Neck 2

Neck Injuries

What is Good Posture?

Standing with the good posture looks and feels fantastic, plus it's very healthy for your joints, muscles, bones, blood circulation and most importantly, your self-esteem. That's why proud and confident people stand tall with excellent posture. It's a habit!How you hold your body in space is your posture. Your posture is a direct result of the postural habits that you commonly exhibit. You can choose to hold good posture or poor posture. Gravity is your worst enemy while standing or sitting. You could also refer to this as your spinal posture, back or neck posture.The good news for you is that you can quite easily change your postural habits and train your body to sit, stand, walk, and even rest in great postures. Good posture also places the least strain upon your supporting muscles and ligaments.But, no one posture is good to maintain all day. As a human, you were designed to move from posture to posture to avoid muscle fatigue and abnormal sustained tissue loading. This means that your best posture is your next posture!

Benefits of Good Posture

Good posture:
  • Prevents postural muscle fatigue.
  • Correctly aligns your joints and bones to encourage efficient muscle activity.
  • Helps minimalise joint stress.
  • Avoids passive ligament overload.
  • Prevents backache, neckache and muscular pain.
  • Contributes to your enhanced confidence and a good appearance!
Standing comfortably with good posture should feel natural and energy efficient. Bad postural habits can cause a few muscular aches and pains for a few days during the early transition (posture habit change) phase. You may experience temporary joint or muscle discomfort or fatigue as your joints realign, ligaments stretch and postural muscles start working. The good news is that if you keep at maintaining a good posture your body will quickly adapt and you'll feel more comfortable and strong in your new normal posture.Plus... the up side is that not only will you be less likely to suffer pain, you'll look confident and feel fantastic too!

How to Improve Your Standing Posture:

The number one tip to achieve a great standing posture is to simply"stand tall"! All the muscles that you need to push you taller are the same ones that improve your posture.
  • Stand tall!
  • Extend your head directly up (think balloon lifting your head with a string in the top of your scull) - but keep your chin tucked in. Avoid tilting your head forward, backward or sideways.
  • Your earlobes will line up with the middle of your shoulders.
  • Keep your shoulders back, your knees straight and your back straight.
  • Let arms hang naturally down the sides of the body
  • Lightly draw in your core stomach muscles. Avoid tilting your pelvis forward.
  • Avoid locking the knees
  • Ensure your feet arches are in a neutral (not flat) position.
  • Stand with weight over the the centre of your feet.
  • Stand with your feet slightly apart (shoulder-width).
  • When standing for a sustained periods, shift your weight from one foot to the other, or stand in walk stand and rock your weight from your front to back foot.

How to Quickly Check Your Standing Posture

Stand against a wall with shoulders and bottom touching wall. The rear of your head should lightly touch the wall.

How to Correct Your Posture?

If you experience discomfort in the above test and you can't easily correct your posture, you may have some restriction of joint, ligament or muscular movement. All of these problems can be quickly assessed and quickly improved by your physiotherapist. Please consult them for advice.Having difficulty maintaining a normal upright posture? You are probably suffering from reduced muscle endurance or strength. But these can both be easily improved with some practice of the right exercises. Your physiotherapist is an expert in prescribing the best postural exercises for you in a stage-appropriate manner to help your improve your posture without causing unnecessary pain or injury.You physiotherapist may also advise a posture brace or prescribe some posture taping to assist you to quickly achieve and maintain a good posture.Contact your physiotherapist for posture advice specific to you and your needs.
A posture brace can help you position your shoulder blades into a better posture and allow you to return to everyday activities sooner. However, we don’t usually encourage their long-term use because research has shown that your shoulder and upper back muscles will weaken as you become reliant on the brace.  There are better ways that are exercise-based.Children's posture, in particular, can be improved by wearing a posture brace for an hour or two a day while studying to encourage awareness of a good posture.

More Information about Posture Braces

Back Tone 4000: Posture Trainer

A Biofeedback Device

Re-train your body to great posture in just 20 minutes a dayGood Posture makes you look great, feel more energetic and project confidence. It also helps prevent injury and reduce pain.We all want good posture but it can be so hard to achieve. That's because acquiring good posture involves not only learning new movements, but changing life-long habits as well.Just knowing how to correct your posture is not enough to achieve a change in your actual habit. Our body uses learnt motor patterns to perform everyday activities. When we sit, stand, walk or move - our body follows previously learnt motor patterns. If your body has learned to slouch - that's what it will do. BackTone helps you re-train that motor pattern.

What is BackTone?

The BackTone 4000 is the latest biofeedback device for re-training postural habits. Worn for short periods daily, BackTone beeps whenever the wearer slouches. Straightening up turns the beep off. Users wear their BackTone during everyday simple tasks.Wear the BackTone for about 20 minutes at a time during everyday tasks. Without even thinking about your posture, you will straighten up whenever the BackTone beeps.The New BackTone 4000 has:
  • 4 -5 second vibration option for use in noisy environments
  • New strapping configuration for more active tasks
  • Firmer strapping and rubber-backed waist band for less slippage
  • Easy change battery

BackTone Benefits

  • Can be worn at work - the sound emitted is low volume thus does not distract others
  • The backTone 4000 now has a vibration mode for noisy or discrete environments
  • Not cumbersome, easy to put on, no cleaning
  • Wear outside of clothing
  • Not a ‘support’ but a training device (reusable)

 Features of the New BackTone 4000

 
  • Vibration Option allows use in noisy or quiet environments
  • New strapping configuration:
    • Allows wearing during more active tasks.
    • Suits clients with sloping shoulders
    • Allows adjustment for wider range of body shapes
  • Rubber backing on rear waist helps to anchor BackTone
  • Louder, deeper beep (plus vibration option) allows use by people with hearing problems
  • Attractive new packaging and instruction guide

Health Practitioner Tips

Backtone Retrains Posture Habits Like No Other Strategy.Allow Sufficient Time
  • It takes at least 21 days to change any habit. Wear BackTone for 20 mins, a couple of times a day for as long as you like – and actually change the habit.
Use a Train/Feedback/Practice Regime
  • Wear BackTone to learn good posture during activity. Then REMOVE IT and practice without the feedback. Daily non-wearing is just as important as wearing. This allows the training to naturally flow into everyday activities.
Avoid Fatigue
  • BackTone is designed to be easily removed by the user before their muscles fatigue. Once muscles tire they won’t learn much at all. In fact, muscle fatigue may actually contribute to slouching and slow down the learning process.
User Friendly
  • BackTone is easily adjusted by the user even during a single training session. This allows them to set the training to their current status and task.
Develop Confidence and Skill
  • The capacity to apply, adjust and remove the device yourself encourages users to notice and manage their own posture. BackTone users will know when they’re slouching and do something about it, and will tend to alter environments such as computer setup, office chairs and seating of their own accord.
BackTone gives you the tools to provide a comprehensive program that results in real change in posture habits

What is the Best Way to Sleep?

Your Best Sleeping Position?

best sleeping position
Everybody has their favourite sleeping position. However, some are better for you than others. Try to sleep in a posture that helps you maintain the curve in your lower back. We recommend lying on your back with a pillow under your knees (if more comfortable) or on your side with your knees slightly bent.

It is preferable to not sleep on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest (the foetal position). However, having said that some back conditions will find this preferable. You should seek the advice of your physiotherapist if you are in doubt.

If you are suffering back pain, you could try lying over a lumbar roll or peanut cushion at night to make you more comfortable. A rolled sheet or towel tied around your waist may also be helpful. You may wish to avoid sleeping on your stomach, especially on a saggy mattress. This sag can cause back strain and can be uncomfortable for your neck.

What is Your Best Mattress?

Select a firm mattress or an ensemble that does not sag. If necessary, place a board under your bed's mattress. You can also set the mattress on the floor temporarily if needed. If you've always slept on a soft surface, it may be initially painful to change to a harder surface. Try to do what's most comfortable for you.

How to Rise from Bed

When standing up from the lying position, turn on your side, draw up both knees and swing your legs over the side of the bed. Sit up by pushing yourself up with your hands. Bend forward at your waist with your core muscles activated.

What is Your Best Pillow?

The human neck curves slightly forward (to sustain the weight of the head when upright), and it is crucial to maintain this curve when in a resting position. If the height of the pillow is too high or low when sleeping, your neck is bent abnormally out of alignment, causing muscle and joint strain. You can even wake with headaches.

Poor pillow support can also cause narrowing of the air pipe, resulting in obstructed breathing, and sometimes snoring, which can hinder sleep.

The best lying or sleeping position may vary, depending on your symptoms. No matter what posture you lie in, the pillow should be under your head, but not your shoulders, and should be a thickness that allows your head to be in a normal position.

To give your body the proper rest it needs, and to ensure the health of your spine, physiotherapists recommend only two sleeping positions: Side sleeping and supine sleeping.

Sleeping Tips

Sleeping on your side, with the spine straight.  Sleeping on your back, maintaining the primary curvature of the cervical spine. Both of these positions prevent poor alignment of the neck and upper back. Proper alignment can help to reduce the number of neck aches, backaches, pinched nerves, shoulder and arm referred pain, insomnia, and mental fatigue from a lack of effective sleep.

More Info

Heat Packs

There is no doubt about it, applying a heat pack to an aching body part provides almost instant relief from pain and stiffness.

microwave heat packs

How Does Heat Ease Your Pain?

For centuries, applying heat is a simple yet effective way to manage your pain and joint or muscular stiffness. Deep and penetrating heat not only relieves your pain but also enhances your recovery process.By applying a heat pack to your painful joints and muscles, the heat stimulates your sensory receptors to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain, resulting in an instant and effective pain relief.Even if you are a chronic pain sufferer, heat packs can help relieve your discomfort - NOW and for many years ahead!If you've been suffering from either stiffness or pain that feels better when you apply heat, have a warm relaxing bath or a hot shower. Alternatively, a microwave heat pack could be the best investment you'll make this year.

How Does Heat Help You?

  • By increasing tissue elasticity, heat reduces your resting muscle tension and helps to relax those nasty painful knots.
  • Your pain quickly eases via the sedation and soothing of any pain-irritated nerve endings.
  • The profound heating effect increases your blood flow to the painful area, bringing more nutrients to the injured area while flushing out the damaged debris. This flush-out helps to quicken your healing rate.
  • The deep heat also promotes a speedier healing rate by stimulating your natural metabolic rate. In other words, there is more energy available to fix the injury quicker.

What's the Advantage of Wheat Heat Packs?

Can be heated in a microwave with a turntable in about two minutes.The durable but soft fabric allows for comfortable use and an ability to mould to your body shape, which is great for those super curvy areas such as your neck, knees and shoulders.You can even pop it in bed with you during those cold winter nights!

Why Do Physiotherapists Prescribe You Exercises?

The prescription of exercise appropriate to you and your injury or fitness level is one of the many professional skills of a physiotherapist. Whether you have suffered an acute injury, chronic deconditioning or are recovering from surgery, the correct exercise prescription is essential. That's why your physiotherapist's knowledge and skills will personalise your exercise dose.Your physiotherapist not only is educated in injury diagnosis but also exercise physiology or the science of exercise. This training enables your physiotherapist to assess and diagnose your injury, plus also to prescribe injury, fitness or age-appropriate activities targeted to you now.

What Exercises Should You Do?

Your exercises shouldn't be painful. Please take caution with some overzealous exercise prescribers who believe that the more painful the activity, the better. Thus simply isn't true—notably, the frail, immunosuppressed, deconditioned or post-operative person.You'll find that your physiotherapist will thoroughly examine you and prescribe a series of exercises suitable for you in quantities that will not injure you further. Please seek an exercise expert, such as your physiotherapist, when you are planning your rehabilitation.

What Happens When You Stop Exercises?

Without some simple exercises, we know that specific muscles can become weak. When these supporting muscles are weak, your injured structures are inadequately supported and predispose you to linger symptoms or further injury. You can also over-activate adjacent muscles that may lead to further damage.It is also essential to understand that even if you are "in good shape", you may have crucial but weak localised or stability muscles. When you have an injury, you should perform specific exercises that specifically strengthen the muscles around your injury and the adjacent joints. Your physiotherapist will assess your muscle function and prescribe the right exercises specific for your needs.The exercises prescribed will usually be relatively simple, and do not require any special weights equipment, and can be performed safely at home.

Would You Stop Your Daily Prescription Drugs?

Your physiotherapist will prescribe your individualised dose or exercises. They are using their professional expertise to optimise your exercise dose. Would you just stop taking your regular blood pressure medication because you were too busy or didn't think it was working? We would hope not!Exercise, when prescribed by an expert such as your physiotherapist, should be treated as your recommended dose. Just like when you don't take your blood pressure medication, you can't expect the drugs to work of you don't take it as prescribed by your health professional.So, next time you skip your "exercise dose" just remember that you are not putting your health first. If you have any questions, please contact your Physio Works physiotherapist for your best care.

Private Health Insurance Rebates

PhysioWorks Physiotherapy and Remedial Massage are more affordable than you think. Your Private Health Insurance (PHI) usually pays for the majority of your treatment fees, leaving you with only a small gap payment.

However, Private Health Funds do vary their rebates payable depending upon the level of cover that you have taken. Some funds have kept up with the costs of modern medicine whereas, sadly others haven't, with rebates similar to what they were a decade ago.

HICAPS - Instant Health Fund Claims


Most health funds are members of the HICAPS instant claims system.  Swipe your health insurance card at our reception counter, and you can instantly claim your physiotherapy treatment via our online Hicaps System. Remedial Massage is claimable via Hicaps for some but not all funds. For more information, please visit Hicaps for the latest funds which can use their instant claiming system.

Private health insurance rebates are available for all of our physiotherapists. Instant claims are possible via our in-practice Hicaps system.

Third-Party Insurers

PhysioWorks practitioners are registered providers for government, Workcover and insurance companies including:

  • Workcover
  • InjuryNet
  • Australia Post; Coles Myer; Woolworths
  • Medicare
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • CTP & Sports Insurers

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