Health & Fitness
Work Pain Free How to relieve common aches and pains from the daily grind
• Have Great Posture at Work • 4 Tips to Strengthen Your Core • Patient Spotlights • Sudoku
Thomas Sawhill, P.T. Physical Therapist, CEO
Health & Fitness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
Can You Improve Your POSTURE While at Work?
For many of us, sitting at a desk, computer or even lifting is a daily part of our work routine. What you may not know, is that the routine may be more harmful long-term than you can imagine. Our bodies were made tomove throughout a variety of positions during the day. From sitting to walking, to squatting, your body needs frequent movement pattern changes. If you have more of a sedentary job, then the lack of variety in your positions throughout the day can be detrimental to different areas of your body. Here are some tips to help you feel your best at work, be more productive and have more energy: 1. Change your positions frequently If you sit at a desk or even stand for prolonged periods, try to accomplish parts of your job in different positions. For example, if you sit at a computer, try to get up every 30 minutes to walk around for 1-2 minutes Standing is far better than sitting. If your job requires you to sit at a computer for most of the day, consider a standing desk. Being able to stand for 2-3 hours a day, instead of sitting the whole time, can make a big difference in the way that you feel and the health of your spine. There are some good standing desks on the market such as or do a different task. 2. Try a standing desk
time, such as in retail sales, make sure that you stand with one foot slightly forward. Alternate this throughout the day. This posture engages your hip and leg muscles more to alternate pressures in the spine. 5. Watch how you bend Many jobs require frequent bending, and in similar manners repetitively throughout the day. This may feel fine while you are doing the task, but can lead to repetitive trauma on the spinal muscles and discs. The goal is to make sure that your back is straight and you use your hips and knees to bend down to the item you are trying to get to. In addition, if you can kneel at times with one foot forward and the other back, this can help you protect your spine further. In physical therapy, not only do we alleviate aches and pains, but we also get your body moving. Part of our process is to educate you on different posture techniques to help you feel your best throughout the day and at work. If you are suffering with back, neck, shoulder, hip or knee pain, give us a call to talk to one of our experts. A simple improvement in the way that you move can make a big difference in the way that you feel.
varidesk.com that make it easy to transition from sitting to standing. 3. Sit correctly at your desk When sitting, make sure that you are sitting tall, like a string is pulling through the top of your head. Your computer should be directly in front of you, instead of off to the side. It should also be at the height where the top 1/3rd of the screen is at eye level. Furthermore, make sure your keyboard is at the adequate height, creating about a 90-degree bend or less in your elbows. Armrests can be helpful to alleviate pressure on the shoulders when typing. 4. Vary your foot position If your job requires you to stand for a long
Have you ever had that sagging feeling at the end of a long day? You know, when your belly seems to protrude way out and your back aches. The main reason for this is your lack of core strength. Your core is made up of a variety of muscles that support your trunk and spine. These include your abdominal, erector spinae, multifidi, pelvic, and hip muscles. A healthy, strong and flexible core is the key to having great posture, a slim stomach, relieving back pain, and feeling energetic.
Strengthen Your Core Muscles in 4 Easy Steps
Here are 4 easy ways to boost your core strength (Consult a physical therapist if you are unsure of performing any of the following exercises)
4. Alternate arms and legs If you have back pain, consult your physical therapist before trying this. Perform this exercise by lifting your right leg up slightly, then your left arm. You will feel this contracting the muscles in your spine. Now gently lower and repeat on the other side. Try 10 repetitions, then over the course of a week, work your way up to 2 sets of 15 repetitions. Remember not to go into any pain with this exercise and you only need to raise your arm and legs up 2-3 inches off the floor.
1. Engage your
transverse abdominis The transverse abdominis is a deep muscle that wraps around the lower section of your abdomen, much like a belt. The ability to actively engage this muscle helps to put your spine into better alignment. Begin to work this muscle, by lying on your back with your hands on your lower abdomen. Focus on relaxing all other muscles, except for drawing your lower abdominals in towards your belly button. Hold these contractions gently, but firmly for 10 seconds, then repeat 10 times. Once you get the hang of contracting your transverse abdominis lying down, begin to contract it in sitting, then standing. This is a great exercise to do any time of day. This exercise is a must for any mom, as the abdominals become stretched out during pregnancy.
2. Strengthen your hip abductors
The hip abductors are on the outside of your hips and consist mainly of your gluteus medius and minimus. These muscles are easy to exercise standing up. Simply hold onto a firm surface and lift your leg out to the side for 10-15 repetitions. Feel the muscles working on the outside of the hip. Do at least 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each side. 3. Mini-squats with squeezes When you do dynamic exercises you are able to work a wide variety of muscle groups together. Put a ball, such as a soccer or volleyball between your knees. If you don’t have a ball, place a rolled up pillow. Gently squeeze the ball between your knees and practice the tightening of your transverse abdominis as described above. Now, holding onto a steady surface, squat down slightly and try to feel your thighs, stomach and back working together to lower you down and push you up. Start out with 2 sets of 10 reps, then work your way up over a week to 3 sets of 15.
The key to a healthy spine The stronger and better coordinated your core muscles, the healthier your back can become. Having a strong core is critical to alleviating neck pain or back pain. Common conditions such as sciatica, spinal stenosis, herniated discs and low back pain, can be significantly helped by improving core strength. Our physical therapists are the unique medical specialists trained in analyzing your movement and strength. We teach you how to properly activate your coremuscles for long-term maximum spine health. If your core feels weak, or if you are having back or neck discomfort, call us today to speak with one of our PT specialists. Your spine will be glad you did!
Patient Spotlights Fabulous, must-read stories of success
Photo is for illustrative purposes only.
“I am now pain free!” “I had been suffering with chronic back pain for years. It seemed like every 6 months I would have a flare up. Lately, as I am aging, it was taking longer to relieve itself so I decided to go see my general doctor. After talking with him for a while about my symptoms he made a suggestion that I might want to try some physical therapy. I ended up at South Valley (my doctor recommended them) and what a difference it has made. After a thorough evaluation the therapist designed a treatment plan for me that focused on not only relieving my current pain but providing a way for me to prevent future setbacks. During the evaluation the therapist noticed that my core muscles were not as strong as they should be. Over the course of 2 months and following his exercise program I definitely feel the difference. I am now pain free and feel so much stronger, my balance is better and I just generally feel better. I am looking forward to continuing with my home exercise program and getting stronger each day. Thank you to all the staff at South Valley Physical Therapy.” - G.S.
“Stronger and stronger...” “What a sense of accomplishment I felt when I was able to complete a 2 minute plank! When I started at South Valley I couldn’t even hold the plank for more than 15 seconds…no wonder I was falling victim to back and neck pains…I was weak where it counted most! To be honest when I started PT I dreaded those words spoken by my PT “Time for planks” I felt embarrassed that I was so weak, but the constant praise and encouragement from my team made all the difference. Each time I went in for my session I was getting stronger and stronger and as a result my pain was lessening. Now I proudly do my planks and all of my other core exercises and look forward to hitting the 3 minute mark! Thanks Josh and Mel!” - R.L.
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Meet Ayesha Ayesha Sulemani, PT, DPT joined the staff of South Valley Physical Therapy in June. Ayesha was born in Madanapalle India and grew up near Bangalore. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from Manipal University, India in 2005. She got married in 2006 and moved to California. She completed her transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy at A.T. Still University of Health Science in Mesa, AZ in 2014.
Ayesha is married and has 2 children, ages 5 and 2 ½. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors, with her family and loves to explore the world! She also enjoys running, dancing and doing yoga to relieve her stress. She also likes to play tennis, badminton and basketball. Ayesha’s practice philosophy is to work with her clients with compassion and kindness. She believes patient understanding regarding their condition and physical therapist guidance are important keys to achieving successful results.
Physical Therapists Are The Mechanics Of Your Body!
We are thrilled to have her as a new member of our SVPT team!
Think PT First Why You Need To Come Back In For A Tune-Up Minor aches and pains are warning signals from your body to let you know something is not working properly. Don’t put off the pain until it’s too late. Come in today for a “Tune-Up.”
9 Move without pain 9 Bend and move freely
9 Balance confidently and securely 9 Sit for long periods comfortably 9 Walk for long distances 9 Live an active and healthy lifestyle
Mark Your Calendars South Valley will be at the Hayes Neighborhood National Night Out again this August. NNO is a nationwide program promoting neighborhood safety and awareness. It’s a great opportunity to meet your neighbors, network and promote neighbor owned small businesses. The Hayes NNO will be August 1, from 5:00-8:00 PM at the Dolce Hayes Mansion, 200 Edenvale Avenue, San Jose 95136. The event is free to attend and a BBQ meal may be purchased at the event. Live music and raffle!
Take Care of Your Aches and Pains Before It’s Too Late.
Print sudoku http://1sudoku.com Emotional stress can manifest as physical tension. To help ease both, practice relaxing your body with this simple exercise: • While sitting at your desk, settle your attention on your hands, and/or on your shoulders. • If you find your grip extremely tight (or your shoulders tense), realize that this will make you feel stress. • Choose to loosen your grip and/or release the tension in your shoulders as much as you can (Breathing helps!). • Take a moment to observe the different sensations you feel when you bring your attention to your body. Remember, this is something you can do even as you plod through your to-do list! 7 3 8 6 3 2 6 7 4 1 5 1 4 3 8 1 3 4 4 7 5 3 3 8 5 Mindful Actions You Can Do To Reduce Stress at Work Mindfulness can be practiced at any time, even while walking, drinking tea, or writing an email. Follow these simple action steps to let go of the illusion of control and instead cultivate resilience on the job . 1. Loosen the grip—Let it Go
Print sudoku http://1sudoku.com
Print sudoku http://1sudoku.com
1 2. Establish regular meditation Committing to a regular meditation practice—even just 10 minutes a day—can go a long way toward helping you feel calm in the face of work stressors. There are a wide variety of practices to choose from, so experiment to find what works best for you. 4 3 6
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8 9 1 7 2
7 9 4 6 5 3 9 5 9
4 8 5
Adapted from http://greatist.com/happiness/how-to-never-feel-stressed-at-work-again By Charlotte Lieberman
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8 5 1
1 6 4
8 4 2 6 7
Sudoku Puzzles The objective is to fill a 9x9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3x3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits from 1 to 9. A cell is the smallest block in the game. A row, column and region consists of 9 cells and the whole game consists of 81 cells. 7 9 5 1 3 6 3 8 5 http://1sudoku.com n° 110504 - Level Easy 6 7 1 4 6 7 2 4 3 2 1 6 http://1sudoku.com http://1sudoku.com n° 318548 - Level Hard n° 310547 - Level Hard 9 5 7 3 9 2 http://1sudoku.com ° 45 40 - Level Expert n° 426079 - Level Expert 8 2
62 - Level Easy
4 1 7 2 6
1 8 3
5 9 7
7 1 6 9 7
4 1 4 6 2
5 3 2 9 6 5 7 3 2 1 5 8 9 8 3 9 8 2 4 8 7
8 5 1
6 9 8 5 4 5 6 2 9 7 6 2 4 8 2 8 4 3 7 5 1 3 1 2 8 4 6 1 5 http://1sudoku.com 5 3 8 1 7 9 5 6 3 7 2 3 7 5 4 2 3 1 2 http://1sudoku.com 6
8 3 4 8 1 3 5 6 1 4 6 3
2 1 4
8 5 7 9 2
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n° 127435 - Level Easy n° 36953 - Level Hard
n° 315994 - Level Hard n° 423202 - Level Expert
n° 421166 - Level Expert
62 - Level Easy
Play on your mobile these puzzles and find their solutions by flashing the codes below :
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