Those who play the game of golf know the physical strain it can place on the entire body especially the lower back. The last thing any golfer wants to do is to miss a few rounds of golf because of pain or injury. Anyone who watches golf on TV can tell you that the days when players were out of shape and overweight are gone. Nowadays, each player follows a rigorous training program to stay at the top of their game throughout the year. Here are a few tips to keep you at the top of your game.Read More
Is it ergonomically correct?
What does that even mean?!
According to OSHA, ergonomics is defined as “fitting a job to a person.” It is intended to help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce the number of work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Having the proper ergonomic workspace set up is very important, especially when it comes to maintaining good posture and a healthy spine.
How does your work station measure up?
The next time you are at your desk, use these 10 tips to better your workspace and decrease your chances of injury due to postural faults...
- Sit as close as possible to your desk. By sitting closer to your desk, this will allow you to reach your keyboard or answer your phone while maintaining an upright, erect posture. No slouching forward! Your desk should be at the height of your belly button.
- Sit with your bottom back against your chair. Do you sit at the edge of your chair? By sitting with your bottom all the way back against the back of your chair, you are providing support to your lower back and you are able to use your arm rests to better your posture.
- Ensure you have good lumbar support. Most chairs have some lumbar support, but it may not be enough for everyone. If there is room between the curve of your lower back and your chair consider rolling up a bath towel or purchasing a lumbar roll to support your lower back. You will be surprised how supporting your lower back with force better posture! Not sure where where to get your hands on a lumbar roll? Each of our office locations have them on hand for purchase.
- Sit with your Hips and knees bent to 90 degrees.
- Are your feet touching the ground? If your feet are not flat on the ground, use a foot rest (shoe box or telephone book) so that your feet are flat and supported.
- Use your arm rests. Your elbows should parallel to your shoulders and should be bent to 90 degrees. By resting your elbows on the arm rests you are able to take some pressure off of your shoulders and helps you sit up tall.
- Use your wrist rest only for rest! The wrist rests on your keyboards are great, but only use them when taking a break from typing. Avoid typing with your wrists pulled back (which may be caused when placing your wrists on the rest while typing). Keep your wrists in a neutral position to avoid injuring the tendons and nerves that pass through your wrist to your hand.
- Eyes at the top of the computer screen. ONLY after you have adjusted your chair to fit your body, next, adjust your computer screen. When sitting up tall, your eyes should be parallel to the top of your computer screen. If you are unable to adjust the height of your screen, request a computer monitor lift or use books to increase the height of the screen.
- Keep frequently used objects close to your body. The objects that you use the most during the day, like your keyboard should be reached with the elbows bent at 90 degrees. Other frequently used objects, like your phone, stapler or books should be able to be accessed without having to fully straighten your arm. Like my dad always says, “Work smarter, not harder!”
- Rest breaks! If you find yourself slouching forward, having aches in your neck, back or shoulders - stand up and stretch!
Treat your body right when you are training and give back what you take from yourself. Proper nutrition and hydration are a HUGE component of running a race at your peak performance.
- If you are going to run a long distance (generally greater than 40 minutes) you should bring some sort of fuel with you, such as one of those goo gel packs.
- Re-fueling should occur every 30-40 minutes along with hydration every mile. Of course, in weather conditions of extreme heat and humidity you should do this more frequently.
- While you train, eating one hour before a run is ideal. This allows time for digestion and absorption of the nutrients for use during the run. This should include complex carbohydrates, glucose and protein. (It almost goes without saying, but also should include lots of good old fashioned H20!)
Not sure what to eat? Pro-tip: Here's a list of good foods to eat while training...
- Complex carbohydrates: whole grain bread & pastas, quinoa, starchy vegetables, legumes and potatoes.
- Protein: Lean meats, legumes, low-fat milks, yogurt, low-fat cheeses.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Fruits, Vegetables (greens and reds are best), electrolyte beverages
- Making up about 70% of your body, water is your best friend. When you exert and sweat while you run (which we all do!), it is critical to rehydrate and restore your supply. Sweat is more than just water leaving your body though. You are also losing and depleting your electrolyte supplies (sodium, potassium, etc). These elements are critical to organ function and to your body's movement capabilities.
- Ever get that feeling of side "stitches"? That is your body's way of telling you it needs help and is dehydrated.
- During your workday, ditch the sugary drinks and sodas. Sip on plenty of water throughout the day. Electrolyte drinks (sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade) are great to drink before and after a run to load up and replenish your electrolyte balance.
- When preparing for a race, start hydrating one week prior to the race - don't wait until the day before. Start consuming electrolyte or sports drink the day before the race to build up an ample supply to start the race with.
Feeling healthier and more energized already? We are too. Ready, set, go! Read More
Sound familiar? We have all probably heard this a time-or-two in our lives. Really, your mother (or your Physical Therapist coworkers!) had your best interest in mind. So why is posture is so important? Proper posture keeps bones and joints in correct alignment, helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces (to prevent arthritis), prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions, prevents strain or overuse problems, and contributes to good appearance.
Spine Control is the concept of maintaining "Neutral Spine Posture" throughout all activities of daily living. In other words, posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while sitting, standing or laying down.
Tips for Maintaining a Neutral Spine
- Keep your back straight, and shoulders back. A lumbar roll behind the small of your back may help to maintain this posture. Don't have a lumbar roll? Contact one of our offices to purchase one, or try rolling up a small towel from home.
- Avoid crossing your legs or sitting with one leg underneath you. This helps to distribute your body weight evenly over both of your hips.
- Change positions. Avoiding sitting in one position longer than 30 minutes.
- Align your ears over your shoulders. Tuck your chin and keep eyes forward.
- Lift your chest bone and pull your shoulders back.
- Maintain the natural curve of your low back. Tighten those abs to do so.
- Keep your knees soft and distribute your body weight over the center of each foot.
- Standing for long periods of time? Try shifting your weight from side-to-side. Putting one foot up on a stool, leaning o
Did you know....
- 31 million Americans are experiencing low back pain at any given time.
- 50% of working Americans admit to having symptoms of back pain each year.
- Low back pain affects 80% of people in their lifetime. Men reports symptoms up to 10 years earlier than women.
- Back pain is one of the leading causes for missed work
- Back pain is the second leading cause for MD visits each year behind only upper-respiratory infections.
- Americans spend $50 billion yearly on issues relate to back pain.
- Most causes of back pain are mechanical - meaning pain is not caused by arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
- Individuals lifting with a twisting motion are six times more likely to experience an acute disc injury than an individual who lifts properly. (Yikes!)
While it may sound like the odds are against you, you can try to prevent any type of back injury and experiencing low back pain. Keeping your entire body healthy can help!
- Avoid prolonged bed rest and remain physically active under the guidance of a therapist, if needed.
- Be sure to warm muscles up for physical activity - stretch before & after the activity!
- Maintain proper posture. Avoid slouched sitting throughout the day.
- Practice safe lifting techniques. Lift with your legs, keeping objects close to your body. Avoid twisting motions while lifting.
- Maintain a healthy weight and diet. As a general rule, we each should get 30 mins of moderate physical activity on most days of the week, combined with a healthy diet. The Department of Health & Human Services recommends balancing calorie intake with physical activity to manage weight, consuming more fruits, vegetables & whole grains. They also recommend consuming fewer foods with salts(sodium), saturated & trans fats, added sugar and refined grains. Review the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 or browse for further information by visiting their website with the link provided.
For more information regarding prevention of low back injuries, proper lifting techniques and recommended exercises for the low back, we think you might also be interested in...
Unfortunately, an increased number of heart attacks are reported after heavy snowfalls. What's the connection? Shoveling can be a demanding task for the body. Some bodies are just not ready for it!
To be sure you're shoveling safely, keep a few things in mind...
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine before tackling the job. These can increase your heart rate, causing blood vessels to constrict and placing extra stress on the heart.
- Drink plenty of water - before and after shoveling! Dehydration is just as important to avoid in the winter as in the summer.
- Dress in layers. We know that it's tempting to bundle up before going outside, but as you shovel and body temperature rises you might want to remove layers as you go. Synthetic fibers (in a lot of athletic-type clothing) help to wick away perspiration better than natural fibers (such as cotton).
- Find the right shovel for you. Choosing a shovel with a smaller blade will require lifting less snow at a time and put less strain on your body.
- Pace yourself. Begin shoveling slowly to avoid a sudden demand on your heart. Take breaks as needed.
- Protect your back from injury. Lift correctly - stand with your feet about hip width apart and keep the shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees (not the back!) and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Avoid twisting movements - if you need to move the snow to one side, reposition your feet to face the direction you need the snow to go.
- Try to shovel right after the snow lands. Shoveling wet, hard-packed snow is a much harder task than shoveling light, fluffy snow.
- Most importantly, listen to your body! If you feel pain, that's a sign to stop. If you are typically inactive or have a history of heart trouble, talk to your doctor before you take on the task.
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It might be hard to resist, but it’s important to remember that there is A LOT of information available - through many sources. Before you dig into web searching, keep a few things in mind...
- Use sites or sources you can trust…
Looking for information on the benefits of aquatic therapy? Experiencing low back pain? Sources you can likely trust are websites and blogs written by physical therapists, orthopedic specialists & other provider groups in your area.
- Take it with a grain of salt…
- Educate rather than self-diagnose…
Ever felt that you had not keyed your provider in on all that you had wanted to during your time with them? Communication is key! Think about it ahead of time to make the best of your visit - In your research on the web, think about how symptoms and sensations are described? What key terms are used? Use what you have learned to effectively relay what you are experiencing to your provider.
7. Strength/Resistance Training
5. Tai Chi
2. Aquatic Exercise or Therapy
1. Physical Therapy
Have an injury, concern or question regarding any of these forms of exercise? Contact one of our offices. A Physical Therapist will be happy to answer any of your questions - or even perform a Free Injury Screen! Read More
Substantial research has been done to investigate the link between dietary habits and Arthritis. Learn about these 4 key nutrients, why they're important and how you can be sure you are getting enough of them in your diet.Read More