Category Archives: Back pain

Stop Slouching: How to Fix Bad Posture Now

Stop Slouching: How to Fix Bad Posture Now

Maybe you’re suffering from back pain. Or maybe you’ve just started to notice tensed shoulders and slouching as habits that have started to creep into your day.

Either way, it’s time to stop slouching now, before serious problems occur from your poor posture. The fact is, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. It’s also the second most frequent reason people visit a doctor. Yikes!

If left untreated, bad posture can start to effect your daily life. But if you start to break bad habits today, you can avoid back pain altogether — and greatly improve your future quality of life!

We’re going to tell you a few tips and tricks on how to fix bad posture so you can avoid serious problems with your spine.

Straighten Up! How to Fix Bad Posture

The stress bad posture puts on your spine is a slow accumulation over time. Sometimes, people don’t even notice until the toll starts to cause serious harm.

Here’s how to get on top of your posture now to prevent pain later.

Test Your Posture… and Become Aware!

The best first step is to assess the current state of your posture. Increasing awareness in your body will help you correct bad habits more consciously during every day.

You can do this in a couple of ways. First, basic wall tests have you stand against a flat surface to evaluate the curve of your spine.

Or, you can see a professional! A structural chiropractor can get a grasp on the state of your spine to give you a better understanding of where your current posture stands. It is always important to be sure that your posture is not just a secondary condition of an underlying structural shift.

Once you’re more aware of your posture and body’s ergonomics, you can move on to the next tip.

Basic Posture Tips and Tricks

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of easy-to-implement daily tricks for how to fix bad posture.

They’ll help you straighten up and fix nasty habits in no time! Here they are:

1. Work on your core strength.

Our spine and core are undeniably intertwined. The more support your back gets from your abdomen muscles, the less strain will be put on your delicate spine. Basic core exercises are a great start, but a targeted core exercise plan that works with your spine is essential.

2. Do some posture correcting exercises.

There are a ton of simple, easy to do exercises that help strengthen your back. Over time, they can help correct poor posture. These are always an important part of a structural correction treatment plan.

3. Evaluate your workspace.

Is your chair keeping your spine in an uncomfortable position? Is your desk at the right height? You spend a lot of time at work. Make sure your space is spine-friendly. We often recommend a sit/stand workstation along with ergonomic key board, mouse, and proper monitor position (at eye level or up to 1 inch above depending on the current state of your cervical spine structure).

4. Think about other parts of your body.

Make sure when you think about posture you aren’t purely focused on a neutral spine. Make sure your weight is being evenly distributed on each half of your body, whether it’s your feet while standing or derriere while sitting. We also recommend MOVEMENT while standing. Anyone who has had us work on their ergonomic workstation knows that I recommend having a step stool and alternating feet (think Captain Morgan’s stance).

Implement all of these simple strategies into daily life to enhance your posture. Your spine will appreciate the effort!

Tall, Proud, and Pain-Free

You’re now enabled with some knowledge on how to fix bad posture. The spine controls your nervous system, and in turn your whole body! Remember, if you have any questions or need clarification on how to implement any of these tips, please contact us.

Book a free consultation today — work towards living a back pain-free future.

Sleep Positions and Posture During Pregnancy

 

pregnantbackpainLet’s face it, most people don’t have the best posture to begin with. Unless you happened to attend an old-timey finishing school where you were forced to walk around balancing a book on your head, chances are good you’re one of the many adults that slouches and suffers from back and neck pain as a result. And when you discover that you’re pregnant, you’re in for even more problems. As your body puts on weight, your posture is likely to get even worse – that is, of course, unless you become aware of the changes that your body is undergoing. If you do, you can take steps to keep your back aligned (biomechanically speaking) and correct the posture issues contributing to the decline in your spinal health.

You obviously want to maintain your overall health as much as possible for the benefit of your baby, but also for yourself. The way you position your body during pregnancy, during both waking and sleeping hours, can help to ease the heavy burden you’ll carry for the next several months, keeping you as comfortable as possible throughout the process. If you’re looking for ways to ensure a smooth(er) pregnancy, the following are just a few sleep positions and posture basics to get you started.

Sleep on Your Left Side

If you’ve read any literature pertaining to what you should expect when you’re expecting, you’ve no doubt discovered that sleeping on your stomach is a major no-no. Well, that’s just common sense. You might be more surprised, though, to learn that you should also avoid sleeping on your back. As your baby grows and you gain weight, this position can lead to labored breathing and pressure on internal organs. Sleeping on your side is best and sleeping on your left side is actually better than the right. This position aids circulation and it stops the growing baby inside you from putting undue pressure on your liver all night long.

As a side note, proper posture and spinal alignment during slumber can generally be better maintained by sleeping with a body pillow (click here for a Structurally approved body pillow). Place it between your knees and arms to keep your body in the most desirable and comfortable position.

Stand Up Straight

If you don’t want to end up looking like Igor or Quasimodo in your twilight years (don’t get me wrong, I do love them both), you should probably strive to stand up straight all of the time, but it is especially important to observe proper posture when you’re pregnant and you have an extra 20 to 40 pounds weighing you down. Standing up straight does require some amount of attention to detail, and because practice makes perfect, here are a few points to keep in mind where posture is concerned.

Hold your head straight and try to keep your earlobes aligned with your shoulders (as viewed from the side). Keep your shoulder blades pulled back (but not up – be mindful of shrugging your shoulders up as it will increase the tension in your neck). Pull your stomach up and in, and tuck your pelvis so that your back doesn’t arch. Point your feet forward and don’t lock your knees. These are the “basics”. And when you’re pregnant, try to move around frequently rather than standing in the same spot for any great duration. As always, I will gladly teach this to you during one of our complimentary consultations along with explaining how Webster technique may be able to help you.

Sit Up Straight

Sitting is seen by most patients as a chance to relax, but sinking into your favorite La-Z-Boy is nothing but an excuse to slouch. If you want to preserve your spinal health during pregnancy, it’s important that you sit up straight. If you’re having trouble doing so, try to sit in straight-back chairs and add lumbar support in the form of a lumbar pillow as mentioned below.

Support Your Lower Back

Okay, remembering to sit and stand tall is all well and good, but it does take some work. Luckily, you can cheat a bit by using lumbar support, at least when sitting. You will not find a shortage of pregnancy-related products, and that includes pillows. But you need not shell out beaucoup bucks for a specialty pillow. A sturdy bolster or even a rolled towel will do the trick. Simply position it behind your lower back when sitting for an extra measure of support. This will help you relax and feel comfortable while still maintaining proper posture. If you want an inexpensive lumbar support, HERE is an Amazon link.

Try Pregnancy Yoga

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen the areas around your belly, pregnancy yoga can be a godsend. Gentle stretching will help to relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy, while also improving circulation and minimizing swelling. Yoga routines will strengthen key areas of the body. This will allow you body to better withstand the increased burden of gravity as your baby grows.

There you have it. Just a few tips to help make your pregnancy (or someone you care about) a little more comfortable.

As a perinatal and pediatric trained chiropractor, I understand that pregnancy can come with some “different” sensations. I offer complimentary consultations to discuss structural correction and/ or Webster technique during your pregnancy. Please share with moms, moms to be and aspiring moms as they all deserve know these easy tips.

Back Pain: 1 Simple Tip to Decrease it

Hopefully you all know that I am in the business of helping people rid themselves of neck pain, back pain, and headaches. In fact, most of my new patients all have some form of back pain. While this may be only ONE of many symptoms they are experiencing, it is often the driving force that brought them into my office.
Now, you may be asking yourself,
“I thought this was about Moms?”. 
Let me explain. Since we usually see mother’s first in our clinic, I wanted to write this article to help them while they were not in my office.
The good news is that this applies to all HUMANS (almost)!

Let me start out by giving my disclaimer. All neck pain, back pain, and headaches are unique to the individual who walks into my office and THEIR STRUCTURE. No one is perfect, and no one has the same structure, therefore it really does take a consultation and examination to determine the exact path to improving your spine health.

Now lets get to the tip to decrease your low back pain.

1.) Stretch Your Psoas. Here is a great photo showing you where the Psoas muscle “lives”.
Below are a few stretches to help bring down your pain levels. I think now is a good time to add another disclaimer.
While your pain levels may go down,
YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT FIXED. I repeat, YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT FIXED. 
Without going into great detail, I want to make sure you know why I made the above statement in bold. Your tight Psoas muscle is not the problem, but rather the RESULT of many things. It is the result of poor neurological control, poor posture, and lack of supporting musculature. While I hope you get some relief from these stretches, I do not want you to ignore the fact that you may have some  structural abnormalities that need to be addressed. Please seek a professional that focuses on structural correction, and NO, it does not have to be me.
Here are two stretches that you must put into your repertoire.
I hope you seriously consider adding these two stretches into your routine. And as always, if you have something that you would like to discuss with me in person, please schedule a complimentary consultation by either calling 425-636-0303 or by filling out this form.

Whiplash: Don’t Crack That Whip!

Whiplash: The Scary Truth.

Many people hear the term “Crack that whip” or “Whip It” and get a certain song in our heads along with the inevitable big smile. If you aren’t familiar with the song by DEVO that was released in the 1980’s, watch the video below. You can thank me later. Just for the record, they are not talking about whiplash.

neck

Whip It!

What many of us forget is the part that states “break your momma’s back”. That is the line that I will focus on in this blog. That line has a lot of significance right now due to our wet roads.

Whiplash… we all hear about it, but what the heck is it?

For simplicity, whiplash is an injury that can occur in your neck during any fast movement of the head. Most whiplashes are caused by car accidents, sports collisions, falls, and any time the head changes directions abruptly (including stopping abruptly). Watch this video to see how even a minor accident can result in major problems, Whiplash slow motion video.

Contrary to popular opinion, whiplash can occur in ANY DIRECTION. While most of the information out there focuses on rear end collisions (just do a google search on whiplash), in reality, any forceful change in direction can also result in LONG TERM neck damage from a whiplash.

Many cases of whiplash do not cause immediate severe pain. In fact, many report “feeling fine” immediately following a car accident. I often ask people that I know may be suffering from a whiplash type injury if they have ever had their structure evaluated. More often than not, I am sad to hear that they didn’t think about it because it “didn’t hurt”. Remember, pain is often the last of the secondary conditions that follow a whiplash. Some other secondary conditions to be aware of are headaches, foggy thoughts, trouble concentrating, loss of enjoyment in hobbies/ activities, depression, anxiety, headaches, irritability, “fussiness” and MANY MANY others. Any change in attitude, feeling of general well being, and/or mood can be a secondary condition of even a minor whiplash. It is NOT uncommon for a whiplash to actually cause residual or a secondary condition of low back pain!

My point in mentioning all of the symptoms above is to impart the importance of ruling OUT any Structural Shifts of the spine before you write of that “minor accident”, fender bender, fall or “bonk” (for the little ones).

Food for thought… in the United States alone there are an estimated 16,000,000 car accidents each year on our roads. How many do you think has one car traveling faster than the slow motion video above? I would venture to say most of them. You can decide for yourself when you realize that all of you can RUN, roll, or ride your bike faster than the speed in the video.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be safe out there and don’t neglect your structure!

If you have been in a recent car accident, then a Complimentary Consultation is a no brainer.

Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are a good fit to help you improve your heath.

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