A recent task force has determined that women are at higher risk for developing neck pain than men. What accounts for this gender difference? A number of factors contribute to neck pain including coping skills, personalities, work environments and physical activities. But, as a patient eloquently stated while lifting her shirt, "What about these?" Are breasts a major contributor to the higher incidence of neck pain in women? In 1996, our judicial system examined the evidence and determined (Bancroft v Tecumseh Products) that breast reduction surgery was indeed medically necessary to relieve headache , neck pain and shoulder pain. This verdict establishes the cause and effect relationship between breasts and neck pain.
A closer examination into the breast risk factor can illuminate a multitude of reasons why size A, B, C, D, or DD really matters to the spine. Let's think in terms of triple "B's".
B reasts :
Are your breasts big, small, not at all (absent) or just righ...
We have discussed in an earlier entry how our posture can affect the position of our pelvic organs, shifting them slightly forward to sit over the top of our pubic bone when we are in neutral spine. It makes sense to recognize how the position of our pelvis can affect our pelvic floor muscles and our pelvic organs, but how can our rounded shoulders effect our pelvic floor function?
To connect these two areas of our body, we have to take a good look at our abdominal and pelvic cavities.
The areas of our pelvis and our abdomen are one continuous body cavity. This is important to realize because as we take up space within our abdomen, it directly affects our pelvic cavity and its contents. Our diaphragm is continuously descending and ascending with every breath we take, taking up space as it descends and giving it back as it ascends. When we breathe in and our diaphragm draws down within our abdomen, we normally accommodate this by expanding our chest and our lower ri...
What is progressive muscle relaxation?
Progressive muscle relaxation, or PMR, involves tensing and releasing the muscles, one body part at a time, to bring about a feeling of physical relaxation.
Some studies of breast cancer patients have shown that PMR can help to reduce:
What to expect with progressive muscle relaxation
Researchers report that relaxation training methods, including PMR, work best if a person is trained before cancer treatment starts. The researchers also said that after 2 hours of training from an expert, patients are usually experienced enough to successfully practice the techniques on their own.
For a better idea of what to expect with PMR, try this exercise:
Begin by tensing and relaxing the toes of one foot.
Inhale as you briefly tense your muscles and exhale when releasing the tension.
Gradually, work your way up into the muscles of one leg, tensing and relaxing.
Repeat on the other leg.
Continue up your body, tensing and ...
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