About Sarah Warren

Sarah Warren is a Certified Clinical Somatic Educator and owner of Somatic Movement Center. She has helped people with conditions such as chronic back pain, neck and shoulder pain, hip and knee pain, sciatica, and scoliosis become pain-free by practicing Thomas Hanna's method of Clinical Somatic Education. Warren is the author of the book The Pain Relief Secret, which explains the science behind why learned muscular patterns lead to chronic pain and degeneration, and how Clinical Somatics retrains the nervous system, alleviating many common pain conditions.

What Really Causes Muscle Cramps?

By |September 16th, 2019|athletic training, gamma loop, muscle cramps, muscle tension, pandiculation, stretching|

What really causes muscle cramps? Muscle cramps have long been attributed to electrolyte depletion and dehydration, especially when they occur in athletes. However, research does not support these theories, and instead points to altered neuromuscular control and muscle fatigue as the culprits. In this post, I'll summarize the research and explain why muscle cramps [...]

Why Stretching Doesn’t Relieve Iliotibial Band Syndrome

By |September 8th, 2019|athletic training, iliotibial band syndrome, specific conditions|

Why Stretching Doesn't Relieve Iliotibial Band Syndrome Iliotibial band syndrome is a painful inflammatory condition of the knee joint that often plagues runners, hikers, and cyclists. Stretching is typically recommended to lengthen the iliotibial band and relieve the condition, but as you'll learn in this post, static stretching has little to no lasting effect [...]

12 Causes of Chronic Inflammation

By |September 1st, 2019|diet and nutrition, inflammation|

12 Causes of Chronic Inflammation In my last two posts I've been talking about chronic inflammation. First I discussed how diet can cause inflammation and chronic pain, and then I discussed what chronic inflammation is and how it can cause many health conditions including cancer, atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. This week, we'll learn [...]

What is Chronic Inflammation, and Why Is It Killing Us?

By |August 19th, 2019|inflammation|

What is Chronic Inflammation, and Why Is It Killing Us? If it seems like you hear a lot about inflammation, you’re right. It’s become the latest buzzword in the health world due to research showing the link between inflammation and many chronic conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and depression. Ever since these [...]

The Role of Diet in Chronic Pain

By |August 4th, 2019|diet and nutrition, fibromyalgia, headache, inflammation, pain & pain relief|

The Role of Diet in Chronic Pain In this blog, I usually focus on the muscle and joint pain that's caused by our chronic muscle tension and our habitual posture and movement; that's what Clinical Somatics is all about. However, there's another common cause of chronic pain that many people are not aware of: [...]

The Causes of SI Joint Pain and Dysfunction

By |July 28th, 2019|back pain, SI joint pain and dysfunction, specific conditions|

The Causes of SI Joint Pain and Dysfunction The sacroiliac joints are at the true center of our skeleton, so they bear the brunt of any imbalance or sudden force that occurs in our body. In this post we'll discuss the most common causes of sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction: imbalanced posture and movement, [...]

How to Prevent and Alleviate Spinal Degeneration

By |July 24th, 2019|aging, back pain, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, posture, sciatica, scoliosis, specific conditions|

How to Prevent and Alleviate Spinal Degeneration Spinal degeneration refers to any breakdown or structural change in our spinal discs and vertebrae. The degeneration is virtually always the result of our chronic muscle tension, posture, and how we move and use our body on a regular basis. Spinal degeneration can occur at any age, [...]

What’s Causing Your Snapping Hip Syndrome?

By |July 14th, 2019|athletic training, leg length discrepancy, psoas muscle, snapping hip syndrome, specific conditions|

What's Causing Your Snapping Hip Syndrome? Up to 10% of us experience snapping hip syndrome at some point in our lives. The condition is most often caused by connective tissue snapping over bone as we flex and extend the hip joint. For some people, snapping hip is painless and simply annoying, but for others [...]

The Placebo Effect on Pain Perception and Healing

By |July 9th, 2019|neuroscience, pain & pain relief|

The Placebo Effect on Pain Perception and Healing The placebo effect is a general term that describes the physiological effects of believing that we're going to feel better or heal from a condition. The placebo effect has long been discounted in Western medicine—when placebos work, we're just imagining that we're getting better, we're not actually [...]

Breathing in Clinical Somatics exercises

By |June 30th, 2019|anxiety, breathing, Clinical Somatic Education, Clinical Somatics exercises, learn the basics, stress relief|

Breathing in Clinical Somatics exercises Many students ask me how to breathe correctly when practicing Clinical Somatics exercises. Your breathing pattern is more important in some exercises than others, depending on whether or not the exercise includes extension or flexion of the spine. In this post I'll describe why diaphragmatic breathing is important, the [...]

Unlocking Your Body: Your Personal Process of Releasing Tension and Pain

By |June 24th, 2019|aging, Clinical Somatics exercises, learn the basics, muscle memory, muscle tension, pain & pain relief, pandiculation|

Unlocking Your Body: Your Personal Process of Releasing Tension and Pain Many people ask me how long it will take them to release their chronic tightness or get out of pain. I wish I could answer this question, but the truth is that everyone's patterns of muscular tension and pain are so unique that [...]

The Myth of Aging: What’s Inevitable, and What Isn’t?

By |June 20th, 2019|aging, muscle tension, stress relief|

The Myth of Aging: What's Inevitable, and What Isn't? We like to blame a lot of things on aging: our lack of energy, our stiff joints and sore muscles, our rounded shoulders, and our expanding waistlines. But are these changes in our body and functioning inevitable—or are they a result of gradual changes in our [...]

The Cause of Idiopathic Scoliosis: Involuntary Muscle Contraction

By |June 10th, 2019|back pain, Clinical Somatic Education, posture, scoliosis, specific conditions|

The Cause of Idiopathic Scoliosis: Involuntary Muscle Contraction Scoliosis is regarded as mysterious and incurable by many people in the medical community. While some cases are caused by congenital structural abnormalities or neurological or muscular diseases, the vast majority—around 85%—are of unknown cause. The fact is, the bones in our body do not move [...]

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Anatomy, Causes, and Treatment with Clinical Somatics

By |June 5th, 2019|carpal tunnel syndrome, forward head posture, pain & pain relief, specific conditions, thoracic outlet syndrome|

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Anatomy, Causes, and Treatment with Clinical Somatics Thoracic outlet syndrome might sound a little scary, but most cases are functional—meaning they can be prevented and often eliminated completely. When tight muscles or poor posture compress the thoracic outlet, you may experience symptoms such as pain and numbness in your shoulder, arm, [...]

The Functional Cause of Sciatica

By |May 28th, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, pain & pain relief, piriformis syndrome, sciatica, specific conditions|

The Functional Cause of Sciatica Sciatica often occurs along with back pain, which 80% of Americans will experience at some point in their lives. By the time your doctor diagnoses you with sciatica, the cause may appear to be structural—most commonly, a herniated disc pressing on the root of the sciatic nerve. However, as [...]

The Myth of Uneven Leg Length

By |May 22nd, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, leg length discrepancy, specific conditions|

The Myth of Uneven Leg Length Your doctor or chiropractor may have told you that you have one leg longer than the other, and that your leg length discrepancy is the cause of your back, hip, or knee pain. The truth is that while it's certainly possible to have one leg longer than the [...]

What is the Stretch Reflex (Myotatic Reflex)?

By |May 12th, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, gamma loop, muscle tension, neuroscience, pandiculation, stretching|

What is the stretch reflex (myotatic reflex)? From a young age, we’re taught that stretching is a necessary part of any workout routine. If we’re involved in sports or physical training, we stretch to warm up, cool down, and during breaks to help us stay loose. Unfortunately, stretching usually doesn’t accomplish much, mainly due to [...]

Fix Forward Head Posture with Pandiculation

By |May 5th, 2019|back pain, Clinical Somatic Education, forward head posture, headache, posture, specific conditions, temporomandibular joint disorders|

Fix Forward Head Posture with Pandiculation Forward head posture is becoming an epidemic due to constant use of smartphones and computers. When we look downward over and over, the muscles in the front of our neck, our chest, and our abdomen become chronically contracted—and they keep us stuck in forward head posture all the [...]

What is the Gamma Loop?

By |April 29th, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, gamma loop, muscle memory, muscle tension, neuroscience, pandiculation, stretching|

What is the gamma loop? The gamma loop (also referred to as the alpha-gamma loop) is a feedback loop in our nervous system that regulates the level of tension in our muscles. The way the gamma loop works can get a little confusing, so in this post I'm going to explain it as simply as [...]

What is Pandiculation?

By |April 21st, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, neuroscience, pandiculation|

What is pandiculation? Pandiculation is generally defined as the act of stretching oneself and yawning, especially upon waking. However, our automatic pandicular response has far more significance than simply prompting us to stretch and yawn. As you'll learn in this post, pandiculation is a fundamental part of our neuromuscular functioning. In fact, when it comes [...]

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