Muscle Imbalance

2705, 2015

Curtsy Lunges

By |May 27th, 2015|media|Comments Off on Curtsy Lunges

Curtsy Lunges

‘Keeping your knees healthy and symptom free begins with developing a functional understanding of how this unique joint is constructed (anatomy) and how it does and doesn’t function (biomechanics)’

Lunges are excellent dynamic strength exercises for the lower body but can cause pain if not performed properly.

The curtsy lunge is like the standard lunge, but your rear foot moves backward, crossing it behind the front  leg, planting the ball of your rear foot about half a metre across the midline as though you were about to curtsy. In this movement the knee travels across the body vs. the traditional forward and backward motion. The weight used in the exercise has to be lowered drastically. Not just because your muscle can’t handle it, but because there is no chance for your muscles and body’s passive structures to exert enough force in such an extreme, anatomically disadvantageous position.

The curtsy lunge exercise negates one foundational rule of biomechanics. To encourage proper movement pattern, function, and strength, the knee joint, hip joint, and shoulder joint should be kept in alignment with one another the entire time while bearing load. For the grand majority, this will produce unwanted stress since the hip socket doesn’t align with this movement angle or pattern. Consequently, the IT band and TFL will take a loaded stretch.

Increased rotation of the knee causes excessive overstretching or twisting of the ligaments or tendons or increased shearing forces on the bursa surrounding the knee, then ligament strain, tendinitis, meniscus tears, bursitis, iliotibial band and patella femoral syndrome can occur.

The knee is a hinge-type joint, roughly equivalent to a door hinge, but with a slight rotation to lock it into full extension. The meniscus is located between the femur […]

1905, 2015

High Heels and Chronic Pain

By |May 19th, 2015|media|Comments Off on High Heels and Chronic Pain

High Heels and Chronic Pain

“When your feet hurt, you hurt all over.” Socrates

Women complain of the pain from high heels regularly. However in many situations, high heels are considered a must-wear item. Wearing high heels is your choice, but you or your work (Some workplaces require women to wear high heels) should at least be aware of the problems related to high heels. If you frequently wear high heels, you are setting yourself up for long-term issues.

High heels alter alignment of the feet, legs, and back, and can have long-term effects on posture and health which may influence unnatural posture, changed position of the spine can put pressure on the nerves and cause back/ neck pain and sciatica, balance impairment, headaches, early fatigue and a feeling of heaviness in the legs, muscle overuse and repetitive strain injuries, osteoarthritis of knees and ankles, reduce calf pump efficiency and may influence deep vein thrombosis, shortening of the Achilles tendon and calf, Achilles tendonitis and calf strains, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, foot deformities, hammertoes, bunions,  Morton’s neuroma (thickened nerve) and corns.

The mid-foot, heel, ankle, knee, hip, mid-back, upper back can all become painful as a result of wearing high heels and even headaches can arise. If the mobility of the feet and ankles are compromised then the joints of the lower limb, pelvis and spine will also be compromised.

If the joints of your feet don’t work properly because of the strain of wearing high heels, the connecting tissues are forced to compensate. This gives rise to increased muscle tension and muscle imbalance resulting in pain due to these compensatory changes.

The unnatural position of the foot in high heels means it’s less able to act as a shock absorber […]

401, 2015

Forward Head Posture

By |January 4th, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.”- American Journal of Pain Management 1994, 4:36-39.Forward Head Posture (FHP) can be recognised by the positioning of the ear being forward of the shoulder, rather than sitting directly over it. With today’s lifestyle, this condition occurs in between 66% and 90% of the population.

Forward Head Posture can be caused by performing activities that focus our attention directly in front of us with habitual poor posture. Adults and students sitting with shoulders rounded and back hunched whilst driving or working at their computers the whole day, looking into a microscope, texting on a cell phone, reading or sitting on the couch. Children develop forward head posture watching television, playing video games, and carrying heavy backpacks on their way to school. For every inch your head posture sits forward, the head gains 4.5kgs in weight. This forces the muscles in your upper back and neck to work much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping forwards onto your chest, thus throwing the whole spine out of alignment .With your muscles in constant contraction to achieve this, pressure is added to the nerves at the base of the skull, which can cause headaches.

Forward head posture could result in as much as a 30% loss of lung capacity. Due to FHP the upper ribs are not be able to elevate properly during inhalation. Some studies show that FHP over time can contribute to disc degeneration, nerve impingement, bulging discs, or chronic back pain. In simple terms, the pressure of the spine radiating from the cervical spine (neck) […]

2411, 2014

The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

By |November 24th, 2014|media|Comments Off on The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”

William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) Founder of Cranial Osteopathy

Most children are required to carry heavy school bags to and from school each day, and the load increases as they reach higher grades. Sports clothing and equipment often adds another bag to their load. Your child’s spine could be in for a tough time coping with all the increased stress, and when you add poor posture, lack of exercise and hours of computer time each day into the mix. According to a study published in the journal ‘Spine’, daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of discomfort for school children. School backpacks were felt to be heavy by 79.1% of children, to cause fatigue by 65.7%, and to cause back pain by 46.1. Studies show children should not carry any more than 10 per cent of their body weight and that anything over 15 per cent can be damaging.

If the child has to lean forward when walking with a loaded pack, it is too heavy. A heavy backpack has a number of undesirable effects to your child’s spine. It distorts the natural curves in the middle and lower back, causing muscle strain, headaches, irritation to the spine joints and the rib cage, reduced breathing capacity and may hamper his/her overall growth. Spinal dysfunction that results from these poor habits, may affect your child’s ability to study or participate in sport; setting a poor foundation for spinal health that may carry through into adulthood.

The posture that a child habitually assumes will affect the shape of the bones and the way in which the end plates harden and form. This is particularly evident […]

2008, 2014

Sort yourself out today…Shoulder pain

By |August 20th, 2014|media|Comments Off on Sort yourself out today…Shoulder pain

Back and shoulder pain is a common complaint due to our sedentary lifestyles and bad posture. Nearly 50% of us will suffer at some point in our lives -our experts are here to help you avoid it.

The Osteopath

Dr Guy Ashburner is a Cape Town-based osteopath

Painful shoulder conditions that limit movement are common, and are caused by injuries affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. As the shoulder has a high degree of flexibility, it’s less stable and more prone to injuries than other joints. As the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm originate from the neck and upper spine, conditions such as spinal dysfunction commonly contribute to pain in the shoulder. To determine the cause of your pain, the osteopath will conduct a full orthopedic and neurological examination of the shoulder, neck and upper back. When a diagnosis has been reached, the osteopath will discuss the treatment options with you. Although shoulder pain can be serious, the vast majority of injuries are not serious and can easily be helped.

The Physiotherapist

Kerryn Alcock runs a practice in Linden, Joburg

The shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (upper arm bone). Shoulder pain is often related to occupation or sport, overuse or ‘wear and tear’ also results in a painful shoulder and this can come with age. To ensure a good prognosis, early treatment is essential in order to prevent stiffness, over-stretching of ligaments or tendons, weakness and further injury. Simple exercises can be done at home such as pendular exercises done while lying on your stomach with your arm off the bed or while standing, bending over slightly or leaning on a chair. Relax your arm and […]

1408, 2014

Posture and your child

By |August 14th, 2014|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Posture and your child.

 “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”  William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) Founder of Cranial Osteopathy

A growing body of evidence shows that poor posture in childhood can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain, fatigue, and low self­ esteem. Children naturally imitate the behaviour of adults around them. If you care about your posture, so will your children. But that isn’t the only reason to take care of your own posture, you will be a more energetic and pain­-free parent as a result.

“School age children spend a growing amount of their free time watching TV or playing with hand­held devices. Many people have unsupportive furniture in their living rooms, leaving children mould their spines to the shape of the sofa and reinforcing their bad habits. In most cases, kids often hunch over when they are executing a task, walking, or even seated. This is compounded by sitting all day and carrying weighty backpacks at school. With time, the adverse effects add up to severe problems later in life.

Good posture is when your child’s back has the least amount of strain placed on it through keeping bones and joints aligned properly, allowing muscles to be used properly as well. Good posture naturally happens when the upper body’s muscles are balanced in strength and used uniformly. Bad posture can result in stress on the spine at certain levels. For instance the slouched position can put a lot of unnecessary loading on the middle back spinal region, which can lead to jutting forward of the head and jaw. This then leads to headaches and the inability to concentrate. This slumped posture can also effect the efficiency of breathing and gut motility. Poor posture also can […]

308, 2014

No Muscle Left Behind – Muscle Imbalance

By |August 3rd, 2014|media|Comments Off on No Muscle Left Behind – Muscle Imbalance

Muscle Left Behind – Muscle Imbalance. To get a strong and sculpt a sleek silhouette, you have to identify which muscles are slacking and whip them into shape.

Nearly every muscle in your body has a corresponding muscle group that carries out the opposite function. Take your biceps and triceps: their even match-up lets you bend and straighten your elbow without any thought. That’s how it should work, at least. Unfortunately, everyday habits (like sitting at a desk), repetitive workouts (say, that marathon you’re training for, or your weekly abs class) and even your wardrobe (yes your skyscraper heels) threaten these partnerships.

The result:one of the muscles becomes stronger and overpowers the other, a common condition known as muscular imbalance, which can worsen poor posture and wreak havoc on your figure, says trainer Melissa Paris. (tight hip flexors, for example, can tilt your hips forward and give you a “boep”.) Correcting them , she adds, helps elongate your silhouette and can actually make you look slimmer.

Chain reaction

Muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones are all connected through an intricate system , known to trainers and doctors as the kinetic chain. When one link in the chain is dodgy, it starts a reaction through the rest of your body. So your back pain could actually stem from a problem with your shoulder, your knee or even your shin. As with any team, when one muscle’s not keeping up, others have to work harder to compensate. “The danger of muscular imbalances is that they alter your natural movement patterns,” cautions personal trainer Karen Joseph. “Over time, they can pull your bones and joints out of alignment, which often leads to pain and injury.” The result, says Cape Town -based osteopath Guy […]

2907, 2014

Boot Camp Injuries

By |July 29th, 2014|media|Comments Off on Boot Camp Injuries

A boot camp-like training session is a group exercise that focuses on improving stamina, endurance, fitness, and weight loss over a period of several weeks. It’s called boot camp due to the military style training environment, and because participants are pushed and challenged in a drill sergeant fashion by a fitness instructor, personal trainer or former military personnel.
Boot camp-like training involves full body exercises mostly with quick or explosive movements like kick boxing, swinging a weight or a kettle-bell, sprinting, jumping, as well as yoga and body weight exercises. Remember compound movements (activating multiple muscle groups in a complex movement) stimulates a greater area of muscle as well as expends considerable energy and calories. However when performed in a ballistic uncontrolled fashion it increases the forces which act on the body considerably increasing the probability of injury to multiple muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.  Further to this some people have lost the ability to perform basic, primary movements with good posture such as squatting, lunging, stepping, pressing, and pulling in good form with proper balance, coordination and flexibility. Therefore it stands to reason if your basic movement patterns are poor your probability of injury will be increased.
As an Osteopath, I see patients on a monthly basis with boot camp-like injuries. As I try and explain to my patients, even with perfect form on some of these exercises, they are still destructive on the body.
If you start to have aches and pains that are gradually appearing, it may be because your joints and tendons are inflamed from an activity. Proper exercise never causes pain during a class or training session and only produces mild soreness or discomfort in some people the following day which dissipates in […]

2907, 2014

Lat pulldowns- Proper technique and how to avoid Injury.

By |July 29th, 2014|media|Comments Off on Lat pulldowns- Proper technique and how to avoid Injury.

Lat pulldowns are a popular gym exercise for strengthening the upper back, shoulders, biceps and forearms and is without a doubt the most frequently misused piece of equipment in the gym.
This week I saw a prime example of what not to do with Lat pulldowns.  An over enthusiastic man in his late thirties holding the bar with an extra wide grip yanking the bar down quickly behind his head which forced his neck forward and bent his whole spine into a unnatural bent forward position.
Here is some guidance on how to avoid making mistakes which may result in injury and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Exercisers should grasp the bar with palms facing away from you (pronated) and with a grip at or about shoulder width apart or where comfortable with the hands evenly spaced on the bar. If you are experiencing rotator cuff issues (a group of four muscles that provide shoulder stability) or shoulder pain, switch the handle attachment so your palms face each other giving you better leverage and an even closer grip which can sometimes alleviate the shoulder strain. Lat pulldown bars are long with curve at each end giving people incorrect notions about how far apart their hands should be.  Gripping the bar wider compromises the ability of the body to work as a unit and increases the potential for shoulder injuries.
Exercisers should lean back slightly and pull the bar to the upper chest or sternum. This will allow the head to be moved away from the cable and bar and reduce the need to turn the head to the side especially with heavy resistances and help reduce neck strain and injury. Leaning back slightly will also ensure that the […]

2907, 2014

It happened to me: Osteopathy worked wonders for my son

By |July 29th, 2014|media|Comments Off on It happened to me: Osteopathy worked wonders for my son

Osteopathy worked wonders for my son. Since complications during his birth, Caleb Sedeman (12) of Cape Town has always struggled with low muscle tone, a speech impediment, epilepsy and ADHD. He also has a very high pain threshold which means he doesn’t always realise when he hurts himself. But his mom, Celestia, says osteopathy has worked wonders for her son.

Caleb’s story

“Hours after Caleb and I were released from the hospital following his birth, we were readmitted to the ICU unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital,” recalls Celestia. “He was treated for apnoea [temporary inability to breathe] and acute tubular necrosis [damaged kidney tissue caused by lack of oxygen], and he was struggling to feed like a newborn or pass any urine. We stayed there for three weeks and the doctors were amazed that he was still alive.”

Today Celestia and Caleb’s lives consist of a range of regular therapies in order for Caleb to be able to function normally. These include occupational therapy, speech therapy and regular visits to a neurologist. Celestia’s mom helps her with this busy schedule. “My mom is always reading up and trying to find new ways of helping him – that’s when she came across a book on women who had difficult births, and they suggested cranial osteopathy for helping children recover from traumatic births.”

Caleb has received four therapy sessions by Cape Town osteopath Dr Guy Ashburner in the past six weeks. Celestia recalls their first visit: “We had no idea what to expect! He asked a lot of questions relating to Caleb’s birth, his milestones and development. Then he started by slowly massaging Caleb’s head, neck, back and arms. It looked like the usual massage therapy but […]