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What's with all the Heavy Breathing?
Posted on February 22nd, 2018

Breathing- so natural, we all started doing it the day we were born.  Somewhere along the way into our adult life, we adopt a pattern of breathing that can affect the way we feel, how we sleep, and contribute to aches and pains all over our body.  As asymmetrical beings, we also develop patterns sitting at our desks, going through our daily motions of getting dress, eating, even riding in the car.  With enough repetition, some muscles turn off and just stop working while others stay on and work overtime to compensate for their dormant counterparts.  The result?  Shoulder pain that pinches when you raise your arm over head, migraines, back and neck aches, hip pain, knee pain, you name it.  It is not so much your age as your pattern.  

At Compass Physical Therapy, we utilize a treatment technique called Postural Restoration.  This approach first looks at the alignment of the body and what pattern it has gotten itself into. There are a handful that you will hear us say in the clinic- AIC, PEC, BC- that all just describe which muscles we need to turn off and which we need to turn on.  Once a person has achieved balance, it is referred to as neutral alignment.  Neutral alignment is where we all want to exist because it is in this position that the bones are hitting correctly with their counterparts, the muscles are firing optimally in collaboration with each other and pain from mal alignment is relieved.  It hurts to be out of neutral- literally.  

This is where the heavy breathing comes in.  The PRI treatment involves utilizing the diaphragm and lungs to move your rib cage which in turn move your vertebrae.  Once those line up correctly, the hips and shoulders shift into place which has a ripple affect for the knees and elbows.  These exercises are like nothing you've ever done before.  At least that is what our patients tell us.  PRI also involves taking a good look at your feet and your footwear.  With a stable foundation, your alignment improves dramatically.  The PRI institute recommends certain shoes for certain patterns that have remarkable effects on the way your entire body feels, not just your feet. 

Of all the treatment approaches we use in physical therapy, I can say without a doubt that PRI is the most effective tool I have come across in my 20 years of practicing PT.  Not only do I use it with my patients, I also use it myself as a chronic neck pain sufferer.  If you have tried other forms of PT and are not getting the results you'd hoped for, give us a call.  We will get you back to neutral!  256-325-5400.  

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with neutral alignment, PRI, patient centered, neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, migraines


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