Stretching is something you have probably considered doing before, yet even with knowing the benefits of stretching, somehow you never manage to get around to it.
What is the Problem with Not Stretching?
After you sit all day at work, you may start to get tight hips and develop lower back pain.
This is because when you sit too long it puts more pressure on the spine and compresses the vertebrae. This compression can lead to a lot of tightness making it hard for you to move, which increases soreness.
The same concept can apply when you put repetitive pressure on your body during physical activities that you enjoy!
At Our Auburn, WA Office
Dr. Jason Henke using the vibracussor on his patient after doing some assisted stretching. The vibracussor helps ease muscle tension and "fine tune" the adjustment.
What is Assisted Stretching?
Assisted stretching is having someone stretch your body for you. For safety reasons assisted stretches are usually done under the care of a chiropractor or physical therapist. These stretches are done manually or can incorporate special equipment. Assisted stretching can be tailored to individual needs and goals. These stretches can be immediately effective for counteracting tight muscles and relieving many types of pain symptoms.
What are the Potential Benefits of Assisted Stretches?
You have probably learned that there are many benefits of stretching, but when you try to do a total body stretch routine you may find that it is uncomfortable and you are not sure if you are doing it properly.
Then instead of making things better, you could make the soreness worse or even cause an injury if you move incorrectly.
The benefits you could find with assisted stretches are:
Not feeling sore after workouts
Not feeling fatigued during work
Increased blood flow which prevents the delayed onset of sore muscles
Increases range of motion around the joints
Feeling more youthful because able to move freely without pain
Additionally, assisted stretch benefits can also help with getting the “hunch” out of the spine which can give you a more confident and taller appearance.
The Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) Technique
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a technique that could help you maximize the effectiveness of stretching without causing the sort of discomfort that keeps a lot of people away from it.
Whether you sit at your desk much of the day, perform physical labor, exercise, or are a competitive athlete, AIS can help your work and recovery become more efficient and more fun.
For example, if you sit a lot during the day, assisted stretch therapy can help you to restore looseness and more space in your joints which can help you with lower back pain that is often the result of poor posture.
Is Your Desk Job Ruining Your Back?
In our modern day lives, most of us spend hours on end at work, or at home, sitting in some kind of chair. Unfortunately, most chairs are not designed by chiropractors. Sitting for prolonged periods of time without proper back support can lead to all kinds of nasty pains and aches. Even worse, it can eventually lead to chronic back issues. Some medical health experts are now even calling sitting the new smoking. There are a few methods you can use to reduce this problem. First, remember to schedule regular adjustments with your chiropractor. The benefits of regular adjustments are well documented and can benefit your overall health in a number of ways.
The second method is to understand how your sedentary lifestyle is affecting your back and slowly make changes to correct the issues. In Sunday school, many of us were taught the importance of good posture. But how many of us still follow what we were taught? Maintaining a good posture is difficult and can be extremely tiring at first. There are various muscles that have atrophied because you haven’t used them to hold yourself up for years. Changing your posture will tire you out at first, which may actually be a good thing. You can consider the change to your posture as a mini-exercise. Imagine you’re slowing training your muscles over time by maintaining the correct posture.
How to Correct Your Posture While at Work
But what is the correct posture? The generally accepted “correct” posture is as follows. While at your office desk, keep your head, neck and shoulders upright, forward and aligned. This may be the toughest part for those who constantly slouch. Adjust the height of your chair so your hips are slightly higher than your knees and remember to leave room between the back of your knees and the chair. Your computer monitor should be between 20” and 30” away and directly in front of you. And if you can, find an office chair that has lower back support. Although the changes may seem insignificant, you will notice that it is not so easy to maintain this position. But if you can maintain this correct posture over a long period of time, you’ll start noticing big changes in your body.
Correcting Your Posture - Why It Matters
Aches and pains can come in a variety of forms, and from a slew of sources, regardless of your overall health or level of fitness. For many, muscle and joint discomfort may seem like it’s out of the blue, but in all reality, a simple issue is at play. Poor posture, which takes place when the muscles of the body are not adequately supporting the body’s frame, can happen to anyone. It may be the cause of aging or simply being unaware that good posture is lacking. Regardless of the reason poor posture is present, it can take a toll on the strength and health of your muscles and joints if it is not corrected.
The Results of Bad Posture
When bad posture is an ongoing issue, it can lead to more than an appearance problem. Having a misalignment of your spine puts pressure on your joints, bones, and muscles, leading to the following outcomes:
Neck, back, and shoulder pain
Wear and tear on the joints
Recognizing When Posture is Off Balance
Most adults aren’t aware that bad posture is an issue for them. There are a few tell-tale signs that your body is out of alignment, even when pressing symptoms aren’t noticeable. First, slumped shoulders are a warning sign of bad posture. The majority of adults work a desk or office job throughout the week. The long periods of looking down at a computer or device leads to a natural downward tilt of the head and rounded shoulders. If you have tension in your upper back, shoulders, or neck, this could be a sign of bad posture.
Similarly, an uneven weight distribution could be an indicator that your posture is off. When standing, favoring one leg over the other is a sign. If you don’t notice this naturally, having one shoe sole worn down more than the other may also mean weight distribution isn’t what it should be. Experiencing pain or tightness on one side of the body and not the other is also an indication that bad posture is at play.
How to Fix Your Posture
Correcting bad posture is not always an overnight success. Instead, it may require rewiring your body to stay in better alignment throughout each day. Chiropractic care can help, as regular adjustments and ongoing recommendations for better posture. The can keep your neck, shoulders, and back healthy and strong. For at-home or at-work remedies on your own, take into consideration what you can do while sitting, standing, or sleeping.
Sitting posture – keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest and try not to cross your legs. A slight gap in between the back of the knees and front of the seat, while keeping knees at or below your hip level helps in promoting good posture while sitting.
Standing posture – weight should be focused on the balls of your feet and knees slightly bent while standing. Your arms should hang naturally, and your shoulders should roll back. Think about aligning your ears with your shoulders and try to balance your weight equally on both feet.
Sleeping posture – start with the right mattress that is not too soft or too firm. Having a good pillow also helps improve posture while resting, and try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. If you are a side sleeper, place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine aligned.
Getting back to good posture takes some time, but following these simple steps can make it easier to turn into a habit.
If you are:
Favoring one side of the body more than the other
Noticing tension building up in your shoulders
Having tension in your neck
Think about what you can do to correct your posture at home or at the office.
The Benefits of Stretching Exercises for Your Back
Poor posture is an issue at work because we are all too often staring down at a screen or the phone. With slacking posture you can experience a slew of health issues, from decreased organ functioning to pain in the neck and back. It is a good idea to take a moment to stretch out for a minute or two. You can stay seated and bring your arms slowly up above your head, or bend down with a straight back and let your arms hang toward the floor. Bend from side to side if you’re able to release built up tension. There are many different stretches you can do while at your office desk.
Another method to reduce back pain and increase your overall health is to do regular stretches throughout the day. Without stretches, your body will remain tense and you will be more prone to injury Stretches themselves do not have to be a full on exercise, but similar to maintaining correct posture, you should remember a few key points when stretching.
Start slow and do not bounce as you stretch
Find a spot of tension and slowly stretch for 5 to 20 seconds until you feel the tension easeIf you feel the tension slipping away. You can try to push a bit further and hold that new position for just a few seconds for added relief
Remember not to overextend any of the parts of your body that you’re stretching
These stretches are meant to relief extension and relax muscles, not cause pain or add stress to your body
Remember to start slow, target the areas with the most tension and continue stretching on a regular schedule. The combination of good posture with regular stretches will ease your bodily aches and pains. These healthy habits will give you flexibility and can even help you sleep better. . You only need a few minutes of stretching each hour to keep your organs, joints, and muscles in good working order at work.
Take a Lap, or Two
Getting up at the office isn’t always feasible. There are deadlines to meet, phone calls to make, and e-mails to respond to. However, taking a few minutes every hour to take a lap or two is incredibly beneficial to your health. Set a calendar reminder to stand up and walk around or invest in a fitness tracker that alerts you its time to move. Not only does this help with breaking up the often mundane workday, but it also keeps your heart and joints healthy over time.
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