alignment of your bones is essential to minimize pain
If your bones are
not properly aligned your muscles and joints are constantly being strained.
Long term muscle
strain causes chronic tension, imbalance, inflammation and pain. Especially in the spine, low back, pelvis, hips
Good alignment of
your pelvis and spine is absolutely essential for them, and everything else, to work as well as they can. Full
strength, mobility and no pain.
Long term joint
strain causes chronic stiffness, imbalance, inflammation, pain and excessive wear of joint
surfaces otherwise known as
osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the number 1 danger to your
Good alignment is
essential for the longevity of your
joints. We are organic, we wear. The better aligned your joints are the slower they wear out.
The problem may be somewhere
Ever driven a car with wheels that were
out of alignment? The steering wheel shakes, or pulls to one side. You can feel the problem in the
steering wheel, but that's not where the problem actually is.
You get used to
If the car still goes OK you just get used
to it and ignore it. After a while you notice that the tread on the tyres is wearing unevenly. Nothing wrong
with the tyres, but clearly, they are wearing badly, like they shouldn't be.
The misalignment is in one place, but it's
causing problems somewhere else. It doesn't matter what you do to the steering wheel, it's still going to
wobble and the tyres are still going to wear badly. Until you realign those wheels. It's the same
The way to properly address the symptoms
is, of course, to address whatever is causing them. Many hands on professionals ask
where is the pain, and go straight to it. Osteopaths ask why is there pain here, and focus
our attention on that.
It doesn't matter what you do to the bits that
hurt, if you don't address the cause, the symptoms will never properly settle or they will just
keep coming back. Any joint that has chronic stiffness and pain is likely to become arthritic.
Beware the Twisted
If your pelvis is out of alignment, as
they so often are, it can cause strain and pain in the low back and hip joints, or further afield in your upper
back, shoulders, neck and even headaches. Or pain in your groin, legs, knees or feet. Because of the strain that
the misalignment causes throughout your body.
Realign the pelvis and the pain goes away, right? Not necessarily. If realigning the pelvis
doesn't address what caused it in the first place, it's just going to come back.
Tight Calves the Culprit
In my experience the number one cause of a twisted pelvis, by far, is tight unbalanced calf
muscles. If you do not address this fundamental imbalance, the strain and pain it causes elsewhere - knees,
hips, low back - will just keep coming back.
Absolutely my Best piece of Advice
If you have chronic or recurring foot, leg, knee, hip, pelvic, low back, upper back or neck
pain, start stretching your calves. For at least a few minutes, at least a few times a day.
Some is good, more is better. Start and finish on the tighter one, for most people that's the right calf.
Typical Strain Pattern
Try this little test. Stand up. Get balanced. We are going to simulate a tight right
calf. Bend your right knee. When you do this your pelvis rolls forward and down on the right side. It is
now out of alignment. Your weight is now being distributed unevenly on your feet, knees, hips and spine. Pay
close attention and you will feel your lower back twist to the left. This the single most common pattern of
strain that I see every day, in my clinic, so there's a very good chance that you have it too, and it is causing
or contributing to your pain.
Loosen your calves up, and balance them out, and you may just be amazed at how much pain it
reduces or relieves everywhere else. There's more on this throughout the site.
Calf Step Stretch
Check out my favourite calf stretch, The Calf Step
If you are out of alignment, the distribution of force through many of your joints is
adversely effected. That in turn adversely effects the components of the joint. Muscles, tendons, ligaments,
fascia, bone and cartilage. Muscles get tighter, joints get stiffer.
It starts out as strain - tight muscles and stiff joints, (with or without
pain), and slowly, imperceptibly but inevitably, becomes damage. Osteoarthritis. This is
irreversible and therefore totally undesirable!
What to do
The only way to avoid or slow this process is by keeping your bones properly aligned. You do
that by keeping your joints flexible and your muscles supple and strong, and you do that with plenty of stretching and
Align yourself with
Especially stretching. For
each stretch you do, you really need pay attention to which side is tighter and always stretch that
side more by starting and finishing on the tighter side. This is a really important
Mindful stretching is a great way to address the imbalance and misalignment of your
Principles Flexibility Suppleness Strength