Do you often suffer from unexplained back pains or headaches? Are there times when you feel tired and don’t know why? What if we told you that the reason could be your posture?
You may not even be aware of your bad posture. Bad posture develops over time and then becomes a part of our habits. Many of us who sit continuously for a long time and stare at a monitor start feeling the strain in their shoulders and neck muscles. People who need to bend a lot like a mom who has to keep picking up their child are more susceptible. Every time you slouch on the chair or walk with a heavy bag on one shoulder can put your spine out of balance which could lead to bad posture.
Chiropractors and physiotherapists around the world are now speaking about this universal problem. Many people come to them for solutions without realizing that the problem is in the way they stand, walk, or, sit. Bad posture can lead to several issues and can have a significant impact on overall health. If you don’t believe us, just read on and see how your health and life can be severely affected by something which you consider insignificant.
Effects of Bad Posture
- Back pain
This is the most common ailment, and most people have suffered back pain at some time or the other. Chiropractors say that poor posture is the leading cause of back and neck pain. Poor alignment of the spine can put extra strain on the muscles. It can even lead to anatomical changes and cause the discs to move. The stress from bad posture can affect your back, neck, shoulders, and, many other parts. However, back pain is most common, and it can make it worse by sitting, standing, and walking with a bad posture.
In the ‘Journal of Physical Therapy Science,’ there is a case of a 32-year-old male who suffered from intense headaches for years. He underwent surgery, took medicines and steroid injections, and, tried many things with no relief. Finally, physiotherapists worked on his posture and alignment for 3 months. The patient reported dramatic improvement. Posture related pain and disability is generally not addressed by allopathic or modern medicine.
- Poor Sleep
This is a vicious circle. Bad posture will lead to tightening and fatigue of muscles. You will find it difficult to sleep comfortably at night. This will make your muscles and body more tired and so on. Poor sleep can lead to many health problems, even fatal ones like heart and brain disease. Headaches seem like a serious problem, but if you ignore them for a long time, can develop into something serious.
- Mental Problems
Your moods or mental problems seem very far away from how you sit or stand. A study from the journal ‘Health Psychology’ found that the people who sit with a slouch or have a slumped posture exhibit more negative attitudes and moods and display less self-esteem.
- Constipation and Incontinence
This may come as a surprise to you, but it is true. Meghan Markowski, a physical therapist at a Harvard affiliated hospital, says that slouching puts pressure on the bladder. She also says that poor posture on the toilet can promote constipation. These problems may not seem too dangerous, but ask anyone who suffers. They won’t mind making some minor corrections if they can get relief.
- Joint Degeneration
The wrong posture adds to the stress which all joints have to undergo in our routine lives. Flexibility reduces and can lead to arthritis or other joint problems. Once the pain starts in joints, you will find that without any intention, you will start favoring one limb over the other. This can cause a severe imbalance in your body, and your spine will also have to adapt to this change. Soon, you will feel find that your movements are sluggish and not so smooth.
What Can You Do?
When you find yourself wondering about unexplained pains and tiredness in your body, an easy thing to do would be to look at your posture. Assess your standing, sitting, and, walking posture on your own or take the help of people around you. You can then go to a professional and get his advice. You should understand that it takes time to correct any posture, especially if you have been sitting or walking in a particular way for a long time. You can check your posture and assess how good or bad it is.
Bad Posture: Slouching, hunchback, head forward, bent knees, rounded shoulders, etc.
Good Posture: Straight and upright posture. Ear, shoulder, and, hip in alignment and a straight line.
Here we are sharing some things with you, which can help you.
- Keep your feet on the floor or a footrest while sitting.
- Try not to cross your legs.
- Keep some gap between the front of the seat and back of your knee.
- Support your lower back with a cushion.
- Avoid sitting for long periods. Change positions or get up after some time.
- The balls of your feet should mainly bear your weight.
- Make sure that your knees are slightly bent.
- Stand tall and straight and keep your shoulders back.
- Keep your stomach tucked in.
- Shift your weight from one foot to other and, from heels to toes, if standing for a long time.
There are some simple exercises which you can do to improve your posture. However, if the problem is severe, then you must go to a professional. Only a good chiropractor or therapist can help you with long-standing issues and help you with the right posture.
· Forward Neck: Morgan Sutherland, an award-winning therapist, advises chin tucks. Roll your shoulders back and place two fingers on your chin. Tuck your chin and move your head back. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat. This will strengthen your neck muscles.
· Hunchback: stretch your chest muscles. Place your bent arms against a door frame and push your chest forward. Feel the tension and then relax. Repeat this. You can use a massage ball to massage the tight chest muscles. One more thing you can try is lying down on the floor and gently lifting your torso off the ground and holding it for a few seconds and then repeating this.
· Rounded shoulders: work on your shoulder mobility. You can do pull-ups to strengthen your back muscles. The inverted rowing action with the palms facing outwards is also good. You will need to work on your chest and back muscles to see the difference in your shoulders.
· Forward Pelvic Thrust: performing planks and bridge holds will make your core strong. It is because of the tight and short muscles in the abdomen and pelvic region that this problem occurs. Strengthening hip muscles will also help. Stand straight, bend one leg and hold the ankle as close to your hip as possible. This will stretch the muscles.
Can you change bad posture? Yes, you can if you work towards it. The health benefits of good posture are so many that you must take this seriously. Find out how you can correct your posture and lead a healthier and happier life.