SCIATICA / PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME

The numbness, tingling or burning pain in the buttocks or down the leg associated with sciatic pain or piriformis syndrome can be debilitating, but it doesn't have to be. Though the pain is fairly easy to diagnose, those of you suffering from it know that treatment for one person doesn't always work for someone else. This is because the CAUSE of the pain is rarely identified. The causes for sciatic pain can stem from an uneven pelvic position, meaning the left side is tilted differently than the right, or from pelvic rotation, when one side is twisting more forward than the other, or even from a locked hip and/or tight rounded shoulder position. When muscular imbalances change the tilt of your hips or the arch of your spine, a multitude of aches and pains appear. The pattern of compensation causing sciatic pain is different for each person, which is why there is no generic protocol of exercises that can relieve the pain. Successful treatment for sciatic pain must specifically address and improve your body's poor joint position and biomechanics of the shoulders, spine, hips and feet. When this happens, the compensatory tension will disappear, and the sciatic pain will be eliminated for good.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

HEADACHES / MIGRAINES

Do you have unexplainable headaches, migraines, neck pain or TMJ? One commonly ignored cause of these symptoms is uneven shoulders or forward head position. When the joints are no longer stacked vertically, the improper position creates increased tension and stress in the muscles. Imbalances in the load bearing joints from the ankles on up will ultimately affect the head and neck, leaving you with headaches, pain and discomfort. If you want to check your head or shoulder position to see if this is part of the problem, try these two easy tests. First, stand with your heels and your back against a wall. Are you touching the wall with both shoulders and hips? Is the back of your head resting on the wall without forcing it there? Secondly, stand in front of a mirror, are your feet and knees pointed straight ahead? How about your hips and shoulders, are they level? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then any of these compromised joint positions can be what is causing strain and tension in the head, neck or temporomandibular joint.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

NECK PAIN OR TMJ

Do you have unexplainable headaches, migraines, neck pain or TMJ? One commonly ignored cause of these symptoms is uneven shoulders or forward head position. When the joints are no longer stacked vertically, the improper position creates increased tension and stress in the muscles. Imbalances in the load bearing joints from the ankles on up will ultimately affect the head and neck, leaving you with headaches, pain and discomfort. If you want to check your head or shoulder position to see if this is part of the problem, try these two easy tests. First, stand with your heels and your back against a wall. Are you touching the wall with both shoulders and hips? Is the back of your head resting on the wall without forcing it there? Secondly, stand in front of a mirror, are your feet and knees pointed straight ahead? How about your hips and shoulders, are they level? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then any of these compromised joint positions can be what is causing strain and tension in the head, neck or temporomandibular joint.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

SHOULDER PAIN / BURSITIS / FROZEN SHOULDER

With these symptoms, one or both of the shoulder blades are sitting farther away from the spine than they belong, or winging, and often times pulled up close to the ear and rounded forward. You may also see excessive rounding or flexion in the upper back and a posterior pelvic tilt with a flat lumbar spine. Over time, the postural deviations of the hips and spine result in chronic imbalance in the rotator cuff muscles, decreased range of motion, increased stress on the muscles and tendons, and increased pain and chance of further injury. Returning function to the shoulder must involve properly analyzing and addressing the surrounding compensations and identifying the root cause of the poor shoulder position. Posture therapy will take your injury history and current imbalances into account and then provide you with the stimulus to change the entire body as a connected unit, so that you will once again have a neutral hip, spine and shoulder position, thus eliminating pain and discomfort in the shoulder.

TENDONITIS

Tendonitis literally means inflammation of a tendon. Let’s look at the structure and function of tendons in the body. Muscles attach to bones by way of a very tough fibrous structure called tendons. The muscles are flexible, but the tendons are not. All muscles have a specific job to do. Larger stronger muscles generally are designed to move bones (prime movers). Smaller muscles generally are designed to hold bones or joints stable (stabilizers). When the proper healthy alignment of our major joints, pelvis and spine are compromised, the body starts to compensate by distributing weight differently. When this happens, instead of the equal muscle tension around a joint, the muscle tension is increased on one side and decreased on the opposite side of the joint. This causes major strain on the muscle AND the tendon that joins the muscle to the bone. When the muscle gets overused or tight, then the tendons are also put under increased strain. Over time, the overstressed tendon becomes inflamed and pain results. Basically, tendonitis is just a symptom of muscle imbalance. The root cause of tendonitis is misalignment resulting from muscle imbalances. In order to reverse the pain from tendonitis, you must first identify where the imbalance and dysfunction is stemming from, and then stimulate the muscles to balance the muscle tension and bear weight evenly between all of the load joints of the body, just like they were designed to do.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

PINCHED NERVES

Have you been told or feel like you have a pinched nerve? The first question you should be asking is “why?” Instead of masking the pain with a pill, or trying another ineffective treatment solution, start by asking why the nerve is pinched. If muscle tightness or imbalance is to blame, then you have a very simple treatment option. Change the load-bearing position of the joints by rebalancing the muscular system, left to right and front to back, and your pinched nerve problem will disappear. Take the Posture Test to determine where the stress in your neck or back is coming from. Rounded forward, uneven or twisted shoulders or hips are the most common postural deviations that cause pinching in the nerves of the neck and spine.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

BACK PAIN / HERNIATED or BULGING DISKS

Did you know that your disks were made to herniate? Envision a jelly donut. If you squish one side, the jelly comes out of the other side. The same thing happens when the disk sandwiched between your vertebrae is asked to absorb pressure unevenly. The disk has no choice but to bulge or rupture. Surgery is only a short-term solution to the real problem, and often the surgery has to be repeated because the cause of the strain is never addressed. Before jumping into surgery, consider first the cause of the disk problem. Uneven or unbalanced positioning of the spine, hips and shoulders causes uneven pressure on the disks. As gravity presses down over time on this compromised joint position, the pressure will eventually cause a disk problem. Take a look at the diagram of three incorrect spinal positions. If there is too much arch, or not enough in the case of the middle picture, disk space between the vertebrae will be squished on one side or the other. Muscles move our bones, right? If the muscles are not stimulated to maintain the proper length and tension required for you to sit, stand and move properly, then bone and joint position is quickly compromised. The good news is that the muscles can just as easily move the shoulders, hips and spine back into neutral position with the right stimulus, eliminating wear and tear, friction, and uneven pressure on the disks. Maintaining a neutral S-curve and balanced weight distribution across all the load joints: ankles, knees, hips and shoulders is imperative for shock absorption and the prevention of serious injury. If you are already in pain, gently bringing the hips, shoulders and spine back to their proper position will ultimately relieve your chronic back pain, even if you already have a herniated or bulging disk. Contact a therapist near you to get on the road to being pain free today!

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

ELBOW PAIN / TENNIS ELBOW / EPICONDYLITIS

These symptoms are typically caused by a shoulder blade that is winging, along with a shoulder that is rounded forward. This improper shoulder position then causes the arm hang in an internally rotated position, putting extra stress on the elbow joint and its surrounding muscles and tendons. If you look in the mirror, you can see this rotation by looking at your hands. Internal rotation presents itself with the hands hanging in front of the body, and the back of the hands facing forward, rather than where they belong, with the arms resting at the side of your body with just the thumb and first finger visible. Relieving the pain in the elbow requires returning the shoulder blade to a neutral position by addressing the underlying spinal and pelvic deviations that have caused the misalignments. By addressing the entire body as a connected unit, you will be able to correct the underlying cause of the symptoms and experience a healthy, pain-free elbow joint. Contact a therapist today to analyze your posture and begin the process of unraveling the muscular compensations that are causing your elbow pain!

TENDONITIS

Tendonitis literally means inflammation of a tendon. Let’s look at the structure and function of tendons in the body. Muscles attach to bones by way of a very tough fibrous structure called tendons. The muscles are flexible, but the tendons are not. All muscles have a specific job to do. Larger stronger muscles generally are designed to move bones (prime movers). Smaller muscles generally are designed to hold bones or joints stable (stabilizers). When the proper healthy alignment of our major joints, pelvis and spine are compromised, the body starts to compensate by distributing weight differently. When this happens, instead of the equal muscle tension around a joint, the muscle tension is increased on one side and decreased on the opposite side of the joint. This causes major strain on the muscle AND the tendon that joins the muscle to the bone. When the muscle gets overused or tight, then the tendons are also put under increased strain. Over time, the overstressed tendon becomes inflamed and pain results. Basically, tendonitis is just a symptom of muscle imbalance. The root cause of tendonitis is misalignment resulting from muscle imbalances. In order to reverse the pain from tendonitis, you must first identify where the imbalance and dysfunction is stemming from, and then stimulate the muscles to balance the muscle tension and bear weight evenly between all of the load joints of the body, just like they were designed to do.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

HAND or WRIST PAIN / CARPAL TUNNEL

Symptoms in the hand and wrist are oftentimes tied to the following posture deviations: winging shoulder blade(s), forward rounded shoulders, and an internally rotated arm and elbow. Look in the mirror to see if the backs of the hands are facing forward which is a visible sign of improper shoulder and arm position. This puts extra stress on the structures of the lower arm, wrist, and hand, narrowing the space for the carpal nerve. With a little effort, you can improve the position of the shoulder and arm, creating a pain free and functional wrist and hand. Call a therapist near you to get a complete analysis and plan for addressing the postural deviations and limitations in your body that have led to discomfort in the hand or wrist.

ARTHRITIS / DEGENERATION

Inflammation caused by poor joint position over a period of time is one major and often overlooked cause of arthritis. "Arth" refers to joints and "itis" refers to inflammation. Since the diagnosis simply means inflammation, you have to determine WHY the joint is inflamed in order to treat it effectively. Uneven pressure that wears down cartilage and results in inflammation is caused by uneven weight distribution and imbalance across the load joints. In a fully functioning body, all of the primary load joints, the ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder line up vertically and level horizontally. This positioning allows the joints to be able to move freely through their full range of motion, absorb shock evenly, stabilize the body under load or stress, and receive optimal circulation. The primary load bearing joints will not “wear out” or become inflamed if they are stacked at right angles and bearing weight evenly. Hips or shoulders that are elevated or twisted forward, knock knees, bowlegged knees, or knees that turn outward or inward are all examples of joints that are not in their horizontally or vertically stacked position. These misalignments will wreak havoc with your muscles, bones and joints. For most people, uneven joint position and inflamed joints are a result of injuries where the joint was never rehabbed to 100%, or is a result of poor posture over time. Remember, the joint is inflamed for a reason. If a joint is not positioned properly, then it will wear down unevenly due to uneven pressure on one aspect of the interior surface of the joint. When this happens, cartilage degeneration occurs and inflammation develops as the body's only way to protect the inner joint surfaces. The GREAT news is the muscles that moved your bones and joints out of position over time can also move your body back to its balanced, stacked position. Look at your body to see where the misalignments could be causing arthritis or degeneration, and/or contact a therapist now to start unraveling your muscle imbalances and compensations.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

HIP PAIN / BURSITIS / DEGENERATIVE HIP

Hip pain may be caused by a variety of imbalances and compensations in the body. When the femur is not sitting properly in the socket, irritation, inflammation and pain will result. If the femur isn’t positioned correctly, then body weight won’t be distributed across the joint evenly. Furthermore, as soon as the joint suffers from limited range of motion, circulation of vital nutrients and blood supply for regeneration is diminished, and you will be on your way to a degenerative hip in no time. Returning function to the hip involves determining what is causing limitation. Are the femurs turned in towards each other, or turned out? Are they collapsed and touching each other at the knees? Movement of the pelvis and spine may also be to blame. If the pelvis is rotate, tipped forward or backward, or if the spine is locked in flexion or extension, then the pelvis won’t move freely like it was designed to for normal gait. Call a therapist near you who can properly assess your body’s compensations, from the ankles to the shoulders, and provide you with a routine that will address the imbalances, improve range of motion, and return balance and function to the hip joint and surrounding structures. As function returns to the joint, and weight distribution is balanced across the interior aspect of the hip, circulation will improve and regeneration of worn cartilage will once again be possible.

ARTHRITIS / DEGENERATION

Inflammation caused by poor joint position over a period of time is one major and often overlooked cause of arthritis. "Arth" refers to joints and "itis" refers to inflammation. Since the diagnosis simply means inflammation, you have to determine WHY the joint is inflamed in order to treat it effectively. Uneven pressure that wears down cartilage and results in inflammation is caused by uneven weight distribution and imbalance across the load joints. In a fully functioning body, all of the primary load joints, the ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder line up vertically and level horizontally. This positioning allows the joints to be able to move freely through their full range of motion, absorb shock evenly, stabilize the body under load or stress, and receive optimal circulation. The primary load bearing joints will not “wear out” or become inflamed if they are stacked at right angles and bearing weight evenly. Hips or shoulders that are elevated or twisted forward, knock knees, bowlegged knees, or knees that turn outward or inward are all examples of joints that are not in their horizontally or vertically stacked position. These misalignments will wreak havoc with your muscles, bones and joints. For most people, uneven joint position and inflamed joints are a result of injuries where the joint was never rehabbed to 100%, or is a result of poor posture over time. Remember, the joint is inflamed for a reason. If a joint is not positioned properly, then it will wear down unevenly due to uneven pressure on one aspect of the interior surface of the joint. When this happens, cartilage degeneration occurs and inflammation develops as the body's only way to protect the inner joint surfaces. The GREAT news is the muscles that moved your bones and joints out of position over time can also move your body back to its balanced, stacked position. Look at your body to see where the misalignments could be causing arthritis or degeneration, and/or contact a therapist now to start unraveling your muscle imbalances and compensations.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

KNEE PAIN

Do you have knee pain? As soon as the muscles in your body start compensating, or in other words, perform a task that they are not designed to do, the change in tension will pull the joints out of alignment. When this happens, pain will follow. Look at the pictures to the left and compare them to your own knee position. The photos show what the knees can look like when they are out of position. Your knees should be pointed straight ahead, in line with your feet, which also should be pointing straight ahead. If this is not the case, or if your knees point straight ahead, but your feet turn out, or if you are knock kneed or bow-legged, then there will be torque and stress in the knees with each and every step. Simply put, if your knees are not tracking correctly, you will experience pain at some point. Successful treatment for knee pain and the root cause of inflammation degeneration in the knee requires complete assessment of and correction of biomechanics and joint position. Stimulating and returning function to the hips, shoulders, knees and ankles will allow them to hinge properly and move as they were originally designed, without grinding and pain.

TENDONITIS

Tendonitis literally means inflammation of a tendon. Let’s look at the structure and function of tendons in the body. Muscles attach to bones by way of a very tough fibrous structure called tendons. The muscles are flexible, but the tendons are not. All muscles have a specific job to do. Larger stronger muscles generally are designed to move bones (prime movers). Smaller muscles generally are designed to hold bones or joints stable (stabilizers). When the proper healthy alignment of our major joints, pelvis and spine are compromised, the body starts to compensate by distributing weight differently. When this happens, instead of the equal muscle tension around a joint, the muscle tension is increased on one side and decreased on the opposite side of the joint. This causes major strain on the muscle AND the tendon that joins the muscle to the bone. When the muscle gets overused or tight, then the tendons are also put under increased strain. Over time, the overstressed tendon becomes inflamed and pain results. Basically, tendonitis is just a symptom of muscle imbalance. The root cause of tendonitis is misalignment resulting from muscle imbalances. In order to reverse the pain from tendonitis, you must first identify where the imbalance and dysfunction is stemming from, and then stimulate the muscles to balance the muscle tension and bear weight evenly between all of the load joints of the body, just like they were designed to do.

ARTHRITIS / DEGENERATION

Inflammation caused by poor joint position over a period of time is one major and often overlooked cause of arthritis. "Arth" refers to joints and "itis" refers to inflammation. Since the diagnosis simply means inflammation, you have to determine WHY the joint is inflamed in order to treat it effectively. Uneven pressure that wears down cartilage and results in inflammation is caused by uneven weight distribution and imbalance across the load joints. In a fully functioning body, all of the primary load joints, the ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder line up vertically and level horizontally. This positioning allows the joints to be able to move freely through their full range of motion, absorb shock evenly, stabilize the body under load or stress, and receive optimal circulation. The primary load bearing joints will not “wear out” or become inflamed if they are stacked at right angles and bearing weight evenly. Hips or shoulders that are elevated or twisted forward, knock knees, bowlegged knees, or knees that turn outward or inward are all examples of joints that are not in their horizontally or vertically stacked position. These misalignments will wreak havoc with your muscles, bones and joints. For most people, uneven joint position and inflamed joints are a result of injuries where the joint was never rehabbed to 100%, or is a result of poor posture over time. Remember, the joint is inflamed for a reason. If a joint is not positioned properly, then it will wear down unevenly due to uneven pressure on one aspect of the interior surface of the joint. When this happens, cartilage degeneration occurs and inflammation develops as the body's only way to protect the inner joint surfaces. The GREAT news is the muscles that moved your bones and joints out of position over time can also move your body back to its balanced, stacked position. Look at your body to see where the misalignments could be causing arthritis or degeneration, and/or contact a therapist now to start unraveling your muscle imbalances and compensations.

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

The burning and heel pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is caused by inflamed fascia in the bottom of the foot. But, what is causing the inflammation? Although the inflammation is frequently blamed on worn shoes, its cause is more oftentimes the result of improper loading of the foot and the body through foot strike. If the ankle, knee, foot and hip are not aligned and functioning properly, then the plantar fascia will be in a clenched or constantly contracted state, screaming to you in pain. Orthotics oftentimes will change the way the weight is distributed and impact is managed in the foot, therefore reducing pain momentarily, but they do not address the root of the problem. In order to permanently eradicate the pain, the source of the pain and dysfunction, aka faulty mechanics, must be corrected. Otherwise you may end up shifting the pain to other areas of the body, inner or outer knee pain, or eventually hip pain. Read this article for additional tips: “Cure your Plantar Fasciitis Pain”

BUNIONS / HAMMERTOE

A bunion is the calcification if the first joint of a toe. Sometimes tight shoes are to blame, but oftentimes this condition is also the result of improper loading or foot strike. The bunion itself is not hereditary, but rather caused by faulty foot mechanics, which can be corrected with exercises. The same is true for the opposite dysfunction of the foot, called hammertoe. Furthermore, surgically removed bunions often grow right back if the dysfunctional loading is not corrected. Improving posture and muscle function of the foot, hip and shoulders is an effective way to reverse and eliminate the pain and deformities of bunions and hammertoes. This article gives insight into this completely overlooked factor in the assessment of bunions and general foot pain. “The Truth about Bunions”

Applied Biomechanics Associates @ Copyright 2011 ×
IS PAIN AFFECTING YOUR LIFE?
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO!

Click to see how pain in different areas of the body is connected with your posture and joint position. Take the posture quiz below to see how your joints stack up, and then contact a therapist near you to start feeling better today!

POSTURE CHECK-UP

DIY: Look in the mirror to see how your joints stack up to see if we can help.
OR: Make an appointment with a therapist for a personalized analysis and exercise plan.
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  1. From the side, look to see if the ear, center of your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle are stacked one above the other in a straight line.
  2. Do the shoulders appear rounded or hinged forward? If your hands are swinging in front of the body this indicate forward rounded shoulders.
  3. Check the curvature of the spine, it should have a slight S-curve, and not be too rounded or too arched.
  4. From the side, the waistline (belt line) should be level, not tilted forward or back. Also check from the front view to see if the hips are level.
  5. Check to see if the shoulders are level, and also look to see if the shoulders are twisted, with one shoulder more forward (closer to the mirror) than the other.
  6. The kneecaps should both point straight ahead, not towards each other or out to the sides. The knees should have about 4-5 inches of space between them, not bowlegged or touching each other (knock kneed).
  7. The feet should point straight ahead, and the weight in your feet should be balanced from the back to the front, and through the center of the arch, not on the outside edge of the foot.
Perfect posture image with key points and its descriptions.