Complete Pediatric, Family, and Athletic Health Centre

Posture- How, Why and What Happens With Poor Posture and How You Can Fix It.

Poor posture is a universal condition in our world today. Between sedentary lifestyles, technology and increased stress our posture begins to decline.

How?  Our posture will slowly begin to decline the more we let it. Most of the time it is a change that happens without even noticing it. This change can happen while we drive, sit or repeat certain motions for long periods of time. Shoulders will begin to slump forward and our head will follow. It can alter the natural curves of our spine and can lead to back pain and increased muscle pain. We may not notice this change until it is pointed out to use and most of the time correcting it takes a conscious effort. Most of the time when we try to correct our they way we sit or stand, it can feel strenuous and uncomfortable because we are retraining our postural muscles.

Why? Postural decline can happen for many reasons. First off, the muscles we use on a daily basis will become tighter and larger, whereas the muscles we don’t use will become smaller and looser in comparison. This is also known as upper or lower crossed syndrome which is muscular imbalances in your body. As a result, our bodies natural posture will be altered. Postural imbalances can also happen as a result of social trends. This includes carrying large purses or backpacks, being hunched over a computer, video game or steering wheel.

What? A lot of the time we will suffer increased back pain, jaw pain, decreased lung capacity and increased abdominal problems as a result of poor postural habits. By slumping forward we decrease the size of our thoracic cavity which will compress our diaphragm limiting the amount of air our body can take in and will also compress our abdominal organs which could complicate normal bowel function. Postural imbalances can also alter the natural curve of our spine causing increased back and jaw pain.

Correcting these imbalances involves a conscious effort. Look where you are going, keeping your head balanced on top of your spine. Keep your shoulders square and pulled back, almost like you are trying to make yourself as tall as you can. If you are sitting often, use postural supports. DHT uses tools such as the ten minute back cushion which mimics natural spinal curvature and encourages your body to sit up tall. These tools will also aid in getting your weaker muscles stronger, so they can do it on their own. Also, be sure to lift using proper biomechanics to avoid any muscle pulls or strains.

Therapy and remedial exercise can also help with strengthening and loosening up the proper muscles and can help encourage proper postural habits.

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