With so much information about health and injury prevention available online these days, it’s hard to know where to begin. I am hoping that this blog is useful to you in providing some important concepts and a springboard for good health.
The body is always striving for optimal efficient function and good health. Think of all the times you have huge demand on your body and come away injury-free. Your body is helping you to prevent injury, so help your body in return!
Adaptation vs Compensation
When there is too much strain on one area of the body, the body recruits uninjured areas to do the work in order to protect the overloaded zone. If the body can cope and still function manageably, then this is adaptation. This also occurs to protect injured areas. Adaptation is a healthy response to overstrain or injury. If the body cannot cope, then uninjured areas either cannot adequately support the overstrained/injured area, or they become injured themselves. This is termed compensati...
A topic of many, many hours of conversation in my life. I've heard this question more times than "what is the meaning of life?". As an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner who examines peoples' postures on daily basis, here are some of my thoughts...
What is good posture?
Most people seem to believe that good posture means "standing bolt upright in a perfectly centred and symmetrical position". You've probably all seen the textbook "perfect posture" showing perfect symmetry in the postural "plumbline" which bisects the body in each plane. I think it's important to remember that actually this is a theoretical positioning that healthcare practitioners (and others) use to describe actual posture (we have to measure against something, after all).
For example, "dropped shoulder on the right" means the right shoulder is lower than we would expect in the perfectly neutral, symmetrical position. But interestingly, the vast majority of people show a lower shoulder on their dominant side as th...
The average adult at rest takes around 14 breaths per minute (Simon et al., 2010). That is 840 breaths every hour and 20,160 breaths every day. With 365 days in a year, that is a lot of breathing.
So how do we do it?
Breathing is primarily carried out by contraction and relaxation of the diaphragm and muscles in-between the ribs. When we breathe in, these muscles contract to allow the lungs to expand and for air to be drawn in. When we breathe out, these muscles relax and our lung size reduces and air is pushed out.
When we need to breathe faster (i.e. during exercise) our body recruits neck and abdominal muscles to help expand the lungs further and draw more air in quickly.
Are you a shoulder breather?
When we breathe in, our bellies should push out and our lower ribs should expand as we engage our diaphragm. So called “shoulder breathers” tend to use their neck and shoulder muscles to breathe in, rather than fully engaging their diaphragm. This means that their shoulders move mor...
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