Good posture is something everyone agrees is important, and yet many people don’t take the time to ensure they maintain. Poor posture can cause a variety of problems, like back pain and tension headaches, because of straining and tightness that comes from putting stress on incorrect muscles and joints. It can also contribute to arthritis because of abnormal wear on joint surfaces.
Physiotherapy can help with posture correction to prevent these problems, improve your appearance, and give you more comfort in everyday life.
Correct Posture vs. Poor Posture
Poor posture can be caused by a variety of factors. Prolonged periods of sitting, a sedentary lifestyle (like sitting at a desk all day), poor core stability and muscle weakness, or joint stiffness all contribute to bad posture. No matter the cause, poor posture inhibits the ability for lungs to expand fully, increases the chances of getting injured, and can cause body pain.
Poor posture comes in many forms. An arched back, slumped shoulders, chin pushing forward, protruding stomach, or any type of slouch or C-shape in the spine is not conducive to proper posture. Good posture means your head and chest are up and your chin is level to the floor. Your shoulders are relaxed and pushed slightly back and your lower abdomen is flat. There should be a center line extending from the centre of your head, through your shoulders, hips, and knees, and ending under the arches of your feet.
Tips and Exercises for Bad Posture
There are some simple things you can do to ensure you have good posture. Being cognizant of sitting up straight while at a desk, driving, or relaxing on the couch is a great way to break the habit of slouching. Keeping your shoulders elevated and pushed slightly back will help prevent slouching as well. Rolling your shoulders backwards a few times can help you relieve tension, improve circulation, and be more aware of the muscles there to keep them from slumping forward. A firm mattress and pillow are also helpful for maintaining good posture while you sleep. If you sleep on your side, sleeping with a pillow between your knees helps maintain proper alignment.
Exercises for bad posture are also effective. They can be performed 3-5 times daily, often while sitting at a desk at work or while relaxing on the couch. Core strengthening exercises, like chin raises while sitting in a chair, are great ways to improve spinal support. Shoulder squeezes, in which you sit or stand up straight and squeeze your shoulders back as tightly as you can a few times stimulates the muscles to elevate your shoulders. Repeating these types of exercises is a great way to help you remember to keep good posture.
Physio Art and Physiotherapy for Posture Correction
Physiotherapy can help correct bad posture with a variety of methods. The exercises mentioned above are just a couple of examples of recommendations that a physiotherapist can make.
At Physio Art, we can help with your posture correction through:
- Manual therapy and massage
- Education and training
- Exercise and stretch recommendations
- Joint mobilization and muscle stimulation
- Increasing range of motion
- Corrective exercises to improve strength and flexibility
Physiotherapists know how tissues and joint structures work together, and so can recommend stretches and exercises to ensure there is not undue stress on these parts of the body. Having good posture is all about muscle strength and correct alignment. Physiotherapists are dedicated to ensuring your body is working as smoothly as possible to eliminate pain and prevent conditions from developing.
If you’re concerned about the effect your posture has on your well-being, contact Physio Art today. We can help you improve your posture and alignment today with Hamilton Physiotherapy!