Mary Ann Nemeth, LMT
Chronic Pain and Sports Injury Conditions

 

Forward Head Posture

Forward Head Posture          Forward Head Posture

As we spend more time on our electronic devices, our forward head posture can be increasing. What is forward head posture? When you are facing straight forward, your ear should be lined up directly above your shoulder. If your ear is aligned in front of your shoulder, that is forward head posture.

The average human head weighs about 12 pounds. Read MoreFor every inch our head hangs forward to look at our devices, the weight of the head on the spine increases by 10 pounds. That can be a lot of weight! This posture can lead to headaches, pain, tension, and lack of mobility in the neck. A good massage along with self care exercises can help alleviate the pain and correct forward head posture. Schedule your massage today and take some weight off your neck and shoulders!

 

Thumbs Up for Thumbs

Our thumbs are amazing!  They allow us to do so many things in our daily life.  Imagine trying to text, grip a cup, hold a fork or even play a video game without them.  It’s no wonder they can become sore, painful and inflamed.  The overuse of our thumbs can even lead to symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (such as hand, palm or wrist pain; numbness; and tingling).

Myofascial work on the thenar eminence (group of muscles at the base of the thumb) has been noted to lessen the symptoms of carpal tunnel compression.

If you’re experiencing hand or thumb problems, or work in a field that requires frequent hand use, please let me know on your next visit and I’ll gladly address those hardworking areas!

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an impingement of the median nerve in the area of the anterior wrist.  There are nine tendons and several muscles that pass between the median nerve and retinaculum.  If these tendons or muscles become swollen or contracted from overuse, they compress the median nerve causing pain, numbness and weakness in this area.  These symptoms may also be caused by tight muscles in the shoulder area pressing on the brachial plexus.   This is known as thoracic outlet syndrome.  Deep tissue work is used to release the muscles and tendons that are creating the nerve compression.  Several deep tissue sessions close together along with home care - self stretches can lead to the successful treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Shin Splints:

“Shin splints” is a term used to describe pain in the front, lower part of the leg, along the shin bone (tibia).  People most commonly affected by shin splints are runners and those who participate in sports with a lot of quick stopping and starting.  Sports like soccer, tennis and basketball are among a few.

The pain is caused by excess load on the muscles, connective tissue, and tibia.  Things like running down hill, running on a hard surface, or wearing worn out shoes can lead to shin splints.

Deep tissue massage can be part of an effective treatment plan for chronic shin splints.  Releasing the muscles and connective tissue around the tibia allows for quicker healing.  In most cases shin splints can be treated with self care. 

If self care does not seem to be helping or you are experiencing increased swelling, see your doctor.  These may be signs of a stress fracture.

 

Why does my side hurt when I run?

This pain is known as side stitch.  The pain is thought to be brought on by the diaphragm cramping. The diaphragm is the main muscle of respiration and separates the chest and abdominal cavities.

There are several theories on what causes the cramping of the diaphragm, however there are no definitive answers.  

According to Discovery Health & Fitness, these home remedies may help prevent or halt side stitch pain:

Belly Breathe. Most episodes of side stitch come from shallow breathing during exercise. While you exercise, try to breathe deeply and slowly, expanding the belly as well as the upper chest.

Try the "grunt" exhale. Making a grunting sound as you exhale seems to help relieve side stitch, possibly because it forces the diaphragm out of its taught "exhale" position.

Slow down. Being out of condition and exercising too intensely causes you to breathe quickly -- and more shallowly. Build your intensity slowly over the course of several weeks.

Stop. Some people, particularly competitive runners, believe you should "run through" a side stitch. However, unless you're in a race, the best idea is to stop completely until the pain subsides.

Use the "one hour" rule. If you've eaten a meal, wait at least an hour before exercising, because a full stomach does appear to cause problems for some people during exercise.

Massage it. Gently rub the area with your hands. Massage relaxes the muscles and helps increase blood flow to the area.

Use the "poke and blow" technique. One way to relieve diaphragm pressure is to push your fingers deeply into your belly just below your ribs on the right side. At the same time, purse your lips tightly and blow out as hard as you can.

Practice running fast. One of the possible causes of side stitch is weak abdominal and diaphragm muscles. To increase endurance and strengthen the diaphragm, try running fast a couple of times a week or inserting a couple of intervals of fast running during your regular, more moderately paced jog.

 

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR ABOUT SIDE STITCH

Sometimes side stitch is mistaken for angina pectoris, a serious pain caused by lack of oxygen to the heart. See a doctor immediately if the pain you experience emanates from beneath the breastbone or in the neck or radiates down the left arm, is accompanied by shortness of breath, and is brought on by emotional tension and/or physical exertion. And since it truly is better to be safe than sorry in this situation, if you experience any pain during exercise that concerns you, stop and contact your doctor.

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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