Tag Archives: psoas

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 | Why is Sitting Bad For You?

Mel Collie | Why is Sitting Bad For You?

Is sitting the new smoking? Should you feel bad about it?

The bad news is yes, it is the new smoking and is bad for your back, but…if you are a fidget then you are in great company because so am I and I sit a lot!

I write articles, I research, I read books, I always sitting..but I am a fidget, I get up I move I shift weight from wide to side, I move my feet, I wiggle my toes, I tap my face, I move my head, I look away, I do eye movements….all goes to help your brain realise that the screen isn’t your worlds space right now.

Ever heard about your hip flexors, the Psoas, pronounced So – Az ?

It a big muscle !

It crosses 3 joints, yep, 3 ! Thats a super highway!!

When a muscle crosses 2 joints it generally gets weak/inhibited against other muscles in its general locality, and even further

The Psoas can be inhibited in most people

It can stop working and be a bit lazy, because we sit so much.

Other things take over, even tiny tiny muscles, because you are AMAZING!

Your brain will re organise the pattern to make sure you keep moving, even if it means you are in pain, its only looking out for you!

So when you get pain, seek help from an NKT person who can check your funky little Psoas against those tighter muscles and see what is compensating for it.

You could be in for a surprise!

I sure was when I had mine tested and I had NO idea, now I’m super hot in my Psoas, she is smoking and I can do way more stuff than I used to do, especially when I get into the back of the Landcover to get the shopping bags out of the boot, I used to go in on my knees because I couldn’t push myself up on my feet, believing my legs to be weak…uh oh..it was my Psoas…Im also climbing and scrambling those mountains a whole lot easier too, more stamina, thanks to NKT…I got assessed.

Nice

Saved me loads of time in searching!

Up to you though!

Mel

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Necking It

Heres what I used to do for my tight neck muscles – get them stretched…

Did they need stretching often ? yes…were they always tight? yes…

Why? Computer..stress..anxiety…forward head posture, clenched jaw..all that stuff means tight upper neck muscles.

Was I fed up with it..not really, after all it was my own fault right?   I knew what to stretch though, so I stretched them, I just told myself off for spending too much time on that computer

Is that you too? Hell yes I bet it is!

Years and years later…still stretching?

Here we go – the tight muscles are telling you a story, and you’ve just read it in a different language.

For all that time…

Remember the yellow fish in Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy?

I got me one of those fish when I started to understand the WHY

I began to understand the language

I stopped chasing the pain and looked elsewhere

What was that pain telling me? Tight muscles, overworking, tired, fed up, pissed off neck muscles.

Why?

Switched off core muscles…even though I’m a Pilates instructor, my abs were NOT working in a correct pattern.

When tested using NKT (www.neurokinetictherapy.com) my Psoas (hip flexor) TA (Transversus Abs) and Rectus Abs were unorganised…thats my polite way of saying they were inhibited. Their pattern of working was all jumbled up.

My left shoulder hikes up when I’m stressed, its been like that forever, it gets tight, I’m aware of it but I wasn’t aware those muscles were working to stabilise my core as well.

As soon as they were released and my Psoas and TA strengthened, stuff changed.

As soon as my Scalenes were released after testing to find they were facilitated (left more than right) and the left ones released (ouch! ) my diaphragm went whooosshhh…and my breathing was lighter.

Oh yes, the diaphragm is a commonly facilitated muscle too, you can practice deep breathing , but for some of us, it wont “let go” if its compensating.

I love testing core muscles when a client compensates by clinching jaw or breath holding, its a common cheat, and tells a story – do you do core work at the gym or in your Pilates class with a clenched jaw and no breathing for those tricky repetitions?

Want to stop that and do the same exercises with good form (check your neck position, if you need a towel under your head to keep it neutral, then use one or you are using your neck to stabilise , not your core)and breathe out with your mouth open, and eyes open, don’t close those eyes, that just means you are searching the brain for answers when it cant find your core muscles to do the work. Bet you are clenching the jaw and toes too …

Get yourself assessed to find out whats inhibited and facilitated, what patterns are unorganised , you will get homework to do thats specific for your unique patterning, which will involve a stretch or a massage with a ball in a tender/tight area, but what you do that follows that release is crucial to allow that “stretch” to hold, for the brain to relearn the new pattern.

It can take up to 3,000 reps for the brain to cement a new pattern of learning…thats a LOT of reps.

Its a lot of wrong reps if you are treating the wrong pattern. Guys thats why I was stretching for years and nothing changed. I was stretching the tight and not strengthening the weak. I didn’t know my patterns were unorganised.

So yes, there you go, get assessed, you can search NKT on You Tube too, to get an idea of how it works..

You will save a lot of years of stretching and chasing pain, you are unique, find out whats working..and whats not.

Phew…

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Groin of Steel ?

Mel Collie | Groin of Steel ?

Groin strain – a very common issue in footballers lives..and heres why!

Groin of Steel!

My client wont mind telling you that when he told me that his groin muscles were like steel, I though ooooohhh, how exciting! But being an anatomy geek I was thinking –  Psoas & Rec Fem …

So I tested them

Because I don’t guess, I assess…it could have been just the Psoas..so thats where I went first

Psoas tested unorganised.

I tested the relationship between Pectinous and Psoas, and turns out his Pectineous was helping his Psoas be a hip flexor.

The same when I tested his Rectus Femurs, another hip flexor, and part of the quadriceps.

Thats a small muscle doing the work of 2 larger muscles.

Magic!NO wonder it feels like steel! Groin of Steel! Should be a new show on TV!

So gave him some home exercises to do.

Its all about patterns, and when they are unorganised, finding the organised muscle in that pattern, if its hypertonic or painful, releasing that to strengthen the unorganised muscle.

Complicated? A little bit yes!

But when you see the patterns and what does what, unorganised patterns reveal themselves.

The human body is a little miracle. NKT is also a little miracle. If you seriously want to know how to get a client out of pain, this is the course to do.

Mel

Pattern Detective

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Hip Height & Legs

Mel Collie | Hip Height & Legs

Difference in hip heights is very common, you may well find you have one leg longer than the other.

Ive got that 🙂

I noticed it a few years ago, when I wore my workout trousers, one trouser leg was longer, actually touching the floor, the other was shorter…I tried to blame my trousers, maybe they were made like that, or had shrunk in the wash or something.

Nope…my pelvis had a little bit of a rotation.

If you were born with 1 leg shorter than the other, then its more of a hardware issue, rather than software, thats why I ask you if you have always had certain issues, like scoliosis for example. Were you born with it? Chances are, if you were, you will know about it, your medical records will show it.

Quadratus Lumborum
Quadratus Lumborum

With a hip height difference, one of your complaints maybe  lower back pain on one side. However, we all have different pain receptors in the brain, and you may be just fine and not feel a thing.

Place your hands on your hip bones and feel to see which one feels higher.

Your ribs will be closer to your hips your Quadratus Lumborum(Lets call it the QL for short..its easier to type!) – that muscle in the pic on the left here, will be squished on one side, maybe a bit tender to touch.

I will do a simple QL test .

I don’t like using the words tight and weak, as muscles that are weak are not always weak, they can be strong, and we then have images in our brain what feels tight, and feel thats stronger, sending bad vibes to the weaker muscle.

Instead, I like the words organised and disorganised.

Organised are the muscles in the test that have more tone, feel stronger and tighter.

The opposite for disorganised.

Your QL has relationships with other muscles.its that naughty! 🙂

The opposite QL can be disorganised too, or the Psoas.

Looking for movement patterns, seeing how you move, what compensations your brain has been happy to use for a while.

After the simple tests, we can see a difference in the hip levels, and do some easy exercises to maintain the balance in the QL and Psoas muscles, if the tests showed that these muscles were having an dysfunctional relationship..The body is so amazing isn’t it, it will surely find another way around an issue , even if it leads to, eventual, pain and sore muscles. You are a little miracle!

So, once we find out whats going on, and we learn that by doing the tests, rather than just guessing and thinking what should be going on, you may find the back pain goes, your legs feel different, you have more strength in one leg which used to feel like the weaker one, it may change your breathing and if you had a tight shoulder, it may also fix that too, as fixing hip levels can change and reorganised a lot of other stuff happening up the spine.

Stunning stuff.

Never ceases to amaze me, fox me, inspire me, interest me.

Anatomy geek…thats me!

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

Get your core assessed here! https://gotpain.wufoo.com/forms/got-core/