Poor posture is a direct consequence of a modern lifestyle. Poor posture can add years to an individual’s appearance without the slightest hint to the individual. It’s likely that you may have poor posture and not know it, unless a physical therapist points it out. The causes of poor posture include:
- Habit: The unnatural posture of sitting at work (hunched over a computer), standing with uneven weight distribution, and leaning forward with a rounded back tend to add up and cause a permanent, unnatural alignment of the spine. Unless we remind ourselves to “sit up straight”, the “bad” posture becomes “normal”.
- Injury: If your back, neck or shoulder muscles have been injured, you may find it challenging to sit up straight. Injury or weakness in certain muscles can cause you to slouch due to pain.
- Stress: Undergoing physical and/or mental stress can be exhausting on your body. Many people, when stressed, switch to shallow breathing which directly affects overall body posture. This can happen quite easily while moving furniture and appliances, or by lifting heavy boxes, or even by picking infants, children, and toddlers improperly.
- Genetics: Unfortunately, poor posture can be passed from generation to generation.
- Shoes: Wearing comfortable shoes is essential for most activities. This is not just limited to to the gym, running, or sports, but for every situation that requires periods of standing, walking, or moving in general. Inappropriate footwear can to lead to generalized back pain, hip/knee pain, and postural problems.
The truth is – overcoming poor posture can be challenging, especially if its been a long time in the making. There are proper techniques for moving and lifting heavy items, and tips to keep you from getting injured:
- Try to stretch prior to physical exertion.
- When pushing, pulling, or lifting, always take advantage of the strength in your legs, taking special care not to rely on your back for power.
- To lift a box, bend your knees and pull the box close to your stomach. If the box is on the floor, don’t bend over to pick it up; even light boxes pose a hazard if they are picked up incorrectly. With any activity, it is always a good idea to keep your back straight as often as possible.
Poor posture can also be an indicator of a more serious spinal condition, such as scoliosis, an abnormal spinal curve. Scoliosis may be present from birth, or it may develop over time, although in most cases, its true cause is not fully understood. Scoliosis can be very painful because it causes misalignment throughout the entire body, but it may be diagnosed as the result of rib, hip and shoulder problems, muscle variations in the back, or nerve dysfunction.
Overall, the best way to prevent unwarranted injury is by using common sense and maintaining good posture. This is exactly where Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center can help you. Our team of experts can alleviate poor posture and help restore muscle balance and proper joint alignment. we also provide you with the tools and knowledge to maintain good posture for life!
Practice Makes Perfect!
If you experience aches and pains as a result of poor posture, a good starting point is to try and connect your posture one day at a time. At work, place a small reminder on your computer, desk, or workspace to keep aware of your position, especially if you will be sitting for extended periods of time.
Self awareness is part of the solution. If your body has found its way into an unnatural “comfort zone”, remind yourself that each day you sit up straight brings you one day closer to relief. We will evaluate you to determine exactly what must be done to restore optimum posture and to relieve aches and pains, allowing you to function better and breathe more efficiently.
Physical Therapy as a Solution
Physical therapy is a proven solution for poor posture and associated aches and pains. Give us a call today and take advantage of our knowledge and expertise. We will teach you the right methods to correct and improve your posture and to continue to be “posture perfect”.
Our skilled staff will provide you with a precise, targeted exercise plan (and tips on exercises to avoid) to restore optimum posture. We will also teach you the correct ways to sit and stand, move and lift items, get in and out of bed and exercise/breathing techniques to minimize strain on your joints. So pick up the phone and give us a call. Good posture is what our bodies were designed for, and that’s exactly what we can help you achieve!
Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center
1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1
Orange, Orange County, CA 92868