Monday, 5 November 2018


Ergonomic computer workstation set-up advice

How to reduce the risk of long term injury at your desk

At home, at school or college, at work, or on the move, more and more of us are spending large parts of our day using a computer.

When sitting and concentrating on the screen for so long, we may not be aware that the position we are in could be harmful to our spine. Bad habits and incorrect posture can lead to short-term pains and aches that can turn into long-term injuries.

Essential Adjustments

Always take the time to adjust your chair, particularly if you share your computer with others following the 7 steps below:


  1. Balanced head, not leaning forward.
  2. Arms relaxed by your side.
  3. Forearms parallel to desk.
  4. Sit back in chair ensuring good back support.
  5. Screen approximately arms length from you.
  6. Top of screen about eye level.
  7. Space behind knee.
  8. Feet flat on floor or on a footrest


Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height.

Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair.

Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.

Take regular breaks. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little; do something completely different.

Remove any obstacles from under your desk to ensure you have enough leg room.


Monday, 22 October 2018


School Bag Tips for Parents

With the new school year now well underway we offer parents tips on how to minimise the weight of their school bags as young children are being literally weighed down them. There is concern that in many cases, children are carrying much more than the recommended maximum of 10% of their body weight, leading to posture and potentially spinal problems.


For young children, 10% of their body weight might only be a few kilos so if they’re carrying lots of books and things they don’t really need, this will be too much weight for them. You see it every day, children with their heavy backpacks, leaning forward as they’re walking.

Carrying that sort of weight every day can certainly affect children’s posture and set off issues that may develop in the future. Children can start to experience back pain from the age of 11-15 and if it starts then, there is a greater likelihood of it continuing into adulthood. Often, they and their parents don’t take back pain seriously because it comes and goes. Previous international studies suggest that as many as 80% of children believe their backpacks are too heavy and almost half of children feel their backpack is causing them back ache.

Here is a list of tips to prevent potential back problems for schoolchildren:
·         Always wear backpacks on both shoulders
·         Buy a bag with thick shoulder straps to distribute the weight evenly
·         Choose a bag made of lightweight material and has multiple compartments for better weight distribution
·         Adjust the straps on a backpack to ensure the bag sits above the waist which reduces the pressure on the spine.
·         Bags with a waist strap are also recommended.
·         Use school lockers where provided, use lightweight packed lunch containers and, crucially, to carry only what is absolutely needed.
·         Ideally, parents should buy backpacks that are chiropractor-approved.

Parents can also look out for tell-tale signs that their child is struggling under the weight of their bags.

Warning signs include a change in posture when wearing their backpack, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands, and back, neck or shoulder pain.

Contact us to find out more about booking a consultation for your child
www.optimalchiropractic.co.uk
02920 373967

Monday, 8 October 2018



7 Surprising Ways Posture can affect your Health



When you're at your desk sending last-minute emails, or deeply focused on editing that board presentation, your posture is probably the last thing on your mind. Though most of us probably don't actively think about our posture throughout the day, we should: Posture can affect your health in some seriously surprising ways.
Good posture can greatly improve your energy levels. By limiting pain, alignment faults, and sequelae of other injuries caused by poor posture, people are more likely to live an active lifestyle and do so for longer. Good posture allows for easier respiration as you are putting your diaphragm in the optimal position for breathing, which in turn can reduce pain.
While good posture can have major health benefits like better energy and respiratory health, poor posture can actually contribute to other health issues beyond neck or back pain.
1. Headaches


Many different things can trigger a headache, but did you know your posture can play a role? There are many kinds of headaches, but cervicogenic headaches originate in the neck.These headaches start in the base of your neck and radiate up. They are typically caused by forward head posture (i.e. head in front of your shoulders and trunk), which places increased stress on the joints and muscles in your upper neck."
2. Fatigue & Sleep Issues
Poor posture can make you feel more fatigued than usual. The body must work harder and expend more energy to keep the body upright in the proper posture position, while fighting poor posture habits. This requires increased energy and leaves one feeling tired. Postural deficits can lead to pain and alignment changes that make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. This kind of pain can often wake people at night.
3. Hip, Knee, Or Ankle Pain
It's common knowledge that poor posture can contribute to pain in your upper body, like neck or back pain, but it can also cause discomfort in your lower body. It’s hard to believe you can injure your lower extremities while sitting. However, the joints in your lower extremities are very much connected to your spine and posture — literally and figuratively. Altered posture and muscle imbalances caused by poor posture can place strain on your hips, knees and even feet.
4. Digestive Problems
Digestive health problems can be caused by a wide range of factors, but poor posture can contribute to stomach issues like acid reflux or heartburn. When one assumes a slouched posture, the organs are compressed in the abdomen, which makes it harder for the body to digest food, and decreases one’s metabolism.
5. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
So, you may not have heard of this syndrome before, but it's no less uncomfortable. Forward head posture and slouched shoulders can restrict nerves and [blood] vessels in the lower neck, and upper chest that supply your arms. Symptoms are often diffuse and mild tingling, and/or numbness. This is known as thoracic outlet syndrome, and is often improved with better posture," 
6. Stress
Yes, poor posture can cause both physical and mental stress. Poor posture affects your body’s natural alignment, which puts physical stress on the body and causes soreness and pain. This can also translate into mental stress, decreasing one’s motivation, and overall mood." Moreover, TIME reported that a 2014 study found bad posture negatively impacts your mood, and can contribute to depression and fear.
7. Arthritis
The organization Arthritis Research U.K. explains that, in the long run, poor posture can be extremely detrimental to your joint health, and can be a contributing factor in developing arthritis. Posture is often modifiable, i.e. we can change it. However as we age, poor posture can lead to joint degeneration, arthritis and limited mobility, which turns into 'fixed' poor posture. Making small changes now can prevent long term posture changes in the future.


Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Taking Care of Your Back at Work
An NHS study revealed that half of us are affected by back pain and 8 million working days are lost due to work-related back pain each year.  But there are many ways to avoid and ease back pain when working.
Local chiropractor Rob Dobbs, says:
 
   Be aware of your posture:  when standing try to distribute your weight evenly across the front, back and sides of your feet. When seated, sit up straight; align the ears, shoulders and hips in a vertical line as much as possible. 

   Avoid prolonged positions: even a good sitting position can be tiring and put a strain on muscles. Try alternating sitting at the front of the chair with sitting back against it. Try to also get up and move about every 30minutes. Take 2 minutes to stretch, stand or go for a short walk, this will not only stimulate your muscles, but also your mind!

   Avoid unbalanced posture: such as sitting with your legs crossed, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward or tilting the head up.

   Position your monitor at your natural resting-eye-height. This will avoid straining the neck as you look up or hunch down to your screen. 

   Exercise regularly: A good combination of cardio and strength training will strengthen muscles and protect against back injuries.

   Get moving: The body was designed to move, and it is so important to keep moving. Even if you are suffering from back or neck pain, limiting movement will only exacerbate the symptoms. Try to do lots of gentle movement within a relative pain free zone, in order to prevent everything from locking up.
 
Top Tip: The most common cause of neck pain is when you hold your head forward for long periods of time.  This places undue stress on the joints of the lower neck, as well as muscles of the neck and shoulders. By trying to pull the neck and shoulders back into alignment, and doing some nice gentle stretches for the neck and chest, you can easily correct this, before it becomes too problematic.

For further information on how Chiropractic can help, please visit www.OptimalChiropractic.co.uk