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Posture

Posture is the position in which an individual holds their body upright against gravity while standing, sitting, or lying down. A proper posture visually reflects an individual’s health, ensuring the joints and muscles, as well as other structures of the body, are working properly. Throughout a collection of articles, Dr. Alex Jimenez identifies the most common effects of improper posture as he specifies the recommended actions an individual should take to improve their stance as well as enhance their overall health and wellness. Sitting or standing incorrectly can happen unconsciously, but recognizing the issue and correcting it can ultimately help many individuals develop healthier lifestyles. For more information, please feel free to contact us at (915) 850-0900 or text to call Dr. Jimenez personally at (915) 850-0900.


4 Case Studies That Support Going Upright in the Workplace

4 Case Studies That Support Going Upright in the Workplace

upright work el paso tx.

Working Upright

If you are considering going upright in your workplace or workspace, you are not alone. Companies large and small are recognizing the benefits of this healthy, spine-friendly way of working and they are incorporating it into their employees’ workstations. It places the body in an optimal position, between standing and sitting to provide an ergonomic solution to working at a desk that saves space too. Even home offices are getting in on the movement. These case studies tell the stories of four companies that incorporated upright workspace technology for their organizations.

Shape Up

Rhode Island-based start-up company, ShapeUp, is a health and technology-centered small business with just employees. It manages the design and implementation of socially activated wellness programs in the workplace. They were looking for furniture that was high quality and sturdy enough to withstand a workforce that was very active. At the same time, it needed to promote good health to remain consistent with the company’s health-oriented ideals.

Their first step moving in that direction was to purchase several community upright workstations. This would allow employees to get upright at various points during the day. The feedback from employees was so great that upright workstations were placed in each employee’s work area.  They reported reduced back pain and increased energy, attributing it to the simple act of going upright.

FLUX

FLUX, based in San Francisco, is a small tech company with fewer than 50 employees. The venture-backed start-up created software that “reimagines sustainable building design.”

In 2012, Nicholas Chim, the company’s founder, began searching for body-friendly workstations that would help keep his energy level up and help him maintain his focus. He purchased an upright station for himself to use in his work area. Many of the employees expressed great interest in this new workstation. Once, Chim came home from a business trip and found that one of the employees had taken over his upright station.

It was then that Chim realized he needed to purchase upright stations for all of his employees if he was going to keep them happy and healthy. He now offers upright workstations to all of his employees; all they have to do is request it.

upright work el paso tx.

 

Katie Rowe Mitchell

Katie Rowe Mitchell has a home office where she runs her start-up, Unfold Yoga + Wellness with her friend and partner Nicole Elipas Doherty. The company brings meditation practices and accessible yoga to organizations as a wellness measure for the companies’ employees. She left a longtime corporate job that left her feeling physically uncomfortable, overstressed, and overworked due, in part, to her sedentary work style.

She recognized the link between yoga and having more energy and better focus so she left her corporate job to start her own company that would bring yoga to be stressed out workers. In her own home office, Katie wanted a more active work style, and an upright workstation was the answer. It keeps her engaged in mind, body, and spirit. She has a newfound sense of freedom that sitting behind a desk for hours every day did not provide. Going upright opened a whole new world for Katie.

Wikimedia Foundation

Tech non-profit Wikimedia Foundation is based in San Francisco and has 200 employees. It powers several collaboratively edited projects including Wikimedia. When the company decided to redesign their office space, they decided that they wanted to create a work environment that empowered and encouraged employees to work together. They chose a dynamic environment with an open floor plan – and they included several upright stations. These workstations were grouped so that all of the employees would have an opportunity to use the stations at different times. The standing desks also proved to be space saving and took up less room in the work area than traditional desks and chairs.

Back Pain Chiropractic Treatment

Scoliosis Clinical Presentation

Scoliosis Clinical Presentation

Scoliosis is a medical condition where an individual’s spine is diagnosed with an abnormal curve. The natural curvature of the spine is generally “S” shaped when viewed laterally, or from the side, and it should appear straight when viewed from the front or back. In many instances, the abnormal curvature of the spine with scoliosis increases over time, while in others, it remains the same. Scoliosis can cause a variety of symptoms.

Scoliosis affects approximately 3 percent of the population. The cause of most instances is unknown, however, it is believed to involve a mixture of environmental and genetic variables. Risk factors include having relatives with the same problem. It may also develop due to other health issues, such as Marfan syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscle spasms, and tumors like neurofibromatosis.  Scoliosis commonly develops between the ages of 10 and 20 and it commonly affects girls more than boys. Diagnosis is supported with X-rays. Scoliosis is classified as structural, in which the curve is fixed, or functional, in which the underlying spine is normal.

Treatment is based upon the level of curve, place, and trigger. Curves can be viewed periodically to record the progression of scoliosis. Bracing is frequently utilized to treat scoliosis. The brace must be fitted into the individual and used until the progression of scoliosis stops. Exercise is advocated towards the improvement of scoliosis. Other alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can restore the natural curvature of the spine. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, spinal injuries, and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

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Additional Topics: Scoliosis Pain and Chiropractic

The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, other aggravated conditions can also cause back pain. Scoliosis is a well-known, health issue characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine and it is subcategorized by cause as a secondary condition, idiopathic, or of unknown cause, or congenital. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain associated with scoliosis through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief. Chiropractic care can help restore the normal curvature of the spine.

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EXTRA EXTRA | IMPORTANT TOPIC: Chiropractic Massage Therapy

4 Posture Tips Everyone Can Use

4 Posture Tips Everyone Can Use

Posture Tips: Good posture is more important than many people realize. Many a mother has followed her child around, reminding him or her to “stand up straight!” Not everyone knows all the reasons that this is important, but they should. Good posture is essential to good spinal health as well as good overall health.

People with good posture sleep better, feel better, and have fewer aches and pains in the joints, back, neck, and head. It helps you have better digestion, improves your organ function, and helps to make your chiropractic treatments even more effective. These top posture tips will help you stand straight and tall while enjoying better health.

Posture Tips

Posture Tips: Be Aware

Being aware of poor posture is the first step in being able to correct it. When you feel your spine starts to curve, your shoulders hunch, or your back sway, stop and take a moment to pull your body back into proper alignment. Pretend that there is a string that goes through your entire body from the top of your head.

In your mind, pull that string up, raising your chin slightly so that it is parallel to the floor. Pull your shoulders back and allow your arms to hang naturally at your side. Bend your knees slightly (soft knees) with your feet about shoulder width apart. Tuck in your stomach and roll your pelvis forward so your back is not swayed. Keep your weight mostly on the balls of your feet. Think tall. Take deep breaths and allow yourself to get an idea of what this, good posture, feels like.

Posture Tips: Use The Wall

Using the wall or floor can help you get a feel for how to shift your pelvis. If you have a habit of tilting your pelvis back so that you have a sway back, you need to learn how to roll it forward to get it straight.

A person can develop a sway back out of habit, due to injury, or if they carry a lot of abdominal fat. It can cause a great deal of pain and just making the adjustment to straighten your spine will make a tremendous difference.

To get the feel for straightening your back, stand flat against a wall. Keep your feet directly under you. Now try to press the small of your back into the wall. Feel how your body shifts as your pelvis rolls forward. Pay attention to that sensation so you can duplicate it without using the wall. You can also do this while lying on your back with your knees slightly bent. Practice arching your back and then pressing it against the floor to get a feel for that motion.

posture tips el paso tx.

Posture Tips: Stay Active

Regular exercise and stretching are very important for good posture. What many people don’t realize, though, is that good posture is absolutely vital while you are exercising. This is called “form.” You need to practice good form while you are doing weight bearing exercises, cardio, and stretching. If you don’t it can lead to injury or pain.

Your chiropractor can advise you on various exercises and the proper form for them. If you work out at a gym or at home, learn about good form for the exercises that you do. Fitness professionals can help you with this and are well worth the investment.

Posture Tips: Get Regular Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatments can help correct poor posture, but even if you are working on it yourself it is important to get regular chiropractic care. There are several reasons for this. First, your chiropractor can make adjustments to your spine, providing you with a much wider range of motion and better mobility. Your chiropractor can also recommend exercises for you and show you how to do them properly. If you have weight issues he or she can provide you with advice on diet and lifestyle changes. Taking advantage of the whole body wellness that chiropractic offers will not only improve your posture, it will improve your life.

Injury Medical Clinic: Chiropractor (Recommended)

Three Steps To Help Your Back

Three Steps To Help Your Back

Three Steps: Your lower back needs protection, strength and nourishment to help prevent and reduce lower back pain.

Adding these 3 steps to one’s day can help take stress off your lower back:

Three Steps

1. Work On A Stand-Up Desk For Part Of The Day

Too much sitting is common in the cause of low back pain. Posture while sitting, forward leaning in order to look at a computer screen, affects the natural alignment of the lower spine by placing a heavy load on the lumbar discs and joints.

Many people are utilizing standup desks for part of their workday. Standup desks come in a variety of shapes, functionality, and price ranges. They can be inexpensive to fully adjustable, automatic models.

If lower back pain is already an issue, only stand for part of the day and gradually increase to longer standing times. Cushioned and standing mats add additional comfort, as well as, exercise benefits. Standing more, along with quick walks and/or quick stretches at the half hour can break up the extended sitting cycle.

2. Stretch Hamstrings On A Daily Basis

Hamstrings are the large muscles that run down the back of each thigh. They can quite easily become tight. If they become very tight then the hamstring/s will transfer stress across the lower back and can lead to back pain.

three steps lower back pain el paso tx.

There are a variety of hamstring stretches that are gentle on the back and easy to do: pick one or two that work for you and are easy to incorporate it into a daily routine.

3. Sleep In A Reclined Position

People with lower back pain feel more support when the lower back is in a slightly reclined position, along with the knees supported and elevated. This is true for lower back diagnoses, such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and lumbar degeneration.

If it is difficult to sleep on your back, try resting in this position in a reclining chair or bed before going to sleep.

Sleeping the most comfortable in a supported, reclined position can come from switching to an adjustable bed, aka (adjustable base). Just like the stand-up desks, these models range from basic to sophisticated options.

A new development now is that online mattress companies now offer mattress bases that are fully adjustable, and some offer free delivery/setup. Consider a new mattress with an adjustable base that goes with the mattress. This combination may work to help your back.

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We encourage back pain supplementation with chiropractic treatment and any type of steps one can take to help prevent and reduce lower back.

Injury Medical Clinic: Sciatica Treatments & Recoveries

Posture Affects Your Health | El Paso, TX.

Posture Affects Your Health | El Paso, TX.

Your mother always said don’t slouch – turns out she was right. And she has science to back it up. Your posture can have a profound effect on your health. Walking or sitting with a hunched back has been linked to a variety of health issues.

What’s more, poor posture can cause your body’s structure to change, leading to misalignment. While everyone slips a bit in the posture department now and then, the real damage occurs when it becomes a habit. In fact, you could be damaging your health with bad posture and not even realize it. Here are five ways that posture mistakes can harm your health.

Posture

Pain In The Neck, Back & Shoulders

Sitting in a slouched or hunched over position, drooping your shoulders, or rounding out your spine while standing or sitting can cause pain in your neck, back, and shoulders. Many people who work with computers as a regular part of their jobs experience this to some degree.

That is because the majority of workers do not have their computer monitors at the appropriate height, causing them to spend hours a day hunched over their keyboard. People who spend a lot of time on their smartphone and mobile devices experience text neck, which is caused by this type of poor posture.

Increased Depression & Stress

The connection between posture and mood has long been established. People who walk slouched over tend to feel more depressed and have a poorer self-image.

When you are slouched, you are restricting blood flow throughout your body, inhibiting proper oxygenation of your cells, and crowding your organs so that they are not able to function at an optimum level. If your spine or body is out of alignment, it can slow the neural processes that keep your body functioning as it should. When all these things are going on, your mood will definitely be affected, especially if you aren’t as active as you should be.

posture el paso tx.Pain/Weakness In The Lower Back, Hips, Knees & Ankles

This posture problem is common in people who are obese and pregnant women. The added weight causes the body to shift in unnatural positions in order to support it.

This postural problem can also be the result of inappropriate footwear. Feet are important! Take care of them by wearing shoes with good support. This can cause flat feet and cause the ankles to roll.

The calf muscles will tighten and your knees may even rotate inward. You can experience plantar fasciitis, pain in your toes, heel spurs, bunions, and hip problems. Weight loss can help and pregnant women can benefit from a pregnancy sling or pregnancy girdle to support the added girth.

 

Digestion Problems

Sitting in a hunched position crunches up everything inside, including your intestines. This will slow things down considerably, leading to constipation and even hemorrhoids.

The human body was designed to remain in a certain position so that all organs can function as they should. When things are out of alignment it can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and even acid reflux. Practicing good posture can make all the difference in a lot of things. Poor digestion can lead to obesity.

Spinal Misalignment Leading To Many Health Issues

When your spine is out of line it can cause headaches, dizziness, and a host of other issues. It puts your body under stress so even the normal processes like blood flow and organ function are thrown off kilter. When your body isn’t working as it should the risk of serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension are increased.

Many people don’t make the connection between good posture with a properly aligned spine and better health, but it is definitely there. Posture may seem simple, like it’s not that big of a deal, but when it is practiced on an ongoing basis, it can be detrimental to your health. It isn’t worth the risk; not when the fix is as simple as sitting up straight.posture el paso tx.

Injury Medical Clinic: Fibromyalgia Care & Treatment

Sciatica and Other Health Issues Caused by Poor Posture in El Paso, TX

Sciatica and Other Health Issues Caused by Poor Posture in El Paso, TX

Sciatica is a condition characterized by painful symptoms, often originating from the lower back all the way down to the toes. Sciatica is brought on by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve begins around the lumbar spine and runs down to the feet. Sciatica can be caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve anywhere along its length. But the most frequent cause of sciatica is irritation to the sciatic nerve either in the lower back or in the gluteal region caused by poor posture.

 

Sciatica generally presents itself as a very specific collection of symptoms. If you can’t pin-point exactly where your pain is (i.e. if the entire leg just aches or if your symptoms are quite vague), it’s unlikely that you have sciatica. Sciatica typically runs as a band of pain through the low back and the buttocks, and also down the hamstring, occasionally traveling as low as the calf muscle and even the feet and toes. If you experience a sensation similar to pins and needles and/or numbness, the severity of your sciatica is much worse than if you just have pain.

 

Poor Posture Reasons For Sciatica

 

Poor workplace ergonomics can be a significant contributing aspect to the development of sciatica. Further, if you already have sciatica, inadequate workstation ergonomics is very likely to make it worse. A leading ergonomic issue in regard to sciatica is increased back pain that’s brought on by poor posture while sitting and standing. It you embrace a slouched or slumped position, or you lean forward at your desk, you place a tremendous amount of strain on your lumbar spine. This can result in your lower back muscles going into spasm. The sciatic nerve has to operate through those muscles. If they are spasmodic, there is a heightened likelihood that the sciatic nerve will end up irritated and develop symptoms of sciatica.

 

Sitting for extended periods of time is just another issue, for two reasons:

 

  • First, in sitting, your bodyweight is transferred from your upper body to your pelvis, throughout the lumbar spine. This implies that there is a continuous, and dull, compressive force going through the lower spine. Over time, this may result in irritation to the nerves as they leave the spinal cord canal. This is much more of a problem for people who have sciatica. Sciatica will frequently cause inflammation around the nerve root where it exits the spinal canal. This means there’s less “wiggle” room for the nerve to move and continuous compression may impinge this nerve, causing symptoms.
  • Second, the sciatic nerve runs throughout the gluteal region. Especially, it runs through a muscle called the piriformis muscle, which happens to be in about the region of your sitting bone. When you sit, you really literally sit on the piriformis muscles along with the sciatic nerve. Therefore, when you sit you’re compressing the sciatic nerve. Compression that is constant could lead to the piriformis muscle moving into spasm. Similarly to above, in the event the piriformis muscle goes into spasm, the sciatic nerve is very likely to be compacted and irritated, leading to some kind of sciatic symptoms.

 

Furthermore, healthcare professionals say that poor posture may cause more than just back pain and sciatica. Poor posture may actually cause a variety of health issues, according to research studies.

 

Effects of Poor Posture

 

Posture is an important part of preventing issues which range from back pain to fatigue. When the spine is properly aligned, the spine is stabilized and supported, however as you slouch or practice other methods of poor posture, your spine no longer gets the support it needs to remain balanced, leading to many health issues. The following health issues may also present themselves as a result of poor posture.

 

Sore Muscles

 

The most common effect of poor posture includes sore muscles. As you slouch, the muscles have to work harder to keep the spine protected and stabilized. The extra work on these muscles may cause muscle stiffness and fatigue. This can lead to chronic health issues with sore and tight muscles from the neck all the way down to the lower spine. Two big muscle groups which bare the brunt of these problems are the flexors and extensors of the back, which allow you to bend forward and lift objects.

 

Spinal Curvature

 

Among the most serious health issues that could happen with bad posture is developing a severe spinal curvature. As stated by the Chiropractic Resource Organization, the human spine has four natural curves which form an “s” shape. When poor posture is practiced, the spine can experience pressure, gradually influencing the spine curves to modify their positions. The spine is particularly designed to help absorb shock and keep you balanced, but as the spinal column position changes, this capacity becomes compromised.

 

Subluxations

 

Once the spinal curve is altered, one major problem that may occur are subluxations, or spinal misalignments. Vertebral subluxations occurs when a vertebrae becomes misaligneds from the rest of the spine. This also affects the total integrity of the remaining spine. These misalignments can eventually lead to chronic health issues, such as stress and aggravation of neighboring spinal nerves.

 

Blood Vessel Constriction

 

As bad posture changes the alignment of the spine, the consequent movement and subluxations can cause problems with blood vessel constriction. The constriction of the arteries across the spine can cut off blood supply to the cells of their muscles, which may influence nutrient and oxygen supply. Blood vessel constriction can also raise your chances of clot formation and issues using deep vein thrombosis.

 

Nerve Compression

 

One of the most frequent side effects of bad posture is nerve compression. As the spine changes in shape, the resulting movements or subluxations can put stress on the surrounding spinal nerves. Since the nerves which connect to the spine come from all over the body, these pinched nerves can not only cause neck and back pain but might also cause pain in other unrelated regions of the body.

 

In a 2013 study conducted Japan done by Kamitani et al, posture was connected to a decrease in lifespan and in activities of daily living. The study concluded that posture had a significant impact on quality of life as well as life expectancy.

 

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Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight

Whether you’re slouching over your laptop, looking down at your mobile phone, bending over to pick up a box or simply sitting behind a desk for an extended amount of time, all of these regular activities can negatively affect your posture. Poor posture can not only cause back pain and symptoms of sciatica, it can manifest into a wide array of health issues if not properly corrected in time. Various research studies have even demonstrated that poor posture can affect longevity and life expectancy. Chiropractic care can help carefully restore the alignment of the spine, to recover the human body from the effects of poor posture.

 

Correcting Poor Posture to Improve Sciatica

 

The first thing that needs to be done to correct poor posture is to find a diagnosis from a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist. They will be able to aid you with a treatment program and with hands-on therapy to alleviate your symptoms. Chiropractic care is a well-known, alternative treatment option which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of injuries and/or conditions associated to the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Also, an ergonomic evaluation is a good idea. It is best practice to allow an expert to perform an ergonomic assessment for you when you’re injured, as opposed to attempting to do it yourself. This is because of the probability of making things worse when it is not done properly.

But if an ergonomic appraisal isn’t a possibility for you, consider these hints:

  • ​Try to integrate some standing into your daily work day, to decrease the constant pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Take regular walks during your working day and consider a stretch to your gluteal area.
  • Make sure your workstation is set up ergonomically to prevent additional exacerbation, paying special attention to the following:

 

  • Ensure you are not leaning forwards;
  • Make sure that your backrest is large enough so that the lumbar support is comfortably supporting the lower spine;
  • Ensure your seat cushion isn’t too tough;
  • Ensure that your feet are well supported;
  • Make sure your office chair is not too low, as this promotes slouching.

 

One last note, sciatica may be a difficult condition to take care of. So where possible, involving a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic, is in your best interests, towards correcting your poor posture and improving symptoms of sciatica, among others. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

 

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Additional Topics: Back Pain

 

According to statistics, approximately 80% of people will experience symptoms of back pain at least once throughout their lifetimes. Back pain is a common complaint which can result due to a variety of injuries and/or conditions. Often times, the natural degeneration of the spine with age can cause back pain. Herniated discs occur when the soft, gel-like center of an intervertebral disc pushes through a tear in its surrounding, outer ring of cartilage, compressing and irritating the nerve roots. Disc herniations most commonly occur along the lower back, or lumbar spine, but they may also occur along the cervical spine, or neck. The impingement of the nerves found in the low back due to injury and/or an aggravated condition can lead to symptoms of sciatica.

 

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EXTRA IMPORTANT TOPIC: Back Pain Chiropractic Care

 

MORE TOPICS: EXTRA EXTRA: El Paso Back Clinic | Back Pain Care & Treatments

The Effects of Poor Posture on Longevity | El Paso, TX

The Effects of Poor Posture on Longevity | El Paso, TX

We all have learned about the importance of having good posture. From a young age, people are told time and time again that sitting tall, holding your head high and maintaining good posture is essential. Besides seeming poised and professional at all times, is having good posture significant towards our overall health and wellness?

 

When you keep good posture, you can reinforce the fundamental alignment of your neck and back, and you can keep your spine straight, healthy and aligned accordingly. Studies have shown that good posture can help you get more energy. If you would like to remain healthy, in reality, good posture is necessary. In summary, proper posture is a good sign of well-being. When you’ve got poor posture, it’s not just bad for your spine, it can also have catastrophic side effects as well as an impact on longevity.

 

Spinal Curvature Changes

 

One of the most prominent negative effects we have a tendency to see from poor posture is an alteration in the natural curve of the spine. Normal spinal curvature has a specific shape. Should you spend a year sitting or standing with improper posture, however, your spine is set under a lot of pressure. This is because you are placing your spine in a position that is unnatural. These changes in the spinal curve don’t just cause pain and discomfort, they might also prevent your spine from having the ability to absorb shock and maintain balance.

 

Poor Digestion

 

Studies have found that sitting all day with bad posture may affect your digestive system. Your organs are actually compressed by poor posture and leaves them incapable of functioning properly. This can slow down the digestive process and affect your metabolism, at the same time, lasting compression of the digestive organs can impair your body’s ability to consume and process food. You may wind up with life-changing metabolic issues.

 

Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

 

Both an Australian research on poor posture and longevity as well as an English study on posture and sitting found that people that sit all day with bad posture have an increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. You may not only experience a shorter life expectancy, but one assessment found that those who sit the majority of the day experienced a stunning 147 percent increase in cardiovascular disease.

 

Varicose Veins

 

If you sit all day with poor posture, you’re preventing your body from getting the essential circulation it needs. This can actually lead to the formation of varicose (spider) veins. This is particularly common in women.

 

Back Pain

 

If you spend enough time sitting with poor posture, you can begin to experience chronic back pain and disc degeneration, among other spinal health issues. People who maintain poor posture often experience painful symptoms without knowing the source of their health issues. These problems can often be traced back to the stress that’s been placed on the spine.

 

Overall, your poor posture may be doing more than simply impacting how you look. Take the opportunity to try and get up and move during the day, sit up with your shoulders back and your spine straight and visit a chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment of your back pain caused by poor posture. Taking the opportunity to correct your posture can not only help you look better, it can also keep you from experiencing a variety of serious health issues later on.

 

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has confirmed that poor posture is directly associated with longevity. The study followed 1,353 patients for a mean of 4.2 years. It confirmed, at least theoretically, what many chiropractors have been saying for many years: poor posture, including forward head posture, slumped shoulders, and excessive kyphosis from the upper or mid back, causes a significant effect on longevity.

 

In addition, bad posture can result in various spinal health issues, including hyperkyphosis or increased forward bend in the torso. This posture overtime will lead to the degeneration of one’s health by means of physiological processes like nerve wracking, organ compression, and arthritis, to name a few. The research study demonstrated that patients with hyperkyphosis had a greater rate of mortality compared to those without this postural problem. It was also found that the more severe the hyperkyphosis, the likelier the individual’s life expectancy would be affected.

 

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Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight

Posture is the position in which a person holds their body while standing or sitting. While posture can say a lot about a person, whether they’re standing straight or hunching over, posture can actually define how healthy a person really is. Poor posture can cause a variety of side effects, according to research studies, and it may even impact an individual’s longevity. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option which can help promote proper posture to prevent spinal health issues.

 

Fundamentally, hyperkyphotic posture forecasts increased mortality because the problem increases the rate of aging. Chiropractic care is devoted to correcting as well as ensuring proper spinal alignment so that patients may live the longest, healthiest lives possible. Chiropractors emphasize the importance of correcting spinal misalignments, or subluxationx, by restoring the structure and function of the spine through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

 

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Additional Topics: Back Pain

 

According to statistics, approximately 80% of people will experience symptoms of back pain at least once throughout their lifetimes. Back pain is a common complaint which can result due to a variety of injuries and/or conditions. Often times, the natural degeneration of the spine with age can cause back pain. Herniated discs occur when the soft, gel-like center of an intervertebral disc pushes through a tear in its surrounding, outer ring of cartilage, compressing and irritating the nerve roots. Disc herniations most commonly occur along the lower back, or lumbar spine, but they may also occur along the cervical spine, or neck. The impingement of the nerves found in the low back due to injury and/or an aggravated condition can lead to symptoms of sciatica.

 

blog picture of cartoon paperboy big news

 

EXTRA IMPORTANT TOPIC: Back Pain Chiropractic Care

 

MORE TOPICS: EXTRA EXTRA: El Paso Back Clinic | Back Pain Care & Treatments

Improve Posture With Chiropractic | El Paso, TX.

Improve Posture With Chiropractic | El Paso, TX.

Improve Posture: Your mother always told you to stand up straight – and she was right. Good posture is very important. It is good for your health, your mood, and even how you are perceived by others. Good posture can help you stave off age related conditions and allow your vital organs plenty of room to do their job correctly.

Improve Posture With Chiropractic

A Word About Posture

Sometimes though things can happen that impact your posture. Maybe you sustain an injury and your body compensates by listing to one side or you hunch over in an effort to relieve the pain. Other times you may slouch in an effort to make yourself “invisible” in a crowd. Then there are those who just don’t give good posture its due and slouch because they simply don’t feel like standing up straight.

Whatever the case, poor posture can lead to back pain, headaches, increased risk of injury, decreased flexibility, and diminished mobility. It can actually cause you to age much faster. The good news is, in most cases even those with very poor posture can turn it around and stand a little taller. Chiropractic care has shown to help many people regain their youthful, straight, healthy posture that they’ve lost.

Postural Conditions That Chiropractic Care Can Help

improve posture el paso tx.

There are certain postural conditions that chiropractic care is particularly helpful is alleviating, including:

  • Hip or pelvis unleveling
  • Scoliosis
  • Damage to the low back, mid back, and neck that affects its normal curvature
  • Forward head posture (often associated with using mobile devices)
  • Kyphosis or hunchback

Chiropractic Treatment For Posture Problems

When you first visit your chiropractor, he or she will sit down with you and discuss the problems you are having, what your complaints are, when the problem started, and events that may have contributed to the problem. They will take a thorough medical history and observe the way you sit, walk, bend, and move.

Your chiropractor may request x-rays and will assess the alignment of your spine. You may also be asked to have neurological or orthopedic testing done to ensure that there is no underlying condition or injury that is causing your problem.

You will be asked to stand straight and the doctor will take measurements to determine if there is any visible deviation from your optimum posture. He or she will ask you to move and bend while they test your range of motion, mobility and flexibility as well as your muscle strength and length.

A Prescription For Perfect Posture

improve posture el paso tx.

Once your assessments are complete your chiropractor will discuss treatment options with you. He or she will walk you through the adjustments that will be done and other types of therapies they recommend. You will talk about the best course of action to relieve any pain that you are experiencing as well as get your spine back into alignment and improve your posture.

Your chiropractor will also likely talk to you about stretching exercises and things you can do at home in between appointments. They may discuss sleep positions, diet, work area adjustments, exercise, and weight loss. Chiropractic is a whole body treatment, addressing lifestyle changes that affect the entire body and getting it into optimal working order as a whole.

If you have poor posture you can change it, even if you are an older adult – or a senior. Often simple chiropractic adjustments can help improve posture within just a few sessions. Once your body is in alignment you will feel more energetic, healthier, and happier. Your body is an intricate machine and when one part isn’t functioning as it should, it affects all the other parts. Chiropractic can turn that around, helping your body function more effectively so you feel better.

Chiropractic Clinic Extra: Chiropractor (Recommended)

Expectant Mothers Benefit From Chiropractic Care

Expectant Mothers Benefit From Chiropractic Care

Expectant Mothers: Pregnancy is an exciting, precious time in a woman’s life, full of new experiences. Unfortunately, the baby’s development brings about bodily changes that often wreak havoc on the back and joints, and end up causing pain. These issues also frequently cause issues during delivery, and increase the time it takes for the body to recover post-pregnancy.

Expectant moms benefit from chiropractic care in a number of ways. Here are five key ways chiropractic care helps alleviate the toll pregnancy takes on a woman’s body.

#1: Expectant Mothers: Chiropractic Keeps The Spine In Alignment.

Pregnancy adds significant additional weight to a woman’s body in a short amount of time. This change bears on the spine, frequently pulling it out of alignment.

When this happens, the pain can be quite severe. Chiropractic care during pregnancy works to keep the spine in alignment and all supporting tendons working optimally, to be better prepared and able to adequately support the extra weight.

#2: Chiropractic Reduces Need For Pain Relievers.

Most times, individuals experiencing moderate pain pop a couple of over the counter pain relievers and think nothing of it. However, pregnant women strive to avoid medications when possible.

Chiropractic adjustments decrease the underlying issues that cause pain, so the patient relies less on medications. Experiencing less pain as well as eliminating the need for pain killers is a win-win situation for expectant mothers.

expectant#3: Chiropractic Strengthens And Repairs Joints.

Pregnancy really beats up an expectant mothers joints. Chiropractic care for expectant mothers is a productive way to minimize the effect the large, protruding abdomen has on her hips, legs, and ankles.

Treating the body as a whole, chiropractic treatment works to strengthen the body and promotes healing of injured or strained areas.

#4: Chiropractic Helps Achieve Pelvic Alignment.

An aligned pelvis is critical to the birthing process, and increases the chances of being able to give birth naturally. According to the American Pregnancy Association,

“When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.”

An experienced chiropractor can effectively align the pelvis before delivery, so the mother is able to deliver with little incident.

#5: Chiropractic Increases The Body’s Ability To Bounce Back.

Let’s face it, every pregnant woman thinks “will I ever fit in the clingy red dress again?” The healthier and stronger a woman’s body is before and during pregnancy, the easier it is to get back into shape once the baby is born. Eating right and safely exercising are effective ways to accomplish this.

Chiropractic care is also a valuable component to fitness. Expectant mothers who choose chiropractic enjoy better posture, less pain, and increased mobility, especially late in the third trimester.

This allows them to maintain exercise routines and be active longer than those suffering from back pain and achy joints. After the delivery, it’s easier to get back into a fitness routine, and into that red dress, if the new mother’s joints, back, and hips are aligned and functioning properly.

Chiropractic care can serve to reduce pain and increase the overall heath of expectant mothers, letting her relax and focus on the more pleasant aspects of pregnancy. Expecting women who commit to chiropractic care can look forward to a stronger body, the chances of a smoother delivery, and an easier recovery after the baby comes.

Pregnancy & Chiropractic Care

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

Working At A Desk: 4 Chiropractic Tips

Working At A Desk: 4 Chiropractic Tips

Working: There are dangers in everyday life, from slipping in the shower to getting mowed down by the next door neighbor’s teenage driver. The risk doesn’t end once we are safely behind our desks, because… sitting is killing us!

Seriously, while not really trying to commit murder, our computer, desk, office chair and keyboard are not our friends. We spend working hours each day sitting, typing, staring at the computer screen, and this inactivity is wreaking havoc on our health in a variety of ways.

Working: First, Most Of Us Sit Incorrectly

Goldilocks knew what she was doing when it came to carefully selecting the right chair. Most of us cause excess stress and pressure on our neck, shoulders, and back from the way we sit in our inadequate office chairs.

According to OSHA, a person who spends time at their computer needs to choose an adjustable chair that supports the back, buttocks, legs and arms. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day as well. An ergonomically adjusted chair minimizes the occurrences of awkward, strained positions that frequently cause injury.

Along with the way we sit, our office jobs are killing us because…

We Have Our Desks Laid Out Wrong

Even with a great chair, a desk that is the wrong height can cause a person to repetitively move and bend awkwardly during the working day and injure themselves. Anyone who sits behind a desk needs to make certain it is the right height to comfortably reach the computer keyboard and all pertinent supplies are within a comfortable reach. Add a foot rest to decrease the stress on the lower back. Ergonomically positioning a desk offers greater comfort and less stress on a person’s body.

working man sitting at desk slouchedWe’re Typing Wrong

Using the keyboard incorrectly can cause a ton of painful medical conditions from neck and back issues to carpal tunnel syndrome. The keyboard should sit at elbow height. Reduce the strain on your hands by keeping them in as natural a position as possible, holding your wrists up even with the backs of your hands. Avoid banging the keys by typing softly, which alleviates the stress on your fingers.

A computer mouse should be situated close to the keyboard, and it’s essential to keep the hand in a neutral position when using it. Avoid resting your hand on the mouse for an extended period of time.

We’re Not Taking Breaks

According to the Mayo Clinic, working while sitting for long periods of time is linked to a variety of serious medical conditions from obesity to high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Sitting in the same position for hours can put pressure on and result in back and neck pain.

Break up sitting every 30 minutes by standing and walking around and stretching if possible. Even standing for a couple of minutes at a time lessens the impact of a sedentary job.

In addition to taking the initiative to build an ergonomic office space, choosing to participate in chiropractic care is a great way to help eliminate pain from back, shoulder, and neck strain. Chiropractic treatment involves adjusting the spine, along with other techniques, offering better alignment in particular and a stronger, healthier body in general. A long-term benefit of chiropractic care is a body that enjoys greater mobility and fewer aches and pains.

An ergonomic office setup is critical in maintaining good posture that minimizes strain and repetitive motion injuries. By investing in ergonomically tailored furniture and setting it up to suit your specific needs, you will lessen the harm an office job does to your body.

If you or a co-worker suffer from symptoms related to an improperly positioned workstation, give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic can help get the symptoms under control as well as guide you toward a more healthier spine and working environment.

Managing Workplace Stress

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

Text Neck: 5 Things Chiropractic Patients Should Know

Text Neck: 5 Things Chiropractic Patients Should Know

Remember how your mom always said, “Nothing in life is free”? Well, she was right. High-tech gadgets and smart phones advancing at the speed of light are a modern convenience unlike little else, but the advantages of communication at our fingertips come with a price: text neck.

Here are 5 things chiropractic patients ought to know about text neck, the epidemic that is taking the world by storm:

1. Text neck is caused by poor posture.

Specifically, habitually looking down at a phone or laptop puts extra pounds of unwanted pressure on the cervical spine, causing wear and tear and even degeneration over time. Additionally, in the space between the neck and shoulder is a cluster of nerves. If these nerves are compressed, misaligned, or damaged, the pain is excruciating and difficult to treat.

In short: Text neck puts the head, neck, and spine at risk.

2. Text neck is increasingly common among young people.

Spending as little as two to four hours a day hunched over a smart phone is enough to make a serious impact on the body over time. And though two to four hours may not seem like a long time, it isn’t hard to arrive at two hours by adding several 15-minute or half-hour segments together.

For teenagers, specifically, two to four hours on a smart phone is not unfathomable. Some teens likely spend twice that much time in a given afternoon or the space between classes or over lunch. Consider the impact of 1500+ hours of bad posture in a year. It is no surprise that teenagers are at risk.

The lasting impact of text neck on today’s young people could be costly.

3. Text neck in combination with a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for disaster.

With hours of looking down at a smart phone often come hours of relaxing on the couch or sitting still. Generally speaking, we aren’t prone to be active when we are engaged in surfing the Internet or texting our friends.

Though the list of ailments for poor posture is long and discouraging, it is made worse by sluggishness or inactivity. The best thing to do is to put the phone down on occasion, stretch, exercise, and return to the technology only once in a while.

The benefits of technology do not outweigh the consequences of inactivity.

4. Text neck can be corrected.

Practicing good posture is the easiest place to start. Making an appointment with a chiropractor is a good move for anyone who is facing the painful side effects of hours spent looking down.

Taking small steps toward better posture can save money and pain in the long run. Choosing to engage in technology as a treat instead of around the clock is a good practice for anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.

5. Text neck can be avoided.

To be clear: No one is asking anyone to stop using cell phones. Text neck can be avoided without going 1980 on cell phone usage. But avoiding extra pressure on the neck and spine does require forethought and follow-through.

In today’s ever-increasing technological age, choosing to dodge smart phone usage doesn’t happen accidentally. One good strategy is to look with the eyes instead of moving the neck. Another strategy is to ask friends and family to say something when they notice prolonged periods of poor posture.

In short, text neck is nothing to LOL about. Take it seriously and make any necessary changes before text neck gets the best of you. Let us know how we can help by giving us a call today.

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

Does Poor Posture Cause Chronic Back Pain? | Eastside Chiropractor

Does Poor Posture Cause Chronic Back Pain? | Eastside Chiropractor

You slouch in your chair as you finish a report while at the office. When you get home, you want to unwind, so you spend a couple of hours weeding your garden with your back hunched forward. Then, at the end of the day, you end up experiencing back pain. Why? As it turns out, your posture may be contributing to back pain.

 

How does bad posture provoke back pain?

 

You may not feel any ill-effects after sitting with poor posture for a few hours, but over time the stress that poor posture puts in your spine can result in anatomical changes to the structure of your spine. This in turn can provoke back pain through the constriction of nerves and your blood vessels. In addition, the pressure from poor posture can lead to back pain by inducing issues with the intervertebral discs, your muscles, and joints.

 

Back pain caused by poor posture may have some of the following characteristics:

 

  • Back pain that worsens at certain times of the day
  • Pain that starts in your neck and goes down to your upper and lower back
  • Pain that subsides after shifting positions while sitting or standing
  • Sudden back pain which coincides with a new job, a new office chair, or even a new automobile

 

Maintaining Proper Posture

 

If poor posture can result in back pain, then it logically follows that proper posture can help you avoid back pain. Here is how to keep a good posture while lifting, sitting, and walking:

 

Walk Tall

 

It’s easy to forget about your posture when you’re working out or running errands, but your posture is no less important once you’re walking than when you’re sitting. While walking, it’s very important to look straight before you and to keep your head balanced straight above your backbone. In addition, remain tall (avoid drooping your shoulders) while you are walking, and make sure to land on your heel and then gently roll forward to push off the front of your foot.

 

Sit with Support

 

If you’re like most people, you sit for at least eight hours daily. With this much of your daily life spent sitting down, it’s very important that you sit with proper posture. One common posture mistake lots of men and women make is the “office seat hunch,” in which a person sits at the front of the seat and hunches ahead to reach their computer screen.

 

Rather than hunching forward, here is the way to sit with proper posture in your office:

 

  • Keep your back flush from the seat with your shoulders tall along with your mind level over your backbone.
  • When sitting at a desk, then keep your arms bent at a 75 to 90 degree angle at the elbows.
  • Keep your knees level with your hips or sit with your knees slightly over your buttocks if seated at a desk.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor. If you are unable to reach the floor, you can utilize a footrest.

 

Lift Carefully

 

Improper lifting techniques may lead to injury on the joints, tendons, and disks in your back. To assist you when avoiding back pain, here are three simple guidelines for lifting both heavy and light objects:

 

  • Keep your chest forward. To ensure you keep your spine straight while lifting, bend your hips, not your back, and keep your chest out.
  • Lead with your hips. Lead with your hips to prevent putting additional strain on your back, when changing directions while lifting.
  • Keep weight near your body. Keep the object you are lifting close to your body.

 

These techniques can help prevent event ease symptoms of back pain associated with poor posture. However, if back pain becomes chronic or persistent, an underlying injury or condition may be causing the symptoms. Make sure to seek proper medical attention from a back pain specialist, including chiropractic care.

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez

 

Additional Topics: Wellness

 

Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.

 

blog picture of cartoon paperboy big news

 

TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: About Chiropractic

 

 

Can Chiropractors Help With Posture?

Can Chiropractors Help With Posture?

Question: I work at a desk all day and have started to feel pain in my neck, back, shoulders and arms. Can chiropractors help with sitting posture and general posture?

El Paso, TX. Chiropractor, Dr. Alexander Jimenez provides insight into proper sitting posture and general posture through chiropractic.

Have people asked you about using a posture brace to help correct their sitting habits? Chiropractic patients with moderate posture problems, meaning that they may be chronic but are not tied to any spinal column or other medical condition, may benefit from a posture back brace to improve this condition. There are a number of great ones available, and you can see more information about some of the top ones here.

A patient such as this will almost certainly enjoy the quick referral as well as the relatively fast results, and chiropractors get an easy opportunity to help people, which explains why many enter the profession in the first place.

But if the patient does have an underlying chiropractic ailment, a back brace will probably do little if any good. These issues are usually easily diagnosed using a quick examination, and afterwards, treatment is relatively straightforward as well.

Diagnosing Conditions

All good exams begin with thorough health history, because in most cases, family history is among the most powerful indicators about current issues.

Next, observe the individual’s gait, as how someone walks shows a number of issues. For instance, those who stand or walk with their legs abnormally spread might have fallen arches. Because the bottom of the foot isn’t in appropriate contact with the floor, the whole body has been thrown off kilter, resulting in poor posture. While it isn’t really a chiropractic condition, fallen arches are, as simple as, a referral to an orthopedist.

Moreover, if the patient is experiencing pain, the location can be an indicator as to where the muscles may be weak and there is too much strain on the spine or a different region of the body. Muscle weakness is among the leading causes of poor posture. So, follow-up tests that measure muscle strength and range of movement are usually a good idea.

If the gait examination signals issues in a particular area of the body, the professional should concentrate further diagnostic efforts in that region.

Ultimately, one of the most simple and effective evaluations is just holding a yardstick or comparable object against the patient’s back, so the two of you can definitely see any abnormalities. This comprehensive approach generally describes some of the very frequent chiropractic posture issues, including:

Tissue Damage:

If the neck, lower back, mid back, or any other area is weak and/or inflexible, the individual will probably not see very much posture improvement until these conditions are adjusted and the muscles have been strengthened.

Kyphosis:

Hunchback is a degenerative spine condition that’s very prevalent in women over 60. While more advanced cases may be life threatening and may require spinal fusion surgery, most men and women respond well to therapeutic adjustments and other treatments.

Scoliosis:

This condition is much like genetically-induced kyphosis, since there’s no cure but there are several therapies available. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.

Un-Level Pelvis/Pelvic Tilt:

A pelvic tilt, a lower sacral base, and a femur head discrepancy can indicate a lower extremity source, but not whether it is an anatomical or functional short leg. A clinical postural exam with lower extremity screening is the only way to make this determination.

Forward Head Posture:

The anterior positioning of the cervical spine. This posture is sometimes called Scholar’s Neck, Wearsie Neck, Hunch & or Reading Neck.It is a posture problem that is due to several factors including sleeping with the head raised too high, prolonged use of computers and cellphones, lack of developed back muscle strength and deficiency of nutrients like calcium. Potential negative effects include tingling and numbness in the arms, and a burning pain between the shoulder blades.

Treatment

As stated previously, back braces frequently mend postural issues, like slouching. As for structural problems, like scoliosis, more aggressive treatments are needed.

Conventional treatment consists of:

  • Heat
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Strength exercises
  • Supportive braces

There are a number of biofeedback tools that accurately evaluate patient progress.

As a chiropractor, your patients count on you to get much better. That almost always means accurately assessing the problem, which also means a quick and capable referral or an aggressive and well thought out therapy regimen.

Chiropractic Tips For Good Posture

 

Backpacks & Back Pain In School Kids

Backpacks & Back Pain In School Kids

Backpack pain is an all too common condition of school-age children. While back pain is a known and widely-studied issue in adults, its prevalence in school-aged children has received relatively little scientific attention. Elementary, middle, and high school students must often carry backpacks that weigh enough to trigger chronic back pain, bad posture, and even decreased lung volume. I have written about this issue earlier, but lately, several studies reveal the truths behind childhood back pain and ways to mitigate it.

Are Backpacks Too Heavy For Kids?

Recent research supports that children carrying backpack loads of over ten percent of their body weight have a greater chance of creating back pain and related difficulties. An global study found that an alarmingly large percentage of school-age kids in Australia, France, Italy, and the United States often carried backpacks weighing more than the ten percent threshold.

In a second study involving a sample of 1540 metropolitan school-aged children, more than a third of the children surveyed reported backpack pain. Along with carrying heavy backpacks, female students and those diagnosed with scoliosis had a larger association with back pain pain. Children with access to lockers reported less pain.

The number of straps on the back had little effect on the respondent’s replies. Children also reported restricted physical activity due to back pain, and some took drugs to alleviate the pain.

Girls who transported bags in addition to wearing a backpack reported considerably greater back pain. Adolescents with back pain spent more time watching television than their peers. More than 80 percent of the surveyed thought that carrying a heavy backpack due to their back pain.

Backpack Pain Solutions

The research revealed several things that might help reduce back pain in school-aged children. The best way to prevent back pain is to refrain from carrying heavy loads.

Kids ought to make the most of locker breaks and only carry items necessary for a couple of courses at one time. When lifting a back pack, children should crouch down and bend their knees rather than curve the spine.

Backpack Safety

Appropriate Backpack Carrying Techniques

While not conclusive, research also supports that carrying the weight otherwise, e.g., by hand rather than by back pack, may help stop or reduce back pain. The American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Chiropractic Association provide these additional safe backpack etiquette tips:

  • Children should avoid carrying over 10 percent of the bodyweight in their backpack. For instance, an 8th-grader weighing 120 pounds should take no more than 12 lbs.
  • Place the heaviest objects at the back of the pack.
  • Make sure the items fit as snugly as possible to minimize back pain due to shifting weight.
  • Adjust the shoulder straps so they fit snugly over your kid’s shoulders and the back pack doesn’t drag your child backward. The bottom of the pack ought to be less than four inches under your child’s waist.
  • Children should avoid carrying backpacks slung over one shoulder, as it could cause spinal pain and general discomfort.
  • Encourage your child to carry only necessary items in their own backpack. Extra items can be carried in hand.
  • Look for backpacks with useful features like multiple compartments for even weight distribution, cushioned straps to protect the neck and shoulders, and waist belt.
  • If your child’s school permits, think about a roller pack, which rolls on the floor like luggage.
  • If problems persist, talk to your child’s teacher or principal about implementing paperback textbooks, lighter materials, or electronic versions.
How To Nail Every Big Lift In Your Workout

How To Nail Every Big Lift In Your Workout

Be honest, you don’t know how your car works, do you? And despite spending most of the working day lashed to a QWERTY, if someone asked you how update their modem, you wouldn’t where to start (or what the modem even is).

And that’s fine. Other people do that stuff so you don’t have to. But the same can’t be said for your workout. You need to be okay with the specifics – do you honestly know what that dead lift is doing to your muscles? Or more importantly, the damage you could be doing to yourself if you’re getting it wrong.

Thankfully, experts are on hand. We’ve enlisted the help of Tim Walker, founder London’s Evolve Fitness to settle the form debate on five key exercises, once and for all.

First up, a pre-lift check list.

  • Breathing. Oxygen creates energy in the muscles, so don’t hold your breath.
  • Technical understanding. Understand which muscles you are about to engage, know the movement you’re about to make, and be deliberate with that movement.
  • Mental participation. Make sure you’re in the moment, and don’t think about what’s next. Connect your mind to your muscles, and aim for a full range of motion.
  • Load selection. Challenge yourself, but be realistic, your body will thank you in the long run. Go too heavy and you’ll fail to get a range of motion, too light and you won’t stimulate the muscle enough force growth.

1. Bicep Curls

The most common mistake: “Leaning back during the curl and bringing your elbows forward (rather than keeping them at your side).”

The damage it might be doing: You can incur bicep tendon injuries (tears, impingements and dislocations etc.) but the main reason you need to get your form right is so that the exercise actually has an effect. “Leaning too far backwards means that you’re not putting enough pressure on the bicep – you’re using your weight as momentum during the curl, rather than lifting only with the bicep muscles. And by lifting your elbows forwards, you’re shifting the focus of the exercise away from the bicep (you’ll be lifting with your shoulders and using the momentum from your body again), thus you won’t get the development you want.

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How to fix it: “Focus on holding your posture more tightly; pull your shoulder blades back and down, and lift your chest up, lean forward slightly and keep your weight in your heels. Contract your abs at all times, too. To keep your elbow position, focus on keeping your elbows in line with your ears, and be forceful with that contraction in your abs when pulling the weight up.”

2. Bench Press

The most common mistake: “Elbow position. Most people have their elbows in line with their shoulders. It’s hampering your progress because it doesn’t target the chest. You’re looking for synergistic movement in the chest, shoulders and triceps.”

The damage it might be doing: The most common injuries are a Glenoid Labrum tear (front of upper arm), rotator cuff tears and shoulder impingement syndrome. Bench pressing is the kind of exercise that you want to keep increasing in weight, because the feeling of nailing that new three-rep max is unbeatable. But it only takes one lift with poor form for something to go wrong, so always think ‘form first, weight second’.

How you should be doing it: “I often ask my clients to lower their arms 20/25 degrees, so they are just above the nipple, and I always find it useful to keep my knuckles pointing to the ceiling, and my wrists straight.”

3. Deadlift

The most common mistake: “Rounding of the back, rather than keeping a natural arch.”

The damage it might be doing: “A slipped disc in the lower back is the main danger here.” You can also incur sprains and strains (different things), but if there’s any sharp pain at any point, you should stop.

How to fix it: “Try locking the upper body posture by keeping the chest high and arms long (aka fully extended, not bent). Keep your weight into your heels (make sure they don’t leave the ground, and you’re not feeling your full weight in your toes) concentrate on pressing through the legs and keep your core area strong by engaging your stomach muscles.”

4. Squat

The most common mistake: “For squats, there are several: bending forward too much, not squatting deep enough and allowing the knees to turn inwards.”

The damage it might be doing: “That mistake is damaging your body/hampering your progress because… Bending forward too much will put too much pressure on your back, and lead to the same kind of damage as an incorrect deadlift. If you’re not going deep enough you won’t be engaging the hamstrings and glutes as much as you could; if you’re aiming to build the muscles and boost metabolism you’ll be missing the mark. If you allow the knees to turn inwards you’re risking damage to the ligaments such as ACL.”

How to fix it: “For bending forward; this is commonly due to a general tightness in the chest and lats (latissimus dorsi muscles) and/or hip flexors, which is very common among office workers who spend a lot of time sitting. Fix it by stretching these muscles more regularly. For those not going deep enough, you need to man-up and understand the principles if fight-or-flight. Most people fear that when they go down deeper they won’t get back up, but you need to attack the movement with confidence and good technique. The worst that can happen is that the safety catches will stop the bar and you crawl out. For the knees, the best thing is to engage your brain. Think about what you are doing and what your knees are doing, you want your them to be in line with your second and third toes at all times.”

5. Single Arm Rows

The most common mistake: Rounding of the back, rotating too much as you pull the weight, and failing to achieve a full range of motion, i.e. not pulling the weight all the way into the body.

The damage it might be doing: “Rounding the back isn’t particularly dangerous, but it’ll prevent the most optimal development of your back. Over rotation when pulling the weight will mean you’re not working the back muscles as well as you could be, hampering your strength development. The same goes for not having a full range of motion; if you’re not pulling the weight all the way into your body, you’re not getting a full contraction of the muscles, which means you won’t be adequately stimulating them.”

How to fix it: “Stick your butt out and check your position in a mirror – your upper back should be flat, with a gentle/natural arch in your lower back. For over rotation, by more rigid in both your thinking and your positioning. When you hold the position more forcefully you will engage your abs and obliques better. This is one of my favourite back exercises – when done properly – it works and engages your core as well as the back.”

Tim Walker is the founder of Evolve Fitness,13-15 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8DP