HealthActions: How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain

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See Inside • 3 Ways To Improve Your Posture • Patient Success Spotlight • Exercise Essentials • Healthy Recipe

How is your posture throughout the day? Do you catch yourself slouching frequently? If you suffer with aches and pains, especially in your neck, upper or lower back, poor posture is probably to blame. The proper curves of your spine Your spine has 3 curves, which provide support, flexibility and protect the nerves running up and down your spine. Your neck should have a gentle curve in, upper back slightly curved out and lower back slightly curved in. When you slouch, the spine in your neck and lower back actually becomes straighter, while the upper back becomes excessively curved. This produces a forward head posture and humped upper back. In addition, weak abdominal muscles can cause an excessive arch in the lower back. Why is posture important? Your body is designed to be in good alignment allowing proper movement of the muscles, breathing, movement of blood throughout the body and

digestion. Many chronic conditions are linked to poor posture and changes to the structure of the body. Just look in the mirror, is your posture the same as when you were younger? Poor posture leads to excessive strain on your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It also weakens many of the core muscles that are needed to keep you upright and healthy. Posture changes occur over time and most people don’t pay attention to them until they are unhappy with the way their body looks or starts to hurt. Posture can be improved Our physical therapists are experts in evaluating posture and movement. By pinpointing the source of your aches and pains, we can develop a plan for you that will return you to a more youthful posture and quickly relieve your pain. Call us today to learn more how we can improve your posture and help you lead a pain free active life.


1. Standing Stand facing a mirror. Look at your shoulders, does one seem higher than the other? Look at your neck, does it tilt to one side or stick forward? Pretendthatan imaginarystring ispullingyouthroughthetopofyourheadgently. Notice how your posture improves automatically when you try to be taller? Keep yourabdominalsslightlycontractedtomaintainthisposture.Whenwalking,make sure that your arms are moving comfortably back and forth, feeling the rotation through your torso. 2. Sitting Sitall thewayback inyourchairsoyou feelyour lowerbackagainst thebackrest. AvoidprolongedsittingonsoftcoucheswhenwatchingTVasthiscausesexcessive slouching. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor and angle your chair so that your knees are slightly lower than your hips. Try using a small rolled-up towel in your low back if you need more support in sitting. If you work at a computer, make sure that your keyboard and mouse are slightly lowerthanthe levelofyourelbow.Youmayneedtoadjustyourseathigher to make this happen. 3. Bending Most back injuries occur when bending and twisting at the same time. When you needtobenddowntogetsomething froma lowsurface,makesureyousquat,keep your abdominals tight as you do so. In addition, if you are lifting something, get your body as close as possible to what you are lifting. Try having one leg forward to use your legs more to lift, rather than your back. As part of physical therapy treatment, we teach you proper posture, bending and lifting techniques to protect your body from future injuries and make sure you stay healthy for the long haul. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you live pain free! 3 Ways To Improve Your Posture

Is Your Digital Lifestyle Affecting Your Posture?

Poor posture is something we normally do not think of as a contributor to neck and back pain. However, in our era of constantly being on smart phones, tablets, and computers, we often put our necks and backs in positions of prolonged stress. Over time, this contributes to increased stress to our vertebrae, disc and muscles supporting the spine. Text neck is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from lookingdownatyourcellphone, tablet,orotherwireless devices too frequentlyand for too long.Ofcourse, thispostureofbending your neck to look down does not occur only when texting. For years, we’ve all looked down to read. The problem with texting is that it adds one more activity that causes us to look down—and people tend to do it for much longer periods. It is especially concerning because young, growing children could possibly cause permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong neck pain. We often see patients who have suffered from back and neck pain for years who could have been treated very easily when the pain started withsimpleposturalcorrectionsandstretches. Ifyouhavebeensuffering frombackorneckpain,comeseeoneofour therapists foranassessment of what is contributing to your pain.


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� Move without pain � Bend and move freely � Balance confidently & securely

� Sit for long periods comfortably � Walk for long distances � Live an active & healthy life

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This offer expires September 28, 2019.

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“As an instructor at the YMCA, my body gets pushed hard. As a result,mybackwent intospasmsand Icouldnotevenwalk.Jenna and the wonderful staff at HealthActions taught me how to prep my body to work hard without injury. During the therapy, it was revealed that my back problemwas from very tight hamstrings. Jenna aligned my body and gave me strategies and movements to stretch the muscles that were so tight. As a result, one of my greatest victories was waking all the way up to the nose-bleed seats at an Auburn game with no pain! My back, legs, and knees felt great. I am forever grateful for what I learned from this team at HealthActions. My body and mind are now aligned to focus on health for the long journey of life.” Patient Success Spotlight Andrea Thompson Pictured With Clinic Manager, Jenna Mcmurray, PT, DPT, CERT. DN 2 3 8 6 4 2 1 7 9 5 7 3 2 1 4 5 8 2 9 4 7 8 9 8 6 5 9 n°229777 - LevelMedium 7 3 9 6 1 6 2 8 9 4 3 Are you letting pain hold you back? Call HealthActions Physical Therapy to schedule your appointment today! 4 8 2 5

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Try A Healthy Recipe Spinach & Egg Sweet Potato Toast 5 3 8 8

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6 • 1 large egg, fried or poached • ½ teaspoon sliced fresh chives • ½ teaspoon hot sauce Ingredients • 1 large slice sweet potato ( ¼ inch thick) • 1 cup cooked spinach

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3 2 4 1 8 4 Instructions Toast sweet potato in a toaster or toaster oven until just cooked through and starting to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Top with spinach, egg, chives and hot sauce. 5 7 6 8

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Exercise Essentials Try This Exercise to Help With Posture 4 2 6 PRONE BACK EXTENSION While lying face down, slowly raise your chest upwards and off the ground. Then lower slowly back to the ground. Repeat 10 times. 5 2 8 4 2 6 9


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