Elevation Physiotherapy | Blog
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We’re not talking halitosis here!   Breathing is something that happens naturally all day and night, right?  Not necessarily. We often think of the “core” as just the abs and back muscles, but really it is the pelvic floor group at the bottom and the diaphragm at the top too.  As we take in breath, the diaphragm descends (to allow space for the lungs to expand), the rib cage expands, and both the abdominal wall and pelvic floor relax. When we exhale...

Many people can happily live their lives without ever giving their diaphragm much thought at all. You don’t have to think much about breathing, it just happens automatically. But when you take in air, your diaphragm lowers to allow room for your lungs to expand.  It is attached to the lower six ribs, the xiphoid process (bottom part) of the sternum, and the first three lumbar vertebrae.  There is also a connection between the diaphragm and the psoas (hip flexor)...

Stop trying to figure out WHY and just get on with it! Of course, pain is not normal-- it’s your body telling you that something is going on. You do need to pay some attention. Most of the time back pain begins for no obvious reason-- you could just wake up with it, or some harmless movement like bending forward to pick something up starts a sudden pain. When this happens, it’s scary. It’s also human nature to wonder what...

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that sitting is the new smoking. Many people spend WAAAYYYY too much time each and every day sitting– commuting to work, eating all of your meals, sitting at your desk, and all entertainment (reading, watching TV, dining out, going to a movie or theatre) — yep… all sitting. Do you ever think about HOW you’re sitting?  Odds are, you tend to slouch in your chair after you’ve been there for awhile. This slumping position keeps...

So it has been said that motion is lotion, and nowhere is it more important than your spine! Whether it’s shifting your sitting position or standing up to grab something or going for a little walk—make sure you keep your body moving. Every little bit counts. Why? Almost all of your bones—including your spine-- have a layer of cartilage at their ends that acts as a cushion and help spread the pressure you put through your joints with everyday movements. Surrounding...

In a previous blog, I was mentioning the McKenzie System of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) and outlined what a “directional preference” is: the assessor is trying to determine if the person with back pain has one direction of movement that they can do repeatedly that will consistently decrease their pain or increase their movement. There is a huge and growing area of research dedicated to the McKenzie system, and I want to outline perhaps my favourite study of back pain...

Most back problems are not really muscular.  It sounds weird to say, but so many people's pain actually starts for no obvious reason, without any trauma. They might wake up with pain, or it might just start in their back after they've been sitting for awhile.  It is really common to hear that back pain starts when someone stands up again after bending forward to pick something up. In life, we all spend WAY too much time bending forward. That forward...

Physiotherapists often use a method of assessing and treatment called the McKenzie Method for people who have back pain and physical limitations-- I highly recommend you check out information from their website here. In a nutshell, The McKenzie Institute International began several decades ago with Robin McKenzie, a Physiotherapist in New Zealand who developed a new way of assessment and treatment in the 1950s and advanced this thinking over the next several decades. It focuses on a thorough examination of...