"How To Fix My Posture... While Standing..." "How To Fix My Posture... While Sitting..." "Can I Fix My Posture... While Sleeping..."
These are common questions we get asked weekly by our busy clients and weekend warriors.
9 Posture Correction and Improvement Tips:
1) Avoid Slouching: We know this is obvious. Slouching increases the strain on your spine, specifically your vertebrae, discs (disks), spinal ligaments, and spinal muscles. This puts stress on the spinal bones, muscles, and joints that keep your backbone in place. These structures also protect your spinal cord. A constant slump compresses your internal organs, making it difficult for your lungs and intestines to function. Over time, this will make it difficult to digest food and breathe properly.
2) Strive For "Upright" (Sit Up Straight): Work toward standing more often with your shoulders back, your shoulder blades pulled back (or intermittently pinched together), your knees straight, and your stomach slightly clenched while standing and walking.
3) Lumbar (Lower Back) Support At Your Desk or Work Table: Sit as far back as you can in your chair. To protect your spine's natural curve, place a rolled-up towel or lumbar cushion (such as a McKenzie Lumbar Roll) at your lower back. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and keep them at the same or slightly higher level as your hips. Put your feet flat on the ground or on an elevated surface to establish the 90 degree right angle of your knees.
4) Avoid "Text Neck" (Tech Neck): Hold your phone or smartphone higher up in the air closer to your head level to avoid looking down. When you lower your head to go on your phone, you put a lot of strain on your spine and neck (cervical spine). Unfortunately, this can add up over the course of a day – or a year.
5) Avoid a Low-Rider Position in a Car: Reclining during a long drive may be relaxing or even comfortable. However, it is not good for your spine or your posture habits. Instead, move your seat closer to the steering wheel. Make an effort not to lock your legs. Adjust your seat angle to a more upright angle. Slightly bend your knees. They should be at or slightly above hip level. You can also use a towel roll or McKenzie Lumbar Roll to place along your lower back (lumbar spine) to support your posture while driving.
6) Save Heels for a Special Night Out: For women, it's easier said than done, but chronic walking in high heels puts a lot of abnormal stress on your feet and your lower back. Pumps and stilettos push the base of your spine forward, causing your back to arch. This can cause your backbone to shift and put pressure on nerves, resulting in back pain. High-heeled shoes also put more strain on your knees. For everyday shoe wear, its best to select a lower, chunkier heel... or even low-heeled shoes or cushioned sneakers when possible.
7) Check Your Mattress: If you have a saggy, soft mattress... it may be time to purchase a new one. Choose one that is firm and helps to maintain the natural shape of your entire spine from neck to lower back. Sleeping on your side? Don't hug your knees all the way into your stomach, but it is okay to bend your knees slightly. Place a pillow under your head so that it is parallel to your spine (this helps with proper spinal alignment that facilitates optimal rest, recovery, and daily posture). Back sleepers should avoid using a thick pillow in favor of a small one under the neck.
8) Exercise, Move, and Strengthen Your Core: Daily walking, standing, changing positions while working on a computer, and weekly exercising are the best possible things we can do to strive for and optimize our posture. Not engaging in these vital aspects to health can result in weight gain and a weaker core... which puts additional strain on your lower back. This makes it more difficult for your postural muscles to be trained, activated, and utilized on a daily basis. Strong muscles are required to support your spine. A well-planned workout routine will keep your body, spine, and posture in top condition.
9) Sit Up Straight: You probably know whether or not you slouch. If you're not sure, here's a quick way to find out. Place your back of the head against a wall. Step 6 inches away from the baseboard. Your tush should be in contact with the wall. It should be about 2 inches away from your lower back and neck. If not, consult your Doctor of Physical Therapy about how to improve your posture.
If you think you need to fix your posture, or want help with correcting your posture and spinal alignment, then you need to see a Doctor of Physical Therapy. So, get in contact with us...
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is intended for informational purposes only. The authors are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied on this website.