Many of us are guilty of slouching forward while sitting at our desks, relaxing on the couch and even while standing up straight — but poor posture does more harm than just simply looking bad. Prolonged poor posture has a tendency to result in muscle aches and pains, especially in the neck and back, as well as headaches, breathing issues, degeneration in the joints, problems with the spine, and poor circulation and blood flow. It can also cause people to develop a potbelly, which means that your stomach becomes larger, rounder and protrudes out.
Believe it or not, it can cause stomach and digestion issues as well. Think about it — when you aren’t sitting or standing up, your stomach is compressed, which puts pressure on the organs, especially the bladder. In turn, poor posture can sometimes cause incontinence, which refers to the condition of not being able to control urination, usually when there is a force of excess pressure on the bladder, such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, jumping, etc. Poor posture can also lead to constipation and heartburn.
By making simple lifestyle changes at home and at work, you can greatly improve your posture. These five gadgets can help:
Standing Desk: This helps you avoid sitting all day, which can not only result in bad posture, but can also result in poor blood flow and circulation, leading to venous diseases and all kinds of unwanted health issues. ‘It’s no wonder they say ‘sitting is the new smoking.’ When you sit at a desk all day, your hips become tight and that has a negative effect on the lower back and discs. Standing for too long of a time period can have negative effects as well, and many experts suggest alternating between the two every 30 minutes or so.
Many standing desks are actually converters that sit on top of your regular desk and adjust to standing level. These are the ideal gadget because they easily allow you to go back and forth between sitting and standing with ease.
Monitor Riser: In addition to a standing desk, you may also want to consider purchasing a monitor riser that essentially raises up your computer screen. This encourages you to sit up tall and keep your eyes level with the screen, instead of tilting your neck and head downward. We recommend this one: Adjustable Monitor Stand Riser.
Foam Roller: Foam rolling is essential for muscle repair and recovery, and is a key tool to have on hand for any stretch routine. They come in many different shapes and sizes to suit your individual goals and needs, but this is the one we recommend to our patients at Dr Gena Chiropractic: High-Density Round Foam Roller.
To use a foam roller specifically for back and hip openers to help with posture, position the foam roller vertically (placed in between your shoulder blades) and lie down on your back, facing upward. This helps open the chest and assists with spinal positioning to support better posture. Our preferred foam roller comes in for sizes, 12-inch, 18-inch, 24-inch and 26-inch.
For this particular chest-opener stretch, we like the 24-inch. You can also use foam rolling to perform myofascial release on any tight or taut muscles, especially the piriformis, which is the muscle in the glute/hip/thigh area, and the tensor fasciae latae (TFL), which is down the thigh, around the IT band. Both of these areas can become very tight if you spend all day sitting in the same position.
Cervical or Lumbar Dennerolls and Cervical Traction: The Denneroll is a pillow-like orthotic device that has been designed with specific angles and curves so that it can help realign the body where needed. These devices can help with tech neck and the curvature of the spine. These can be purchased and used at home, but make sure that an experienced chiropractor or medical professional goes over the correct positioning with you so you don’t harm yourself. A cervical traction is a bit different. In our office, the placement we prescribe for your Dennneroll is based on your individual x-ray findings.
This is a non-invasive procedure meant to help relieve pain that is associated with the neck and back and help to restore the normal curves in your neck and back. At Dr. Gena Chiropractic, we use and endorse the CBP and Pettibon devices, as these have been highly researched. These devices are individually prescribed to our patients, but only after a thorough consultation that includes looking at X-rays, and then we determine whether or not they are the right candidate for the treatment.
Exercise Ball: This piece of fitness equipment is also known as a stability ball, because that is exactly what it helps you do: increase and strengthen your stability/engages your core muscles. Try swapping out your desk chair with a large exercise ball for a certain amount of time every day. By stabilizing yourself on the ball, you are engaging your abdominal muscles which builds core mobility and balance. You can also spend time sitting on an exercise ball to do pelvic exercises and stretches. All of these things help strengthen the muscles in the back and abdomen.
Your health, both on and off the table, is our priority here at Dr. Gena Chiropractic, and that means we are always here to give suggestions and recommendations for healthy habits to practice at home and at the office. Remember, your health is in your hands; our hands are here to help. Call us at 954-417-5815 to schedule a consultation for your chiropractic care.
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