mobile phones and posture: Is your PC and mobile device changing your posture?
How are mobile phones and posture related?
Think about it: when using our mobile we tend to drop our heads forward. This rounds the shoulders and this is what we term forward-leaning posture. People are now definitely at an increased risk of having problems through the top of their neck due to this change in posture as it causes a change to the curvature of the back. And the link between mobile phones and posture isn’t just something that can affect older people? Due to the increasing length of time that young people spend sat at computers or using mobile devices, the risk of misalignment is now greater than ever from an early age.
The problem is that when someone drops their head forward and rounds their shoulders, it becomes impossible for them to take a full breath in because of the restriction through the muscles and because the ribs can’t move properly. So the heart and lungs can’t function to their full effectiveness. Research is suggesting that the decrease in life expectancy may come from this. Think how many times each day we use our mobile.
If you’re reading this blog on your tablet then how’s your neck looking? Hold your tablet up to reduce the pressure on the joints and discs in your neck.
Whether the benefits are large or small it’s always worth improving your posture. If you want posture advice, just ask your chiropractor when you are next in. They’ll love it that you’re interested and will be able to give you some really useful tips.
One of our guests (patients), Caroline, had been suffering with back and neck pain, which was aggravated by bad posture using her laptop. As well as hands on chiropractic care, she found the self-help posture advice and explanations of why posture is so important really effective.
“I really feel they have improved not only my physical self but given me an understanding of the cause & effect of bad posture and how to combat it.
“I highly recommend Lushington Chiropractic, their team is extremely helpful, easy to talk to and you can feel secure knowing you are receiving the best professional care available.”
Caroline, from Eastbourne
If you are suffering with posture problems, back pain, neck pain, muscle spasms or joint aches then call today to see why over 8,000 local people have already chosen Lushington Chiropractic to help them: 01323 722499.
We regularly see patients who are suffering from the close link between mobile phones and posture. In these cases we welcome patients in for an initial consultation before explaining how our range of treatments can help.
The Lushington Chiropractic team in Eastbourne also treat an array of other issues. Alongside expert chiropractic care, we also offer services such as nutritional therapy, podiatry, acupuncture, counselling and more. We have an extremely professional and dedicated team who deliver the highest service and have over 80 years’ expertise between them.
This article was written by James Revell.
Are you overusing your baby’s car seat?
Mums and dads are being urged not to overuse baby’s car seat?
The advice comes from the United Chiropractic Association (UCA), which says the habit of carrying a baby around in a car seat may be harmful to both child and parent. The UCA, which has around 600 members across the UK, warns that prolonged periods on their back, in a rigid car seat risks the development of plagiocephaly, or flattening of bones in the infant’s skull (miss-shapen head). Research has linked plagiocephaly with a risk of not reaching full coordination and learning potential later on.
At Lushington Chiropractic we understand that it’s very difficult to know what to do for the best as a parent. So we thought we’d review this latest recommendation for our patients and add some explanation.
Babies spines and craniums (newly formed skulls) are delicate during these early stages of development. So we shouldn’t leave them in a rigid seat or any fixed position for a long time. Too long in any position will eventually cause problems. Baby car seats are obviously essential for travel. However, our advice is to avoid using them for all-day baby transport. Our chiropractors suggest a more upright position in a good quality baby sling is a much better carrying option than the rigid car seat, or simply moving baby from the car seat to a pram will help. We also advise parents to allow their babies as much supervised ‘tummy time’ as possible to enable good spinal development.
The UCA says that keeping your baby in a car seat for long periods means their spine remains in a C-shape, preventing the natural curves of the neck and lower back from forming.
At Lushington Chiropractic we always advise our new parents to be careful of carrying the car seat around because it can be bad for them too. The seat is rigid and heavy. It’s bulky nature means you hold it away from you. The weight of baby plus the seat can put quite a strain on the adult’s back – especially if it’s a new mum who’s still recovering from birth (or even a c-section). It’s easier to pick baby up out of the seat, hold them close to you and move with them close to you.
James Revell – Doctor of Chiropractic say: “I struggle when I drop our baby off at nursery and have to take her in with her car seat for my wife to collect her (with the car seat) later”.
It’s easier (and better for your back) to lift baby out of the seat and carry them or put them into a pram or soft baby sling.
This is backed by research, which shows that carrying your baby in a sling saves 16% of your energy.
The UCA points out that infants who are carried for three hours or more each day in their first three months of life cry 43% less often than those carried less frequently. Supervised tummy time and crawling should also be encouraged. These activities are excellent for developing the spine properly as they allow the baby to lift the head off the ground and develop the arch of the neck.
Tummy time is a great way of helping baby get into good habits right from the start. If you’re concerned about your child or baby then remember that chiropractors are well versed in the requirements of children at this tender age. Not only will a chiropractor help to assess the development of your child, they can also educate you on what to look out for through the development stages and advise on the best activities to initiate good posture and alignment in later life.
Chiropractors are highly trained to recognise when someone shouldn’t be adjusted and will refer them back to their medical practitioners and paediatricians as appropriate.
Here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne our treatments are gentle, effective and suitable for all ages from birth to ninety (plus), so we can help you and your children. Our highly qualified and genuinely caring team have over 80 years’ experience between them. Call us today on 01323 722499.
Timothy Littlefield, et al., Car Seats, Infant Carriers, and Swings: Their Role in deformational Plagiocephaly Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics 15 (July 2003): 102-106.
Wall-Scheffler C, Geiger K, Steudel-Numbers K. Infant carrying: The increased locomotory costs in early development. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 2007; 133: 841-846. Doi: 10,1002/ajpa.20603
Hunziker UA, Barr RZ. Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics 1986;77(5): 641-648
Eastbourne Chiropractors find technology is leaving teenagers in pain
New research findings from the British Chiropractic Association reveal that almost one in five (15%) people here in the South East first started experiencing neck or back pain before they were 20 years old*.
Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne is warning parents that their teenagers could be at risk from suffering from back or neck pain due to sedentary lifestyles and the excessive use of technology.
In the UK, 40% of 11 to 16 year olds have already suffered from this problem. Worryingly, more than one in seven (15%) parents said their son or daughter was suffering from back or neck pain that could be attributed to using a laptop, tablet or computer.
The research revealed that almost three quarters (68%) of 11 to 16 year olds spend up to four hours a day on a laptop, tablet or computer. A staggering 73% of this demographic actually spend up to six hours on the devices. More than a third (38%) of parents said their child spends up to six hours a day on their mobile phone.
Our local Eastbourne chiropractors have noticed a rise in the number of young people presenting with neck and back problems due to their lifestyle choices and use of technology.
Today, Lushington Chiropractic is encouraging parents to limit the time their children spend using technology and instead encourage more active pastimes over the Easter holidays.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, nearly half (46%) of parents questioned acknowledged that their children don’t spend enough time exercising. This is despite NHS guidelines stating that children and young people between 5 and 18 years old need at least one hour of physical activity every day.
Commenting on the findings, James Revell Doctor of Chiropractic from Lushington, said: “We are seeing more and more people under the age of sixteen with back and neck pain and technology is so often the cause. Young people are becoming increasingly sedentary which is damaging their posture. There is the tendency to sit in a hunched position when working on computers and laptops, putting a lot of strain on the neck.
“Learning how to sit properly and keeping active will help to keep young people healthy and pain free. It’s important that parents seek help for their children from an expert as soon as any pain starts.”
Lushington Chiropractic has the following top tips for parents to help their teenagers reduce the risks of back and neck pain:
- Get your kids moving: The fitter children are, the more their backs can withstand periods of sitting still. To increase fitness levels, your child should be more active which can be achieved by doing activities including walking to school, riding a bike or going for a run.
- Teach them how to sit: It’s important that children learn the correct way to sit when they’re using a computer. Teach them to keep their arms relaxed and close to their body and place arms on the desk when typing. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Using a laptop or tablet away from a desk will encourage poor posture, so limit time spent in this way.
- Don’t sit still for too long: Make sure children take a break from the position they’re sitting in on a regular basis and stretch their arms, shrug their shoulders and move their fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
- Lead by example: Maintaining good posture and promoting good back health is something that everyone should be doing, adults and children alike. If you make it a priority, it’s easier for your children to see the relevance.
- Seek medical advice: Seek professional advice if your child is experiencing pain which has lasted for more than a few days. If your child wants to be more active, check that there are no medical reasons why they should not exercise, particularly if they are not normally physically active.
Research was commissioned in 2014 on a sample of 461 UK parents with children aged between 11 and 16 from a wider sample of 1000 parents.
* Statistics taken from 2014 BCA research of UK adults – sample of 312 adults from the South East.
Back pain – Don’t let it get the better of your bank holidays!
Are you planning a trip away over these Bank Holiday weekends?
Perhaps you are a visiting us here in Eastbourne. Have you been looking forward to the Spring and these Bank Holidays in quick succession?
If you are planning a trip, don’t just worry about packing your bags carefully, or topping up the car with water. It’s worth remembering to look after yourself properly too.
Back pain is a common problem but is easily preventable.
You and the family might start the journey feeling great, full of energy and excitement, but if you get stuck in a seat with bad posture travelling for hours you might end up arriving stiff and worn out which in turn could ruin your bank holiday plans.
New market research* reveals how these extended periods of extensive travelling and poor posture could take their toll on your back, causing back pain and back ache.
43% of the people living in the South East are currently experiencing back pain, while 72% have suffered from back pain at some point in their lives. Almost a third of people end up suffering with stiffness or back ache after travelling.
The last thing you want on holiday is to be in pain. Given that more people than ever will be on the roads over these weekends, it’s well worth looking after yourself and thinking ahead. Even if you’re just planning local trips around Eastbourne and the South Downs, then it’s still well worth considering your driving posture. Driving itself triggered back pain in 10% of sufferers.
“With the back-to-back Bank Holidays this Spring, more people will be travelling, which means more sitting. Our bodies are not designed to be still for long periods of time. Sitting, especially in bad seats can increase in stress on your back, particularly if you’ve already got a bad back or sciatica.”
So if you want to arrive after your journey feeling and looking good, rather than all scrunched up and achy, make use of our back pain prevention travel tips:
Travel Tip #1
When you are flying, drink plenty of water and NOT alcohol during the flight as this will cause dehydration which could aggravate muscle aches (as well as increase the risk of DVT).
Travel Tip #2
Whether travelling by plane, train or car – you will be restricted in your seat for most of the journey, but avoid stiffness by doing shoulder shrugs (hold shrug for five seconds repeat five time), buttock clenches (hold for five seconds and repeat five times) and foot circles (ten clockwise and ten anti-clockwise). A great way to prevent back pain.
Travel Tip #3
If you get stuck in one of those inevitable Bank Holiday traffic jams then take a break and stretch your legs. A five minute leg-stretch-break can make all the difference.
Travel Tip #4
When you stop for a petrol/food break on a car journey, take the opportunity to just stretch and shake out your limbs to allow your muscles to relax. Use the petrol pump furthest from the kiosk, or park on the far side of the car park to get a little extra walk in. Your body will thank you in the long run.
James Revell adds “I’ve noticed with my patients that, like myself, when we arrive after travelling it’s all too easy to sit down again! When you get to where you’re going, whether it’s meeting friends, family etc. Try to stand up for the first 20 minute or so to give your body the chance to uncurl.”
“Many of us worry more about looking after our car than we do about looking after our own bodies. Prevention is better than cure. Look after your muscles and joints, after all they have to last you a life time. You can’t just trade your back in for a new one every few years. Your back is with you for life and well worth a bit of tender loving care.”
These travel tips have been provided by your local award winning chiropractics team at Lushington Chiropractic. Our clinic in Eastbourne has already helped thousands of local people by diagnosing, treating and helping to prevent back pain. To find out more about our treatments for back pain please call 01323 722499 or visit www.chirocare.co.uk.
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Want Stability? Exercise with Swiss balls
Do you want to work on your stability and get a workout at the same time? Exercising with a Swiss ball could be the solution you’ve been looking for. In this article we will look at the best ways to use a Swiss ball (sometimes known as a stability ball or Yoga ball) to improve your health.
The stability ball is a piece of exercise equipment used for strength training, improving balance and core stability. It is popular not just with chiropractors but with many sportsmen and women who understand the benefits of this form of training.
You may have seen people simply sitting on Swiss balls at their office desks instead of using a chair. In fact, I am often asked if using a stability ball at work is a good idea. People see that there is chance to work their core during a time of the day that is typically considered to be sedentary, so feel that there is potential for improving strength as well as health and posture by using one. We all know that having stronger abdominals and a better core helps to protect the lower back and reduce pain. So it should be a great idea, right?
Unfortunately, not all the time. There are some drawbacks to a Swiss ball that you should be aware of. If you have been having chiropractic treatment and have been told you need to improve your posture because you normally sit with flexion in your lumbar spine and lots of forward head carriage, then a Swiss ball may sound appealing. From the bad posture in the office chair, you may manage to sit with good posture on the ball for 5 minutes ( if you are lucky). But the reality is that for the rest of the day, when your attention is on work rather than spinal alignment, you will naturally return to an incorrect position on an unsteady surface.
A study in the “Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association” by chiropractors Larry G. Merritt and Celynne M. Merritt showed that two people who reportedly suffered from lower back pain improved when they began consistently sitting on a stability ball.
However, I find that a lot of the people I see suffering with lower back pain do not have the core muscles to sustain the increased amount of workload required to sit properly on a stability ball as an office chair.
What I do find useful is to have a low back “support”. I have put support in ” because that is what it should provide you – support. Sitting correctly does require you to practise. You need to be conscious of your spinal position and what the muscles are doing around your trunk. All of this takes time to become normal for you. Here are some key points to bear in mind:
Drawbacks of a Swiss ball
- The ball doesn’t have any arm rests to help support some of the load of the body
- Your lower back has no support so muscle around your spine may get tired after only a short period
- The ball may be the correct size for you but that may not be the correct size for your worktop/desk space
- Using a Swiss ball is about creating instability, so if you already have balance issues it may be too much for you initially
- The ball could roll away
Proper Sitting Techniques
Getting started with your stability ball
If you are between 4 feet 11 and 5 feet 4, select a ball that is 55 cm in diameter. If you are between 5 feet 5 and 5 feet 11, use a ball that is 65 cm in diameter. If you are over 6 feet, choose a ball that is 75 cm.
Start slowly when you first begin using a stability ball. Just 1 – 2 minutes at a time can be enough in the first few days, before you steadily build up your strength. Ensure that you retain good posture throughout. Remember: without a low back support you are likely to work the trunk support hard so try not to contract the muscles around the low back too hard. The trick is to sit upright and well but stay relaxed in those muscles. Your muscles will build strength and endurance and it will become easier for you to sit correctly for longer.
You should also seek approval from seniors before bringing your ball to work.
What else can I use my ball for?
Sitting is not the only exercise that can be done on the ball. It is a great piece of equipment to have and there are so many exercises that you can do with them. Like any new exercise routine, you should always consult a qualified professional first.