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August 18, 2017

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Recurring headaches and back pain? Let me tell you why.

February 27, 2017

"I know my posture is awful"

"I get these horrible neck pains while sitting behind my desk all day"

"I constantly get the same headache every month! It's part of my personality by now!"



The manner in which you regulate your body's posture plays a remarkable role on the effective communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Practically, every nerve in your body (the little guys who let's your brain know where your body fits in, in relationship with the space surrounding it, produce sensation and effectively helps muscles contract) goes through the spinal cord, passes through your vertebral canal, and takes the highway all the way up to the brain.


Any irritation on this neurological highway causes a decrease in function and may lead to a bunch of neuromusculoskeletal symptoms.


In short...


Those stop/go roadworks 5pm, on your local route back home, may lead to a serious headache. Get rid of the roadworks;


and the headache goes away.


Research has shown that it only takes 5.5 grams of pressure (the equivalent of a 50 cent coin) directly on a nerve to decrease its function by 60%.


Every medical student who ever dissected a cadaver is aware of how delicate neural tissue are and every mom knows how passionate kids are on working on them.


Now this is all very interesting if you're lying on top of bags of 50 cent coins!

But what if the way you carry your vessel causes these irritations on your system?


And this is where good posture en spinal health plays a significant role.


Good posture refers to the manner in which we as humans positions ourselves through our everyday activities, whether it be standing, sitting, lying down or scrumming on a rugby field. Good posture is the correct alignment of our different body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.


Without posture and the muscles that

control it, we would simply fall down like a sack of potatoes!


Postural muscles (These are mainly supported by the "core" muscles Yoga and Pilates enthusiasts like to brag about) are exceptionally important in maintaining good posture while at the same time preventing back- and neck pain.


On the other side of the spectrum, excessive stress on unconditioned core muscles in people with poor posture may lead to pressure on your body's supporting frame (spinal column and intervertebral discs) and nervous system.


As time passes....


Stress due to poor posture may lead to functional changes of the body, as we compensate around our new posture while molding around our work desk and computer screens. These functional pains often leads to chronic pain!


 That hump on the back of granny's neck is unfortunately due to year's of bad posture which leads to chronic neck pains, headaches and intervertebral disc dysfunctions or syndromes.


So how do we turn a new page and correct this?!


By making a view minor adjustment while sitting behind a desk and computer screen (and while reading this article also off course!)


1. While burning the midnight oil or cruising through your workday behind the laptop, be always make sure your lower back is firmly pressed against the lower back support of your desk chair.


2. Rotate your shoulders backwards so that your chest is open and be mindful of your head's position straight on your head, preventing any excessive slouching.


3. Hips should be flexed around 90 degrees with both your feet planted firmly on the ground.


A healthy spine en supporting musculature are essential factors of our overall health and should not be neglected. We normally joke around by stating that if your spine where located on your face we would take better care of it.


Just as your car's tyres starts to wither once the wheel alignment is unbalanced, make sure your health is not being affected by your body's posture!




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644 Beagle Road (corner of St Bernard Drive), Garsfontein, Pretoria, 0042, South Africa
Dr Hanlie Lottering Medical Practitioner

Tel: 061 408 7987 / 082 805 9057

Email: chirojacques@gmail.com