Want to Live Longer? Listen to what your Mother Tells you.

Here’s the scenario: I show a patient their posture pictures and the person sees their head leaning forward, and says to me, “My mom has been on my case my whole life to stand up straighter!” old woman

So we have a laugh about it, but it is no laughing matter. The reason these patients were not able to stand up straighter is because their bodies do not permit them to! It’s not because they are lazy and do not want to. It’s because their spinal structure has adapted unsuccessfully over the course of their life, and this is the way their body compensates.

You may think, other than it not looking attractive, what is the health risk of having your head leaning forward? That’s a great question, and here’s the answer:

Imagine your head the weight of a 10 pound bowling ball.

Imagine your head leaning forward 10 or 20 degrees. Do you think this makes your head lighter or heavier? Of course the answer is heavier. How much heavier?

Research has shown that for every degree your head leans forward, that’s an extra pound of weight that needs to be supported by your neck and upper back muscles and spinal column. So, if your head is 20 degrees forward, you are supporting 30 pounds compared to 10 pounds in a healthy spine.

If this pattern were to continue over 20 or 30 years, how could this affect your long term health? In the September 23, 2004 issue of Journal of American Geriatrics Society, a study was done on over 1300 geriatrics. The results of the study showed that geriatrics with a hyperkyphotic curve, that means a greater exaggeration of the upper back curve, developed by a forward leaning head, INCREASED MORTALITY BY UP TO 14 YEARS!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52458.x/full

Why? One reason is that the stress of a forward leaning head over a long period of time will result in reduced blood and nerve supply to your heart, and the reason given in the study is hyperkyphotic posture was specifically associated with an increased rate of death due to atherosclerosis.

Reduced nerve supply and reduced blood flow to your heart is serious business. This is why I have been using a digital posture analysis in my health practice for years. Your posture is a window into the function of your Nervous System.

Poor posture means poor Nervous System function.

Poor Nervous System function means poor ability to adapt, thrive and heal.

Poor ability to adapt, thrive and heal is a recipe for sickness, illness and disease.

Show me someone with poor posture who exhibits amazing health. Show me someone with poor posture with lots of energy and stamina.

Maybe your mother was right after all!

 

 

Steve Kerr says, “Stay away from Back Surgery”

Yes, I am a sports junkie, and there is much to gleam from the world of sports. If you do not follow pro basketball, the Golden State Warriors were crowned NBA Champions Monday night, but head coach Steve Kerr is not in a celebrating mood, and it’s because of his back and what’s followed since the back surgery that he got back in the summer of 2015.steve kerr

Here’s the problem that Kerr has been dealing with since his first back surgery: leaking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Your brain and connected spinal cord are pretty sensitive. Therefore, the brain and spinal cord sit in a “balloon” filled with clear fluid, called CSF, that cushions and protects these vital structures. This CSF bath helps ward off nasty microbes too. Normally the “balloon” membrane keeps the CSF from leaking out, but if this membrane is punctured, during an accident or surgery for example, then the CSF is no longer contained.

CSF leaks are not pretty and can cause all kinds of problems. This is because the leaks change the pressure in the “balloon” so that the brain and spinal cord are no longer cushioned quite the same way. Messing with the brain and spinal cord can literally mess you up, but you know that, that’s why you’re here! Common problems are headaches, nausea, vomiting, neck or shoulder pain and stiffness, and balance problems. Such leaks can affect your senses, impairing your hearing and sense of smell or making you extra-sensitive to light and sound. You can have strange tastes in your mouth or ringing in your ears. The CSF can make its way into your nose, ear, sinuses or other parts of your body. The symptoms can be debilitating and obviously prevented him from coaching effectively and enjoying his amazing life, coaching the best team in professional basketball.

The problems started around when the Warriors won the NBA championship in June 2015. He had suffered a ruptured disk in his back and then underwent surgery. After the surgery, he began experiencing CSF leaks, which led to another surgery later that year. The second surgery did not successfully correct the problem. Since then, Kerr has gone through a wide range of attempts to ease his symptoms, ranging from different medical treatments to yoga to meditation to marijuana.

To date, nothing has really worked. After the first surgery, Kerr started suffering from a leak of cerebrospinal fluid. Since then, Kerr has been going back and forth among different health specialists (including a second surgery later in 2015), trying to deal with the leaking cerebrospinal fluid that has occurred since his first back surgery. Although CSF leakages can occur spontaneously, based on reports, the timing did seem to coincide with the first surgery. In fact, Kerr told the Washington Post, “I can tell you if you’re listening out there, stay away from back surgery. I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anyone get in there.”

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Text Neck

text neck75% of the world’s population spends hours daily hunched over their handheld devices with their heads bent forward. The frequent forward flexion can cause spinal subluxations, misalignment of your cervical spine, stress on your supporting ligaments, tendons, and musculature, commonly causing postural distortions.

Among the chief complaints associated with text-neck are neck, shoulder, back, arm wrist, and finger pain, headaches, and numbness and tingling of the upper extremities.

If left untreatedhead forward posture can result in serious permanent damage including:

Spinal Subluxations

Flattening of Spinal Curve

Decreased Muscle Strength

Spinal Degeneration

Spinal Misalignment

Disc Herniation

Disc Compression

Muscle Damage

Nerve Damage

Decreased Lung Function

How to Reduce or Prevent Handheld Device Related Pain. Tips from Dr. Marc Wind, D.C.

Limit the amount of time and frequency that you use your device.  If you have to use it for an extended period of time, take breaks. Take a 3 minute break for every 15 minutes you are texting or surfing.

Stretch! One simple exercise is to tilt your head to one side (ear to shoulder) then to the other side, back to neutral, turn to look all the way to the right, then left.  Back to neutral, then lean head back and back to neutral.  Do all without raising shoulders. Don’t stretch forward. This only accentuates the poor posture you are trying to avoid. Do it slowly, without straining. Repeat.

Pay attention to your posture.  Pay attention to how you hold your device. Try to keep your wrists straight and upright. Loosen your grip when possible.  Alternate the fingers you use to type; if you most often use your thumbs, try to switch to your index finger as it allows you to keep the hands more relaxed.

texting posture

Listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain in your neck, back, shoulders, hands, or eye-strain, pay attention. Those aches and pains have a source, and in this case, it may be technology.  Overuse of handheld devices can also exacerbate an existing or old injury so be aware of what you are feeling. Don’t’ fall into the trap of, “if I ignore it, it will go away”

Seek help: If you or someone you know is experiencing discomfort, do not wait. Seek Dr. Wind’s professional help as soon as possible. Taking action now could prevent serious health problems in the future. Prevention is the best cure.