New chiropractic patients: print and complete the following PDF forms. Please bring them with you to your first appointment.
Crash Facts and Myths was presented at a seminar by Arthur Crofts DC.
I have been asked if I can recommend a specific pillow. After a number of years of searching, I have found one that can be used for both side and back sleepers. Side sleepers need to have their head supported so that an imaginary line from their nose to belly button would be parallel to the floor. Back sleepers need a pillow that fills in the c-curve of their neck, but does not flex the chin to the chest. Remember, it's bad for your neck to sleep on your stomach. We sell a pillow with adjustable firmness. For added firmness, just add water. This is called a CHIROFLOW PILLOW.
This month I will discuss how to set your computer monitor at the proper height. Setting the monitor at the correct height protects your spine by allowing you to sit with good posture and it also prevents eyestrain. According to the American Chiropractic Association and the American Optometric Association use the following guidelines.
1. Adjusting the height of your monitor. Your eyes should be at the same height as the top of the monitor. You may have to raise or lower the monitor as it sits on your workstation or you may have to raise or lower your chair.
2. Place the monitor 20-26 inches from your eyes.
3. When using the monitor face straight ahead so your neck is not rotated.
4. Tilt the top of the monitor away from you at a 10 – 20 degree angle. The center of the monitor will be 4- 9 inches below your eyes at a distance of 24 inches.
5. Keep the monitor clean as this can cause eyestrain.
6. Look forward with your head in a neutral position.
Carrying your head with a forward lean can lead to neck pain and headaches.
7. Try to place document holders next to the monitor at about the same height and distance.
The vertebrae of the spine are held together by the muscles and ligaments attached to the spine. With good posture your ligaments do most if not all of the work of holding your neck vertebrae in place. By not maintaining good posture while working at your computer the muscles have to try to compensate. When they become fatigued the fibers that make up the muscles and ligaments begin to stretch and fatigue. The strength of those tissues weakens and now the vertebrae develop abnormal motion patterns. The nerves exiting the spine in this region now become pinched and irritated. This can lead to neck pain, headaches, muscle tightness, pain radiating to the arms and even pain between the shoulder blades. You may even feel like your shoulders are hiked up to your ears. If these symptoms start see your Chiropractor. A chiropractor can help these injuries by adjusting your spine to restore normal motion to the spine and reduce the irritation of the nerves. In addition at our office we do exercises, stretching and trigger point therapy to help the muscles heal. Most importantly we will help you change your biomechanics so that you do not re-injure yourself. In the case of computer monitor neck strain we will advise you how to set up your monitor using the above guidelines.
This month I will teach you how to set up your chair height and computer key board height. As highlighted in last months tip, alteration of your normal posture can lead to repetitious injury syndrome. Holding your spine in an incorrect position for hours at a time will eventually lead to fatigue
of the muscles and ligaments leading to injury. The fibers can no longer hold the spine in proper alignment and during movement thru ranges of motion. This resultant change in biomechanics of the spine leads to pressure on the delicate nerves as they exit. This can result in lower back pain, neck pain, wrist pain, elbow pain, headaches, pain between the shoulder blades and shoulder pain.
Starting at the bottom, your feet should be flat on the floor (or on a slightly angled foot rest) with knees bent close to or greater than 90 degrees. The chair seat should support the legs without excessive pressure on the back of the thighs (pressure means the chair is too high). The back should be snug against the seat to fit your spinal contour. Sometimes you can put a lumbar pillow to support the normal C curve in the lumbar spine. Thigh-to-trunk angle should be 90 degrees or greater. The wrists and hands should line up in a nearly straight line from the elbow to the home row of the keyboard. The preferred work surface height for keyboard use is about 26". The typical desk is 29". This is why most modern desks have a keyboard tray. The monitor and keyboard should be straight ahead. If not remember to swivel your chair
. Adjust the keyboard tilt angle so that wrists are straight. If possible the mouse should be about the same height as the keyboard and when possible the rest of the arm should be supported by the arm rest of the chair or the desk surface itself. Remember to take a break every hour or so. If you do develop a spinal complaint call your Chiropractor