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4 Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback And Tech Neck

4 Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback And Tech Neck

4 Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback And Tech Neck

You’re starting to see it everywhere. It’s those people that are slouching around with caved-in chests and heads that look like they’re about to fall off.

This is known as Tech Neck: the mid and upper spine hunching over from sitting down for long periods of time and leaning over a desk. Maybe you even have it yourself! If you do, or even if you don’t, it’s important to know how counteract this so that YOU don’t end up living in a cathedral bell tower (or unable to look up or lift your arms…). Remember, by ages 70-79, 21% of all adults are hunched, and nearly two thirds of the population will suffer from degenerative cervical spine conditions– don’t be one of them.

Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback 2

First, an anatomy lesson: your mid to upper spine already has a natural bend in it that curves towards your back. An abnormally large, permanent curvature is called hyperkyphosis, or in the old days, “hunchback.” In the sitting position, the spine naturally wants to curve a little bit more, which is fine… unless you do it for several hours every day. Eventually the body adapts to this position– the chest, front shoulders and abs tighten while the back and neck muscles relax, which literally pulls your spine and shoulders further forward, out of their proper alignment. The head falls forward, out of its neutral position, weakening posterior erectors and causing pain. These conditions not only make the entire body weak and unaesthetic, they can result in horrific injury and costly hospital bills.

It takes consistent effort to fix these issues and maintain proper posture, but thankfully it’s simple: stretch your tight chest and ab muscles and strengthen your weak back muscles, then keeping your head neutral.

For those so inclined, that could mean hitting the weights. Any back exercise, such as pullups, rows, and deadlifts, will tighten the back and pull your spine back into proper alignment.

Most of us don’t have the time or will to lift the weights though, and that’s fine. For the rest of us, here are four exercises that will fix you right up!

1. The Superman (or Y Stretch)
-Lay face down on the floor, with your arms in a Y shape.
-Then, slowly lift your arms up off the floor, maintaining the Y shape, and keeping your shoulder from lifting.
-You should feel your shoulder blades retract together and your back muscles activate.
-Optionally, you may lift your legs up as well to stretch your abs and tighten your lower back.
-Hold this position for at least 20 seconds, working your way up as you get more flexible.

This exercise pulls your spine back into alignment by pulling it the other direction. It uses the posterior deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius to pull your arms up and back, which opens up your chest and allows your overly-tight pectoralis and anterior deltoid muscles to relax.

Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback

2. The Bow Stretch
-Wear loose clothes, and stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart, firmly planted.
-With your arms up and over your head and your thumbs pointed behind you, slowly bend backwards at the knees, hips, back, shoulders, and neck (relax your head backwards, don’t force it). Let your jaw hang open and breathe deeply and slowly through your mouth.
-Lean back as far as you can and hold it for at least 10 seconds, working your way up as you get more flexible.

This focuses primarily on using what’s called full body extension, which relaxes all anterior (frontal) muscles, including the neck, chest, shoulders, and hips (another muscle group that becomes unbalanced with excessive sitting!). This stretch takes work, especially if you’re not very flexible or mobile, but keep working at it! Eventually you’ll be able to lean back farther and hold it for longer.

3. Neutral Position Head Placement
-Stand up as straight as you can.
-Pull your shoulders down and back.
-Pull your neck up and back, bringing your ears directly above your shoulders

Think of this movement as trying to pull your whole upper body back and then making your ears as far apart from your shoulders as possible. This isn’t an exercise or stretch per se, but more a habit to get into. Try to do this every time you’re standing up. Don’t worry, you won’t look weird, you’ll look confident.

Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback 1

4. Mid-back Foam Roller Stretch
-Buy a hard foam roller. These are cheap and incredibly useful.
-Place the foam roller on the ground, and then lay across it perpendicularly (the roller and your body should make a “t” in other words), resting on the foam roller just under your shoulder blades.
-Plant your feet on the ground, bending your legs and keeping your butt off the ground, then place your hands behind your head and relax.
-Do this for at least 30 seconds, working your way up as you become more flexible.

This exercise follows the same trend the others do: by relaxing, you’re reversing the over-arching of your spine and opening your chest cavity.

One last piece of advice: do these things daily! Make a ritual out of it, and if you keep it up, you can say goodbye to “tech-neck” forever and say hello to your new healthy and confident posture.

Sources, Sources, Sources, Sources

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Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It

Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It

In order for your shoulder to function optimally, you need good thoracic (upper back) mobility. Too many people have poor upper thoracic mobility (the area between your shoulder blades) due to spending many hours at the computer; poor posture; not being active enough etc. This can impact your shoulder health, we all need good extension through our upper backs in order to complete overhead movements without compromising our structures in the shoulder joint. Often, problems with impingement; bursitis or rotator cuff issues at the shoulder joint are due to poor thoracic mobility as your shoulder blade cannot move efficiently over your ribcage.

Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It

In order to improve your upper back mobility, I have put together a couple of exercises that can be carried out at home on a daily basis.

1. Foam Roller Extension:

This will help improve your thoracic mobility into extension.
If you are fortunate enough to have a foam roller at home or access to one in the gym then try this.
Start position:

Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It 2

Sit comfortably with knees bent and bottom touching the floor. Place foam roller below shoulder blades, hands behind head.

Finish position:

Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It 1

Keeping your bottom in contact with the floor, slowly breathe out and let your back gently extend over the foam roller. Hold for a count of 3-5 seconds and slowly rise back up to start position. Repeat this twice and then gently roll the foam roller an inch further up the spine, repeat the extension movement twice again and keep doing this until you reach the top of the shoulder blades.

Ensure you do this correctly by watching the video below:

2. Side-lying thoracic opener:

This will help improve your thoracic mobility into the rotation.

Start position:

Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It 3

Lie on your side with your head supported, raise the top hip to 90 degrees and rest the knee on a foam roller or a firm pillow (this protects your lower back). Arms outstretched and hands stacked on top of each other.

Finish position:

Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It 4

Start to raise the top hand up and slowly bring it over to the other side of your body, letting your eyes follow that hand all the way, until you can’t go further, let your arm fall out at a 45 degree angle, make sure your knee stays in contact with the foam roller/pillow and your resting shoulder in contact with the mat, otherwise you’ve gone too far. Ensure you can still breathe comfortably and hold for 3-4 breaths, return hand to start position and repeat. Do this 10 times on each side. You will find that by the last few reps you have reached further than the start.

3. Thoracic Rotation (advanced exercise):

Only attempt this if you have relatively good shoulder and core strength. This is a good follow-on exercise for pain-free shoulders that require strength building.

Start position:
Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It 5

Hands should be in line with shoulders. Spine (including neck) should be neutral and bum tucked under to engage the glutes, feet just wider than shoulder-width apart.

Finish position:

Why You Could Be Experiencing Shoulder Pain and How To Improve It 6

From the start position, gently push one hand into the floor, keeping the body aligned and raise the other hand off to rotate around and reach up to the ceiling, shoulders should be stacked (wrist; shoulder; opposite shoulder; opposite wrist all in one line) and no sagging at the hips. Eyes to follow the moving hand at all times. Return to start position and rotate with the opposite arm. Repeat 5-10 times on each side.

MARY WHALINGBIO:

Mary is the director of free ur body based in Adelaide, a gym based rehabilitation service which gives you results you may not have thought possible. With a background in Physiotherapy and a broad array of post-degree qualifications, she helps get people out of chronic pain through thorough assessment and movement-based rehabilitation. We believe education is the key to health & wellness and pass our tools on to our clients to ensure they can independently maintain their health & wellbeing to the highest level.

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Chronic disease natural remedies

14 Natural Remedies For Back Pain

14 Natural Remedies For Back Pain

Back Pain

Back pain is pain felt in the back that usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints, or other structures in the spine.
Treatment for back pain depends on what kind of pain you have, and what is causing it. It may include hot or cold packs, exercise, medicines, injections, complementary and alternative treatments, and sometimes surgery.

back-pain

Natural remedies for acute musculoskeletal back pain

1. Apply heat and ice: for the first 48 hours after an injury apply ice packs particularly if there is swelling, then switch to heat.
Heat for a sore back: Hay flower wraps warmed over steam, compresses with rosemary or thyme tea, warmed cherry-pit or spelt bags, heat packs, infrared light treatment.

2. Moor mud and sulfur baths: To relax tense muscles and promote circulation.

3. Natural hot spring baths.

4. Rub back with spirits of lemon balm.

5. Massage St, John’s wort oil to fight pain.

6. Hot wheat pack.

7. Therapeutic sea water bath.

8. Place a thick cushion under your legs at night so that your thighs point straight up and your knees are bent as a right angle to take strain off your spinal column.

9. Be physically active: Strengthening your muscles takes pressure off your joints and tendons. There are back-conditioning exercises designed to give your back more flexibility and support, ask for expert instruction to avoid injuries.

10. Eucalyptus or camphor may reduce inflammation

11. Meditation and relaxation techniques

12. Invest in a new mattress

13. Get adequate sleep, experts recommend at least 7-8 hours.

14. Maintain good posture.

Treatments for back pain following an injury or severe chronic pain

1. Physical therapy offers strengthening programs and education in posture, movement patterns, and lifting techniques that protect the back to avoid further injury
2. Ultrasounds
3. Moist heat application
4. Hydrotherapy pools or spas
5. Massage of painful areas may relieve pain and spasm, increase local circulation, and improve mobility
6. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) stimulate production of endorphins, or naturally occurring pain relievers, by the brain.
7. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve pain by reducing inflammation, naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Nuprin, Motrin IB, and Advil) patients with ulcers, bleeding disorders, or other gastrointestinal conditions should avoid them.
8. Acupuncture
9. Biofeedback: By placing electrodes on the skin and connecting them to a biofeedback machine, the patient learns to modify the response to pain by controlling muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature.
10. To relieve severe chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation devices may be surgically implanted.

11. Medication:
• Medication varies by person and pain level.
• Aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
• Muscle relaxants (cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) carisoprodol (Soma) and methocarbamol (Robaxin)
• Anti-depressants in low doses (amitriptyline and desipramine)
• Anti-epileptic drugs.

Source:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/backpain.html
http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/america-asks-13/12-back-pain-tips
http://health.yahoo.net/galecontent/back-pain/4#treatment
Book: Natural Remedies, for Healthy Living, Readers Digest , 2011