Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Celebrities caught with bad posture - if chronic it will be much worse than a bad picture - pain and dysfunction will result.

Forward head posture - related to headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel, respiratory weakness and bad pictures.

11 Tips to picking your perfect mattress - Banic Chiropractic Clinic Issaquah, WA

1. Newer mattresses perform better no matter what the category. Multiple studies have indicated that some 70% of individuals who have replaced their mattress for any reason find that a newer mattress is better. This does not depend on mattress type or cost.

2. Body-conforming foam, air and water were rated best. In studies that did compare mattress types, the foam mattress (Tempur), air mattress, latex mattress, or water mattress usually prevailed over spring-type or cotton mattresses in reducing pain and improving sleep and function.

3. Firm is not better. Though I have heard multiple health-care professionals recommend firm beds, studies indicate on a scale from 1(hard) to 10(soft), patients with medium-firm mattresses (5.6) had less daytime low-back pain, pain while lying in bed, and pain on rising than did patients with firm mattresses (2.3).

4. Cheap beds are related to low back pain. In a comparison that discussed bed cost, subjects recorded back and shoulder pain, sleep quality, and comfort after a month in their own beds and then in new medium-firm bedding systems. The new beds improved all areas of measure. The study found that low back pain was significantly more prominent in those sleeping on the cheapest category of new beds.

5. Test the mattress in your recommended sleep position. There are a myriad of health conditions related to sleep position, and in most of these, lying on the back is the least preferred position. In fact, in a recent study of positional sleep apnea, which makes up 53.8% of all sleep apneas, they found that sleeping on the side instead of the back could reduce waking incidents as much as a prescription CPAP machine. Most other studies on individuals with medical conditions recommend side sleeping for improved health, unless shoulder problems are prevalent. There are no recommendations for healthy asymptomatic individuals to change their preferred sleep position.

6. Apparently no flip mattresses just result in half the life to the mattress. Similarly, pillowtops are very controversial. They are blamed for early indents and lumpiness on multiple mattress types. Websites suggest getting a mattress that can be flipped, with the level of softness you find comfortable and add accessories such as a washable or memory foam mattress topper later if preferred.

7. If you weigh more, expect to spend more to get a mattress that is known for durability. Of the body-conforming type mattresses, latex is described as the most durable, but it is the most expensive. Of the spring-type, you will have to investigate not only the number of coils but also the gauge of the wire thickness that is used.

8. Your attitude is important. In an interesting hotel study, surveys were used to assess sleep quality. Guests were randomly assigned to the old bed or new mattresses of three different qualities and prices. All three of the new beds were favored to the old. The individuals most negatively affected by the old mattress were those traveling for professional reasons and those with chronic low back pain or sleep disturbances.

9. Accessories can make a difference. In the management of waking cervical pain, and to improve sleep quality and pillow comfort in the side sleeping position, rubber pillows performed better than subjects' own pillow in most instances. Subjects' own pillow performed similarly to foam and polyester pillows, and there is no evidence that the use of a foam contour pillow has advantages over the regular shaped pillows in the side-lying position. Feather pillows should not be recommended. Side sleepers will also benefit greatly from placing a pillow between the knees to reduce hip strain. Specialized pillows are made for this purpose. Back sleepers may benefit from the support of a contour pillow and may also find placing a pillow behind the knees to be comfortable.

10. Sleep trials are the only recommended way to buy a mattress. The stores are accustomed to customers spending a great deal of time on the beds to test this major investment. Visit the store, bring your sleep accessories, lie in your preferred sleep position, and take a nap. Then, pay attention to how you feel when you get up.

11. Get a great deal - According to Consumer Reports, haggling for a mattress is common and buying mattress at half off the sticker price is not unheard of. Visit consumer reports for further recommendations, or buy from one of their top-rated stores, right here in Issaquah, COSTCO.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Apr 1;33(7):703-8. Better backs by better beds? Bergholdt K, Fabricius RN, Bendix T.
Appl Ergon. 2008 Mar;39(2):247-54. Epub 2007 Jun 26. Grouped comparisons of sleep quality for new and personal bedding systems. Jacobson BH, Wallace TJ, Smith DB, Kolb T.
Schmerz. 1999 Jun 11;13(3):205-7. Associations between back pain, quality of sleep and quality of mattresses. Double-blind pilot study with hotel guests. Enck P, Walten T, Traue HC.
Lancet. 2003 Nov 15;362(9396):1599-604. Effect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain: randomised, double-blind, controlled, multicentre trial. Kovacs FM, Abraira V, Peña A, Martín-Rodríguez JG, Sánchez-Vera M, Ferrer E, Ruano D, Guillén P, Gestoso M, Muriel A, Zamora J, Gil del Real MT, Mufraggi N.
Ergonomics. 2002 Sep 15;45(11):798-815. Physiologic responses during rest on a sleep system at varied degrees of firmness in a normal population. Lahm R, Iaizzo PA.
J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2010 Oct;19(7):989-93. Epub 2010 Jul 24. Subacromial pressures vary with simulated sleep positions. Werner CM, Ossendorf C, Meyer DC, Blumenthal S, Gerber C.
Man Ther. 2009 Dec;14(6):671-8. Epub 2009 May 7.Pillow use: the behaviour of cervical pain, sleep quality and pillow comfort in side sleepers. Gordon SJ, Grimmer-Somers K, Trott P.
Swiss Med Wkly. 2004 Sep 18;134(37-38):543-51. The role of body position and gravity in the symptoms and treatment of various medical diseases. Martin-Du Pan RC, Benoit R, Girardier L.
Harefuah. 2009 May;148(5):304-9, 351, 350. The significance of body posture on breathing abnormalities during sleep: data analysis of 2077 obstructive sleep apnea patients] Oksenberg A, Arons E, Greenberg-Dotan S, Nasser K, Radwan H.
J Clin Sleep Med. 2010 Jun 15;6(3):238-43.Comparison of positional therapy to CPAP in patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea. Permut I, Diaz-Abad M, Chatila W, Crocetti J, Gaughan JP, D'Alonzo GE, Krachman SL.

Headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel, breathing dysfunction - 6 reasons to reduce forward head posture NOW!

The weight of the average head is 12 pounds. Every inch the head shifts forward, the work of the neck muscles is increased by an additional 12 pounds.* This shift away from normal posture causes muscles to work much harder, zaps your energy, and leads to;

Headaches – Increase in magnitude of head forward posture results in;
Increase in headache frequency
Decrease in neck range of motion
Decrease in neck muscle strength and endurance

Carpal Tunnel – Increase in magnitude of head forward posture causes;
Increase in carpal tunnel symptoms of pain, numbness, and dysfunction
Altered nerve dynamics in response to moving other joints
Decreased function in nerves that supply the arm and hand

Shoulder Pain – Increased forward head posture, and rolled forward shoulders
Decrease in shoulder and neck range of motion
Caused local changes to blood supply
Increase risk of shoulder and arm pain

Respiratory Function – Increase in magnitude of forward head posture is correlated to;
Decreased respiratory muscle strength
Decreased maximal voluntary ventilation

Neck Pain – Increase in magnitude of forward head posture is correlated to;
Increased chronic neck pain
Increased disability from neck pain


(Kapundji, Physiology of Joints; Vol. 3)

Prevention is KNOWING when you have a risk factor for disease and CORRECTING where you deviate from normal. Are you at risk for pain?

Preventative health is about managing your risk factors; all the ways you deviate from normal measures. Normal posture is the upright posture that requires the least energy to maintain. Even small shifts away from normal significantly increase the work your muscles must do as you go through your normal activities of living. Over your lifetime, this weakens the body and leads to disease.
The image above represents where the centers of body mass vertically align with gravity, note where the red line intersects the body. Deviation from normal can occur by bending to the sides or shifting forward or back. 9 steps to observing posture:

1. Have the subject close their eyes, nod the head up and down, and march in place.

2. Have the subject stop with their eyes closed, feet facing forward, as if looking to the horizon.

3. Observe the head from the front – is the face turned to the right or left?
-are the eyes level or is the head tilted toward the shoulder?
-is the chin over the center of the chest where the clavicles meet?

4. Observe the chest from the front – are the shoulders / chest turned to the right or left?
-is one shoulder higher than the other?
-is the upper body centered over the pelvis or is it shifted off of center?

5. Observe the hips from the front or back – are the hips twisted away from where the feet point?
-are the hips shifted, with more weight over one of the feet?
-does one leg look shorter? (this can only be determined by X-ray)

6. Observe the head from the side – is the ear in front of the shoulder? How far?

7. Observe the upper back from the side – is it humped? Are the shoulders rolled forward?
-is the upper body shifted forward as if more weight is on the toes?
-is the upper body shifted back in the classic teenager slump?

8. Observe the hips from the side – are they shifted forward or back over the feet?

9. Repeat steps above – Study after study, have demonstrated that an individual’s neutral resting posture is unique, repeatable, and reveals risk factors for disease.

What is wellness? Using simple proven methods to improve your health over a lifetime, and looking great is the bonus.

There are many many reasons to work to maintain great posture over your lifetime. Though a dramatic improvement in your long-term health is compelling, for many people thier motivation is looking younger and more attractive.