Have you ever noticed when you look in the mirror or observe yourself in a picture that you tend to tilt your head to the side or that one shoulder is higher than the other, or that the pelvis or trunk rests in rotation? These resting positions are postural compensations typically related to an imbalance in the Spiral Line.
The Spiral Line is the group of muscles and fascia that "loops around the body in two opposing helices, right and left, joining each side of the skull across the upper back to the opposite shoulder, and then around the ribs to the front to cross again at the level of the navel to the hip. From the hip, the Spiral Line passes like a ‘jump rope’ along the anterolateral thigh and across the shin to the medial longitudinal arch, passing under the foot and running up the posterolateral side of the leg to the ischium and into the erector spinae myofascia (of either side, depending on posture or position) to end very close to where it started on the skull." To get a sense of this myofascial line, click on the link to direct you to the resource with pictures.
This spiral affect of the muscles and fascia support our posture in the 3 planes of motion: rotation (transverse), side bending (frontal) and front to back (sagittal).
The Spiral Line
Addressing the mobility of the shoulder girdle, ribcage and trunk can have positive effects along the "movement chain" of the spiral line. Below I share with you a movement sequence designed to incorporate more of the rotation and side bending components that we typically are not getting in our day to day routines. Freeing up the myofascial tension with this sequence can improve neck pain, hip & pelvic pain, core activation for abdominal wall separation and pelvic floor health. Enjoy!
Susan McLaughlin is a physical therapist who specializes in the management of pelvic floor and orthopedic dysfunctions. She is the owner of ALIGN integration|movement in Salt Lake City, UT. Helpful tips and other self care strategies can be found at www.alignforhealth.com.
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