Five Areas Where your Body Should be Aligned

The alignment of your body matters! When your body is balanced and strong it is more resistant to wear and tear, and less likely to get injured.

Here are five things I notice and treat during your massage appointment.

Top Five things I notice as a massage therapist:

The Spine:

hyperlordosis
Hyperlordosis

When viewing the body from the side, you will notice that their is a natural S bend to the spine. However, when theses nature curves become overbent, we place ‘hyper’ in front of them to describe what’s going on.

There are two natural lordotic curves in the spine; the lumbar spine (lower back) and the cervical spine (neck).

normal-vs-reversal-cervical-lordosis-260nw-780912601.jpg

When the back is hyperlordotic that means that the curve is overexaggerated. This can be caused by poor posture and weakness in the core.

When the neck is hyperlordotic it is also overexaggerated. This can be caused by computer work, poor posture.

Hyperkyphosis

kyphosis

The natural curve of the upper back is known as the khyphotic curve. Again when over pronounced we get a hyperkyphosis. Often this can lead to the ribcage getting less mobile, feeling stuck, and less range of motion through the upper body.

Scoliosis

a-medical-illustration-of-a-spine-with-scoliosis-highlighting-degeneration-of-the-spinal-joints-original.jpg

Most people get alarmed when they hear the word scoliosis, but it’s often not as bad as it seems. Scoliosis is a condition that results in a curvature of the spine. This is commonly in an “S” shape but can also form a “U” shape.

Scoliosis has two forms: structural and functional 

Structural scoliosis is caused by a formation problem in the bones of the spine resulting in an uneven shape. This kind of scoliosis is more likely to need interventions like bracing and surgery, but isn’t as common. It can also be caused due to injuries to the spine that are unable to heal properly or caused more permanent damage.

Functional Scoliosis is caused by muscle imbalances that pull on one side of the spine and cause it to bend unevenly. This is more easily reversed by treatment and strengthening muscles in order to balance the pull evenly. Functional scoliosis is more common and can be caused by poor posture, improper body mechanics, repetitive strain injuries, or hobbies/sports that rely heavily on one side. (Ex; pitching in baseball, golf, etc).

The Pelvis:

Pelvic torsions/dysfunctions

SIJ2

Many people may not realize it, but the pelvis can also become torsioned and uneven. Hard falls, injuries, or muscle weakness can cause this. This can cause pressure on the sacroiliac joint, sciatica, low back pain, and more.

Balancing the pelvis can help the low back and even out leg length discrepancies. Specific stretches, exercises, and joint mobilizations can be used during your massage therapy treatment in order to achieve this.

The Legs:
Leg length discrepancy

Leglengthdiscrepancy.jpg

Feeling unbalanced? That may be because one of your legs is longer or shorter than the other. But don’t be alarmed just yet! This is much more common than you think. Leg length discrepancies can be caused by a few different things. Surgeries and broken bones, one leg bone being a different length than the other, one hip bone being smaller than the other. These causes are rare but do happen occasionally.Yet the most common one that I see is due to the last misaslignement problem I mentioned; pelvic torsions. That’s right, a pelvic torsion can lead to leg length discrepancies.
How does this happen? When one side of the pelvis is lifted or pulled forward it drags the hip joint with it. That leads to the whole leg being lifted or lowered into a different position than the other leg. This means that though both legs are technically the same length, one is sitting in a higher or lower position at the hip socket, giving the appearance of being shorter or longer. These kind of leg length discrepancies can be fixed by balancing the pelvis, and maintained through addressing underlying patterns of muscular weakness.

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