Headaches

Growing Up with Good Posture

Growing Up with Good Posture

Author: Dr Balraj Ougra

Bottom Line:

 “Sit up straight!” We’ve all heard it (or said it) a million times, but many people aren’t aware that poor posture as a kid can create health challenges later in life. Rounded shoulders (scapular protrusion), swayback (lumbar hyperlordosis) and a hunched upper back (thoracic hyperkyphosis) are all postural imbalances that place a tremendous amount of stress on the spine. The muscles supporting your spine consequently must work harder to support your body weight which can result in pain. These types of abnormal postures have been linked to everything from depression to decreases in energy and headaches to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Why it Matters:

 Poor posture is usually caused by what kids aren’t doing instead of what they are doing. If your child is on their phone or playing a game on their tablet, they probably may not be moving and stretching very often. One of the most important things you can do to encourage good posture is to set a timer and have them stretch and change positions every 15 minutes. This will allow their spine, muscles and joints to decompress and reset. By breaking the pattern of poor posture, you can help reduce the likelihood of your child experiencing pain.

·       Over 50% of children display the clinical signs of abnormal posture.

·       Excessive weight and decreased physical activity are risk factors for postural issues.

·       Setting aside daily times for physical play can help support stronger muscles and improved posture.

Next Steps:

If your child is suffering from back pain, neck pain or headaches, postural issues may likely be part of the cause. Next time you’re in the office, ask us for a quick posture screen for your child. We would be happy to let you know how they can improve their posture and reduce the risk of future aches and pains!

Science Source:

Prevalence of postural deviations and associated factors in children and adolescents: a cross-sectional study. Fisioterapia em Movimento 2016

Tech Neck

Tech Neck

Author: Dr Balraj Ougra

Bottom Line:

Smartphones and tablets have quickly become a part of our everyday life. Many kids and adults spend hours per day messaging with friends and playing the latest games. Often, it’s done with their neck bent forward, shoulders rounded, and arms holding the phone up in front of their eyes. New research has shown this type of awkward position can lead to a painful condition called “Tech Neck.”

 

Why it Matters:

Recently, Scientific Reports published a shocking finding which found a “horn” growing off the back of the head of kids who spent a great deal of time on their cell phones and tablets. This extreme variation of Tech Neck is suspected to be caused by constant pressure placed on the back of the head (the occiput) when the head is bent forward and chin is tucked. The excessive force can result in calcification of the soft tissue, which can start to look like a “horn” growing out of the back of the head! Did you know… 

·       Kids may be spending up to 1400 hours per year in positions that cause tech neck.

·       Even 15 degrees of forward tilt can triple the weight of the head and stress on the spine.

·       Taking a break from mobile devices every 15 minutes can help reduce the likelihood of neck pain and headaches.

  

Next Steps:

 Spending time on your favorite devices doesn’t mean that you start growing horns tomorrow. However, it does give an example of how and why we need to be smart about our posture and positioning when using our mobile devices. Encouraging yourself to take a break and stretch is one of the best (and easiest) ways to break the bad habits that can lead to Tech Neck. If you have any questions, just ask our team!

Science Source:

Prominent exostosis projecting from the occipital squama more substantial and prevalent in young adult than older age groups. Scientific Reports 2018