Is your child guilty of carrying their school bag over one shoulder? Do they slouch over the desk while studying or sitting in class? Has your child been sleeping on their stomach with their head completely rotated to one side?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above your child may be paving the groundwork for future musculoskeletal problems. These include but are not limited to headaches, muscle imbalance, muscle/joint pain which lead to fatigue, poor concentration and the possibility of poor grades. Common conditions among school-age people include neck/back pain, scoliosis, poor posture and weak physical conditioning.
Factors that cause poor posture include leg length differences, faulty foot mechanics (flat or high arched feet), poor spinal/pelvis alignment, weak core stabilization muscles and lack of flexibility. Poor posture leads to an imbalance of force across the spine and pelvis. Slouching at your desk while working causes a rounding of your upper back and shoulders and a compensatory protracted (poking) chin. This inefficient posture results in a weakness of the deep neck muscles and tightness of the trapezius, chest, and upper neck muscles. This leads to increased compression of the upper cervical joints, neck pain and possible headaches.
Sleep on your side or on your back, keep your head/neck in the mid-line position while working on the computer or studying, carry your bag over both shoulders and limit the weight in your school bag to 10-15% of your body weight. Regular exercise will improve muscle tone, decrease fatigue, and improve concentration. Wishing you all a healthy school year.
Good management of poor spinal mechanics requires early detection by a physiotherapist.
A treatment and management plan will identify the factors involved and a customized exercise program is aimed at improving posture, core stability, flexibility, strength and regaining optimal function for work, recreational activities and sport.
To book a postural assessment with one of our physiotherapists, please click here.