Thanks for participating in Posture Month 2016!!
This last weekend Dr. Ross Batiste had the pleasure of attending the Posture Practice classes at NCC (National Chiropractic Conference) with Steven Weiniger, Postural Expert and DC.
Today we will be wrapping up on our month long postings on the importance of posture. We hope that the information posted was helpful to you. Remember, there's no such thing as perfect posture. Good posture is more than standing up straight. To improve posture strengthen how your body balances, and how it moves, be aware and optimize your work, home and play environment!
Follow these tips to avoid compressing the spinal discs or straining your lower back when you are lifting:
Keep a wide base of support. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other (karate stance).
Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed, put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right angle (half kneeling).
Keep good posture. Look straight ahead, and keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back.
Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Keep your back straight, and don't twist as you lift.
Hold the load as close to your body as possible, at the level of your belly button.
Use your feet to change direction, taking small steps.
Lead with your hips as you change direction. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.
Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.
Keep in mind:
Do not attempt to lift by bending forward. Bend your hips and knees to squat down to your load, keep it close to your body, and straighten your legs to lift.
Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level.
Avoid turning or twisting your body while lifting or holding a heavy object.
Good Posture...just how important is it?
Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night's sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Without good posture, you can't really be physically fit.
Surprised? Well, you're not alone. The importance of good posture in an overall fitness program is often overlooked by fitness advisers and fitness seekers alike. In fact, the benefits of good posture may be among the best kept secrets of the current fitness movement. The good news is that most everyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture...and you can make improvements at any age.
Good Posture is Good Health
We're a health conscious society today and good posture is a part of it. Because good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. It means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Good posture helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments), a person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly.
Even for younger people, how you carry yourself when working, relaxing or playing can have big effects. Did you know that just fifteen minutes reading or typing when using the wrong positions exhausts the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back?
Poor Posture - How Does it Happen?
Often, poor posture develops because of accidents or falls. But bad posture can also develop from environmental factors or bad habits. This means that you have control.
Today, posture-related problems are increasing:
A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. It can start with...
Fatigue - your muscles have to work hard just to hold you up if you have poor posture. You waste energy just moving, leaving you without the extra energy you need to feel good.
Tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs - by this stage, there may be a change in your muscles and ligaments and you may have a stiff, tight painful feeling. More than 80% of the neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by years of bad posture.
Joint stiffness and pain - at risk for "wear and tear" arthritis, or what is termed degenerative osteoarthritis. Poor posture and limited mobility increase the likelihood of this condition in later years.
Self-Test for Posture Problems
The Wall Test - Stand with the back of your head touching the wall and your heels six inches from the baseboard. With your buttocks touching the wall, check the distance with your hand between your lower back and the wall, and your neck and the wall. If you can get within an inch or two at the low back and two inches at the neck, you are close to having excellent posture. If not, your posture may need professional attention to restore the normal curves of your spine.
The Mirror Test
(Front view) Stand facing a full length mirror and check to see if:
Check for the following:
Lifestyle Tips for Lifelong Good Posture
Standing up straight is important for everyone, but at no time is it more crucial to develop the habits of good posture than in childhood. Many adults with chronic back pain can trace the problem to years of bad posture habits or injuries in childhood.
Because they are growing and more active, children may be at even more risk for injury to the back and spine. According to studies, there is a significantly high risk associated with football, trampolining and gymnastics. More than 1/3 of all high school football players sustain some type of injury. As a parent, seek professional help for children in the event of even a minor sports injury. Parents should also be aware that babies who are not strapped into an auto safety seat run the risk of injury and even death in the event of a quick stop or an accident.
Good Posture & Aging
Poor posture extracts a high price as you age because it can:
When standing - hold your head high, chin firmly forward, shoulders back, chest out, and stomach tucked in to increase your balance. If you stand all day in a job like a cashier or clerk, rest one foot on a stool or take breaks to get off your feet for a while.
When sitting - use a chair with firm low back support. Keep desk or table top elbow high, adjust the chair or use a footrest to keep pressure off the back of the legs, and keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Get up and stretch frequently--every hour if you sit for long periods of time. Do not sit on a fat wallet; it can cause hip imbalance!
When working on a computer - take a one or two minute task break every 20 minutes when you work at a computer screen. Keep the screen 15 degrees below eye level. Place reference materials on a copy stand even with and close to the terminal.
When sitting in the car - adjust the seat forward so your knees are higher than your hips. Put a small pillow or cushion in the small of your back.
When sleeping - sleep on your side with your knees bent and head supported by a pillow, to make your head level with your spine. Or, sleep on your back, avoiding thick pillows under your head. Use a small pillow under your neck instead. Don't sleep on your stomach.
When lifting - let your legs do the work in order to prevent injury to your low back. Stand close to the object, then where possible squat down and straddle it. Grasp the object, and slowly lift the load by straightening your legs as you stand up. Carry the object close to your body.
When bending - never twist from the waist and bend forward at the same time. To lift or reach something on the floor, bend the knees while keeping the back straight.
If you follow these practices, but still feel discomfort and pain related to specific activities, visit your Doctor of Chiropractic periodically for spinal checkups and for a postural evaluation for yourself and for your children.
Posture is position of the body while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture, also referred to as neutral spine, has many health benefits, including the avoidance of injury back pain. Chiropractic can help improve and maintain posture.
Why is Posture Important:
Appearance benefits with good posture are obvious, but there are many less-obvious health benefits you should know. Good posture can:
Signs you have poor posture:
There are many indicators of poor posture, but some of the more common are hunched shoulders, rounded shoulders, rounded upper back, forward head carriage and arched lower back. Another indicator is back pain. Unsure if you have good posture? Talk to your chiropractor or schedule an appointment for a spinal examination.
Factors that Contribute to Poor Posture:
There are several common factors linked to poor posture:
The first step is awareness! Bring your attention to your posture as you sit, stand or lie down. If you're sitting, keep both feet on the floor or a footrest, don't cross your legs and use low-back support. While standing, keep your knees slightly bent, relax your arms and pull your shoulders back. When lying down it's critical to choose the right mattress and pillow, and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Importance of Chiropractic Care and Therapies:
Your chiropractor can help you to maintain and correct your posture through chiropractic adjustments, exercises and recommendations on proper positions during different activities.
Make your appointment today to talk to a chiropractic doctor about chiropractic care and posture.
Managing Migraines: Find Peace of Mind Through Massage
What Are Migraines?
A migraine is marked by moderate to severe pain and throbbing in the head, and can be accompanied by nausea as well as sensitivity to light. In some cases, these painful headaches are preceded or accompanied by a sensory warning sign, such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg.
Fortunately, management of migraine pain has improved dramatically in the last decade. Although there's still no cure, medications are now much more effective. Additionally, alternative treatments like massage have been found to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
How Can Massage Help Manage Migraines?
Massage is a great way to manage stress and relieve tension- two of the main causes of migraine headaches. Research at The Touch Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine found that massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms while increasing serotonin levels in adults with migraine headaches.
Professional massage therapists can provide services designed to reduce symptoms associated with migraines, so you experience lasting relief and peace of mind, as well as many other benefits.
What Techniques Will Be Used?
Professional massage therapists integrate a variety of techniques into their work. Depending on the severity of your migraines or tension headaches, your therapist may utilize a Reflexology, Swedish massage, Trigger point therapy, Craniosacral or other methods that address your specific requests and needs.
Is There Lasting Relief?
Migraines and other types of headaches are one of the most common complaints seen in the doctor's office today. The Mayo Clinic recommends that patients with migraines spend at least a half-hour each day doing something either relaxing or that involves the relaxation of muscles. This is particularly helpful for managing migraines and severe headaches. If you have any pressing concerns, please consult your doctor.
The Touch Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine
Acupuncture for Migraine Relief:
Surprisingly for patients in the Western world, acupuncture has been used to treat migraines for thousands of years. While there are understandable risks and side effects associated with medication and traditional treatments, acupuncture has no associated side effects at all, which gives patients a sense of hope that, if nothing else, their headaches will not worsen or intensify. The better news, however, is that many migraine patients express a sense of relief after receiving acupuncture treatment, and many more say that continual acupuncture sessions can lessen the intensity and frequency of these intense, painful headaches.
Migraine headache treatment via acupuncture is a bit outside of the norm. Instead of inserting needles gently into areas of the head, as usual for pain relief in acupuncture therapy, increasing blood flow directly to the head and neck can actually make a migraine worse due to circulation. In this regard, acupuncture therapists have come up with a new, innovative option. In the treatment of severe headaches like migraines, therapists focus instead on increasing circulation in the lower body, effectively minimizing the risk of increased dilation of the blood vessels in the head known to make a migraine treatment worse.
While acupuncture for treatment of a migraine currently happening is still being experimented with, acupuncture can be a positive solution to trying to prevent migraines from happening as severely or frequently. Regular acupuncture treatments can decrease overall stress and muscle tension, which can keep migraines at bay. Increasing circulation overall regularly can be an essential aid in keeping migraines away more and more often, giving much-needed relief to people who know the amount of pain a migraine can cause.
Acupuncture for Migraine Prevention:
Emotional stress is a well-known trigger for migraines. People living in a fast-paced city tend to have imbalanced autonomic nervous systems. The parasympathetic (relaxed state) branch is inhibited, and the sympathetic branch (stressed state) is activated. This type of imbalance may be tied to other health conditions such as heart disease, insomnia, hypertension and premenstrual syndrome.
The acupuncture technique used helps to prevent migraines by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and decreasing muscle tension.
Increased muscle tension in the neck and upper back is common in people with migraines; therefore reducing this tension is an integral part of preventing migraines. By finding and treating the most reactive of the 24 major diagnostic points, we can affect an instantaneous increase in blood flow to sore and tense muscles. A low-frequency electrical current (1 Hz) may be added to the needles in order to further enhance blood flow in the muscle tissue.
We also recommend some important lifestyle changes to reduce the incidence of headaches:
Sleep adequately (7-8 hours per day)
Avoid physical or mental fatigue
Avoid alcohol (especially red wine)
Eliminate foods that trigger migraines: dairy, chocolate, spices, wheat and corn
Avoid any triggers that cause your headaches
Types of Headaches
There are a variety of different types of headaches, both primary and secondary. These include the following:
Migraine headaches are usually one-sided, pulsating or throbbing, and moderate or severe in intensity. They can be worsened with activity and may be associated with nausea and/or vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light or noise. Some patients also experience auras, a neurological symptom that develops gradually over 5-20 minutes. The patient may see brief flashes or waves of light, or changes in their vision. Other common features of auras include vertigo, imbalance, confusion and numbness.
HeadacheTension headaches, which occasionally affect most people, are the most common type of headache. They are recurrent headaches, and can last anywhere from minutes to days. These headaches are experienced as a dull pressure, mild or moderate in severity.
Headaches occurring every day or almost every day are referred to as chronic daily headaches or rebound headaches. Sometimes they resemble tension headaches, and at other times, migraines. The overuse of pain medications can result in aggravating headache patterns.
Some headaches may be signs of a serious medical condition. These include headaches after trauma, headaches in the elderly, or headaches with any of the following symptoms:
Vomiting without nausea
Extreme neck pain
Good morning and Happiest Wednesday to all of you BNB fans!