PT Rehab: How Posture Affects Back and Neck Pain

The Therapy Bulletin The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body BACKPACK SAFETY FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

Wearing the backpack: • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort. • Select a pack 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. • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles. • Wear the wai t belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly. • The bottom of the pack 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 pack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items. • Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day.

Aching backs and shoulders? Tingling arms? Weakened muscles? Stooped posture? Does your child have these symptoms after wearing a heavy school backpack? Carrying too much weight in a pack 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 (the back of th p ck). • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack. • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items 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 outside the pack. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.

Physical Therapists Offer Backpack Safety Tips

Physical Therapists Offer Backpack S fety Tips

Physical Therapists Offer Backpack Safety Tips WRONG CORRECT WRONG CORRECT WRONG

Physical Therapists Offer Backpack S fety Tips WRONG

CORRECT

CORRECT

Strap on one shoulder Wide, padded straps on

Load too heavy

Load no more than 10%-15%

Strap on one sh ulder Wide, padde straps on

Load too heavy

Load no more than 10%-15%

of body weight

both shoulders

of body weight

of body weight

both shoulders

of body weight

!

!

Wear both straps Use of one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the backpack. By wearing 2 shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is better distributed. Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back. It should rest evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and allow free movement of the arms. Wear both straps Use of on strap causes one side of the b dy to ear he weight of the backpack. By wearing 2 shoulder straps, the weig t of the backpack is better distributed. Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles Pay close attention o the way the b ckpack is ositioned on the back. It should rest evenly in the middl of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjust d to allow the child to put on and take off th backpack without d ffic l y and allow free mov ment of the arms. !

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SEPTEMBER 2018 The Therapy Bulletin The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body HOW POSTURE AFFECTS NECK & BACK 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 Connection 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 hours on the couch.

• The pain frequently starts in your neck and moves 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.

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WHAT CAN GOOD POSTURE DO FOR YOU?

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. 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: • Proper posture creates quality exercise for your core and back 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 learn more about how you can take steps to start improving your posture today. No Doctor Referral Necessary Whether you want to come in for a check-up, suffered a recent injury or you want to improve your health, a doctor referral is not needed. In the state of Michigan you have direct access to physical therapy! Save time • Improved respiratory health • Added protection for your organs, bones, joints and muscles • Reduced risk of arthritis

New Therapist Spotlight

“My profession as a Physical Therapist allows me to not only treat acute aches and pains but help individuals lead a more healthy overall lifestyle. My philosophy is personal care and treatment to ensure that each person is reaching their maximum function and goals.” Education / Training • Doctorate in Physical Therapy - Midwestern University • Bachelor of Science - Indiana University Areas of Specialty • Sports Medicine • Total joint replacement • Manual Therapy Mark A. Laciak, PT, DPT

Improve your health naturally

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Thursday, September 27th, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm 555 W Wackerly Rd, Midland Suite 2600 BACK TO BASICS TREAT YOUR OWN BACK PAIN Community Education Workshop 989-631-3570 Call to reserve your spot today! Rachelle Ferman PT, DPT, Cert MDT

Patient Success Spotlight

“I had neck and shoulder pain related to work/stress. Every time I lift or just look down my neck would go numb. It limited me from lifting quite a bit. I have been coming here for 6 years and I have had great results. I feel like I’m a part of the family when I go to my appointment. The staff makes you feel very comfortable and they don’t force you into anything. I highly recommend this place. Every time I need physical therapy, I always tell my Dr. I would like to come here.” -S.E. “Every time I need physical therapy, I always tell my Dr. I would like to come here.”

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Try these movements if you are experiencing poor posture. Exercise Essential

Healthy Recipe

VEGGIE HUMMUS ROLLS

PRONE BACK EXTENSION

Helps Posture

While lying face down, slowly raise your chest upwards and off the ground. Then lower slowly back to the ground. Repeat 10 times.

Heat wraps for 10 to 20 seconds in the microwave. Spread each wrap with 3 to 4 tbsp of no-oil hummus (depending on the diameter of your wrap). Divide veggies and sprinkle on top of the hummus on each wrap. Make sure to stop your veggies about 2 inches down from the edge of the tortillas (this will help the wraps seal up better). Starting on the opposite end, roll upwards tightly and press down to seal. Eat as whole wraps or cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces to make sushi-like rolls.

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Exercisescopyrightof

• 2 vegan whole wheat wraps • 1/2 cup diced red peppers • 1/2 cup diced yellow pepper • 1/2 cup diced red cabbage

• 2 large carrots, peeled • 6 - 8 tbsp. no-oil, low-salt hummus • 2 tbsp. raw sunflower seeds (or your choice of raw seeds)

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