“Sit up Straight!” 3 practical tips to improve posture today.

We have all been told to sit up straight, or maybe told ourselves to do so. You may have tried to make concentrated effort only to find a short minute later that you are slouching in the same position you were trying to get out of.

Improve your posture, look better and feel better! Not only is good posture attractive, it is healthier. Poor posture can lead to neck, midback, lower back, shoulder problems and even headaches and more.

Here are a few practical tips to help make a habit of a healthy look.

1. Adjust your Rearview mirror

Sit up as tall as you can while sitting in your car. Now adjust your mirror to this level. You will be forced to sit up straight to see behind you.

You will find yourself slouching down more quickly than you think. But don’t give up, give yourself some weeks and you will find your endurance and strength have improved and it will become effortless and easy.

2. Set an alarm.

Set an alarm throughout the day to remind you to use those muscle to get up right. I would start out once every hour. The better you get at this you can tapper down the alarm frequency. Try to make a goal of doing this for 30 days. You can do it!

3. Change your work station.

Move your work station around including chairs and screens to make it easier to be in and stay in these positions. Similar to the rear view mirror.

Don’t give up. This can take some time. Our bodies form images of what is our normal, which may not be the most ideal. So it may feel awkward at first being in these positions. If you have a hard time overcoming this feeling, look in the mirror or have someone take a picture. You will find that it doesn’t look awkward at all.

The other thing is, the longer we have had these poor positions such as bad posture, our bodies adapt and become tight and weak in certain areas. Head over to the exercise section of our website to get ideas on strengthening the core and spine to getting you back to a healthier and more free you.

Stay tuned for more how to improve posture with specific exercises.

Sciatica, the real pain in the butt!

Greg (not real name), sits in front of me in his gym blue gym shorts and white T-shirt. Just a month ago he was playing church basketball, doing yard work and worrying about his daughters in high-school. Now he’s telling me he can’t sleep, can’t sit at work where he sits at a computer all day and he can barely walk around. The pain in his butt and down the leg is too much. He has had something like this before but it went a way in a few days. Now it has been two weeks and he is worrying if will ever be normal again.

He has read online that he has sciatica. “Can you help me?” He asked with a worry. “You’ve come to the right place,” I reply. “How long will I be like this and what can we do to help?”

If you are reading this, chances are you have had or worried about a similar experience. READ on, there is hope:

Sciatica is a general term for pain down the leg. It does not necessarily imply what is wrong. There are many culprits of this problem and there are many underlying causes to these culprits. This type of problem can be caused from impingement of the nerves that travel from the back through the back of the hip muscles and down the back of the leg to the feet. So if there is low back issues, hip tightness or muscle knots these both could be irritating the nerve. Sometimes it is inflammation in these sites, or just muscle knots call trigger points from overuse and weakness in the core or hips. Sometimes the nerves themselves can causes the radiating pain down the leg and sometimes the trigger points themselves can cause these radiating sensations.

A skilled Doctor of Physical Therapy will evaluate what is contributing to your issue and any tightness, or weakness that may be contributing to excessive strain at these sites.

Treatments include joint mobilization of the low back, muscle soft tissue to the low back and hips, which may include dry needling (my favorite treatment), cupping, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, other manual technqiues, specific movement stretches/mobility to help open space around the nerves, and other stability exercises for the hip and core.

Check out our Heal Yourself/Exercise section to see examples of what may help you.

Exercises are fundamental to long term solution to speed recovery and to make sure this does not happen again! That means no more missing out on your favorite recreation, no more interference at work, no more worry if you can’t do the things you need and want to do. It means living the FREE LIFE!

Dr. Jason Salisbury PT, DPT, CMTP, CSCS

“I woke up with a KINK in my NECK.”

“I just woke up with a kink in my neck and now I can’t turn my head. This has happened to me before, but it always goes away. Now its been over a week and it seems to be getting worse! I don’t know what I did.”

Sound familiar? You are not the only one that has said these words, or had these thoughts. I have had countless people express their concerns about this stiff neck.

Most often this is a soft tissue or muscle strain, leading to muscle knots call trigger points. These can cause limited motion, stiff feeling, pain in the neck or HEADACHES. This can interfere with ability to work, pick up your kids, take care of the house, recreation, driving and more. We want to help, so read on…

This could happen from an isolated incident, like sleeping awkwardly, watching TV in a funny position, or sudden jerk motion (even whip-lash, but that’s another topic and another level of strain), like lifting something or playing sports. Most often, though I see this building up over time from continued over-use or strain. This includes poor posture, poor neck and shoulder postural muscles (stabilizers), arthritis in the neck, stiffness of the joints leading to changes in the way you move or continual and sustained postures in awkward positions (ie. occupation/sustained looking up or down, reading, work computer position).

The good new is we can help and we will give you some things you can start to do right away.
Treatments usually consist of a combination of manual therapies and exercises (mobility and stability):
Dry Needling
Hands on Joint Mobilization
Trigger point release
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM, similar to Graston)

Go to our “Heal Yourself/Exercises” section to get started with basic mobility and stability exercises. These are fundamental to long term solution to speed recovery and to make sure this does not happen again! That means no more missing out of traveling because of your neck pain, not being able to pick up your kids and grandkids, no more missed playing time or work. No more headaches and nagging pain that takes over your life. It means living the FREE LIFE!

Dr. Jason Salisbury PT, DPT, CMTP, CSCS