Thoracic 2

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 if you keep maintaining a good posture, your body will quickly adapt and feel more comfortable and strong in your new normal 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 Good 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

Article by John Miller

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

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 to 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 if you don't take them 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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