Our posture affects how we look, how we feel, and how much effort we have to put into daily activities. Most of us have been told to “stand up straight, pull our shoulders back, and lift our chin” but do these words actually help or hinder our posture?
In reality, good posture should make it easier for us to sit, stand and move. Therefore when we teach people about how to improve their posture, our aim is to teach how to easily maintain the natural curves of the back and neck in sitting, standing, and moving while also assisting normal transfer of body weight through the spine, hips, knees and feet without overloading these joints.
Neutral spine alignment means that each curve in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine is aligned to decrease stress on the facet joints, and the pelvis is not tilted into anterior or posterior tilt.
MYTH 1: If you want to correct poor posture, straighten up.
At Sydney Spine and Pelvis Physiotherapy Centre we have developed a number of fun ways to help you change your bad postural habits and ease the pain that might develop in your shoulders, neck, back and pelvis due to these bad habits. Please call to make an appointment if you wish to retrain your posture for work, pleasure or sporting activities. In the meantime, here are some thoughts about posture:
Trying to force a straight body position can cause muscle tension and distortion of the spine. The effort starts to increase soreness in your upper or mid back. Good posture should make you feel lighter! So try imagining there is a big balloon floating above your head and it is floating your head off your neck. Keep floating you head as you relax your shoulders and your bottom.
MYTH 2 : Keeping your chin up and chest out constitutes great posture.
By pushing the chest out you will just feel your shoulders get tight and pressure develop between your shoulder blades.
MYTH 3 : Good posture requires mental and physical effort.
Good posture will actually allow you to feel less strain in your body, and a lightness in arm and back movements. Practicing good postural habits can be hard initially but there are lots of games we can teach you to help train the brain out of bad habits and into new, better posture habits that will make you feel and look better.
MYTH 4: It is too late to change my posture.
It is never too late to improve your posture, and for most of us we will only make the decision to improve our posture because of pain or tension in our bodies. Studies reveal that even people in their 80s and 90s can improve their posture, giving them more mobility, and improving the strain they feel from bad posture habits.