Hardware vs Software is a hot topic in the health and fitness industry. It can spark heated debates surrounding what can be done and what can’t be done. What is software? What is hardware? What is the controversy and why does it matter?
WHAT IS SOFTWARE?
Software is flexible, malleable, and can be changed. When applied to human function it is ripe with neuroplasticity. The Systems learn, adapt, and evolve as needed to grow. In order to do this, they need to be agreeable to change.
Our compensation patterns are the musculoskeletal equivalent to a software issue. They were created for a specific purpose, but instead of moving through the adaptation they become stuck in a way of living and are what we sometimes refer to as a ‘software glitch’.
WHAT IS HARDWARE?
Hardware is inflexible and cannot be changed. It also seems to be a 4 letter word in the industry.
A few examples of hardware when applying the term to human function are plates and screws, broken bones, arthritis, demyelinating diseases, lesions, and the list goes on.
The Systems view these hardware bits as alien. They will constantly try to adapt around these areas in protective nature.
When confronted with ‘hardware issues’ many practitioners hang their head in defeat knowing that changes will not take place. They have given up before they’ve begun, because that’s what they’ve been taught.
HARDWARE VS SOFTWARE: THE GREAT DEBATE.
So what is the great debate with Hardware VS Software?
As Manual Therapists, we work primarily with software. We work with the Systems to create positive changes. Knowing that we can’t change hardware issues does not mean we can’t create positive changes!
Is there really any debate then?
3 WAYS TO SUCCESSFULLY ADDRESS HARDWARE ISSUES.
Don’t treat it like it’s a death sentence. Treat it as you would any other pain and movement issue you are presented with in your practice daily within its specific limitations.
Dig deeper. This is a primary opportunity to possibly discover the neuromuscular, neuro-emotional, biomechanical, and or lifestyle triggers that resulted in the hardware issue. I often ask my clients why they want to go back to how they were if that’s what brought them to where they are now.
Encourage ongoing wellness sessions of their choosing. With hardware it often becomes a point of how good they want to feel for how long. The Systems will continue to adapt, but the more symptomatic issues can be reduced with self-care and continued maintenance.
In my opinion, the bottom line when it comes to software vs hardware is that both require a skilled practitioner and that the patient be an active participant in their healing process. Create an environment of education, exploration, and discovery for positive changes to evolve.
Originally posted by Marissa Macias
With the majority of people having desk jobs sitting in front of a computer, common avoidable postural distortions like forward head posture (FHP) and Upper Crossed Syndrome have become almost the norm. If you’re able to keep your focus on proper posture from a young age and throughout your life, you have a good chance of never having to deal with these postural issues. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case most of the time.
The less time you spend moving, the more likely your posture will suffer. This simple stretch can help and takes very little time.
Lately I’ve been giving out this simple passive stretch to many of my clients, so it seems like a good tool to share with everyone. The Wall Stand is a total body, passive, stretch and proprioceptive training tool that really focuses on lengthening your anterior (front- pecs, abs, quads) connective tissue and helping your body remember how it feels to but fully upright. Optimal posture, when seen from the side, would have your head over your shoulders so that the opening to your ear lines up with the flat end of your collarbone nearest to the shoulder.
For many people, due to our western lifestyles and sitting too much, the head has migrated forward. This can lead to many problems such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain and a hump known as Dowager’s Hump. The Wall Stand Stretch helps lengthen the muscles in the back of the neck and strengthen the muscles in the front of the neck, which can help correct the forward head posture.
The Wall Stand Exercise is as easy as standing against a wall. Doesn’t sound like much, but for many people it will be a deep stretch and it will be hard to hold for 5 minutes.
1) Place your heels against a wall. The move your hips and shoulders to the wall with your palms touching the wall.
3) Hold the position until you feel fatigue. Then walk away from the wall and let everything relax. On your second repetition, you will do the same movements. IF you had to step away from the wall to get your head against the wall, move your feet slightly towards to the wall…you should notice the second repetition is easier. If you don’t, that is ok, it will within a week if you do this stretch everyday.
4) NOTE: The head must stay against the wall. This will cause you to activate your cervical flexors (the muscles on the front of your neck) and lengthen the cervical extensors (the muscles on the back of your neck). In forward head posture, the extensors are too short and tight and the flexors are too long and weak. By actively using the flexors in the wall stand, you’ll begin to correct this muscle imbalance, so that the postural correction stay with your after you get off the wall. Again, you’ll hold the position until fatigue. Then step away. Repeat 2 more times.
That’s it. Five minutes against a wall can correct the problems caused by hours of sitting staring at a screen.
So, next blog I will show you how to activate the intrinsic muscles of your neck, shoulders, and spine to develop the strength for good posture.
I got back a week ago from my two week rotation with the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs, CO. I am finally slowing down and almost caught up from being gone.
While at the OTC I completed 141 athlete sessions, 6 nights of emergency on-call with an athletic trainer, assisted 3 medical procedures, and provided support for USA Wrestling. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the time my plane landed in Milwaukee last Sunday.
During the hustle and bustle of everything, there are a few things I observed and learned:
Have you been experiencing frequent headaches, back and neck pain, dull aching facial pain, or popping in your jaw? You are not alone, many of my clients walk through the door experiencing the very same. Many of these symptoms may be related to a Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). These disorders involve the jaw muscles and/or the jaw joint known as the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).
The TMJ is the hinge that connects your jaw to the bones on the side of your skull, which are in front of each ear. Below are a few causes of trauma to the TMJ:
* Direct trauma
* Indirect trauma – whiplash, neck injury
* Stress and emotional strain
* Poor posture
* Clenching/grinding of teeth
* Myofascial restrictions throughout the body
* Rotation in the pelvis
* Tooth loss or misalignment of the teeth
* Chewing gum or biting nails
Taking a global approach to the tension often found within the joint can help relieve symptoms and alleviate causes that are not related to TMD. Within the clinic, I approach the jaw joint pain with a combination of myofascial release (MFR), triggerpoint therapy (TrP), and craniosacral (CST). Releasing the triggerpoints and elongating the connective tissue allow for improved symptoms and giving your body the ability to heal itself.
There is not a single cause for TMD symptoms. Clicking or popping noises, locking or grating sensations, pain or stiffness in and around the jaw and TMJ can all be symptoms of TMD. Many also experience headaches, neck pain, or earaches.
Other known causes of jaw or facial pain include conditions, such as:
TMD, like many other symptomatic complexes, can often have several different factors that contribute to its development. If you suffer from jaw, head or neck problems and would like to learn ways to help release tension, check out our new Client Resources page. I have uploaded a pdf with techniques to help you manage symptoms at home.
A little from Dr. Dan, a little from Lisa but always a lot of good stuff!