March 11, 2014
A neutral rib cage is essential for diaphragm recruitment. Some therapists have told me that they have difficulty observing if a child’s rib cage is tipped up or tipped down. But don’t forget your handling skills! Sit or stand behind your client and place your hands lightly on either side of the rib cage. Determine whether the child’s rib cage feels tipped upwards towards the ceiling or down towards the floor. You can also use this hand position to follow the child during movement and discern how the rib cage is moving during different parts of transitional movements and gait (hint: you may find that a child with a rib cage that is tipped up exaggerates this upward tipping during weight shift). And of course, the rib cage is a wonderful key point of control for handling, where you can impact the activity of the inner core muscle team by facilitating neutral rib cage alignment during functional movement.
Each Tuesday I publish a tip like this one on Facebook. The rest of the week I share various links and comment on recent research literature. Come and join in the fun!