Posture : It can make all the difference!December 14, 2011
People often ask me what is the most common injury that I treat. The answer is not specifically an injury but a cause, and that cause is poor posture. Since starting treating and seeing a rise in sedentary jobs, I have seen the amount of posture related injuries increase significantly. Most people blow me off when I tell them to correct their posture at work or at home thinking that just attending PT and getting hands on treatment will cure their injury. The truth is, without changing posture, PT nor any other medical intervention will work. I can’t change muscles in 2 to 3 hours a week, when people spend an average of 30 hours in front of a computer or improperly lifting and literally destroying their muscles.
I hear a lot that “My back hurts” and I tried PT and it didn’t work or it made it worse. The fact of the matter is the PT may have had very little to do with the worsening of your condition. In order for anyone with back and/or neck pain to make any progress, posture needs to be focused on in PT. Posture in sitting, standing, walking, lifing, etc. Whatever positions people find themselves in the most needs to be addressed. Most low back pain and neck pain is not due to a traumatic injury, like a car accident, most low back and neck pain is due to sustained incorrect postures. Although it may feel like you “woke up one day and my back hurt”. That is far from the case. While the pain you felt may one day just appear, it actually took months and years to get this way, and it is due to one thing mostly, incorrect posture.
The difficulty lies in the fact that it is not easy to change posture habits. It is not easy at all. We find ourselves so busy at our jobs and with life that maintaining proper posture is the last thing on our mind. However, the time we take now to correct our posture will save us time from having to see doctors and even worse it could save us from not being able to perform our jobs and things that we enjoy.
I know from experience how difficult changing your posture can be. I recently switched my workstations and dove right into the piles of work that I had. I paid no attention to my posture. One day I was driving home and noticed my whole left hand was asleep. This was a fast wake up call for me. The fortuante thing for me is I know the glaring warning signs. I fixed my posture immediately and the numbness is gone. But this is not an easy task. I have post its and reminder everywhere to maintain proper posture. Unfortunately I know the path that this can take I can eventually wind up ultimately losing strength in my hand and will not be able to perform my job.
Where was the numbness and tingling coming from and why did I recognize that as a glaring sign? Most often time numbness and tingling is indicative of a nerve issue. Nerves initiate from the spine. When you feel numbness and tingling there is most often nerve irritation, such as a herniated or bulging disk. This bulge can and will press on the nerves causing numbness and tingling and eventually weakness. I can’t tell you how many people I see that ignore this sign. They come into my office months later after they thought they had recognized some numbness and tingling and had ignored it. Now they noticed that they have severe pain and are dropping things or have leg weakness. Now they are faced with months of PT with an outcome that could possibly not as favorable as it would have been had they come in months ago. For more information on physical therapy visit www.totalperformancept.com.
Sitting correctly, sleeping correctly, lifting correctly and so many other things that we do everyday and take for granted play a huge part in our overall health. Do you wake up with pain? Most likely your sleeping posture is incorrect. The problem is the things we do so automatically in our lives, like sitting, standing, sleeping, lifting are the things we wind up spending the most time doing during the day. There is no medicine, no treatment in the world that can undo hundreds of hours of repititon every week. So like your mom used to say, sit up straight!
For your appointment call Total Performance Physical Therapy today!