The Importance of Good Posture
Good posture not only makes you look better, it also delivers increased energy, better breathing, improved circulation, and less wear-and-tear on your joints. It’s an investment in both your appearance and your health.
What is Perfect Posture?
The secret to good posture is maintaining the spine’s natural curves. If your spine is not properly aligned, your muscles and ligaments have to work harder to keep you upright and this can result in strain and pain.
When you slouch, you also put pressure on your lungs and stomach. This can affect breathing and digestion, as well as blood flow.
Does your posture pass the test?
Use a three-way mirror or have a friend help you check out these markers:
- When standing: your head, shoulders, hips and ankles should line up, one comfortably above the other. Your knees should be slightly bent and your feet should be shoulder-width apart or more.
- When looking at your back: are your shoulders and hips level or is one side higher than the other? Does your head tilt to one side or the other? Does one shoulder blade seem to be more prominent than the other? Do the muscles of the back seem more developed on one side, compared to the other? A healthy back should be symmetrical.
- When looking from the side, your neck and low back should curve to the front of your body, and your mid-back and pelvis should curve to the back. Postural distortions in the curves of your spine mean stress and strain on your back.
Tips for Standing Tall
- If you use a bag or briefcase with a single shoulder strap, choose a strap that is long enough to place over your head and rest on the opposite side from the bag. This helps distribute the weight of the bag evenly and prevents distorting your posture.
- High heels throw your spine out of alignment, making good posture difficult and often leading to low back pain. A low-heeled, supportive shoe is best, but if you are devoted to your fashion footwear, try to restrict the height to no more than two inches.
- Try not to sit in any one position for a long period of time. Take a quick stretch break or change positions every 30-45 minutes. For a quick and easy spinal stretch, stand up and raise your arms above your head.
- Strengthening your core back and abdominal muscles will help promote good posture by keeping your spine well supported.
- Check out the posture medic. It is a great tool to assist with proper form for the upper back.
Canada’s chiropractors are specialists in back health. If you are concerned about your posture, consider an evaluation.
-Provided by Ontario Chiropractic Association
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The following information is my personal notes about this subject matter. It is intended for informational purposes only. Consult a health practitioner to help you diagnose and treat injuries of any kind.
How to Recover from Whiplash?
Research indicates that successful whiplash recovery requires patient co-operation and active efforts to resume daily activity. The treating health care professional will assess your whiplash injuries, and discuss options for treatment and control of pain. Although prescription medications are usually unnecessary, temporary use of a mild over-the-counter medication may be suggested, in addition to ice or heat. Some whiplash sufferers are reluctant to return to activity, but if your health professional advises it – get active.
- Continuing normal activities is important to recovery.
- Injured muscles can stiffen up and weaken if they are not used, which will only add to pain and delay your recovery.
- Returning to normal activity can also be assisted by active treatment and exercise. Physical exercise releases chemicals in the body that can help reduce pain in a natural way.
- Cervical collars or neck braces are not usually recommended, as they have shown little benefit.
- Avoid sitting in one position for too long.
- Stand up and stretch from time to time, whether you are watching TV or sitting at your computer.
- When you are at your workstation, sit so that the upper part of your arm rests close to your body and make sure your back and feet are well supported.
- If you are well enough to drive again, adjust the car seat so that your elbows and knees are loosely bent.
When to Rest
- Avoid contact sports or strenuous exercise for the first few weeks after your injury, to prevent further aggravation.
- Ask your health professional about alternate recreational, sports or fitness activities you can do while you heal.
- Make your sleeping area as comfortable as you can. Your pillow should be adjusted to support your neck at a comfortable height.
And remember: stay connected to family, friends and co-workers to avoid the blues, and focus on getting on with your life, rather than focusing on the injury.
What are Conservative Treatment options for Whiplash?
Our clinic offers the following treatment options for whiplash associated disorders due to car accidents and other traumatic injuries. Please note the list is not exhaustive of all treatment options that are beneficial.
Manual Chiropractic Adjustments
Soft Tissue/Trigger Point Therapy
Electrotherapy(IFC & Tens)
Lifestyle & Nutrition Support
Graston Technique Therapy
Strength & Conditioning
Personalized & Progressive Programs
We can help! Please contact us to book an appointment for your initial assessment. We will discuss treatment options for your case.
Shared by Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates
REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURIES
As your workload at the office increases, so do repetitive actions, such as typing, using your computer mouse and talking on the phone. These routine tasks seem simple, but they can add a level of physical stress to the emotional and mental stress of getting the job done. In fact, repetitive strain injuries have skyrocketed in the last 20 years due to the increasing reliance on workplace technology.
Try these tips to reduce the strain:
Position your computer screen directly in front of you. Allow the muscles in your eyes to relax by following the 20/20/20 rule: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and focus on an object that is at least 20 feet away from you.
Use your hand to support the telephone against your ear and alternate sides regularly. Do not cradle the phone between your ear and your shoulder. Consider using a headset or speaker.
Sit upright and all the way to the back. Place a support cushion or roll against the arch of your low back for lumbar spine support. Here are some tips to help you adjust your chair:
- Stand in front of the chair and adjust the height so that the highest point of the seat is just below your knee.
- Sit on the chair and make sure that your knees are bent at approximately a 90-degree angle when your feet are flat on the floor.
- Adjust the backrest forwards and backwards as well as up and down until it fits the hollow in your lower back.
- Sit upright with your arms hanging by your sides. Bend your elbows at about a right angle and adjust the armrest height until they barely touch the undersides of the elbows. Remove the armrest from the chair if the right level cannot be achieved.
Lastly, don’t forget to take a quick stretch break or change position every 30 to 45 minutes. Your back, neck and shoulders will thank you for it!
Provided by Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates
Active living is important for your health and wellbeing, no matter what your age is, but it can be vital for older adults.
Being active and mobile can help prevent many chronic conditions that can impact you as you age. Even moderate exercise can contribute to your body’s balance and bone strength, which is why it’s never too late to start exercising.
By incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you can help prevent loss of bone mass, restore and build endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
Being active doesn’t mean you have to be a gym addict. It can be as simple as the following:
Walking doesn’t require any extra equipment apart from supportive shoes. Taking a walk every day is a simple and effective way to help maintain balance and strength.
Strength training can be adapted for your needs through simple exercises such as leg extensions. In a seated position, straighten out one leg, lift to comfortable height, hold for 10 seconds and put down.
Stretching helps you move more freely and can improve your flexibility. Having flexibility helps with tasks such as bending to tie your shoe laces. An easy stretch is the soleus stretch, which helps stretch out your calf muscle. To complete this stretch you, stand in front of a wall with one leg ahead of the other, make sure both feet are pointed towards the wall. Place your palms on the wall at shoulder height for support, bend the knee of your back leg and press the heel into the floor. Lean your hips forward, pushing into the wall and feel the stretch in your back leg. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg. Remember to not stretch so far that it hurts.
If exercise in a gym setting isn’t for you, there are alternatives that can help keep you in shape. Activities such as swimming, cycling, yoga and golf can help build strength and improve balance. There are many low cost or even free activities tailored to older adults at local recreational centres, community health centres and other organizations.
Provided by Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates
Can a Cough Crack a Rib?
In short, unfortunately, yes, if the cough is prolonged, repetitive and compounding underlying bone density issues. Do not be alarmed. A rib fracture (one rib) is not life threatening, however, can be extremely painful. They typically occur under the breast and a little off to the side of the torso.
A patient (age 40) visited us after she had a flu and cough for 8 days week. She said she coughed so much that it make her body hurt. After one particular coughing spell, she explained that she had pain along the torso and along the rib. Again in our office, two days after the initial incident, she felt immediate sharpness and pain when she coughed or when we touched the area. The area was not red, but it was extremely sensitive and tender to the touch. We advised she see her family doctor for examination and imaging. She visited her family doctor after our discussion and had x-rays taken. The next day she came by our clinic to share the results. The x-rays confirmed a hairline fracture along the 5th left rib. The rib was in proper position and would heal naturally on its own. Her doctor also advised a bone density scan. A bone density test enhances the accuracy of calculating your risk of breaking bones. A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and forearm. Doctors use bone density testing to: Identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone, determine your risk of broken bones (fractures), confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis and monitor osteoporosis treatment. Osteoporosis a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D. Our patient asked if there was anything we could do. Her family doctor felt that some pain medication and follow up with us for pain control therapy would be beneficial.
We explained that ice over the area would help with pain control. She asked if we could use laser therapy to assist the soft tissue tenderness. We proceeded with laser therapy treatments which helped with healing of the soft tissue in the area along with tenderness. After 3 treatments within a one week period, her tenderness had decreased 50%. This was exciting for our patient and for us. After an additional 3 treatments of laser therapy and ice therapy over 2 weeks, we were able to improve the condition almost 100%. Our patient was extremely happy with the results. She followed up with us after her bone density test, to advise us that her bone density was in the normal range.
Please note that although one rib fracture is typically not dangerous, the same cannot be said for multiple rib fractures. Multiple ribs fractures can be dangerous as they can lead to flail chest or an open chest wound. They usually occur due to trauma, car accidents or falls. The main goals in the treatment of multiple rib fractures are control of pain, support of respiratory function, and stabilization of the chest wall either through mechanical ventilation or surgical fracture fixation. Please seek immediate medical attention if you suspect multiple rib breaks/fracture.
Provided by Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates