In an era where computer and cellphone use are predominant, the epidemic of people with poor posture continues to rise. Majority of the population in the U.S spend most of their day looking down at cellphone and computer screens which creates bad posture. It is predicted that in the next decade, over 70% of Americans will need physical therapy.
If you find yourself short breathed, stressed out, experiencing digestive issues, or suffering back pain, then you may need to re-evaluate your posture. Rounded shoulders, a hunched back, back pain, muscle fatigue, and bent knees while standing are all symptoms of a body with bad posture. It is important to understand the risks associated with bad posture because they can be detrimental to the body if posture is not corrected. A bad posture that goes ignored can affect joint or spinal health and the result of that is back or neck pain.
People who work sitting down for 6 hours or more a day, such as truck drivers and clerical workers, are the most affected. To become aware of bad posture is the initial most important step. When awareness takes action, then it will be simple to correct over time. There are ways to improve your posture over time:
Take Frequent Breaks away from the Computer
If the body spends a great amount of time in the same repetitive stance, the spine will align itself to that position over time. Extra steps to the break room will benefit the body in the long run and will not give the spine a chance to adapt itself in a bad posture. If frequent breaks become a problem to the employer, stand up from the office chair and do some calf raises. This will improve balance, strengthen calves, and relax the upper body. You may also try sitting at the edge of the work chair to straighten the back.
Don't be afraid to Weight Lift
A common problem in today's society is an excessively curved back known as a "hunch-back" which may be caused by constant computer and cell phone use. It is the result of the over-use of chest muscles and weakened back muscles. Lifting weights and putting focus on training back muscles will pull shoulders backward for a better postural look. In return, this will make you feel more confident. Keep in mind that it is important to work out with proper form to ensure safety.
Consider Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic care can help the body maintain correct posture through adjustments and proper stretches. Maintenance chiropractic care has been shown to correct head posture, uneven hips, kyphosis (hunch back), and scoliosis. Call your chiropractor today to make an appointment.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated to keep soft tissue elasticity is extremely important to bone health. When consuming enough water, the body will increase the fluid in the discs between joints. This will prevent injuries such as a ruptured or bulging disc. A healthy spine gives a healthy posture.
Stop Sleeping on your Belly
Sleeping on your stomach is a habit that may take time to correct. The problem with laying on the stomach for many hours at night is the amount of stress it puts on the neck and back. This kind of stress will affect posture because the spine realigns itself to the frequent sleeping position. Try to fall asleep on your back or side. Since this is a habit that is not easily corrected, putting a pillow under your pelvis may help even out the spine. You may also benefit from using a thin pillow as it will put less strain on the neck.
To maintain proper range of motion in the neck and spine, it is essential to stretch every day. Stretching daily will provide extra spine flexibility by opening up the vertebrae. This relieves pressure on nerve roots and will drastically improve blood circulation. Please note that it is not okay to over-stretch as it can cause injury.
*Do not carry heavy backpacks or purses on one side and do not sit on your wallet as it can affect shoulders and hips.
It is important to know that there is a special relationship between the spine and the brain. When there is bad posture, there is a bad connection between the two which leads to health issues. Call our office today if you have any questions about body posture and pain.