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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Don't irritate your spine, sit upright: UAE expert

  • Maintaining the natural curve of the spine is essential and promotes "good posture" over time.
Over time, poor posture at the workplace is caused from everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, staring at the computer, holding the phone to your ear with your shoulder, carrying a purse or a heavy laptop bag on your shoulder, driving, prolonged standing, etc. Identifying the warning signs of back pain, neck pain and damaging spinal structures caused by poor posture is very critical.

Careful while you sit...

> Use a lumbar support seat cushion

> Set the height of your chair allowing forearms to     be at 90 degrees to the upper arm

> Have a foot rest so that your thighs are at 90 degrees to the body

> Keep the lower legs at 90 degrees to the thighs

> Keep the computer screen at the height of your eyes


> Don't sit with crossed legs at knees

> Never hold the phone to your ear with the shoulder

> Avoid carrying heavy bags on the same shoulder for a long time

Usually, chairs at the workplace do not have enough lower back support and might need to use a lumbar support seat cushion. Maintaining the natural curve of the spine is essential and promotes "good posture" over time.

"The height of your chair should be set to allow your forearms to be at 90 degrees to your upper arm. You should have a foot rest that is tall enough to allow for your thighs to be at 90 degrees to your body, and your lower legs to be at 90 degrees to your thighs.Your computer screen should be at the height of your eyes. Lastly, you should attempt to sit with your chin retracted back to keep the weight of your head over your spine," says Dr Stan Pierce, founder, CEO, and lead instructor for EPIC (Evolutionary Percussive Instrument Corrections), and clinical director at the Atlas Spinal Centre.

Additionally, you should stand with equal weight on both feet, with your head over your spine, and shoulders resting back. You should sit as tall as possible, with your knees the same height to each other so that your hips are the same height. Sitting with crossed legs at the knees is not helpful to your spine.

Postural issues such as those mentioned can irritate the spine, but the much more devastating effects to the health of the neck and back is when the spinal bones are remaining in a wrong position from a previous trauma that misaligned the spine. These spinal misalignments can affect the nerve supply to the body and the blood flow to the head. Since muscles are nerve-controlled, and nerves are bone-protected, when the spinal bones are misaligned then the nerves begin to dysfunction which makes the muscles dysfunction. This can lead to muscles being chronically tight, sore, inflamed and painful.

"Many people go for massage therapy and physiotherapy to relieve the muscle soreness and pain but the muscle tightness and soreness quickly returns because the spinal alignment was not corrected first to allow the nerves that control the muscles to work properly. When muscles of the spine aren't working properly it can cause the spine to twist, scoliosis can form, the discs are weakened and can bulge or herniate; it can also cause someone to stand or walk crooked and irritate their hip, knee, or foot. Additionally, when the upper spine is misaligned, it can alter the blood flow to the head which can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, migraines and other significant brain conditions," adds Dr Stan Pierce.

/Khaleej Times.

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