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Concept 13: Body Mechanics: Posture and Care of the Back and Neck
Concept 13: Body Mechanics: Posture and Care of the Back
The Facts About Posture
- Good posture has aesthetic benefits.
- Proper posture allows the body segments to be balanced.
- If one part of the body is out of line, other parts must compensate to balance
it, thus increasing the strain on muscles, ligaments, and joints.
- Chronic postural problems can lead to a variety of health problems.
- Maintaining proper alignment requires a balance of flexibility and strength
in areas supporting the trunk.
- In addition to body alignment problems hereditary, congenital, and disease
conditions, as well as certain environmental factors, can causes of poor posture.
- Approximately 80 percent of the adult population suffers from acquired foot
The Facts About Backaches and Neckaches
- Backache has been called "a twentieth-century epidemic," "the
nemesis of medicine," and "the albatross of industry" because
most people (more than half) will see a physician about a backache during
- The causes of backache are varied, but it is rarely a dramatic event such
as trauma in a diving or an automobile accident.
- The overwhelming majority of backaches and neckaches are avoidable. A common
cause of backache is muscular strain, frequently precipitated by poor body
mechanics in daily activities or during exercise.
- Poor posture, especially lordosis, can cause back strain and pain and can
make the back more susceptible to injury.
- Some people have a "flat back" (lumbar kyphosis) in the lower
back region that can lead to backaches.
- There is no such thing as a slipped disk.
- The neck is probably strained more frequently than the lower back.
- Kyphosis is a contributing factor in neck pain.
- The causes of chronic neck pain are many, and they have a complex interaction
that varies with the individual and makes it difficult to diagnose and prevent
Facts About Prevention and Intervention
- Practicing good body mechanics and posture can help prevent back problems.
– See guidelines in text.
- There are some additional general guidelines that will help in preventing
posture, back and neck problems.
Facts About Exercises for Posture and Back/Neck Care
- Exercise is one of the most frequently prescribed treatments for back or
- Exercises for the correction of postural deviations are generally based
on this assumption: if the problem is a functional deformity, regardless of
the factors causing it, muscular imbalance will be present.
- Some people are unable to lift loads safely because tight and/or weak muscles
may prevent them from using proper body mechanics.
Strategies for Action: The Facts
- An important step in taking action to assure good posture and good back
and neck care is assessing your current status.
- It is possible to assess risk factors associated with potential back and
- Specific exercises are sometimes needed to prevent or help rehabilitate
posture, neck, and back problems.
- Stretching exercises for the hip flexor and hamstring muscles can benefit
most people including those with lumbar lordosis.
- Muscle fitness exercises that train the muscles of the trunk, stabilize
the pelvis, and maintain good posture can help prevent and alleviate back
- Muscle fitness of the abdominal muscles is important to good posture and
prevention of backache.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises for the neck can help prevent and
relieve neck pain.
- Exercises that strengthen the trunk can help prevent backache.
- There are exercises that stretch and strengthen muscles to prevent and remediate
- There are exercises that are therapeutic for people with flat back.
- Keeping records of progress is important to adhering to a PRE program
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