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Do you suffer from chronic neck pain?

Friday, February 21, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from chronic neck pain and stiffness? Do you get relief from massage or manual therapy only to feel your pain and stiffness come back within minutes?

 

You may be relying on the muscles in your neck and shoulders to help you breathe in, rather than relying on the diaphragm to do this.

 

If this is the case, every time you breathe in, your neck and shoulder muscles have to contract very strongly, to lift up your rib cage and all the organs in side it – a job that should be done mostly by the diaphragm muscle. This is enough to make anyone stiff and sore!

 

Handy tip: put your hands on your hips, then slide them up a bit to the bottom of your rib cage. Take a big breath in slowly and as you breathe in, you should feel your rib cage pushing out into your hands – as you breathe out slowly, you should feel you should feel your hands moving back in towards each other.

 

If you find it very difficult to feel your rib cage expand, you may need some help to loosen up this area and to make sure your diaphragm and its associated connective tissues, are ‘communicating’ well with the rest of your body.

 

To have your breathing mechanism assessed, treated and home exercise suggestions, make an appointment with one of the osteopaths at NSO


Combat Stress and Sleep better with these Simple Exercises

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Did you know that the way you breathe changes when you are feeling stressed?

 

You may unknowingly hold your breath for a few seconds, you may start breathing more quickly or not as deeply or tense your shoulders. This can alter your oxygen/ carbon dioxide balance and, in severe cases, make you to feel light headed or anxious.

 

It also means you use your diaphragm (the main breathing muscle ) less and instead use your neck muscles to lift you upper ribs to breathe.

 

This is why so many people say ' I hold all my stress in my neck and shoulders.' The good news is, you CAN change this!! Try these simple exercises to reduce the impact stress has on your body.

 

The first is to use during the day, the second will wind you down and send you off to sleep...

 

1) If you are feeling stressed, become aware of HOW you are breathing. Then, slowly breathe out of your mouth, making your OUT breath as long as possible. (it should be at least twice as long as your IN breath), then take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Do this for 3 breaths in a row, then go back to breathing normally. Repeat every few minutes.

 

2) This exercise is great for helping you get to sleep. Start by making your OUT breath last 4 seconds. Do this for 6 breaths in a row. Then, extend your out breath to 6 seconds, again for 6 breaths. Next, make your out breath last 8 seconds for 6 breaths in a row.  Now reverse the process, breathing out for 6 seconds 6 times, then for 4 seconds 6 times, then breathe normally. The most important part of this exercise is the OUT breath, so focus on that. If you find starting with a 4 second out breath is too difficult, start with 2 seconds, then 4, then 6, then back to 4, then back to 2. If you do this regularly, you may find you need to start at 6 or 8 seconds and extend from there.

 

If at any stage you feel breathless or dizzy, STOP the exercise and breath normally .

 

Any questions ? Call Sharon direct on 9907 8919.

 

Sweet dreams !


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