back pain,

  • 5 ways to improve your posture and ease back pain

    5 ways to improve your posture & relieve back pain

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    We all start off like this but something starts to wrong soon after we start school but we can do something ourselves to restore some of our natural poise by noticing our postural habits. Here are some useful tips to sit better and improve your overall posture.


    #1 What type of chair are you sitting on? 

    I prefer a plain old stool, Chair backs make you lazy and stop your postural muscles in your back from working.

    #2 Locate your sitting bones and use them!

    While sitting slide your hand underneath your bottom and locate the two nobbley bits - these are your sitting bones and form the basis of the support for your upper body when sitting. Now slump, what do you notice (you are no longer sitting on your sitting bones). So find your sit bones again - you will probably feel more balanced and poised and on your way to better posture.

    Improved posture

    #3 Wear your invisible crown

    invisible crown


    Think that you are wearing an invisible crown and think into the top of your head as your spine lengthens towards the crown of your head. Alternatively you could think of the upper molars (the teeth at the back) coming away from your sitting bones. You may get a sense of your torso lengthening at this point.

    #4 Notice where your feet are

    Are your feet tucked under the chair or your legs crossed? We all know these are bad habits, but seriously they are bad habits which may cause us to overarch our lower spine as we need our legs and feet to help support the weight of our upper body.

    #5 Notice any tension in your shoulders

    Observe any tension in your shoulders and allow them to soften. Slumping causes us to have rounded shoulders and a rounded upper torso, which ultimately can develop into a dowagers hump.

    ladies curved spine1 1024x574


    So to recap, we now know we have sit bones, so try using them more. Why not put a post it note on the edge of your computer screen to remind you. We can think into our invisible crown and notice if our shoulders are opening out naturally or are they rounded or raised.
    Apply these basic skills and you are on your way to having better posture.


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  • Back pain

    Promoting Healthier Backs in Warrington

    How does the Alexander Technique help with back pain?

     royalty free backpack man

     One of the factors in non-specific low back pain is thought to be abnormal muscle tone with harmful uncoordinated tension of longitudinal and diagonal muscles along the spine and elsewhere, leading to shortening of the spine and compression of vertebrae and discs.
     
    During Alexander Technique lessons the teacher assesses where there is unwanted tightening of muscles and helps the pupil recognize self-damaging habits that cause or aggravate their pain and to avoid them.
     
    Once the pupil has learnt to recognise these harmful habits they are well on the way to helping themselves to solving their back pain problem. Learning how to carry out daily activities such as sitting, standing and bending in an easier and less harmful way can help eradicate the causes of back pain. 
     
    backpain trial

    The Alexander Technique: 

    1. Has no side effects and is safe
    2. Addresses the bio-psycho-social nature of chronic pain
    3. Teaches you to identify the habits that might be creating your pain
    4. Teaches you skills to improve body awareness
    5. Helps you to know what to do to change the pain
    6. Helps with pain that is related to posture, tension or movement patterns
    7. Is a good alternative if pain treatments don’t work
    8. Teaches you to work with yourself to change the pain
    9. Calms the nervous system
    10. Improves coordination
    11. Looks at the whole system and reduces pressure on the whole system so the pain response is less likely
    to be triggered
    12. Gives you coping strategies
    13. Gives you a new dimension for thinking about pain

    Would you like to experience some of these benefits?

    Special Course of 6 sessions £225 specifically aimed at those with back pain to get you back moving again. This course of  6 lessons will include the following

    • A detailed assessment of your posture, possible causes of any pain or discomfort.
    • Body mapping and functional anatomy or as I call it living anatomy, teaching you the principle joints used in movement so that you can discover greater freedom of movement and can get back to the activities you enjoy doing.
    • Sitting at a computer comfortably
    • Bending - how to bend without wincing
    • Applying the principles to everyday life such as driving, walking or gardening.
    • Using the arms and shoulders properly to avoid pain & improve your posture
    • Breathing
    • I will give you the skills and techniques to help you to help yourself giving you the confidence to move without the thought of pain

    Book your back pain course now tel: 07854 025726 and start your journey to becoming pain free

    Medical evidence supports Alexander Technique as an efffective treatment for back pain

    In August 2008 a clinical trial was published in the British Medical Journal.

    This scientific study compared the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons exercise and massage for chronic and recurrent back pain.

    Read more

    This video explains the full details of the trial and how the Alexander Technique can help you to reduce back pain.

  • Benefits

    Benefits

    • Move more freely
    • Less pain – its been proven to help with back painneck pain, RSI & arthritis
    • Enhanced posture
    • Improved balance & poise
    • Improved breathing
    • Reduced stress
    • Increased self confidence
    • Enhanced performance (sports people, actors & musicians have found the technique helped them)
     
    Famous people who have used the technique
     

     

  • Essential tips for home workers to avoid the pain of poor posture

    Essential tips for home workers to avoid the pain of poor posture

    Over the past couple of years a lot of us are home working. At work we will have probably had an HSE assessment for our workstation and maybe we have had special chairs or equipment provided to help us sit more comfortably then we switch to working from home leaving all these aids behind. If you have been working from home for a few weeks maybe you are starting to experience neck or shoulder pain because you are not sitting comfortably.

    So here are 5 tips on how to improve your posture when sitting at a computer.

    #1 What kind of chair are you sitting on?
    I prefer a plain old stool. Chair backs make you lazy and stop your back muscles from working properly. If we use a chair with lots of lumber support this doesn't help strengthen your back muscles, so when we do other activities we already have weaknesses in our back. It's no wonder we are prone to slipped discs when we attempt a spot of gardening or DIY. A useful tool I show my clients is the use of a foam wedge to sit on. This encourages a more upright posture and is a good investment rather than buying a posh office chair.

    Foam wedge for sitting#2 Notice where your feet are

    Are your feet tucked under the chair? Are your legs crossed? We all know these are bad habits, but they are seriously bad habits that can cause overarching in the lower spine. You need your legs and feet to help support the weight of your upper body so place them flat on the floor.

    #3 Locate your sitting bones and use them!

    Sit bones

      When seated slide your hand underneath your bottom and locate the two knobbly bits - these are your sitting      bones and form the basis of the support for your upper body when sitting. Now slump, what do you notice (you    are no longer sitting on your sitting bones?). Find your sit bones again - you will probably feel more balanced      and poised and on your way to better posture.

     

     

     

     


    #4 Wear your invisible crown

     always wear your invisible crown 5

    Imagine you are wearing an invisible crown and think into the top of your head as your spine lengthens towards the crown of your head. Alternatively you could think of the upper molars (the teeth at the back) moving away from your sitting bones. You may get a sense of your torso lengthening at this point.

    #5 Notice any tension in your shoulders

    Your arms and shoulders work more efficiently when you are sitting upright. The arm is a ball and socket joint that hangs beneath the shoulder girdle. Let your arms hang down to the side of you. Observe any tension in your shoulders and allow them to soften. Slumping causes us to have rounded shoulders and a rounded upper torso, which can develop into a dowagers hump.
    Now think about the hands leading the arms towards your desk and the computer. Practice initially with the palms of your hands on the desk, think about your shoulders softening, releasing any tension you may have and let the elbows hang down. Turn your attention back to your sitting bones and feel the support of the chair - think about your torso lengthening. You are now ready to start work.
    If you need to lean over your desk it's useful to know where your hip joint is. Most people think it's to the side of the pelvis when it's actually where your trouser pocket is. This is not only where we bend but we can also use this joint to maintain an upright posture and straight back when sitting. So to lean forward go over the hip joint keeping a nice straight back.

    Improved sitting   A quick recap
      * You have sit bones so use them more. Why not put a post it note on the edge of your computer screen to remind you.
      * Think into your invisible crown and notice if your shoulders are opening out naturally or if they're rounded or raised. Allow       them to soften.
      * Apply these basic skills and you'll soon be on your way to having better posture.

                And in the words of Alexander

                         Its not the furniture its how you use yourself FM   

  • Using a standing desk and avoiding back pain

    How to use a standing desk and avoid back pain

    If you are considering purchasing a standing desk or already use one it's worthwhile thinking about how you are going to stand.

    Many people will go to their habitual posture that they use when lowering their gaze to look at something. Often this will involve collapse of the torso particularly around the chest area, which in turn will cause your shoulders to round, this will also prevent your arms and shoulders to work at the optimum - the very thing you are going to need when working at your desk and computer.
    There may also be a resultant compensatory adjustment to your balance, involving your lower back and you may start to get back pain.
    If the head drops forward as it will probably do as the weight of the head is 60% forward then it will also result in neck pain too.

    Did you know that the average head weighs 10-14lbs similar to this bowling ball?

    Bowling ball weighs as much as your head

    Quite a shock when I pass a bowling ball around when I give introductory talks on the Alexander Technique, and how misuse of the head, neck back relationship can cause pain.

    So how do we stand effectively at a standing desk?

    * First of all get yourself set up properly so that your desk is at a height that you don't have to stoop to work at it, Your arms should rest gently on the desk with elbows just lower than 90 degrees.
    * Then think of the support of the ground. Think of a tripod of support behind your big toe, little toe & heel. To sense this point of balance try rocking forwards and backwards until you find your centre of balance.
    * Then rather than thinking of the 10lb bowling ball sitting on top of your spine think of a light football, think of your torso lengthening and your shoulders widening particularly across the upper chest. You are now set up nicely in balance to start work at your desk and avoiding the many pitfalls associated with standing, particularly lower back pain.
    * You can now just allow your gaze to look towards your computer. Notice if your balance changes. If it does noticably you might be better having one foot a fraction in front of the other. Awareness of the balance point of the head is critical here, its much higher up than you think - in fact its between the ears. Try placing your fingers on your ears and gently nod your head up and down to get an idea of this balance point. Now when you look at your computer be quietly aware of this balance point of your head, it will put much less strain on your neck.