muscles

The Vagus Nerve – the self-help key to beating stress

The Vagus nerve is one of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves. Unlike almost all our other nerves that emerge from the spine (hence chiropractic's fascination for spinal manipulation), cranial nerves emerge directly out of the brain to travel to their target tissues. The job of cranial nerves is usually of critical importance to survival. In the case of the Vagus Nerve, we have our primary mechanism for dealing with stress and its long term destructive effects.

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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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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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Sciatica

What is Sciatica? Sciatica is a neurological condition in which there is pain, tingling, burning or numbness felt down either or both legs. There may or may not be associated back pain. The cause is either irritation or compression of the Sciatic nerve or its several nerve roots. The Sciatic nerve originates from nerve roots in the lumbar spine (low back). Virtually all the nerves that go into your legs, as well as many that go into the bowel and lower abdominal organs come from the low back. So inflammatory or degenerative conditions of the low back such as disc bulges often lead to compression or irritation of the nerve roots that exit the spinal cord and this irritation is transferred along the length of the nerves as they traverse into the legs.

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