What is Good Posture?
Good posture is all about engagement of abdominal and spinal muscles to raise the spine so that the head and neck are easily moved for us to view the world around us. One way to check whether your current posture (standing or sitting) is poor, is to imagine there is a string at your solar plexus and it tightens up to the sky. Does your spine go from curved to straight? If so, try and keep the new posture with the imaginary string to the sky.
Poor posture often occurs with occupational factors, mechanical overload or previous injuries. With poor posture the lower back curve flattens, the lower abdominal muscles weaken, the thorax flexes forwards, the pectoral muscles tighten and then the neck hyperextends.
This can lead to spinal pain, headaches, shoulder joint restriction and pins and needles in the arms.
What to Do To Improve Posture:
Firstly, see your Osteopath! It is vital to initiate healing of the issues causing the weakness. Once the areas contributing to the problem are on the mend, then you can begin rehabilitating the muscles that have weakened. Always see your osteopath before you begin strengthening the muscles as you will help prevent further injury.
Your Osteopath at K&T Osteopathy will provide you with exercises that are suitable for your pain and injury. However, there are some exercises that are fairly generic:
Knees to Chest Stretch:
Lie on your bed with your head on a pillow. Raise one knee and hold either above the knee or the back of the thigh if you are having knee/hip problems. Then raise and hold the second knee. Gently pull your knees towards the chest until you feel a stretch in the lower back. Hold still and count to 30. Relax your hold slightly and then repeat the stretch 3 times. Lower one leg down at a time to prevent lower back pain.
Sitting with Lumbar Spine Support:
Sitting bolt upright tires spinal muscles and sitting slumped can injure the spine. For good spinal health sitting, initially sit bolt upright and then place a cushion in the hollow of your lower back. Then relax. Your spine will be straight and supported. Good office chairs can provide enough lumbar support but often an extra thin cushion or folded towel can help.
Should you have problems with prolonged standing, slow-paced walking or find your back aching in the afternoon/evening then you might be suffering from postural muscle fatigue.
Please call Kingston & Teddington Osteopathy on 02089776396 for further advice.