The human body is a fantastic compensatory mechanism..sometimes to its own detriment. Why do our bodies learn to compensate?
1. To avoid pain: Chronic pain can lead to pain-based movement patterns which can form bad habits which are hard to break! These movement patterns can in turn lead to further injury, tissue damage and pain.
2. To save energy: Our bodies love to be energy efficient to the point of laziness and repetition of these lazy movement patterns can form a habit.
Awareness is key, here are our top 3 reflex movement patterns we retrain our patients to do every day.
Our bodies want to be energy efficient and a common pattern is to slump (flex) forward in our chairs because it costs us to sit upright and utilise our core muscles. The lack of usage habitually will lead to the reduction of muscle cell numbers and size. This is in part why we find sitting for long periods of time fatiguing, as muscle cells provide us with our energy (ATP) and the lack of usage reduces the production of ATP. You have to spend energy to make it!
Poor posture can lead to conditions like: headaches, migraines, bruxism, hernias, radiculopathies, RSI (tennis elbow) & neck/back pain.
Abdominal breathing is the normal respiration pattern, however we find many of our patients are chest-breathers. This pattern over-works the neck muscles causing them to become tight and irritated and the core and diaphragm become weaker due to their lack of usage. Abdominal breathing is the basis of core stability and inability to do so can lead to sports injuries, migraines, headaches, thoracic outlet syndrome and hernias.
A squat pattern is not just for gym goers, it is actually a normal physiological movement pattern which saves our spine and nervous system and utilises our hip joints to hinge. We are designed to rest, poop and give birth in a squat pattern. Loss of this movement is connected with lumbar hernias, sciatica, hip arthritis and radiculopathies.