Northwest Wellness's Blog

Useful information for a healthy lifestyle.

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Workplace Ergonomics

Workplace Ergonomics

Most people in today's society spend a large portion of their day sitting at a desk. If you have a desk job, you can probably relate to the never-ending aches and pains that come along with prolonged sitting. Here are 3 things you can do about it.

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Forward Head Posture and Lung Capacity

Forward Head Posture and Lung Capacity

With the increasing use of smartphones and laptops, problems in the neck and shoulders have been increasing. A healthy spine has three different curves that act as shock absorbers and support the body. The most important curve is the neck curve, the cervical lordosis. A normal neck curve presents with a C shaped curve approximately 43 degrees measured from the second vertebra in the neck to the seventh vertebra in the neck.  When the upper thoracic spine starts rounding due to poor posture, the position of the head and neck will change to compensate for it.

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Britt's Tips: Posture and the Rear View Mirror Trick

Britt's Tips: Posture and the Rear View Mirror Trick

We all have busy, hectic lives, rarely allowing time to take care of ourselves. Being able to sneak in stretches and exercises wherever possible is key. Often our car commute is the only time we’re not overburdened with work, chasing after kids, taking care of the house, or sleeping. Let’s take advantage of this quiet time and apply one of my favorite postural improvement tips.

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Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Impingement

Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Impingement

The rotator cuff refers to four specific muscles of the shoulder; the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis. The rotator cuff surrounds the shoulder joint and is meant to provide stability to the joint during dynamic movement. Learn why these muscles are important for you to be exercising.

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What Is Northwest Wellness?

What Is Northwest Wellness?

Northwest Wellness is the lifetime vision of Dr. Lorri Nichols of Federal Way, WA.  Beginning as a small chiropractic practice in 1989, Northwest Wellness has grown into a multidisciplinary, integrated practice providing comprehensive health care to Federal Way and the surrounding community.  Our practice consists of primary care, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, nutrition and weight loss to serve all of your health care needs.

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How To Prevent Back Pain

How To Prevent Back Pain

Eighty percent of all adults will experience and episode of lower back pain during their lifetime.  For some individuals this will become a chronic condition that can become debilitating.  Here are some tips to avoid back pain and take good care of your spine:

·         Sit with Proper Posture-Shoulders back with your lower back slightly curved forward.  You can also use a lower back cushion for extra support.

·         Avoid Prolonged Sitting-If your job requires you to sit for eight hours per day be sure to stand up, stretch and walk around every hour.

·         Bend At Your Hip-When bending over,  hinge at your hips while keeping your back straight rather than bending in the lower back.

·         Use Proper Lifting Techniques- Hold the item close to your body, engage your core and bend at the knees or the hips.

·         Sleep on the Proper Mattress in the Correct Position-A mattress should be firm enough to support your weight but have a soft enough cover to cushion your body.  Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees or on your back with a pillow under your knees.

·         Avoid An Inflammatory Diet –Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and healthy proteins.  Avoid sugar and processed foods.

·         STOP SMOKING-smoking inhibits blood flow, weakens your bones and breaks down the cushioning disks between the bones of the spine.

·         Exercise Regularly – Walk, swim, cycle, stretch and lift weights.  These activities promote flexibility, strength and circulation which will keep your spine healthy.

·         Maintain a Healthy Weight- carrying extra weight will stress the joints of the spine as well as the knees and ankles causing degeneration and pain.

For more information on avoiding back pain and maintaining a healthy spine call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

 

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How To Bend Without Hurting Your Back

How To Bend Without Hurting Your Back

 

One of the more common things I see in practice are patients who report an acute onset of lower back pain when they bend over to pick up something small, like a pencil or a sheet of paper.  Clearly, the object being retrieved is not the source of the lower back pain as in a lifting injury, but rather the biomechanics of how the repeatedly bend throughout the day.   I also have patients that by teaching them to bend properly, reduced the incidence of acute lower back pain by 80% last year.

So what is the big bending secret?  Most people have the tendency to bend forward by rounding their lower back or lumbar spine.  This motion reverses the normal lumbar curve and places undo stress on the lumbar vertebra and discs.  The intervertebral discs are made up of two sections; the soft gelatinous nucleus pulposis and the strong, fibrous annulus.  Over time, with the biomechanical stress place by improper bending the annulus may become frayed and the nucleus with protrude through causing a disc bulge or herniation.  Bending in the lumbar spine also puts strain on the lumbar musculature and can cause a muscle strain or spinal segmental dysfunction.

To bend properly you should “hinge” at your hips rather than rounding the lumbar spine.  By doing so, you use the large ball and socket joints of the hip that are designed for this type of motion.  Hinging at the hips allows for maximum, efficient motion and spares the structures of the spine while strengthening the core muscles and stretching the hamstrings.

To Properly Hip Hinge:

·         Place your feet about 12 inches apart.

·         Keep your back straight.

·         Contract “the core” by tightening the abdominal muscles.

·         Keep your back straight.

·         As you soften your knees, allow the pubic bone to move backward.

·         Rotate forward around the hip sockets.
 

For more information on preventing back pain or injury contact Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

 

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Things You Should Know About Low Back Pain

Things You Should Know About Low Back Pain

Low back pain is far too common in today's society. About 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point throughout life. Low back pain can be very debilitating for many people and can severely impact overall quality of life. The good news is that low back pain can be managed. In fact, most low back pain conditions are easily managed conservatively and do not require surgery. 

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Tech Neck

Tech Neck

With people constantly sitting hunched over their computer for work or staring down at their cell phones, it is no wonder why so many people have chronic neck pain.  More than 4 billion people around the world will send 19 billion text messages in just one day. (1)  Four billion people will also send out 269 billion emails a day. (2)  Americans are definitely the leaders in sending half of those text messages and emails. (3)  Those text messages and emails have provided us with easier access for our business and personal lives, but there is a price to be paid. Keeping your head bent down and shoulders hunched over for prolonged periods of time creates what is now called tech neck.

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