Johnson PT. How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain

Health+Fitness Newsletter

Start Your New Year Off With Good Posture How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain

A L S O I N S I D E : Is Physical Therapy For You? • Exercise Essentials • Patient Success Spotlight Fun & Games • Seasonal Recipe • Have You Met Your Annual Insurance Deductible?

Start Your New Year Off With Good Posture How Posture Affects 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. Apoorhabitofbadposturecanhavea lasting impactonyour 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 & 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.

What Can Good Posture Do For You?

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 guidedthroughaseriesofstretchesandstrengthbuildingexercisesthat canhelpyoubegin trainingyourbody topracticebetterposture, thereby reducing your back and neck pain. Ofcourse,therearewaysthatyoucan improveyourpostureathome,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 onbeingthetallestversionofyourself.Hunchingover isthe leading cause of poor posture. • Use support when you sit to keep your posture correct. Lumbar support inofficechairsandcarseatswillhelpabit,butfor improved postureyoumayneedtoaddadditionalcushioningthatwillhelpyou keep your back straight. • Bemindfulofhowyou liftheavyobjects.Keepyourshoulderssquare andyourchest forward.When liftingsomethingthat isover50 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

leadto injurytoyourneckorback,whichmaymakeproperposture uncomfortable. There are a lot of benefits of having good posture. Aside from saying goodbyetoneckorbackpain, improvingyourposturecanprovideseveral 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 • 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.

Call Johnson PT at 970.564.0311 to learn how we can help you!

Exercise Essentials

We’re The Best of Cortez 2019!

WALL PLANKS Position yourself with your forearms against a wall as shown. Keep your trunk engaged, making sure to not let your lower back arch. Hold for 10 seconds, then rest. Repeat exercise throughout the day to strengthen your core and back muscles.

Thank you to everyone who voted us at The Best Physical Therapy of Cortez 2019 by The Journal! We want to thank our amazing therapists and front office staff for all of their dedication and hard work!


Patient Success Spotlight “I am now walking with very little pain!”

“When I started with Johnson PT, my hip was all but locked up. After just two months, Debbie has helped me to the point where I am walking with very little pain. Debbie and all the staff at Johnson PT are extremely kind and caring.” - Billie L.

KETO Recipe Garlic Butter Meatballs With Zucchini Pasta

INGREDIENTS • 1/2 lb ground turkey meat • 1/2 lb ground pork meat (optional) • 1/2 cup shredded cheese • 1 crumbled bouillon cube (optional) • 1 tbsp hot sauce • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro, divided • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

• 4 cloves garlic, grated + 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1/2 tsp red crushed chili pepper flakes (optional) • 3 tbsp butter • 4 medium zucchini, spiralized • lemon juice

DIRECTIONS For turkey meatballs: Combine ground turkey and ground pork, cheese, grated garlic, Italian seasoning, bouillon cube, red chili pepper flakes, chopped cilantro and black pepper in a bowl. Mix well with your hands or fork to form medium balls. Arrange the turkey meatballs on a plate and set aside. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the turkey meatballs for 8-10 min on all sides until cooked through. While cooking, baste the meatballs with the mix of butter and juices. Remove to a clean plate and set aside. For zucchini noodles: In the same skillet, melt remaining 1 tbsp of butter; then add lemon juice, hot sauce, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add zucchini noodles and cook for 3-4 min, stirring regularly, until zucchini is done but still crisp and juices have reduced a bit. Garnish with more cilantro or parsley. Push zucchini on one side of the skillet and add the turkey meatballs back to the pan and reheat for about a minute. Serve the garlic butter turkey meatballs with lemon zucchini noodles immediately with a lemon slice on the side.

Staff Spotlight Debi Berger, Osteoporosis Specialist

Debi graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Physical Therapy in 1991. Debi has a wide range of experience and education in the field, working in pediatrics, geriatrics, and outpatient orthopedics. Debi joined the Johnson Physical Therapy & Rehab staff in 2003. Since that time, the focus of Debi’s career has been orthopedics, women’s health, and balance and vestibular issues. Debi has hundreds of hours of continuing education in the areas of Women’s health, vestibular and balance disorders, orthopedics, and osteoporosis. When she is not working, Debi enjoys camping, hiking, running the local rivers with her husband, sewing, and spending time with her dog, Hughy.

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