All About the Neck

A comprehensive look at cervical biomechanics and exercise The Wu-Tang clan once said “Protect Ya Neck,” but how in the heck can you do that if you don’t know the biomechanics?????? The neck can be quite complicated considering all the factors that influence it’s dynamics: Ribcage position Thoracic spine Hyoid bone Cranium Temperomandibular joint OH MY! Yet despite all of these influences, there are simple, useful heuristics you can follow that can lead to favorable changes in neck mobility! Want to make the neck, cranium, and more ridiculously simple to understand and apply? Then tune in for Movement Debrief Episode 125.

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The Unsexy Side of PT

Struggle with mouth breathing? Much of the stuff taught on my site focuses on maximizing your breathing skills from the neck on down, but what happens when that is not enough? What if you still have issues with neck or jaw symptoms? Or worse yet, struggle with sleep? These are the topics we dive into on The Optimize Your Capacity podcast I did recently. You’ll learn all types of things featured in the netherworld of performance, including: Craniocervical posture and how to test for movement limitations in this region The “ideal” tongue posture to promote nasal breathing What a proper swallow entails to reduce neck strain What the keys are to having a dynamic respiratory strategy that maximizes movement options through the body Is there a “best” posture to sleep in? That depends on your body 🙂 and more! Click the links below to check it out! The Unsexy Side of PT: Zac Cupples (Apple Podcasts) Spotify Stitcher

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Cervical Radiculopathy, Lower Body Elevation, and Shortcomings of My Approach – Movement Debrief Episode 82

Movement Debrief Episode 82 is in the books. Below is a copy of the video for your viewing pleasure, and audio if you can’t stand looking at me. Here is the set list: What are some key assessments for cervical radiculopathy? What is my treatment hierarchy for cervical radiculopathy? Why have I been elevating the lower body on many exercises? Why is inversion a useful move for improving mobility? What are some of the weaknesses in my current approach? What areas to I struggle in? What am I doing to improve upon those areas?

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Cervical Retraction, Neutral Spine, and Lateralization – Movement Debrief Episode 65

Movement Debrief Episode 65 is in the books. Below is a copy of the video for your viewing pleasure, and audio if you can’t stand looking at me. Here is the set list: What is my opinion on cervical retraction to fix forward head posture? Why does someone assume a forward head or military posture? How do these postures impact airway? How ought we address head posture? What is my opinion on neutral spine during lifting? What is lateralization within the human body? Which direction are humans lateralized? What can be done to manage lateralization? If you want to watch these live, add me on Facebook or Instagram. They air every Wednesday at 7pm CST. Enjoy! and the audio version…                  Here were the links I mentioned: Check out Human Matrix promo video below Below are some testimonials for the class Want to sign up? Click on the following locations below: Kansas City, KS on October 27-28th  Portland, OR on November 10-11  December 8th-9th, Charleston, SC (early bird ends November 11th) February 2nd-3rd, 2019, New Providence, NJ (early bird ends January 4th) SIGN UP FOR THE REVOLUTION featuring myself, Pat Davidson, and Seth Oberst February 9th-10th in Boston. MA Kinematics of the human mandible for different head postures. Here is the ribcage pumphandle mechanics debrief Here is the rectus abdominis debrief The lumbar and sacrum movement pattern during the back squat exercise. Bill Hartman Here is some information on the right hand rule of physics

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Frequently Asked Questions

Over the last year I’ve been asked a bunch of questions, and I’ve tried to answer them immediately. Instead of sifting through all my Movement Debriefs to get your answer, maybe you just want to get a quick answer and then go apply what you learned. Or maybe you can only stand listening to me for so long. I GET IT! Well, look no further. Below is a link to every question that I have answered thus far on my Movement Debriefs. While I won’t continually update this post, going to my FAQ page will be updated after each debrief. If you have a question, just sign up for my newsletter, and when the next email comes by, just hit reply and I will do my darndest to answer yours. Learn away my fam! Continuing Education   PRI vs. DNS Exercise Coaching Anchoring Old Movements to New Coaching Progressions Getting Changes to Stick Home Exercise Execution Lower Body Death of the Vertical Tibia Slideboards Squats Performance Agility Programming Exercise Programming Periodizing Physical Therapy Sessions Upper Body Dead Hangs   Overhead Pressing Pushups vs. Quad Sets   Health and Wellness The Off-Switch Sleeping Tips for New Parents Stress Response Taking care of your health Personal Development Daily Routines Building Daily Routines Deciding What to Learn Just in Time Learning Embracing Failure Detaching Refocusing Check Your Ego The Art of the Debrief Work-Life Balance Professional Development Questions to ask an interviewer New Grad Advice All about Jobs Speeches Handling Not Getting Jobs

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Chapter 9: Cervical Spine

This is a Chapter 9 summary of “Clinical Neurodynamics” by Michael Shacklock. Physical Exam The key tests you will want to perform include: Slump test. MNT 1. You can tier your testing based on one’s dysfunctions, such as opening or closing, as well as using sensitizers for less severe problems. Reduced Closing Dysfunction Level 1a – Static opener to increase space and decrease pressure in the intervertebral foramen. In the picture below, we would open the right side by combining flexion, contralateral sidebend, and contralateral rotation. Level 1b to 2b Reduced Opening Dysfunctions For these impairments, they are treated just the same as closing dysfunctions. The major difference is rationale. In closing dysfunction, the goal is to reduce stress on the nervous system. With opening dysfunctions, however, we are trying to improve the opening pattern. Static openers will generally not be used because these treatments could potentially provoke symptoms. Neural Dysfunction The gentlest technique is the two-ended slider, in which an ipsilateral lateral glide and elbow extension are performed. For tension dysfunctions, we go through the following progression:

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Movement Chapter 8: SFMA Assessment Breakout Descriptions and Flowcharts

This is a chapter 8 summary of the book “Movement” by Gray Cook. What to Look For The SFMA breakouts are utilized to determine if one’s movement deficiencies have a mobility or stability origin. There are further possibilities in each of these categories. It Could Be a Mobility Problem There are two subsets of mobility problems that include tissue extensibility dysfunction (TED) and joint mobility dysfunction (JMD). From here, we can break it down even further in each subset. Here are some potential TEDs Active/passive muscle insufficiency Limited neurodynamics (they said neural tension; come on Gray!) Fascial tension Muscle shortening Hypertrophy Trigger points Scarring/fibrosis And here are some potential JMDs Osteoarthritis/arthrosis Single-joint muscle spasm/guarding Fusion Subluxation Adhesive capsulitis Dislocation It could be a Stability Problem These issues are also known as stability or motor control dysfunction (SMCD). Most conventional therapies would treat these complaints by strengthening the stabilizers, but this is problematic. When something works reflexively, how can we train something volitionally and expect changes? To train these muscles we must focus on proprioceptive and timing-based training. There are several examples of SMCD problems. Motor control dysfunction. High threshold strategy. Local muscle dysfunction/asymmetry. Mechanical breathing dysfunction. Prime mover or global muscle compensation behavior or asymmetry. Poor static stability, alignment, postural control, asymmetry, and structural integrity. Poor dynamic stability, alignment, postural control, asymmetry, and structural integrity. Relatedness Mobility and stability can influence one another. If I were to lose mobility at one segment, motor control can be distorted at nearby segments.

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