Posture and Pain

“Posture doesn’t just reflect our emotional states; it can also cause them,” says Amy Cuddy in a recent New York Times article about the effect that using mobile devices has on our posture.  Cuddy is a professor at Harvard Business School and presenter of the popular TED Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.”

Pain is a subjective and distressing feeling that people perceive when they encounter an uncomfortable experience. Pain can be both a psychological and/or a physiological experience. While psychogenic pain is typically experienced as a result of fear, nervousness, anxiety, doubt, grief or negativity, physiological pain is now days very frequently associated with repetitive motion injuries. A repetitive motion injury occurs when the body’s tissues are repeatedly exposed to loads beyond their functional capacity, which consequently causes many repetitive mini traumas to the tissues.

Considering that the body is a dynamic and adaptable organism, it is very well equipped to compensate for these micro injuries. The main reason that most people don’t view micro traumas as being a severely debilitating factor to their health is because we learn to work around the injury. That is both a blessing and a curse because when an injury occurs in one area, the body will stabilize that body part and will recruit surrounding tissues to perform the intended movement or action. However, repeated musculoskeletal compensation leads to postural distortions; and poor posture, over time, leads to chronic pain patterns.

When in pain, people tend to become more sedentary in an attempt to avoid activities that trigger pain and discomfort, and yet decreased level of physical activity leads to stiff joints and weak muscles which further exacerbates the problem. Chronic pain has become such an epidemic that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that “pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.”

So what can be done? The first thing needed to create lasting change and success is awareness.  Allow yourself the space to see things as they are, without forming judgments, excuses or rationalizations. Only by acknowledging what is, do you put yourself in a position to do something about it. So perhaps next time you are brushing your teeth at the bathroom sink, you take a look at your posture; or the next time you are sitting at your computer, you notice any tensions in your neck, hands, and low back.  Or maybe when you are standing in the checkout line at the grocery store you move side to side a few times and unattachedly notice if one side feels stronger than the other, and if your feet are nice and relaxed or tight and tense. Whether you are looking to get out of pain or are simply interested in ensuring that you are functioning at a healthy level, raising the level of awareness as to what your body is doing helps you to then take the next step in creating the needed change.  

A recent study published in Journal of Health Psychology concluded that sitting with an upright posture can function as a coping mechanism against stress. From a physiologic standpoint, properly aligned posture significantly decreases the stress on supportive ligaments, tendons and muscles.  And so although you may not be able to make something better immediately, you can take the first steps in honoring your body and wellbeing by acknowledging how well your body moves in space, and then simply noticing what areas need your further attention.   

 

By Dr. Larissa Woolston DC, MA

5 Things to Consider When Setting Up A Workstation

 

ergonomics                      Proper posture at work, or in a home office, is a fundamental part for a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Many people are active and healthy in their personal lives, but pay little attention to their health while at work. Desk jobs and our constant use of technology are pulling us forward – but not in a good way. Sitting for prolonged periods causes us to assume a forward head posture and rounded shoulders, referred to as postural kyphosis. In addition to affecting how we look, this can also cause a decreased range of motion in the neck and shoulders, along with numbness, low-back pain, and neck pain. Consequences of poor posture and unsatisfactory ergonomics often lead to the following:

SPINAL DEGENERATION: Simply put, the body is designed to move, not sit. When you are in a seated position you increase the pressure in the lower back by about 1.7 times your body weight. And this is when you sit properly, if you have improper posture the pressure on the spine increases further. The spine is generally strong enough to tolerate bad posture for about 20 minutes before the vertebral discs start to absorb the pressure.

LOWERED METABOLIC RATE: Sitting is the structural equivalent of metabolic syndrome. Prolonged sitting with poor posture has many negative health consequences; it is a modern-day epidemic contributing to the onset of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. While seated, your metabolic rate is likely to plummet, while your cholesterol levels rise.

IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE: Our bodies are not designed for a sedentary lifestyle; in fact, we need movement throughout the day to stay stimulated and function properly.  Sedentary lifestyle leading to poor posture is causing millions of people to suffer from chronic low back pain and neck pain, which over time could lead to disability.  Even when people go to the gym and work out for an hour a day, they still suffer irreversible damage to their spine and health if they are sedentary at work.

RESPIRATORY DYSFUNCTION: When people are hunched over, their chest and abdomen become constricted leading to decreased lung volume and resulting in shallower, less efficient breathing.

POSTURAL AGING: The greatest consequence of poor posture is pain and mortality. Research indicates that people who present with an increased curve of their thoracic spine have a higher  level of mortality. A kypohotic spine is commonly associated with elderly people, however, due to greater levels of inactivity among the younger population thanks to sedentary lifestyles and our addiction to electronic devices, this postural distortion is becoming more prevalent in the younger generations.  Poor ergonomic design of your workspace is literally taking years off of your life and accelerating postural aging. As daily levels of activity continue to decline, research suggests that musculoskeletal pain is more common today than it was forty years ago. Consequently, this decrease in physical activity coupled with poor ergonomics and inadequate postural hygiene is a major contributor to the rise in chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and musculoskeletal pain.

Here are 5 things to consider when setting up a healthy and productive workspace:

  1. KEYBOARD should be placed at elbow height. Utilize a keyboard cushion to support your wrist. Keep wrists in a neutral position and avoid excessive flexion of the wrist. Keep wrist in a neutral position while using the mouse.
  2. COMPUTER SCREEN should be high enough allowing you to look straight ahead. Avoid looking up or down for prolonged periods of time.
  3. TELEPHONE HEADSET or SPEAKERPHONE will save your neck.
  4. POSTURE BREAKS taken every 30 minutes for about 20 seconds to stretch and open your arms and chest allowing your head to fall back as well.  If possible take another 30 seconds to get up and walk a few feet before sitting down again.
  5. STANDING DESK, TREADMILL WORKSTATION or ERGONOMIC CHAIR, no matter which one you use, the ear and shoulder should be in alignment, and the shoulders should be pulled back and not rounded. The shoulders should be aligned over the hips, and the hips should be vertically aligned over the knees and ankles. If you are sitting down, knees and toes should both be pointing forward and you should not cross your legs.
 Written by Dr. Larissa  Woolston D.C., MA

Support Your Core

Poor posture can affect your health in many negative ways. In fact, studies have linked it to depression, constipation and sluggish circulation in the lower extremities. Poor posture can even have an impact on your day-to-day work life as slouching in an ill-fitting chair can slow down productivity and predispose you to repetitive injuries. To counter poor posture, you need to strengthen your core. The following exercises have been shown to provide the greatest positive impact in building up the postural muscles in your core and lower back.

Cat / Camel

Cross / Crawl

Plank

Side Bridge

Weight Management

c700x420Weight Management in Scottsdale, AZ

Losing weight isn’t easy; and maintaining a healthy body weight takes effort and discipline. So if you need professional help with weight management, the team at Woolston Wellness Center is here to help. We offer a range of weight management services and solutions to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

A Personalized Approach

We understand that no two people are alike. That’s why we take the time to design personalized weight management programs. Together, we’ll develop a plan designed to help you maintain a healthy weight for your body. And whether your program involves cutting calories or simply substituting some key ingredients and components of your diet, we’ll be on hand to offer the support you need as you work to do what’s best for your health.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…

We Now Offer the Breakthrough Technological  Support in Weight Loss: Body Sculptingnow here

WHAT IS THE CONTOUR LIGHT BODY SCULPTING TREATMENT?

CONTOUR LIGHT BODY SCULPTING helps target stubborn areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. Non-surgical weight loss that produces same day results, rejuvenating the body and tightening the skin.

We Have the Technology that Allows You to Lose Fat at the Speed of Light with the Non-Invasive Fat Reduction System, and IT WORKS!

Using the power of the latest LED (Light Emitting Diode) Light Therapy, Contour Light is the natural and healthy way to inch loss on the waist, hips, thighs and arms. The non-invasive body contouring is currently the highest in-demand aesthetic treatment, caused by an increased public awareness of the non-surgical options to reduce unwanted fat on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arms and chin. Clinical studies have proven that exposure to 635nm light causes a stimulation of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat cells, resulting in the release of triglycerides into the interstitial region of the body. This requires the proper balance within a person’s system to efficiently process the excess fatty acids. Light therapy is not new. It has been used for many ailments ranging from chronic pain to wound healing. What is new is light being used to target fat cells. After adipose (fat) cells are exposed to this specific wavelength, 99% of the fat is released from the cells. The result is inch loss and impressive spot reduction anywhere on the body including the waistline, bra bulge, buttocks, thigh area and even the arms. This technique works anywhere there is excessive fat deposits.

Before and Afterbody-contouring2

before afterarm sculpting

 

So What Happens To The Fat? 

The laser penetrates beneath your skin, targeting the subcutaneous fat cells without risking damage to your organs. This stimulation opens pores in the fat cells breaking down its contents and allowing the fat to escape–a process known as lipolysis – a natural metabolic process that breaks down the fat cell in the form of triglycerides. Triglycerides are broken down and naturally metabolized by the body. This process is greatly enhanced by adding Whole Body Vibration and interval training the day of the treatment.

The Contour Light technology Delivers Measurable Results In As Little As One To Three Treatments. We guarantee that you will loose 2″ during your first session, or it is free! Have you done everything to lose those unsightly fat bulges including regular exercise, a healthy diet and weight loss plans, and nothing has worked? If so, then you are in the right place.

Contour Light will help you lose inches in the areas on your body that are resistant to diet and exercise. The best part about the Contour Light Treatment is that there are No side effects! There is No bruising, swelling, burning, pain or anesthesia required. No Pain – No Surgery – No Downtime

If you would like some help managing your weight, we’re on hand to offer the guidance you need. Call today to schedule a consultation.

LASER

Revolutionary new treatment for pain using advanced medical technology!  We use ColdLaserTreatment2the 830 Laser as part of LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy), also known as Cold Laser Therapy. It is a safe, painless treatment for numerous neuromuscular conditions and disorders.

Why Laser Therapy?

Around the world, laser therapy is rapidly becoming the choice for patients seeking painless, non-invasive, and drug-free treatments for a wide variety of injuries, pain syndromes, neurological conditions, and pathologies. It can heal wounds and fractures up to 60% faster and reduce the cost of treatment for many conditions.

How Does It Work?

The 830 Laser sends light (photons) into your injured tissues and penetrates from to 2-4 inches without being absorbed by the skin, fat, or blood. Once the photons find the injured tissue, they stimulate and energize the cells to repair and strengthen at a remarkably fast rate. The laser does not generate heat so it is safe for use anywhere on the body. The laser treatment does not wear off like most medicines, ice or heat. It increases your body’s own healing power and enhances the healing process. If you don’t reinjure the area, the pain should not return.

What Results Can I Expect From A Laser Treatment?

Reduced pain

A treatment can take from 2 to 30 minutes. Many factors, such as the severity and depth of the condition, will determine the duration of a treatment and the number of visits needed to provide the maximum amount of relief. Following a laser therapy session, approximately 75-80% of patients notice an immediate improvement in their condition. You may experience improvement after one treatment. Most conditions take between 2-12 treatments for complete alleviation of symptoms.

Reduced Inflammation

Most acute inflammatory conditions respond to Laser treatment immediately.

Increased Tissue Healing Laser treatments not only helps injured areas and wounds heal faster, it also makes them stronger and less vulnerable to re-injury.

Is Laser Therapy Safe?

Low Level Therapy is very safe. It is FDA approved and has been used for over 20 years internationally. Extensive documentation and studies have shown it to be effective and safe.

Is Laser Therapy Painful?

For most people, laser therapy is quite passive. 3-5% have reported a slight tingling or tapping in a nerve or on a nerve pathway. Some feel a slight sensation of warmth. The most noticeable sensation is of the probe head of the laser as it comes in contact with the skin. The majority of patients, however, feel ·nothing during a treatment.

Will Laser Treatments Provide Me With Long Lasting Results?

Laser therapy sessions speed up the healing process in the cells that can help create a stronger and longer lasting effect. Many patients’ conditions are permanently resolved after completing their treatment plans.

The Physiological Effects of LLLT

  • Biostimulation, including improved metabolism & increased cell metabolism
  • Improved blood circulation and vasodilatation
  • Analgesic effect
  • Anti-inflammatory and Anti-edematous effects
  • Relieves acute and chronic pains
  • Stimulation of wound healing

Benefits of LLLT to Users

  • Relieves acute and chronic pains
  • Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
  • Increases blood supply
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Stimulates nerve function
  • Develops collagen and muscle tissue
  • Helps generate new and healthy cells
  • Promotes faster wound healing and clot formation
  • Reduces inflammation

Over 2,500 worldwide medical studies have shown safe, forever relief for:

  • Joint pain/ arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis/ heel spurs
  • Sprains/ strains
  • Tendonitis/ capsulitis
  • Post-operative/ injury pain
  • Swelling
  • Neuromas/ nerve pain
  • Wound/ surgical incision healing
  • Muscle pain/ contusions
  • Trigger points
  • Bone healing
  • Bursitis and more

MASSAGE

Our male and female practitioners train in a wide range of modalities to cater to your health needs. Massage therapy helps to ease stress and muscular tension, relieve pain from injuries and speed up healing from certain acute and chronic conditions. Fascia will thicken and shorten when any of your tissues are under stress from poor posture, lack of exercise, injury, surgery, disease or over-training.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering,SPINE WITH FLOWERS rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen. Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce post surgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Help with)tension headaches.
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