Hourglass Syndrome: 3 Basic Causes and Treatment

Hourglass syndrome (also commonly known as stomach gripping), is a disorder in which people suck in their abdomen habitually. Doing this for an extended period results in a smaller waist, an up turned belly button, and a horizontal grease located across or over the belly button.

There is an activation of the upper abdominal muscle because of the pulling if the diaphragm towards the opposite direction that inflates the lungs. Thus, sucking in the abdomen pulls the diaphragm inward and consequently pulls the lower ribs inward too.

This happens because the abdominal muscle is unbalanced leaving the upper muscle in constant construction. However, it causes the lower back bad abdominal muscle to go lax consequently pulling the abdomen in an upward direction.

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THREE CONSEQUENCES OF HOURGLASS SYNDROME or STOMACH GRIPPING

1. NECK PAIN 

If in case the diaphragm doesn’t descend normally as expected, not only will the stabilization be affected but also breathing. This can cause a huge strain and neck.

The center of the diaphragm ought to descend downward extending the abdomen and expanding the lungs. In the hourglass disorder, this Normal pattern of motion us disturbed, and mostly when inhaling, the chest shoulder lift instead of compensating. This put a great deal of stress on the muscle of the neck and is a key cause of neck pain and migraines.

2. ACID REFLUX 

If the diaphragm is damaged, it can increase the risk of acid reflux.

Alongside it’s breathing and balancing function, the diaphragm additionally work as a sphincter, assisting to prevent the stomach content from going back up into the throat (esophagus).

3. LOWER BACK PAIN

This implies that the other muscle help to work more efficiently to make up for dysfunction of the diaphragm, especially the extensors of the lower back.

This consistent overworking of the muscles can prompt tightness and pain. The diaphragm is a critical stabilizer of the lower back. So when it’s not working accurately the lower is left weak.

WHAT CAUSES HOURGLASS SYNDROME?

hourglass syndrome
Hourglass syndrome

1. POOR HABIT OR SOCIAL ANXIETY

Many wish for a flat abdomen, however holding it in for a long time is not a good idea. When this continues for a longer duration, it can rewrite the brain from the natural pattern of adjustment.

2. DEFENSIVE PATTERN

They promptly develop a habit of protecting even after recovery. Hourglass syndrome stomach gripping can develop as a feature of muscle protection, post and injury and may persist long after the pain has been cured.

3. NONIBEAL DEVELOPMENT FROM CHILDHOOD

In about 30% of infant, the stomach gripping of hourglass syndrome is a typical compensation procedure in response poor muscle development which can persist info adulthood.

HOW TO TREAT HOURGLASS SYNDROME

The treatment for hourglass syndrome is mainly physiotherapy. The main objective for physiotherapist is to include the right activation of the diaphragm and release the strain in the overloaded muscle of the abdomen and back.

At the point when a person stretches the abdomen, they inhale for 15 seconds in the “cobra” and “seal” position. Also to stretch the back muscles, the “child” position is ideal.

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HOW DOES HOURGLASS SYNDROME LOOK LIKE 

You can notice this syndrome from the front, if you focus your view on the abdomen. There’s no balanced activation of all muscle of the abdomen, but there’s a prevailing increase muscle tension of the upper part of the abdomen wall especially the rectus abdominis muscle abs.


HOW DOES THIS SYNDROME FORM

Hourglass syndrome can develop from incorrect exercise during childhood and inducing co-activation of themselves on the front and backside of the trunk.

Main risk of hourglass syndrome is incorrect exercise or crunches.

That’s usually accompanied by an incorrect breathing during which the chest is too high and the abdominal muscle are activated sooner than the diaphragm that results in increase involvement of the core muscles in the back.

We’re getting to know the the uneven burdening of the abdominal muscle which lead to increased activation of the upper fibers of the rectus abdominus muscle but the transverse abdominus muscle are excluded from their functions.

Most recent studies proved that the abdominal muscle and diaphragm are automatically and functionally connected. This wrong stereotype us usually involved into common habits unbalanced muscle activity resulting in a non centered posture and it’s usually bring many negative consequences.

Example acute or chronic overloading, all that’s disallowing a quality coordinated stabilization of the lumbar spine.


WHAT ARE THE RESULTS

Further manifestation of this syndrome are the so called inverse function of the diaphragm which cause the lower ribs to shrink inwardly and the sternum bone us pushed during activation downward.

This activation is further affecting the upper ribs, which widen the rib cage to the breathing muscles especially the activity in the upper part of the abdominal muscle causing the chest not to expand which consequently leads to insufficient function of the diaphragm which also plays a stabilizing function In the trunk.

We can see patients with chronically painful back disabled hypertonic rectus abdominal muscle which is able to function only in it’s upper part, and the lower part is usually weaken and non functional.

During functional examination of the stability it’s manifested by painting the area, by physically active youth us the stereotype movement can be hardly affected.

It has the most significant effect on lumbar spine pelvis which can have a fatal consequences in the general body posture, painful condition and further injuries.


PHYSIOTHERAPIST TREATMENT FOR HOURGLASS SYNDROME

The main goal for physiotherapist is to induce the correct activation of the diaphragm and release the tension in the overloaded muscle of the abdomen and back.

It’s important to approach a patient during activation if the diaphragm when you stretch the abdominal muscle in the whole range, breathe at least for 15 seconds in the “cobra” or “seal” position. Here’s all about physiotherapy treatment;

  • Stretching the rectus abdominus muscle.
  • With exhale return back to the default position on your stomach.
  • Keep your legs stretched and rested.
  • Breathe freely in this position.
  • Keep your arms stretched.
  • Stretch on your head upward.
  • Press your shoulder down.
  • Lay on your stomach.
  • Bend your elbow and rest your hands on the ground closer to your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows and rest your hands on the ground to your shoulder.

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