February 2019 Newsletter
In honor of the month of love our Newsletter with be filled with ideas for self care. including how to have a more ergonomic office space and how to take care of pesky neck and shoulder tension! We hope you are continuing to embrace the new year and any personal goals you have set for yourself. As always we are here to support you and be of service in anyway we can!
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ERGONOMICS AT WORK
Neck pain, low back pain, carpal tunnel, and shoulder pain can all be caused by poor workstation ergonomics. Here are some tips for an ideal work station.
1. if you are sitting most of the day get up every half hour to walk and move your body for at least three minutes. You can set a timer on your computer or phone to remind you to move.
2. If it is available at work request a standing desk or a sit to stand desk. It is very difficult to sit properly all day and we tend to slouch. Rounding our low back and sitting behind our sitting bones. Sitting this way puts undo pressure on the discs, facet joints, and ligaments of the lumbar spine. Prolonged sitting over time in this position can lead to low back pain and damage to the discs, ligaments and joints of the spine. If you are sitting often in your day the best way to sit is right on your sitting bones so your lumbar spine has its natural curve. Getting up and moving your body every half hour will reduce the load on the lumbar spine as well.
3. Monitor position: whether you are sitting or standing your monitor should be positioned so that your are looking at the top 2/3 of your screen. Your head should be right over your spine and your eyes straight forward not looking down. This will prevent forward head posture which can cause tension headaches and neck pain. Every inch that your head is forward of your body it adds ten pounds of pressure to the bottom of your cervical spine and the top of your thoracic spine. Overtime this will cause neck, upper back pain and shoulder tightness. The more you can keep your head over your spine in your day the less likely you are to have these issues. If you have a lap top computer you can put books underneath it to elevate it and get a separate key board so your head can maintain proper position.
4. Forearm and wrist position: when typing your forearms should be slightly underneath your elbows and your wrists should be in a neutral position and not resting on anything. This will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are typing a lot in a day take time to stretch your wrists, fingers and forearms.
These are four simple ways you can improve your workstation and improve your health at the same time!
How to rid yourself of pesky neck and shoulder tension
Do you notice throughout your day you feel the tops of your shoulders tighten up and neck tension creep in? This happens to most people including kids! The reality of the world right now is that most of us are sitting more often in our day and using computers, phones, etc. As the Bay Area continues to grow we are also spending more time in our cars and dealing with more stressors. All of these can contribute to increased neck and shoulder tension. Here are a few simple ways you can reduce your neck and shoulder tension.
1. Notice where your head is in relationship to the rest of your body. Every inch that our head is forward of our spine it puts 10lbs of pressure where our upper back meets our neck. So having your head forward of your spine by just one inch you can have about 18lbs of pressure at the bottom of your neck. Here is a way to gently remind yourself where your head is. Take your index fingers and touch in front of your ear flap like you are going to plug your ears, then touch the middle of the side of your shoulder. In ideal posture those two points should line up. Doing this regularly throughout your day can improve your head position and decrease neck and shoulder tension. See images below.
2. You can roll your upper back and the base of your skull on the roller. When rolling the base of your skull you can add an arm on your forehead for extra pressure. See images below.
3. Lay on your back in your bed or on the ground and do a body scan. Go through your whole body from head to toe and notice any places that you are holding unnecessary tension. Send your breath to those places and see if you can allow them to release. Don’t force anything just notice any tension your body is holding on to and see if little by little you can allow it to melt away.
4. The first step to changing anything is becoming aware of it. See how many times in your day you can be aware of what your neck and shoulders are doing. Just ask yourself “what are my neck and shoulders doing”? If you notice your head forward of your spine try any of the suggested exercises above. If you notice tension at the top of your shoulders or in your neck see if you can gently allow it to release. The more aware you are the more you will be able to change any pattern that isn’t serving you.
Images for Exercise 1.
Images for exercise 2.
Dr. Tablak’s Favorite
Gluten-free blueberry muffins
Gluten-free blueberry muffins
2 eggs or egg replacer (flax or chia)
2 tablespoons organic butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon whole leaf stevia
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut flower
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Blend together eggs, butter, coconut milk, water, stevia, salt, and vanilla. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and thoroughly mix into batter until there are no lumps. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into baking cup liners lightly sprayed with olive oil. Bake for about 25-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 8 muffins.
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Los Gatos Chiropractic and Wellness Center Hours:
Monday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 2:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm