In the last blog about tennis elbow we traced the origin back to a problem elsewhere in the body.
To better understand the cause of not only tennis elbow but of many common aches and pains let’s approach this from the other direction. That is, let’s start with the cause and work forward to where the pain is.
Poor breathing and poor posture are linked closely. And yes, research supports they are at the helm of many aches and pains.
Poor posture such as the slouch will be our example that we work from. The slouch with it’s forward head carriage and rounded back creates a multitude of dysfunctional patterns throughout the body.
First is the resulting poor breathing. I could go into the specific mechanical explanation of this but I will simplify this by a test you can easily perform. Try taking a deep breath with your shoulders rounded forward. Then try taking a breath with the same intensity with thinking tall and the shoulders resting more in midline. Be careful not to pull the shoulders back too far pulling the shoulder blades together. This will also compromise the breathing!
The rounded mid back restricts back movement in this area as well as limits full overhead shoulder movement. This mid back restriction puts the lower back the lower neck at risk for injury. It does this by placing an increased demand for movement in these adjacent areas to account for the lack of movement in the mid back.
Neck and low back problems in themselves are many ranging from strained muscles to herniated discs and pinched nerves. In addition, injuries to the extremities are likely to happen as well given their direct connection to the neck and back.
The list of possible aches and pains in the extremities include rotator cuff tears, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip bursitis, runners knee, shin splints and plantar fasciitis.
Given today’s high occurrence of poor posture and poor breathing it is becoming almost a rule to include postural correction in the treatment plan.
Understanding the origin of the injury better equips the therapist to deliver a successful treatment.