PT Specialties_How Posture Changes Everything

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

Feel Confident and Pain Free

Your posture is a big factor in how you feel. Find out why inside...

INSIDE: 9 Change Your

Posture, Improve Your Life 9 3 Ways to Improve Your Posture

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

How is your posture throughout the day? Do you catch yourself slouching frequently? If you suffer with aches and pains, especially in your neck, upper or lower back, poor posture is probably to blame. The proper curves of your spine Your spine has 3 curves, which provide support, flexibility and protect the nerves running up and down your spine. Your neck should have a gentle curve in, upper back slightly curved out and lower back slightly curved in. When you slouch, the spine in your neck and lower back actually becomes straighter, while the upper back becomes excessively curved. This produces a forward head posture and humped upper back. In addition, weak abdominal muscles can cause an excessive arch in the lower back. Why is posture important? Your body is designed to be in good alignment allowing proper movement of the muscles, breathing, movement of blood throughout the body and digestion. Many chronic conditions are linked to poor posture and changes to the structure of the body. Just look in the mirror, is your posture the same as when you were younger? Poor posture leads to excessive strain on your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It also weakens many of the core muscles that are needed to keep you upright and healthy. Posture changes occur over time and most people don’t pay attention to them until they are unhappy with the way their body looks or starts to hurt. Posture can be improved Our physical therapists are experts in evaluating posture and movement. By pinpointing the source of your aches and pains, we can develop a plan for you that will return you to a more youthful posture and quickly relieve your pain. Call us today to learn more how we can improve your posture and help you lead a pain free active life. Change Your Posture, Improve Your Life

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3 Ways To Improve Your Posture

1. Standing Stand facing a mirror. Look at your shoulders, does one seem higher than the other? Look at your neck, does it tilt to one side or stick forward? Pretend that an imaginary string is pulling you through the top of your head gently. Notice how your posture improves automatically when you try to be taller? Keep your abdominals slightly contracted to maintain this posture. When walking, make sure that your arms are moving comfortably back and forth, feeling the rotation through your torso.

3. Bending Most back injuries occur when bending and twisting at the same time. When you need to bend down to get something from a low surface, make sure you squat, keep your abdominals tight as you do so. In addition, if you are lifting something, get your body as close as possible to what you are lifting. Try having one leg forward to use your legs more to lift, rather than your back. As part of physical therapy treatment, we teach you proper posture, bending and lifting techniques to protect your body from future injuries andmake sure you stay healthy for the long haul. Call us today to learn more about howwe can help you live pain free !

2. Sitting Sit all the way back in your chair so you feel your lower back against the back rest. Avoid prolonged sitting on soft couches when watching TV as this causes excessive slouching. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor and angle your chair so that your knees are slightly lower than your hips. Try using a small rolled-up towel in your low back if you need more support in sitting. If you work at a computer, make sure that your keyboard and mouse are slightly lower than the level of your elbow. You may need to adjust your seat higher to make this happen.

Come Back In For A Consultation 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 California you have direct access to physical therapy!

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See our physical therapists for: • Recent injury • Nagging aches and pains • Back and neck pain • Joint pain and movement problems • Walking or balance difficulties

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Patient Spotlight

What our patients have to say!

“I would recommend Physical Therapy Specialties to anyone living in pain.”

“Physical therapy proved more beneficial and with less side effects than anti-inflammatory medications.” “I presented with daily headaches for the 2-3 months prior to my initial consultation. I was also having TMJ pain and muscle soreness. After my first couple of treatments in the office and instruction for exercises at home, I began to get relief. Melissa tweaked her treatment and my exercises to further facilitate healing and pain relief. Upon completing my physical therapy appointments, I now have symptoms only occasionally and return immediately to my exercises to get quick relief. Melissa also taught me to be aware of tension in my head and neck area and to relax those muscles as soon as I realize they are tense. Improving my posture also helped. This combination therapy was effective in relieving my pain and I am so grateful to have my health back! Physical therapy proved more beneficial and with less side effects than anti-inflammatory medications. I appreciated treating the cause of the problem instead of just the symptoms.” “I came to Physical Therapy Specialties for a torn/strained calf muscle. Prior to treatment, I was in constant pain. I could not walk without the use of crutches. Now, 4 ½months later I am walking with no pain. I traded in the boot and crutches for a cane. Overall I am feeling so much better, stronger and more stable. I had the opportunity to work with Jacob and Michael which they are both very competent and professional therapists. The entire staff is professional and all around great people with positive attitudes that make you feel welcome and encouraged. I would recommend Physical Therapy Specialties to anyone living in pain.” Reginald C.

Helen F.

Reginald with Physical Therapist Jacob de Ocera, PTA

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Pilates Reformer at Physical Therapy Specialties

Gain Stability and Strength! Many of our patients need help improving strength and coordination of the muscles in their trunk, also called the “core” muscles. “Core” refers to muscles along your spine, the abdominal muscles, hips and shoulder blades. This part of the body needs stability so that the vertebrae of the spine are not strained or hurt when we move our arms and legs to lift, walk, run, etc. Our Pilates Reformer is one of the tools we use to help patients gain stability, coordination, strength, and flexibility—depending on what is needed. The Pilates Reformer uses the resistance and assistance of springs to achieve long and strong muscles without adding heavy bulk to the muscle. This is one of the reasons Pilates has become well known. Also, the instability of the rolling bed with the springs set at various levels of resistance provides various types of stability challenges that develop your core strength and help give you better balance. The stronger your core, the better your balance! When beneficial, all of the Physical Therapists at Physical Therapy Specialties enjoy incorporating the use of the Pilates Reformer into their treatment programs. Two of our therapists, Caitlin and Dina, have acquired additional education and training in Pilates-based rehabilitation which allows them to work closely with patients needing this approach to care while being available to mentor the rest of our staff in the use of Pilates.

Reyna pictured with Dina Stepanek PT

Talk to the experts! • Ida Hirst, PT • Dina Stepanek, PT • Melissa Giustino, PT • Stephen George, PT • Caitlin Cooper, PT • Jordan Washington, PT • Kristina Chang PT • Jennifer Freitas, PT • Joann Tippett, PT • Michael Petrak, PT • Jacob de Ocera PTA Email us: Ida@pt-specialties.com CALL TODAY! 925.417.8005

IMPROVE Your health in our warm water therapy pool!

I ncrease range of motion M ove freely P rotect joints R educe pain O btain cardio fitness V i tal ize muscle strength E nhance flexibility and balance

“Aquatic Therapy has helped me walk again.” - Susan S.

Pool Therapy and Water Classes Offered Daily. Schedule is on our website.

Exercise Essentials Try these simple exercises to help keep you loose and pain free... Share this with a friend or family member to help keep them healthy too!

PRONE BACK EXTENSION While lying face down, slowly raise your chest upwards and off the ground. Then lower slowly back to the ground. Repeat 10 times. Helps With Posture

Strengthens Back & Improves Posture QUADRUPED ALTERNATE ARM & LEG

While in a crawling position, slowly draw your leg and opposite arm upwards. Your arm and leg should be straight and fully out-stretched. Do this 8 times then alternate.

Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.

Who do you know that needs our help?

Refer a Friend Do You Have Friends or Family Unable to Do The Following? 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

If you know someone suffering with aches and pains give the gift of health. Refer them to Physical Therapy Specialties today. Pass along this newsletter or have them call us directly for a Physical Therapy Consultation.

Call Today! 925.417.8005

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