Dr. Kyle: Posture Perfect

You can prevent slips and falls. You can reduce your risk of a motor vehicle accident. You can limit contact sports. One thing that you cannot avoid however, is gravity. If your body and spine are not aligned, the force of gravity will start to wreak havoc on your musculoskeletal system. Making sure we maintain proper posture throughout our work day is critical for longevity in our career. So how do we protect ourselves?

The secret to good posture is maintaining the spines natural curves. When standing, your head, shoulders, hips and ankles should all line up. When sitting, your ears, shoulders and hips should be in line and your buttocks should be at the back of the chair. Sit tall with your chest and head up.

Some tips for creating an ideal posture include:

• Stand tall with shoulders back
• Tuck your chin
• Brace the abdomen
• Squeeze your glutes
• Keep your knees slightly bent

Due to modern day technology, one of the most common signs of poor posture is anterior head carriage. This mean that the head is resting too far forward away from the body. We are not always cognisant of our head posture as we check our smart phones and work on our laptops. The farther our head protrudes forward, the greater the force on our neck. This can lead to chronic neck and upper back pain and lasting postural alterations.

One exercise I recommend to patients to reduce anterior head carriage are chin tucks. These can be done up against a wall or lying flat on your back. You simply bring your chin directly in towards the spine and hold. You can press gently into the wall or pillow to enhance the muscle contraction of your deep neck extensors. Now your spine will naturally carry the weight of your head and allow your neck and upper back muscles to relax. So keep your chin up and your pain levels down!

For more tips and tricks to enhance your posture, visit my Instagram page @drkylearam of email me at drkyle@forwardhealth.ca.

How to Prevent Sunburn

how to prevent a sunburn
Summer is the time to get outdoors and enjoy everything the season has to offer.

As a kid, summers were always my favorite. And it wasn’t just because school was out. Sure, some days could be unbearably hot and humid, but there was nothing better than spending hours on a blanket reading in the grassy backyard (or on the roof—sorry Mom and Dad), running after fireflies, or, on those particularly sticky days, heading inside.

How to Prevent a Sunburn:

Put on sunscreen before you go outside
Every day, about 30 minutes before stepping out, apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of broad spectrum SPF of at least 30. Sun damage to the skin is caused by two types of rays: UVA and UVB. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn, but they each play a role in skin-aging and increasing your risk of skin cancer, so you want to protect yourself against both. Standard SPF (sun protection factor) blocks only UVB rays. Broad (or multi-spectrum) sunscreen protects against both.

Understand your sunscreen’s limits
When it comes to sunscreen, the higher the SPF the better, right? Eh. SPF 15 blocks approximately 93% of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 45 blocks 98%. Higher isn’t necessarily better, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that SPF 100 is going to protect you all day.

Reapply often
Reapply your sunscreen every two hours. And, don’t skimp on it. Use the same amount – at least 1 ounce – every time you do. Less than that and you’re not getting the full protection it offers. Reapply immediately after swimming, sweating a lot, or toweling off. Water-resistant sunscreen is effective for 40 minutes in the water. Very water resistant is effective for 80 minutes of swimming. There is no such thing as truly waterproof or sweatproof sunscreen.

Don’t keep your sunscreen forever
Use your sunscreen daily, year-round, even on grey days as the UVA and UVB rays are still hitting your skin, but don’t keep it beyond the expiration date. It starts to degrade and become less effective.

Cover up and avoid the sunniest part of the day
I realize that avoiding the hours between 10 AM and 4 PM, and wearing a hat, sunglasses, and tightly-knit dark long-sleeved shirts and pants every summer day is not a reasonable request. But, it is what the CDC recommends. At the very least, limit your sun exposure during those hours, wear a hat and UV protective sunglasses, and be mindful about wearing sunscreen.

 

Here’s a quick recap:
• Get a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30
• Put 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen on 30 minutes before going outdoors
• Reapply the same amount of sunscreen every two hours
• Try to avoid the hours between 10-4 and cover up as much as possible
• Practice year-round sun protection

Thanks To Beachbody.com for content