3 Reasons to Stand Tall – Part 2

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sedentary

We hope you have been checking your posture throughout your day since our Part 1 post! Posture can affect your health in many ways! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 ways that poor posture affects your health:

  1. Thoracic outlet syndrome – Poor forward head posture and slouched shoulders restrict nerves and blood flow in the lower neck and upper chest that limits the blood supply to your arms. Patients with thoracic outlet syndrome experience mild tingling and or numbness in the arms, causing pain and bad circulation.
  2. StressPosture can affect you mentally too! The pain you experience due to poor posture can translate into mental stress, decreased motivation, and overall mood.
  3. ArthritisIn the long run, poor posture can be extremely detrimental to your joint health and be a contributing factor to developing arthritis. Small changes in posture can help to prevent long term problems in the future.

Correcting your posture throughout your day is key! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists are experienced with working with patients who suffer from the symptoms of bad posture. By correcting your posture, you can help to correct your overall health. Our caring, compassionate, and empowering therapists are here to teach you simple stretches, exercises and modifications to make correct posture second nature.

Call to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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3 Reasons to Stand Tall – Part 1

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Whether it’s a long work day at the computer or you are sitting at your child’s baseball game, most of us aren’t consciously checking our posture. But we should! Posture can affect your health in ways you probably aren’t aware of. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 ways that poor posture affects your health:

  1. Headaches – Many things can trigger a headache and posture is definitely one of them! Although there are many types of headaches, cervicogenic headaches are due to poor posture. These headaches start in the base of the neck and pain radiates upward. People who work on a computer should be aware of cervicogenic headaches when it comes to placing your monitor in the right position for yourself.
  2. FatiguePoor posture can make you feel more tired throughout your way. When practicing poor posture, your body must work harder to maintain the body upright requiring more energy and leaving a patient tired.
  3. Hip, Knee, or Ankle PainYes, posture can affect your lower body too! Because the joints, muscles, and nerves of the upper extremities and lower extremities are interconnected, your spine and posture does affect your lower body. Altered posture and muscle imbalances puts strain on your hips, knees, and even feet.

Being aware of your posture, and trying to correct your posture, is important every day! Simple stretches, exercises, and making few modifications in the work place can greatly improve your posture and overall health. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our physical therapists are experts in pain relief and can teach you how to correct your posture. Stay tuned for our second post on how poor posture can affect your health coming later this week!

 

Call to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Posture Perfect

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Poor posture is a direct consequence of a modern lifestyle. Poor posture can add years to an individual’s appearance without the slightest hint to the individual. It’s likely that you may have poor posture and not know it, unless a physical therapist points it out. The causes of poor posture include:

  1. Habit: The unnatural posture of sitting at work (hunched over a computer), standing with uneven weight distribution, and leaning forward with a rounded back tend to add up and cause a permanent, unnatural alignmeWorkstationGraphicnt of the spine. Unless we remind ourselves to “sit up straight”, the “bad” posture becomes “normal”.
  2. Injury: If your back, neck or shoulder muscles have been injured, you may find it challenging to sit up straight. Injury or weakness in certain muscles can cause you to slouch due to pain.
  3. Stress: Undergoing physical and/or mental stress can be exhausting on your body. Many people, when stressed, switch to shallow breathing which directly affects overall body posture. This can happen quite easily while moving furniture and appliances, or by lifting heavy boxes, or even by picking infants, children, and toddlers improperly.
  4. Genetics: Unfortunately, poor posture can be passed from generation to generation.
  5. Shoes: Wearing comfortable shoes is essential for most activities. This is not just limited to to the gym, running, or sports, but for every situation that requires periods of standing, walking, or moving in general. Inappropriate footwear can to lead to generalized back pain, hip/knee pain, and postural problems.

The truth is – overcoming poor posture can be challenging, especially if its been a long time in the making. There are proper techniques for moving and lifting heavy items, and tips to keep you from getting injured:

  • Try to stretch prior to physical exertion.
  • When pushing, pulling, or lifting, always take advantage of the strength in your legs, taking special care not to rely on your back for power.
  • To lift a box, bend your knees and pull the box close to your stomach. If the box is on the floor, don’t bend over to pick it up; even light boxes pose a hazard if they are picked up incorrectly. With any activity, it is always a good idea to keep your back straight as often as possible.

Poor posture can also be an indicator of a more serious spinal condition, such as scoliosis, an abnormal spinal curve. Scoliosis may be present from birth, or it may develop over time, although in most cases, its true cause is not fully understood. Scoliosis can be very painful because it causes misalignment throughout the entire body, but it may be diagnosed as the result of rib, hip and shoulder problems, muscle variations in the back, or nerve dysfunction.

slouching people cartoon

Overall, the best way to prevent unwarranted injury is by using common sense and maintaining good posture. This is exactly where Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center can help you. Our team of experts can alleviate poor posture and help restore muscle balance and proper joint alignment. we also provide you with the tools and knowledge to maintain good posture for life!

Practice Makes Perfect!

If you experience aches and pains as a result of poor posture, a  good starting point is to try and connect your posture one day at a time. At work, place a small reminder on your computer, desk, or workspace to keep aware of your position, especially if you will be sitting for extended periods of time.image

Self awareness is part of the solution. If your body has found its  way into an unnatural “comfort zone”, remind yourself that each day you sit up straight brings you one day closer to relief. We will evaluate you to determine exactly what must be done to restore optimum posture and to relieve aches and pains, allowing you to function better and breathe more efficiently.

Physical Therapy as a Solution

Physical therapy is a proven solution for poor posture and associated aches and pains. Give us a call today and take advantage of our knowledge and expertise. We will teach you the right methods to correct and improve your posture and to continue to be “posture perfect”.

Our skilled staff will provide you with a precise, targeted exercise plan (and tips on exercises to avoid) to restore optimum posture. We will also teach you the correct ways to sit and stand, move and lift items, get in and out of bed and exercise/breathing techniques to minimize strain on your joints. So pick up the phone and give us a call. Good posture is what our bodies were designed for, and that’s exactly what we can help you achieve!

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Orange County, CA 92868

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