Archive for August, 2011
It’s a new year so start it off right! In this newsletter I will be addressing posture, back pack safety and scoliosis screenings. Please let me help you if you have any questions in any of these areas. I packed in a lot of information. Hope it helps.
Posture: I could write a book on this.
Standing habits can contribute to neck and back problems along with effecting the way you age. Yes I said it…standing tall and strong will make you live longer and healthier. Here are some tips, but if you want to know more let me know.
- Simply stand up straight. Don’t be a slouch!
- Make sure your top teeth are level to the ground and your ears are over your shoulders
- Keep your core tight, even with a slight tuck in your pelvis
- The shoes you wear mean a lot, but that’s another newsletter
- Keep yourself moving
You can also stay fit while you sit.
- Don’t slouch or slump. Keep your shoulders out of your ears by rolling them back and down, relax your neck and again keep a slight tuck in your pelvis to avoid sitting with your back arched
- Your knees need to be at or above waist level. This puts your spine in the best position taking pressure off of the low back and making it harder to slouch
- Relax. It is easy to become intense and uptight making you overuse your muscles. Take breaks when you need to find your happy place
- Watch your leg crossing patterns. Although leg crossing should not be encouraged, it’s comfortable and we do it. Be aware of constantly crossing the same leg or sitting on the same foot. This will cause you to tilt and your muscles will accommodate to this position causing muscle that aren’t being used to weaken. If you insist on doing it switch sides regularly
How does aging get involved with this?
- Good posture and a strong core is an important part of anti-aging or aging well. Twenty something’s fear looking old, over fifty’s want to feel good and stay active and if you ask someone over eighty about their fears of aging the #1 response is “not being able to get around and take care of myself.” Your body learns what you teach it and slumping has become the 21st century posture
- A prime example of when bones aren’t balanced, aligned or able to move correctly is arthritis. Posture exercises and balance training keep your body in motion and moving in the proper way, firing muscles in the right order and decreasing the stress on the joints.
- By focusing on posture, balance and restoring proper motion to the body, the body will be under less biomechanical stress and therefore should last longer before wearing out
- Our bodies are designed to move in certain patterns. If injury or chronically poor posture place undue stress on the body, then the body can’t move as it should, setting the stage for future injury and premature aging
- Correct posture can even help you breathe easier and more efficiently.
Now let’s talk back packs! Every student needs something to carry those huge books. Here’s what you need to know:
- About half of all American school children carry too much weight in their backpacks, causing neck, shoulder and back pain.
- 10% of kids miss school and sports activities each year because of pain caused by bulked up backpacks
- Teens are more at risk of pain and injury, because boys and girls have those teen growth spurts.
- Kids who walk to school are more likely to suffer because they log more backpack hours
- Improper fit increases the chance of pain and injury. Backpacks worn too low or on one shoulder are causing back problems for kids.
- Never let kids carry more than 15% of their body weight.
- Put the heaviest book closest to the child’s back and arrange materials so they don’t slide around.
- Make sure the items are necessary to avoid overloading.
- Consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.
- Both shoulder straps should always be worn, creating equal stress on the joints
- Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. When too much pressure is applied to the neck and shoulders blood vessels and nerves are pressed on which causes pain and tingling.
- Adjust the straps so the backpack fits snugly on the back. If it hangs loosely it can pull the child backwards causing muscle strain and compensation.
- Wear the waist belt if it has one. This helps distribute the weight more evenly.
- The bottom of the backpack should rest in the curve of the lower back.
- Choose the right size for your child’s age and height.
We recommend: http://www.airpacks.com. We can help fit your child for the correct back pack. Give us a call.
These are done at most schools by the school nurse. We all remember putting our hands together and bending forward to get our spine looked at! That’s all that’s done. There is so much more involved with making sure your child gets the attention they need as soon as they need it.
The role of screening is to detect the disease at a stage where early detection will influence positively the outcome of the problem (i.e., avoid surgery or braces). As a chiropractor, I am a biomechanical, spinal expert. So, of course, I believe these screenings should be done in our office.
If you have any concerns about your child or even yourself, let me know. It’s never too late to take care of your spine!