Articles in Category: General Health

Back to Work Ergonomics! New Year New Habits

on Friday, 18 January 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics

Back to Work Ergonomics! New Year New Habits

What better time to start new habits than the first month of 2019! We all know the importance of a ''good working posture'' and long hours of sitting is unhealthy, but trying to maintain yourself in a certain position you are not used to is actually not as easy as you think.

Have you ever tried sitting up as tall and straight as you can but end up feeling more sore and tired on your back? If your answer is YES, then you should definitely read this article.
 
Sitting posture
Let's start off with posture. Speaking to most of my patients, I realise a lot of people try to sit up straight by pulling their shoulders back as much as possible and overarch their lower back. You are actually using the wrong muscles if you do that and that is why it feels uncomfortable overtime. Sitting up properly is all about feeling comfortable and natural when done correctly.
 
Instead of overcorrecting your posture, try imagining a balloon tied to the top of your head and it is slowly pulling you up towards the ceiling while sitting/standing. That is the amount required to maintain a good posture. If you start slouching again overtime, it's okay! It's all about practice.
 
A good tip to remind yourself to not slouch is to buy coloured round stickers (your favourite colour) and stick it around your workstation and home as a reminder.
 
Double Screen Monitors
This is probably what most workstations have these days rather than the old school single screen. Subconsciously you may not realise it but, you are probably only turning your neck and not your body when switching between monitors. Over time the neck gets tired and unhappy with you.
 
Assuming most people have rotating work chairs, try rotating your body towards the screens and your neck will follow along with it. Initially you may need to do this consciously but it will pay off overtime.   
 
And last but not least..
 
The Work Chair
The thing I always say to my patients is “Hips HIGHER than knees”. When sitting on any type, brand and colour of chair, always make sure your hips are sitting higher than your knees! Most high tech ergonomic work chair these days allow you to tilt the seat forward or backwards. Play around with some of the handles at the side and it should let you tilt the back seat of your chair higher. Never let the front part of your chair seat sit higher than the back part.
 
If say you do not own a fantastic ergonomic work chair, simply fold up a towel or a small cushion and sit your buttocks right on top of it. That should give your hips a bit more height or at least at an equal height to your knees.
 
My point is, the right work habits and a good workstation set up should not be difficult and should not bring pain to your body when done correctly.
 
Remember! It is not a NO PAIN NO GAIN FORMULA!
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY WORKING! =)

Written By Iris Tan
B.App Sc (Chiropractic)
M.Clin Chiropractic

Bedding Myths

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Monday, 21 January 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Bedding Myths

At this time of year, we find lots of people are thinking about new beds. It might be something to do with New Year's resolutions. For whatever reason, a new bed could be a good idea if your old bed is getting on in years.

I thought I might cover some of the myths and 'marketing hype' that we see in the industry.

Firstly, do I need a new bed?

How old is your current bed? Most modern beds will last 10 years. In fact, almost all new beds have a 10 year warranty. Usually, once the bed is getting over 15 years, or it has big furrows or stains, it is time to get a new one. 

How do I know if my bed is causing my back/neck pain?

Try sleeping in a spare bed. Are you better? Then go back to your bed. Is your back/neck sore again? We often find that patients start to question their own bed when they go on holidays and their back pain goes away. The bed could be the issue; however, it could also be a variance in the activities that you do in your normal life. Our tip, use this as an excuse for a weekend away. 

Non-Flip Mattresses

There is a tendency to see a lot of non-flip mattresses now. While I acknowledge that better quality materials and manufacturing can mean better mattresses, simple physics dictates that you only have one surface to wear out. So a one-sided mattress will last less time. It is cheaper to manufacture a non-flip mattress and marketing tells us it saves your back because you don't need to flip it. Our experience is the mattress will not last as long. Our suggestion... Always buy a flip-able mattress for the longest mattress life.

Pillow Tops

All the rage at present! A pillow top feels luxurious; however, this would be the greatest source of complaints about mattresses. The pillow top will generally wear out before the support characteristics of the mattress (furrows and ridges) and it seems this is very difficult to rectify or address through a warranty claim. The biggest issue with a pillow top is that if the bed is too soft, it is very difficult to make it firmer. The best solution is to buy a mattress without a pillow top and if it is too firm, then buy a great overlay. We normally suggest a gel infused memory foam overlay as they are cool, comfortable and when they wear out, it is simple to throw it away and get a new one.

'Latex is Hot'

Generally this is not the case. Good quality latex beds are core drilled and are a natural fibre. They breathe well and conform well to the body, meaning generally no pressure points. 

At Institute of Sports and Spines we stock and sell high quality memory foam overlays, latex mattresses and both memory foam and latex pillows.

If you think you need a new mattress, pillow or overlay, talk to us and we can recommend and let you trial them at the clinic to identify what is the best solution for you.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

on Thursday, 03 March 2016. Posted in General Health

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)

By Jakob van Vlijmen

M Chiro, DC

 

Most of us have been troubled by a tingling sensation in our hands when we wake up, usually it’s caused by lying awkwardly and can be easily fixed by shaking the hand. However when you have carpal tunnel, you'll be plagued by the tingling much more frequently during all sort of activities. The tingling sensation can even be accompanied with loss of strength in the hands making it tremendously difficult to hold objects.

 

De Carpal Tunnel is situated on the inside of the wrist where the hand transitions into the forearm. The tunnel is made up of 8 carpal bones in a U shape. On top of which the fascial band is transversely strung across. Through this tunnel multiple arteries, tendons and a single nerve run into the hand.  

 

In CTS this nerve has become compressed because the space in the tunnel has diminished. Due to this compression the blood supply to the nerve is compromised impairing normal function. There are many different things that can cause the space to be diminished such as the following:

Ø  Overuse of the wrist

Ø  Broken carpal bones

Ø  Hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause

Ø  Fluid retention

Ø  Osteoarthritis

Ø  Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms are comparable to those of a ''sleeping foot'' which is also caused by a compressed nerve. The most common symptoms are:

Ø  Pain, tingling or a numbness in the hand

Ø  Being woken at night by these tingling sensations, which are then relieved by shaking the hand

Ø  Loss of strength in the hand

Ø  Morning stiffness and clumsiness of the hands

Ø  Use of the hands usually increases the symptoms

Ø  Pain in the neck, shoulder, elbows, forearm or wrist.

 

The nerve that eventually travels through the carpal tunnel starts off in the neck and runs through the shoulder, upper arm, elbow, and fore arm in to the hand. It is possible for the nerve to be compressed at multiple levels. Because of a possible compression higher up in the body, the nerve function is diminished after which becomes more susceptible to injury further down the track. So a relatively small compression at the Carpal Tunnel might very quickly give the fore mentioned symptoms.

 

The Chiropractor will therefore need to assess the whole length of the nerve to make sure it is not compromised at any other levels. This way the root of the problem will be tackled and recovery can be swift and complete.

 

Tips

Bad posture can lead to a compressed nerve. Together with the chiropractor you can address possible postural faults and diminish the change of CTS.