Willow PT_How Bad Posture Affects You

NEWSLETTER Health &Wellness

COULD YOUR POSTURE BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR PAIN?

NEWSLETTER Health &Wellness

COULD YOUR POSTURE BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR PAIN?

INSIDE : • What Can Be Done To Help Correct Your Posture • Exercise of the Month

• Staff Spotlight • 4 Simple Ways To Make Hydration A Habit

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. Do you have pain? If you would like to learn more about how we can help you return to the activities you love without pain, call us today. We will help you get back to a comfortable posture with just a few sessions.

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WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP CORRECT POSTURE?

LOWER TRUNK ROTATIONS Lying on your back with your knees bent, gently rock your knees side-to-side. Perform this 10-15 times in each direction. Relieves Lower Back Pain www.simpleset.net Try this movement if you are experiencing pain. EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

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 no 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. How can physical therapy help you? If these at-home treatments don’t work, it is important to consult help from a physical therapist. Simply standing up straight is a fight against gravity, and if you have been standing the wrong way for several years, it may be difficult to change it on your own. However, physical therapists are dedicated to getting you back on track to a pain free, and risk free life. They will evaluate your posture and gait to determine the best treatments necessary for you, and then they will create a treatment plan unique for your needs. They can improve your posture, eliminate your pain, and get you back to doing the activities you love to do. 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.

PROPER DRIVING POSTURE When travelling, be sure to adjust your driver seat to ensure that your hips are just above your knees. This not only allows for better blood circulation, but can ease the strain on your lower back. Try this if you're experiencing pain from poor posture behind the wheel. PRO TIP OF THE MONTH

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Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad HEALTHY RECIPE

Patient Spotlight

• 2 cups red grapes, halved • 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seed • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

INGREDIENTS • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar • 1 teaspoon honey • 1 teaspoon maple syrup • 1/2 teaspoon stone-ground mustard • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil • 7 cups loosely packed baby arugula

The level of care from my therapist has been top notch. “I really appreciate the professionalism at Willow Physical Therapy... The level of care from my therapist has been top notch. I am so glad to have experienced their help” - P.Beagle

INSTRUCTIONS Combine vinegar, honey, syrup, and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine arugula, grapes, seeds, and thyme in a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over arugula; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat.

4 SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE HYDRATION A HABIT Manypeoplearesobusy that theybarelyhave time to eat, let alone pause for a water break, and you mayfind thatyouoftengohoursandhourswithout quenching your thirst. But staying hydrated has real advantages, including helping you maintain your energy and focus. It’s important to give your drinkinghabits theattention theydeserve.Hereare some simple ways to stay hydrated this summer. mindlessly sip from it throughout the day, without having to make a conscious effort. 2. When you’re feeling frazzled, grab a glass of coldwater. Studiesshow thatpeople instantly feel more alert after drinking H2O. 4. Eat a diet rich in whole foods. By eating foods like vegetables, fruits, and yogurt, you’ll automatically up your fluid intake.

If you’re an elderly adult, it’s especially important to pay attention to hydration. Aging impairs the body’s natural thirst mechanisms, which makes it easier to become dehydrated. These tips should make hydration a habit in your life. Remember to always keep a water bottle as a physical reminder to drink even if you’re not thirsty.

3. Sip on a mug of herbal tea every evening. If you make this a habit, you’ll add an extra cup of fluid to your body every single day.

1. Always carry a water bottle. If you have a bottle within arm’s reach, it’s very likely that you’ll

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