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What is bad posture? Bad posture is more an issue of holding or maintaining positions for extended periods of time. The body is meant to move. Movement provides nutrition, lubrication and activation of muscles and joints.
Unfortunately, numerous factors can get in the way of good posture. Bad posture can come about by things like the day to day effects of gravity on our bodies. Bad posture may also occur due to an injury, an illness, or because of genetics—issues that, for the most part, you can't control.
A combination of these factors is also quite common.
After an injury, muscles can spasm as a way of protecting the vulnerable area. While muscle spasms can help keep your injuries stable and protect them from further injury, they also limit your movements and cause pain.
Prolonged muscle spasms lead to weakened muscles over time. The resulting imbalance between muscles that guard an injury and those still working normally may also lead to aberrations in body posture.
Physical therapy can help bring muscles back to optimal functioning.
Strong core muscles make it easier to do many activities, such as swing a golf club, get a glass from the top shelf and bend down to tie your shoes. Strong core muscles are also important for athletes, such as runners, as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and injuries.
Weak core muscles can also leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries. Strengthening core muscles may also help improve back pain.
HEAT OR ICE?
Heat and ice can be very helpful in the path to recovery. Typically, treatments should be limited to 10-20 minutes and you should always check the skin during and after treatments for irritation.
Generally, heat creates an increase in blood flow, and therefore nutrition, to the injury site. It can make movement more fluid and relax muscle spasm.
Ice works well at minimizing acute pain by decreasing nerve speeds to the brain. It can help relax a muscle spasm and may help in mild cases of inflammation.
There are times when the use of ice or heat may be contradictory and harmful in the proper healing of an injury. Do not use electric heating pads in bed or other situations where it could be left on too long as this can cause severe skin burns or tissue damage.
The following are some contraindications (inappropriate times) for ice use:
Cold hypersensitivity (i.e. Raynaud’s Phenomenon)
Sensation changes (the degree of cooling cannot be felt)
Large open wounds
Areas of impaired circulation
The following are some contraindications (inappropriate times) for heat use:
Acute phase of an injury
Burns or other heat injury
Sensation changes (when you can’t feel if it is too hot)
Hyper or hypo-sensitivity to heat
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)