Consequences of having a poor sitting posture

Good posture is essential for overall well-bring. Prolonged sitting with poor posture will lead to negative effects such as back pain, muscle strain and improper alignment. Prolong sitting will cause the body to get into a slouchy postion which seems to be more comfortable, but there are consequences in the long run. Being in a poor sitting posture for a long period of time will increase pressure on the intervertebral discs, increasing the chances of suffering a back injury.

Weak stomach muscles

Our stomach muscles are one of the core body muscles and they are important to help maintain proper posture of the body. The stomach muscles work hand in hand with our back muscles to support and hold the body in the proper alignment. Poor sitting posture will lead to us having weak stomach muscles and this will lead to cause improper alignment of the back and ultimately weakening the lumbar spine muscles, causing back pain.

Poor blood circulation

Poor sitting posture will lead to a lack of proper blood circulation around the body, causing degeneration of the intervertebral discs and eventually causing back pain.

Neck pain

Poor posture is responsible for more than 80% of neck pain as it will cause misalignment of the back, head and shoulders, causing tremendous strain on the ligaments and muscles, causing neck pain.

Spine curvature

Poor posture can cause the curving of the spine, adding pressure on the spine and reducing the ability of the spine to absorb shock. This will lead to a higher chance of injury. In the long term, it will also lead to neck pain, headache and lower back pain.

Headache

Poor posture leads to muscle tension, reducing blood flow throughout the body. A decrease in blood flow can possibly lead to fatigue and headache. A proper posture instead will help increase the flow of blood throughout the entire body.

Inefficient breathing

Our body is designed in a way that the entire skeletal system and muscles are in a proper alignment and that helps to ensure every single component of our body is placed correctly for optimal health. A poor posture disrupts that and that will decrease the capacity of the lungs to take in oxygen and causing inefficient breathing.

Joint and muscle disorder

One of the causes of joint and muscle disorder is poor posture. Poor posture can cause pain in our face as well as earache.

Poor posture will add unwanted stress and pressure onto our body, causing pain, muscular disorders and spine problems. It doesn’t hurt for us to sit in a proper posture and a good posture will increase our productiveness and our overall well-being.

Dr. Kevin Yip on Minimising The Risk of Osteoporosis

A recent contribution by Dr. Kevin Yip for an article written by the team at Great Eastern’s health portal.

The Bare Bones of Health

When your mother nagged you to eat your broccoli, she was right in more ways than she knew. Besides its cancer-fighting properties, the cruciferous vegetable helps the body store calcium in the bones to make them denser.

Storing calcium is important to keep our bones strong. Strong bones aren’t only less prone to breaking, but also offer a stable support structure for muscles and the body. If there isn’t enough calcium in the diet, the body takes calcium from the bones, causing bones to become weak and thin. As we age, bones also lose the ability to retain calcium, leading to a brittle bone condition known as osteoporosis that increased the risk of fractures in the hip, spine, and wrist.

According to the Health Promotion Board, the cases of hip fractures in Singapore over the last 30 years have increased five times in women aged 50 and above. In men, the rate of hip fractures has risen 1.5 times in men of the same age group. This is a worrying trend as hip fractures in the elderly increase the risk of being bed ridden or immobile and studies indicate that one in every five elderly people with osteoporotic hip fracture die within a year.

‘Bank’ your bones

Taking care of our bones from a young age helps to minimise the risk of osteoporosis. Just as a young child keeps a piggy bank to save coins, our young bones have their own “calcium bank account” that stores as much calcium as possible during the teenage years to help reach a peak bone mass. This bank account closes after the age of 18 and we are no longer able to add any more calcium to our bones, but maintain what is already deposited.

To prevent the body from making too many withdrawals from our bone bank and causing a deficit that leads to osteoporosis, our diets need to maintain adequate calcium intake. Apart from dairy products which may not be suitable for the lactose intolerant, Dr Kevin Yip from the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic suggests other calcium-rich foods such as fish with soft bones (sardines) or tofu. To maximise calcium absorption, avoid eating too much protein or salt, as large quantities of these are related to a loss of calcium.

Even with a calcium-enriched diet, our body cannot absorb the calcium consumed unless it gets enough vitamin D. Inadequate vitamin D in the body contributes to bone loss and hinders efforts to combat osteoporosis. The best way to obtain sufficient vitamin D is 30-minutes of outdoor sunshine a day.

Exercise can also help, especially resistance exercises such as weight training, Tai Chi and stair-climbing – all load-bearing low impact activities that make you move against gravity and thus build up bone density.

Smoking and excessive alcohol should also be avoided. Excessive drinking can reduce bone formation, while the chemicals in cigarettes are bad for the bone cells. In women especially, smoking can prevent oestrogen from protecting the bones.

Doing health checkups on the bones is also important. Effective treatment or prevention of osteoporosis can only take place only when a person knows if he or she is at risk for it.

Because women are more prone to osteoporosis after the age of 40, Dr Yip recommends women to do a regular Bone Mineral Density scan. The importance of screening is all the more important because osteoporosis is also known as the “silent disease” that occurs without obvious symptoms and draws attention only when a bone is broken. “Most alarmingly, osteoporosis can cause sudden fractures during everyday activities that would not have otherwise affected normal bone …This is where the danger lies, as most people would not know about their osteoporotic condition until a major fracture occurs, often with devastating effects,” said Dr Yip.

Original article at The Live Great Health & Wellness Portal.

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms for Joint Arthritis Condition

Psoriatic arthritis causes pain in the joints, stiffness and swelling in people suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition which causes the skin to be covered in patches of thick red inflamed silvery scales. It affects both sexes equally and most sufferers develop psoriatic arthritis followed by the arthritis symptoms.

The nature of symptoms for psoriatic arthritis depends on the type, but they are more or less similar to each other. Generally, patients will suffer pain, stiffness and tenderness at their joint areas in more than one place. Their range of motion is also significantly decreased and the pain amplifies when there are attempt to move the joints. The pain is significantly higher in the morning but subsides throughout the day.

There are 5 different types of psoriatic arthritis with each having their own unique symptoms:

Distal Interphalangeal Predominant

Patients will tend to feel tenderness and pain only in the last joints of their fingers and toes as only the distal interphalangeal joints are affected.

Asymmetrical Arthritis

Only 2 or 3 joints are affected and they are individual and not in pairs. Any joints in the body can feel pain and are often red and warm to touch.

Symmetrical Polyarthritis

Joint swelling in pairs is observed on both sides of the body, such as both elbows for example.

Spondylitis, or Psoriatic Spondyloarthritis

Joints in the spine will be inflamed and is a serious condition that will cause deformity and changes in the posture as well. Inflammation, tenderness and stiffness of the joints in both the back and neck will occur and the ligaments might be affected.

Arthritis Mutilans

The bones and cartilage in the joints will be destroyed and deformed and flares in the skin will be observed. It will affect the small joints in the fingers and toes nearest to the nail and lower back and neck pain can be observed.

The symptoms vary according but the common signs and symptoms are:

 

  • Uncomfortableness, inflexibility, tenderness and swelling in one or more joints.
  • Range of motions in joints are greatly reduced.Re
  • Stiffness in the morning.
  • Lower back experiencing stiffness and inflammation.
  • Swelling in the smaller joints of the toes and fingers that are closest to the nail.
  • Pitting of nails.
  • Fingernails or toenails are detaching.
  • Tenderness, pain, or swelling where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone
  • Eye inflammation

Best 6 Physiotherapy Exercises for Ankle Pain and Injury in Joints

An estimation of more than 2 million people are already facing pain in their ankle joints and this has addressed a serious health issue to all by becoming one of the most common neurological disorders – Ankle pain.

Taking good care of your injured ankles is almost critical, as injury can highly reoccur again if neglected. Hence it is essential to strengthen your muscles around your ankle by practicing some physiotherapy exercises at home so as to enhance on the joint support and avoid the chances of reinjuring your ankle again.

When practicing these exercises at home, estimate your limit and perform the workouts carefully at a moderate pace that is best at your comfort level. Try repeating these exercises 5 – 10 times during each workout session and push your limit further once your condition improves.  While performing the non-isometrics exercises, do remember to tie a Theraband to your table leg and place your feet in the loop so as to enhance on the difficulty level. Alternatively, you can use a long towel as a replication of Theraband.

Here are 6 physiotherapy exercises to strengthen your ankle muscles:

Isometrics Strengthening Exercises

  1. 1.    Eversion Isometrics
  • Place your injured foot against a table leg facing out while seated.
  • Push your foot outwards the object that is against to your foot (take note that your ankle joint should not move) to perform a muscle contraction.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and relax for 10 seconds.
  1. 2.    Inversion Isometrics
  • Place the injured foot inwards against a table leg or closed door.
  • Push your foot inwards towards the object against your foot (take not that your ankle joint should not move) causing a muscle contraction.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and relax for 10 seconds.

Non-Isometrics Strengthening Exercises

  1. 3.    Dorsiflexion
  • Working only on your ankle by pointing your foot backwards to your nose (while performing this workout, keep your knees straight). Continue until you feel discomfort or can’t tilt it back any further.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  • Return to neutral position.
  1. 4.    Plantar flexion
  • Moving only your ankle, point your foot forward (while keeping knees straight). Continue this workout until you feel discomfort.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and return to neutral position.
  1. 5.    Inversion
  • Moving only your ankle and keep your toes up with your foot facing inwards. Make sure that your sole is facing your other leg while performing this workout. Continue until you feel discomfort or when you can no longer turn your foot inwards.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and return to neutral position.
  1. 6.    Eversion
  • Moving only your ankle and keeping your toes up with your foot facing outwards. Continue until you feel discomfort or when you can no longer turn your foot outwards.

Hold for 15 seconds and return to neutral position.

7 Home Remedies for Joint Pain Relief At Home

Living with chronic joint pain?

Many times in life, body pains as such may inevitably affect our living lifestyle and even cause inconvenience to our lives, as moving of joints is almost indispensable.

Basically the causes of joint pain can be triggered by various injuries and conditions besides aging. It may be a result of sports injury, excessive straining due to the overuse of joints, or even be one of the symptoms for arthritis. Hence it is important to understand your body well and detect the symptoms early as an average person may not be able tell if it’s the joints or a torn tendon.

Here are a few joint pain remedies, which can give you a better quality of life and may help to eliminate the consumption of painkillers as medications commonly prescribed for joint pain are usually pain killers and anti inflammatories:

  1. Take a shower with warm water
    It can effectively reduce your joint discomfort easily.
  2. Consumption of banana
    Bananas provide strength and grease to your joints, which may help in reducing the pain in joints suffering from pain.
  3. Intake of carrot juice
    It helps in improving the condition of joint stiffness by making our ligaments stronger.
  4. Use hot and cold compresses on the painful areas of your joints
    It will help in reducing your pain from the joint.
  5. Joint Pain Exercises
    Effective in resolving the problem of joint stiffness. Such workouts will help in improving your joint flexibility and also strengthens your bones.
  6. Warm olive oil massage
    It is a cost-saving solution and natural remedy for joint stiffness.
  7. Mixture of carrot juice and lemon juice
    This is one of the good home remedies to reduce joint pain.

Although there is no permanent cure for joint pain, but changing your lifestyle and taking good care of your body can yield positive results on a long run. Start keeping up to a weekly or daily exercising habit as workouts can effectively help in reducing the pain in the joints. Researches have shown that working your body with motion exercises will help to improve your mobility and keep your fitness levels up. While performing those exercises, be cautious with the movements and perform it with good control.

However, do not hesitate to seek for medical support if your joint pain still persists after trying out the suggested remedies. It is advisable to seek for professional treatment if your Joint pain is giving you symptoms that can be interpreted into serious health issues.