How important is good posture? Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night’s sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Without good posture, you can’t really be physically fit.
Good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. It means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Good posture helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments), a person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly.
The good news is that most everyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture…and you can make improvements at any age.
Bad Posture – Common Posture Problems
Forward Head Posture
The most common condition that contributes to neck pain is forward head posture. Forward head posture is when the neck slants forward placing the head in front of the shoulders. This head position leads to several problems:
- The forward pull of the weight of the head puts undue stress on the vertebrae of the lower neck, contributing to degenerative disc disease and other degenerative neck problems.
- Similarly, this posture causes the muscles of the upper back to continually overwork to counterbalance the pull of gravity on the forward head.
- This position is often accompanied by forward shoulders and a rounded upper back, which not only feeds into the neck problem but can also cause shoulder pain.
- The more time spent with a forward head posture, the more likely it is that one will develop neck and shoulder problems.
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Hunchback or Hunched back is a condition where there is exaggerated forward rounding of the upper back. Hunchback can occur at any age; however, it commonly affects older women, where this deformity is termed as a dowager’s hump.
Sitting hunched over a computer screen forces chest muscles to tighten, which can cause excessive curvature (kyphosis) of the upper back (thoracic spine). Postural muscles in the upper back weaken and loosen.
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Long-Term Negative Effects of Poor Posture
Prolonged shearing of the vertebrae from forward head posture eventually irritates the small facet joints in the neck as well as the ligaments and soft tissues.
This irritation can result in neck pain that radiates down to the shoulder blades and upper back, potentially causing a variety of conditions, including:
- Trigger points in the muscles, which are points of exquisite tenderness that are painful to touch, along with limited range of motion
- Disc degeneration problems, which may potentially lead to cervical degenerative disc disease, cervical osteoarthritis, or a cervical herniated disc.
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Posture Correction – How to Improve and Fix Posture
Exercises to Improve Posture
The Chin Tuck can help reverse forward-head posture by strengthening the neck muscles.
This exercise can be done sitting or standing. Start with your shoulders rolled back and down. While looking straight ahead, place two fingers on your chin, slightly tuck your chin and move your head back. Hold for 3-5 seconds and then release. Repeat 10 times.
Stand with your back against a flat wall with your feet about four inches from the base. Maintain a slight bend in your knees. Your glutes, spine and head should all be against the wall. Bring your arms up with elbows bent so your upper arms are parallel to the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades together, forming a letter “W” (image at left). Hold for 3 seconds.
Next, straighten your elbows to raise your arms up to form the letter “Y.” Make sure not to shrug your shoulders to your ears. Repeat this 10 times, starting at “W,” holding for 3 seconds and then raising your arms into a “Y.” Do 2-3 sets.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel onto your right knee with toes down, and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you.
Place both hands on your left thigh and press your hips forward until you feel a good stretch in the hip flexors.
Contract your abdominals and slightly tilt your pelvis back while keeping your chin parallel to the floor (image at left). Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, and then switch sides.
Maintain Good Posture
- Avoid sitting in soft, squashy chairs.
- Use lumbar rolls to support your lower back when sitting in regular chairs or driving the car.
- Switch to ergonomic chairs in the office or for any activity that requires you to sit for long periods of time.
- Make sure your mattress is supportive enough to keep your spine straight when lying on your side.
- Use a pillow that supports your neck.
- Keep your back straight and use your thigh muscles when lifting heavy weights.
Correct Sitting Position
Always sit back and move your chair close to the desk to maintain contact between your back and the seat back to help support and maintain the inward curve of the lumbar spine.
This can easily be achieved by choosing a seat which has a forward tilt of 5°-15° thereby ensuring your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
Can A Chiropractor Help Improve My Posture?
Yes, they can. If the body has a noticeable postural imbalance, for example, a high right shoulder, over time, it can have a serious effect on the bodies’ nervous system and spine. A chiropractor can help you correct poor posture such as forward head translation or slouching and realign your spine to assure that the body is functioning optimally.
Chiropractor can help you to maintain and correct your posture through chiropractic adjustments, exercises and recommendations on proper positions during different activities.
Appointment & Care
At Action Health Centre, we take the time to listen, to find answers and to provide you the best care. With reliable, accredited and professional team are by your side, Action Health Centre offering posture correction that you will appreciate! Contact us, today for your own personalised quote.