Did you know that having good posture can literally change your life?
With good posture you can experience less back, neck and shoulder pain; less stress; more energy and less fatigue; improved mood; improved breathing and greater confidence along with more positive body language. So with this being the case… why don’t we take this opportunity to discuss how easy it is to start achieving these positive results now!
Many people wonder what poor posture actually means. Is it a physical condition? Is it just slumping, or is it something you are born with? Maybe think about how much damage is being done by sitting hunched over a computer or an iPhone playing Pokemon Go.
If you have concerns about your posture and suffer from any of the side effects of poor posture, then don’t worry – you have a lot of control over it and in the majority of cases, the ability to fix it. The trick though is how you do it.
For optimal results, or at least to get you started on the right track, we suggest consulting with a physiotherapist so that your postural habits can be diagnosed correctly. If you start out this way, with a straight back, your pelvis in a neutral position and your stomach completely tucked in, the rest will follow.
At Physio by Design we suggest the following strategies to improve poor posture:
Postural education and training
Manual therapy and soft tissue massage
Advice regarding ergonomic work states
Corrective exercises to improve flexibility and strength
Strapping to assist maintaining good posture
Alongside working with a Physiotherapist, it’s always a good idea to practice exercises in your own time, in order to combat the effects that poor posture can have on your everyday life. To start breaking the habits which cause poor posture, it's as easy as avoiding being in one position for an extended period of time.
The exercises we recommend at Physio by Design are:
1. Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Begin sitting or standing tall with your back and neck straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free. Repeat 3 – 5 times daily.
2. Chin Tucks
Begin sitting or standing tall with your back and neck straight, shoulders should be back slightly. Tuck your chin in as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch. Keep your eyes and nose facing forwards. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free. Repeat 3 – 5 times daily.
3. Wall Angel
Standing upright against a wall, move your feet slightly out, tuck your chin in, ensure your tailbone upper back and head remain against the wall. Breathe in and raise your arms up the wall, maintaining a 90-degree angle and keeping your elbows and hands on the wall. Repeat five times. Take it one step further by rotating down the wall to each side. Repeat five times. Repeat both exercises 2 times daily.
4. Chest Stretch
To start, place your forearm on a device such as a pole or a wall. Keeping your arm at 90 degrees, lean outwards, feel the stretch in your chest and hold for 15 - 20 seconds. Then put your hand on the device and lengthen your arm and slightly turn your body outwards and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Finally, leaving just your fingertips on the device, extend your arm and turn even further, holding again for 15 - 30 seconds. Swap sides and repeat with the other arm.
5. Lumbar Rotation
Start by lying on your back with knees bent and your arms out to the side in a ‘T’ position. Rotate your knees to one side, attempting to touch the floor, whilst looking over the opposite shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds before raising your top leg back to the centre first, followed by the bottom leg and then repeat on the opposite side.
6. Cat and Camel Poses
Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Gently tuck your chin in towards your chest and round up your middle back, drawing in your abdominals and tucking your tailbone under. Then stick out your buttocks and let your chest and stomach sag whilst looking forward. Repeat four times.
Whilst the above exercises are what we recommend for most people, it goes without saying that for certain individuals these won’t be appropriate. Therefore, we recommend discussing with your physiotherapist whether these would be the correct exercises for you. If you are unsure or you feel these are causing more pain for you, then stop and consult with a professional.
It really can be as easy as that. If you have friends or family who you think may also benefit from these easy exercises, then hit the share button and let them know.
If you are looking to improve your posture, contact us now to book an appointment. A physiotherapist is the ideal health professional to assess your posture style and provide you with the right advice to correct your stance. Call us now to book your appointment.
Have you got any experience on how you have overcome a postural issue? Any questions for us about this subject?
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