Want to feel unstoppable? Stand up, throw your shoulders back and your chest out, raise your head proudly and hold your hands in fists by your sides. This is the “superhero” pose– so called because every superhero movie seems to show the heroes in this stance.
When you improve your posture you’ll feel better
It’s a powerful way of standing.
It says, “I’m here and I’m ready.”
If you haven’t already, go ahead and try it!
Ok. When the occasion doesn’t call for standing like a superhero – it’d be a little odd in the grocery line for instance – you can also try theAmerican Chiropractic Association’s guide to great posture.
Why Better Posture Improves Your Mood
One reason your posture affects your mood is that sitting slumped over restricts oxygen flow into the brain. Studies show that even those diagnosed with depression will feel better if they sit up taller. You feel more energetic when you improve your posture too. Plus, lousy posture takes a toll on your joints.
And while it’s no secret that sitting slumped over can make you feel tired and irritable, but you may not have realized, it can also contribute to back, neck, and wrist pain and even carpal tunnel syndrome.
8 Ways You Can Improve Your Posture and Reduce Pain While at the Computer
Besides boosting your mood and giving you more energy, improving your posture can also reduce pain. Yes, you’ll alleviate stiffness from long periods of working at the computer but also, better posture can help with chronic pain too. Here are 8 ways to feel your best.
1- Get a Good Chair – There are dozens of high-quality chairs on the market. Some of them are even known as “gamer’s chairs.” I probably don’t have to say any more about those! Such a chair has lots of padding but also supports your lower back to help it stay in proper alignment.
2- Check your Computer Screen – When your computer screen is at eye level, your neck can stay aligned with your spine which means it won’t be jutting out and putting additional pressure on your neck. You can find out more about setting up an ergonomic desk here.
3-Standing Desks – You can buy those battery powered ones or construct your own. Even shoe racks or plastic boxes can offer enough height to boost your screen to the right height. But make sure you stand with good posture. Well-cushioned shoes help protect your back and joints; especially if you’re on a hard surface.
4- Exercises – If you’ve ever pressed your back against a wall and squatted down in “chair pose,” then you know what it feels like to press your shoulders back. You can do this several times a day to counteract the effects of the forward slump. Your chiropractor can give you additional exercises that can help your specific condition.
5- Don’t Give Yourself Text Neck – Bending over your phone is apt to cause something we chiropractors call “text neck.” Like your computer screen, you’ll put less pressure on your neck if you keep your phone screen at eye level. It might feel funny to hold your screen up in the air, but your neck will feel better.
6- Chiropractic Adjustments – Regular chiropractic treatments help your body stay healthy and they can reduce chronic pain. You may be familiar with chiropractic adjustments as a quick, calculated thrust to a specific area of your body with the goal to realign the joints and tendons. I evaluate every patient, review their medical history and x-ray, and base the treatment accordingly.
7 – Massage Therapy – A good massage relaxes your muscles. Relaxing your muscles reduces pain caused by poor posture. Cramped and tight muscles hold tension. Massage will loosen them so you can stand taller.
8- Practice – Most of us don’t think about our posture much. But if you start noticing it, you might be surprised at how often you find yourself slouching – even a little. But noticing it and correcting it is half the battle when it comes to improving your posture.
In summary, bad posture contributes to feeling tired, sluggish, and even depressed. It can also cause pain in your neck, back, and wrists. Making adjustments such as improving your computer set up and recognizing when you’re slouched over can help you maintain better posture. Regular chiropractic treatments can help you maintain and improve your posture by helping your body shift and remain aligned.
Remember the old song about the ankle bone being connected to the leg bone?
That’s a perfect example of how the body is connected. One bone leads to another, the nervous system carries blood and oxygen through the body and if you’re in pain, a back adjustment may help. The reason is that a back adjustment, also called spinal manipulation, helps your entire body move better.
Let’s face it, years of sitting and standing take their toll on your body. Habits like bad posture, carrying heavy items, and repetitive actions like spending hours at the computer can cause parts of your body to throb in pain. Sound familiar?
If you visit a chiropractor, they’ll check your posture and leg length. After all, it’s not uncommon to find that your legs are slightly uneven which means your hips are also uneven. This unevenness is slight. It’s not visible to the naked eye, but it does affect your posture, bone structure, and can lead to pain. A back adjustment can help re-align your body and alleviate pain.
According to Harvard Medical School, “Chiropractic is a system of therapy focused on the structure of the body, particularly the spine. Chiropractors manipulate the body’s alignment to relieve pain and improve function and to help the body heal itself.”
Aah…natural pain relief and improved range of movement. Doesn’t that sound like a good thing? Chiropractors Aren’t Just For Back Pain
Imagine you spend hours hunched over a computer. At the end of the day, you probably feel tightness and stiffness in your shoulders, upper back, and neck. You might even feel some throbbing pain in your dominant hand and wrist. These are classic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that yes, can be helped by a back adjustment. Why? Because adjusting your spine re-aligns your entire body. Then, if you have a good ergonomic setup, you’ll feel better.
With chiropractic care, you can also find natural pain relief from sciatica, scoliosis, and even things like knee and ankle pain.
How Back Adjustments Work
Some people think of chiropractors as “bone crackers” and feel anxious about succumbing to such a technique. In reality, there are multiple ways you can experience a back adjustment. For example, your chiropractor can adjust the table (and you.) They can also use handheld devices designed for back adjustments.
If you feel anxious or concerned, just let us know and we’ll talk you through it. If needed we’ll use a different technique. About that “bone cracking” concept, it’s actually not cracking at all but rather the sound of nitrogen gas escaping between your joints when pressure is put on them for an adjustment. It’s safe. Plus, many people feel immediate relief.
Another benefit of including back adjustments in your healthcare plan is that it’s a natural pain relief technique. Chiropractic care helps your body heal itself. There are no pills, injections, or surgery required. If you’re in Doylestown, Pa and you’d like to speak with a chiropractor about the possibility of a back adjustment and how it can relieve your pain, please call us for a free consultation.
You’re probably familiar with the concept of chiropractors.
Most people associate them with “cracking backs” for pain relief and while there is a kernel of truth to this idea, there’s a lot more to it. In fact, you might be surprised at what that so-called “cracking” actually is!
(Hint: it’s not bones cracking.)
But first, what IS a chiropractic treatment?
It’s an all-natural approach to pain relief and suitable for all ages. While some use the term “chiropractic medicine,” chiropractors tend to refer to their practice as “treatments” or as a type of therapy like massage or physical therapy.
Where Does the Term “Chiropractor” Come From?
Like many words in the English language, Greece is the source of this one.
As Medical News Today tells us, The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words cheir (hands) and praxis (practice). As the name suggests, it is a hands-on therapy.
Chiropractic manipulation is the application of pressure to a person’s spine or other parts of their body by a qualified chiropractic doctor or chiropractor. This pressure allows a chiropractor to adjust and correct alignment.”
If you’ve ever been to a chiropractor, you know they use spinal manipulation adjustment your spine (and maybe your wrist or shoulder!) But you may still wonder if it falls into the category of medicine and the answer is…
Is it Medicine?
Yes. Although it’s considered complementary, or natural “medicine.” Chiropractors are doctors – they attend medical school and have licenses – but they can’t issue prescriptions or perform surgery.
Instead, chiropractors focus on your symptoms and seek to help your body heal itself through natural means. A typical treatment includes a few questions about how you’re feeling and a series of “adjustments.” That “cracking” or “popping” sound that many people associate with chiropractors? That’s actually trapped air being released from your joints and it’s nothing to worry about.
Chiropractic treatments are definitely a form of healthcare and are proof that medicine doesn’t have to come from a pill. Most chiropractors will also recommend other therapies such as heat/cold therapy, electrical stimulation, massage, and maybe even dietary supplements in addition to chiropractic treatments.
Your chiropractor will work with you to create a customized treatment plan.
The purpose of chiropractic care is to help people find pain relief through re-aligning their bodies, and it’s not uncommon to feel immediate relief. One of my favorite stories is about a patient who’d wrenched his back and hobbled into the office. 20 minutes later, he was standing up straight and no longer in pain.
However, chiropractic care does work best over time rather than a one-time scenario. Most patients come on a regular basis and they feel the benefits of ongoing care. I have patients who come a few times a week to a once or twice a month. It all depends on your symptoms and health goals.
Chiropractic medicine goes far beyond back pain relief, it’s also beneficial for chronic headaches, carpal tunnel, and even boosts your immune system! If you’re in the Doylestown, PA area, please stop in for your free consultation.
If you have painful joints, it could be bursitis. As you may know, the joints are common areas to feel pain in – tendonitis, arthritis, and bursitis — these are all typical conditions.
Each can cause swelling and they certainly cause pain.
Bursitis refers specifically to small, fluid-filled sacs designed to provide a slippery surface between your muscles and bones. Their entire purpose is to absorb the friction that occurs during this movement. Imagine dragging your feet over a carpeted area again and again. You’ll feel the friction in your feet and it may not feel good. On the other hand, if you drag your feet over a tile floor, it’s smooth.
That’s what happens with bursitis. Those little sacs provide the smooth surface initially, but eventually, they’re full of friction. Bursitis can happen all over your body and you can get shoulder, elbow, hip, or foot bursitis.
It’s made worse by repetitive movements like your shoulders, knees, and hips.
What Causes Bursitis?
One cause is poor posture. Since many of us spend so much time slouched at the computer, this can take its toll on our health in the form of pain. To prevent this, you’ll want to ensure your workstation ergonomically supports you and limit working from beds, chairs, and couches.
It’s also a good idea to check your posture while at the computer throughout the day. Sit up tall and pull your shoulders back and down. Those slumped shoulders are not going to help you to feel better at the end of the day.
Other causes for bursitis include misaligned joints and irritated nerves.
All of these can be helped with regular chiropractic treatments because the purpose of chiropractic care is to re-align your body. Imagine a sliding glass door off the track, you know how hard it is to open and close. Yet, when it’s on the track, it slides smoothly.
Now imagine your body. The bursa (singular) has absorbed all that sliding back and forth and now it’s irritated which forces your muscles and nerves “off the track.”
No wonder you’re in pain!
Chiropractic Care Puts Your Body “Back on Track”
The entire purpose of chiropractic care is to re-align your spine which helps the rest of your body return to where it’s supposed to be. When everything is on the right track, you don’t feel chronic pain. Regular chiropractic treatments help you stay in alignment.
Icing the painful area and resting it will also help. But sometimes that’s not practical. Like when it’s in your shoulder and you work at a desk most days.
Diagnosing Shoulder Bursitis
Your healthcare practitioner may recommend an MRI or X-ray to see what’s happening inside your body.
At McQuaite Chiropractic, we will X-ray the area and create a treatment plan for you.
Your body has more than 90 BILLION nerve cells. Each of these carries messages to other parts of your body. Those messages show up as sensations like neck pain or back pain.
If you’re prone to neck pain, you might wonder if you have a pinched nerve.
Like it sounds, it’s pressure on a nerve. Imagine your bones, ligaments, or tendons literally, squeezing your nerve. That nerve pain can send pain radiating through your shoulder or arm. You might find it painful to turn your head from side to side or experience numbness.
The medical term for a pinched nerve in your neck is cervical radiculopathy and symptoms include:
Tingling or burning sensation
Pain radiating into other areas of your body, for example, a pinched nerve in your neck can cause shoulder or arm pain.
Why would a ligament shift position? There are many reasons, including poor posture, repetitive motions, injury, accident, etc.
As you may know, your body is in a constant state of adjustment. One adjusts for tiny airline seats, your bed, desk chairs, high heels, working at your kitchen table, the list goes on. In fact, virtually everything you do (or wear) requires your body to make some type of adjustment that pulls it out of alignment. Done often enough, you can start feeling like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Even if you don’t feel hunched over, you might still have trouble turning your head without pain.
You could also feel pinched nerve neck pain due to an earlier accident. Scar tissue or even pieces of bone can compress the nerve and an x-ray can show the exact problem. While you wouldn’t want to ignore neck pain, if you did, a pinched nerve could put you at risk for permanent nerve damage and chronic pain.
How Do You Treat a Pinched Nerve in the Neck?
As you know, your body is a complex machine and it may take more than one thing to relieve your pinched nerve neck pain. Here are some ideas for you.
Assess your habits. Do you need a better computer set up? Or a new pillow? As you probably know, the way you sit and sleep will affect your neck. Make sure it’s supported with an ergonomic work area and a supportive pillow.
Have a massage. It loosens up tight muscles and can help relieve the pain.
Chiropractic care can get at the source of the problem and works great in conjunction with massage therapy.
Over the counter NSAIDS like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling
In severe cases, surgery may help.
Some chiropractic patients feel immediate relief from pinched nerve neck pain after one session. As you may know, chiropractors are trained to adjust your body so the ligaments, tendons, and bones find their rightful places, which means they’re no longer pinching your nerves.
At McQuaite Chiropractic in Doylestown, Dr. Jeff McQuaite will x-ray you to find the source of your neck pain and help you map out a treatment plan. You deserve to feel better.