We update our blog every week with amazing science and chiropractic news.
Postural strength helps you live a better life
Whether you are on your feet all day, or sitting through a shift at the office, your postural muscles are always at work; after all, they are trying to keep you upright. Despite their best intentions, we often give in to our desire to let our muscles rest by slouching, slumping, leaning against a wall or over a counter, or just about anything that feels more, "relaxed." But this is a deception, and giving in to bad posture often leads to back pain and dysfunction. Here's a basic formula for postural strength:
- Postural muscles refer to the deep sets of muscles between the pelvis and abdomen and all the way up the spine. These muscles are always working to keep us upright and as a result they are often over-worked, leaving them tight.
- Phasic muscles refer to the muscles which lend us strength and help initiate movements. Muscles like the abdominals and glutes are often under-worked in office-workers, leading them to become weak.
Overly-tight postural muscles with a complementary set of weak phasic muscles is a recipe for back pain that many of us need help overcoming.
How your brain controls sleep
Your brain conducts the transition between the stable states of wakefulness and rest. As you proceed through a day full of activity, your body and brain naturally progress toward the need for sleep; this is an essential need that affords your body the time it needs to rest and recharge. As it becomes time for sleep, your brain sends signals that inhibit the parts of the brain which are responsible for wakefulness and begins the transition toward sleep. But what if your brain doesn't have the inputs it needs to function properly?
Mechanical pain is movement-related pain
Injuries that relate to the articulation and movement of the spinal motion segments, including the vertebrae, discs, joints, ligaments and muscles are among the most common, and most painful types of injuries in human existence. Almost every motion of the upper body involves the spine in some capacity, and the muscles which support the spine are used to initiate movements and transfer forces across the body. When something goes wrong in this process, we are left with mechanical pain, also known as back strain. Back strain is made all the worse by the fact that often, any proceeding movements will exacerbate the problem.
The way you position your spine matters
Whether you like it or not, and whether you are conscious of it or not, each position you adopt throughout the day is likely putting your spine under pressure. With awareness, the amount of pressure can be limited; likewise, with no awareness, this pressure can accumulate and cause back pain and dysfunction. The positions that put your spine under the most pressure are among the most common that we assume during the day:
- Sitting is the worst position for your spine
- Sitting and lifting
- Lifting or bearing weight
- Leaning forward
- Forward head posture
A pain in the tailbone is perfectly placed to upset your lifestyle
The coccyx is the bony structure at the base of the spine, known colloquially as the tailbone. Any pain here can be a real life-changer: from defecation to sexual function; and from physical activity to simply standing or sitting, the coccyx is perfectly placed to cause a world of pain. Most of the movements we do throughout the day will include some kind of articulation in the tailbone region. For women, the physical discomfort of menstruation is exacerbated by the presence of pain in the coccyx. No matter the cause, pain in the coccyx, also known as coccydynia, is perfectly placed to disrupt your lifestyle and happiness. So what can we do about it?