Articles in Category: Ergonomics

Hyperlordosis - Are you Over Arching?

on Friday, 26 May 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Hyperlordosis - Are you Over Arching?

Hyperlordosis - Are you Over Arching?

Hyper Lordosis – Are you Over Arching? 

 

Tight Psoas 

Anterior pelvic tilt is the postural position where your butt sticks out more, accentuating the arch on your lower back. So say if you are overarching the lower back doing a back squat or a plank, the odds are high you are over tilting your pelvis forward.

 

Overtime, this issue can contribute to a disc bulge/slipped disc due to the overloading and pressure on the back part of the disc during overextension of the spine and let's not forget the probability of a hip impingement as well from the jamming of the pelvic and femur together in hip flexion and internal rotation.

Facet Joints in Motion

We tend to see this problem a lot more often now as we do spend long hours sitting at a desk or in the car which over activates the hip flexors and lengthens the hip extensors; causing a forward pull of the pelvis.

 

Some of the signs and symptoms of anterior pelvic tilt are:

1.back pain/stiffness especially standing for long periods and/or lying flat on back

2.tight hamstrings

3.gut (protruding belly)

4.gluteal muscles (butt muscles)

5.curve in the lower spine

 

In order to correct this dysfunction, we have to solve the muscle imbalances around the pelvic area. APT is more a stability issue than a mobility one. That being said though, the mobility side of things still need to be addressed.

 

 

Important tight muscles to be stretched to tackle the mobility issues are:

Hip Flexors - https://youtu.be/ut4mGaPvbZk

Hip Flexor 1 Hip Flexor 2

 

Erector Spinae - https://youtu.be/P_4yDo-hiHw  

Erector Spinae 

 

Rectus Femoris (The Quad muscles) - https://youtu.be/ei9Gh6RogDg

Rectus Femoris 

Do these stretches 10-15 times, hold 10-15 seconds post workout and throughout the day. 

 

As mentioned above, the root of APT is from the lack of muscle stability to hold your spine in a neutral position. Without these muscle controls, the body then tries to lock the joints together for stability instead (therefore the overextension of the lower back in squats when further loaded with a barbell/weights).  

 

When addressing stability, start off by reactivating these few muscles: 

Transverse Abdominis (Core stability) – https://youtu.be/T6CaTUBTtUA

Transverse Abdominis 1 Transverse Abdominis 2

Glutes - https://youtu.be/depTc0ME7wk

Glutes 1 Glutes 2

 

Pelvic mobility - https://youtu.be/CU7w8zjrzIc

Pelvic Mobility 1 Pelvic Mobility 2

 

Start with 10-15 reps throughout the day increasing to 30 reps as you progress and have better control.

 

I highly recommend these reactivation exercises to be done in the mornings to ease off any tension built during sleep the night before and before bedtime to de-load the body after a long stressful day at work.

 

You may not feel much progress on the first day, but persist for a week or more; a difference in pain intensity and stiffness will definitely be noticeable!

 

By Iris Tan

B.App.Sc (Chiropractic) M.Clin.Chiropractic. 

Memb: CA, Gonstead (Australia)

Iris picture new contrast 

 

 

 

Musculoskeletal Development

on Thursday, 28 January 2016. Posted in General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Musculoskeletal Development

Musculoskeletal Development

 

When we are born we're usually around 50cm long. Once we're fully grown we have added another 115cm to that. It all seems normal and usually it happens without any issues, however there are very complicated processes at work that are influenced by so many factors. To name a few: hormones, exercise level, diet, and different pathologies.

 

Bone growth

 

At the end of your bone there is a disc like structure of non-ossified cartilage, this is the growth plate. By multiplying the cartilage the cells help expand the bone and this is how people grow. When we age, eventually all the cartilage ossifies and we stop growing.

 

Even though the growth plates have been ossified in adults this does not mean the bones are not operational. Bone is being broken down and relayed constantly throughout one’s life. The production of bone is being stimulated by Oestrogen a hormone this is the reason why the bone strength deteriorates in post-menopausal women.

 

Hormones

 

The growth hormone is important for development and is made in the pituitary gland within your brain. The hormone causes longitudinal growth by stimulating the growth plates. The release of this hormone into your blood stream isn't a continuous occurrence but more a collection of bursts. These bursts happen at night two hours after you've fallen asleep. Besides sleeping, physical exercise has a positive effect on the release of this hormone as well.

 

In addition to the growth hormone, the Thyroid hormones and sex steroids (testosterone and oestrogen) play an important part in an individual’s growth. Sex steroids cause rapid growth during puberty, up to 12cm a year! But even in adults the growth hormone has a number of important functions. It’s important to the musculoskeletal system, bone density, metabolism and our wellbeing.

 

What are growing pains?

 

Growing pains are pains felt by children and adolescents at night on both sides of their bodies.

 

There are many different theories on what exactly causes growing pains. One such theory suggests that the pain is caused by the stretching of the muscles and tendons as the bones grow. As discussed previously we don't grow the same amount from one day to the next so the pain can be present during one night and gone the next. It is nothing to be concerned about, as a parent you can try to massage the area. If the pain persists however refer to a healthcare practitioner.

 

Chiropractic care and developing children

 

As you'll understand by now, there is a lot happening in your body during your youth. And we've only been discussing bone growth. Your muscles need to elongate at the same speed and that can lead to diminished coordination. This is mostly seen during puberty as this is when you grow the most. It is important for youngsters to be exercising lots, this best enables the body to adapt to all the changes, what is more you are training your motor skills.

 

It is important however that you exercise and move in the correct way, using the correct motor patterns. This is where chiropractic can help. By making sure that the joints can move freely, the muscles can function better, which, can optimise growth and prevent injuries. By treating problem areas, addressing faulty movement patterns and explaining certain preventative measures, chiropractic endeavours to help our youths move without pain and diminish the risk of injury so that playing sports remains fun!

Sitting at your Desk

on Monday, 21 December 2015. Posted in Ergonomics

Sitting at your Desk

Sitting at your Desk

You probably have seen it talked about recently, in the media or on Facebook: working upright is supposed to be healthy but why? This article will discuss the reasoning behind this claim and why getting out of that chair is so important!

 

Let's start with discussing how much we actually sit in a day. We get out of bed and sit down for breakfast. Then we sit in the car to drive to work where most of us sit down for a few hours until it's time to go home. We get in the car, drive home have dinner and sit down in front of the television to relax. Some lucky few have a job that doesn't require them to sit the whole day and there are some that even cycle to work. However, this isn't the Great Kingdom of the Netherlands so there aren't many that cycle to work and it’s not very well catered for. This is why Australia's population is getting fatter by the minute. Research has shown that, on average, people sit between 7.5 to 15 hours a day! Additional research has also shown that it doesn’t matter how much we work out in the gym or on the pitch we can't undo the damage done from sitting for extended periods of time.

 

Why sitting is bad for your back
S Shape Spine

Curves are a normal part of the spine's structure. Looking at the spine from the side several curves can be seen. From this angle, the spine resembles an 'S' shape.

 

These curves enable the spine to distribute the load evenly. Maintaining a good posture means actively maintaining that S curve in your spine. This becomes quite difficult during a long road trip or after being seated behind a desk for an extensive period of time. We usually start out pretty good, but before you know it we're hunched back in our chair or bent forward over that book or phone.

 

During any body position there will be some loading on the intervertebral discs (1) and vertebral bodies (2) of the spine. Research has shown this pressure to be the least when we lie on our backs and the highest when we are seated, almost twice as much as when we're standing!

 

When people sit for extended periods of time their pelvis shifts and their lower back ends up in a C shape as opposed to the S discussed earlier. This increases the pressure even more and stretches the back muscles and ligaments which can cause further pain and discomfort.

 

Not just sitting in a bad posture, but also sitting for extended periods of time can be detrimental to your spinal health. Our intervertebral discs lack their own blood supply. They have their nutrients supplied to them by movement in the spinal column. This means that if we remain seated for a long time, we are starving our intervertebral disc. This will lead to degenerative changes in these segments, which are irreversible. As a consequence the spine has decreased in strength even low loading now has the potential to cause pain.

 

Other health issues caused by sitting
Research has shown that besides the effect on the back, prolonged sitting can cause all sorts of other health problems. Various research papers have shown that prolonged sitting is bad for your mental health and it increases the chance of diabetes.

 

Furthermore, the chances of cardiovascular problems increase as cholesterol levels and blood pressure rise. The researchers also saw an increase in different types of cancer due to sitting for extended periods of time. Namely, bowl cancer, cervical cancer and lung cancer. The risk increase per 2 hours was 8% for bowel cancer, 10% for cervical cancer and 6% for lung cancer. People who sit extensively tend to have a lower life expectancy.

 

All this research shows that we need to drastically rethink our attitude towards sitting. Especially since, as we've earlier discussed, you cannot undo the damage done from sitting all day by spending an hour or two in the gym. This is why many companies have started to invest in standing desks. These desks can be worked on in a seated as well as a standing position, this way you can stand up and continue your work standing when you want to. If such a desk is not available to you, try and stand up when you're on the phone or go for walks during your lunch breaks, this will help decrease the time you spend sitting down. And if you want to help your colleagues be healthier as well, suggest having standing meetings as research has shown that this leads to more creativity, greater cooperation and faster decision making. And who wouldn't be interested in that!? So tomorrow at work change your workstation and get up from that chair!