Spinal

What Are The Symptoms Of Chest Pain Originating From Your Spine?

Your spine is a prevalent cause of chest pain. However, chest pain originating from your spine won't kill you, but a heart attack can! Treating your thoracic spine and rib cage is usually the solution for non-cardiac conditions.

Spinal Discs can refer to pain through your chest wall like a knitting needle. Coughing or Sneezing hurts.

Thoracic Facet Joints refer to pain around your rib cage. Trunk movements will aggravate or ease your pain.

Rib Joints send pain down and around your rib cage. Pain can increase with coughing, deep breathing and trunk or shoulder movements.

Back Muscles will generally be more painful in sustained postures, e.g. sitting at a computer. These are commonly felt between your shoulder blades and can be relieved by massage.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack?

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

chest pain

Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort or heaviness in the chest's centre that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one (commonly left) or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Other signs include breaking out in nausea or vomiting, cold sweat, or dizziness/lightheadedness.

If you think you or someone with you is having a heart attack, Call 000 Immediately!

Don't wait longer than a few minutes (no more than five) before calling for help. Call 000. Get to a hospital urgently.

What Do You Do Next?

As mentioned earlier, if you suspect a heart attack, Call 000 immediately and get to the hospital straight away. If your symptoms are not heart attack related, consult your physiotherapist to assess your spinal and chest joints and muscles. Most of your muscular or thoracic and rib joint pain will be relieved after your very first consultation.

For more information, please consult your doctor or physiotherapist.

More info:

Thoracic & Chest Pain

Is Good Posture Healthy?

good-posture-sitting

Good Posture Benefits:

  • It keeps your bones and joints in the correct alignment.
  • It helps to decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces.
  • It decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
  • It prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
  • It prevents muscle fatigue.
  • It prevents any backache and muscular pain.
  • It contributes to a competent and confident appearance.

To Achieve Good Posture You Will Require the Following:

  • Good muscle flexibility
  • Normal motion in the joints
  • Strong postural muscles
  • A balance of muscle forces on both sides of the spine
  • Awareness of your posture, plus knowledge of proper postural position, leads to conscious correction.

Practise the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down (as described below) to gradually replace your old position.

More Info

Good Sitting Posture

Good Standing Posture

Good Sleeping Posture

Posture Corrector

Article by John Miller

What is Good Posture?

That's why proud and confident people stand tall with excellent posture. It's a habit! Standing with good posture looks and feels fantastic, plus it's very healthy for your joints, muscles, bones, blood circulation and most importantly, your self-esteem.

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 while encouraging efficient muscle activity.
  • Help minimalise joint stress.
  • Avoids passive ligament overload.
  • Prevents backache, neckache and muscular pain.
  • It 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 your body will quickly adapt and feel more comfortable and strong in your new normal posture if you keep maintaining a good posture.

Plus... the upside is that not only will you be less likely to suffer pain, but you'll also look confident and feel fantastic too!

How to Improve Your Standing Posture:

The number one tip to achieve a great standing posture is to "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 skull) - 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 centre of your feet.
  • Stand with your feet slightly apart (shoulder-width).
  • When standing for sustained periods, shift your weight from one foot to the other, or stand in a 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 can't easily correct your posture, you may have some joint, ligament or muscular movement restriction. 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 you improve your posture without causing unnecessary pain or injury.

Your physiotherapist may also advise a posture brace or prescribe some posture taping to quickly assist you in achieving and maintaining a good posture.

Contact your physiotherapist for posture advice specific to you and your needs.

Article by John Miller

What is the Best Standing Posture?

Back Tone 4000 Correct Posture Trainer-Side-View

Standing with your best posture not only looks and feels fantastic, but it's also very healthy for you.

Great posture is the best thing for your muscles, joints, bones, blood circulation and most importantly, your self-esteem. That's why proud and confident people stand tall with excellent posture. It's a successful habit!

Good posture also places the least strain upon your supporting muscles and ligaments.

How you hold your body in space is your posture. Your everyday posture is a direct result of your everyday postural habits. You can choose to hold good posture or poor posture. The constant compressive weight of gravity is your worst enemy while standing or sitting. You could also refer to this as your spinal posture, back or neck posture.

It's actually quite easy to improve your postural habits. But it is a habit, and researchers suggest that it takes 10000 attempts to create a habit. That's a good or a bad habit! Why not start the new you with a proud and posture perfect body today?

What is Your Best Posture?

Humans were always designed to move and be versatile. You were designed to move from posture to posture to avoid muscle fatigue and abnormal sustained tissue loading. When we were hunters and gatherers, it was easy. But, with specialised jobs and postures, we tend to become static for too long these days, which causes postural fatigue, which leads to posture failure. 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 while encouraging efficient muscle activity.
  • Help minimalise joint stress.
  • Avoids passive ligament overload.
  • Prevents backache, neckache and muscular pain.
  • Contributes to your enhanced self-esteem!

Your ideal standing posture should be comfortable, easily attained and maintained. Your best posture should feel natural and be 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. During this period, you can experience some temporary joint or muscle discomfort. These discomforts are related to mild joint adaptation as your joints realign, ligaments stretch, and postural muscles start working. The good news is that your body will quickly adapt and feel more comfortable and strong in your new normal posture if you keep maintaining a good posture.

Plus... the upside is that not only will you be less likely to suffer pain, but you'll also look confident and feel fantastic too!

How to Improve Your Standing Posture:

If I had to tell you one "switch" tip, it is simply to "stand tall" whenever you think about it. The muscles that you use to stand taller are the same muscles that improve your posture.

  • Stand tall!
  • Think tall neck (ballerina or model style)- 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 centre of your feet.
  • Stand with your feet slightly apart (shoulder-width).
  • Shift your weight from one foot to the other when standing for a sustained period. Alternatively, stand in a 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 the wall. The back of your head should lightly touch the wall. If you can't do this without pain or strain, you may have some restrictions on some spinal joints, ligaments or muscle tightness. All of these problems can be quickly assessed and quickly improved by your physiotherapist with some joint mobilisations, stretches, massage and/or strengthening exercises. Please consult your physiotherapist for specific advice regarding your posture.

Posture Fatigue?

Having difficulty maintaining your normal upright posture? You are probably suffering from reduced muscle endurance or strength. You can improve postural muscle fatigue quite easily with repetitive contraction and periodic posture breaks. This will help to strengthen and improve your postural muscle endurance.

Your physiotherapist is a professional in prescribing the best postural exercises for you in a stage-appropriate manner.  They may consider temporarily prescribing you a posture brace or prescribe some posture taping to assist you in transitioning, achieving and maintaining the best posture for you.

Back Tone 4000: Posture Trainer

A Biofeedback Device

Re-train your body to great posture in just 20 minutes a day using the BackTone 4000 Posture Trainer.

backtone-posture-trainer-2_2

Good Posture makes you look great, feel more energetic and confident. 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 known 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 turns the beep off. Users wear their BackTone during simple everyday 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 waistband for less slippage
  • Easy change battery

BackTone Benefits

  • You can wear it 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 a broader 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 change the routine.

Use a Train/Feedback/Practice Regime

  • Daily non-wearing is just as crucial as wearing. Wear BackTone to learn good posture during activity. Then REMOVE IT and practice without the feedback. This habit challenge allows the training to flow into everyday activities naturally.

Avoid Fatigue

  • Before your muscles fatigue, you can easily remove your BackTone. Once muscles tire, they won’t learn much at all. Muscle fatigue may contribute to slouching and slow down the learning process.

User Friendly

  • The user easily adjusts BackTone even during a single training session. This adjustability 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 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.

Article by John Miller

What is the Best Way to Sleep?

Your 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, 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 more rigid 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.

best sleeping position

What is Your Best Pillow?

The human neck curves slightly forward (to sustain the head's weight when upright), and it is crucial to maintain this curve when in a resting position. If the pillow's height 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, hindering 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 ensure your spine's health, physiotherapists recommend only two sleeping positions: Side sleeping and supine sleeping.

Sleeping Tips

Try sleeping on your side, with the spine straight, or 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 adequate sleep.

More Info

Radiology Referrals

When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?

If your symptoms persist despite treatment, it is appropriate to return to your physiotherapist or doctor for further evaluation.

It would be best to consider other causes of pain, and perhaps X-rays or other studies (MRI, CT scan, bone scan, or pathology studies) may be needed to make an accurate diagnosis.

Can Your Physiotherapist Refer for X-Rays and Scans?

Yes. Physiotherapists can refer you for many medical investigations, including X-Rays, Ultrasound Scans and MRI scans.

The full Medicare rebate applies to most X-rays ordered by physiotherapists. Not all Radiology clinics bulk bill, so out of pocket expenses may be payable.

Medicare uses item numbers and limits specific investigations. Different referral rights are depending on whether your referrer is a GP, Medical Specialist or Physiotherapist.

Your physiotherapist is happy to discuss with you the pros and cons of specific tests.