Training Room_ Get Ready for "Back" to School

News Bulletin Caring For Your Health & Body

Get Ready for

Learn How Proper Posture & Ergonomics Can Keep Your Back Pain-Free “Back” to School

INSIDE: Get Ready for “Back” to School • Make the Most of Your Day with Proper Ergonomics • Backpack Safety Tips • Keep Lunch Healthy & Fun • Maximum Hydration for Fall Sports • Free Exam!


“Back” to School Get Ready for Learn How Proper Posture & Ergonomics Can Keep Your Back Pain-Free

Most people strugglewith sitting and standing up straight. Many of us can remember being told by our parents and teachers that good posture is the key to good health later in life! We all roll our eyes, as this demand seems annoying. However, as we grow older, we realize that good posture goes beyond appearances and looking confident. Sitting and standing with good spinal alignment can actually help prevent back pain. Your spine is meant to operate in a specific way. Each time youmove, sit, or stand in ways that disrupt the correct position and operation of your spine, you can end up creating long term problems. Physical therapists are great at teaching patients how to practice proper posture. Your physical therapist will help you to understand the importance of it, and give you the education necessary to make sure you’re achieving excellent posture every day. How Does Good Posture Relieve Back Pain? When you begin physical therapy, you will learn how to develop good posture, recognize when you are not practicing good posture, and discover many ways that healthy patterns of movement can minimize your back pain. Developing good posture through physical therapy can help you avoid back pain in several ways: 1. Avoiding Incorrect Anatomical Changes. Did you know that the ways in which you use your spine can actually cause changes in your anatomy? It’s true. Sitting hunched over can cause excess stress and can eventually lead to damage of

your spinal discs, muscles, joints and the nerves and blood vessels traveling through your spine. Thankfully in most cases the damage can be reversed by physical therapy. Targeted exercises, stretches, and education can help your body learn to sit and stand correctly! 2. Good Posture Encourages Flexibility and Strength. Prolonged poor posture will cause pain over time as muscles become weaker due tomisuse. In order to compensate for thisweakness, surroundingmuscles and tissues become tight and less flexible. Changes in tissue length cause the body to move inefficiently and incorrectly, eventually causing pain. When sittingwith proper posture, it is easier to raise your arms high overhead compared to when you are sitting with incorrect posture. It might take time in physical therapy to gain the strength and flexibility you need to keep ideal posture and spinal alignment. The work you do and the effort you put in with your physical therapist to achieve your goal will lead to greater overall fitness. The more flexible you get, the stronger you’ll be, and the less likely you are to suffer from nagging back pain every day. 3. Improved Posture with Everyday Activities. Your therapist will teach you how tomaintain good posture during sports and everyday activities such as running or walking. Improving your overall posture will lessen the wear and tear you put on your spine every day. This will also minimize your risk of developing back pain from these activities. We can help you get “back” to pain-free with improved posture. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

KEEP YOURCHILDPAIN-FREEWITH BACKPACK SAFETY TIPS Does your child have pain or a hunched posture after wearing a heavy school backpack? Carrying too much weight in a backpack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain and strain. Parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems. Loading the Backpack • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back. • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around. • Make sure the items your child carries to school and brings home are necessary for the day’s activities. • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item. • Consider using a book bag on wheels if the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis. Wearing the Backpack • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a backpack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort. • Select a backpack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied.

Make the Most of Your Day with Proper Ergonomics

It is important to have a proper ergonomic setup, whether you attend school virtually, are back in school, or work from your home office all day. These simple steps can help tremendously with your overall posture. 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. If you are at a desk for extended periods of the day, it is important to make sure your back posture 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. In addition to making the most of your workspace, it is also important to make sure you are taking care of your body. When studying or working from home, 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. Exercise is incredibly important in general, especially if your day involves 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 after studying or working from home can highly improve your posture and gait – in addition to helping you get you out of the house for some time!

• Adjust the shoulder straps so that the backpack fits snugly on the child’s back. A backpack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles. • Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the backpack’s weight more evenly. • The bot tom of the backpack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline. • School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size backpack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items.

Who Is Invited: All past clients who have not been seen in PT the past 2 months, All present clients who have another problem currently not being treated, and All friends and family of our past and present clients. Call Now to Schedule Your Free Exam! GET READY FOR “BACK” TO SCHOOL WITH A FREE EXAM! • Thursday, September 24th • 30-minutes, One-on-one with a Physical Therapist Appointments are FREE but spots are limited to 20 per location.

• Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day.

For more injury-free tips for your child this back to school season, call The Training Room today at (856) 874-1166.

Keep Lunch Healthy & Fun

Tips for Back to School Nutrition

The lunchtime sandwich may be the standard option, but let’s face it: Slapping the same smears onto bread — day after day, week after week — can leave kids and parents a little bored. Here’s our suggestion for a healthy nut-free, sandwich-free lunch! Hummus and Pita Plate Nine out of 10 kids love a good hummus— why not make it the star of the show? Pack with things like: Salami, hard boiled eggs, olives, carrots, baby tomatoes, apple slices and grapes (note that dipping is easier and less messy if you pack the hummus in a separate container). Whatever your child loves will work! Using these back-to-school nutrition tips, you can set the tone for the school year and support your child’s health, happiness and success. Wishing all kids a wonderful first week back to school!

Ensure Your Kids Drink Plenty of Water Dehydration can lead to a system overload. Our thinking becomes cloudy, energy diminishes, cell activity becomes sluggish and elimination becomes stagnant. Sending your kids to school with 1-2 water bottles daily is one of the easiest and healthiest options. Adding freshly squeezed lemon and lime can add flavor and aids in digestion. Make Sure Children Get Enough Sleep Growing children need sleep, although they will beg to differ with you! It is vital to their mood, behavior and attention. Children aged 6-13 need about 9-11 hours of sleep a night. To help your children get a good night’s sleep, help instill a regular bedtime routine, ensure the TV, computer, video games and cell phone are out of your child’s bedroom and that the room is as dark as possible. Essential oils, such as lavender, can help to release tension and allow for relaxation as well.

MAXIMUM HYDRATION FOR FALL SPORTS Warm humid weather and intense high school sports practices lead to a lot of sweating and risk of heat exhaustion or more serious heat stroke. Appropriate hydration before, during, and after physical activity is an important ingredient to a healthy and successful team.

Tips to Prevent Dehydration • A schedule for hydration before, during, and after practice or games may be more helpful than simply relying on thirst to maintain hydration. • Weigh the athlete before and after the practices. Proper hydration will show no- or minimal- weight change from practice. • An example hydration schedule for a high school athlete could be: drinking 16 ounces of fluid two hours before physical activity, drinking another 8-16 ounces 15 minutes before physical activity, and during physical activity, drinking 4-8 ounces every 20 minutes. After physical activity, drinking 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during physical activity. • Athletes will continue to lose fluid after practice as they continue to cool their core body temperature and urinate. Using urine color as a measure for hydration status can be helpful. Bold yellow urine to dark yellow or apple juice colored urine signifies dehydration. Athletes should aim to start every practice fully hydrated.

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