Core PTandSports: How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain

IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE AT HOME

After years of practicing poor posture, your back, shoulder and neck muscles will likely find standing or sitting with straight posture to be uncomfortable. This is because your muscles have grown accustomed to the slouching, and standing up straight will require some thorough stretching. That doesn’t mean that once you have bad posture you can never correct it. Working with a physical therapist to improve your posture is a great way to overcome chronic neck and back pain. In physical therapy, you will be guided through a series of stretches and strength building exercises that can help you begin training your body to practice better posture, thereby reducing your back and neck pain. Of course, there are ways that you can improve your posture at home, as well. Here are several strategies that are typically helpful: • Try to stand tall whenever you are standing or walking. Hold your head high and square your shoulders, but more importantly work on being the tallest version of yourself. Hunching over is the leading cause of poor posture. • Use support when you sit to keep your posture correct. Lumbar support in office chairs and car seats will help a bit, but for improved posture you may need to add additional cushioning that will help you keep your back straight. • Be mindful of how you lift heavy objects. Keep your shoulders square and your chest forward. When lifting something that is over 50 lbs it is important to take extra care. Lead with your hips and try to keep the weight close to your body. Lifting something improperly can lead to injury to your neck or back, which may make proper posture uncomfortable.

What can Good Posture do for You? There are a lot of benefits of having good posture. Aside from saying goodbye to neck or back pain, improving your posture can provide several unexpected benefits to your lifestyle and personal well-being. Here are a few of the additional benefits of having good posture: • Proper posture creates quality exercise for your core and back • Improved respiratory health • Added protection for your organs, bones, joints and muscles • Reduced risk of arthritis If you are experiencing chronic neck and back pain, there is a good chance that it could be related to your posture. Contact your physical therapist to learn more about how you can take steps to start improving your posture today.

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ORANGE CRANBERRY BREAD

INGREDIENTS • 2 cups white whole wheat flour • 1/2 cup sugar • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup fresh cranberries • 1 teaspoon orange zest • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, add white whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cranberries, and orange zest. Gently stir. In a separate medium-sized bowl, add coconut oil, fresh orange juice, and an egg. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir to combine everything together. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/moist-orange-cranberry-bread

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