why is posture so important ?

 

Young woman with pain in the back office.

The three natural curves of the spine plus the discs in the spine help absorb the “shock” or “forces” of everyday life. Jobs or tasks that require bending forward all day (in addition to the 3,000 and 5,000 times a day we ordinarily bend forward), decrease the natural curves of the spine, resulting in more stress being placed on the back side of ligament and joints of cervical and lumbar spine.

1-There are certain muscles in the body that are active all the time. They keep the body erect and are known as postural muscles. If posture is poor, these muscles have to work harder. One group of muscles may be overstretched while the opposing muscles are tight. When this happens, neither group is working effectively. This misalignment and imbalance can lead to joint damage and aches and pains.
2-Overall, bad posture results in more wear and tear on the spinal structures.
3-After age 30, all the years of straining the normal tissue from slouching eventually decreases structural stability, allowing for greater wearing down of ligaments.
4-Postural misalignment can cause radiating pain away from the back and spine due, for instance, to a pinched nerve; and muscle spasms can create headaches, neck and scapular pain.
5-Pain often begins as a soreness or stiffness in the neck and shoulder blades and can progress to headache pressure and band-like symptoms around head and/or back tightness that can progress to the hip, leg, and toes.
6-Many factors contribute to the onset of pain, including job duties, hobbies, household responsibilities, studying, and genetics. Prevalence of pain
7-Studies show that 90% of the population experience spine symptoms at least once in their lifetime.
8-Many people have neck and back pain, but it is not always isolated to those regions. The pain can also travel into arms or head/eyes as well as radiate into the gluts, groin, hip and legs/feet.
9-Each episode of back stiffness and pain can become progressively worse and last longer and travel farther from its origin.
10-If you don’t stop the cycle and figure out the cause of each episode, accumulation of damage to structures lead to eventual failure of the spinal structures. At this stage, physical therapy alone will not be effective. You will need more extensive intervention with spine doctors, pain management, or possibly a surgeon.
11-If the symptoms were addressed early, 95% of herniated disc patients would NOT require surgery.

How do you know if you have good posture?

Look at the soles of your shoes. Do the bottoms of your shoes wear in certain places? Do you have aches and pains in your back or neck? Look in the mirror. Are your shoulders rounded?

Benefits of good posture

Having good posture has many benefits. By positioning the body correcting while sitting and standing, there is even pressure on the spine, its muscles and ligaments.

Having good posture can reduce physical stress on the body. Headaches, neck pain and back pain can be lessened when the body maintains a good upright position. If you slouch while sitting at a desk for long periods of time, you may find that, after a while, your back and neck are sore. With proper posture, sitting is more comfortable.

Good posture can affect your intake of oxygen. If you are hunched over, your lungs may not be working to their full capacity. If you stand up straight and allow lots of room in the chest for breathing, you’ll have more energy and often feel better.

 
Optimal body positioning to decrease neck and back pain

Simply put, use your pHowToSitAccordingToErgonomicsostural muscles! Don’t just wear them. Think chest out, chin in, stomach tight with standing, walking, lifting and bending.

1-Sitting: Use lumbar support in car and/or chair or adjust car seat to upright. Sitting up straight puts the least amount of stress on the spine. It may take
more muscular and mental effort but it is wise to create this new awareness and
habit!

2-Standing: Keep one foot in front of and more elevated than the other when working in a cupboard, ironing, washing dishes, or even standing at work.

3-Sleeping: Get into a neutral position, either on your back (use 1 pillow) or side (use 1 pillow). Avoid lying on your stomach if you have neck pain. When lying on your side, make sure your head is positioned such that you are looking ahead, not down at your feet. Contour pillows are good to use (though they take some time to get used to), or you can use pillows that incorporate a cervical roll. Keep the bottom leg straight; top leg can be bent or rested on pillow.

4-Driving: adjust the seat forward so your knees are higher than your hips. Put a small pillow or cushion in the small of your back.

stay upright with your head against the headrest and straighten arms out to keep shoulders back. Tilt rearview mirror a bit toward the roof so that an upright posture is necessary to maintain the total field of vision in the mirror.

5-Using a computer: Screen should be positioned at eye level, with head back and chin in. Sit back in chair and use a lumbar roll. Use attached arm on monitor or other device to hold documents at eye level.

6-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.

use golfer’s lift or ½ kneeling position when putting dishes in dishwasher, getting laundry out of washer, putting items into trunk/cart, etc.

7-Lifting: Keep the object being lifted close to you; get down under it. 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.

8-Reading: Don’t read in bed. Often, too much head flexion is created if pillows are bunched up behind the head. Instead, sit with your back against the headboard or in a chair next to the bed.

9-Enjoying hobbies: For counter- or lap-based hobbies such as quilting, sewing, collecting items in albums, etc., don’t continuously look down for long periods of time without taking a break. Change your physical position and stretch in the opposite direction about every 20 minutes.

10-Gardening: Don’t do marathon gardening sessions. Take frequent breaks. Half kneel or squat when working.

11-Cleaning: When possible, half kneel or squat to keep spine in a neutral position.

12-Watching television: Sit up straight in the chair or on your couch. Don’t slouch. Get up periodically and walk around.

Remember that chronic poor posture causes a loss of flexibility in the major muscle in front of the shoulders (i.e., the pectoralis major muscle), decreases the mobility of the cervical spine, and causes loss of strength of the scapular muscles, making it almost impossible to maintain good posture.

A physical therapist can make sure you are prescribed the appropriate exercises for your condition, and can modify the exercise as necessary. You don’t need a  referral from a physician for an evaluation by a physical therapist in the state of Michigan . You may be seen directly by the Physical Therapist.

Neck Pain

Auto Injury Rehabilitation

                       The Neck or Cervical Pain

  • Neck pain affects nearly 70 % of adult population.
  • Headache affects nearly 20-30 % of adult population.
  • 20-70 % of those with neck pain seek help.

Causes of Neck pain
     Arthritis, Spondylosis, Rheumatism, Slipped Disc, Herniated Disc, bulged Disc, Whiplash. ………Etc.

 

Robin Mckenzie The founder of Mckenzie international institute describes in his experience with > 20,000 patient over 40 years of practice the common causes of Neck Pain :

1-Postural stresses:

  • The most common form of neck pain is caused by overstretching the ligaments which may occur when sitting with a poor posture for a long time, lying or sleeping with your head in awkward position (lying on your back and reading).
  • The worst postural stress is sitting with protruded neck.
  • Poor sitting posture will produce neck pain and if pain is already present it will worsen them.
  • When pain of postural origin first felt correcting the posture easily eliminates them. However, as time passes, the uncorrected posture causes structural change to the joints, which leads to excessive wear and tear leading to arthritis (Premature aging of the joints).

2- Car Accident / Trauma

  • Some injuries sustained in a car accident or a slip –n-fall can remain with you for many years even though the initial pain subsidies. And sometime pain will resurface later with little cause. It’s important to take car accidents and trauma seriously and get thorough treatment in order to prevent future problems.

What to do if you have Neck pain?
       Your best course of action depends on how sever your problem is and what caused it, some problems can be resolved with a little rest while some may require surgery.

  • Pain is Mild: started for no reason and is getting better.
    It appears that you may over done it a little bid, nothing to worry about. Make sure you sit up correctly with a Mckenzie lumbar roll. Interrupt sitting at regular intervals.
  • Pain is Medium: started from injury – not getting better – interfere with work, sleep or play.
    Pain is felt in the neck and down the upper arm; pain is slowly getting better or not changing. If you haven’t seen a medical professional yet it is a good idea to call us or see your doctor, your condition warrants treatment. In the mean time don’t lift anything > 5 lb., avoid holding things in your arms (like baby, groceries, laundry, tray). In the meantime, sit up correctly with a Mckenzie lumbar roll, Interrupt sitting at regular intervals. , Avoid anything that seems to aggravate the pain.
  • Pain is sever – won’t go away – interferes with work, sleep or play.
    Pain is felt down the neck, upper arm, forearm and hand. Your body is telling you something is really wrong and you need to see your doctor or call us immediately. Avoid holding your breath while lifting or going to the bathroom.Call us or see your doctor ASAP.
  • No pain not but I am weak with difficulty moving, lifting my arm with numbness and tingling throughout the arm. Your problem appears serious. Call us or see your doctor now.

Neck pain can be effectively treated by using hands on techniques with active exercise and the McKenzie Method . Be wary of clinics that offer only passive treatments such as bed rest, medication, electrical stimulation, heat and ultrasound as these type of treatments do not address the root cause of the problem and merely cover up the symptoms only to have the pain return within a few hours. Our therapists are trained in identifying the root cause of your condition and providing effective relief that lasts. Call us at 1-586-580-7133 and be pain free.

 

At Premier plus Physical Therapy we Uses the Mckenzie Method because it helps patients get better faster. The Mckenzie method is special because it allows us to accurately diagnose the problem and customize a treatment plan for you. You will gain an understanding of your injury and how to self-treat it. The Mckenzie method is simple and effective. We also prescribe preventive and maintenance exercises that allows you to overcome persistent problem, our goal is for you to understand your pain well enough so you can self-treat it.

At premier plus physical therapy we believe the McKenzie method enables us to help you pain free and gain control over your injuries. Call us at 1-586-580-7133 and be pain free.

Common causes of tennis elbow

tennis-elbow

Tennis elbow is a type of tendinitis — swelling of the tendons — that causes pain in the elbow and arm. These tendons are bands of tough tissue that connect the muscles of your lower arm to the bone. Despite its name, you can still get tennis elbow even if you’ve never been near a tennis court. Instead, any repetitive gripping activities, especially if they use the thumb and first two fingers, may contribute to tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is the most common reason that people see their doctors for elbow pain. It can pop up in people of any age, but it’s most common at about age 40.

The Causes of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow usually develops over time. Repetitive motions — like gripping a racket during a swing — can strain the muscles and put too much stress on the tendons. That constant tugging can eventually cause microscopic tears in the tissue.

Tennis elbow might result from:

Tennis
Racquetball
Squash
Fencing
Weight lifting
It can also affect people with jobs or hobbies that require repetitive arm movements or gripping such as:

Carpentry
Typing
Painting
Raking
Knitting

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

The symptoms of tennis elbow include pain and tenderness in the bony knob on the outside of your elbow. This knob is where the injured tendons connect to the bone. The pain may also radiate into the upper or lower arm. Although the damage is in the elbow, you’re likely to hurt when doing things with your hands.

Tennis elbow may cause the most pain when you:

Lift something
Make a fist or grip an object, such as a tennis racket
Open a door or shake hands
Raise your hand or straighten your wrist
Tennis elbow is similar to another condition called golfer’s elbow, which affects the tendons on the inside of the elbow.

Treatment for Tennis Elbow
The good news about treatment is that usually tennis elbow will heal on its own. You just need to give your elbow a break and do what you can to speed the healing. Types of treatment that help are:

  • Icing the elbow to reduce pain and swelling. Experts recommend doing it for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days or until the pain is gone.
  • Using an elbow strap to protect the injured tendon from further strain.
  • physical therapy to strengthen and stretch the muscles , revolutionary cold laser.
  • Having injections of steroids or painkillers to temporarily ease some of the swelling and pain around the joint. Studies suggest that steroid injections don’t help in the long term.
  • Surgery

Recovering from Tennis Elbow
Of course, what you really want to know is when you can get back to your regular activities after having tennis elbow. That depends on your individual case and the extent of the damage to the tendon. People heal at different rates.

Whatever you do, don’t rush your recovery. If you start pushing yourself before your tennis elbow is healed, you could make the damage worse. You are ready to return to your former level of activity when:

Gripping objects or bearing weight on your arm or elbow is no longer painful.
Your injured elbow feels as strong as your other elbow.
Your elbow is no longer swollen.
You can flex and move the elbow without any trouble.

How to Prevent Tennis Elbow
The key to preventing tennis elbow is to avoid overuse. Stop if you feel any elbow pain during an activity.

You may also bring on tennis elbow by using the wrong equipment, like a golf club or tennis racket that is too heavy or that has a grip that is too large. Bad technique — like using the wrong posture for a swing — can also lead to tennis elbow. You should also:

Stretch and warm up before any sport or activity that will exercise your elbow or arm.
Ice your elbow after exercise.

Common Causes of low Back Pain

low back with cloth

Common Causes of Low Back Pain.

Back pain affects almost everyone at some point in life. It is the most common reason for missing work and decreased work productivity. With the exception of trauma sustained in a fall or motor vehicle accident, lower back pain is seldom the result of one injury and is usually the result of the accumulation of months or years of poor posture. Back pain occurs due to poor body mechanics. Which means that pain occur as result of prolonged position that is poor or awkward in nature, also means that pain occurs from moving parts (bone, intervertebral discs, ligaments and muscles).

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Car Accident/Trauma- injuries sustained in a car accident or fall can stay with you for years. Sometimes the pain and problems can resurface later. It’s important to take accidents and trauma seriously and get complete treatment to avoid further problems. Spondylolisthesis. When a vertebrae moves more than it should, it can slide forward and on top of another. When this happens, bones can press on the spinal nerves and cause lower back pain.
  • Vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  • Spinal stenosis. A narrowing of the spine space around the spinal cord can put pressure on nerves.
  • An abnormal curvature of the spine can cause back pain.
  • Disc Problems (Tear, Bulge, Herniation….etc): The discs are the shock absorbers of the spine and the pressure that is generated in the discs from excessive sitting causes the discs to wear out and bulge.
  • Sprains/Strains- early arthritis, disc problems, poor posture, and joint stiffness can make you more likely to suffer a muscle strain or joint sprain. Even if you are active, you can still suffer from muscle guarding and spasms.
  • Postural Neglect: Pain arises from sitting prolonged time, bending forward for a while, awkward working position (e.g. a mechanic working under a car), sleeping in awkward position, heavy lifting or standing for a long time with poor posture. Poor posture produces back pain or if pain is present it worsens the pain. In fact, most of us spend our day with the back bend forward; sitting in a chair, at the desk, bending forward in which we lose the lumbar lordosis we normally have. If you don’t restore the lordosis with lumbar extension you will eventually loose the ability to do so and end up with flat lower back that is seen in many patients with chronic back pain.

 

The Treatment for your back pain will depend on the severity of the pain and what caused it. Recent research shows that passive treatments such as bed rest, medication, and heat have limited value in treating back problems.

1- Mild: pain started for no reason and is getting better. You may have just over-done it and is nothing to worry about. Make sure to take frequent breaks from sitting and start light exercise of 1-2 times a week for at least 15 minutes such as walking. You may also want to consider getting a new bed.

2-Medium: the pain is not getting better but comes and goes , it interferes with your ability to work, sleep, or play then you should be concerned. Pain may be felt down the buttocks ,or thigh .Avoid heavy lifting , twisting while carrying weight in your arm , interrupt sitting every 30 min by standing and walking around for 1-2 min , and also avoid anything that seems to aggravate your pain. If you haven’t sought medical advice, then you should call us or see your doctor. Your condition needs treatment.

3-Severe: the pain is constant and will not go away and interferes with work, sleep, and play. Pain may be felt down the leg or both. Do not lift or attempt to lift objects off the floor, avoid any twisting or bending and do not hold your breath while lifting or going to the bathroom. Call us or see your doctor immediately.

4- No Pain, but weakness with trouble moving and numbness/tingling, difficulty with bowel/bladder control then your problem may be quite serious. You should your doctor immediately.

 

Lower back pain can be effectively treated by using hands on techniques with active exercise , the McKenzie Method and the REPEX Table. Be wary of clinics that offer only passive treatments such as bed rest, medication, electrical stimulation, heat and ultrasound as these type of treatments do not address the root cause of the problem and merely cover up the symptoms only to have the pain return within a few hours. Our therapists are trained in identifying the root cause of your condition and providing effective relief that lasts. Call us at 1-586-580-7133 and be pain free.

REPEX Table.

REPEX repex 5

The REPEX table provides a mean for greater number of repetition than physically possible using patient generated exercises. With the REPEX table it is now possible to restore full movement of the spine passively within 20 – 30 minutes.

 

At Premier plus Physical Therapy we Uses the McKenzie Method because it helps patients get better faster. The McKenzie method is special because it allows us to accurately diagnose the problem and customize a treatment plan for you. You will gain an understanding of your injury and how to self-treat it. The McKenzie method is simple and effective. We also prescribe preventive and maintenance exercises that allows you to overcome persistent problem, our goal is for you to understand your pain well enough so you can self-treat it.

At premier plus physical therapy we believe the McKenzie method enables us to help you pain free and gain control over your injuries. Call us at 1-586-580-7133 and be pain free.