The way we stand, sit, or sleep is often something unconscious.
Certain muscles in our body maintain our posture for us, we don’t even think about it. Yet, a good or a bad posture can have a huge impact on our health.
Why is it important?
When we move, or lift any weight, having the right posture ensures we put the least amount of strain on our ligaments and muscles.
It helps us to:
- Use our muscles correctly, reducing the wear and tear on the surfaces in our joint. This could end up in joint pain or conditions like arthritis.
- Keep our muscles working efficiently. Good posture helps prevent fatigue in the muscles because we use less energy.
- Prevent injury. The chances of developing an injury are reduced when the ligaments which hold the joints in the spine together aren’t put under stress.
- Prevent muscle and back pain because of strain from overuse.
So, what is good posture?
Think of gravity pushing down on us from above. Our muscles need to tense enough to push back against that force and help us stand, sit, or lie down.
Good posture is the right alignment in our bodies supported by that correct amount of muscle tension. Groups of muscles, including the large muscles of the back and the hamstrings in the legs, are of vital importance.
They are called postural muscles. When they function properly, they prevent gravity from pushing us over onto our faces. They do this while ligaments hold together our skeletons.
These muscles are key in maintaining our balance when we move and keeping out posture in good alignment.
Good posture also requires good flexibility and strength in the muscles and a normal range of motion in the joints of the spine and other parts of the body.
The muscles on each side of the spine must also work efficiently. Any bad habits must be recognised and corrected, where necessary.
What causes bad posture?
There are many potential causes. They include:
- A bad working posture or a poor environment in which to work
- Muscles which are too tight
- Postural muscles which are weak
- Bad habits like sitting slouched over a keyboard or slouching when standing
- High-heeled shoes
- Flexibility problems
What happens if we have bad posture?
Those vital muscles could become badly strained. If they are kept in certain positions for lengthy periods, they could even relax.
One example might be office workers who bend forward at the waist over their keyboard for hours at an end. They tend to have more incidence of back pain and injuries.
If your parents told you not to slouch forward, they were right!
Can it be corrected?
Yes, it can. If your problems with posture are long-standing, they will probably take longer to correct than those which are less entrenched. Joints may have become used to the bad postural positions. The main thing is to recognise good postural habits and that there is currently a problem.
Practise the right posture for sitting, standing, or lying down. Gradually, you will change your bad habits.
Ask your chiropractor for advice and exercises which will give strength to those vital postural muscles, or read our blog post here.
They will help you adopt the right posture for your work, home, and leisure activities. Your posture will improve, your risk of injury will fall, and your health will benefit.
For expert professional advice on how to improve your posture, we can help,
Torbay Chiropractic and Natural Health Centre
48a Barton Hill Road
Teign Chiropractic and Natural Health Centre
1A, Estuary Court,