Frederick Sport and Spine – Inaugural Blog
Welcome to our blog! It will be a blog about physical therapy and the things we learn and want you to know about our profession and how this knowledge can not only get you well but keep you well. This is Frederick Sport and Spine’s first blog. I am Dr. Mark Acierno, owner and therapist at our 19-year-old practice. Over our 19 years in Frederick, we have expanded with the addition of Middletown Sport and Spine and our newest facility, Urbana Sport and Spine.
We have a fantastic, well-educated group of therapists that will be supporting me as we work to build our Blog as a great resource for all our patients; past, present, and future! Over time we want you to use this blog as a reference along with the exercises and educational materials on our website as your personal resource for maintaining your physical therapy health. Our Physical Therapy practice has always been focused on not only helping you during your visits. Frederick Sport and Spine helps to ensure that you are fully educated on how to maintain what you achieve during your course of therapy. Home exercises combined with the learning that happens during therapy are important keys to your continued health.
Since we are starting from the beginning, let’s start with our most basic elements of physical therapy, posture! Right now, as you are reading this on social media, you are probably treating your body horribly. Your head is flexed forward, shoulders rounded, lower back with discs ready to herniate because of the pressure you are putting on them (not really, but if you could see yourself you would straighten up right now!).
We Learn Good Posture
I call it “typical adolescent posture” and it can be applied to everyone. You know what it looks like! If you’ve seen kids at school, commuters on the train, or your spouse after dinner, we all tend toward the lazy approach to posture. It might be hurting right now, or after you get up to get a snack, it might feel very stiff and sore. Listen to your body! Those little messages you get from your spine and muscles indicate problems; problems with positioning, problems with loading, problems with weakness or inflexibility. You need to listen to these messages and react correctly.
The first thing is to sit up straight! Support the unsupported structures with a pillow under your pelvis, support with a pillow or towel along your lower back, a footrest under your feet. This will improve spine positioning and reduce the strain on support structures. APTA.org mentions “Posture education is an important part of rehabilitation. Your physical therapist may suggest adjustments to your workstation and work habits, to promote good posture to protect your neck.” And they are right! Changes to your positioning in all aspects of your day can impact how you feel.
Stretching key muscles will also allow you to achieve the correct posture. If your chest muscles are tight, the shoulder blades cannot get into the correct position to keep your upper back in proper alignment. Being sure your mechanical systems are in top shape will make all the difference. Think Posture in all that you do. It may feel natural to slump. It feels natural. It is not. The body was designed with the support structure in place to handle the loads of the head and upper body. The natural curves in your spine are a work of mechanical genius, but only if you maintain correct posture. Whether standing, sitting in your favorite chair or lying down, think POSTURE.
It takes some effort but long term, the effort will pay off. Feel like you are ‘1 inch taller’ all day.
Avoiding prolonged Social Media exposure can help as well. Just make sure you check back on our blog 1st. and sit up straight as you read it! See you next time!
Dr. Mark Acierno, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS
Dr. Mark is a current member of the American Physical Therapy Assn (APTA) and served as the Western District Chairman for Maryland. He is the proud father of twins, Dominick and Siena and husband to wife, Jodene. He enjoys all sports from afar, is a die-hard New York fan with a keen obsession for the Yankees, and an avid soccer, golf, and cycling participant. He also loves spending time in his ’97 Jeep Wrangler and his hammock. (how do you keep good posture in a hammock!)
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