Archive for posture

Eight subtle signs your body needs help

We can all feel stiff, sore and tired from time to time but if the same pain keeps resurfacing, it may be your body trying to warn you that something is seriously wrong.

With our busy lives, it can be too easy to ignore the subtle signs that our bodies give us but by ignoring the warning signs you could be at risk of missing the early detection of a more serious issue.

There are eight common issues chiropractors see that, if left untreated, can lead to longer term issues that may require surgery or lifelong pain management.  Some of these issues may also signal potential life-threatening conditions:

Neck stiffness

While neck stiffness is quite common, particularly for people who spend long hours working on computers or using smartphones, it can also signal something more serious. Persistent neck stiffness may be the result of a degenerative cervical spine disorder which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent nerve damage, compression of the spinal cord, paralysis and in rare cases, death.

Joint pain

Joint pain is often considered a natural part of the aging process, and it can also emerge following strenuous exercise. However, persistent joint pain can severely limit your mobility and impact your overall health in the longer term. For example, limited mobility may lead to poor psychological health and obesity, which in turn can increase the risk of issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

Muscle weakness

We all get muscle weakness from time to time due to factors such as illness or an intense workout that causes muscle fatigue. However, ongoing weakness in the muscles can be a sign of issues such as nerve damage, muscular or skeletal degeneration, a herniated disc, neuromuscular disorder, or a tumour.

Numbness or tingling

While we can get numbness or tingling from sitting too long in a certain position, such as when your foot goes to sleep, having this symptom without cutting off blood circulation is an early warning sign of injury, nerve damage, a herniated disc, or even diabetes. If numbness or tingling related to nerve damage, injury or a herniated disc is left untreated, you may end up needing surgery.

Uneven posture

If you have uneven shoulders or hips, asymmetry of the back or your head rests off-centre you may have scoliosis, which is curvature of the spine. If left untreated, it can cause a reduced range of motion, pain, disc degeneration, and possibly cardiovascular and breathing problems caused by the rib cage constricting the heart and lungs.

Headaches

Headaches can be caused by factors such as stress, dehydration, low blood sugar, or misalignment of the neck or spine. Persistent headaches may be a sign of migraines, food allergies, nerve degeneration, or tumour.

Intermittent pain or stiffness

If you have pain or stiffness that comes and goes, it could be a sign of nerve damage, muscular or skeletal degeneration, or disc bulge.  Similar to other forms of pain, if it is left untreated intermittent pain or stiffness can become chronic pain, which then requires more intensive treatment and possibly surgery.

Sharp, Shooting Pain in Your Legs 

A sharp, shooting pain or tingling and weakness in your legs indicates a pinched nerve or slipped disc.  Without treatment, this can lead to longer term issues requiring long term pain medication or even surgery.

Chiropractors are trained to treat many of these conditions, or will refer you to another health specialist if they suspect a non-chiropractic issue. To find out more about the subtle warning signs your body gives you and how to treat them contact Lane Chiropractic on 02 6676 2270.

Have you got your back?

Spinal Health Week – May 25 to 31

It’s national spinal health week, which is a great reminder that while your back supports you, are you doing the right thing to support your spine?

While it’s true that we all have a certain amount of mileage in our bodies, which are held up by our spines, here are three things you can do to increase your body mileage:

  1. Improve your posture

Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down. When your posture is poor this can increase pressure on your spine and contribute to tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue.  Australian adults, on average, spend an estimated five hours per day sitting, with a quarter of the population sitting for more than eight hours per day,7 including the 67% that play video games recreationally.8 This time sitting and hunching over a desk or on the couch can add pressure to the spine.

That’s why it’s important to make sure whenever you are sitting or standing that you keep your head in a neutral position, keep your shoulders back and your spine straight. When lying down, make sure your back is well supported and avoid lying on your stomach, otherwise this requires you to turn your neck and that’s not good for the spine.

2. Keep Active

We need to remember that an active spine is a healthy spine. This is important at any age, however according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 56% of all Australians are not sufficiently physically active. This has a negative impact on your spinal health.

You don’t need to go to a gym to be active.  You only need to do regular exercise, whether that be walking, bicycle riding, swimming, or even stretching or yoga from the comfort of your own lounge room.  The key is to keep that spine moving!

3. Good nutrition

It is true that “you are what you eat”.  This means that whatever you consume is the fuel that drives your body.  To keep a well-oiled engine make sure you are eating plenty of natural, healthy foods and try to reduce sugar and fat in your diet.  Also drink plenty of water as hydration is key to good health.

For more healthy spine tips or to book a spinal assessment this week contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

YOUR SIDE PROFILE MIGHT INDICATE BACK OR NECK PAIN TRIGGERS

Paying attention to your side profile could help avoid neck and back problems and improve quality of life. New research published by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) suggests that those whose heads lean forward are most likely to be currently suffering from back or neck pain (58%), followed by those with an excessively arched lower back (56%).

The BCA researchers asked women (whom the study was focused on) which side-shape they are, with four broad categories of altered posture compared to the ideal.

• Spoon – flat back, rounded shoulders

• Leaning tower – head leans forward

• Bridge – arched back

• Flat-pack – flat back

Whether you stand like a spoon or a leaning tower, a bridge or a flat back, your side-shape may indicate problems ahead.

Posture has also been shown to have an effect on many other areas of health and wellbeing beyond symptoms of pain such as mood, energy levels, self-confidence, range of motion, and change in the release of stress hormones. Poor posture can also negatively impact on decision making, work productivity and other areas of life.

The good news is that making changes to your posture doesn’t call for extreme dieting or exercise programs and can be managed simply with the help of your local chiropractor.

People who want to improve their back and neck pain symptoms through a better posture should try imagining they have a plumb line hanging straight from their ears to ankles – with everything in the middle sitting on the same line.

One way to do this is to try standing in a relaxed way and then gently contracting the abdominal muscles. When sitting, the gravity line should pass thorough ear, shoulder and hip.

The importance of good posture

As a chiropractor I am constantly reminding people of the importance of good posture for physical wellbeing. Here are some handy tips to maintain good posture so that you can feel great.
IN THE MORNING
When getting out of bed in the morning, use your hands and arms to support you into a sitting position. Then swing your legs to the floor and stand straight up.
Once out of bed, do some gentle stretches. Stand up and stretch you arms above your head. Hug yourself, by wrapping your arms around your body, then turning slowly as far as you can to the left and then the right without jerking.
DURING THE DAY
To keep your shoulders in their right position, stand tall as though there were a string attached to the top of your head that is being pulled up.
Avoid forward head posture by keeping your cheekbones and collarbone in the same vertical plane
Avoid slouching by imagining a headlight in your breastbone which should always shine forward, not down in your lap or on the floor.
Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Take brief walks during the day, or stand and stretch as much as possible
When standing, balance your weight equally on both legs and feet, being sure to put weight on the four corners of each foot.
Exercise regularly. Walking, swimming and other general conditioning exercises strengthen weak muscles and stretch those that are tight.
AT NIGHT
When bathing young children, be sure to bend from the hips. And use your legs when you lift your child.
Sleep on your side or back, not on your stomach. You can help reduce strain by popping a pillow under knees when sleeping on your back, or between your knees when sleeping on your side.