MATRIX Personalized Fitness
More than just your muscles


0:00 - Intro

Hey guys, it's Shane from MATRIX Personalized Fitness. I got a great response from last week's video of Opposite Joint, Opposite Movement. So, I decided to continue it this week.

0:10 - Opposite Joint for Limbs

Now if you didn't see last week's video, be sure to go and check it out! I talked all about how you can help yourself with different aches and pains that you might have by working on the Opposite Joint and the Opposite Movement. In that first video, I talked about the limbs. So Opposite Joint would have been wrist to the opposite side ankle, elbow to the opposite side knee, shoulder to the opposite side hip.

0:31 - Opposite Joint for Spine

What we're going to work on today is the spine. So, you don't have the same type of left to right opposite thing going on. But they're still opposing parts of the spine available. To go through that, we have the jaw starting right at the top. That would be paired with the cocyx, which is your tailbone. We also have the cervical spine (neck), which would be paired with your sacrum, the little triangular piece that attaches your spine to your hip. The last two parts are the thoracic spine which is where all your ribs are attach and the lumbar spine that you're probably familiar with, because it's the most common place that people experience low back pain. To review that, again, it's jaw with tailbone, neck or cervical spine with the sacrum, and then your thoracic spine, where the ribs are, pairing with the lumbar spine.

1:21 - Opposite Movement for Lumbar/Thoracic Spine

Now, let's go through the opposite movement part of things. With the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine, it's very simple. If we are bringing the spine up into extension, the opposite movement in the lumbar spine would be flexion. And vice versa. If we're tilting the thoracic spine to the right, we would think about moving the lumbar spine to the left. Those make sense and they're pretty well balanced. Rotation would be the same thing, too. Thoracic rotation, lumbar rotation, the opposite way.

1:54 - Flexion/Extension for Sacrum/Cervical Spine

Where it gets more complicated is as we move into the cervical spine, and the sacrum. Thinking about flexion and extension, the important piece to know here is that flexion is defined by the fetal position. As your head bows into the fetal position that's flexion. Your tailbone is tucking underneath, so the sacrum was curling under, or your hip pointers were pulling back, that's flexion in the sacrum. To apply this with the opposite movement piece, if I'm having some sacral issues, L5-S1, where a lot of people feel their low back pain. And oftentimes that hurts when you're tucking the tail underneath, flexion. What you'd want to do in the cervical spine is work on extension, pulling the head up and back. So, that piece can be a little bit confusing.

2:45 - Lateral Flexion/Extension for Sacrum/Cervical Spine

Where else it gets confusing in these two areas is with lateral flexion. Because of the shape of the sacrum, the top of it is actually the piece that we're interested in looking to move. When I do a tilt to the right, if that's what's painful in my neck, I'm actually going to do a right hip hike as the opposite movement. Because relative to the top of the sacrum, the left side is moving down. And that's what we're looking for as the opposite movement within those two. To recap, if it's neck lateral flexion that hurts, you're going to moving your hip up to the same side because the sacrum, itself, is moving opposite.

3:28 Extra Note for Sacrum/Cervical Spine

The final piece with these two is that the neck has a lot more movement than the sacrum does. You can think about the other things the neck does. Protraction, that would be paired with flexion as well. Okay? Retraction would be paired with extension of the sacrum. So keep that in mind.

3:50 - Opposite Movement for Coccyx/Jaw

Now there's the last two pieces, the jaw and the coccyx, or your tailbone. Moving your tailbone is really, really hard to do. The only way that is really efficient in accessing it is if you can get down into a very low squat. You can think about making tiny little movements down in this position. You might find that that helps with the jaw. More than likely, things will be the other way around. If you're feeling any type of tailbone pain, you can do some jaw mobility work to help that out.

4:26 - Summary

To recap, all of this together. Jaw with tailbone, those are your opposites. Sacrum with neck, your opposites. Thoracic spine with lumbar spine, those are your opposites. Movement wise, rotation would be the opposite way, lateral flexion would be the opposite way, and flexion and extension would be the opposite for the lumbar spine, and thoracic spine. When you're talking about the sacrum, it gets a little bit tricky, because flexion is tucking the tail under while extension is taking the tail or neck back. And when you're doing that laterally, you're actually going to do the same side movement as far as what it looks like because the sacrum is dipping the other way.

5:16 - Conclusion

There was a lot of information there. Feel free to give it a try. If you're experiencing any type of pain up through the spine. I would love to hear any questions or comments you might have. Feel free to post them right below the video. I'll be sure to respond as quick as I can. And just so you know, next week, I'll be a filming another one. The third part of this series explaining when this doesn't work, how can you can get more specific to get some results. Thanks so much for watching, and I'll talk to you again next week. Take care!