Disc Herniations and Chiropractic

What is a disc/inter-verterbal disc?

Our spines are made up of bones called vertebrae. In between each of these bones, we have discs that cushion our vertebrae and act as shock absorbers. The disc has a tough outer layer, called the annulus, and a soft inner center called the nucleus.

What is a disc herniation?

A disc herniation is when the soft inner nucleus pushes out of the annulus into the spinal canal. The spinal canal only has limited space, so when the nucleus of the disc starts protruding into the spinal canal it can put pressure on the nerves within the canal. As a result, this can cause pain and other symptoms. Moreover, this can happen anywhere in the spine but usually occurs in the lower back or the neck.

What are the symptoms of disc herniations in the lower back?

Symptoms caused by a disc herniation in the lower back include lower back pain, numbness, pain, tingling, or burning. The burning starts in the buttock and radiates down the leg and sometimes into the foot. Usually, only one side is affected. In addition, pain is usually exacerbated by standing, walking, sitting, and straightening the painful leg.

What are the symptoms of disc herniations in the neck?

In the neck, symptoms include neck pain, pain in between the shoulder blades; numbness, pain, tingling, or burning. The burning starts down the arms and sometimes into the hands and fingertips. Moreover, the pain can be exacerbated by certain neck positions and movement. As well as coughing, sneezing, or straining. In addition, disc herniations can cause weakness in the affected limb.

An injury usually causes disc herniations to that area of the spine. Still, in people with degenerating discs, it can sometimes just take a small exertion or twist of the spine to cause a herniation. Risk factors for disc herniation include smoking, being overweight, incorrect lifting technique, repetitive strenuous activities, or a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, 30-50 years old is the most common age to develop a disc herniation, but it can happen outside of this age range. In addition, men are twice as likely as women to experience a disc herniation2.

How can chiropractic help with disc herniations?

There are many ways that chiropractic care can help with disc herniations.

Prevention:

Firstly, by preventing them from happening in the first place. Chiropractic is all about optimizing nervous system function. This helps to make sure all of the muscles around our spine are activated and working at their best. As a result, when muscles around our spine aren’t working properly, this leaves our spine vulnerable and more susceptible to a disc herniation if we sustain an injury.

Proper Movement and Support:

Secondly, chiropractic can prevent a disc herniation by making sure the joint is moving properly. Chiropractic restores proper joint biomechanics, and when joints are moving properly this decreases the likelihood of degeneration. Importantly, as degeneration is a major risk factor for disc herniation, this is an important part of preventing disc herniations.

Improves healing:

Thirdly, it is important to try and prevent disc herniations from happening in the first place. However, you could still sustain an injury that causes a disc herniation. Chiropractic is beneficial in the healing process for this. As chiropractic impacts the nervous system, it impacts our body’s healing capabilities. As a result, a nervous system free of interference is able to better heal injuries such as a disc herniation fast and effectively. Therefore, chiropractic returns normal movement and function to the spine.

In addition, along with proper exercises and stretches, a spine that is moving and functioning properly is more likely to heal properly. In conclusion, this decreases the chance of needing surgery for the disc herniation.

Other options

There are many different types of surgery for disc herniations, which can involve removing bone, removing discs, or fusing multiple levels of the spine together. However, this is usually the last resort for extreme cases, as it is extremely invasive. Moreover, it can cause further issues down the road. Chiropractic is safe and non-invasive, and can drastically reduce your chances of needing surgery. As a result, your body is able to heal naturally, resulting in less chance of re-injury and further complications.

References:

  1. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. (2019). Herniated disc – Symptoms, causes, prevention and treatments. https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Herniated-Disc
  2. Southern Cross. (2017, December). Herniated disc – symptoms, treatment, surgery. https://www.southerncross.co.nz/group/medical-library/herniated-slipped-disc-symptoms-treatment-surgery
  3. Grassi, R. (2019, June 26). Chiropractic care for degenerative disc disease. Spine Universe. https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/degenerative-disc/chiropractic-care-degenerative-disc-disease
  4. Pietrangelo, A. (2017, April 21). Herniated disc surgery: What to expect. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/bone-health/herniated-disk-surgery#surgeries
  5. Santilli, V., Beghi, E., & Finucci, S. (2006). Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: A randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. The Spine Journal, 6(2), 131-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2005.08.001

 

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Disc Herniation - Auckland Chiropractor

Posture and Chiropractic

 

What are the benefits of good posture?

 

“Sit up straight” or “don’t slump” is advice we have all probably heard at sometime during our lives, as someone is trying to tell us to fix our bad posture. But you may not understand why having good posture is so important, and all the benefits that good posture can bring about. Here are just some of the many benefits that having good posture1:

  • Less chance of pain in the neck or lower back – poor posture places stress on these areas and can cause pain
  • Decreased incidence of headaches – poor posture leads to increased muscle tension at the back of the neck which can cause tension headaches
  • Increased energy levels – when all of our joints are in their correct alignment this allows our muscles to work at their best, which stops them from using excess energy, so this energy can be used elsewhere in the body
  • Decreased risk of joint degeneration – poor posture places excess stress on some joints, which can eventually lead to degeneration
  • Increased lung capacity – slouching compresses your lungs, having good posture gives your lungs more room to expand
  • Improved circulation and digestion – just like your lungs, other organs can be compressed with bad positioning, good posture allows your organs to work at their best, helping with functions such as circulation and digestion
  • Improved core strength and reduce injury – good posture allows your core and back muscles to stay active and engaged, resulting in a strong core. This strong core protects our spine and minimises your chance of injury
  • Increased confidence – good posture can make you appear taller and more attractive to other people. Which also improves confidence and self-esteem

 

What can cause bad posture?

 

Numerous things can cause us to have bad posture including2:

  • Slouching when sitting or standing – this can place strain on your muscles and can also cause some of your muscles to stop working effectively, which could leave you more vulnerable to injury
  • Wearing high heels – this can cause an increased curve in you lower back, putting more stress on this area of your spine
  • Increased weight or pregnancy – excess weight around the stomach and pregnancy can also cause and increased curve in the lower back
  • Leaning on one leg when standing – this causes an imbalance to muscles, mostly around the pelvis, which can place extra stress on the pelvis and lower spine. This can also be caused by carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, carrying a child on one hip, or even sitting with your phone or wallet in your back pocket
  • Hunching over when at a computer or on your phone – this usually causes tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles, which can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back

 

How can chiropractic help?

 

Chiropractic is extremely beneficial when it comes to improving posture. The first way chiropractic can help, is through the chiropractic adjustment. By adjusting segments of the spine that aren’t moving properly, chiropractors can return the normal movement and function to the joints of the spine. Bringing  overall balance to the body. This helps with postural imbalances such as having one hip or shoulder higher than the other, or when the natural curve in your neck has started to straighten out.

When the joints of the spine are moving properly, this better enables them to sit in the correct position. Also allowing the muscles around them to activate work properly to support the spine, thus creating better posture3. However, chiropractic adjustments alone aren’t going to give you perfect posture. You will have to put in some work yourself. As chiropractors have so much knowledge on the spine and posture they can provide you with many stretches and exercises that will help to improve your posture. They can also provide lifestyle advice such as how best to set up your seat, computer, and desk at work. Chiropractic care along with the advice given by your chiropractor can have an amazing impact on your posture4.

 

 

 

References:

 

  1. Jonaitis, J. (2018, September 18). 12 benefits of good posture — and how to maintain it. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/posture-benefits
  2. (2019, July 10). Common posture mistakes and fixes. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/common-posture-mistakes-and-fixes/
  3. Physio Works. (2019, March 17). What are the benefits of good posture? https://physioworks.com.au/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=31641
  4. American Chiropractic Association. (n.d.). Posture. https://acatoday.org/content/posture-power-how-to-correct-your-body-alignment

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Poor posture affecting women | One of the keys in healing is… | Flickr

Children and Mobile Phones

Children mobile phones - text neck

Research has shown us not to let children use mobile phones, either as a toy or to talk on. Their skulls are thinner and smaller than an adults and they will absorb more radiation into their developing brain.

If you have not already seen the documentary Mobilize, there is now an opportunity to watch it for free here. You can also find out more about the film by going to the Mobilize website here.

There are more informative links on cell phones and cancer, and also tips for safer cell phone use below.

Mobile phones and cancer in humans

Links to more studies are below:

Radio-frequency (RF) radiation in the microwave range produced by cordless and mobile phones. Cordless phone bases and cell phone towers have been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible carcinogen” (type 2B).

Cellular phone use safety tips:

We realise that many people have jobs that require them to use a cellular phone in their day to day lives. While there is probably no way to make cellular phone use completely safe, there is information to help you reduce the risks of unavoidable cellular phone risk.

Ideally, cellular phone use should be minimised. The more cellular phones are used, the more cellular phone infrastructure is needed to support the phones use. Living close to cellular phone base stations has been associated with increased risk of cancer in several studies.

Mobile Phone use and Skeletal Alignment

If exposure to radiation and providing endless distraction isn’t enough… cell phone usage is responsible for yet another hazardous side effect! Text neck!

Chiropractors have observed that most people hunch over their mobile phones and developing neck and back strain, headaches, achy shoulders and even in their arms and hands.

If you are experiencing symptoms similar to the above and would like a professional opinion, then go see your chiropractor or feel free to contact Revolution Chiropractic.

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Chiropractic care for Headaches & Migraines

Chiropractic care for headaches & migraines

Frequent head and neck pain can be extremely debilitating. Especially for people who work long hours, or have ongoing responsibilities. For many of us, work duties and, or parental commitments cannot just be put aside each time we have a headache. A combination of many factors, such as a slouchy posture, poor diet, and bad habits, can all increase the likelihood of developing frequent headaches and migraines. We all know how we should improve our health: good strength, eating well, reducing toxin exposure, etc.. But did you know that regular chiropractic care for headaches & migraines is also critical?!

How can Revolution Chiropractors help me?

While the use of medications offer fast temporary relief of pain, they are not a cure. Also, many drugs can have serious long term and hidden adverse side effects. Chiropractic care is a gentle and safe treatment choice. It is widely considered one of the best long term preventative options for many headache sufferers.

Chiropractic care for headaches and migraines is performed using gentle spinal corrections and adjustments. After an initial assessment, we target specific areas of the spine, neck, and muscle tissue that is causing the pain. For example, one common possibility of tension headaches is reoccurring spasms. These spasms can irritate sensitive nerve endings at the base of the neck. By having a chiropractor correct subluxations in these muscles, spasm irritation can be relieved, eliminating the root cause of tension headaches.

In taking a holistic approach to health, we can control and eliminate many contributing aggravators of head and neck pain. So for anyone suffering the ongoing frustration of stress pains caused by this commonly misunderstood condition, we must take good care of ourselves and our bodies. Be sure to book a check-up with your local chiropractor today.

If you are struggling with headaches or migraines, consider booking an appointment with a trained specialist, Dr. Samineh Baktash, at Revolution Chiropractic in Auckland, Northcote.

 

chiropractic care - headaches and migraines

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What’s Tech Neck And How It Affects Your Health

Posture

Tech neck is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long. Children and teens are especially at risk for suffering symptoms of Tech neck. And it seems increasingly common. Recently, a patient came into my practice complaining of severe upper back pain. He woke up and was experiencing severe, acute, upper back muscle strain. I told him I believe the pain is due to the hours he was spending hunched over his cell phone.

Of course, this posture of bending your neck to look down does not occur only when texting. For years, we’ve all looked down to read. The problem with texting is that it adds one more activity that causes us to look down—and people tend to do it for much longer periods. It is especially concerning because young, growing children could possibly cause permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong neck pain and other major health issues such as:

Aches, fatigue, pain
Asthma
Disc compression
Early arthritis
Headaches
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain
Altered blood flow
Fibromyalgia
Forward head posture may also contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Forward Head Posture (Tech Neck), Asthma and Heart Disease

One of the most prevalent and destructive imbalances has to do with the cervical curve. The natural curve in the vertebrae of the neck. When we lose the proper curvature of the cervical and lumbar curves, we lose as much as 50 percent of our spinal strength.

For every 2 cm that your head is held forward (rather than balanced properly over the body), it gains 5 kgs of weight. The muscles of your back and neck have to work that much harder to keep your chin off your chest and the muscles of your chin stay in constant contraction, compressing nerves and leading to headaches at the base of the skull or those that mimic sinus headaches.

This “forward head posture,” says University of California’s director of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Rene Cailliet, “can add up to 15 kg of abnormal leverage…” pulling “the entire spine out of alignment” and “may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity.”

The curve of your cervical spine is referred to as “the arc of life” by neurosurgeons because these bones protect the brain stem. And are the thoroughfare for spinal nerves that affect every organ and function in the body.

Subluxation is the term for the compression and irritation of nerves because of misalignments of the spine. When the cervical curve is misaligned, the spinal cord stretches and shrinks in circumference, losing nerve conductivity.

Chiropractors make adjustments to the spine and help teach clients posture and habits that reverse these misalignments. Restoring the body’s natural functions and healing capabilities.

What Causes Forward Head Posture?

Forward head posture causes:
Computer use
TV watching
Video games
Backpacks
Trauma (Trauma leading to forward head posture can come in the form of car accidents, slips or falls, or even birthing trauma from forceps or vacuums.)

Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Roger Sperry says that “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.” Only 10 percent of the brain’s energy goes into thinking, metabolism and healing, while 90 percent of brain energy goes into processing and maintaining the body’s relationship with gravity, Sperry demonstrated.

As forward head posture decreases lung capacity, it can lead to asthma, blood vessel problems and heart disease. The oxygen deficit affects the entire gastrointestinal system and can decrease endorphin production. This turns the perception of non-painful sensation into pain experiences, says Dr. Fishman.

A structural chiropractor can measure the curve of your “arc of life,” give you regular adjustments, lead you in spinal rehabilitation exercises, and teach you postural and working habits that will greatly improve your health and quality of life.

 

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Neck Pain – How To Get Rid Of It

If you’re sitting in front of a computer or desk for most of the day then you’ve probably run into the problem of annoying neck pain. Throw in a bunch of stress, poorly designed chairs and desks and you’ve pretty much got a recipe for neck pain that likes to visit you regularly.

With this kind of behaviour being the norm in every day life neck pain has become a common problem with multiple possible causes. But with the help of your structural chiropractor and some self-care, you can nip that neck pain in butt so that it stops visiting, visits less often or at least doesn’t stay over as long.

Here are our 3 tips for neck pain:

  1. Stretch – Prevent Neck Pain:

    muscles in the upper back and neck tend to contract and stay contracted for long periods of time. Over that time, your brain forgets what length they were in the relaxed state and keeps them short. Stretches can help remind the brain that these muscles aren’t meant to be that short for such a long period of time!Try this stretch out for your levator scapulae muscles:
    a) Rotate your head to 45 degrees.
    b) Place your hand on the same side behind your head and bring your head down toward your knee on the same side. Hold for 15 seconds and switch sides. Do that 3 times.

    For a deeper stretch, push your head back into your hand and then relax into the stretch further.REMINDER: do this gently and DO NOT pull your head too hard. Always ease into it and start with the weight of your hand as the downward force to start.

  1. Strengthen:

    A great exercise we love to give people with neck pain is the chin tuck. It helps strengthen the deep muscles in your neck and train the brain to hold your head in a more ideal position in relation to gravity.a) Looking straight ahead place your index and middle finger on your chin.
    b) Pushing back with your two fingers retract your chin back to create double chin.

  • Hold for 5 seconds and relax and repeat that 10 times.
  1. Move:

    The main source of most neck pain is that your neck is held in a position for too long. Throughout your day keep your neck joints moving. Remember: movement is life for joints and taking the time to go for a walk or even looking up and down. Putting your neck in positions it hasn’t seen for a while does wonder for preventing neck pain.

Along with all this advice, if you have stubborn neck pain, consult with one of our structural chiropractors to help put a stop to it and get back to doing your thing.

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All About TMJ Pain

For those who have experienced TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain or TMD (temporomandibular disorder), they know it all too well. You might just have pain in the jaw area or an associated clicking or popping noise when you open and close your mouth.

The TMJ is the joint formed by your skull and jawbone and is moved by your chewing muscles. The joint structure resembles that of a sliding hinge and it allows for the opening and closing of your mouth as well as side-to-side movement. Think about the range of activities that this jaw undergoes in a day – chewing, talking, yawning, eating and many other associated actions.

TMJ pain can come from irritation of the muscles that accompany the joint or the neck and shoulders (pain referral), displacement of the small cartilaginous disc that’s part of the joint structure and/or arthritis or other joint disease that lead to dysfunctional movement of the TMJ.

Your risk of developing this kind of pain or dysfunction can increase from the following:

  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding (could be at night)
  • Injury/direct blow

TMJ pain can be managed effectively by taking the appropriate steps that may include:

  • Food modification (puree or softer consistency foods)
  • Avoiding aggravating jaw movements
  • Ice
  • Stress reduction
  • Jaw exercises/stretches (As shown below)

 Gold Fish exercise – perform 6 sets of 6 reps daily.

 Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and one finger in front of your ear where your TMJ is located. Put your middle or pointer finger on your chin. Drop your lower jaw halfway and then close. There should be mild resistance but not pain.

You may repeat this exercise while dropping your lower jaw completely and then closing it. A variation of this exercise is to place one finger on each TMJ as you drop your lower jaw halfway and closed again.

Image result for goldfish exercise

Manual Release of Joint Capsule and Ligaments.

Easy way to measure: You should be able to place your index, middle and fourth finger vertically in between your teeth. The exercise below will help relax the ligaments and release tension in your Jaw.

Image result for measuring your jaw with 3 fingers

TMJ trigger points:

 Place your index finger inside your mouth on the outside of your teeth.  Follow your teeth around to the superior (top) part of your TMJ. Find the Ligaments (This will be the tenderest part) that your chiropractor has shown you how to find. Hold this for at least 30 Seconds. Repeat several times on both sides of the jaw. The picture below shows the area you will be targeting.

Image result for the tmj capsule and ligaments medial view

 

Chiropractic care has also been shown to reduce the negative effects of TMJ pain and dysfunction. Upper cervical specific technique in particular addresses bones at the very top of your spine that closely influence the structure and muscles surrounding the TMJ. Our structural chiropractors at Revolution Chiropractic are trained in this technique and apply it when necessary. Co-management with a dentist may also be required.

However you choose to address your TMJ problems, just know that there are options available to you and that you can consult with one of our structural chiropractors on getting help.

 

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Guide to Choosing Your Proper Pillow

Pillows plays a bigger role in our sleep than we think. But with so many choices out there, it’s difficult to make the right choice. And seeing as you’ll spend about one third or your life sleeping, it’s a choice worth pondering over.

A pillow that doesn’t fit your properly or doesn’t provide enough support may lead to discomfort while sleeping or waking up in pain. It’s would be far more beneficial for you to wake up refreshed and energized for your day. And to do that we need to find a pillow that’s not only comfortable for you to sleep on but also provides the proper support to your neck structures.

Three criteria that you must consider:

First, you must consider the size of the pillow. Basically, if you have broader shoulder, than you’d need a thicker pillow to support you properly.

Second, consider the material that the pillow is made out of. If you have allergies, than it would be wise to go with a hypoallergenic. Pillows can be made from many different materials so be sure to check the details on the packaging to ensure that it’s what you’re looking for. Also, be sure to wash your pillow cover regularly. They must be replaced every year or two on average, but this depends on the quality of the material.

Third, look at your sleeping position. There are 3 types: back, side or stomach.

  • Back: you’ll need a pillow with medium thickness and a bump (called “cervical pillow”). Make sure that it holds your head in a neutral position
  • Side: You’ll need a pillow that more firm. Depending on the width of your shoulders you’ll want to pick the size of your pillow accordingly. Ideally, you want your nose in line with the centre of your neck when sleeping on your side.
  • Stomach: You’ll want a pillow that’s soft and flat. Sleeping on your stomach is not ideal in the long-term as it can lead to more spinal issues. Talk to one of our structural chiropractor for advice around this.

Extra pillows:

A second pillow may be sued for side sleepers as it can be placed between the legs to keep the pelvis alignment in neutral throughout the night. A second pillow is also a good idea for stomach sleepers to hug so that they avoid turning onto their stomachs. If you’re suffering from low back pain and you sleep on your back, try placing it underneath your knees to take a bit of pressure off.

Now you’re equipped with the knowledge to go out there and make an informed decision about the pillow you sleep on. Not only will it help you achieve a good night’s sleep, it may also prevent or reduce neck pain, back pain, headaches and, in certain cases, snoring. Sleep soundly!

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Best Pillow For Neck Pain | There are more options to choose… | Flickr

Pull Your Head In: Posture Exercises

Today we’re going to give you some exercises you can do in your gym routine for good posture.

Commands like “stand up straight!” and “don’t slouch” were commonplace for our grandparents. When training to be a seamstress my great grandmother would have to sit as straight as a ruler or else be whipped by it. Such a method may not be approved today, which is probably a good thing however the importance of posture is as important now as ever.

Hyperkyphosis, the technical word for what we might call forward head posture, rounded shoulders or “hunchback”, has actually been shown to be linked with shortened life expectancy in elderly (Kado et al, 2004). If you are not currently elderly and you are reading this then chances are that one day you will be, and guess what, the habits you build around posture now will get harder to break as you get older. This is a good thing thought because if you instil good habits then those too will be harder to break as you age!

Being aware of your posture at work, home, when driving, sitting at the table for dinner and on the couch is important. But so is building the strength and muscles required to hold you in good posture.

Pretty much every activity we do in a day, except doing up your bra for you ladies, is done with our arms in front of us. This means our brains are very connected to the muscles on the front of our upper body, the pecs, biceps and muscles at the front of the shoulder. The muscles on our upper back like the posterior deltoids, rhomboids, lats and traps are often over stretched and under developed, almost forgotten by the brain. The issue is that these back muscles are vital to hold you in good posture.

So what must we do about it?

Don’t make the mistake of working the mirror muscles (biceps and pecs) more than the upper back. Aim to do twice the amount of reps for your upper back compared to the front of your body in a given training week. This means putting more pulling movements versus pushing movements in your routine such as:

  • Pull ups/chin ups
  • Cable rows
  • Cable/lat pull downs
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Barbell rows
  • Face pulls
  • Band pull aparts
  • Reverse flies

You can do these exercises during warm ups for the main lift of the day. You can also do them as extra work after your main lift. If I am going to superset a pulling exercise with a main lift like a bench press or overhead press I will do an easier/lighter variation like lat pull downs or face pulls so as not to use up too much effort that would cause too much fatigue. More intensive pulling exercises like pull ups, barbell and dumbbell rows can be done on their own.  However you choose to put them into your routine make sure you are doing them correctly! The focus should be on initiating the movement with your back by pull the shoulder blades together and don’t let your arms and biceps do most of the work.

Here’s to building a strong healthy posture.

Kado, D. M., Huang, M. H., Karlamangla, A. S., Barrett‐Connor, E., & Greendale, G. A. (2004). Hyperkyphotic posture predicts mortality in older community‐dwelling men and women: a prospective study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society52(10), 1662-1667.

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Posture & pain | “Some individuals may perceive their losing… | Flickr

Maintaining Good Posture in the Car

The NZ Ministry of Transport released a survey in 2014 stating that people aged between 35-64 in New Zealand spend two-thirds of their total travel time driving. Just looking at the sheer number of cars on the road and the kind of traffic we experience here in Auckland, it doesn’t take a statistician to figure out that we spend a lot of our time in cars. All that time is enough to develop bad habits in posture and movement. Structural abnormalities in the spine tend to increase with prolonged driving, however, there are ways to maintain good posture and stop bad habits from developing.

Avoid “the lean”

Leaning back or to the side in your seat can create an S-shaped curve in your spine that puts uneven loads through your discs. This can contribute to structural problems such as anterior head syndrome and adaptive changes that lead to compensations in the natural curve of your spine.

The muscles adapt by lengthening or shortening and once they’ve been in that position for a prolonged period of time they’ll affect your movement patterns and contribute to structural shifts in the spine. Those structural shifts may not cause issues at first, but when they do it will take just as much time to undo it.

3 ways to find good posture while driving

  1. Sit right
    • Find a seat position where you can sit upright with your bottom touching the back of the seat. Have your hands comfortably on the wheel with mild elbow bend.
  2. Adjust your mirrors
    • Once you’ve found an ideal position adjust your mirrors so that you can use them effectively when in this position. That way you’ll always have a constant reminder to be the proper position to use the mirrors.
  3. Switch your sitting position
    • If you find yourself leaning to one side, try to lean on the other side for about 5-10 minutes. Since the driver’s seat is on the right in NZ, we tend to lean to the left, so you may find it awkward to lean to the right. This is because your brain is not used to your body being in this position. Challenge it and then return to neutral. Constantly switching positions is ideal because it allows certain muscles to have a rest when they’ve been on for prolonged periods of time.

Happy driving!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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