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Bodywork

Foam Rolling the Upper Back [Scott: Draft in Process, need images in SS]

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Foam Rolling the Upper Back [Scott: Draft in Process, need images in SS]

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Since many of us carry our tension in our backs, you might be feeling a little extra tense this week, and we totally understand. With work conferences, Giants games, construction, and public transit delays, who wouldn't be feeling a little extra tight? But don't worry, we've got your back! If you suffer from the occasional upper back tightness that many of us do, look no further. In this week's Quick Tip, Jenny shows us a simple way to use the foam roller to release tension in the muscles of the upper back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFr7L43mFmI&feature=youtu.be

This exercise is great for pretty much everyone, but is especially good for people who use their upper back muscles often like baseball players, golfers, climbers, painters, parents of small children, etc. It can give the necessary release to the muscles that most commonly cause us grief.

Use a high density or low density foam roller, depending on the depth you prefer. Go slowly and allow your body to relax into the foam roller. And don't forget to breathe!

Note: If you feel any pain during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.

We are always available to consult with you over the phone to help you with a treatment strategy. Call today to find out which therapist would be a great fit for your specific needs.

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Loosening the Pecs with the Orb Ball

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Loosening the Pecs with the Orb Ball

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Rolling around on the floor sounds fun, right? This month's Quick Tip may have you doing just that, and you'll be glad you did! Join co-owner Scott Schwartz as he shows you how to use the Posture Ball to open your pectoral muscles. Opening these muscles will give your upper body greater range of motion and it will feel great too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i86Jqgzob6U

 

This exercise is really great for everyone, and feels awesome. It takes the benefits of foam rolling and focuses them into your pecs, which pull the shoulders inward when they're tight.

Try it out, and don't forget to breathe and relax into the ball. Start out slow and easy. Stop if the pain is intense or sharp.

We are always available to consult with you over the phone to help you with a treatment strategy. Call today to find out which therapist would be a great fit for your specific needs. 415.227.0331.

Don't forget, you can pick up an orb ball here at the DiakadiShop for $24.  

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Loosening The Hamstrings With The Orb Ball by Psoas Bodywork + Massage

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Loosening The Hamstrings With The Orb Ball by Psoas Bodywork + Massage

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The posture ball is a great tool to use on the hamstrings, because it adds specificity to help you pinpoint the area you want to work on.  As you can see here, the hamstring is made up of 3 muscles, and it's hard to get to the exact spot you want with the regular foam roller.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bnZKe-ZH_4[/youtube]

 

This exercise is good for everyone, but is especially great for runners, climbers, crossfitters or people looking to improve their flexibility.

You can purchase the Orb ball at the DIAKADI Pro-Shop.

We are always available to consult with you over the phone to help you with a treatment strategy. Call today to find out which therapist would be a great fit for your specific needs. 415.227.0331 

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Part 1 of 3: An Introduction to Manual Muscle Testing | The Lower Body

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Part 1 of 3: An Introduction to Manual Muscle Testing | The Lower Body

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DIAKADI is excited to welcome back Bob Gazso of Innovative Bodyworks. This course is slightly different from traditional MMT courses and an excellent step for individuals interested in learning and mastering anatomy as well as for those preparing and going on to study NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT) or other corrective exercise courses.

To achieve optimal movement muscles must be properly activated by the nervous system. This course is designed to demonstrate to the rehabilitation specialist or fitness professional how to test individual muscle activation and strength through use of manual muscle testing (MMT). Manual muscle testing is a procedure for the evaluation of the function and strength of individual muscles and muscle groups based on the effective performance of a movement in relation to the forces of gravity and manual resistance.

  • Date: Tuesday, February 25th
  • Time: 1 - 3pm
  • Location: DIAKADI
  • Cost: DIAKADI Trainers FREE | Community Trainers $30
  • Presenter:Bob Gazso
  • REGISTER

This class is Part 1 of a 3 - Part Series. Our next class will focus on the upper body and the final class will be a review of both. Please join us when you can as you do not need to attend all three, even though we highly recommend doing so!

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Psoas Quick Tip: Working Your Foundation - The Feet

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Psoas Quick Tip: Working Your Foundation - The Feet

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Working the Feet

Your feet take a beating every day and literally bear the weight of your life. Too often we accept the aches and pains of our feet, as if there is no solution. In reality, there are steps we can take to ensure our feet are strong, flexible, and comfortable while on the move. So, stop tiptoeing around the value of your feet, and start giving them the attention they deserve and earn every single day!

Take a look at this video where Jenny shows us how to work our feet. This is part one of a two-part video series.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0sqkHAFvVA[/youtube]

Who needs these foot workouts?

The person with cramping feet, if you wear heels, those dealing with bunions or the beginning stages of them, plantar fasciitis sufferers, runners, cyclists wearing hard clip-in shoes, dancers/former dancers, anyone who wears shoes all day.

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The feet are filled with tons of muscles, as seen in the illustration below. Use these tips to keep them all healthy.

This Quick Tip has 3 sections:

  • A stretch for the back of your feet
  • A strengthening exercise to activate the many layers of muscles in your feet that normally don't get used
  • Using a golf ball to gently to work out the muscles in your feet

Use one of them or all 3 for a week and feel the difference! Your feet will surely thank you.

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The Superficial Chest and Neck Stretch

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The Superficial Chest and Neck Stretch

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Calling all deskworkers, musicians, artists, massage therapists... really anyone that sustains a forward leaning posture for any length of time - this stretch is for you! I know I need it, and am actually doing this stretch between sentences. (I added that picture of me up there to the right so you can get a nice visual.) It's surprising how effective this stretch is, even though it looks so minimal.

The Superficial Chest and Neck Stretch
Chest Fascia
This stretch is one of the most immediately effective stretches I know. You should feel the difference in a couple of passes. Great for the desk worker but everyone should find benefit. Breathe and go very slowly.
We are always available to consult with you regarding your pain and discomfort. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists call415.227.0331.

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How Do I Find Neutral Spine?

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How Do I Find Neutral Spine?

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By Lisa Corsello at Burn SF I love this topic and thought I’d blog about it this week for those of you who may be wondering. . .so if you want to experience more from core and spring work and less lower back pain (and who doesn’t?!). . . . . . read on:

Neutral Spine is the form that we at Burn believe is healthiest.  I like to think of Neutral Spine as protecting the integrity of your spinal health, as well as respecting and maintaining the way the spine is naturally structured.

Basically, a healthy spine has 3 natural points at which it curves:neutral_spine_burn_pilates (1)

  1. the neck (cervical)
  2. the mid-back (thoracic)
  3. the lower back (lumbar)

I’ve found that the easiest way to find neutral spine is during a wall squat, because the wall provides us with something to move away from or against.  if you can do a wall squat and check your form in a mirror, you’ll get bonus points .

Here’s how to find neutral spine:

  1. Stand against a wall and bring your feet at least 2 feet away from the wall.
  2. Slide down the wall and stop at about 90 degrees (pretend you’re sitting in a chair)
  3. Begin by tucking and arching your back.  Notice what happens to your shoulders and tailbone when you tuck your spine, and notice what happens to your neck and your chest when you arch. Ideally you should be able to keep the base of your skull on the wall, while focusing on sliding your jaw back towards the wall (maintaining a 'double chin' position for your head).
  4. After experimenting with a few tucks and arches with your lower back and pelvis, try to find a position between the two that feels like you are in the middle of both extremes, making sure to direct your gaze directly across from you. Ideally you should be able to place your fingers between your back and the wall at the level of your belly button. This will give you the ideal curvature.
  5. Inhale all the way into your lower belly and then exhale while gently drawing your belly in while maintaining this neutral spine (without tucking).  This may take a bit of time and practice.  You may find that it’s challenging to get your shoulders against the wall, or that when you exhale, you automatically tuck.  Keep practicing and try not to judge yourself.  Be sure to stretch your chest and hamstrings, as they can sometimes be the cause of the tightness that prevents neutral spine.

For more info in greater detail, check out this cool PDF I found online.

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Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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At Psoas, we get a lot of cyclists, runners, lifters, and swimmers. But there's another important kind of athlete that we get on a daily basis - the desk jockey. As a desk jockey, it's just as important to take care of your body to fight the dysfunction and pain that can come with sitting at a desk all day. Shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, etc., can be prevented with proper posture. But proper posture doesn't happen overnight! Take a look at this Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise. Try to implement it into your schedule on a daily basis for a week to start. Let us know if you notice any changes after that week.-Adrienne + the Psoas Team

Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise
Posterior Kinetic Chain

 

Who needs this exercise?

Most commonly, we see these forward reaching motions with those who work at a desk most of the day; but we also see these motions with musicians, restaurant workers, cyclists, electricians, pastry chefs and even parents of small children.

If you fit into any of these categories you will probably have a strong and tight chest and front of your neck. These exercises will help your upper back stay toned and ready to combat the ever-strengthening muscles in your chest and neck that are continuously pulling you forward.

For the best results:

  • With the Wall Angel (exercise 1) try to keep your entire body against the wall while doing the movement - butt, low back, shoulders, the entire arm and wrist.
  • The Wall Angel is way harder than it looks.
  • With each of the final 4 exercises hold the position for 30 seconds, breathe and try to relax your muscles.
Note: if you are experiencing severe pain or numbness and tingling in your arms and hands see a professional before attempting this or other stretches. If you feel excess pain during the stretch, discontinue until checking with a professional.

We are always available to consult with you regarding your pain and discomfort. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists call415.227.0331.

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AIS Side Stretch by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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AIS Side Stretch by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Author | Psoas Massage + Bodywork One of the least stretched places on your body is your sides - from hip to under arm. Really, its sad. Aside from the occasional olfactory issues, your sides never hurt anyone. Why do they get such little respect? We are here to put a stop to that. We say "stretching equality for all" - including your oft neglected side.

AIS Side Stretch
AIS Side Stretch
As always, do these Active Isolated Stretches slowly, with your breath, without pain and make 10-12 passes on each side.  And please let us know how it works for you.
Refer to our Active Isolated Stretching video before trying this stretch.
We are always available to consult with you regarding your pain and discomfort. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists call415.227.0331.

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AIS Quad Stretch by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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AIS Quad Stretch by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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The quadriceps are very important and often overused by athletes. They get extremely tight and often become painful from the simple act of sitting for long hours, like you're probably doing right now. It's extremely important to keep them free of adhesions and flexible. So let's start now. Here is a great stretch to work deeply in the quads and get them moving properly.
AIS Quad Stretch
These are big strong muscles, don't try to overpower them. Use the principles of Active Isolated Stretching to coax them into releasing. Good luck.
Please watch this Active Isolated Stretch (AIS) video to get the basics of AIS stretching.
We are always available to consult with you regarding your pain and discomfort. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists call415.227.0331.

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The Shoulder Shrug by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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The Shoulder Shrug by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Sometimes life gets stressful. Job, money, kids, car, travel, diet... all of these things can post constant stressors that cause our muscles - especially the ones in our neck and shoulders - to get wound up and painful. This simple exercise can help ease some of that by reminding us to just shrug it off... literally!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/SkL-TJi9mCc[/youtube]

 

 

This is a quick and easy exercise for you to release stress, get some much needed oxygen to your lungs, muscles, heart, and brain, and to help teach yourself to relax your shoulders. Enjoy, and don't pop.

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Mobilizing Upper Back & Stretching Pecs by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Mobilizing Upper Back & Stretching Pecs by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Our pecs and back take a beating throughout the week. From simple actions, like sitting at a desk to more hardcore activities such as mountain biking and surfing, these body parts engage, enable and then tighten up with ease. Anyone who's ever had bodywork on their pecs knows exactly what I mean (ouch!). And if you can relate, then it's really important that you check out Jenny's latest Quick Tip exercise for your pecs and upper back. Not only is it important to stretch these body parts for simple bodily health and flexibility, but doing so will make it so that your therapist doesn't have to dig so deep to loosen up those pesky pec muscles! And that's something I'm sure we will all appreciate.

Who needs this exercise?   

People working at desks, on the computer or those whose work or activities require them to hunch over, such as artists, chefs, surfers or cyclists.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvpmJaaOgyw[/youtube]

For the best results:

  • Lay the foam roller on ground and sit right at its edge.
  • Lie down so that the length of your spine and your head are resting on the foam roller.
  • Use your feet to help support you by placing them flat on the ground.
  • Bring your hands up straight above your torso and then let them slowly fall to either side of your body. At this point, your arms should be at 90* angles. Some of you will be able to touch the ground with your arms. Don't push it if you cannot.
  • With your arms on either side of your body, move your arms down toward your hips and then up above your head, in a snow-angel motion (do this 10 times).
  • For the second stretch, straighten your arms above your torso again and alternate reaching each arm toward the sky (10 times for each arm).
  • Finally, bring both your arms behind you, straight above your head and alternate each arm reaching straight above your head (10 times on each arm).
  • Don't forget to breathe.

 Note: If you feel pain and/or numbness during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.  

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DIAKADI Presents | Psoas Massage and Bodywork Quick Tip of the Week: Calf Stretch

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DIAKADI Presents | Psoas Massage and Bodywork Quick Tip of the Week: Calf Stretch

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Who needs this exercise?   

Cyclists, runners, people who wear shoes with high heels.

Anyone can benefit from Active Isolated Stretching. As Scott explains in the video, with AIS you are using your own muscles to help complete a stretch. The benefit in doing this is that when you engage one muscle, its opposite muscle is forced to relax, allowing you to get a deeper stretch in that muscle.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4V7-1iwQTU[/youtube]

For the best results:

Stretching the Gastrocnemius

  • Your leg should be straight.
  • Wrap a strap around your foot.
  • To begin, use the muscles in the top of your foot and leg to lift your foot toward your shin.
  • Once you've gone as far as you can comfortably go using those muscles, pull on the strap for an extended stretch. Remember to continue using the muscles on the front of your leg and foot while using the strap.
  • Hold this stretch for a second and then release.
  • Repeat this motion 10 times.
  • Don't forget to breathe.

Stretching the Soleus

  • Bend your leg upward, such that your foot is flat on the surface.
  • Lift your foot upward toward your shins, using the same muscles as in the Gastrocnemius stretch.
  • Once you've lifted your foot as far as it can go with your muscles, grab the bottom of your foot with both hands and pull even closer to your shins for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold with both hands for one second and then release.
  • Repeat this motion 10 times.
  • Don't forget to breathe.

 Note: If you feel pain and/or numbness during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.  

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DIAKADI Presents | How Stress Affects Your Body Fat, Muscle Mass and Fitness Results

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DIAKADI Presents | How Stress Affects Your Body Fat, Muscle Mass and Fitness Results

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As fitness and performance coaches, our job is to help clients discover their healthiest, most balanced lives, while assisting them with meeting their goals in the safest and most efficient means possible. Stress and the proper balance and control of it is often one of the most difficult topics we approach when working with clients. In this video segment, Darwin Ruiz explains to DIAKADI owner Billy Polson exactly what stress is, how it affects your body and how controlling it may be the key to reducing your body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. Sleep, nutrition, and even emotional focus all play a big part in making sure you are training your body while in the gym, not draining it!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdShvKYIwHA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For more information on Darwin Ruiz, check out DarwinFitness on Twitter.

For more about DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life in San Francisco, visit diakadibody.com.

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Psoas Quick Tip | Wrist Flexors

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Psoas Quick Tip | Wrist Flexors

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Author | Psoas co-owner Scott Schwartz

Psoas co-owner Scott Schwartz gives us great tips for stretching those overused wrists from typing, gardening, kicking ass at DIAKADI and your normal everyday use.

Who needs this exercise?    

Writers, musicians, chefs, weightlifters, desk workers. Since we all depend on our arms and hands, however, any of us will benefit from this exercise.

For the best results:

  • Start with your arm extended out in front of you and your palm facing upward.
  • Using the muscles in the back of your forearm, stretch your palm downward toward the floor.
  • While continuing to use the muscles in the stretched arm, use your other hand to receive a deeper stretch.
  • Hold this additional pressure for a second.
  • Next, with your palm still facing upward, bring your elbow in to your body at your side.
  • Repeat the same stretch, bringing your palm down toward the ground and then applying additional pressure with your other hand.
  • Finally, with your arm still at your side, make a fist by putting your thumb in your palm and curling your fingers over the thumb.
  • Turn your fist over and lift your forearm up toward the ceiling while using your fist to bend your wrist.  Hold this stretch for a few seconds, release and repeat the entire process.
  • Do this 10 times for each arm.
  • Don’t forget to breathe.

 Note: If you feel pain and/or numbness during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.  

vs_qt_AIS_wrist_flexors_01.jpg Use below link if video does not work in your broswer.

Psoas Quick Tip

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Tennis Elbow: What It Is and How to Prevent and Ease the Pain

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Tennis Elbow: What It Is and How to Prevent and Ease the Pain

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Do you have pain in your elbow that feels like a radiating heat from the outside? You may have Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis.  Here are some ways to prevent and ease the pain so you can get more enjoyment from life. Tennis elbow or Lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition at the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. The acute pain that a person might feel occurs as one fully extends the arm. What this can cause is inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside (lateral) side of the upper arm near the elbow usually affecting the lateral collateral ligament, or the most outside ligament of your elbow.

There may be a partial tear of the tendon fibers, which connect muscle to bone. The tear may be at or near where these fibers begin, on the outside of the elbow.  Below we will discuss the causes and ways to ease your pain.

 

Causes and Risk Factors

Muscles in your forearm attach to the bone on the outside of your elbow through tendons, and when you use these muscles over and over again, small tears may develop in the tendon. Over time, this can lead to irritation and pain where the tendon is attached to the bone.

This injury is common in people who play a lot of tennis or other racquet sports, hence the name "tennis elbow."  Backhand is the most common stroke to cause symptoms.

However, any activity that involves repetitive twisting of the wrist (like using a screwdriver) can also lead to this condition. Therefore, painters, plumbers, construction workers, cooks, and butchers are all more likely to develop tennis elbow.  Even repetitive keyboard and mouse use can cause this injury.

Symptoms

Elbow pain that gradually worsens.

• Pain radiating from the outside of the elbow (radius) to the forearm and back of the hand when grasping or twisting. • Weak grip. • Point tenderness over the lateral epicondyle (a prominent part of the bone on the outside of the elbow). • Gripping and movements of the wrist hurt, especially wrist extension and lifting movements with the palm facing down. • Activities that use the muscles that extend the wrist are characteristically painful.

 

Tests

• The diagnosis is made based on signs and symptoms, because x-rays usually appear normal. Often there will be pain or tenderness when the tendon is gently pressed near where it attaches to the upper arm bone (humerus), over the outside of the elbow. • There is also pain near the elbow when the wrist is extended (bent backwards, like revving a motorcycle engine) against resistance. • Pain also occurs when lifting objects with the palm facing the floor.

 

Treatment

The first step is to rest your arm and avoid the activity that causes your symptoms for at least 2 - 3 weeks. You may also want to: Set an appointment with a physical therapist or corrective massage therapist when symptoms appear. The sooner you are able to catch the muscle tension and have a professional work it out the easier it is to work through.

Put ice on the outside of your elbow 2 - 3 times a day. If your tennis elbow is due to sports activity, you may want to: •Ask about any changes you can make in your technique and form. •Check any sports equipment you're using to see if any changes may help. •Think about how often you have been playing and whether you should cut back.

If your symptoms are related to working on the computer, ask your boss about making ergonomic changes to your desk.

An elbow brace, also called an elbow clasp, can be worn for the treatment of tennis elbow. The theory behind using an elbow clasp is that the brace will redirect the pull of muscles that are irritated in tennis elbow. Instead of the pressure being exerted directly on the lateral collateral ligament over the outside of the elbow, the elbow clasp transmits the pressure directly under the brace. In order for the brace to work effectively, the brace must be worn about four centimeters down the forearm, not where you have pain in the elbow! Prevention

• Apply an ice pack to the outside of the elbow • Decrease the amount of playing time if already injured or feel pain in outside part of elbow. • Stay in overall good physical shape. • Since most extremity pain is caused by muscle weaknesses and or imbalances higher up the kinetic chain try to strengthen the muscles of the forearm (Pronator quadratus, Pronator teres and Supinator muscle), the upper arm (biceps brachii, triceps brachii, Deltoid muscle), the shoulder and upper back (trapezius and rhomboid muscles). • Increased muscular strength and stamina will increase the stability of joints such as the elbow. • Like other sports, use equipment appropriate towards your ability, body size and muscular strength. • Rest the elbow when bending and straightening are painful.

 

Do not try any self-treatment before seeing a doctor for a diagnosis and if possible try to see a physical therapist for any advice or specific exercises that could help with Lateral Epicondylitis. You want to make sure you actually have lateral epicondylitis before you start trying new things to or else you may make a different problem worse.

( Sources: www.WebMD.com, http://orthopedics.about.com)

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Muscle Knowledge: SERRATUS ANTERIOR

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Muscle Knowledge: SERRATUS ANTERIOR

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Origin: Anterior surfaces of the first 8 or 9 ribs. Insertion: Anterior surface of medial bonder of scapula.

Actions: Abducts scapula and upwardly rotates it while abducting the arm; stabilizes scapula by holding it to chest wall.

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Muscle Knowledge: Splenius Cervicis

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Muscle Knowledge: Splenius Cervicis

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Origin: Spinous process of c1-c3. Insertion: Transverse process of c1-c3.

Actions: Bilateral actions:Extends and hyper-extends head and neck.

Unilateral actions: Laterally flexes and rotates head and neck to same side.

 

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Muscle Knowledge: SPLENIUS CAPITIS

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Muscle Knowledge: SPLENIUS CAPITIS

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Origin: Inferior half of ligamentum nuchae (C3-cC) and spinus processes of C7-T3 (possibly to T6). Insertion: Superior nuchal line of occipital bone and mastoid process of temporal bone.

Actions: Bilateral action: Extends head and neck. Unilateral action: Laterally flexes and rotates head and neck to the same side.

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Muscle Knowledge: GASTROCNEMIUS

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Muscle Knowledge: GASTROCNEMIUS

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ORIGIN: Medial Head: Medial condyle of femur and area just above condyle. Lateral head: Lateral condyle of femur and area just above condyle. INSERTION: Posterior calcaneus via calcaneal tendon.

ACTION: Extends leg at knee; (also plantar flexes foot).

 

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