Wood Associates PT: How Posture Affects Back and Neck Pain

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY NEWSLET TER HOW POSTURE CAN AFFECT YOUR BACK & 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. (continued inside)

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THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY NEWSLET TER

HOW POSTURE CAN AFFECT YOUR BACK & NECK PAIN

INSIDE : • What Can Good Posture Do For You? • Backpack Safety Tips

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight

(continued from outside)

• 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. Contact your physical therapist to learn more about how you can take steps to start improving your posture today.

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.

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PRONE ALTERNATE ARM AND LEG While lying face down and keeping your lower abdominals tight, slowly raise up an arm and opposite leg. Slowly lower and then raise the opposite side. Do not allow your spine to move the entire time. 6 repetitions on each side. Helps Flexibility www.simpleset.net Try this movement if you are experiencing back pain. EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

What Can Good Posture Do For You?

Physical Therapists Offer Backpack Safety Tips • 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 50lbs 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 osture: • 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 learn more about how you can take steps to start improving your posture today. WRONG CORRECT WRONG Strap on one shoulder Wide, padded strapson Load too heavy of bodyweight both shoulders ! ! ! Of course, there are ways that you can improve your posture at home, as well. Here are several strategies that are typically helpful:

Backpack Safety Tips

Does your child have these symptoms 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. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the backpack). • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. 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. • 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. CORRECT Load nomore than 10%-15% of bodyweight

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. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the low back. Lighten the load Keep the load at 10%-15% or less of the child’s body weight. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back. Some students have 2 sets of books, so as not to have to carry the heavy books to and from school. How a Physical Therapist Can Help A physical therapist can help you choose a proper backpack and fit it specifically to your child. Children come in all shapes and sizes, and some have physical limitations that require special adaptations. Additionally, a physical therapist can help improve posture problems, correct muscle imbalances, and treat pain that can result from improper backpack use. Physical therapists can also design individualized fitness programs to help children get strong and stay strong—and carry their own loads!

Find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com

CALL US TODAY IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING BACK PAIN

Patient Success Spotlight

Come into our clinic on Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 10:00 am - 3:00pm and have your balance assessed. We will have goodies and good tips on how to do some simple exercises to improve your balance. Call us to make an appointment at 617-864-4200 today! Thanks, Laura THE START OF FALL IS THE PERFECT TIME TO BE ASSESSED FOR FALLS PREVENTION! Thursday, September 26 from 10:00am - 3:00pm

“I would and do recommend Wood Associates PT!”

Did you know that the State of Massachusetts is one of many states that allow direct access to physical therapy? You do not need a prescription or referral to start physical therapy. This was done to help combat the opiod crisis and encourage the use of physical therapy as the safe and effective alternative for treatment of acute and chronic pain and injuries. A PHYSICIAN REFERRAL IS NOT NEEDED FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS! Direct Access To Physical Therapy SEE MORE TESTIMONIALS LIKE THIS ON OUR WEBSITE AT: WWW.WOODASSOCIATESPHYSICALTHERAPY.COM “You helped me to understand the problems I was having and gave me the proper exercises I needed to fix them. I would and do recommend Wood Associates PT! Thank you!” - Maria

Discover How To Live Pain Free!

At Wood Associates Physical Therapy, you will receive hands-on therapy treatments by a friendly, caring health expert during focused and individualized sessions.

1. CALL AND TALK TO YOUR THERAPIST

2. DISCOVER WHY YOUR PAIN HAS COME BACK

3. GET YOUR CUSTOM RECOVERY PROGRAM (617) 864-4200 CALL TO SCHEDULE TODAY! NO PRESCRIPTION NEEDED

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