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Enjoy the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain

Enjoy the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain

We all have our hobbies that we are passionate about, love doing, and could see turning into a second career. However, certain hobbies can generate stress on the spine. This often leads to a decrease in being able to participate in these activities, which can lead to various health issues. Maintaining the body’s physical fitness and keeping the spine healthy is key to being able to continue without neck or back pain. Hobbies are an important part of life. Individuals need to enjoy what they love from sports activities to music to arts and craft projects. Having activities/hobbies help:
  • Boost mental health
  • Relieve stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Meditative qualities
Here�s how to make sure the hobbies/activities are fun and safe.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Enjoying the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain
 

Protecting the Neck

Poor posture is one of the leading causes of neck and back pain. Looking down or being in a standing/sitting hunched position regularly increases the load/stress on the neck increasing the chances for strain, injury, headaches, and chronic pain. In the neutral position, the skull weighs around 10-12 pounds. When leaning the head forward weight increases from let’s say 27 pounds at a 15-degree angle to 60 pounds at a 60-degree angle. The strain on the cervical vertebrae, joints, and muscles can be immense. A good example is text-neck. This has become a normal thing when using a smartphone, gaming, or other similar activities. Studies suggest that the average individual spends three to five hours a day on a smartphone or tablet. This means three to five hours of extra weight on the cervical spine. Engaging in a hobby that requires an individual to look down constantly in a similar fashion can lead to serious and chronic neck pain along with other cervical issues.  
 
Individuals are spending more time at home and getting more serious about their hobbies. This is fantastic, however, these individuals need to take time to stretch out, and get some physical activity into their hobby routine. Just like taking frequent walk-around, stretch out at work breaks, so to do hobbyists need to step back from their projects to keep a healthy balance. The position of the neck and the way it is held for activities like:
  • Sewing
  • Carpentry
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Pottery
  • Knitting
  • Music
Hobbies like this can increase the risk of neck pain, so the key is prevention, paying attention to head posture every now and again, and taking stretching breaks.

Proper Posture Makes a Difference

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Enjoying the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain
 
Many individuals stand and sit when working on their hobbies. This is quite common and is encouraged when doing these absorbing activities. But being immersed in these activities, most forget to check their posture when doing so. This is what leads to problems that at first are shrugged off as just soreness. Eventually, the individual begins to engage in bad/awkward posture habits that avoid the pain and think this will help. This worsens the problems and promotes further strain/injury. Leaning, bending, reaching, and twisting curves the spine increasing the load and stress. Performing these actions over and over for extended periods means:
  • Strain
  • Low back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sciatica
  • Leg pain
  • Foot pain
Slouching is another posture problem that increases the likelihood of lower back pain. Slouching causes gaps between the lower back vertebrae. This stresses the facet joints or the connections between the vertebrae. The soft tissues elongate/stretch and lengthen like muscles and connective tissue. What elongation does is:
  • Cause the tissues to attempt to snap back to the original shape. This can cause painful spasms.
  • Muscles that are constantly elongated become weaker with time.
The longer an individual sits, stands, and slouches impacts the body’s health negatively, leading to a chain of health problems. Maintaining proper posture and keeping the spine straight minimizes the strain on muscles and the vertebrae. Prevent pain and discomfort.  
 

Ergonomics at the House

Ergonomic stressors include:
  • The force/s required to perform and complete a physical chore/task.
  • Adopted static and awkward working postures to complete task/s
  • The repetitiveness of the task/s
Any of these factors or combination places a higher risk for discomfort, pain, and injury. The immediate surroundings like the bench, work area, craft room, etc. and how the individual moves or does not move, and interacts in these areas is the focus of ergonomics. Proper ergonomics will help protect the spine, as well as the rest of the body. Improper ergonomics can cause damage like muscle strain, repetitive movements, and incorrect posture. Taking a look at the hobby workspace the ergonomics, and making any necessary adjustments can help prevent strain/injury.

Proper seating

Make sure the right type of chair, stool, bench, etc is being utilized. Adjustable types that have neck and lower back support are the way to go. Make sure the base is stable, the seat is comfortable and adjustable. Backrests and armrests can help maintain proper posture.

Correct table/desk/workstation height

Various drafting tables and lap desks have adjustable surfaces to adjust the height for working with a proper ergonomic posture. If the work surface is not adjustable adjust the chair or make adjustments as needed. The hips should be higher than the knees to take the strain off the sacrum and lower back. The upper back should be straight, with the shoulder blades together creating a supportive platform for the neck and head.

Tools

Using the best tools for working and organization will help avoid injuries and constant awkward positions like leaning/reaching over and around the workspace. Look for tools that can be adjusted to different heights, resistance levels, etc. depending on what is needed and what will reduce any strain.

Vision

If an individual needs to lean in to get a closer look then vision could be the problem. If an individual wears glasses it could be time for a check-up. Or if an individual does not wear glasses, it could be time to see an optometrist. Non-prescription magnifiers could be the answer.  
mobility flexibility el paso tx.
 

Stretching Regularly

Working too long in one position can be detrimental to overall health. It is very understandable when individuals get into the zone, working on something creative, and not wanting to stop the flow. However, frequent breaks are vital. Stretching regularly and getting up to move around is key to staying healthy.

Neck Stretch

  • Stretch the neck by turning the head from side to side in a gentle fashion.
  • Tip the head to each side so the ear almost touches the shoulder.
  • Lower the head so that the chin almost touches the chest.
  • Turn the to look diagonally down at the armpit. This stretches the trapezius and levator scapulae muscles.
  • Hold the stretches for 10-15 seconds.
  • Always perform slowly and gently.

Lower Back Stretch

15 minutes a day of stretches will maintain the health of the spine. If pain or discomfort becomes frequent or unmanageable, seek professional help. Physical therapists and chiropractors are trained in orthopedic issues and ergonomics without prescription. Call a doctor or physical therapist to find out if treatment is necessary. Following these guidelines can help keep hobbies fun and without pain.

Lower Back Pain Skate Boarding Injury Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Summer Footwear, Back Pain and What To Know

Summer Footwear, Back Pain and What To Know

Summer footwear, although light and comfortable can lead to low back pain. Individuals with low back pain conditions/issues should opt for custom flip-flops or sandals. A few tips on how to choose the right summer footwear and avoid back pain. With the temperature going up we’re all ready to take out the shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops or sandals. That’s when back pain can flare-up.

There are a variety of things that can generate back pain like improper posture, muscle spasms, and various medical issues. However, everyday shoe choices can also impact the spine and cause back pain. NCBI studies backed by podiatrists have found that unstable shoes, e.g., cheap flip-flops, and sandals can cause low back pain.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Summer Footwear, Back Pain and What To Know

Improper footwear allows biomechanical abnormalities affecting the feet to be compounded and worsened. This leads to increased pain in the knees, hips, and lower back. Accurately fitted shoes and orthotics are some of the best footwear for lower back pain. While flip-flops and sandals unless they are orthotic based offer little to no support.

Summer Footwear Back Pain

Like any type of mechanical system, if there is something wrong in one area, other problem issues begin to arise in other areas. It is the same with the body. If there is an issue with the feet it can affect the knees and hips, rising up to the spine causing back pain.

Summer shoes can worsen any of these underlying issues that often individuals don’t even know they had until they see a doctor for their back pain. This usually begins with the foot type. Those with flat feet tend to force the muscles and tendons in the feet to work more leading to tendinitis.

Arches that have fallen or dropped and remain unsupported can lead to arthritis development in the knees and the wearing down of the medial meniscus. Knees that do not function properly place added stress on the hips and lower back. This can lead to disc degeneration of the intervertebral discs. �

Foot Arch Type

Anatomical anomalies like fallen arches/flat feet and high arches can cause back pain differently. Hyperpronation happens in flat feet causing the arches to collapse. This places more pressure on the inside of the legs and knees, which creates more imbalance in the hips and low back. �

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Summer Footwear, Back Pain and What To Know

Hyper supination happens in high-arched feet causing the arches to rise. This places the pressure on the outside of the legs and knees, leading to muscle imbalances on the outside of the legs along with the hips and low back. Wearing unsupportive shoes like flip-flops, sandals, and heels for a long time, can cause back pain or make an existing condition worse. �

Either flat feet or high-arched feet left untreated can lead to long-term injuries and extended/over wear and tear of the spine’s vertebrae and intervertebral discs. Summer footwear choices can influence discomfort and back pain.

The Right Shoes

Summer footwear that doesn’t generate back pain doesn’t mean that you have to throw out the flip-flops. Look for shoes or flip-flops that are highly durable, sturdy, that don’t bend in the middle, and only at the toes.

For those with flat feet look for sufficient arch support to prevent hyperpronation. Pay attention to the details of the shoes/flip-flops/sandals. For example, added cushion, or ankle support could mean the difference between pain and relief. There are sandals that have ankle straps to keep the feet in place. This prevents the feet from slipping out, provides better stability during walks, and can help prevent tendinitis. �

It is better to avoid anything with a heel, especially sandals or flip-flops that have a heel/high lift. These force the individual to shift their center of gravity forward forcing the arching of the spine when standing. This position definitely contributes to back pain.

Customized Footwear

Customized flip-flops or sandals that won�t cause any back pain are available with the help of a podiatrist or a chiropractor that helps and works with podiatrists. 3D-scans can be done to make fully-customized flip-flops that support the arches based on the scan. �

Excessive Foot Pronation and Custom Foot Orthotics

 


Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*

Physical Activity Health & Fitness Benefits

Physical Activity Health & Fitness Benefits

Exercise is defined as a physical activity that is structured, planned and done at acertain intensity level, frequency, and duration�carried out tomaintain or improve health and fitness. Physical activity is defined as any movement of the body produced by skeletal muscles and resulting in the�expenditure of energy. Physical activity can be doing something fun that involves moving. Exercise is thought of as something people don’t like because it’s good for you. Therefore if you hate exercise, think of physical activity instead.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Physical Activity Health and Fitness Benefits El Paso, TX.

Exercise, Health, and Fitness

Question: Dr. Jimenez, I’ve heard that we should get 30 minutes of exercise a day, but can it be broken up, and does this have the same effect?

Answer: Absolutely. A recent study found that nine weekly 10-minute exercise sessions offer the same health benefits as three weekly 30-minute sessions. This is great for beginners, who may find it easier to stick to short workouts.

Q: What about for burning fat? 30 minutes of exercise at a quick pace or longer sessions at a slower pace?

A: The higher the intensity the individual can sustain without exhausting themselves burns more fat. The faster you walk, swim, cycle, etc., the more calories you burn per minute.

However, with a sedentary lifestyle, you won’t last long at a higher intensity and might hurt yourself, so you need to start slow and gradually work up to a higher pace.

Q: What about doing only one set of a certain exercise, is it as good as doing two or three?

A: Several studies have shown improvements in strength and muscle size for groups of untrained people performing one set per exercise as compared to doing three sets. For people just starting out, or who want to maintain the strength they’ve achieved, one set of each exercise is enough. For athletes and anyone trying to achieve greater strength, 2-3 sets are better.

Q: Do crunches help lose the fat around the stomach?

A: You can’t reduce fat just in certain spots, except through liposuction. Crunches tone the abdominal muscles, but the same layer of fat on top of these muscles will remain unless a healthy diet reducing calories is incorporated and by burning more calories than are consumed. Don’t look for quick fixes. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

 

shin splint

 

Weight Gain

Q: I started exercising like walking, stationary bike, etc., to improve my health and lose weight, but I have gained weight instead. What’s going on?

A: It depends on the weight we are talking about. Scales are poor indicators of changes in body composition because muscle is more dense than fat. This means that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. Instead of the changes on the scale, look for changes in how clothing fits. Gaining weight is not bad as long as it’s muscle/s that are being built up. Plus it gets the metabolism going. For every pound of muscle added to the body, at least 35 more calories get burned up per day. Three pounds of muscle will burn plenty of calories in a month to lose a pound a fat.

If there was some weight gain, look for anything that changed that could contribute to the extra pounds like quitting smoking, going on hormone replacement therapy, or stress. Remember aerobic exercise is only one of several factors in weight management. Strength training, a healthy diet along with healthy lifestyle habits also contribute to a healthy weight.

I would suggest investing in a few sessions with a health coach and fitness coach who are knowledgeable in diet and exercise.


 

Chiropractic and Sport Injury Rehabilitation


 

NCBI Resources