Many people have experienced the spinning sensation after an amusement park ride or after spinning around for a period of time and then stopping quickly. Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness where the person feel as if the room were spinning, which gets worse with head movement. The person might have visual disturbances, weakness, difficulty speaking, a decreased level of consciousness, and difficulty walking. Dizziness and vertigo are not diseases in themselves. They are symptoms which indicate that something is wrong and can have different causes.
Four ‘Vestibular Nuclei’ (superior, lateral, medial, and inferior) provide us with the ability to maintain balance while standing or walking. They are located in the brainstem, within an area in the lower rear part of the brain connected to the spinal cord. During ‘Vestibular Neuronitis’ there is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve which carries sensory data from the inner ear about head movement.
In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale “The Princess and the Pea”, a princess is unable to get a good night’s sleep because a pea has been placed under her 20 mattresses piled high.
Today there is no excuse to not choose an ergonomic mattress, designed to conform to the spine’s natural curves and to keep the spine in alignment when you lay down. A normal mattress does not sufficiently adjust to your body and lead to bad blood circulation and numb arms. Tests have shown that an ergonomic mattress will allow 25% more ‘deep sleep’ than a standard mattress.
My mattress is a bit outdated, but still in good condition and I decided to go for a top mattress that provide the orthopaedic and anatomic properties of new materials and technologies. The main core consists of 8 cm of POLYFLEX foam with wavy surface, high density (30 kg/m3) and elasticity. This model has an outer cover of the Belgian jacquard fabric DESLEE CLAMA, lined with anti allergic wadding of silicone, and quilted with SPUN BOND non-woven fabric. The wave like geometry of the core ensures comfort, while helping the relaxation of the muscles and the blood circulation. The structure of multitude of open cells of the mattress, allows it to “breathe” guaranteeing maximal air permeability and the air circulation prevents overheating. The mattress can be reversed by season – a softer winter side envelops sleepers and a firmer summer side lets sleepers rest on top of the mattress covers for a cooler, more refreshing sleep.
We all heard ‘Always bend your knees when lifting’, but do we follow this advise?
Dr. Robert S. Renfro explains that a great portion of back problems are simply due to tension and muscular tightness, which come from poor posture, inactivity, being overweight, stress and lack of abdominal strength. A normal lumbar curvature or lordosis is 35 degrees, with the normal cervical lordosis being 45 degrees (see Correct Your Bad Posture). The muscles involved are the abdominal, hamstring, quadriceps, gluteal and lower back muscles. These muscles need to be of equal length and tone on both sides. If there is an imbalance, this can cause pelvic rotation of the ilium and sacrum.
Click on the picture to view the Back Care Exercise Chart:
At eleven years old the school nurse noticed an increased S-shape of my spine. The ideal posture should be mostly J-shaped and it should be effortless and natural.
This is quite common in early puberty during growth of the spinal column. The normal human spine contains natural thoracic and lumbar curves, which serves to absorb mechanical stress and help distribute weight. However, serious arching has been known to result in health problems called “Kyphosis” and “Lordosis” posture. The Kyphosis posture, with the rounded back as well as forward position of head and shoulders, is more frequent in today’s society caused by more time hunched in front of a computer. Lordosis, with the pelvis is tilted forward creating an excessive curve in the low back, shifts your posture so that your stomach pushes outward and the weight of your body creates back pain.
After the first year of entering my fulltime career as a lecturer I got concerned about my bad posture and decided to see a Naprapath for consultation. He told me that if you sit for too long in a bad position or continually stand with bad posture, certain muscles will become tight which really means they will become shorter resulting in imbalances. The solution is to stretch tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles to support the spinal – known as “Core Strength”. Restoring muscle balance will allow you to naturally tilt back of the pelvis, lifting of the ribcage and allowing the shoulders to sit down and back.