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Thread: posture

  1. #1
    Member iyerraj's Avatar
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    posture

    How do you improve posture? My fiancee gets this pain in her lower back and neck. Not neuro pain. She used to have it before injury also.
    Any exercises to recommend?

  2. #2
    A most typical problem with people who use a wheelchair is an imbalance with muscles in the chest/shoulder front area and back/shoulder rear area. The former gets overused and the latter get lesser used, contributing to a slouching and rounding of the posture.

    To address this, you need to do strengthening exercises for the muscles that lead to good posture, known as the scapular retractors. To do this, say in the chair, you need resistance to drawing your elbows back and trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. A rowing (like the boat) motion is used. To do this in a chair is difficult, but you can use rubber exercise cable attached to the door to pull against.

    You also need to stretch out the chest front. This can be done by someone behind you, drawing your arms and elbows back in various directions to hit the various areas.

    There's many other this that can contribute to poor posture, most important the chair and cushion. A poor back, especially if too high will push you foward and require slouching to stay upright.

  3. #3
    Iyerraj -- You didn't mention what your fiancee's SCI level is. If strengthening exercises are not possible due to a higher injury with loss of muscle tone and trunk stability, the use of abdominal support is often helpful -- either a binder or corset. You should follow-up with her rehab MD and get a consult with orthotics if needed. PLG

  4. #4
    Member iyerraj's Avatar
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    She's at T6. Wears an abdominal binder almost always.

  5. #5
    Thanks for letting me know the level. In that case I would follow up with her MD about the return of this lower back pain before attempting any further exercises although the exercises suggested were excellent. PLG

  6. #6
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    I had the seating expert from my equipment supplier here this week, and he tried to imrprove my sitting position, but I'm still sitting crooked. I guess scoliosis just can't be counteracted with a seat back.

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