By: Dr. Ron Whitfield D.C.
Poor Posture Could Be Causing You More Pain Than You Know
Most people do not realize when they are slouching… even worse, they do not know the negative effects it has on their health. Poor posture is one of the top reasons for back pain, neck pain, and other common pain symptoms. Here, we will show what proper and improper posture looks like. Reading this page will help you keep posture in mind so that when you are slouching, you will notice it and correct it!
We found an article on CBSnews.com about posture that explains how important maintaining good posture really is. Here is an excerpt from the article, “If you have good posture, it means that your bones are properly aligned. And proper alignment is necessary if you want your muscles, joints and ligaments to work properly. If you have good posture, your internal organs are in the right position and can work more effectively.” Poor posture may also lead to negative effects on your breathing. This can cause you to breathe less oxygen, leading to deprivation of the correct amounts you need.
To stand properly you must have your ears over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your knees and ankles. Make sure to have your body weight evenly distributed between both feet.
Sitting correctly can be a challenge, and this is why it is important to get up at least once every hour and move. Easy ways to move are to get water, use the restroom or simply walk around the office, even if it is only for a short time. At the very least, you can shift your position around in your chair and try to maintain good posture in each of these positions.
A newer concern is posture while texting. Most people look down at their phone, causing the spine to curve improperly. For those “heavy texters” out there this can be a major health concern. Posture has gotten so bad that there are now inventions that you can wear to help keep track of your poor posture and how you can correct it.
A very common posture issue is called kyphosis. Kyphosis is a direct result from spending too much time in front of a computer. If your shoulders are hunched forward, chest tightened, head and neck extended toward the computer screen, causes the spine to be misaligned. This improper position is also used while standing and walking. To combat kyphosis, stretch the pectoral muscles and strengthen your trapezius muscles in your upper back. In addition, be sure to keep your ears over your shoulders, and not jutting forward.
Another common issue is lordosis, also known as swayback, where the lower spine curves inward, toward the front of the body, and the butt is thrust backward. People who are overweight often display this posture, as do women wearing heels. Losing weight, strengthening the core muscles and wearing flat shoes can help with this problem.
Sometimes, depression can lead to a slumped posture and slouching can lead to depression. All the more reason to stand up straight and be happy! Please take the information we have given to you today and put it into practice for yourself.
Whalen, Jeanne. “Slouch at Your Own Peril.” The Wall Street Journal June 24 2014: Pages (D1-D2).