CategoryHealth and Fitness

Healthcare Quality Methods

Healthcare organizations can employ different health care methods for quality improvement. Since healthcare is not a simple phenomenon, industries find it hard to adopt the controls and standardization of quality improvement methods. However, general methods that define quality, grow improvement measures and identify variation through PDSA cycles and control charts have been successful in the application of healthcare processes. Let’s take a look at some healthcare quality improvement methods.

#1: Facilitate Adoption

It’s not enough to introduce new ideas to clinicians and discuss case studies. The reason is that it won’t motivate them to follow the improvement initiatives. It’s better to learn the quality improvement theory via hands-on improvement work. In other words, it’s applied to the real clinical setting. Also, identifying important areas for clinicians and develop the platform for betterment can help make the adoption much easier.

#2: Defining Quality & Reaching an Agreement

If we agree on what quality means in a certain context, we can establish the measures and then collect data based on them. Also, the Institute of Medicine made a quality framework based on 6 aims for the systems for healthcare. However, the most important of them is the one that is patient-oriented. In other words, it stresses the provision of care based on the values and needs of an individual patient. Also, it ensures that the clinical decisions are made based on the patient’s values.

The definition of quality refers to what the patient thinks is important. It’s to make sure that the patient is getting the best care possible for their illness.

#3: Improvement and Accountability

Both data and measurement make the backbone for quality improvement. This is the point where it’s difficult to take care of the matters associated with healthcare. Typically, when it comes to quality improvement methods, clinicians think that they involve performance measures that require accountability. However, it’s important to remember the difference between accountability measures and improvement measures.

Typically, the accountability measures are processed to get percentages. An accountability measure, for instance, gathers data about the number of ER patients who had to hang on for over 30 minutes for their turn. And then management is asked to keep the waiting time below half an hour. So, the improvement measure figures out the actual waiting period in minutes in order to find out the system performance and them improve it.

#4: PDSA Cycles and Quality Improvement Framework

For healthcare quality improvement, many frameworks are used:

  • The DMAIC model of Six Sigma
  • Lean methodology
  • The Model of Improvement was designed by the API in 1987
  • PDSA cycles are the most important part of healthcare quality improvement

Given below is the explanation of the PDSA cycles:

  1. Plan
  2. Do
  3. Study
  4. Act

#5 Variation in Data

With a deeper insight into the Mode for Improvement, the plan can help you achieve your improvement goal. Some of this insight comes from getting to know the variation in data and its causes.

Also, healthcare processes include two types of variations: intended and unintended. The intended variation refers to do something in a different way on purpose. And this defines patient-oriented care.

On the other hand, unintended variation happens when many clinicians prescribe different types of antibiotics for a problem at hand regardless of the rationale of the variation. And an out of habit or a free of thought variation is called an unintended variation.


THis Is Why Everyone Should Invest in Treating the Water

Water that is clean and suitable for drinking is essential to life. A purification system provides several benefits. It is recommended by the US Center for Disease Control to drink a minimum of 64 oz of H20 daily because of the several benefits to health. The four most important reasons to consider drinking purified water are as follows:

Minimizes Disposal of Plastic

Buying bottled water instead of drinking from the tap contributes to pollution – since disposing plastic bottles fill up the landfills. The plastic that holds it is not healthy for the planet or those who drink from it. Most of them consists of BPA, which goes into the water that people drink.

As a solution, a treatment system provides clean, potable water right from the tap.

Makes Appliances Last Longer

Appliances can also benefit from high quality water. Softened water will prolong the efficiency of appliances, which will save on costs in the long run. There will be less need for soap and detergent to clean appliances and make them last longer. Using cold water to wash dishes and clothes will not interfere with their performance.

According to researchers, when laundry machines and dishwashers were tested to run for 240 cycles, washers using treated water had almost no scale buildup, while those with untreated variety needed scale removal so they could work properly.

When it comes to water heaters, researchers discovered that the heater remained to be efficient until 15 years when using treated water. On the other hand, running untreated water cuts the efficiency of the heater by up to half because of the buildup of scale.

Essential to Health

There is a clear connection between water and health. Based on CDC reports, a number of the leading causes of outbreaks are being linked to the water that affected the people drinking it.

Water that contains organic and inorganic matter can also cause serious health complications. Studies further reveal that high content of lead in drinking water have been linked with children’s learning disabilities, delays in development, and ADD.

Protects From Harmful Organisms

According to the Environmental Protection Agency reports, 90% of the water supply worldwide is not suitable for drinking unless properly treated.

More often than not, untreated water has micro-organisms that could cause vomiting and diarrhoea, among other illnesses. Thanks to advanced water purification systems, such microorganisms can be eradicated to make the water safe to drink.

Installing a water treatment system at home is the easiest way to access clean water, which is critical to every individual’s health. Not only is it the fast and easiest way to let a family stay healthy, but also the cheapest.

Aside from purifying drinking water, treating household water will help lengthen the life of water-using appliances. It may be expensive to install a water purification system, but has more advantages to the health of a family, as well as being more cost-efficient in the long run.


Probiotics for Healthy Mouth Cavity

Probiotics have got beneficial effects on the health of humans. This is because they have an action mechanism that is related to the capability to compete for adhesion sites with microorganisms that are pathogenic. It is this potential that probiotics have that has attracted many people’s attention. So far, some clinical studies have already been conducted. According to the results, there is a suggestion that the probiotics are indeed very useful in the prevention and the treatment of different oral infections. This includes halitosis, periodontal disease, and dental caries.

Human beings ingest many microorganisms that are living. The most predominant ones are bacteria. The organisms are present in the food and water that we take. However, they can also be added in food over the processing period. They can be added to fermented milk, yogurt, cheese, and even sausages.

For quite some time now, probiotic bacteria’s have been used in foods because of the benefits they possess and their effect on health. The bacteria found in yoghurt as well as milk products that are fermented constitute a very valuable probiotic source. Most of the probiotics show great effectiveness, especially in the treatment of infections and systematic diseases. These include Crohn disease and acute diarrhea.

There are yet other studies that have suggested that there is a potential application in handling cancers, oropharyngeal infections, urogenital infections, and cardiovascular diseases. Some probiotics are also very useful in dealing with issues that arise due to the overuse of antibiotics especially when there is bacterial resistance.

Characteristics

Probiotics are living microorganisms. Principally, they are bacteria which are quite safe for consumption, especially when sufficient quantities are ingested. They have quite beneficial effects on health.

There are guidelines and standards that are laid out in different jurisdictions regarding probiotics and whether they are accepted as legitimate products that are health related. To serve as a probiotic, the bacterial strain needs to be characterized in full. It is necessary to identify the genus as well as the species of such a microorganism and this should be within the international standards.

Studies need to be conducted so that the mechanism on how the bacteria works as a probiotic can be established. This makes it possible to predict the scope of where it can be applied and the potential ill effects it can have on human health.

How they work

There are different mechanisms that can be used to illustrate how the probiotics actually act. The bacteria actually excrete different substances that are antimicrobial like bacteriocins, hydrogen peroxide, and organic acids. These bacteria’s also compete with different pathogens for sites, which are used for adhesion. Probiotics are also able to make modifications to the environment around them by oxidation and pH modulation. It is these changes that compromise how well pathogens are established. The probiotics can also stimulate modulating and immunity of the cellular and humoral immune response.

When the probiotics are combined, they add to the beneficial effects.


Here Is Why Everyone Needs Health Insurance

Today, healthcare insurance is one of the hottest political topics. Everyone is asking who should be able to have health insurance, what will be the costs of it, can you survive without insurance and what will be the penalty? In this article, we are going to help you know the reasons why everyone needs health insurance.

Life is Unpredictable

While the spontaneity of life is pleasant, know that your health and budget may be hit hard due to unpredictable circumstances. Major health illnesses like diabetes, cancer or HIV have high medical costs. If you don’t have health insurance, the cost of these medical treatments may ruin your credit rating. As a matter of fact, medical bills is one of the reasons why many people go bankrupt.

Regardless of your circumstances, it’s important that you have insurance. You have no idea what is going to happen in your life down the road. We hope that nothing bad is going to happen in your life but it’s great to have peace of mind by signing up for an insurance policy. This will give you the peace of mind that your medical bills will be covered, and that you won’t go bankrupt.

Maintain Your Health

In your life, your most valuable asset is your health. Most of us take insurance as a type of financial support we get in the event of an accident or illness. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s equally important to maintain good health. If you eat well, you can stay in good shape.

If you don’t have insurance, you won’t need to go to a doctor for medical checkups. Actually, a health insurance policy enables you to benefit from the “preventive care”, which is part of most plans. What you can do is see your qualified doctor for checkups and take part in other benefits like health screenings. This can help you maintain your health. Also, the insurance policy plan you have chosen can help you find out what is included.

Reduce Your Costs

It’s important to keep in mind that insurance providers offer special rates for doctors who are part of their network. So, if you have health insurance, you can reduce your medical costs significantly.

Avoid a Penalty

Aside from saving on your health care costs, an insurance plan can help you avoid a penalty as well. Today’s health insurance laws have a requirement that you should have a health insurance plan or you may have to pay a penalty for the month for which you or your partner or your tax dependants don’t show that they have the minimum coverage. And typically, this fee is based on a person or household income whichever is higher. This penalty can be avoided if you have health insurance.

It’s important for everyone to have health insurance. After all, you have no idea what is going to happen in the future. You can enjoy the best health care provided you get the right insurance policy.

Why Is Medical Coding Essential in Healthcare?

Nowadays, there are a lot of health care professions out there, but medical billing is on the list of top professions. Around 20 years back, there were not many job opportunities in the healthcare industry. Now, there are lots of job opportunities in the healthcare market. And this has increased the demand for medical coding professionals. Let’s find out why medical coding is essential in healthcare.

What is medical Billing and Coding?

What do you do when you are sick? You go to a medical doctor. At the doctor’s office, you deal with a doctor and his assistant. But you may not have noticed but there is another professional in the process who ensures you get the best treatment. They work in the background but are just don’t pay attention to them because of our health problems. The role of these professionals is to make sure your medical claims are billed and processed properly.

There is a difference between medical billing and medical coding as different individuals handle them. For this purpose, individuals train and prepare for the job. Let’s find out the difference between their roles.

The primary role of a medical coder is to decode the procedure or service mentioned on the documents given by the doctor to the patient. Next, he decides on the right type of procedure and diagnosis code for submission. Actually, the medical coder takes their time to assess and code the data to ensure the billing is free of errors.

Next, the medical biller uses the right codes to enter the claims and then submits them to the relevant insurance provider for billing. For updates, the biller keeps in touch with the insurance provider to ensure the approval of the claims. In case of any discrepancies, the medical biller may update the patient on what is going on.

Career Opportunities

If you want to ensure that the medical institutes run efficiently, the importance of medical coders and medical billers can’t be denied. The billing and coding professionals are an integral part of the system to ensure that the records are updated and handled properly.

Recently, there has been an increase in job opportunities for trained medical coding and billing professionals. As the life expectancy and population increases, the demand for these pros will keep on going up, says the reports released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Actually, these professionals are appointed at nurse care, medical billing companies, rehabilitation facilities, insurance companies, private clinics, and hospitals, just to name a few.

If you want to join this field, make sure to get certificates by undergoing proper training. Usually, these pros need to undergo post-secondary training.

It’s not hard to achieve this feat. All you need to do is sign up for a medical billing and coding program. As soon as you have gone through short training, it’s time for you to apply for your desired job at a nearby medical facility.


Nutraceutical Manufacturer’s Regulations

Nutraceutical manufacturers have a unique space between consumables regulations and consumer products. How people intend to use the Nutraceutical has to be considered as drugs. However, manufacture of dietary supplements is separate from pharmaceuticals. For this reason, the Nutraceutical manufacturers have many compliance requirements that they have to meet. Quality control procedures need to be adhered to during manufacturing. Nutraceutical manufacturers should keep track of all implementations required by the relevant bodies with regard to the ingredients used and all procedures. Dietary supplements have very strict requirements, especially for labeling and classification.

The regulations that are set out are meant to assist the manufacturers to deploy systems that are comprehensive to manage and process different data collection necessary to be compliant. The regulations include:

  • Classification

Because of the sector, dietary supplements are regulated carefully in terms of ultimate classification of the items marketed. There are strict controls on the definitions of every category of products as covered by the law. When a product makes claims during marketing, or after adding the ingredients used in creating it, the regular bodies can actually rule it as being mislabeled as a Nutraceutical marketed like a drug and vice versa.

  • Correct Labeling

This is one of the most important regulations that have to be followed by the Nutraceutical manufacturers. Since the dietary supplements are usually promoted for purposes of the health benefits that consumers can reap from them, they need to have a package labeling that reflects this. It is important to display whether any effects may be felt when the supplements are consumed over a given limit. It is always important the product labeling be informative and precise.

Regulatory bodies also have additional rules for labeling for some factors. This includes particular ingredients that have a minimum volume, which is recommended. There are some raw materials that also have some very specific rules pertaining to the naming. This is important because the items can be confused with others if proper labeling is not done. Nutritional claims need to be done following very distinct guidelines.

  • Notifications

Nutraceutical manufacturers need to submit notifications when they create supplements with new ingredients before they even start distributing the product. It is also required of them to give all data, which they used in determining that the intended ingredient is actually safe for consumption. These findings are then reviewed to ensure that they are accurate and consistent before a decision is made and the product approved.

  • Good Practices during Manufacture

Relevant bodies establish what is considered good practices for the Nutraceutical industry. These lay out very specific guidelines for the production areas of the products. This includes things like sanitation standards and storage areas. It also involves the implementation of proper production systems and processing to guarantee that the batch quality is consistent.

It is necessary for the Nutraceutical manufacturer to have the best process control and production systems. This includes the implementation of protective and correction action procedures. It is also necessary that the supplements should be able to be traced and tracked according to their lot level.


The Benefits Associated With Eating Eggshells

We all understand how important it is to get the appropriate daily nutrient requirements. While some people do not have any hard time getting all they need daily, some struggle with the same. Sometimes this is because of very restrictive diets, a low food intake, or at times, shortage of food. Calcium is one of the most essential nutrients that we need for the proper functioning of our bodies. If you want to meet the daily requirement, then you should consider one of the cheapest calcium sources, which are eggshells.

When you decide to use eggshells, you are essentially making use of materials that would have otherwise been wasted. Eggshells are the outer covering of the egg, which is hard in nature. This shell consists of calcium carbonate mainly. Calcium carbonate is a very common calcium form. The shell is also made of protein as well as some other minerals. Calcium is one of the most important minerals and it is usually easy to access it in most foods such as dairy products, there are also lower amounts that are found in the root and leafy vegetables.

Over the years, eggs have been used when creating supplements. The calcium content of eggshells stands at around 40 percent. This means that every gram of eggshell can give around 381-401 mg. This therefore means that only a half of the eggshell may be adequate for an adult’s daily requirement.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is very common in nature. It makes limestone, coral reefs, and seashells. As a supplement, it is also one of the cheapest that you can find. Studies have been conducted on piglets and rats and there has been a confirmation that they are indeed a perfect source of calcium. They are also readily absorbed just like the normal calcium carbonate.

The other minerals that can be found in the eggshells include selenium, magnesium, fluoride, and strontium.

The Benefits

  • Reduces the risk of the disease osteoporosis: this condition can be identified due to the weakness of bones as well as a high risk of getting bone fractures
  • It helps you achieve the daily calcium requirement, especially when you have a hard time doing it.
  • It strengthens bones, especially in the women who are postmenopausal. Taking the powder together with magnesium and vitamin D3 actually strengthens bones and improves density.
  • The membrane in eggshells is also great for your joints. This membrane is usually visible when one boils an egg and peels it. This membrane is included when the supplement is being made.
  • The shell also has collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and other types of nutrients. These are usually in very little amounts. By taking eggshells on a regular basis, you may actually benefit your joints a great deal.

The Risks

When they are prepared in the correct way, eggshell powder is very safe. The first thing you should always remember is never to try to swallow them as fragments can cause harm to your throat or even esophagus. You need to have them ground. Because they can be contaminated by different bacteria, it is important to wash them and then boil them before they can be consumed.


28 Tips To Energize Your Life

To Revitalize You, To Say Good-Bye To Fatigue…

  1. Eat properly – Nutritious meals are number one in the battle against fatigue.
  2. Get up early – too much sleep can reduce your life expectancy.
  3. High-protein food.
  4. Munch on fruit when you need a snack.
  5. Avoid too much caffeine.
  6. Take vitamin B Complex.
  7. Get proper rest, relaxation and sleep. Relax before you get tired.
  8. Meditate whenever you get an opportunity for it – meditate many times during a day.
  9. Pamper yourself; take a break when you need it.
  10. Daily brisk walking.
  11. Enjoy music and songs whenever you get an opportunity for it during the day.
  12. Enjoy walking rather than driving.
  13. Play outdoor games.
  14. Make something more beautiful – Aesthetic Culture.
  15. Learn how to overcome stress and tension.
  16. Energy follows thought. Do not think about your inadequacies, your defects, your imperfections and your failures. But think about your achievements. Feel your beauty, your inner worth, your Buddha nature.
  17. Enjoy yourself. Look at the beauty and enjoy, listen to music and enjoy, use all your senses and enjoy. Use your senses at their optimum, then you will really live your life will be aflame; it will not be dull, it will be aflame with energy and vitality. Be alive because it is only on the wings of life that you will reach to truth. If you are dull you are lost. Be radiant.
  18. Love more and your body will gather more energy from the whole cosmos.
  19. Be very aware about your eating. Remain aware what and how much you eat, and its effect on your body. If you experiment with awareness, you will certainly find out which is the right food for you, which food gives you tranquillity, peace and health. There are no real difficulties in doing this, but because we do not pay any attention to feed we are never able to discover the right food. And eat joyously and happily.
  20. Take bath daily. It purifies and refreshes not only the body but our innermost core too.
  21. Enjoy reading.
  22. Much time and energy is dissipated in fighting, accept what is. Make friends with what is.
  23. Do not create absolute ideas; remain flexible. Be like water. It has no form, it is infinitely adjustable. That is its beauty, it knows no rigidity. Flexibility is life. It means responding to the moment without any preconceived idea.
  24. Consult your doctor and take medicine whenever needed. Take Neem for healthy body and skin, Bitter Melon (Karela) for regulation and good metabolism, Holi Basil (Tulasi) for relieving cough and cold and boosting immunity, Boswellia Serrata (Shallaki) for relieving joint pain and inflammation, Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) for relieving stress, strain and fatigue, Bacopa (Brahmi) for good memory and concentration.
  25. Love your work and be creative. Change your work into fun. Boredom sucks. Work as play. Work as worship. Combine activity and relaxation.
  26. Laugh your way to health. Laughter brings strength. Laughter is one of the most deep-going medicines.
  27. Do not prevent the tears. Let the tears flow. Learn to talk with God. Weep alone. Do not repress your tears.
  28. Let silence rejuvenate you. Learn the silence – the silence which is alive, positive, and affirmative. Silence is a joy. It is not just absence of worry – it is the presence of ecstasy. The real silence has to be in the crowd. When the crowd cannot disturb your solitude, then it is yours. When nothing disturbs you, when nothing distracts you, then you are centered. When you are really silent, you will find silence everywhere. Silence is something inside; quiet I something outside, hence, silence is not quiet. Quiet depends on conditions outside; silence is unconditional. Watch, witness, be centered, meditate and enjoy silence.

Follow all above 28 tips and keep yourself healthy, strong and energetic. Whole of your being must be full of energy.

There are millions hits on the internet search drive for Wellness – from mental to physical health, cardiac fitness, cancer, yoga, how to overcome certain ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stoke, and tips on weight loss and how to grow taller, with many other ideas getting honorable mention. It takes quite a bit of research to find any one site that has so much to offer on all these fronts, let alone one that can combine all the needs for your innermost wellness – joy, bliss and beyond. For wellness’ sake you can stop looking out there, and take some time for yourself, a sort of one-stop-shop: BalancedLifestyleWikipedia.


Eyelash Growth Benefits of Organic Castor Oil

Organic castor oil is a pale yellow color and pure vegetable oil that is obtained from castor oil plant seeds. This oil is gained in a large amount from India and Africa as the climate conditions are suitable for growth of this plant so this plant is grown on a large scale to produce this oil. The oil is widely used to treat different skin and hair problems. The oil is widely used for many centuries to grow eyelashes. For long and thick eyelashes you should try this oil. The oil has amazing properties that very useful to treat different problems for people of all ages.

Uses of Organic Castor Oil

1. This product is used to treat many skin infections like acne.

2. It is used to treat many hair related problems like dandruff, hair loss and also prevents dryness of the scalp.

3. This oil also reduces the stiffness of joints.

4. The ingredients of oil have an anti-inflammatory effect which makes it effective for the patient who has arthritis.

5. The oil can also treat ovarian cyst and also effective for relieving the pain related to the menstrual cycle.

6. It also decreases the signs of aging.

7. It is useful for thickening of eyebrows.

8. It diminishes the moles and warts from different parts of the body.

9. It has a laxative effect.

10. It causes the induction of labor.

Products of Organic Castor Oil

The products of this Organic Oil are available in the market in a very reasonable amount. It is very beneficial for a variety of health, skin, and hair related problems, so it is the ingredient of many Natural Skin Care Routine products. It is used in:

1. Pharmaceutical products such as creams, emulsions, and ointments.

2. It is widely used in cosmetics such as lipsticks, eyeshadows.

3. Castor oil packs.

4. Castor oil supplements. These supplements are available in the form of capsules.

1. Castor oil performs many more functions in different parts of the body.

Improves Growth of Eyelashes

The oil is a pure vegetable oil that enhances the growth of eyelashes by providing sufficient nutrients to the eyelash base cells and keeps them hydrated. The oils ingredients work to make your eyelashes thick and soft. The oil should be applied with eye mascara or eyeliner brush. Make sure the oil should not interact with the eye as it can cause serious irritation to the eyes.

Different people use a variety of products to enhance their eyelashes, but the best and a natural way is organic castor oil. As it improves your eyelash growth and is not harmful at all. So try a natural product rather than an artificial one that may harm you.


Shoulder, Thorax & Thoracic Spine

The shoulder & pectoral girdle has 3 bones, 3 joints, and 1 articulation. The chest cavity, or thorax, consists of 12 vertebrae connected to 12 pairs of ribs which connects to the sternum in the front of the body. The thorax forms an elastic but firm cavity that protects vital organs. It also generates a punctum fixum (fixed point) for the functional mobility of the upper and lower extremities to transfer forces between the them. Designed functionally to enhance breathing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Our structural architecture provides the vehicle for you to lead your life and the direction it follows.

Anatomy

The shoulder joint or glenohumeral joint (GH) is a ball-and-socket joint between the glenoid fossa of the scapula and head of the humerus bone. It is the most mobile joint in the body and most frequently dislocated. The glenoid fossa is shallow but deepened by a fibrocartilaginous rim called the glenoid labrum and anomalies or variations in size and thickness occur. Comparable to a golf ball on a tee horizontally, the shoulder joint has a fibrous capsule that envelops the entire articulation, but with a laxity which affords both Active and Passive Range of Motion (ROM). Ligaments reinforce the static and dynamic stability of the joint in varying directions and positions. There are many bursae (fibrous sacs of synovial fluid) around the joint in specific locations to protect the tendons which move over bones quickly with extreme forces. The subacromial bursae is subject to irritation causing inflammation and referred to as Impingement Syndrome, which is a specific and localized sensation on the top of your shoulder when you lift your arm up. The pectoral girdle consists of two scapulae and two clavicles. The medial portion of the clavicle attaches to the top of the sternum at the sternoclavicular (SC) joint. The distal clavicle connects to the scapula at the acriomioclavicular (AC) joint. The acromion, a uniquely evolved bone feature of the scapula has three types or shapes formed congenitally (Type I or flat 17%, Type II or curved 43%, Type III or hooked 40%) that can affect the odds of having rotator cuff injury (Type III ~65%) and detected via a x-ray study. The shoulder blade or scapula also moves or, glides, over the ribs or thorax cage via the scapulothoracic interface when lifting the arm upward and out.

Scapulohumeral Rhythm: a 2:1 ratio during shoulder abduction between the humerus and the scapula. As the arm lifts the angulation of the scapula moves at half the rate. Sometimes this can cause a clunk-clunk-clunk sound as the shoulder blade moves over the ribs and may indicate a muscular imbalance. If pain or discomfort occupies your shoulder, don’t wait to get it evaluated. Quick and effective treatment exists within a thorough soft tissue examination and clinical experience.

Thoracic Spine

The 12 thoracic vertebrae create a kyphotic curve, a primary curve in our spine, formed within the womb. The curve is opposite in the neck and low back. Thoracic vertebrae are connected or hinged via costovertebral joints to 12 pairs of ribs (7 true and 5 false). A dozen vertebrae interconnected via multiple facet joints allowing motion. The top 6 vertebrae or the upper thoracic spine rotate and lateral flex due to coronal facets. The lower thoracic spine has less rotation and lateral flexion but more flexion and extension are due to sagittal facets. But keep in mind we are all unique and variations within the spine known as congenital anomalies. Midline of chest is the sternum, the manubrium at the top and the xiphoid process at the bottom. There are 10 ribs that attach to the sternum via costal cartilages and the bottom 2 ribs float in the muscles of the abdominal wall.

Muscles of the Shoulder & Thorax

Muscles of Scapular Stabilization: Trapezius, Rhomboid Major/Minor, Levator Scapulae, Serratus Anterior, Pectoralis Minor

Movements of the Scapula: Depression, Elevation, Protraction, Retraction, Upper Rotation

Muscles of the Rotator Cuff: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Subscapularis

Movements of the Glenohumeral Joint: Internal & External Rotation, Abduction & Adduction, Flexion & Extension

Shoulder Range of Motion

Flexion: 150-170 ~ Extension: 35-45

Horizontal adduction: 130-160 ~ Abduction: 40-50

Abduction: 160-180 ~ Adduction: 20-40

External/Internal Rotation w/arm along body: 60/70

External/Internal rotation at 90 degrees of abduction: 90/70

Postural Awareness: Spine, Chest & Pelvis

If breathing is abnormal, many movement patterns may be altered and dysfunctional. Posture and respiration work together as one functional unit. The thoracic spine needs to be flexible and rigid at certain times. This is accomplished by co-contraction of the pelvic floor, diaphragm and abdominal wall (core), thus maintaining proper stability in order to transfer forces while still being able to breathe. A prerequisite to functional human capacity and quality of life.

Strategies to Increase Thoracic Spine Mobility

  • Foam roll upper thoracic spine for improved extension
  • Foam Roll (Upper Back Cat) for lower thoracic spine extension (can also use chair, gym ball or wall)
  • Yoga – Downward-Facing Dog helps with scapular stabilization, thoracic extension, core engagement, and pelvic/chest alignment
  • Mid-Back Rotation: Start on knees and elbows, place right hand on the back of head, place left arm straight out in front, palm down for balance. As you breathe in, lift and rotate head. Eyes follow elbow as you lift and rotate through your upper thoracic spine. No lumbar spine motion.