Saturday, December 9, 2023

You can use your tongue to reduce back pain

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Text neck. Computer slump. Whatever you call it – it’s bad posture and it’s a growing problem in our society.

As much as we’d like to forget about keeping a straight back as we drive, text, work on a computer, or relax in front of the TV, the fact of the matter is that good posture is key to maintaining good physical and mental health.

In fact, poor posture contributes to all kinds of issues for people who have lived their life without paying attention to it. Here is a bit of information on some of the known effects of poor posture.

Deterioration of natural spinal curves

Did you know that your spine is equipped with a curvature that naturally reduces the amount of pressure put on it?

Poor posture causes a loss of those natural curves and as a result, the discs, ligaments, and supporting muscles of the spinal column are forced to accommodate more stress than they are designed to support. This strain leads to muscle imbalances and contributes to long-term back pain and a reduction in your back’s ability to absorb shock.

If left uncorrected, incorrect posture can cause disc degeneration and spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis. These conditions can actually change a person’s physical appearance – making them look older, heavier and less proportioned than they would be otherwise.

Chronic back, shoulder, and neck pain

One of the most common effects of poor posture is chronic body pain, particularly in the back, shoulder, and neck regions. The lower back is most severely affected, followed by the neck, shoulders, and (surprisingly) the wrists.

If poor posture is left uncorrected, it can cause severe misalignment and degeneration in the spine along with acute pain in the muscles that support it, Advancing changes will make many activities increasingly difficult and speed up the aging process; decreasing mobility and the ability to enjoy favorite activities.

Depression and stress

The effects of poor posture are, unfortunately, not limited to physical pain and distress; in fact, recent studies have identified prolonged slouching as a contributing factor to depression and stress.

A study managed by San Francisco State University determined that individuals experience increased feelings of depression and reduced levels of energy when walking while slouching as compared to walking with healthy posture. This could be attributed to the fact that when the body is slouched in an unhealthy posture, the heart, lungs, and other internal organs have to work harder to function, resulting in a poor mood. For people who slouch while working at their desk, excessive energy loss and fatigue is common.

So what if we can’t get rid of the activities that contribute to bad posture and all of these grim side effects? They say “sitting is the new smoking”, but if we get paid to work at a desk all day, or gaming is our passion, or giving up our cell phones and living “off the grid” isn’t a life choice we want to make, how can we combat the effects of bad posture?

Here are some great tools straight from the experts at Pinto Chiropractic & Rehabilitation.

Take microbreaks

We’ve all experienced the stiffness that comes with sitting for long periods. Humans are designed for movement. Taking microbreaks will help to counteract the effects of sitting.

Stand up, stand tall with the feet shoulder width apart. As you inhale through the nose, stretch your arms high overhead and turn your palms forward. Hold your breath and reach up as high as you can for as long as comfortable. Lower your arms as you exhale through your mouth. Repeat at least once every 30 minutes.

Place your tongue of the roof of your mouth

If you are sitting in a meeting and don’t want everyone to notice you working on better posture, press your tongue onto the roof of your mouth. This turns on the muscles that pull the head back toward the neck. Many of us jut our head forward when we sit for long periods, especially in front of a computer or looking at a presentation.

Get regular exercise and STRETCH afterwards.

An exercise routine can help strengthen weak muscles and prepare overly tight muscles for stretching.

See a chiropractor

Chiropractors are trained to determine what you need to improve your posture and your overall health. A comprehensive Chiropractic & Rehabilitation practice can help you retrain your body to support naturally proper posture for the rest of your life.

Don’t let bad posture become permanent! Contact the team at Pinto Chiropractic & Rehabilitation today at 757-645-9022 to learn how you can get the tools to sit up straighter, be stronger, and live a happier & healthier life.

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