Posture Clinic: correct your posture with tips from a chiropractor
Have you ever looked at a photo of your friends and noticed that someone – or maybe multiple ones – are hunched over? And have you ever then realized that the person with the worst hunch is you? Your first reaction may be that your bad posture is unattractive but more than that, your posture may affect your health in general and result in suboptimal performance at work, during sport, or even illness. Good posture is more important than you realize.
What are the effects of bad posture?
Short term effects of bad posture can include tight and aching muscles. Quick symptomatic relief may ease the pain in the moment but, if you don’t address the underlying cause of the problem, it will likely return. When we are exposed to a stressor, the body adapts to that stress so that it can continue to function. This means your body may start compensating for your bad posture. One of the most common postural asymmetries we see is forward head posture. Forward head posture occurs when someone engages in a lot of activities that put the body into flexion or folding forward. For example, looking at your phone for many hours every day puts you into a position where your head is leaning forward, hovering in front of your body. This puts a lot of strain on your upper back as it tries to maintain balance. The compensation for the forward head posture is tight upper back muscles.
The tight back muscles might seem like the worst of it - but think about how they affect the rest of your life. In some people, these tight muscles affect their ability to focus at work; perform their workouts; or relax and enjoy time with their families and children. We can easily think that our physical ailments only affect us personally, but they can have a ripple effect out into other areas of life and into other people. If you’re not able to fully focus at work, that may push back a deadline, which one of your co-workers is relying on. This can affect the company on a larger scale as well. So, a personal issue may not only be just a responsibility to yourself but to those around you as well.
A lot of people know that they have tight trapezius muscles, but they don’t realize that it may originate from their phone habit of pulling their head forward for many hours every day for weeks, months, or years. If that problem is going to be solved, not only do the muscles need to heal but the underlying postural habit needs to be addressed so the body can be retrained to hold itself in better alignment. This requires neurological retraining, so a new healthy habit takes the place of the bad habit.
Solutions you can take to correct your poor posture
How can the body be retrained? It takes a multi-pronged approach. In order to fix your bad posture, you need to decide to change your habits and start proactively standing upright and holding your phone higher, so you aren’t hunching over it. This is not an easy feat considering that most people in Hong Kong are always on their phones, but wearing a posture corrector such as a back brace, can serve as a great instant reminder for your body to straighten up as soon as you start to hunch over. If this habit has been in your body for a long time, you may have structural changes in your spine and muscles as a result. What holds the spine in its alignment? Soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. What controls these soft tissues? Motor nerves coming out from your spinal column. An in-depth assessment of your spinal structure and the nervous system function is necessary to determine the specific locations of the compensations. Once this root cause of your problem is pinpointed, a course of action can be taken to correct it and promote better posture. Seeking a chiropractic clinic for care is another approach you can take to fix bad posture. A chiropractor can help correct the structural changes in your spine and muscles caused by poor posture with chiropractic adjustments.