Home - Fixing Backs, Pain and Tightness with Structural Integration
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Accumulated Shortness Intro    
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FIXING ACCUMULATED SHORTNESS -       PART 6 - shortness created pains #2

by Lou Gross, School Certified Master Postural Integrator,
27 years successful experience
For more information & free consultations, call 321-726-9083


                       The fourth kind of structural problem occurs in the ligaments and other joint tissues.  Ligaments are tough pieces of connective tissue that connect bone to bone. They define the way the bones will move in that joint, like what your elbow or hip joint will do. When we get bunch up in the muscle bodies, the tendons that go across the joint will pull tightly on the other bones and the joint goes out of alignment.  That puts stress on the ligaments.  But to be honest, ligaments usually tear only when there's an accident that forcibly pulls the joint apart, like in a skiing accident or a football injury.


            Stress fractures are also caused by too much tension on supposedly tougher tissue.  in this case, the bones.  Stress fractures occur because the bunched up muscles are pulling on the bones at angles that the bones weren't supposed to handle.  Here, too, the shortness is causing the tendons to pull across the joints at a misaligned angle.  And a crack can occur in the bone because of these forces.   With some more running, and tightening, the bone "tears" instead of the muscle.  Imagine that.  The muscle became harder than the bone.  And the bone got pulled apart because forces were applied to it at angles that weren't part of our design.

            Arthritis is also a bone and joint injury.  Osteo-arthritis, ie "bone" arthritis, is very often caused by very bunched up muscles whose tendons go across that joint.  Then the bones rub against each other in that joint because they're just being pulled too tight toward each other.  The bones either start to disintegrate or the body adds lots of excess calcium to protect the underlying “real bone” surfaces.  When you re-lengthen these muscle bodies, and the others in their interconnected network, a lot of times, the pains go away because the rubbing stops.

            Bone spurs are a little different problem, (when they're not in an arthritic joint).  I knew a man who had a bone spur on the inside (or medial) part of his heel bone.  Then I saw him walk.  His leg fascia had bunched up so that the leg was always turned out somewhat, all the way up into his pelvis.  When he stepped forward with that leg, his foot landed on that inside corner of the heel bone, and not in the middle of the foot as his body was designed to do.  His body, in its genetically designed wisdom, laid down a bump of excess calcium to protect the "real" bone from injury.  While he had pain in his foot, the actual culprit was his misalign leg position, caused by the bunched up fascia in his leg muscles.

            Out-turned legs are very commonThe Structural Integration series includes correction of this problem in its step by step application.  You can also just work this leg and some of the torso and often fix the problem.  Most probably, either this man stood at an angle day after day in his work, or he fell and twisted the leg.


            The last kind of pain I want to mention is from pinched nerves, especially between two vertebrae.  These most always occur in the lower back (causing leg pain and sciatica), in the neck, or in the very upper back (causing arm pain and/or numbness).  Lower back nerve pinching is, surprisingly, sometimes the easiest to fix of the three, although it probably takes 20-30 hours of treatment to get all the muscles involved to be spread out enough and properly re-positioned (so you look like people without pain again).

            Your spinal column is a series of hard, bony round-like pieces, connected together in a column by round ligament pieces in between, called disks.  The bones at the bottom, near your pelvis, are biggest, and in your neck are smallest.  The spongy disks will compress a little when you bend and tilt, and the bones will shift position.  There are lots of muscles that connect these bones to each other so that you can bend your spine in a lot of different directions.

            Now, actually, the vertebrae are more like pear shaped.  They have two circular areas, not one.  One area is where the disks attach to.  The other is hollow.  This is where the motor and sensory nerves for your "moving around muscles" come down from your brain and get distributed out to all the muscles of your body.  They get distributed out through notches in this part of the vertebral column.  Each vertebra interlocks with the one above it so that the bony shell protecting the column of nerves remains intact.  And each interlocking place on either side of each vertebra is the space where the nerves come through the notches.

            The spinal & vertebral column also is not designed to be exactly straight.  It has a backward curve at the bottom, in the lower back, and another backward curve in the neck.  And in the chest area, where all the ribs are, it curves slightly forward.  Moderate curves are normal and proper.

            The lower back vertebrae are connected to the legs by a couple of big muscles inside the abdomen called psoas (so-as).  As we grow up, and as we exercise, our leg muscles and abdominal muscles bunch up.  And we also tend to stand and walk with these psoas muscles tight, something that started when we were toddlers.  So our pelvises tilt down in front and we have to arch our backs to hold our torsos up.  This causes back muscle tightness, and the vertebral curves get too arched as well.

            This condition is why people get bulging or herniated disks and pinched nerves.  When their abdominal, pelvic and leg muscles get very bunched up in the fascia, their legs lean forward and they have to arch backward with the lower back.  This makes that vertebral curve a lot more curved.  And it also pulls the vertebrae closer together than they're supposed to be.
            The combination makes the disks get very compressed between the lower back vertebrae. They can eventually get pushed out and/or start to break up.  When this happens, the nerves coming out of those slots where the two vertebrae meet, get pinched, or rubbed on.  And we feel that pain in the area of the body the nerves would normally tell us about.  So a leg nerve would hurt or go numb in the leg, even though it's getting rubbed in the lower back.

            Now, sciatica is this pain down one leg.  Usually, people have one leg more bunched up than the other.  Combine this one side shortness with an excessive front to back curve, and the accumulation of all the muscle shortness causes the nerves on one side to get rubbed as they come out of those slots where the vertebrae interconnect.  The vertebrae are being pulled away from their fully opened positions by extra tight muscles, that is, extra short fascia.

            You can fix this if you can get the legs and inner abdominal muscles lengthened, and the person does really good stretching daily.  I have seen this kind of disk and nerve problem corrected.  I have done it.  I have even shown people how to stretch their fascia and improve their own condition.  I did it for a European Champion Shot Putter.
            Another man did it while partially bedridden.  Before he had any of my Bodywork he was somewhat crippled with a lower back that had gotten very tight and the bones and disks had bulged out of alignment.  I "jump started" him with a few hours of Bodywork that enabled him to walk around again.  Then he did my lying down connective tissue stretches and the odd bulge in his lower back went away.  From the hands-on Bodywork, the jamming was significantly less and the tissue was softer, even into the legs.  So he could then stretch.

It will also help if the person drinks a few quarts of water every day to re-hydrate the disks to keep them spongy & not crumbly, and to re-hydrate the deep muscles so they don't pull so hard.  And if he eats a lot of kelp sea vegetable, to get more calcium and magnesium into his muscles, the pain will be less and the muscles will become more stretchable (and maybe even more relaxed).
         Regular exercise helps if a person's condition allows it.  In many cases, though, once the fascia has hardened in the pelvis and very tight legs, that condition really needs to be lengthened, and softened first, and right away.  Then stretching can be possible, and chiropractic adjustments have a chance of staying in long enough for the person to take advantage of them, and get even more release from the stretching and further Bodywork manipulations.


            Pain, numbness or weakness in the arms due to pinched nerves is caused by a similar problem.  You might find that the person has a sharp notch between vertebrae just below the bottom of the neck.  There's a very sharp angular distortion of the vertebral curves. You can feel it with your fingers.  It happens where the neck vertebrae curve going in one direction meets the upper back curve going in the other direction

Yet even with coordinated chiropractic, this can be difficult to fix because there is so much deep bunch up in the muscles, including those in the chest, abdomen and legs.  The bony parts of the rib cage are also compressed out of shape. The inner abdominals are also very short, and they pull the vertebrae and torso into a tilted forward position, down toward the floor in front of the person.  That’s why there’s so much tightness in the back, trying to pull all this up again.  The problem is, just a counter-pulling doesn’t spread the collagen fibers through the fluid of the soft connective tissue, so it would get longer.

But don't get me wrong.  A determined person can improve.  Lots of my specialized stretching, which does spread the tissue to make it longer, will help.  Along with intelligently applied Bodywork and vertebral realignment, this severe condition can be lessened.  And in the process, the person will become a lot looser and freer all over the body.


            So you see, all of these problems stem from bunched up fascia.  The whole system, or just a part of it, is short.  Even if you have damaged tissue, removing the pulls that hurt it in the first place will allow it a much easier time to heal.  This is also how I healed my wrist.  Lengthening the fascia in all the muscles of my arm cut the problem down 50%.






            If you would like more information about how shortness causes pain and how relengthening the soft connective tissue system can correct the problem, feel free to contact me for more information.  1-321-726-9083,   louisryoshin@yahoo.com
I have a number of other articles and books, plus a lot of testimonials.

            Note that Structural Integration connective tissue manipulation is also a performance enhancing system.  Not only does correcting the shortness remove tightness and pain, it also increases a person's flexibility, relaxation, strength, balance, endurance and quickness of recovery time.  People also get tired less, at the end of a day, or from a workout.  Their leg stride and arm reach get longer.  Their movements become more precise and much easier to control. And they stand up straighter with less effort.

            My books are great!  They’re loaded with information.  I also give a lot of information in the 22 page booklet, "The Physical Benefits of Structural Integration Bodywork."  And my booklet on improving performance by realigning the fascial system is very helpful for athletes and coaches.

            There are also articles and booklets on how Structural Integration helps people psychologically and in their personal growth.  It really helps a large amount.  And the materials explain how.

I hope I can help you, your friends and loved ones, and/or your clients and patients.  Everyone seems to be able to have their physical well being increased by this marvelous "human potential" body improvement.

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