Over the years there’s been a rise in desk work-related jobs along with more time spent on cell phones and other mobile devices. Sitting for long periods at a time or frequently looking down at our cell phones can lead to issues in the shoulder, neck, and back as time goes on. One example of this is Tech Neck, which I’m sure you’ve heard of! Most often these issues arise from repetitive postures and positions we develop over months to years rather than something that may have happened yesterday or two days ago.
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If you have ever heard that you are taller in the morning compared to any other time during the day, well it’s actually true. Our spine literally becomes longer. The discs in our spine do not receive blood flow like most other joints in our body. Instead, when we lie down at night, fluid around and in our discs increases and hydration is at its highest first thing in the morning. The increased nutrients to our discs is a good thing, but there is a negative side effect.
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Discussing sleep position with patients is an important component of care. The way someone sleeps is rarely the cause of someone’s problem, but it can be one of the many factors that don’t allow their body to recover like it should. If the goal is to provide fast, long lasting relief than all factors need to be considered and sleep position can be a big one. Here is a general rule:
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It’s no secret that sitting too much can cause musculoskeletal problems or aggravate existing ones. Prolonged sitting causes stretching of our joint’s passive stabilizers, which are ligaments. The job of our ligaments are to support our joints, but when those ligaments begin to lengthen and stretch for an extended period of time, symptoms will develop. It has been shown that it can take several hours for your joints to recover and for normal tissue properties to be restored. Although quality chairs and supports may help, taking microbreaks from sitting are necessary.
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Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting itself. However, it can sometimes have a negative effect if not managed correctly. Signs of acute inflammation include redness, pain, heat and swelling. A good example of this is a sprained ankle. We manage these episodes of inflammation to promote proper healing. Inflammation can also affect our body’s normal physiology if it becomes chronic. This inflammation is often ignored, as it occurs without any noticeable symptoms initially.
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Most people know that you are not supposed to lift with your back. However, from this knowledge the saying “lift with your knees not your back” has evolved. Unfortunately, that’s only partially correct as this information alone can cause serious consequences to our knee joints down the road if this becomes the habit. There is a better way to lift.
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