Posture

Retained Neonatal Reflexes

NEONATAL REFLEXES Infants are born with a strongly developed set of reflexes called neonatal or primitive reflexes. Experts believe that the purpose of these reflexes is survival based. Examples of these  include: The suckling reflex- where stimulating the lips or side of the mouth causes the baby to turn toward the stimulus and begin a suckling action The palmar grip reflex - where lightly stroking the palm, or placing a finger in the hand of the infant causes them to close it and grip strongly The Moro reflex - where a sudden backwards tilt causes the infant to throw their arms and legs outward Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex- when the baby is on its back, turning its head to the left causes the left arm to straighten and the right arm to bend (& vice versa) Galant Reflex - stroking along the spine causes a twitch in the back muscles on the same side Around six months of age, many of the reflexes begin to wane (or integrate) and are slowly replaced by postural reflexes, whose purpose is to allow independent movement of limbs from head movement; manipulation of objects by hand, to sit up, crawl and eventually balance on two legs and walk. The chart below (courtesy of Inspiral Paediatric seminars) shows a timeline of the transition from primitive reflexes to postural reflexes.  

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Improving your posture

Bad posture has been blamed for every possible ailment of the human condition, but most particularly for those common musculoskeletal problems such as backache, headaches and muscle fatigue. Most everybody remembers their mother telling them to "stop slouching" or "sit up straight" at some point during their teenage years (or even later!). But what is "Good Posture" as opposed to "Bad Posture"? What is posture anyway? If my posture is bad, how do i fix it?

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Upper Cross and Lower Cross Syndromes

If your head is positioned forward of normal, if your backside sticks out too much, if you have a weak pendulous abdomen and are pigeon toed- chances are you are suffering from a cross syndrome. What is it? Due to the sedentary nature of life today, most people have some degree of contracture or tightening in the front of their hips. This continuous tight area produces a weak and elongated gluteal (backside) region. Similarly, sitting at a desk with the head forward of normal leads to a contracture of the front of the neck muscles and a reactive spasm in the upper back. A series of further contractures and inhibitions result in a cascade of reactionary muscle imbalances that lead to the posture typically described as both Lower and Upper Cross Syndrome.

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Scheuermanns Disease

Scheuermanns Disease is a condition that affects the discs and vertebrae of the Thoracic Spine (mid back), though the low back is also less commonly affected. Normally, a vertebra is rectangularly shaped, but in Scheuermanns disease, three or more consecutive vertebrae are wedge shaped at the front, which makes the curve increase.

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Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra (Greek=spondylos) shifts from its normal position (Greek=listhesis). Most cases of Spondylolisthesis are Anterolistheses (forward slippages).     How does it occur? The shift from its normal position most commonly happens due to defect (or less commonly an elongation) in the pars interarticularis or isthmuswhich is a section of bone that joins the front of the vertebra to the arch in the rear. This type of spondylolisthesis is called "isthmic" and is found in about 10% of the population. Male to female incidence is roughly 2:1, though slippage tends to be worse in females. There is evidence to suggest a familial tendency. There still remains some debate as to whether the gap is an actual fracture (most likely in childhood, possibly through constant falls on the bottom), or whether it is a failure of that section of bone to fuse together properly as the child grows. The pars interarticularis has been identified as being subject to more mechanical stress than any other structure in the lumbar spine, so the development of stress fractures are a plausible theory. They have been found in children, adolescents and adults. To date, humans are the only species in which the condition has been identified.

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