Tara Schwark and I dive into the topic of constipation (in babies and adults), as well as some techniques and dietary changes to alleviate this common issue.
I never believed in the power of massage or stretching. What benefit do I feel if I do a 1 hour session of yoga? I might feel lose for a few minutes, but the next day, life goes on.
Real Physical Therapy is a different level.
While a yoga session stretches the entire body (poorly), my physical therapist sees what’s wrong with me, thinks about what stretches, exercises, and massages would make the problem go away.
Originally I thought stretches were holistic solutions, until my physical therapist stretched my pecs in a way I never would have dreamed up. The length of time and pressure were perfect. I melted and have increased flexibility and posture since. From that single session I learned a way to do this while I sit at a desk. Every trick my physical therapist teaches me makes me feel incredible. I never knew I could feel that good.
My relationship with my physical therapist has let me discover two life changing items:
This is a crowd pleaser,
You know those painful spots on your back? This is your tool to massage them until they are gone. Keep applying pressure until they are gone. Its perfect.
A massage has nothing on your bodyweight. For large sections of tight muscle, working on it with a foam roller will make it melt away. Using my bodyweight to apply pressures for 20-30 seconds on various parts of my upper and lower back has caused me to shake violently as my muscles melted. Incredible sensation.
Step 1 is to take it seriously and care. If you want to feel good, you need to put the resources into learning how to solve your problems. That means both learning the PT, investing in the time to get it completed, and doing the exercises at home.
It feels incredible. My posture has changed forever. And I love “Mandy’s Stick”.
Dr. Melissa Eiben of Pure Health Center in Troy MI partners with me in this video to explain some of the benefits and uses for kinesiotaping, and we do a few demonstrations!
My first ever Facebook Live video, in conjunction with Dr. Melissa Eiben from Pure Health Center in Troy Michigan. We discuss common posture issues and ways to improve posture.
You’ve just given birth to a beautiful child. You’re so caught up in joy and awe that you can’t help but take tons of pictures of the little one. But as you scroll through your pictures you may notice a common trend between 1 to 12 months old–
No, they aren’t giving the camera their good side. Your baby may have torticollis.
Don’t panic. Torticollis is common and a result of muscle tightness and weakness on one side of the neck. Any diagnosis sounds scary, but caught early enough torticollis is an easy fix. As a Pediatric Doctor of Physical Therapy I frequently treat patients with this diagnosis. The key is proactive treatment. This article will teach you the signs and treatment of torticollis.
Torticollis occurs when the shoulder muscle, sternocleidomastoid, becomes tight. This can happen due to your baby’s position in the womb or from sleeping position. Twins and large babies are more likely to have Torticollis from the reduced womb space. Babies heads are heavy and tend to rotate to one side when they sleep on their backs. The sternocleidomastoid’s action is lateral flexion (tilting) to one side and rotation (turning) to the other side.
What can you do?
Rotate your child’s head in the opposite direction your child usually looks. Do this 15-20 second hold with light pressure every time you change your baby’s diaper (which let’s be real, is 10+ times per day). This improves range of motion and reminds the baby that there is another half of the world to see.
The other is called football carry. Face the baby facing out toward the world and turned on their side. Position them so the side of the neck the baby typically tilts is facing down. Put one hand on the side of their head and the other between their legs for support. Use your hand on the side of their head to lightly stretch the baby’s neck. This addresses the tilt component to the muscle tightness.
If you can’t visualize these stretches, I recommend an appointment with a Pediatric Doctor of Physical Therapy. You will see the stretches in person and applied to the specific direction of your child’s rotation and lateral flexion, as well as to learn other exercises for neck strengthening.
Feed your child to the direction they don’t like to look in order to facilitate active rotation. Adjust crib position so that your child has to turn their head to see what’s happening outside. Put toys on the opposite side of their head. Have family members stand on the side your child looks to least often when they interact with them. Encourage increased tummy time if your baby has a flat spot on the back of their head so they aren’t falling into that pattern of rotation when they’re on their back. Every adjustment helps!
If torticollis is left untreated, it can lead to a child favoring one arm during sitting and reaching activities, having one sided weakness, and having an altered crawling or walking pattern. Although it’s an easily treated and often mild condition, ignoring it is the worst thing you can do. Allow your child to see the world from the proper angle and prevent future complications – treat torticollis early!