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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: posture

What a Pain in the Neck…!!

Did you know many people seem to think neck pain and tight upper shoulders is normal? Especially if their job requires hours daily on the computer. The easiest way to prevent neck pain is to figure out the cause and in my profession, people sitting hours on end, at a computer, seems to top the cake for neck pain. Some people get so accustomed to the pain and tightness they actually ignore it until it is far advanced. Some causes include poor posture, by which workspace ergonomics such as poor positioning of computer keyboards and monitors are quite capable in contributing to neck pain. Sleep issues become an issue when the neck is sore and tight and there is an ongoing quest to find the right pillow to get one through the night. Don’t forget that most all of us tend to look down at our cell phones much of the day putting maximum stress on the muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons of the neck. When the neck is the issue, talk to your chiropractor about how to stop and prevent these types of overuse injury!!


Did you know your skeleton is the frame that all other body systems integrate around.  The spine is the central support column that can suffer with poor posture or other disorders like scoliosis (curvature of the spine).  When the hips are at different heights or the legs are functionally different lengths (leg length inequality), or the shoulders slouch, the spine is forced to carry the body asymmetrically, thus adding to atypical stresses on the muscle and joints of the body, especially the spine and lower extremities. Chiropractic is great for treating people with postural issues or disorders such as scoliosis.  In fact many people have mild scoliosis and probably do not know they have it.  I found out I had scoliosis when I entered Chiropractic College.  My own back issues indirectly led me into the Chiropractic profession and Chiropractic care has helped me maintain my spine.  It works!!

Proper bending technique!

If you are like me and generally hate colder weather, then you have to admit this winter wasn’t so bad. I talked to my mom in Nebraska last night and they have 70 degree weather with 80’s on the way.  With the warmer weather, many people are chomping at the bit to get in the yard and perform those spring tasks that lead to back and neck pain.  This mostly comes from bending and/or lifting. Remember to slowly work your way into the yard chores.  I see more gardening injuries in the spring and summer than any other time of year.  There is a proper way to bend and it isn’t necessarily “bending and lifting with the legs”.  Bending properly comes from the hips while keeping the back in a neutral position. To learn this technique, place a broom handle against your butt with the top against the back of your head.  Slowly bend forward while keeping the broom in contact with the butt and head.  This forces you to bend at the hips.  It takes some practice but will keep your back healthier !! Give it a try!

Bend & Lift Safely

Wow…What beautiful weather this last weekend here in the Chicago region.  Feels like mid April…hope it lasts.  Speaking of great weather, many people were working in there yards and did you know that bending forward while working in the yard is a very common reason people hurt their backs?  Bending of the spine causes the fibers of the disc to distort and increases pressure within the disc.  These fibers usually goes back to their normal orientation upon straightening.  However, enough bends over the course of time, for anyone individual, may be enough to push the disc to its breaking point.  Try to hinge at the hips instead of rounding your lower back when you bend.  when lifting, use the hips and not the knees. This takes a little bit of practice however this decreases some stress off the disc and makes bending and lifting safer.  If you do injure your back, make sure Chiropractic is your first stop for the best care available.  It works!!

Bending and Spine Pain

Did you know the worst time to bend your back is in the morning?  Back pain comes in many forms and has many causes.  Back pain can go away on its own, but don’t let that fool you.  There is usually an underlying cause and not addressing the cause can mean chronic and life long back issues.  Often times doctors tell patients to strengthen their core muscles to help with back pain.  However, some back exercises shouldn’t be performed as they can make back pain worse.  The most common one is abdominal crunches or sit-ups.  This causes flexion of the spine and puts a lot of stress on the disc material fibers.  The discs of our spine only have so many number of bends before they damage.  This may be different for each individual. The reason not to flex the spine in the morning is that the discs are more hydrated, thicker and more prone to injury.. Limit your bending in the mornings…more later!!

Spine Pain & Lifting

Did you know that most Americans will develop a back problem at some time in their lives?  I’ve discussed this before, however this may put a new twist on things.  Your spine has natural curves for a reason. When you bend out of that natural curve, it really isn’t a big deal, unless it is bearing a load.  That load may be a weight at the gym, a bag of soil or a 3 year old child.  When this happens, it compresses and distorts the discs in the spine and causing the fibers to loosen and divide.  This can allow the nucleus (gel) to leak out between the fibers (bulge/herniation). The only inherent structural stability the spine has is the rigidity of the muscles around it. Without muscles, your spine could not even support your upper body weight.  Basically, we are more likely to hurt ourselves lifting the heaviest or lightest loads. Chiropractic is a great way to help those with back issues and prevent new ones.  More next time!!

Chiropractic, posture, back pain & headaches

Health Tip Today: In my last blog I discussed how posture and inactivity effects our health. I briefly touched upon how it effects our breathing. In fact posture is essential to relaxation, blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain and body. Those people who are in a slouched position for extended periods develop tightness in the hipsand decreased lung capacity which alters how much you breathe, how often and from where. People who develop headaches tend to breath from their chest and shoulders rather than from the diaphram. This leads to repeated elevation of the shoulders and upper back muscles hundreds of times a day and leading to increased tension in the head and neck! We can help individuals stop taking pain-relieving meds and teach posture specific techniques and exercises to maximize breathing, improve posture and restore function spine, ribs and hips. You can take back control of your life!

Headaches, Posture & Chiropractic

Health Tip Today: I have suffered with headaches my entire life. I can remember some doozies even as a child. Over the years they got better and worse, very transient. One in six Americans or 45 million, will say they suffer from headaches each year. Unfortunatley the most common methods of treatment seem to be over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription meds. The most common headaches are tension type. Either episodic (less than 15 times monthly) or chronic (greater than 15 times monthly). Cases vary, however it is quite common for posture and dysfunctinal patterns of movement to contribute to them due to the creation of muscle tension and stress in the body. Chiropractic helps by imroving and restoring normal postural patterns, restoring joint ranges of motion and stabilizing the body to reduce abnormal stressors. Did you know that slouching over time decreases, lung capacity. Chiroporactic helped me and it can help you. It might allow you to rid the over-the-counter meds and improve your daily living, maximize your breathing, and postural control.

Neck pain & Repetitive Use Syndrome

Health Tip Today: If you are one of millions of Americans who spend hours on the computer, chances are you are suffering from neck pain and tightness, midback pain and maybe forearm,wrist or hand pain. Maybe even some numnbness and tingling in the hands! In fact ,many of the female patients I see have these symptoms called “Repetitive-use Syndrome”, due to massive hours on the computer. In other words hours on the computer creates poor posture, which leads to strain on neck, shoulder muscles,ligaments and joints, which leads to tight and/or weak muscles, which leads to straining and pain. I always try to have these patients check the ergonomics of their work stations, as most of the time the keyboards are too high. Many desks are too tall for the average female so she oftens has her hands higher than they should be for hours at a time. This almost always contributes to the problems I spoke of previously. If you make your living using a keyboard and mouse, talk to your Chiropractor about how to avoid the problems associated with Repetitive-use Syndrome!

Posture Back Pain and Mortality

I attended a post graduate seminar over the weekend learning of postural exercise, balance, alignment and mobility techniques. I learned some interesting information about shrinking height and posture as we age and its relationship with mortality. Remember when mom said sit up straight at the dinner table!, Well, there is a increased association in risk of heart disease and mortality with a loss of over 3 cm. in height.  A loss of more than 3 cm in height, as you age, increases the risk of earlier death by 64% over someone who has only lost 1 cm of height.  The author speculates that slumping posture causes physical restrictions in the breathing apparatus which significantly increased the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and respiratory mortality. Poor posture can also contribute neck and back pain as we lean forward with age.  This can be avoided and posture can be improved upon with a knowledgeable chiropractor and specific exercises!