Fixing Poor Posture
posted by The Orthopedics Team | August 19, 2016
There are many benefits to good posture. Your muscles and ligaments do an excellent job of keeping you balanced when you stand up straight. Good posture keeps your bones and joints in correct alignment, which allows your muscles and ligaments to work properly. Your spine is strong and stable when you have good posture.
Slouching or stooping puts a strain on your ligaments and muscles. Poor posture also causes unnecessary wear and tear on your joints, including the joints of your spine, increasing your risk for arthritis. Standing abnormally increases the likelihood that your spine stays in that position.
Improving your posture decreases strain on muscles and ligaments, reduces stress on joints and prevents fatigue. Good posture also prevents muscle pain, backache and strain.
Today, doctors now recognize posture as a health issue. Good posture helps you move well and feel good. Poor posture causes a variety of health problems, including pain, deformity and arthritis. If left uncorrected, some of the health effects of poor posture can last a lifetime.
Sitting in a slouched position can actually make you look bigger than you already are. When you sit for prolonged periods of time, your internal organs have nowhere to go, but out and down which makes you appear larger than you really are. In order to combat this, get up and walk around and work on strengthening your core muscles.
Poor posture can develop from accidents or injuries, excessive weight, weak muscles, negative self image and careless sitting. As such, poor posture can increase fatigue, sore muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs, and increases joint stiffness and pain.
Good posture means that your bones are aligned correctly, and your muscles, joints and ligaments are working as nature intended. Good posture also means your internal organs are located where they should be and functioning properly.
Having good posture can help alleviate problems with your digestive system, going to the bathroom, breathing and overall pain in your body.
If you’re struggling with poor posture, develop a regular schedule of exercising, buy good bedding, adjust your workstation, maintain a healthy weight and be conscious of your position.
Start by standing tall and straight. Keep your shoulders back and pull in your abdomen. Create a stable base by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and bearing most of your weight on the balls of your feet.
Stand with your back to a wall, with the heels of your feet about 2 to 4 inches from the wall. Touch your head, shoulder blades and buttocks to the surface of the wall. Slide one hand behind the curve of your back, with your palm touching the wall and the back of your hand touching the small of your back. Now step away from the wall while staying in this position – it is perfect standing posture. Assess your standing posture several times a day.
Adjust your chair or use a footstool so that your feet are flat on the floor and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Do not cross your legs and keep your ankles in front of your knees. Stretch your back and neck to push the top of your head towards the ceiling. Relax your shoulders and avoid elevating, rounding or pulling your shoulders backward.
Try walking with a book balanced on your head. Once you know what it feels like, imagine the book is on your head whenever you walk. Put the book back on your head once in a while to remind yourself how good posture feels.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.