King PT. How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain

The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body H E A L T H & F I T N E S S

How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain Physical Therapy Is The Solution You’re Looking For!

ALSO INSIDE • Fixing Your Posture • Improve Your Posture In Minutes With This Exercise! • Patient Success Stories • Healthy Shrimp Recipe

The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body H E A L T H & F I T N E S S

How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain Physical Therapy Is The Solution You’re Looking For!

hours on the couch. • The pain frequently starts in your neck andmoves into your upper and lower back. Pain that seems to travel from one area of the back to another is frequently an indication of posture concerns. • The pain will subside after switching positions, such as switching from sitting to standing or vice versa. • Back or neck pain that develops soon after a change in circumstances, such as starting a new job with a new desk chair, or getting a new car. 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.

Remember back when your mother used to tell you that if you wouldn’t stop hunching your shoulders, they’d be stuck that way forever? An idle threat, one that barely anyone took seriously. Yet, fast forward a few decades and it turns out that mom might have been on to something, after all. A poor habit of bad posture can have a lasting impact on your neck and back. The worse your posture is, the more intense your back and neck pain can become. Unfortunately, once you start experiencing neck and back pain, simply squaring your shoulders isn’t likely to be much help. Working with a physical therapist can help you to train the muscles in your back, neck and shoulders so that you can improve your posture permanently, and in doing so bring relief to your chronic neck and back pain. THE POSTURE AND PAIN CONNECT ION Not all back pain is caused by poor posture, and it is true that you can have poor posture for years without feeling the consequences of that slouch right away, but in time the habit is likely to catch up with you. There are certain ways that you can tell if neck or back pain may be a result of poor posture, including: • The pain in your back is worsened at certain times of day. For example, after you’ve spent a day at the office, or after a few

Call 304.262.8161 to talk with your physical therapist today!

3. If further assessment is warranted, your therapist

1. Feel free to call us and ask to speak to your therapist.

2. Your therapist will tell you the possible causes of your pain as well as precautions you can take at home.

might recommend you come in for an appointment.

Fixing Your Posture

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:

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.

• 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 learnmore about how you can take steps to start improving your posture today.

Exercise Essentials

Patient Success Spotlight “I started physical therapy rather than having another series of epidural steroid injections. Driving was uncomfortable as was sitting in a car and most daily activities gave me neck and shoulder pain. After working with Becca, I can say that I am pain-free! She was wonderful to work with– patient, and great with exercises. Thank you Becca, Karla, and staff!” - Emily B.

Exercises copyright of

www.simpleset.net

SITTING POSTURE (Helps Improve Posture) Sit on a sturdy chair and scoot your hips forward. Place your feet flat on the floor. Tip your pelvis slightly forward. Straighten your spine until your ears are directly over your shoulders and your shoulders are over your hips. Draw your shoulder blades gently back and together. Tuck your chin. Stretch up tall; imagine a string attached to the top of your head, pulling you up to your full height.

Need A Reason For Spring Cleaning? Here’s Three! Allergy Symptom Reduction. A thorough cleaning can greatly reduce the amount of dust in your home, which is helpful considering about 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Cleanliness Produces Happiness. Maybe you don’t enjoy the process of cleaning, but the end result will leave you smiling.

Experience The Perks of Stretching As you age, your muscle tissue actually dries out a little, tightening. This causes a loss of range of motion in your joints and tissues. In addition to the loss of range of motion, it can really limit your active lifestyles and hinder day-to-day, normal motions. Tasks that used to be simple, such as dressing or squatting down to tie your shoes, now become extremely difficult. A regular stretching program helps lengthen your muscles and makes daily living activities much easier. Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, whether you exercise or not. It does not have to involve a huge amount of time, but stretching can end up giving you huge results! Stretching is a natural part of what we do on a daily basis. You might notice that if you have been sitting in a particular position for a long time, you stretch unconsciously. It feels good! In addition to that good feeling, a consistent stretching program will produce large gains in flexibility and joint movement. Be kind to your muscles and they will be kind to you! Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from a regular stretching program: • Reduced muscle tension • Increased range of movement in the joints • Enhanced muscular coordination • Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)

A 2010 study at the University of California, Los Angeles even found that having a clean home can improve your mood and reduce your risk of depression. Declutter and Do a Good Deed by Donating. An essential part of a successful spring cleaning is getting rid of old items that are no longer used or worn. Apply the rule of thumb that if you haven’t made use of something in a year, it’s time for it to go. Fill bags and boxes of things, then donate them to a local charity so they can still be beneficial to someone else. Giving to others is an act that is associated with greater self-esteem, lower stress levels, and overall happiness.

Source Saxbe, DE and Repetti, R. “No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. January 2010. Accessed 4 April 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/19934011.

Healthy Recipe Irish White Bean & Cabbage Stew

• 1 tsp thyme • ½ tsp caraway seeds • ½ tsp rosemary, crushed • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper • 6-8 cups vegetable broth • 3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained) • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Ingredients • 1 large onion, chopped • 3 ribs celery, chopped • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced • ½ head cabbage, chopped • 4 carrots, sliced • 1-1½ lbs potatoes, cut in large dice • 1⁄3 cup pearled barley • 1 bay leaf

Stovetop Instructions: Place vegetables, seasonings, barley, and broth into a large stockpot. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 min. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Crock Pot Instructions: Place the vegetables, seasonings, and barley into a large (at least 5 quart) slow cooker. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables (start with 6 cups and add more as needed). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours. Add beans, tomatoes, parsley, and salt to taste. Check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary. Cover and cook for another hour.

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