Exercise of the week | The Standing Iliopsoas Stretch

Main objective: To lengthen the Illiopsoas muscle


  1. Stand with one leg bent and slightly forward.
  2. Internally rotate the back leg.


  1. Gently draw navel inward towards your spine. squeeze your buttocks, and tuck your chin and gently draw neck and head backward. (The draw-in maneuver)
  1. While maintaining the draw-in maneuver, slowly move your body forward until you feel a mild tension in the front of the hip being stretched.
  1. As a progression, slowly raise your arm (on the same side sane as the back leg) up an over to the opposite side, while maintaining your pelvis position. (fig.1)
  1. Hold the side bend position while you slowly rotate posteriorly. (fig.2)
  1. Hold for two seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
  1. Repeat on the other side.

Make sure that you maintain the draw-maneuver during this stretch. This will reciprocally inhibit the Illiopsoas muscle, allowing for greater lengthening of the Illiopsoas muscle.

Download diagram and instructions for Week Five Standing Illiopsoas

Core: The Drawing-In Maneuver

Core: The Drawing-In Maneuver

The main objective: To stabilize the spine. This is first of a series of core stabilization exercises that are design to activate and strengthen the muscles that stabilize your core. It is essential that you learn how to correctly do this exercise before going to the next week’s core stabilization exercise. Download the diagram & details >

This move:

  • Alleviates Back Pain
  • Improves Posture
  • Better Athletic Performance
  • Improved Balance
  • Safer Everyday Movement

Download the diagram & movement details

Trigger Point Body Work – How To Identify Them


Trigger Point Body Work - How To Identify Them

Trigger Point Body Work – How To Identify Them

Trigger points are a common cause of pain and most people will have pain points and many people will have trigger points that are so severe that they are debilitating and ruin the quality of life for the person.  A trigger point is attached to a sensory nerve along to the spinal cord and straight back to the muscle cells.  They create complex patterns such as walking, sitting and millions of other motions and activities.  

Trigger Point Body Work – How To Identify Them

When this arc starts to malfunction the trigger points start to spasm which causes pain and discomfort. The muscle spindle starts to fire unnecessarily.   It is often a small area of spasm.  Inside the muscle is a trigger point complex which pulls a taut band in the muscle which feels like a guitar string in the muscle. You can see striations in the muscle.

When you see trigger points there is a contraction in and you can’t see the striations in the muscle which is a contraction  or a knot.  This contraction knot is a trigger point complex.  The trigger point sets off a pain pattern which is specific to each trigger point.

One example of this is the muscle that goes from the top of the muscle which goes to the top of the neck.  Pinch this area hard enough until you feel pain.  The pain usually goes upwards.  This is often the pain pattern you see.  The pain is often dull, achy.

Another common trigger point is in your gluteal muscle which can radiate down the leg.  Trigger points can cause pain in your face, gluts, chest, back or all over your body.  Trigger points are the basis of chronic muscle pain and they occur very commonly.   They are cause by a muscle reflex misfiring and they can be treated successfully.

Trigger Point Body Work Technique – How Do You Find Them

A trigger point is an area of low neurological activity when stimulated becomes an area of high neurological activity with or without a pain referral pattern.   You can find trigger points with the tips of the fingers.  If you close your eyes and and thumb and run the finger over the tips of your thumb you can become very sensitive to different sensations in the body.  If you touch very gently then it is not likely to be a trigger point.  If you lift the skin up and if you squeeze there and it hurts it can be something in the skin or the tissue but it’s not a trigger point.

You then want to feel the fascia which is a covering underneath the skin but over the muscles.  If there is not tenderness there then it’s not a trigger point.  The muscles fibers are underneath this layer.  You are feeling for a tight band within the muscle.  When you feel that band, you can become aware that there might be tender point or a thickening in the band and you might feel tenderness there.  Then you can start to focus in on this area like a radar.  As you press in firmly, you might feel something vague that is tender and there might be swelling.  All of those factors make it a trigger point.

Trigger Point Body Work – How Does Massage Therapy Help

You want start to work the trigger point therapy at area of insertion of the muscles.  It may or may not have a referral pattern.  When you find the spot as you start to palpate you might feel some intensity.  As you press down on this area, it might start to get more intense.  As you press down on it you should feel like the pain is getting less or it should feel like the pain is lessening.  If that is not happening then you should decrease the pressure on the points of the body.

Trigger Point Body Work – For Chronic Pain Relief

Trigger Point Therapy can be used for all kinds of chronic pain such as shoulder pain, headaches, neck pain as well as back pain.  You want to start to find the trigger points on the top of the head and press for about 10 seconds and check for intensity to lessen.  You want to check for tenderness and sensitivity.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

A lot of people complain about shooting pains that radiate from their hip or pelvis down their leg which goes down the sciatic nerve.  It can cause shooting pain, numbness or the feeling that your leg is falling asleep.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

There are various stretches and exercises you can do to alleviate and manage your level of pain and discomfort.

The first exercise is to stretch the leg by sitting on a hair.  You want to raise one leg and hold it up for five seconds.  This is called flossing.  Then you will keep doing leg lifts with the affected leg.  You might feels some sensations down the leg while you are doing this but it should decrease.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

Simple Ways To Feel Better

The next exercise you can do is to be sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.  You might experience increased symptoms when you initially start doing this pose.  You are going to put your hands behind your head and then slump your arms and head forward.

You are going to hold this for 10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat four to five times. If this is too intense for you, you can also place your arms behind you on the floor and just lean back into your arms while keeping them straight.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs –  What To Do If You Have Chronic Pain

If you feel your symptoms in your leg from sciatica it probably is originating in your low back. You can then of your nerve as a garden hose and when you pinch the hose at the end of the hose no water will come out.   So you need  to diagnose sciatica properly to determine if your low back, pelvis or sacroiliac joint (your tail-bone) is what is causing your sciatic pain.  So addressing the other end of the sciatic nerve is what you need to do.  You can see a physical therapist, massage therapist or doctor in order to properly diagnose what is causing the pain.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs – How To Reduce Pain

Another pose you can do is to lay on the floor.  Put your legs up on a chair or even the couch and you will stay here prone on the floor for at least ten minutes.  You should start to feel less pain if you stay in this pose long enough.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs –  How To Relieve Pain Through Poses and Stretches

If the person has pain symptoms due to a herniated disc then here are some exercises you can do.    This position is called prone prop which is great if you also have symptoms down your leg as well.  There are two variations depending on your level of pain.  You can be laying on your stomach and prop up on your elbows like a sphinx.  You can stay here for one minute.

You can lay on your stomach.  Put a pillow under your arms with your elbows out and your clasped hands under your chin.  Stay here for thirty seconds. Before getting up from both of these exercises, slowly  lift one leg a few inches off the surface, hold it for two seconds and slowly lower your leg to the surface.  Repeat four five times then repeat on your other leg.  This stretches the illiopsoas muscles.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs – Relieve Pain Without Medication or Surgery

The next pose is laying on your stomach.  You will then have your arms on the floor with you elbows in line with your rib cage and your hands in front.  Then press into your arms and lift your head up looking straight in front of you.  You can do another variation where you arms are elbows are closet up near your head and then you lift up through your arms.


How To Treat Neck Pain

 There are many causes for neck pain and a pinched nerve can cause massive discomfort.

How To Treat Neck PainCervicogenic Headaches

A headache that arises from the musculo-skeletal disorder of the cervical spine  (the

Neck Pain, Heachaches and TMJ

Neck Pain, Heachaches and TMJ

neck) is called a cervicogenic headache.   If you are diagnosed with this, then you are not alone.  This is estimated to be as high as 18% in the general population. In chronic pain suffers, 1 in 3 people are estimated to suffer from a headache that was from neck pain or cervicogenic in nature.  Cervicogenic headaches are said to account for 14% of all headache disorders.

How To Treat Neck Pain – Why It Cause Headaches

If you understand the anatomy of the skull, head and neck can explain the connection between headaches and neck pain.   The nerves that supply the upper neck also supply the jaw line, forehead, back of the eyes and ears.  Pain arising from the upper part of the neck might refer pain to the front of the head as well.

 How To Treat Neck Pain – Common Symptoms

Some of the symptoms can include: dizziness, decreased concentration, depression, inability to function normally, neck pain and stiffness, less mobility in the neck and insomnia.

Poor posture such as sitting at a computer all day long and having your posture be in the forward

How To Treat Neck PainProper Sleeping Positions 

When you sleep in the proper position that helps to correct cervical spine imbalances.  You put your knees in fetal position which relaxes the stomach muscles.  The vertebrae in the back open up which is the best way to sleep on your side.

When you sleep on your stomach, that compresses your internal organs and it stresses your lower back.  You need to be on your side or on your back.  When you use a specially designed cervical pillow that allows you to stabilize the neck area whether you are on your back or your side.

You can also put a rolled towel under the arch of your neck and then just start to tuck your chin back by retracting your head back into the towel. You can do chin tucks a few times in the morning and in the evening.

How To Treat Neck Pain – Exercises and Stretches

Another movement to do is to scapula movements called shoulder squeezes.   Most people that have neck pain have poor posture and their shoulders start to cave in since their shoulder muscles are weak. While you are sitting at your desk you can just squeeze your shoulders back together.  Make sure your shoulders don’t go up as you do this.  Keep your eyes level as you do this. Keep your shoulders down and then squeeze them back together.  If your shoulders come up you won’t get the maximum benefit of the pose. You can do this movement while you are at your desk to relieve pain and tightness in the neck.  You want to do this movement at least ten times a few times a day.

Another pose you can do is to find a corner that is open.  Facing the corner raise your arms like the arms of a cactus.  This will open up the upper quadrant of the body such as tight shoulders which often contribute to neck pain.






What Are The Major Causes of Neck Pain?

There are many things that can cause neck pain.  Poor posture that comes from sitting in a chair all day, or looking down at a smart phone all day long or spending a long time driving in the car with poor posture.  Even if you get massage therapy, chiropractic care, physical therapy or acupuncture you will continue to damage and hurt yourself if you don’t start to use proper body mechanics.

Causes of Neck Pain

Causes of Neck Pain

Causes of Neck Pain – Forward Head Posture

“The forward head posture” is often a major culprit to neck pain causes.

Your ear should be centered over your shoulder so if you dropped a rock from your ear it would drop exactly on your shoulder.  This mean when you are sitting in a chair you can not slouch back.  You need to be actively sitting which mean that you are not hunched over.

If you are slouched over in a chair when you are on the computer that creates an extra 20 pounds of weight for your cervical spine.  Your eight to ten pound head will feel more weightless for the rest of your spine.  If you let your head go forward then this will create extra twenty or thirty pounds of stress which your neck is not designed to do.This can lead to herniated cervical discs, pinched nerves and muscle tightness.

The Mayo Clinic says that that having a forward head posture when driving and sitting can create long term muscle straines and pinched nerves.

Causes of Neck Pain – Bad Sitting Posture

So how can you correct getting back to correct neck posture?  When you are sitting, it must start at your lower back.  You can only have good neck posture when your entire spine is in the correct position.  Having a lumbar roll at your low back at your seat will help to reinforce having correct spinal alignment.  If you can drop a rock from your chin onto your chest and not onto the floor.

Causes of Neck Pain – Sitting and Standing Properly

One of the easiest ways to remember to have good neck posture is to remember to sit tall.  Often when you sit up tall, you should feel like you are enlongating through the crown of your head.

Causes of Neck Pain – Sitting in Front of a Computer Improperly

When you are in front of the computer you should not be reaching far in front of you to see your computer.  Make sure your mouse is not too far away.   If you have to look down at the keys to type then you should consider having the keyboard higher so you don’t have to let your head drop which can affect your neck posture. Your wrist should be flat and your elbows should be level with the keyboard.

This posture will feel strange when you first start to do it.  The more you get in the habit of sitting correctly the more natural it will feel.  Enroll your family and friends in encouraging you to have proper posture when sitting or driving.

Causes of Neck Pain – Remember To Stand Properly 

Having prolonger poor posture will not only result in neck pain but can also result in back pain.  The other thing you need to remember to do is to stand tall. When you are standing a rock should be able to drop from your ear to your shoulder.  Feel like someone is pulling a hair on the top of your head and just gently elongating you.

Causes of Neck Pain  – Final Thoughts 

So in summary remember to

  • Sit and Stand Tall
  • Stay our of the forward head position
  • Remember that good sitting posture starts at the low back
  • The forward head position lead sto long term muscle strains, disc herniations and pinched nerves.

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica

Most people suffer from low back pain at some point. Often the pain will go away in a matter of weeks. But in some cases the pain can be severe and never seem to go away.Your lower back is an elaborate space where joints, disks, vertebrae, ligaments, muscles and nerve tissue come together to allow you your mobility.   Your low back pain can come as a result of lifting or bending the wrong way, sitting too long in a bad position, carrying heavy stuff, and stress due to muscle tension from extreme activity.

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica – How To Treat It

Massage therapy has proven to be an effective back pain treatment. By applying hands-on pressure to your muscles, you will begin to heal and the pain will go away.

In some cases, the pain can radiate down your legs and this symptom is known as sciatica. The cause is what is commonly known as a slipped disc where your sciatic nerve becomes pinched.

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica – How To Get Relief

Relief for sciatica can be found in massage therapy, where muscle spasms are broken apart so oxygen and nutrients can flow to the affected area and healing can begin. The massage also relaxes your muscles while lengthening them so tension subsides.

And to prevent your back pain and sciatica from returning, you will be taught helpful strengthening and stretching techniques you can do at home.  Orthopedic Massage combines several massage therapy techniques—including Sports Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Soft-Tissue Release, Active and Facilitated Stretching, Hot Stone Massage and Deep Tissue Massage. Orthopedic Massage has three main parts: 1. Assessment, 2. Treatment (body work) and 3. Client self-care program. The goal is to bring the client back into proper muscle balance in order to keep the client generally healthy and fit.