Mel Collie

Assessing Movement. Not Muscles.


Mel Collie | Back Pain?


Posted on Jan 16, 2017

Mel Collie | Back Pain? Theres many causes of back pain which is why I use a method that tests whats going on in your body, because you are unique, but, here are  three things that sometimes show up: Scars. Abdominal surgery, C-sections, appendix scars, can inhibit the abdominal muscles. This means some or all of the abdominals can be weak, and not contract well, stability has to be achieved elsewhere, possibly the neck and shoulders, so if you have an ab scar, and neck tightness and pain, then there could be a connection. Feet. Your foot placement can also be a cause of back pain. If you have toe pain, especially the big toe, this can jam the sacrum leading to tightness and pain in the back. Rotation. Lack of rotation in the thoracic spine, thats the mid spine from the base of your neck to the top of your lumbar spine. Reduced movement in this area means that the back jams up. The neck and shoulder may also have issues. So, you can see that its not just a lower back issue. Your lower back depends on the other parts around it to be working in harmony, it has no option but to tighten up to create stability. Being assessed means the world of difference, you may have stubbed your toe, you may have had surgery , you may have had dental work, you may have tight hips, you may have a compensation strategy you aren’t aware of, until the pain starts to really bug you and you need to check it out. Lower back pain is so common. Looking outside the box however, isn’t. So if the usual strategies of rest, cream and pills and even some exercises aren’t helping, its not you thats broken, its the information you are listening to. Try something different and get assessed, be ready to list your history of injury, accidents, surgery, as far back as you can remember. One clients back pain came from when he fell off the slide as a youngster, and the brain strategy to help him move was to compress the lower back. He was still moving, but with pain in the back. Decompressing the lower back , in his case, was key to switch back on the muscles to stabilise the centre, so the arms and legs could move well. However, that may not be your issue, because you probably didn’t fall off a slide.. Mel Collie NeuroKinetic Therapist Level II www.melcollie.com Assessments and treatments from my home studio in a North Cornish village by the sea. 9 Tregea Terrace Portreath Cornwall UK TR16...

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Core Strength & Your Jaw

Core Strength & Your Jaw


Posted on Dec 29, 2016

Core Strength & Your Jaw Sit ups, planks and push ups- all favoured as core exercises, and core strength is supposed to be enhanced by practicing them for many reps or keeping the position held for a few minutes, I used to go to a Pilates class where they insisted you wern’t strong if you didn’t hold your plank position for more than 5 minutes, in fact they wanted you to do it for 8 minutes… However.. A little bit smarter and wiser now, I wish I could go back to that class with the knowledge I now have to see what was being used as compensation – a tight jaw, held breath, tight shoulders, tightness in the back of the neck. All of these are used as compensations, cheats, by the body when its searching for strength because its failed elsewhere, usually in the core. The jaw is a common one. With todays anxieties, worries and fears, tension in the jaw is commonplace when the brain seeks stability, especially if it isn’t getting it from the core muscles. So next time you are doing your core exercises, check what is happening and where you are compensating. Breathe out through the mouth to avoid jaw clenching. Keep the back of the neck long to avoid using this area for strength. Watch you aren’t breath holding, the diaphragm can become facilitated for a weaker core. Ensure the upper shoulders are away from the ears Watch your toe position and that they aren’t clawing at the ground, a classic compensation for a weaker core. If you’ve been doing these for a while, your compensations may also be present in everyday life, you may find you hold your breathe often, your toes might already prefer the clawed position, your upper shoulders may find they like it near your ears and are always tight..   What can you do about it? Awareness is a great start. You might not like it, but regressing your reps and take it slow. Record yourself with your camera/mobile and see whats happening when you play it back. Are your shoulders in a good position, when does that begin to falter? Thats where your neural edge is, and you brain starts to compensate, thats when you stop and rest until you are ready to go again. You can also practice your breathing, this can improve a whole lot of issues. If the brain happy with the oxygen amount, its happy giving your strength. Stabilising from the centre out is always a good place to start.   Melanie Collie www.melcollie.com  ...

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Pain in my right lower back

Pain in my right lower back


Posted on Nov 9, 2016

Pain in my right lower back   Lower back pain , almost everyone has it, or has experienced it at some point. The most common issue I see in clinic is a tight or weak lower back muscle, called the Quadratus Lumborum (QL, for short)   When I test it to see if its weak, which it usually is on one side, if not both, then I have to see why its like that. Usually one side can be working for the other so one side will feel tight and painful. However, without guessing or hoping it will go away, I test it against its synergists, and one of those is your glutes. We sit on them a lot, they don’t function well, so something has to do that work, there are other muscles that can come into play like the Piriformis, but also look to the lower back. Of its painful, it could be that you have a lazy glute issue. Get them tested. Then get them working Once they are firing up , the QL can get back to doing what it does , which is side bending and helping exhalation. Melanie Collie www.melcollie.com melcollie@gmail.com        ...

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Mel Collie | Feet and Knees

Mel Collie | Feet and Knees


Posted on Sep 26, 2016

Mel Collie | Feet and Knees Feet and knees – very important joints in your body, yet two that are neglected until they are painful. The feet have 33 joints in each, thats a lot in one little foot. ..each foot has 26 bones…how much time to you spend on your feet? If the big toe isn’t landing when you walk, the rest of the leg wont be working too well, leading to other compensations up the body, in the hip, back, shoulder and neck. We overlook the foot because we have been told the sight of pain is the problem when in truth, the sight of pain is telling you there is a problem , its working too hard, you need to look elsewhere for the issue. Take a look at your shoes, where do they wear out the most> On the inside edge? Outside edge? Take the shoes off and stand up, close your eyes, where do you feel you place the most of your weight, where do you feel you are touching the floor more, front foot? back foot? right toe? left mid foot? These are all clues to help you understand where your body compensates as you stand, walk, run. When the knee hurts I look at the foot. When the hip hurts I look at the foot. I check the ankles movement, does it know how to pronate and supinate? Usually its doing one more then the other, this will affect the knee and hip joint, all the way up into the neck. You are amazing. Your brain is an amazing thing, it knows how to move and how to compensate, even if it brings you pain, it doesn’t care, all it wants to do is survive. Look at your feet, understand them more, or get assessed and walk pain free using the whole of your foot. Mel Collie www.melcollie.com...

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Mel Collie |Bunions

Mel Collie |Bunions


Posted on Sep 11, 2016

Mel Collie | Bunions   Bunions, or Hallus Valgus to you and me though..! Hallux means big toe , its often believed to be the case for Bunions that the big toe moves laterally when pressure applied from the side, so when ill fitting shoes are worn or shoes are worn too early from childhood. Anyway, many of you have them..and many of you don’t like them, they change the shape of the shoes you are wearing, shoes don’t fit properly and you don’t really want an operation because it doesn’t change the foot mechanics, just removes the callous/bunion, and so they will come back if you foot mechanics don’t change. There photos are of my mums bunions, she had both of them operated on about 20 years ago now, they both came back, because her gait wasn’t assessed , she continued to walk the same way, she pronates, those bunions re appeared…thats normal, the brain just doing what its used to doing, an operation may not change that unless to show it a different way. So, I used NKT on my mums foot Two half hour sessions over the space of 3 days An here was the result, a straighter big toe, which will help her use the inside line of that led more when she walks , which helps the glutes work better to help the hip extend as she walks, which helps the rotation of the ribs and the shoulders move well, which helps reduce tightness in the shoulder and neck. All of that in just 2 sessions, goes to show what can be achieved in 4 sessions, which we didn’t have time for as she was here on her holidays…time went by too fast!   Assessments for your gait and bunion treatment can be booked here by emailing me: melcollie@gmail.com Call 07800 797300 4 x 30 minute bunion specific treatment sessions – £120 (course must be taken over the space of 4 weeks and from my home clinic in Portreath, North Cornwall) Includes posture assessment and videos to follow on home treatment for continued success. Call now to book your feet in and start correcting your gait patterning and foot function. Mel Collie...

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