Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
What do you usually drink? Most of my patients know that I eat healthy, so I am often asked what I do in terms of beverages. My main staple is of course filtered water which I drink regularly throughout the day. I also will drink club soda which is simply water with carbonation and my favorite are Zevia drinks. Zevia is a brand that uses the plant stevia to sweeten their beverages all naturally without sugar or artificial sweeteners. I get either the ginger ale or root beer flavored and will usually have 1 or 2 of those per day for a treat. I also will have coffee in the morning because I enjoy the taste. Overall, I keep it simple and it works well for me. In my experience of helping people with their nutrition, beverages are often a hidden culprit that will sabotage results so be mindful of what you’re drinking.
Something that has inspired me? My oldest son has begun playing tackle football for the first time after years of me coaching him in flag football. Within 1-2 practices he was already recognized by his coaches and teammates as the hardest worker and became an instant leader. My son is a skilled player but seeing him stand out for his drive and determination made me far prouder than any amount of skill ever could. Setting a standard and becoming an example to those around us through our actions rather than our words is something I strongly believe in.
What can I do to keep my neck from feeling so sore and stiff? In my experience the things that cause the most stress on the neck are postural and are related to our head position while on our phones/computers/devices and during our sleeping position.
To reduce the amount of stress you get while using devices, simply make sure that you raise your device up toward you rather than craning your neck down toward the device. When using your computer, keep the breast bone up and the head neutral and avoid bringing your neck forward toward the screen and also train yourself to check your posture every so often (I do this after every 2-3 patient notes that I fill out). As far as sleeping position, you want to sleep either on your side or your back and your neck should not be either too high or too low. I recommend using a supportive pillow (memory foam, cervical curve pillow, My Pillow, etc.) that will help you stay anchored into a decent position and not apply stress to the neck. Obviously, things like chiropractic and massage can also help your neck but avoiding some of what causes so much stress on your neck area will be tremendously beneficial.
If you had to pick only one thing, what would you say is the overall major cause of most people’s spinal issues? I get a version of this question often and the answer is simple. The most common cause is a lack of motion. A great majority of people I see are nowhere near as active as they should be. Our bodies are meant to move – to exercise, stretch and maintain activity levels. This motion gives your spine a reason to stay mobile and strong. When that movement is taken away it simply begins to fuse and atrophy causing lack of mobility and pain. As someone that runs 100 mile races and pushes my body to the limit I am often asked if I worry that it will break my body down and I always tell them that because of my experiences with my patients, I fear rusting out far more than burning out.
Some quotes I love?
“School is never out for the pro.”
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd
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