Ask the Physical Therapist

Denver • Lakewood 

















Back Stretch (aka Rounded Shoulder Posture Correction):
The key to physical wellness starts with access to upper thoracic spine extension (aka "Chest Lift).  A collapsed upper back posture (excessive kyphosis) results in rounded shoulder posture which causes neck loading and puts the shoulder into a compromised position.  Any strengthening from rounded shoulder posture will only reinforce stronger neck and low back loading patterns. The good news is we have a self-correction technique that you can perform after your functional mobility program and before strengthening exercises.  This techniques stretches out the anterior chest and neck musculature driving rounded shoulder posture.




Medical Consideration: Do not perform this technique if you cannot place your hands behind your head pain-free.
 

Movement Pairing: The SymFit® Back Stretch self-correction techniques can safely mobilize the shoulder blades into their neutral positions onto the rib cage if performed as instructed. Perform level 1 of the Chest Lift Series (Hissing Cat/Boxer Pose) after performing this technique to wake up the muscles that allow you to access upper back extension (aka chest lift).  Do not perform this technique without private instruction from a SymFit® certified Movement Educator or Physical Therapist.  This techniques is introduced during visit #1 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System.

Neck Stretch (aka Forward Head Correction):

Sitting in collapsed posture cause forward head posture so that we can remain looking forward.  This locks the neck into extension.  Most of this extension comes from the O-A joint where the skull sits on the first cervical vertebrae (C1).  

This technique releases the muscles under the base of the skull that pull the head forward providing access into “Head Nod” unloading facet joints and improving blood flow to the brain.  This technique can help with TMJ issues, headaches and all neck related pain conditions.




Medical Consideration: Do not perform this technique if you have pain when you look down or go dizzy when you look down.  If you are a new client taking classes at the center add an additional 10 minutes to your next session via an Healthy Neck Hour of Care Package to allow sufficient time for screening and treatment. This self-correction utilized within the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System is designed to help you maintain access to neutral skull position on C1.  Forward head posture is the foundation for most neck pain conditions.  

Prescription:  This technique is demonstrated during visit #3 of the SymFit Healthy Fitness System and should be done before any upper body conditioning workout or sport/recreational activity that challenges overhead lifting or pulling.  It can also be included in your "Morning Sunrise" or "End of Day" routine if you feel tension in the back of the neck to intercept a headache or facet lock.
 

Movement Pairing: The SymFit® Neck Stretch self-correction techniques can safely mobilize soft tissue under the base of the skull providing unobstructed access to "Head Nod" if performed as instructed. Perform level 1 of the Head Nod Series after performing this technique to wake up the Head Nod stabilizers.  Do not perform this technique without private instruction from a SymFit® certified Movement Educator or Physical Therapist.  This techniques is introduced during visit #3 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System.

Shoulder Mobilization: 

Your shoulder blades (scapulae) in optimal posture rest against the rib cage which provide a strong foundation for stability.  When we start to assume a "collapsed posture" the shoulder blades are forced off the rib cage and now muscles designed to stabilize it against the rib cage are now working constantly to suspend it in an unsupported position.  This results in an imbalance of anterior to posterior musculature with the muscles in the front of the shoulder pulling the humerus and scapulae more forward.  The can cause an "Anteriorly Positioned Humerus" which sets the shoulder up for impingement during arm elevation.   Any strengthening with this positional dysfunction will only reinforce the imbalance and set you up for possible shoulder injury.  


Medical Consideration:  Do not perform this technique if you have pain putting your hand behind your back or if you have pain at rest.  Schedule a Healthy Neck Consult with you SymFit® certified physical therapist to evaluate your shoulder for $60.  If you are a new client taking classes at the center add an additional 10 minutes to your next session via an Healthy Neck Hour of Care Package to allow sufficient time for screening.   This self-correction utilized within the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System is designed to restore positioning of the humerus within the shoulder socket (glenoid fossa) to reduce your risk of shoulder impingement or rotator cuff tear.  

Prescription: This technique is demonstrated during visit #5 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System and should be done before any upper body conditioning workout or sport/recreational activity that challenges overhead lifting or pulling. It can also be included in your "Morning Sunrise" or "End of Day" routine if you feel tension in the back of the neck to intercept a headache or facet lock.


Movement Pairing: The SymFit® Shoulder self-correction techniques can safely mobilize the shoulder blades into their neutral positions onto the rib cage if performed as instructed. Perform level 1+2 of the Chest Lift Series (Hissing Cat/Boxer Pose) after performing this technique to wake up the muscle that keep your back stacked (lower traps).  Do not perform this technique without private instruction from a SymFit® certified Movement Educator or Physical Therapist.  This techniques is introduced during visit #1 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System.

Cervical Facet Self-Correction:

The neck has long muscles that attach the skull to the cervical spine which are responsible for turning the head.  When the skull is out of alignment at C1 or the base of the neck C5/6 is out of alignment the muscles on one side of the neck are activated to counteract this mis-alginment.  If you still have neck stiffness after the neck release and upper back stretch perform the Facet Release self-correction technique before performing an upper body strengthening workout.

The SymFit® Neck self-correction technique mobilized the facets laterally in a safe way to help restore neutral positioning of cervical vertebrae between C3 and C5.  



Medical Consideration: Do not perform this technique if you have pain or get dizzy when you look over either shoulder. Schedule a Healthy Neck Consult with you SymFit® certified physical therapist to evaluate your shoulder for $60.  If you are a new client taking classes at the center add an additional 10 minutes to your next session via an Healthy Neck Hour of Care Package to allow sufficient time for screening.   This self-correction utilized within the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System is designed to help you maintain access to neutral cervical spine alignment without facet loading throughout your day.

Prescription: This technique is demonstrated during visit #7 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System and should be done before any upper body conditioning workout or sport/recreational activity that challenges overhead lifting or pulling. It can also be included in your "Morning Sunrise" or "End of Day" routine if you feel tension in the back of the neck to intercept a headache or facet lock.


Movement Pairing: The SymFit® Facet Glides can safely mobilize the shoulder blades into their neutral positions onto the rib cage if performed as instructed. Perform level 1+2 of the Chest Lift Series (Hissing Cat/Boxer Pose) after performing this technique to wake up the muscle that keep your back stacked (lower traps).  Do not perform this technique without private instruction from a SymFit® certified Movement Educator or Physical Therapist.  This techniques is introduced during visit #1 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System.

Self-Correction Techniques:
Upper Body Techniques

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Medical Disclaimer:  The self-correction techniques below are designed to keep you healthy and ensure that you perform your neutral spine based fitness workouts, sport and recreational activities without joint mis-alignments that restrict access to neutral spine alignment.  If you experience any of the medical consideration below schedule a Healthy Neck Consult with you SymFit® certified physical therapist to evaluate your shoulder for $60.  If you are a new client taking classes at the center add an additional 10 minutes to your next session via an Healthy Neck Hour of Care Package to allow sufficient time for screening.


Back Massage (aka Kyphosis Correction)
The key to physical wellness starts with access to upper thoracic spine extension (aka "Chest Lift).  A collapsed upper back posture (excessive kyphosis) results in increased neck and low back loading otherwise we would all fall forward.  Its consequences stretch far beyond the spine and can be attributed to most shoulder, hip, knee and ankle/foot pain conditions.  Any strengthening from a collapsed upper back posture will only reinforce stronger neck and low back loading patterns.  This self-correction techniques mobilizes the upper thoracic spine into extension.



Medical Consideration: Do not perform this technique if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or ostepenia.  This self-correction utilized within the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System is designed to restore and help you maintain access to upper back extension.  A collapsed upper back is the foundation for most shoulder and neck pain conditions.  

Prescription: This technique is demonstrated during visit #3 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System and should be done before any upper body conditioning workout or sport/recreational activity that challenges overhead lifting or pulling. It can also be included in your "Morning Sunrise" or "End of Day" routine if you feel tension in the back of the neck to intercept a headache or facet lock.

 

Movement Pairing: The SymFit® Back Massage self-correction techniques can safely mobilize the upper back into extension if performed as instructed. Perform level 1 of the Chest Lift Series (Hissing Cat/Boxer Pose) after performing this technique to to wake up the muscles that allow you to stack the upper back (aka chest lift).  Do not perform this technique without private instruction from a SymFit® certified Movement Educator or Physical Therapist.  This techniques is introduced during visit #1 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System.
Most pain is a message from the brain that a something is injured or overloaded.  The most common cause of joint mis-alignement is faulty posture driving assymmetrical loading and muscle imbalance.  So, the foundation of the problem is posture which is fixable.  We hope these self-correction techniques help you remain physcially healthy and ensure that your fitness program meets your long-term injury prevention needs.  They are to be performed after your functional mobility program and before your strengthening exercises.   They should also be performed before recreational and sport activities that challenge the upper body to prevent injury.
Elevated 1st Rib Correction:
The diaphragm is the muscle that helps regulate breathing.  Those with collapsed upper back posture must load their low backs and necks when they stand up otherwise they will fall forward.  As a result, we develop rib flaring strategies when we lift are arms overhead to compensate for faulty shoulder blade positioning on the rib cage.  The diaphragm may need to be release for those with strong rib flaring strategies.  The diaphragm is best release with you laying on your back (supine) with the arm of the side of the diaphragm being released overhead to put the diaphragm in a stretched position.  The therapist then massages the diaphragm by placing fingers below and under the diaphragm. 




Medical Consideration: Do not perform this technique if you have pain when you arm is by your side and rotated outward. Schedule a Healthy Neck Consult with you SymFit® certified physical therapist to evaluate your shoulder for $60.  If you are a new client taking classes at the center add an additional 10 minutes to your next session via an Healthy Neck Hour of Care Package to allow sufficient time for screening.  This self-correction utilized within the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System is designed to prevent shoulder impingement and thoracic outlet syndrome.

Prescription: This technique is demonstrated during visit #7 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System and should be done before any upper body conditioning workout or sport/recreational activity that challenges overhead lifting or pulling. It can also be included in your "Morning Sunrise" or "End of Day" routine if you feel tension in the back of the neck to intercept a headache or facet lock.


Movement Pairing: The SymFit® 1st Rib self-correction techniques can safely mobilize the shoulder blades into their neutral positions onto the rib cage if performed as instructed. Perform level 1+2 of the Chest Lift Series (Hissing Cat/Boxer Pose) followed by Magic Circle Isometrics after performing this technique to condition the shoulder complex for overhead elevation without cervical loading.  Do not perform this technique without private instruction from a SymFit® certified Movement Educator or Physical Therapist.  This techniques is introduced during visit #1 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System.



Upper Body Joint Clearing

Now that you have completed your first month of the The SymFit® Healthy Fitness System you posture is improved and you are standing taller with less effort.  The self-correction techniques are now combined into what we refer to as the "Morning Sunrise" and "End of Day" joint clearing routines.  The upper body joint clearing techniques should also be performed before any workout, sport or recreational activity that will challenge your ability to lift or pull overhead.  



Medical Consideration: Do not perform this technique if you have pain or get dizzy when you look over either shoulder. Schedule a Healthy Neck Consult with you SymFit® certified physical therapist to evaluate your shoulder for $60.  If you are a new client taking classes at the center add an additional 10 minutes to your next session via an Healthy Neck Hour of Care Package to allow sufficient time for screening.

Prescription: This technique is demonstrated during visit #7 of the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System and should be done before any upper body conditioning workout or sport/recreational activity that challenges overhead lifting or pulling. It can also be included in your "Morning Sunrise" or "End of Day" routine if you feel tension in the back of the neck to intercept a headache or facet lock.