Tag Archives: muscles

Mel Collie | Got Bunions?

 

Ever looked at your feet and wondered why you have got bunions?

Take a look at the sole of the shoes you wear the most, it tells a story of how your foot works when you walk. Bunions often tell the story of a pronated foot. A pronated foot means that the arch is not as visible , however pronation is not a bad thing your foot pronates when you walk, its supposed to, but it becomes an issue if it gets stuck in pronation, creating bunions and an ankle that has limited mobility.

An ankle with limited mobility will look to the knee for help which can result in a painful knee. Its not the knee thats the problem, look to the ankle first before fixing the knee.

Standing up, place your feet in a pronated position, lose the natural arch of the foot, observe what happens to the knee, hip, shoulder and head. Take a few steps with a pronated foot, you may be able to notice that you use the big toe and second toe quite a lot as you walk. Your inner part of the shoe will be more worn than the outer part.

What can you do about it?

The Peroneals can be tender when bunions are an issue, this picture is a great shot that demonstrates where your Peroneals are, at the side of the shin,on the outer edge..find an area that feels tender, like you are pressing on  bruise. Massage the area gently, don’t go in too heavy , for a 30 – 60 seconds.

peroneal-anatomy

 

Then once they’ve released go to the outside band of the thigh called the Tensor Fascia Lata, TFL for short.

Strengthen the TFL by lying on your side so the leg you pronate on (however, it may be both feet..so you need to practice this on both sides) is on top, lift it slightly away from the bottom leg, no higher than your hip, and bring it forwards about 30 degrees, slowly and gently lift and lower the leg…its a very small movement, don’t be tempted to go big, you may be missing a trick by overdoing it.

5 reps max or until you feel the leg being to shake, if you feel that after the first rep, then stop, 1 rep is all you need, you will find that as you practice this at least twice a day, you will get stronger and be able to do more repetitions.

NKT Tensor Fascia Stength

Any question, just send me an email to melcollie@gmail.com

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Low Back Pain?

Mel Collie | Low Back Pain?

Have you ever had an MRI scan and been told by your GP that theres absolutely nothing wrong with your lower back, even though it hurts and has been nagging your for ever and affects your lifestyle, your energy and mood, but your MRI says that you are mistaken and your GP says its all in your head.

Something like that can make you feel stupid, doubt yourself and depressed

Many of us weren’t taught anatomy in school, I certainly was, or I was off school that day..or maybe my 51 year old brain just doesn’t remember that far back..

I think I will go for the latter!

Turns out that your little discs between the bones in your spine have to be very far out of place in order to touch a nerve, so if you are worried about disc bulges, they aren’t that common

If the words on your MRI report say they have found nothing wrong, then your discs are doing just fine, if you are over 50 like me then your spine will have some wear and tear, its normal.

You’ve also got muscles attached to your spine, surprised?

Many of us stretch our hamstrings or quads, those muscles on the back and front of your thigh..

But we are surprised when our lower back hurts because we don’t move as the body was designed to move.

Its just the way of the modern world

We sit

A lot

The most powerful muscle of the body is the one we sit on.

The glutes, you have 2 other them

You also have 2 muscles either side of the lower back that are a common issue in lower back pain, because we don’t do a lot of side bending, these muscles get tight…or weak..one might be tight, the other may be ok, until you have an assessment, you will just be guessing.

If ones weak, it could still be painful if ones tight it can mean its doing double the work, its what is known as facilitated, it could be working for other muscles that are nearby that have stopped doing their job, because of sitting, injury, surgery…or just because…you may never know why, its fixing it that you want, a result.

I’m opening up my new therapy centre in Portreath,  Cornwall, using Neuro Kinetic Therapy, from May 6th, specialising in assessing core strength and stability and lower back pain treatments.

Heres where Ive added some available dates for assessments with a discounted opening offer for all clients.

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Mel Collie

NKT Level 1 & Pilates Instructor

www.melcollie.com

 

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Your feet are hurting , maybe your heel is burning and keeps you awake at night, it could possibly be a plantar fascia issue..

 

You used to rub a tennis ball over the fascia and that did the trick…for a while, but it always came back.

 

It may be a simple test, but when I assess you for plantar fascia, I will look at your single leg stance.

 

What happens when you stand on one leg.

 

What happens to the foot, does it roll in or out, what happens to your toes..do they scrunch up?

 

Does the same thing happen on the other foot?

 

Do the muscles in your toes seek stability, they are probably doing that if they scrunch up, grabbing at the floor with the tips?

 

What happening to your big toe? Does it lift up, lose contact with the floor?

 

What is happening further up the chain, in the shin, the calf, the thigh, the glutes..the neck and the head.

 

Very often the foot pain is a symptom, and rather than place a plaster over it, would you like to know why , find the cause, deal with it and then understand the “why”?

Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes
Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes

Our bodies are so amazing at compensating, that we don’t even realise it. Quite fascinating.

 

The patterns it has, the patterns that change, through injury or just bad movement habits picked up over the years, the brain will choose the path of least resistance.

 

Its my work to unravel the pieces and put back the jigsaw, but without guessing or going by the text book. By testing your bodies compensations and finding out its “why”. Because we are all unique.

 

Single leg stance testing  – its my favourite “go to” test to unravel a puzzle.

You can try it out on yourself, you may find one foot pronates – flattens, you may find the other one supinates, lifts up, the arch increases.

The muscles in the foot start in the lower leg. You may find the outer shin muscles can be quite tender to massage, its a good place to start though, by massaging the tender areas, it will feel like you are pressing on a bruise, for 2 minutes, be gentle though, until you feel the high toned area begin to “give” a little, then increase the pressure a little more.

After 2 minutes, do a glute strength exercise, a standing donkey kick is a good one. Bending the knee, and kicking back to the wall behind, with a flat foot, as though the bottom of the foot is pressing the wall away. 5 reps should do it.

Repeat the whole thing 4 times a day.

However, because this ia a blog post and Ive not assessed your posture, this is a very general “go to” exercise, your glutes may not be the issue, it maybe the neck, the jaw, the lower back..but the glutes are a good place to start, after all, we all sit more than our bodies like us to, and glutes “switch off” when we sit, and other muscles take over and of the job.

We are an amazing piece of kit!

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

How strong is your core? Is there something else compensating for your abs? Want to nail those core exercises? Fed up with nagging lower back pain?

Assessments and treatments from Portreath, Cornwall from May6th 2016.

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Check the NKT website for a practitioner near you
 http://neurokinetictherapy.com/certified-practitioners

Mel Collie | Low Back Pain isn’t quite what it seems!

Mel Collie | Low Back Pain isn’t quite what it seems!

Pattern Detective checking in !

Yesterdays top pattern detectivinism (is that a word?) was my other half having constant right low back sensitivity by the last rib.

As I have to do 3 case studies and a 30 minute session to earn my Level 1 NKT certificate, the findings of his pain was going to be just one of my NKT case studies.

I touched his low back and found the site of sensitivity, he nearly jumped off the table

I check the synergists and antagonists for the muscle in this area – Quadrates Lumborum (love that name…sounds like a villain in James Bond)

This is where you place your ego aside, and listen to the body. Not what you THINK should be happening.

Turns out the TFL (on the outside of his opposite leg) was not as great as it should be, it wasn’t stepping up to the plate, his low back was doing the work to stabilise it. Weird huh!! ??

When we went back to check the sensitive area, it had, more  of less, gone..of course, he has the homework to do, thats a given to ensure the result sticks, the brain has a new path to carve, accept and stay on.

Magic

But being honest with the work

Accept the reality and go with it, be prepared to allow it to blow your mind  …there are no absolutes..

Mel Collie

Pattern Detective in Training!

Mel Collie | How to Stretch a tight Psoas

Mel Collie | How to Stretch a tight Psoas

Have you got a tight Psoas ? Most of us do, but as we are all different, some of us have a tight Psoas and some of us have a weaker one, but..how do you know? You can tell by the tilt of your pelvis, however, the tricky bit is that if your pelvis is tilted forward, your Psoas may well be tight, but it could also be weak too, so if you do stretch it, you could find that is the last thing it wants, and end up with a whole host o other compensations, and a very pissed off hip flexor.

So, enough of this anatomy speak, where is it that pesky Psoas anyway?

At the base of your ribs where they meet the lumbar spine, so thats T12 (the 12th rib of your thoracic spine) , all the way down to L5, thats the last vertebrae of your lumbar spine.Heres a lovely picture for all you visual people, (thats me!)

It then attaches to a little notch at the inside top end of the femur, thats called the Lesser Trochanter, because its small than the Greater Trochanter which is on the outer edge of the femur , clever eh! Some smart cookie knew what to call that bit of the thigh bone.

The Psoas attaches the upper body to the lower body. Flexes the femur, thats your thigh bone,the  longest bone in the body, at the hip joint.You are flexing your thigh when you are bending your knee. Some of us lose this skill and tend to use the lower back instead, thats when we can get problems with lower back pain. Too much lower back, not enough hip stuff going on.

Psoas - is it tight? Does it need stretching?
Psoas – is it tight? Does it need stretching?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretching that long Psoas can create an imbalance in a structure thats tight for a reason. Even if you’ve been told you have a weak Psoas, it can also be strong…weird isn’t it, but true.Took me a while to get m head around that one, and I still spend time thinking on how that actually works…

So, maybe its holding on, as in its tight, because something else in the pattern of your movement isn’t awake, isn’t doing its job, thats called inhibition, a muscle thats not doing its job is inhibited, its shying away from standing up to its responsibility.

If the Psoas has been diagnosed as being tight, it may be inhibited, but it may also be facilitated, that means it has high tone, it may just be overworking to stabilise a structure.

As a pattern detective, I look for the relationship of the Psoas to other muscles in its surrounding group it belong to.

The abdominals

The diaphragm

The neck

The glutes

The quadrates lumborum (what a GREAT name! I LOVE that name!)

The hamstrings

 

Pattern detectiveness (is that a word? is now!) means I look for a relationship between Psoas and other muscles, to see how they work together.

Its fun, surprising and humbling.

It means I leave my “oh, it should be doing that!” head at home, and have an open mind, listen to the body and hear what its telling me.

Uniqueness is a beauty

The body is a creative genius!

So, in answer to the question thats the title of this blog post, how to stretch a tight Psoas…you don’t!

I am a real meanie in the eyes of other fitness instructors, because Im going against the grain, and I will not teach a Psoas stretch to a client or in a Pilates/Fitness class, until I know that is what it needs, and that means you have to be assessed. Sorry fitness peeps out there! I actually want my clients to get great results and have no pain, that means working the right muscles in the right way!

Stop stretching it, and get your patterns detected by an NKT specialist. Im in training for level 1 right now, what a voyage of discovery it is too my friend.

http://neurokinetictherapy.com

Mel Collie

Pattern Detective in Training!