Providence PT_ How Posture Affects Back and Neck Pain


MAY 2020


ALSO INSIDE: • Four Simple Methods to Improve Your Posture • Laura’s Corner • Mind Exercise: Sudoku • Vegan Pesto Pasta



MAY 2020


Do you suffer from daily or recurrent aches and pains? If so, your posture may be the culprit. Just think about the number of hours a day we spend staring at a computer screen, hunched over our desks, or staring at our phones. That creates a lot of stress on the neck and back, especially if you are slouched, titled forward, or looking down for prolonged periods of time. How does poor posture affect me? Changes to your posture can negatively affect your body, and you may find yourself experiencing some of the following symptoms: If your posture contains a forward head tilt– This forward-head posture creates a strain on the neck, which can result in neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, chronic headaches, and lower back pain. Tilting your head forward for long periods of time shortens the muscles in the back of the neck, and can result in soreness throughout multiple parts of your body. If your posture contains slouching of the mid-back – If you slouch the middle of your back, you can drive your head forward and alter the way your ribs naturally align. By doing this, you may experience pain in the slouched region of the mid-back, in addition to pain in the neck. If this is your average standing posture, it is important to

seek physical therapy treatment right away – over time, standing like this day after day may cause internal issues, as it creates pressure on your lungs, heart, and digestive system. If your posture includes sitting for long periods of time – When you sit for prolonged periods of time, the muscles in your hips and legs will stiffen. When these muscles become stiff, they tighten and will pull on the lower back, causing pain. The joints also lose their range of motion, which can cause soreness or achiness in the hips, legs, and back, and can create issues with your gait. The way in which you walk can also have an effect on your posture. When you have improper posture, your center of gravity changes. This can cause your balance to decline, which can cause pain when walking, thus creating a vicious cycle of overcompensation and pain. The most common symptom of poor posture is lower back pain, although pain can be present in other parts of the body, as well. The back muscles constantly contract to keep you upright, and they overcompensate when you slouch or hunch over. Over a period of time, constant poor posture can create an unusual amount of wear and tear on the lower back, which can increase the risk of arthritis in the spine.


Laura’s Corner

As we move into the spring with thoughts about spring cleaning, our favorite outdoor activities, and planting gardens and flowers, it is the perfect time to talk about posture and what you can do to ensure that you are doing all that you can to minimize the aches and pains that often accompany these events. The suggestions and exercise in this newsletter will help you with postures for work, but also for those long-awaited hours out in the sun. On a separate note, we want to take this opportunity to let you know that we now offer telehealth appointments that are fully paid by insurance in most cases. If you feel more safe staying home, but you are hurting and need help, please call us! Our team of physical therapists has worked diligently over the past several weeks to develop a wide array of beneficial and therapeutic activities that you can do, at home, to help ease pain, improve mobility and strength, and overall improve your quality of life. This is true for all patients, even those who have previously received a significant amount of manual therapy or hand-on care. There is tremendous value in continuing your physical therapy – even while at a distance. It is also a wonderful opportunity to have us literally see your computer and work set-ups at home to make ergonomic suggestions to help improve your posture! We can also offer help to patients who have had COVID-19 and have returned home with limitations or impairments due to complications of the virus, which could include (but is not limited to): being hospitalized, bedridden, sedated, and/or on a ventilator. The other benefit is that through telehealth we can now offer the excellent care and connection that you have come to expect from Providence PT to people outside the State of Colorado, so share our information with your friends and family. We are here to help! Warm regards,


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STRENGTHENS BACK MUSCLES ExerciseEssentials BIRD DOG 4-POINT ARM & LEG RAISE Begin by placing your knees and hands on the floor, with your hips and shoulders at a 90° angle. While keeping stable and engaging your core muscles, lift one arm and an opposite leg straight out toward the horizon, with your thumb pointed to the ceiling. Place both arm and

leg back down to starting position. Perform 10 repetitions and then repeat this exercise with the opposite arm and leg. To build stability, this exercise can first be performed using only the arm or leg, and the opposing arm or leg can be added once ready for progression.

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Do you suffer with pain? We can help you get back to living pain free call us today 303-799-6336

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FromOur Kitchen to Yours VEGAN PESTO PASTA

It can be difficult to correct poor posture, but there are a few steps you can take on your own to try and help: 1. Sit properly. – If you are at a desk for extended periods of the day, make sure your stance is okay. Sit upright, place your feet flat on the floor, and try not to cross your legs. Make sure there is a small gap between the back of your knees and the chair. Having a chair with strong back support and padding is also recommended for making your upright position more comfortable. 2. Take stretch breaks. – If you are an office worker, it is not secret that most of the day is spent with limited levels of mobility. It is important to make sure that you get up every 30 minutes or so, and take a small walk, at least for a minute or two. This will help in loosening up your muscles and joints, as well as initiating a stronger blood flow. 3. Exercise. – Exercise is incredibly important, especially if your job produces several hours of inactivity. When you exercise, you are stretching and strengthening certain muscles of your body, including problem areas such as your neck and back. Taking even a small amount of time to walk or jog around the neighborhood every day can highly improve your overall gait. 4. Set up your office properly. – If you work from an office all day, it is important to have a proper ergonomic setup. Make sure that you are at a proper height with your desk chair and computer, so you don’t have to slouch or lean forward. Additionally, make sure your chair has the proper lumbar support needed to help you sit straight while you’re working. These simple steps can help tremendously with your overall posture. If you are experiencing pain, and you think it may be a result of your posture, give us a call today. We will help you get back to a comfortable posture with just a few sessions. 9 4 7 8 Four SimpleMethods to Improve Your Posture 4 1 7 4 7 1 6 8 1 9 8 5 3 4 9 1 4 9 2 5 3 8 8

INGREDIENTS • 1 cup fresh basil, packed • 1 cup fresh arugula, packed • ½ lemon lemon juice • ⅓ cup olive oil • ½ cup water • 2 cloves garlic, peeled • 1 teaspoon pepper • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Print sudoku

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• 1¼cups almondmeal (ground almonds) • 1 lb pasta (spaghetti, penne, rotini, or gluten-free options) • ⅓ cup pasta water • Sliced cherry tomatoes (for garnish) • Serves 8 INSTRUCTIONS 1. Combine basil, arugula, lemon juice, water, and olive oil to a blender and blend for 5-10 seconds. 2. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and almond meal to the blender and blend until completely incorporated. 3. Boil salted water and cook pasta according to packaging instructions. 4. When draining the pasta, reserve ⅓ to 1 cup (80 to 235 ml) of water. 5. Once drained, return the pasta to the pot, and stir in the pesto, adding reserved pasta water until the sauce reaches desired consistency. 6. Enjoy!

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Mind Exercise: Sudoku 3 9 6 2 8 9 3 5 The rules of the game are simple: each of the nine blocks has to contain all the numbers 1-9 within its squares. Each number can only appear once in a row, column or box. 7 5 4 1 8 n° 228310 - Level Medium

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