In the spirit of a 'whole-body' or holistic approach to Pelvic/Core Function.......a little thought re: Upper Crossed Syndrome and it's role in Diastasis and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and how you can help your clients get out of this typical posture/mis-alignment seen not only in the Pregnant and Post Natal client but in the general population at large - think Smartphone user!
In this blog, I'll just focus on one aspect of this syndrome: the tightness/shortness in the Pectorals (major and minor) and how this impacts on optimal Pelvic/Core Function.
1. Clients locked in this posture for sure have a less-than-optimal breathing strategy.....just try for yourself. Move your palms to the front of your thighs and allow your shoulder to curl forwards and feel how restricted your breath is. Not great is it? Ultimately the innate and synergistic relationship between of your Pelvic Floor and your Diaphragm (shown below) will not be working to it's full potential....cue Pelvic Floor dysfunction....the breath drives the system!
2. This posture also creates an increase in downward and outward pressure for the abdominal wall and any Diastasis that is trying to heal plus a potential for ongoing 'bearing down' onto the Pelvic Floor muscles and pelvic basin connective tissues which over time may lead to mild incontinence issues at best, prolapse issues at worse.
So then, what has this tiny muscle group got to do with Diastasis? Well shortness here could both draw the shoulders forward AND ELEVATE THE RIBCAGE!
An elevated rib-cage both alters optimal breathing and has the potential to hinder the Diastasis healing. Normalizing the length/tension of the Pectorals both Major and Minor is an essential part of the 'bigger picture' for Pelvic Floor and Core Restore for any woman, at any life phase. So take a look at your client's hand and head position and decide whether a little attention needs to be paid to the foundation of optimal function....great alignment, posture, soft tissue length/tension and breathing pattern. Remember, most strength work will shorten muscles so your best strategy is to RELEASE SHORTNESS/TIGHTNESS BEFORE YOU SEEK TO STRENGTHEN!
Here are a few ideas for releasing the Pectorals in a dynamic fashion......enjoy!