smart-phone-poor-posture

Identifying poor posture and how you can fix it

Phone statistics linked to poor posture!

Smartphones. The modern-day curse, some would call them. They offer so much practicality and entertainment that we all often find ourselves completely absorbed in what’s happening on the little screen in front of us, forgetting about the goings on of the Northern Beaches. Whether it’s at your work desk, on the couch, or even the toilet, we slouch over our phones for on average a whopping 3 hours and 15 minutes per day. That adds up to over 22 hours per week: enough time to do some serious damage to your posture.

What is posture?

Posture is essentially the way you hold your body and there are two types[1]: dynamic and static. Dynamic posture is how you hold yourself when you are moving, like when you are walking, running, or bending over to pick up something. It is usually required to form an efficient basis for movement[2]. Static posture is how you hold yourself when you are not moving, like when you are sitting, standing, or sleeping. Body segments are aligned and maintained in fixed positions and this is usually achieved by co-ordination and interaction of various muscle groups which are working statically to counteract gravity and other forces[3].

What are signs of bad posture and what causes it?

There is a wide range of symptoms that may be associated with poor posture. These can include rounded shoulders, potbelly, bent knees when standing or walking, head that either leans forward or backward, back pain, body aches and pains, muscle fatigue and headaches[4]. For the most part, bad posture can come about through the everyday effect of gravity as it acts on our body[5]. Poor posture can also occur due to an injury, a disease or simply because of genetics as well as a combination of all of these factors[6]. While not all of these symptoms will relate to you or necessarily even be caused from poor posture, working on your posture could be the perfect place to start in improving your overall health and wellbeing.

Can bad posture impact my health?

Yes. Poor posture can impact your health in many ways. These include: misaligning your musculoskeletal system, causing neck, shoulder and back pain, decreasing flexibility and the ability to balance, affecting joint function and creating digestion and breathing issues[7].

How do I correct my posture?

The key to good posture is the position of the spine. The spine has three natural curves – at your neck, mid back, and low back. Correct posture should maintain these curves, but not increase them. Your head should be above your shoulders, and the top of your shoulder should be over the hips[8]. It is easy enough to know when your posture is affecting your body; the hard part is implementing and maintaining the changes that will work for you. That’s where having a good physio that will take the time to understand not only your body, but also your daily routines and lifestyle can really make a difference. We work with you to develop cues that will allow you to not only attain but maintain great posture.

If you’re worried that your posture is having a negative effect on your body and overall wellness, speaking to a physio may be the perfect option. A trained musculoskeletal physiotherapist or sports physio is able to identify your posture style and provide hands-on treatment through individualised posture correction techniques as well as providing helpful home products and tips that will greatly assist in improving both your dynamic and static posture.

Check out our Services page or feel free to call our Dee Why clinic on 8964 4086 to see how we can help.

[1] Gardiner MD. The principles of exercise therapy. Bell; 1957.

[2] Physiopedia contributors. Posture. Physiopedia; 2020 May 21. https://www.physio-pedia.com/index.php?title=Posture&oldid=238922.

[3] Howorth MB. Posture in adolescents and adults. The American journal of nursing. 1956 Jan 1:34-6.

[4] Victoria State Government. (2015, August). Posture. Retrieved from Better Heath Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/posture

[5] Czaprowski, D., Stoliński, Ł., Tyrakowski, M. et al. Non-structural misalignments of body posture in the sagittal plane. Scoliosis 13, 6 (2018) doi:10.1186/s13013-018-0151-5

[6] Asher, A. (2019, October 11). Causes of Bad Posture. Retrieved from Verywell Health: https://www.verywellhealth.com/posture-fixes-what-are-you-up-against-297037

[7] U.S National Library of Medicine. (2017, October). Guide to Good Posture. Retrieved from Medline Plus: https://medlineplus.gov/guidetogoodposture.html

[8] Physiopedia contributors. Posture. Physiopedia; 2020 May 21. https://www.physio-pedia.com/index.php?title=Posture&oldid=238922.

young-woman-stretching-at-home

How to get the most out of physiotherapy

How to get the most out of physiotherapy

After a tough day at work in the Northern Beaches, all we often want to do is go home and put our feet up in front of the tv. Please can I just have half an hour to re-coup. However, as we know all too well that half an hour runs in to dinner time and before you know it another day is almost over. As you get in to bed and lean awkwardly to plug your phone in to charge, you feel that little twing in your neck and that’s when you remember the exercises your physio had set you the evening before. Oh well, I guess I’ll start that tomorrow.

That’s the thought a lot of us have (and on often more than one occasion) during ongoing physiotherapy. Before you know it two weeks have passed, and the exercises have been completed all of two and a half times. But does this really matter? Surely just going in for a 40 minute session every week will do the trick. Every physio will tell you otherwise, and for good reason too.

Physiotherapists are expertly trained in how the musculoskeletal structure affects body movement and function, and how to optimise the recovery process. As part of their treatment plans, physiotherapists routinely prescribe exercise in the form of a home exercise programme (HEP). HEPs are typically long term, and their success often requires patients to adhere to them for several weeks, even months[1]. Although it is widely recognized that adhering to a HEP facilitates effective treatment, the rate of non-adherence to physiotherapy HEPs is overwhelmingly high, and it is not uncommon for it to be more than 65%[2].

Completing these exercises can often mean the difference between an average recovery and one that actually improves not only the performance of the targeted area, but also your overall physical and mental wellbeing. Physiotherapy exercises have been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective ways that you can solve or prevent pain and injury. As physiotherapists, we are highly skilled in the prescription of the “best exercises” for you and the most appropriate “exercise dose” for you depending on your rehabilitation status[3]. However, by not effecting the assigned home exercises there is the potential to prolong the recovery process; something nobody wants!

A useful trick to help as a reminder of when to do some of your exercises is to pair them with common daily activities, such as getting up to go to the bathroom, or grabbing your morning coffee. Having your exercises written down will also help with jogging your memory, and we will always be happy to jot them all down for you. Just make sure to place the notes somewhere you can see them every day, such as on the fridge door or on the bathroom mirror.

Life is busy in Dee Why, and as physiotherapists we get it. There isn’t always time to complete 30 minutes of exercises when you’re having to fit in the school run, cooking dinner, attending that meeting and cleaning the house. That’s why we always offer a tailored approach and will suggest either spreading out or compacting the time in which you should complete the exercises. As a Northern Beaches physio, we understand the need to stay active and on your feet in this beautiful part of the world. The elite training of our physiotherapists here at Fixio allows us to do just that, however there is one thing that we can’t do for you… Remember your exercises!

 

[1] Abramsky, H., Kaur, P., Robitaille, M., Taggio, L., Kosemetzky, P. K., Foster, H., . . . Jachyra, P. (2018). Patients’ Perspectives on and Experiences of Home Exercise Programmes Delivered with a Mobile Application. Physiotherapy Canada, 70(2), 171-178. doi:10.3138/ptc.2016-87

 

[2] Sluijs, E. M., Kok, G. J., & van der Zee, J. (1993, November). Correlates of Exercise Compliance in Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy, 73(11), 771/782.

[3] Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques. (n.d.). Retrieved from Physio Works: https://physioworks.com.au/faq/common-physiotherapy-treatment-techniques/

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