If you have poor posture or maybe a painful body part- headaches, neck tension, shoulder issue, back pain or pelvic and hip issues… Learn how improving your rib cage can help. No joke, your rib cage directly affects the position, tension and comfort of these areas!
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Join me as we start to uncover how your rid cage influences neck pain, shoulder issues, headaches, and even lower back pain and legs issues. Understanding this connection can pave the way for a pain-free and agile you!
Welcome to BlossomingMe’s Healthy Learning Lounge, I’m Alexis Weidland, osteopath, and today we’re delving into the topic that affects many aspects of our lives – the relationship between our rib cage and not only posture, but many aches and pains that we might be experiencing. As you may have seen from our previous sessions the rib cage is not only affecting our breathing and our stress levels, our digestion, our mood and our brain function, but it also affects our posture, energy levels, and pain or dysfunction. In your shoulders, neck, lower back, pelvis, legs, and even headaches. So let’s get going.
Posture and the Rib Cage
If one of these is off, the other one will be off. If any part of your posture is out of balance then this will create a torsion throughout your body and it has to pass right through your rib cage. So your rib cage will twist too. And if your rib cage isn’t functioning properly, this will affect all areas of your body that connect to it.
So what areas are they you might ask?
Well your rib cage and your diaphragm are intimately connected and your diaphragm connects. via fasal connections to your Psoas muscle and your Lumber spine. When there’s an imbalance in your diaphragm side to side, or your rib cage isn’t functioning well, it affecting your diaphragm. This will pull on your Lumber spine and your Psoas muscle.
Psoas, pelvis, hips and legs
So your psoas muscle directly impacts your digestive and reproductive organs and it connects directly into the bowl of the pelvis thus affecting your pelvic floor your genito-urinary organs and your hips. And this of course, can affect your legs and your feet.
Neck and Shoulder
Back up to the rib cag… Iif we have rib dysfunction this will likely affect the muscles connecting either into the neck – Up into the first rib which is actually just up here, your collar bone, your scalenes and sternocleidomastoid muscles and even your Lev scap (levator Scapulae) which is at the top of the scapular. This will push your shoulder blade up and out.
This causes your Lev scap to tighten into your neck; it pulls your glenohumeral joint, the joint commonly referred to as the “shoulder joint” up and forwards, and this puts the shoulder in a compromised position.
Shoulder Impingement, arm pain and rotator cuff
it affects the brachial plexus. A collection of nerves from the neck through to the arms and it sits here. And when the scapular is pulled upwards this space is reduced. Increasing the likelihood of your nerves to become irritated or compressed, causing pain; neuropathy in the arm; referred pain; and more. It also puts your shoulder at increased risk of dislocation or rotator cuff injury, as it’s sitting out of position and the muscles are being used incorrectly, and too much. Plus you’ll have tight traps and tight lats as well as the levator scap that I just spoke of. You’ll have forward rounded shoulders that you can’t comfortably pull back, and probably reduced range of movement of the shoulders.
This also set sets you up for an increased risk of carple tunnel, wrist RSI issues, tennis and golfer’s elbow and more.
Neck and Head
Now let’s look at what happens if your vertebrae compress and round forward due to a general rib cage tension. This pulls your neck and tightens your neck muscles, compressing the top of your neck into your skull. This pulls your jaw forward, and compromises blood and lymphatic flow into and out of the head. This can cause headaches and even brain fog.
Now if your rib cage tension is caused by the vertebrae compressing and a reduced forward curve, so your vertebrae are actually sitting too straight. You still get really tight muscles up into the neck and head and it affects your shoulders but less, and you might be less likely to get jaw (pain)… and not as much head involvement. However if your diaphragm is working off balance side to side ,or there’s another twist through your rib cage, it will cause altered tension all the way up to the top of the head and altered tension through the muscles side to side of the neck as it connects into the base of the skull, the muscles of the head, and jaw. So it can cause jaw pain, uh, general tension, headaches, and it can affect then, the blood and lymphatic flow into and out of the head.
So I hope you can start to see how an issue in your rib cage can actually create far-reaching effects to all parts of your body and that if you want to improve your posture and your whole body’s ability to function effectively and reduce any pain or discomfort that you might have, in many of those areas discussed – Headaches, neck, shoulder lower back, hips, pelvis, and even legs and feet … We need to effectively treat the rib cage, give exercises to include an improvement in the rib cage function.
If you are suffering from headaches, neck pain, lower back pain, shoulder issues. It’s possible that your rib cage is a cause. And it’s highly likely that even if it’s not a cause it’s an associated factor, that you need to treat. If this is the case, anything that you can do to get your rib cage moving, can be beneficial. So side bending, twisting, flexion, and extension, uh, deep breathing exercises and pressure on the joints where the rib and vertebrae actually meet … can assist your pain and discomfort, your (joints) functioning, improve your breathing and support your brain function and stress levels.
If you’d like to find out further ways to improve the mobility of your rib cage and support your stress levels, your energy levels, and reduce pain levels, click the link below – to access my new short course on Rib Cage Remedies.
Thank you so much for joining me today in this exploration of the rib cage, posteure and their impact on our well-being. Your rib cage is more than bones, it is a gateway to your health!
Did you have any aha moments, or questions? If you do please share those in the comments. If you found this information valuable and insightful, please Like, Share, and Subscribe, your support is so appreciated and it helps us to to better support our community, you!
That’s all for now, so until next time, and in health, bye for now.
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About Blossoming Me
BlossomingMe offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Sarah is our Cranio-sacral and Remedial Massage Therapist and health and lifestyle coach. She can help relieve those problematic knots, tightness and other specific ailments to promote a healthy recovery. These complementary massage therapies can be combined to suit your needs, and include: craniosacral therapy, shiatsu, acupressure, reiki, remedial, swedish, and body-mind-massage.
Our qualified Osteopath, Alexis, offers a drug free, minimally invasive, “hands on” treatment focusing on the musculoskeletal system with its associated muscles, tendons, ligaments, membranes, bones and joints. Alexis takes a functional approach. This means that she focuses on the way a component (body part, tissue or group of tissues) performs its role, as well as the way the body works, performs and integrates as a whole. Our team can support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.
ional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health professional before you make any changes to your health regime, before dealing with new symptoms, and, if something you have read here has raised any questions or concerns regarding your situation.