Excerpt from “Is Your Posture Out To Pasture”
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, posture means the position or bearing of the body, whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose. In other words, how you normally position your body when doing a certain task.
Our posture is important for many reasons. It is the position of balance and alignment your body adapts and always returns to throughout our life. Over time it changes depending on our activities, lifestyles, and the demands we place on our bodies. Posture is how our spine relates to the muscles attached to it, during movement or rest.
Much of life has our bodies sitting at a computer, a desk, in front of a TV, and can ruin the good intentions of Mother Nature who designed our spines to allows us to walk upright, be active and survive.
During our lifetimes, some people may stand tall and have good posture, while others may slouch and have less than desirable posture. This can be a direct reflection of our occupation, sports we play, lives we lead and even how we are perceived by society.
Good posture enables our bodies to move around and breathe easier. Circulation is improved, we have greater visual acuity and fields of vision and our hearing acuity is sharper1,2. Maintaining proper posture, you can attain a higher level of competitiveness in sports with a body that is more efficient. Posture distributes stress and forces throughout the body to limit the likeliness of injury, and the amount of damage your body sustains over years of use.
The bones and muscles of your body all function together to create movement. A "musculoskeletal problem" is a term used to describe conditions involving both the muscles of our body and the associated bones of the skeletal system. Every time we move to pick up a pencil, lift our children, hit a baseball or roll over in bed, we are depending on our musculoskeletal system to allow for these desired motions.
Poor posture alters the redistribution of weight forces throughout the body. It is inefficient and can lead to damage. Even bending over once and lifting with your back, without regard for maintaining stability in the abdominal region by curving of the lower back, is all it takes to sideline you for a while.
As far as what position causes the least amount of stress on your back, standing upright causes 100 pounds of pressure per square inch on the low back.3,4 Leaning forward to brush your teeth, wash dishes or to bend and pick something up, causes 200 pounds of pressure.
When you lift a 30 lb. laundry basket or cute little Alex, multiply the actual weight by 10 – 15 times5,6 to figure out the amount of compression force impacting your lower back. This number will vary depending on how far the weight is from your body, how high you are going to raise it and how tall you are.
That is an additional 300 – 450 pounds of pressure on your spine to lift the weight. Now add that to your forward body weight of 200 pounds and you have lifted 500 – 650 pounds of disc crunching and degenerative changing force to your back. Each time we lift, these forces get distributed to the discs, muscles, ligaments and supporting structures but it is damage nonetheless. Now, will you bend your knees when you lift?
Similarly, when we sit the knees should be slightly higher than the hips. This position exerts 100 pounds of pressure. When we slouch in school it creates 150 pounds of pressure and when we hunch over the desk it creates 200 pounds of pressure.3,4 This clearly shows why posture is so important to our overall health.
Posture is affected by muscle tone, flexibility, weight, alignment, genetics, work habits, stress, hobbies, sleep positions and habits of the body all day long.
Likewise, posture can have a negative effect on your sleep, healing abilities,7 athletic performance, singing and overall quality of life. Having a strong, flexible and well-balanced spine has a dramatic impact on your posture.
This is why it is so important for everyone to understand that everything you do will have an effect on your health either today, tomorrow and well into the future. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is health!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Almost no one is immune to a headache. In your lifetime at least 95 percent of all women and 90 percent of men will experience one.10 Great news huh. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Another common problem I hear about is people are propping their head sand necks up with too many pillows. Remember to keep your ears in line with your shoulders. Imagine if two inches of forward head carriage causes three times the force on the neck, then propping your head up will really do some damage to your neck over months and years.9
Excerpt from “Cervical Spine”
About 20 million Americans will suffer from some type of headache this year,
accounting for approximately 156 million workdays lost.11 This will result in a loss of productivity totaling $13 billion.12 Besides impacting work, headaches can be debilitating and ruin plans. In fact almost 50 percent of people also noted they had decreased effectiveness if they went to work, stayed home or were at school.13, 14
There are two main classifications of headaches. The first type is a primary headache, which includes: migraine, tension, cervicogenic (headache caused by problems in the neck or cervical spine), and cluster headaches. These headache types are the most common, comprising 90 percent of all headaches and have no associated medical condition. A secondary headache can result from tumors, infections, etc., and account for less than 10 percent of all headaches.
Some common symptoms associated with the majority of headaches are: sharp, throbbing pain in different regions of the head; constant ache, localized neck or occipital (base of skull) pain precipitated by abnormal movements. The range of motion in the neck will be decreased and your posture may be altered due to hypertonic (tight) muscles, which may also be tender.
After seeing a doctor, and provided there is no history of a major problem causing your headaches, you may benefit from some easy ergonomic tips, exercises and stretches. This simple approach may help you prevent, reduce and eliminate future headaches altogether.
Relatives used to tease us about sitting up straight and keeping our heads up. Research shows they were right. In fact, proper body posture and ergonomics play a major role in a lot of the things we do on a daily basis. Placing your neck or head in an unnatural or vulnerable position while exercising, driving or at home, are things that can lead to a headache.
Dr. Peter Rothbart, MD, FRCPC, President of the North American
Cervicogenic Headache Society, proclaimed in the Toronto Star, "We’ve been able to put together a scientific explanation for how neck structure causes headaches- not all headaches, but a significant number of them."
In addition, noted Researcher Nikolai Bogduk, MD, PhD, Professor of Anatomy at Newcastle, Australia, commented: "The model for cervicogenic headache, (headache caused by the neck), is not only the best evolved of all headaches but is testable in vivo, in patients with headache complaints."
One of the specific areas that have been linked to neck pain and headaches is the facet joint, also called the zygapophyseal joint, which is located toward the back of the vertebra on each side. It is the joint created when one facet joint articulates with another one from the vertebrae above and below it. No, I did not make up that word for your next scrabble game, but it would fetch a boatload of points. This joint has been linked to 54 – 60 percent of chronic neck pain and 58 – 88 percent of chronic headaches.15
These findings support the importance of proper posture and alignment of the neck. If there is an alignment problem, then the muscles and the bones of the neck will be under increased stress, and this may result in a headache.
Another overlooked source of headaches is eyestrain. When was your last eye exam? Are you supposed to be wearing glasses but you forget or don’t think you look good in them? Would you rather look good, feel lousy and not know who’s looking at you or feel good and see clearly?
Excerpt from “Dieting”
Eat this. Don’t eat that. Eggs are good, then bad, and now good again. How many times have you heard not to eat fat? And then someone says it is okay to eat fats and proteins, but skip the carbohydrates. Too much protein is bad for your kidneys. Eat more protein to burn more calories. Don’t eat at all. Suppress your diet with this pill. Eat seven times a day to fuel your body. Tell me what I can pop to allow me to eat the same junk food I always have and get lean. How about a pill that replaces exercising? The acai berry is a miracle berry. Nope. It’s just another over-hyped fruit you haven’t heard of before for moneymaking purposes. If it sound too good to be true, then it probably is.
Of course the public is confused. Every three months there is a new fad diet or exercise promising to shed fat so you can get that "lean, sexy body you’ve always wanted." The media loves how thin the Hollywood women and other famous people are and too often put them on our TV screens to admire.
These skinny icons are glorified and hailed as such beauties, like the models in Europe. Except finally people are beginning to realize how unhealthy this is for them, especially after several actresses had health problems and some models even died due to complications from Anorexia. In fact, Europe was banning emaciated models. One restaurant offered free meals to models as a joke.
Because models have to remain so thin they have mastered unhealthy eating practices. The more magazines and news stories that promote these "skeletons," the more our young accept the misconception that skin and bones is healthy and an acceptable option. This affects young girls and women
everywhere. Even boys feel the pressure to remain skinny. It is not about eating too little or over-eating; it is about learning how to eat right. Anything else is unhealthy.
Someone once said to me that dieting is the only sure way to gain five – 10 pounds. Most weight is lost during the first six months of a diet, except 30 plus studies reviewed by the University of California show that after five years almost 70 percent of the people are likely to be heavier than when they started
The public isn’t learning healthy habits. They are looking for the quick fix, resorting to their old habits and putting the weight back on, and then some. Repeatedly attempting to diet stresses the body and can lead to permanent damage to your organs.
Excerpt from “Changing Your Posture Overnight”
Sometimes it is because we fall asleep watching TV in bed. For everyone’s happiness, a TV in the bedroom is a sure way to cool off the bedroom according to some relationship experts. Now if you want to read in bed, sit up and do so. Just don’t angle your neck too much so you can do it. I have seen plenty of x-rays where you could visibly see the neck changing its curve and reversing due to improper support to the neck during sleep.
And for your own good, get your butt into bed. I don’t care how tired you are, how great the game is or how mad she is. A good night’s sleep rarely occurs on the couch. I have pushed the limits of tiredness sitting up. You’re talking to the sleep deprivation master. My head flopped back so hard I hit the wall and gave myself whiplash, twice in the same night. When I’m tired now, I always go to sleep. The game can wait or I can hit the record button. Patients are always falling asleep on the couch only to wake up in real discomfort. Don’t let this be you.
If you have a reflux problem and need to prop your head up, start at the waist. Add pillows as you get toward the head or buy a wedge. This gradual elevation of the back will cause less stress to the neck and allow you to achieve the same position.
Lying on your back puts around 55 pounds of pressure on your lower discs, yet elevating your legs with a pillow can reduce that figure to a mere 25 pounds.3,4
If your low back is bothering you, position an extra pillow under the back of your upper legs. This will take some stress off the low back. Bending the knees toward your chest, in flexion, helps to open the vertebra, disc and nerve roots and is helpful in some cases.
I have used a couch before to maintain this position and this is one of the only ways a couch can help your back. Lie on your back on the couch and bend your knees. Your toes should be touching the base of one of the armrests as it meets the couch. That way your legs can’t straighten out. Staying close to the back cushions of the couch will keep your upper thighs straight so there is less chance of twisting your low back. Place a pillow under your leg and you will be set. Now where’s that remote?
Almost no one is immune to a headache. In your lifetime at least 95 percent of all women and 90 percent of men will experience one.10 Great news huh. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Another common problem I hear about is people are propping their head sand necks up with too many pillows. Remember to keep your ears in line with your shoulders. Imagine if two inches of forward head carriage causes three times the force on the neck, then propping your head up will really do some damage to your neck over months and years.9
Another common problem I hear about is people are propping their head sand necks up with too many pillows. Remember to keep your ears in line with your shoulders. Imagine if two inches of forward head carriage causes three times the force on the neck, then propping your head up will really do some damage to your neck over months and years.9