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Your Child’s Studying Posture: 5 Tips to Help Improve It

The school year is well under way by now. Have you noticed your children’s posture as they do their homework (or watch TV or play video games, for that matter)? When we are focused on the project at hand, we often do not think about our bodies. It is all too common to see children slouching, leaning against the arm of the couch, or propping their heads up with one or both hands. Children don’t see the long-term danger in poor posture, because they are not experiencing pain yet. It has even become “cool” to be seen this way and “uncool” to use good posture. All of this can make trying to change their bad habits difficult for parents. There are some things you as a parent can do, however, to help them with their posture.

 

  • Lead by Example: Show by your own good example what good posture looks like.
  • Show Them: A mirror is a great tool to show your child what his/her posture looks like vs. healthy posture. Have your child stand looking sideways into a mirror. Point out how the ear, shoulder, hip and ankle should be in alignment. How far from that is their posture? Which areas need the most correction?
  • Chair: The chair your child uses can either help or hinder their posture. The most important aspect of a chair is that it will allow his/her feet to rest flat on the floor while their knees are bent at approximately 90 degrees. This way their back does not have to try to balance with the weight of dangling feet. If all of your chairs are too tall, try putting a foot stool or wooden block under his feet. Back support is another issue. If the seat is too deep, your child is likely to slouch to try to reach the back of the chair. If you don’t have a chair that fits his body correctly, try putting a pillow behind him as he sits.
  • Desk:  Check the height of the desk he/she is using. Watch your child as he works. Where does the table meet his body? The desk tabletop should be at a level slightly above your child’s belly button in the middle of his torso.  If the table is too low, your child will tend to slouch forward while working.  If the table is too high, he/she will have to raise the shoulders (like shrugging) in order for their arms to reach their books and papers. This can cause overuse syndromes in the neck and shoulders. If the table is too high, try putting pillows under your child as he/she works. If the table is too low, try finding a lower chair to compensate. Then check to be sure this has not thrown his legs off balance. (See the last tip.)
  • Set Limits: What about the other activities—video games and TV?  Since most seating in our family rooms is not conducive to good posture, it is important to set time limits on these activities. Try limiting gaming to 20 minutes at a time. Set a timer; at the end of each 20 minutes, have your child get up and move around for a few minutes before going back to their game.

If you try these tips and still do not see improvement in your child’s posture, or if your child complains of pain, or has difficulty sitting still for longer periods of time, it may be that there is some underlying muscular tightness or weakness that is making it difficult for him to practice good posture. Dr.Marone can help in diagnosing the problem and help to get the body back to anatomical neutral through adjusting the spine and by recommending exercises for strengthening or stretching. It is this neutral positioning that puts the least pressure on the joints, reduces tension in our muscles, and optimizes circulation.

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/tips-healthy-laptop-use/

http://maronewellness.com/arranging-a-childs-computer-station-for-good-posture/

 

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

Good-laptop-use

Laptop Use: 6 Tips to Keep You Healthy

Laptops are an essential part of daily life these days, however they can also be a source of neck pain, back pain, and hand strain. The very aspects of the laptop that make them so useful—its small size and compact keyboard and screen all in one—are what also make it so difficult to use without putting strain on our bodies. If we move the laptop high enough to see it without having to scrunch down, the keyboard will be too high for our hands to use well. If the keyboard is at a good height, the screen will be so low we might find ourselves bending over and scrunching down to get a good look at it.

 

Laptop Tips

There are several things you can do to make a laptop work while still saving your body in the process.

 

  1. Sit up with your spine straight and head balanced. Then look out at the horizon. Move your eyes down to meet the screen, not your neck. Tilt the screen of the laptop until you can see it well without having to bend your neck or hunch your shoulders in order to see it.
  2. Move the laptop far enough away from your body so that your arms aren’t pulling backward in order to use the keyboard. Be sure your arms are able to hang freely from the shoulders without tension.
  3. Use a book to raise the laptop a little closer to eye level. (Put it under the back half of the computer to raise it at a slight angle.)
  4. Place the laptop on enough books to raise the screen up to eye level. Then attach an external keyboard and place it at a height which will allow your arms to remain parallel with the floor as you work.
  5. If you wear glasses, be sure that you adjust them to fit you, not the other way around. Sometimes we can create neck pain by adjusting our necks so we can see through our glasses rather than adjusting our glasses so they are where they need to be for us to see the screen.
  6. If you find that sitting causes pain, you may want to try standing as you work. A kitchen countertop may be just the right height. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet to avoid strain on your back.

 

Work is so much easier if we’re comfortable while we’re doing it! We’d love to hear from you. Let us know which tips have been the most helpful!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/arranging-a-childs-computer-station-for-good-posture/

http://maronewellness.com/what-do-you-look-like-when-you-use-your-phone-or-tablet/

http://maronewellness.com/i-pad-hand-the-new-technology-syndrome/

http://maronewellness.com/taking-care-of-that-not-so-furry-mouse/

http://maronewellness.com/how-do-you-use-your-hands-at-the-computer/

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

Handwriting

Handwriting Tips to Avoid Painful Hands

Pain while writing can be a result of something as simple as a tightened muscle, to something more involved such as arthritic changes. Handwriting doesn’t have to be painful, however. If we learn to use our hands and our writing implements properly, pain can be avoided or at least lessened.

  • Sit upright so that you are not putting your body weight on your forearm as you write. Doing so can put pressure on nerves and create pain.
  • It is best for your upper and lower arm to form an “L” or a wider angle as you write. The more your elbow is bent the greater the hand and wrist strain will be.
  • Keep your fingers and hand relaxed. Be aware of the back of your hand remaining relaxed.
  • Watch for knuckles turning white. This is a tell-tale evidence of tension.
  • The more open your fingers are the better. Curled (as opposed to curved) fingers put more tension on the flexor tendons and can lead to pain.
  • Allow your wrist and forearm to move your writing implement rather than your fingers. Keep your fingers as still as possible.
  • Be sure that your paper is at an angle that allows your wrist to stay relaxed. If not, rearrange your work space until the wrist is “neutral”—straight in relation to your hand and forearm, as it looks when it is hanging comfortably at your side.
  • If your thumb is painful while writing, try supporting your pencil in the web space between the index finger and middle (long) finger.
  • Use cursive as much as possible. Cursive writing puts less strain on the hands than printing.
  • Practice writing with larger lines. Larger handwriting is less stressful on the hands than small, cramped writing.
  • Use writing implements that are larger in diameter. They allow your hand to be more open.
  • Use rubber grips, tubing or tape on the end of your pencils and pens to reduce the amount of force necessary to grip.
  • Pens with easy flow ink, gel, or roller balls require less pressure and put less friction between the tip and the paper. Try switching to one of those.
  • Be sure to pace yourself. Take breaks when writing, and write more slowly.

Happy handwriting!

As usual, please feel free to let us know which of these ideas was the most helpful to you by leaving a comment below.

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/what-do-you-look-like-when-you-use-your-phone-or-tablet/

http://maronewellness.com/i-pad-hand-the-new-technology-syndrome/

http://maronewellness.com/taking-care-of-that-not-so-furry-mouse/

 

 

5 Possible Causes of Your Sciatica

Sciatica—that feeling of pain, numbness or tingling you may be experiencing in your buttocks and down one or both legs—is often due to the sciatic nerve being irritated. What we refer to as the sciatic nerve is actually several nerve roots from the lower spine that have joined together. It then connects to many other nerves that branch out throughout the lower extremities and into the ankle and foot.

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Pain While Driving? More Tips to Help

Because of the way car seats are made, it is very easy for us to curl our torsos as we sit at the steering wheel, and the weight of our body ends up being supported by our tailbone. But the tailbone is not designed to carry that weight. Our “sit bones”—the ones that are shaped like rockers and that can be felt underneath you when you are sitting—are the bones that are supposed to be holding us up.

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What Do You Look Like When You Use Your Phone or Tablet?

Have you ever watched someone else using a cell phone? Was their posture good or poor? Most likely it was quite poor. When we get focused on a phone or tablet, we tend to want to create some “private space.” To do that, we pull our heads and necks forward and curl our upper body into a ball to get that private feeling. If someone is talking on the phone, they may also be hunching their shoulder up to cradle the phone next to their ear.

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Keep Your Head Balanced for More Ease While Working

Last time we discussed your sit bones. Now let’s look at your head’s role in computer posture—or your posture at any time!

Heads Up!

With your upper body balanced over the sit bones, let’s look at your head. Take a moment to be aware of your head. Where is it? Is it balanced over the top of your spine, or is it leaning forward to see the screen? The second option is all too common. The head is at the opposite end of the spine from the sit bones. It counterbalances the sit bones. If either end is out of balance, then the whole upper body is compromised.

Read More

How Are You Sitting While Using Your Computer?

No matter how great our furniture is, if we are contorting our bodies in unnatural ways while we are using the furniture, we will still experience pain.

Any time we balance on the correct part of our skeleton, the muscles are not overworked to hold us up. We have several balancing points in our torso. If we allow those to line up, then we will be held upright by the skeleton and the muscles that were designed to do the job. A typical slumping posture may seem to be more relaxed, but it actually leads to more tension.

Read More