NorthernVT_Work Pain Free

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You Can WORK Pain Free How to relieve common aches and pains from the daily grind

• Can You Improve Your Posture While You Are At Work? • How To Strengthen Your Core Muscles In 4 Easy Steps

• Mindful Actions You Can Do At Work To Reduce Stress

Newsletter

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 to move 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 inyourpositionsthroughout 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 or do a different task. 2. Try a standing desk 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 varidesk.com that make it easy to transition from sitting to standing. 3. Sit correctly at your desk When sitting, make sure that you aresittingtall, likeastring ispulling through the top of your head. Your computershouldbedirectly infront of you, instead of off to the side. Itshouldalsobeattheheightwhere thetop1/3rdofthescreen isateye level.Furthermore,makesureyour keyboard isat theadequateheight, creatingabouta90-degreebendor less in your elbows. Armrests can be helpful to alleviate pressure on the shoulders when typing. 4. Vary your foot position Ifyour jobrequiresyoutostandfor a long time, such as in retail sales, make sure that you stand with one footslightlyforward.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 withonefootforwardandtheother back,thiscanhelpyouprotectyour 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. Ifyouaresufferingwithback,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.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt Quote of The Month:

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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 specialist if you are unsure of performing any of the following exercises)

4. Alternate arms and legs I f you have back pain, consult your physical therapistbefore trying this.Perform thisexercise 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.Remembernot togo intoanypain with thisexerciseandyouonlyneed to raiseyour arm and legs up 2-3 inches off the floor.

1. Engage your

transverse abdominis T he transverse abdominis is a deep muscle that wrapsaround the lowersectionofyourabdomen, 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 yourbackwithyourhandsonyour lowerabdomen. 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 insitting, thenstanding.This isagreat 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

Thehipabductorsareon theoutsideofyourhips 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, holdingontoasteadysurface,squatdownslightly 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 Thestrongerandbettercoordinated 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 specialists. Your spine will be glad you did!

Mindful Actions 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 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!

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.

Adapted from http://greatist.com/happiness/how-to-never-feel-stressed-at-work-again By Charlotte Lieberman

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, you can choose the physical therapy practice you want! Come back to Northern Physical Therapy for a consultation today! See our physical therapists for: • Recent injury • Nagging aches and pains • Back and neck pain • Joint pain and movement problems • Walking or balance difficulties

Zucchini Linguine Recipe

INGREDIENTS • 1 lb tomatoes, finely chopped • 1 tablespoon chopped basil • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

• 1 small red chile, seeded & minced • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 12 ounces linguine • 3 baby zucchini, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

DIRECTIONS In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the basil, parsley, garlic, salt, chile and olive oil. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine; drain well. Add the linguine to the bowl along with the sliced zucchini and toss. Add the 1/4 cup of grated cheese, toss again and serve in bowls, passing more cheese at the table.

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