Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Heavy Purses Can Cause Back Pain


Large purses look great and are very popular, but carrying a heavy purse can lead to misalignments in your neck, mid back, and low back that could cause pain, soreness, stiffness and chronic problems. A good rule of thumb is that purses or brief cases should not be more than 5 % of your body weight. This means that a 100 pound women should be carrying a purse that weighs less than 5 pounds, and a 200 pound man should be carrying a brief case that weighs less than 10 pounds.

Put your purse on your shoulder and take a look in the mirror. Does one shoulder look higher than the other? If it does, imagine standing in a line for 20 minutes with your purse on your shoulder. I hope you agree that this is going to put some stress on your muscles and spine.




Please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/ for more information on Dr. Susan Carter and Carter Chiropractic and Wellness.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

High Heels and Low Back Pain--My Four Hour Rule




I love to wear high heels just as much as every women out there, but there is a problem. Wearing high heels causes misaligments in your feet that lead to misalignments in your low back that lead to severe low back pain over time. When you wear high heels your feet are in constant flexion, which increases the curve in your low back. Imagine how the constant pressure wears out your low back.

The experts recommend you should not wear high heels for more than 2 hours at a time. I have developed a compromise that is actually effective. I call it the Four Hour Rule. Do not wear high heels for more than four hours at a time. These four hours would best be spent when you are socializing and want to dress up. If you must wear high heels for that morning presentation in the office, bring a pair of flats with good support with you to change into.


Please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/ for more information.


I have to dedicate this Blog to one of my awesome patients that is in severe low back pain and continues to wear her heels. She is such a great dresser, and my mission is to convince her to wear flats during the day:)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stretches for Your Neck--The Sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM)


The Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle is a big name for a muscle that starts behind your ear and ends up attaching to your chest. If you have ever head of someone who has "wry neck", then this muscle is definitely involved. The SCM can also get injured in whiplash injuries in car accidents.



How to stretch the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle:

1.) Lay on your back on a surface, for example, your bed.
2.) Let your head slightly hang off of the edge.

3.) Rotate your head as far as you can towards the floor.

4.) You should feel a stretch in the front of your neck.

5.) Hold for 20 seconds.

6.) Repeat for the opposite side.








These are 6 great stretches for your neck that stretch all the major muscles and many more. Doing these stretches on a regular basis will keep your neck in great shape.




For more information: please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stretches for Your Neck--Suboccipital Stretch


The subocciptial muscles are a group of muscles known as the "headache muscles." The suboccipital muscles are a group of muscles that include the rectis capitus posterior major and minor and the obliquus capitus superior and inferior. When these muscles get tight, they can refer pain from the back of your head to your temples. Three out of the four of these muscles start at the back of your head and attach to the upper vertebrae in your neck. These are not the easiest muscles to stretch because they are so small.
If you feel a headache starting, sometimes it helps to press the 2 bumps at the back of your head that these muscle attach to for 60 seconds with your index fingers. This may help to relieve the headache.
I found a good pic of the suboccipital muscles from www.thiemeteachingassistant.com.




How to stretch the suboccipital muscles:
1.) Sit down with good posture.
2.) Tuck your chin down into your neck.
3.) Find the 2 bumps on the back of your head and touch them with your fingers.
4.)Push up towards the ceiling.
5.) Hold for 20 seconds.


Pleased stay tuned for my next Blog to learn how to stretch a muscle that strarts behind your ear and ends up at the front of your chest.


Please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/ for more information.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stretches For Your Neck--Posterior Scalene Muscle



Your posterior scalene muscle starts at the neck at the C4-C6 levels and attaches to your second rib. It will get tight or damaged in whiplash injuries. Also, a chain of lymph nodes lies under your posterior and other scalene muscles. When you get sick, like when you have a cold, you might notice a bump under these muscles, which could be an enlarged lymph node.





How To Stretch The Posterior Scalene:


1.) Bend head down towards floor
2.) Keeping head bent down, bend head to side
3.) Hold for 20 seconds
4.) Repeat for opposite side


The next Blog will teach you how the stretch the suboccipital or "headache" muscles.


For more information, please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/.

Stretches For Your Neck--Anterior Scalene Stretch


Your Scalene Muscles are in the front of you neck. There are 3 muscles that make up the scalenes. They are the anterior, middle, and posterior scalenes. The anterior scalene attaches to the front of your neck at the C3-C6 levels and goes to the first rib. In addition to your lymph nodes, a group of nerves called your brachial plexus runs under the anterior scalene muscle. If this muscle gets too tight, it will compress the nerves and cause thoracic outlet syndrome.


How To Stretch the Anterior Scalene:

1.) Rotate head 45 degrees or almost as much as you can
2.) Look up toward ceiling
3.) Should feel stretch in front of neck
4.) Hold for 20 seconds
5.) Repeat for opposite side
Stayed tuned for the next Blog: How to stretch the Posterior Scalene Muscle....
For more information, please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/.