple exercises like glute bridges, clamshells, and bodyweight squats.

 

Here’s How…

 

Glute Bridges:

  • Feet hip distance apart

  • Keep knees directly over feet

  • Push into floor with whole foot

  • Keep back flat, do not let it arch

Clamshells:

  • Keep hips stacked vertically—do not rock or roll

  • Keep heels together

  • Perform smooth, controlled repetitions

Bodyweight Squats

  • Feet shoulder width or slightly wider

  • Sit back, keeping knees from going far past toes

  • Keep shoulders back and head in line with body

3. Change How You Sit!

If sitting is an unavoidable part of your day, there are still small adjustments you can make to help decrease hip pain.  The first adjustment is to raise your seat so that your hips are higher than your knees. The second is to add a cushion to get more height under your hips and tilt you forward slightly so that your feet can more easily reach the floor.  These adjustments open up the angle between your hips and torso helping to decrease pressure at the front of the hip.

4. Stretch!

Tightness in a few key areas around the hips can increase pressure on your hips or affect the way you move.  If these deficits in flexibility aren’t addressed, they can contribute to pain that can keep you from being able to stay active.  Some key areas to stretch include the hip flexors, TFL, and piriformis.

 

Here’s How…

 

Hip Flexor:

  • Keep back flat, do not let it arch

  • Stretch should be in front of hip

TFL:

  • Cross leg closer to wall behind opposite leg

  • Push hip forward and toward wall

  • Do not sidebend spine

  • Stretch should be outer front of hip close to wall

Piriformis:

  • In figure four position grab onto shin or back of thigh

  • Stretch should be in the back of hip that is crossed

5. Modify Activity!

If your hip pain has recently started and seems linked to activity, you may need to modify your activities temporarily to allow inflammation to subside.  Avoid higher impact activities like running and jumping in favor of lower impact activities like walking, cycling, elliptical, or swimming. This should be a temporary modification while you work on building up your strength and flexibility.  When you start getting back to your normal exercise routine start slow and build back up gradually.

The “Little Known” Muscle That May Be The Key To Fixing Your Back Pain….AND What You Can Do To Fix It!

If you have back pain😢, there's a good chance you need to work on strengthening your multifidus!

Anatomy

The multifidus muscle runs along your entire back (on each side of your spine), from your sacrum to your cervical spine. It originates at the transverse process of the vertebrae and attaches to the spinous process of the vertebrae 2-4 segments above. 

When the right and left multifidi contract together👐, they extend the spine. With an isolated contraction of the multifidus on just one side☝️, the muscle produces ipsilateral (same side) lateral spinal flexion and contralateral (opposite side) spinal rotation. For example, if the left multifidus contracts, it brings your left shoulder down and turns you to the right. 

The multifidus is a deep muscle of the spine and is extremely important in spinal stabilization🏋️ Research shows that people with low back pain often have significant atrophy of this muscle. Atrophy and weakness of the multifidus will lead to decreased stability of the spine, and can result in a vicious cycle of low back pain. Break the cycle and strengthen your multifidi to avoid low back pain👍

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Activation

If you want to strengthen your multifidus, you need to first learn how to properly activate it so you know which muscle should be firing when you're doing your core exercises.

  • Start standing with one foot in front of the other

  • To palpate the multifidus, place your thumb right next to the spine on the low back

  • Shift your weight forward and allow your heel to come off the ground

  • You should feel the multifidus pop into your thumb as it contracts

  • Try to maintain that contraction as you shift your weight back to the starting position

The Multifidus lift

Below is a great multifidus strengthening exercise. It also engages many of the other core muscles that need to be strong to stabilize the spine👍

  • Start with your left knee on a yoga block or foam pad and your right knee on the ground.

  • Engage your abdominals and activate your multifidus to pull your right knee parallel to your right so your pelvis is parallel to the floor.

With the right knee down as shown in the video, you will need the muscles that rotate your spine to the left to work. As you pull your right knee up to parallel, your right multifidus will be the one working.

  • Extend your right leg back and your left arm forward to further challenge the multifidus, transverse abdominals, obliques, glute max, and erector spinae.

Multifidus walk out

The multifidus walk out is a great way to strengthen the multifidus in a more functional standing position. Since many daily activities that require spinal stabilization are done in standing, it's important to train the multifidus in that same upright position.

  • Attach a band to a secure object about chest height level.

  • Grab on to the band with your arms straight

  • Take 3 large steps to the side

  • Keep your arms directly in front of your chest the whole time--don't let the band rotate your trunk as you step to the side.

As shown in the video, as you step out to the right, the band will be trying to rotate your spine to the left. Your left multifidus will be activated to perform relative right spinal rotation to prevent the band from rotating you to the left.

Do 10 reps on each side and feel your back pain melt away☺️

Shoulder Pain?? Maybe You're Looking At the Wrong Place!

 

Spine CARs (Controlled Articular Rotations):

If you find yourself sitting at a desk or driving most of the day, these spine CARs will be great to make sure your spine doesn’t get stuck in a rounded position!

Grab a yoga block or something to squeeze and give it a big hug.

Keeping your hips forward, imagine you have a pen on your chest and you want to draw the biggest circle possible with your chest.

David Gasster

FRC-MS Certified

Medial Patellar Glide Taping with Rigid Tape

First, position your leg so that the knee is slightly bent. Then use a washcloth with some alcohol to clean the patellar area and remove dead skin cells.

After the area dries, use two strips of white tape (about 6 inches per strip) and apply tape on top of the kneecap. The first strip should be placed flatly on the upper half of the kneecap with no tension applied. There should be more tape on the inside of the leg than the outside.

The second strip should be placed on the lower half of the kneecap with about a half inch of overlap with the first strip of tape. Then two strips of the orange tape should be placed on top of the white strips of tape, however, this time with tension.

Start by placing the end of the orange tape on the outside of the knee and then pull the tape inward. Do the same with the second strip of orange tape, ensuring to apply tension.

Why Stretching Doesn't Work Pt.1

 
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Here’s the deal...

Stretching, passive stretching (holding a long stretch), is going to introduce instability into the system... and our system does not like feeling instability... so it goes right back to where it was before.

For all of the people who stretch, stretch, stretch, but never feel like their hamstrings are getting any “stretchier”, this is why.

This can be further explained with a stretchy piece of theraband. When the theraband is stretched and taut, it is like your muscle, which is "tight" when it's stretched.

When it is stretched tight, there is stability in the system and it feels as if there is tension there, holding things where they need to be held.

There is some tissue elongation happening, but we haven’t taught our body how to effectively use and control that new range of motion...

So the tissue elongation has introduced more instability to the system and your body’s saying “What the heck? I can’t deal with this... I can’t work with this here. You never taught me how to use my muscles here… So, what I’m gonna do is shorten back up and get tight again where I feel stable and safe." 

So every time you stretch and are able to reach a little further because of that tissue elongation, your system is going to react to that instability by tightening and reintroducing stability to the system.

= NO STRETCH GAINZ....

Want some real, long lasting, stretch gainz??? Join us for our Yoga+Mobility Class

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON HOW TO JOIN

And watch me talking more about mobility and stretching stuff below :)

Scapular stabilization Mid/low trap strengthening

Mid and low trap weakness can lead to shoulder pain, neck pain, and poor posture. 😭

Try these strengthening exercises if you have shoulder or neck pain or more importantly, to prevent getting pain in the future.👍

T's--mid trap strengthening

  • Lie face down on an exercise ball with the ball under your stomach
  • Keep your chin slightly tucked
  • Put your arms in a "T" position with your thumbs pointing up toward the ceiling
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together to raise your arms up toward the ceiling
  • Don't let your lower back arch or your shoulders come up toward your ears

Y's--low trap strengthening

  • Lie face down on an exercise ball with your chin slightly tucked
  • Put your arms in a "Y" position with your thumbs pointing up
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades down and back to raise your arms upwards
  • Don't arch your back or let your shoulders come up toward your ears
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 of each exercise

Easy Summer Chicken Stir-Fry

 

This Summer Chicken Stir-Fry recipe is a quick and easy, not to mention healthy, weeknight dinner that your family will love. Ready in under 25 minutes, this go-to summer chicken dish is colorful and packed with flavor. Pair with a simple green salad for the ultimate meal.

Stir-fry is a healthy, tasty way to incorporate a wide variety of vegetables into a meal. You can use tofu instead of chicken for another source of protein and a vegetarian option. Serve atop whole grain rice for a fiber boost.

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Prep Time : 15 Mins

Cook Time : 6 Mins

Yield : 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into short, thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) snow pea pods, cut diagonally in half
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into short, thin strips (about 1 cup)
  • 4 (1-inch) diagonally cut green onions (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine dressing, soy sauce, and pepper flakes in a medium bowl; add chicken, tossing to coat.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add snow peas and bell pepper; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add chicken mixture; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add onions; stir-fry 1 minute or until chicken is thoroughly heated and vegetables are crisp-tender. Top with cilantro.

This awesome recipe was originally published on Health.com

Worried About Losing Flexibility?

 
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This class is PERFECT for you if you are in your 30s-50s and you: 

  • HAVE TRIED STRETCHING ON YOUR OWN, BUT AREN’T SEEING THE RESULTS YOU HOPED FOR.

  • FEEL “TIGHT” ALL THE TIME, AND WANT TO FIND A PERMANENT SOLUTION.

  • ARE WORRIED ABOUT LOSING MOBILITY BECAUSE OF A SEDENTARY JOB OR LIFESTYLE.

  • WANT TO LEARN A COMPREHENSIVE AND EFFECTIVE STRETCHING AND FLEXIBILITY PROGRAM THAT ACTUALLY WORKS.

  • ARE CONCERNED WITH "AGING GRACEFULLY".

  • DON’T EVER WANT TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND SEE THIS 👇😜

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THE DETAILS

THIS IS AN ALL LEVELS "VINYASA-ISH" YOGA CLASS THAT MOVES THROUGH TRADITIONAL YOGA POSTURES WHILE INCORPORATING FUNCTIONAL MOBILITY WORK AND TARGETED CORE STRENGTHENING EXERCISES.

 

Brought to you by the talented and super amazing......... 

NICOLE SCIACCA

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NICOLE IS A YOGA TEACHER, PROFESSIONAL DANCER, ACTRESS, PERSONAL TRAINER, AND (MOST IMPORTANTLY) MOTHER TO HER FOUR YEAR-OLD SON, BEAU.

SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE MOVE BETTER, MORE OFTEN AND PAIN-FREE.  HER ENERGY IS UNPARALLELED AND HER SENSE OF HUMOR WILL LEAVE YOU GASPING FOR BREATH BETWEEN LAUGHS. 

IN 2006, A HORRIBLE BACK INJURY CHANGED THE TRAJECTORY OF HER DANCE CAREER.  SHE DESPARATELY NEEDED TO FIND AN OUTLET FOR HER ENERGY - AND GENETIC DISPOSITION FOR SWEAT

WHAT AT THE TIME FELT LIKE THE BIGGEST ROADBLOCK OF HER LIFE, NOT ONLY INTRODUCED HER TO HER PASSION, BUT ALSO GAVE HER A GIFT THAT SHE HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE WITH THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.

IG: @nicolesciacca

Medial Knee Pain⚡️--Pes Anserine Bursitis--Part 3

 

Strengthening the muscles of the hip and knee 🏋️ is an important part of rehabilitation from pes anserine bursitis. As mentioned several posts ago, excessive foot pronation and knee valgus can contribute to inflammation of the bursa. These two exercises improve hip and knee strength and strengthen the muscles necessary to avoid excessive foot pronation and knee valgus (knees caving in) with activity. 1️⃣Gliders 🔸Place band around ankles 🔸Place towel (if on hardwood floor) or paper plate (if on carpet) under foot 🔸In a squat position, glide the leg out to the side, back/diagonal, and straight to the back 🔸Keep the standing leg in a squat the entire time and keep toes pointed forward 🔸You should feel both legs working 🔸Perform 2 sets of 10 on each leg 2️⃣Side steps with band around arches 🔸Place band around arches 🔸Pull arches up without rolling to the outsides of the feet 🔸Side step across floor 🔸Keep toes pointed forward, arches pulled up, knees slightly bent, and trunk still 🔸Do 2 laps 🔸If you want to really work the glutes, add another band around the knees or ankles

Online Booking Now Available!

 

Do you like to look at ALL of your options before you book an appointment?  Is it 11pm before you actually get a minute to think about taking care of things for yourself?  Or maybe you just hate talking to people on the phone?

We feel you!

That's why we hooked up with Jane App to introduce online booking :)

Do yourself a favor and set yourself up with an appointment asap.

Spinal Manipulations Good For Back Pain

 
 Leading Physical Therapist For Low Back Pain In Los Angeles

If any practitioner tells you that they are re-aligning you, run.  What we do know though is that spinal manipulations create a neurophysiological affect that can down regulate pain and create a window to allow patient/client to work on performing meaningful movement with less pain.

Check out the full article here on NPR.com