Author Archives: Zeena Dhalla
Author Archives: Zeena Dhalla
Posture braces are ALL THE RAGE! “Posture brace” is a new buzz word… I’m sure you’ve seen the add on Facebook/ Instagram…
“Fix your posture by wearing this handy device!”
“Wear this shirt and we guarantee amazing posture!”
In my opinion, there is a little to no value in almost all these new products. I just don’t believe that one external source, on its own, can solve your “posture” problems. Posture is, and will always, be controlled by your joints and muscles. What is the best way to adjust your joint positions and muscle length and strength…. why exercise of course!
This email is NOT another diatribe on why you should be doing daily exercises at your desk and in your home to help combat your life of sitting/texting/driving (I do send a lot of those messages out into the universe). Today’s post is about a particular posture brace called Better Back.
I saw this produce on Shark Tank year’s ago. I remember thinking to myself “ why didn’t I think of that!?” This particular brace is unique. It’s not the “place straps around your shoulders to pull your shoulders back” kind of posture brace. I’ve been approached plenty of times to review those kinds of braces and I’ve always said NO. I believe that your scapula muscles need to be trained to hold your shoulders back on their own.
Better Back helps with sitting posture, and adjusts a very important body position that will translate up through the rest of your body, making it easier for you to pull your shoulders back naturally.
Take a look at my review here so you can see what I’m talking about:
Comment below and tell me what you think! Do you believe that you would use this at work? Will this be a purchase you might make?
The amazing thing about posture therapy… is that many of my clients and many have fantastic results. Today’s story about my client Korey, is unique because she was able to go from chronic pain to running a 5K in less than 5 weeks FLAT.
In some cases, it can take some time before the body adjusts to a new postural positioning… working on your posture is not a quick fix like taking a pill! But in Korey’s situation, It was a fast and effective process and took very little time to identify her postural deviation and how to fix it.
Korey is a 29 year old nurse and a married mother of two daughters. She came to me with some current pain issues that have been progressively been getting worse as she ages. Her primary problem was lower back pain, with pain more often on her left side, as well as hip pain primarily on the left side. At the time of our appointment she was also experiencing a slight ache in her inner left thigh and right shin/ankle. The magnitude of pain was highly connected her physical activity. If she stands for long periods, exercises intensely, or sits for long periods, the pain is triggered. In the past she had seen a Physical Therapist and chiropractor, and had been given some exercises to help “strengthen” her hips such as clams, squats, and bridges. She said these exercises did help a little. The chiropractor had given her a shoe lift, which didn’t help at all.
At her first appointment with me, she was unable to run more than a mile without pain. So we made it our joint goal to help her get through a 5K race that she had signed up for… only a month later.
Her pictures immediately told a very obvious story to me, and the number one postural deviation that stood out was her pelvic disparity. I checked by palpitating with my hands and confirmed that her left side was in a posterior position (tucked under) and her right side in a slight anterior position (arched forward). I also identified an elevated left hip and an elevated left shoulder.
She presented with valgus knee strain on both sides (knock knees). Her right foot is pronated (flat) and everted (turned out), while her left foot actually showed as supinated (high arch). Her left femur looked internally rotated (turned in).
Both shoulders were rounded and she had a slight forward head. She also presented with some rotation in her spine with both the shoulders and the hips swaying forward on the left side.
Korey’s first menu consisted of exercises such as gravity drop, arm circles, static back, static back pullovers, abductor presses, hip flexors lifts, extended lateral, airbench, and 3 position toe raises. All of these exercises are designed to attack 3 major deviations: the posterior pelvis, the internally rotated femurs, and the scapula position.
She took this menu home for 2 weeks and did it about 5 times per week. She wasn’t perfect, but she reported feeling results with this compliance level. She came back for a review 2 weeks later where we adjusted her menu. We took out a few exercises that didn’t seem very effective (mainly stretching… since she is hypermobile and needs more strengthening than stretching). We added more core and hip strengthening work on her second menu.
I’m happy to report that Korey completed her 5K 3 weeks later and ran the entire race! She was very proud of herself, and definitely attributed her success to the e-cise menu. She said she was “sore” the next day, but that it felt more like muscle soreness versus the pain she had been experiencing before. We were both so pleased with her progress in a short 5 weeks- from a painful mile… to a pain-free 3 miles in just over a month!
Do you have pain that you know is related to your posture and alignment? If so, I would love to hear about it below and I’ll see how I can help. You can find out more about VerticAlign’s Posture Therapy programs here.
Sitting or standing at your workstation can cause some intense pain! Most people believe that sitting is what causes a myriad of problems such as neck pain and back pain. In reality, the problem with our technology driven lifestyle is that we are not moving as much as our bodies are designed to move.
To help combat this epidemic of immobility, I’ve created a desk program to help you get in your daily, effective posture exercises that can be easily done during your work day.
Of course the only way to determine if a posture coaching plan is right for you is to try it out! To give you a sampling of the effective and efficient posture specific exercises designed for this program, below is a a short 4 minute desk routine. This mini desk pain relief plan hits the 3 major areas of the body that need to be worked throughout the day. I recommend doing this 4 minute routine daily for a week and see how your body feels. In fact, it’s so short that you can do it multiple times in a day!
Be sure to perform the exercises in the order listed below.
DESK HAMSTRING STRETCH
Let’s begin with opening up the chest and stretching the hamstrings. Watch the video below. The VERY important part of this exercise is the lower back position. It’s important that it’s NOT rounded and that you use your hip flexors to find a neutral pelvis position (lower back is flat):
DESK SITTING ELBOW CURLS
Next up we are going to strengthen the upper body posture muscles. We’ve opened up the chest muscles in the previous exercises, so therefore it should be a bit easier to get the arms into this position for elbow curls. Make sure that your knuckles are ON your forehead and that you try to get your elbows to touch together when you close them up. Listen to the audio for more cues:
DESK STANDING IN-LINE GLUTEAL CONTRACTIONS
Finally, it’s time to work the glutes! We sit on these muscles and they become under-activated. Without active glutes, our lower back takes on a lot more pressure than it was designed to take. This exercise works the muscles unilaterally (which means one side at a time). This way you can figure out which side is harder to contract than the other, and correct this disparity. Check it out here:
Rotate through these 3 exercises as many times as you can in a day, and you’re guaranteed to feel better! It’s quick, easy, and simple to do on a daily basis. You can search for hours and hours on the internet to try to find an easy way to get proper posture exercises at your desk, or you could follow this mini plan and know that you’re getting the best possible 4 minute routine that’s worth your time.
(no really… comment below and tell me what else I can offer you to help your posture and pain!)
What more do you want?
Comment below and let me know how you did with this mini plan… I love to hear from all of you and respond to every email (comment)!