Immediately have better posture by fixing these 4 things.
As a chiropractor, I evaluate people's posture on a daily basis. And, although you may not realize it, you also evaluate people based on their posture.
Your posture is an unspoken visual cue that everyone sees, but no one really thinks about.
Simply put, people notice people who have great posture. Just think about your favorite model, movie star, or public speaker. There is just something intangible about them. They stand out in a crowd. They appear thinner than the scale suggests. They look taller than their actual height, and there is an air of confidence about them.
Not to mention that having good posture is important for your health.
Interestingly, poor posture does the complete opposite. You look shorter, frumpy, unsure of yourself, and it’s really bad for your body (especially your spine).
How to have better posture, starting now.
Your “regular” day to day posture is an expression of your neuro-musculo-skeletal health and spinal alignment. Chiropractors evaluate this to determine possible problems with your spinal bones, muscles, and nerves.
Deviations from normal posture can have significant effects on your spine and overall health. In addition, poor posture can cause your clothes to fit wrong and your shoes to wear unevenly. People even make decisions about you, based on your posture.
When evaluating posture, it is important to look at both the front and the side of the person. When looking at someone from the front, their head and neck should be straight. Their shoulders should be equal height. The space between their arms and their body should be the same and their hips should fall evenly below the torso.
When looking at someone from the side, you should be able to draw an imaginary vertical straight line that passes through the middle of the ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle.
If you find that your posture does not quite fit the above criteria, you may need to determine why you are out of alignment and work on correcting it.
Here are 4 of the top things to consider when you have poor posture:
Tight muscles: If your muscles are tight (especially if it is more on one side than the other) they may pull your posture out of alignment. If you are experiencing tight muscles in your neck or mid back, check out The Best Exercise for a Stiff Neck and How to Fix Pain Between the Shoulder Blades.
Spinal alignment: If your spine and/or pelvis is out of alignment it can cause poor posture.
Poor habits: Do you carry a bag or brief case on only one side? Does your work space favor one side over the other? Do you lift things (like children) with the same arm every time? Anything that you do repetitively on one side of your body will cause compensations and lead to poor posture.
Always looking down: With the advent of cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers we are always looking down. This constant state of neck flexion (bending your neck downward) causes head posture to move forward. I see this type of posture a lot in my practice. It puts a tremendous amount of stress and strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back as well as the bones, discs, and nerves. In my article, Instantly Relieve Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain and Back Pain with these 4 Work-Space Changes, I cover everything you need to know to fix this common problem.
Once you have identified the probable cause of your poor posture, you can work on fixing it. For most people, it will be a combination of things. The key will be to remove or try to limit the offending habit, use proper ergonomics, stretch out tight muscles and work on improving flexibility, do exercises to strengthen specific postural muscles, and possibly work with a chiropractor to improve spinal motion and alignment.
If you need help with stretching and exercises to strengthen you neck and back, please visit the EXERCISE PAGE on our website.
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Wishing you good health,
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