The Quality of Your Movement Matters (Part 2) - Release Works Myofascial Therapy
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The Quality of Your Movement Matters (Part 2)

Knee Pain

Here at Release Works, we talk frequently about the quality of movement in your body. We might say something like, “It’s not so much about what you do as it is about how you do it”. People are often unsure what we mean by that and may wonder, “How does quality of movement matter and how do I know if I’ve got issues there?”

Here is a simple introduction to a few key areas we see that are often causing difficulty.

Imbalanced pelvis (a.k.a Pelvic Misalignment)

If your hip bones are imbalanced, then at least one side is going to be stiffer as your body tries to protect the low back (sacrum) joint that is overly twisted and jammed. Every step you take will smack into this stiffness instead of being smoothly shock absorbed. This micro-stress adds up, leading to stiffer, more sore tissues and further problems down the road.

How to tell if your hips are imbalanced and causing you trouble

  • Stand (with no shoes on) and take a look in a mirror. Does your waist look even side to side or does one hip look higher than the other? Most of us have an imbalanced pelvis, yet also most of us never notice it until it’s pointed out. No, you don’t have to live with it. Yes, it is fixable.
  • Here’s another way you can notice the imbalance. Can you sit on the floor, easily? Do your “sit” bones feel even on the floor? Try putting your fingers underneath them to make it easier to notice. Does one side feel higher than or in front of the other? Do you notice stiff hips, hamstrings, or low back? Is it easier to sit cross legged with one leg on top rather than the other?
  • Can you do a full depth squat with your heels on the floor and not fall over? This means all the way down, sitting in a relaxed position, not the typical weight lifting squat. If this is tough for you, you have at least one movement problem and likely several.

If so, you very likely have a pelvic/hip imbalance. (And most people do. This is the biggest thing that needs to be helped in order for everything to feel good and move well.)

This commonly leads to symptoms of sciatica, low back pain, pelvic floor prolapse, hip, knee, or even foot problems, but it also leads to problems and symptoms up above. I’ll talk about some of those next.

Twisted spine and stiffened ribcage

With an imbalanced pelvis, the foundation of your spine, it should come as no surprise that you will also have a twisted and bent spine. This means lumbar discs with excessive and uneven pressure, which makes disc herniation or deterioration more likely. Nerve impingements (like sciatica) are more likely as well. If your lower back still moves, it or your hips will often feel achy or sore. If your lower back is stiff enough to hardly move at all, you’ll be one of those who doesn’t have lower back pain, but does have a lower back issue that is causing pain elsewhere.

And your ribcage? It will be twisted and bent too, getting stiffer overall, with nerves getting impinged or rib heads “popping out.” This will lead to “that one spot in your back that is always or often tight and hurting.” (There might be more than one spot.)

How to tell if this is affecting you?

  • Looking in the mirror, does your torso look twisted, bent, or collapsed to one side? Do you see that one shoulder is higher than the other? Ask someone you trust to look too.
  • If you sit and twist through your torso and neck, making sure your hips don’t move or lift as you do, can you twist and look behind you reasonably easily? Is one side easier than the other?
  • If you are getting that hunched, stooped posture through your upper back into your neck.
  • If you can’t easily lift both your arms up by the side of your head.

Other indications of poor quality movement ability

  • If your ankles or lower legs feel stiff or weak.
  • If you occasionally or frequently have a stiff or kinked neck.
  • If you have trouble reaching one hand over your shoulder and down behind your back, the other hand around behind your back and up to the first hand, and grab the fingers of each hand together
  • If your partner comments frequently on your posture.
  • If you feel weird pulls or tightnesses through your belly or hips, especially after a c-section or other surgery.
  • If your shoulders, neck, ribs, or back feel pulled into your chest, or unable to “open” away from it, especially if you’ve had implants or other surgeries.
  • If anything seems to pull or feel tight.

Any or all of these things are signals that your body is having trouble moving correctly, even if there is not a pain that seems associated with anything. If any of these describes your experience, you’d benefit from addressing the stuck, tight, and glued tissues that have built up in various ways throughout your lifetime.

Vanetta Servoss

Vanetta Servoss

Specialist Myofascial Release Therapist Vanetta loves her work as a myofascial release therapist! She was introduced to myofascial release as a client struggling with debilitating headaches, dizziness, pain, and muscle tension. Traditional medicine did little to provide relief, and it wasn't until she began seeing a mfr therapist that she started seeing change. She knows first hand how it feels to be trapped in pain with little hope for recovery. Or to be given a diagnostic label like fibromyalgia with little recourse other than dependence on prescription medications. She no longer believes those are the only options available to those struggling with pain or loss of mobility, and credits mfr with helping her get her life back. She considers it a privilege to assist others in their journey. Vanetta's formal education includes an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a Master's degree in Health Promotion from Mississippi State University. She is also a licensed massage therapist and has trained extensively in the John Barnes' Myofascial Release approach. Vanetta loves to travel and explore other places. She now enjoys that active lifestyle she once thought was no longer possible, and can frequently be found outside enjoying the sunshine and hiking the trails of Utah, Idaho, and Arizona.
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