Total Care PT: How Bad Posture Affects You

Health &Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

WHY DOES MY KNEE HURT?

There are several knee injuries that can result from running. Some of the most common ones include: • Hamstring strain. Hamstring strains are common in athletes and can cause pain around the thigh or knee. Your hamstring is a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh and help in allowing you to bend your knee. One or more of these muscles can become strained, or even torn, through excessive use or injury. You can avoid hamstring tears by doing strengthening exercises of both the hamstrings and glutes, as they work together to bear weight. Stretching your hamstrings and quadriceps (the muscles at the front of the thigh) and doing warm-up exercises before a run will help in keeping them warm and loose, thus decreasing your risk of straining them. • Meniscus tear. A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. It occurs when the knee is twisted or rotated in a way that it shouldn’t be, especially when your full weight is put on it. Both knees have two menisci, which are C-shaped pieces of cartilage that cushion your tibia and femur. When a meniscus is torn, the surrounding areas can become painful, swollen, or stiff. The movement in your knee may also be limited, making it difficult to bend or extend the knee.

• Patellar tendinopathy. This injury specifically affects the tendon that connects your patella to your tibia. That tendon is known as the “patellar tendon.” The patellar tendon works together with your quadriceps to allow you to run, jump, and kick. However, when the tendon experiences excessive overuse, it can become torn and inflamed, resulting in patellar tendinopathy. Those with patellar tendinopathy typically experience pain between the patella and tibia. You may only notice the pain while running or working out at first, but over time it can become more frequent and severe, interfering with daily activities. You can prevent patellar tendinopathy by strengthening your thigh muscles and improving your running technique with the help of a physical therapist. • Iliotibial band syndrome. Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome occurs frequently in runners, since it is caused by an excessive repetitive bending of the knee. The IT band is made up of a thick clump of fibers that run from the outside of the thigh, down the knee, and to the top of the tibia. IT band syndrome occurs when the IT band becomes too tight, making it difficult to glide smoothly over the knee, and resulting in pain and swelling. IT band syndrome can be avoided by doing thorough stretches before a run, preventing the band from becoming too tight.

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Health & Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

COULD YOUR POSTURE BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR PAIN?

Inside: • What Can Be Done To Help Correct Posture? • Exercise Essentials • Patient Success Spotlight Happy With Your Experience? We would love for you to share your story of success with others! Please visit www.TotalCarePT.net and click on to get started!

Do you suffer from daily or recurrent aches and pains? If so, your posture may be the culprit. Just think about the number of hours a day we spend staring at a computer screen, hunched over our desks, or staring at our phones. That creates a lot of stress on the neck and back, especially if you are slouched, titled forward, or looking down for prolonged periods of time. How does poor posture affect me? Changes to your posture can negatively affect your body, and you may find yourself experiencing some of the following symptoms: • If your posture contains a forward head tilt– This forward-head posture creates a strain on the neck, which can result in neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, chronic headaches, and lower back pain. Tilting your head forward for long periods of time shortens the muscles in the back of the neck, and can result in soreness throughout multiple parts of your body. • If your posture contains slouching of the mid-back – If you slouch the middle of your back, you can drive your head forward and alter the way your ribs naturally align. By doing this, you may experience pain in the slouched region of the mid-back, in addition to pain in the neck. If this is your average standing posture, it is important to

seek physical therapy treatment right away – over time, standing like this day after day may cause internal issues, as it creates pressure on your lungs, heart, and digestive system. • If your posture includes sitting for long periods of time – When you sit for prolonged periods of time, the muscles in your hips and legs will stiffen. When these muscles become stiff, they tighten and will pull on the lower back, causing pain. The joints also lose their range of motion, which can cause soreness or achiness in the hips, legs, and back, and can create issues with your gait. The way in which you walk can also have an effect on your posture. When you have improper posture, your center of gravity changes. This can cause your balance to decline, which can cause pain when walking, thus creating a vicious cycle of overcompensation and pain. The most common symptom of poor posture is lower back pain, although pain can be present in other parts of the body, as well. The back muscles constantly contract to keep you upright, and they overcompensate when you slouch or hunch over. Over a period of time, constant poor posture can create an unusual amount of wear and tear on the lower back, which can increase the risk of arthritis in the spine.

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WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP CORRECT POSTURE?

It can be difficult to correct poor posture, but there are a few steps you can take on your own to try and help: 1. Sit properly. – If you are at a desk for extended periods of the day, make sure your stance is okay. Sit upright, place your feet flat on the floor, and try not to cross your legs. Make sure there is a small gap between the back of your knees and the chair. Having a chair with strong back support and padding is also recommended for making your upright position more comfortable. 2. Take stretch breaks. – If you are an office worker, it is no secret that most of the day is spent with limited levels of mobility. It is important to make sure that you get up every 30 minutes or so, and take a small walk, at least for a minute or two. This will help in loosening up your muscles and joints, as well as initiating a stronger blood flow. 3. Exercise. – Exercise is incredibly important, especially if your job produces several hours of inactivity. When you exercise, you are stretching and strengthening certain muscles of your body, including problem areas such as your neck and back. Taking even a small amount of time to walk or jog around the neighborhood every day can highly improve your overall gait. 4. Set up your office properly. – If you work from an office all day, it is important to have a proper ergonomic setup. Make sure that you are at a proper height with your desk chair and computer, so you don’t have to slouch or lean forward. Additionally, make

sure your chair has the proper lumbar support needed to help you sit straight while you’re working. These simple steps can help tremendously with your overall posture. How can physical therapy help you? If these at-home treatments don’t work, it is important to consult help from a physical therapist. Simply standing up straight is a fight against gravity, and if you have been standing the wrong way for several years, it may be difficult to change it on

your own. However, physical therapists are dedicated to getting you back on track to a pain free, and risk free life. They will evaluate your posture and gait to determine the best treatments necessary for you, and then they will create a treatment plan unique for your needs. They can improve your posture, eliminate your pain, and get you back to doing the activities you love to do. If you are experiencing pain, and you think it may be a result of your posture, give us a call today. We will help you get back to a comfortable posture with just a few sessions.

Healthy Recipe Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad INGREDIENTS • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar • 1 teaspoon honey • 1 teaspoon maple syrup • 1/2 teaspoon stone-ground mustard • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil • 7 cups loosely packed baby arugula • 2 cups red grapes, halved • 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seed • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper DIRECTIONS Combine vinegar, honey, syrup, and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine arugula, grapes, seeds, and thyme in a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over arugula; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat.

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Patient Success Spotlight

At Total Care Physical Therapy, you will receive hands-on therapy treatments by our friendly, caring health experts during focused and individualized sessions. 1. CALL AND TALK TO YOUR THERAPIST 2. DISCOVER WHY YOUR PAIN HAS COME BACK 3. GET YOUR CUSTOM RECOVERY PROGRAM FIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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“Iamveryexcitedwith theresults.Lastfall Isufferedanaccident,effecting my lower back. I started in April with Tom and Kristen. I have become more functional, and I am finally offTramadol! I would recommendTotal Care Physical Therapy to anyone!” - L.S.

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• Cost Effective • Non-invasive • Safe & Natural • State-of-the-art Facility Features of Physical Therapy: DO YOU SUFFER FROM BACK PAIN?

Exercise Essentials Try this stretch if you are experiencing back pain.

Relieves Lower Back

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LOWER TRUNK ROTATIONS Lying on your back with your knees bent, gently rock your knees side-to-side. Perform this 10-15 times in each direction.

Mention This Coupon To Receive A BACK PAIN ANALYSIS

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