We’ve all heard it: Stand up straight! Sure, standing up straight makes you appear taller and thinner, but a neutral spine can also improve organ function and decrease chronic pain.
Benefits of Good Posture
Slouching forward causes the rib cage to push down on your internal organs. This pressure can cause digestive problems. By standing or sitting up straight, you create more space between your ribs and organs allowing them to function properly.
Good posture also allows you to breathe deeply and increase your oxygen intake. The hunched back that often accompanies bad posture leaves less room for your lungs to fill up when you breathe. This can cause shortness of breath often or make exercising difficult.
Improving your posture can also alleviate chronic neck, shoulder or back pain. A slouched position can often cause upper cross-syndrome. By straightening your spine, you retrain your body to default to a neutral spine and correct posture. When you first start to improve your posture, it may feel uncomfortable, but over time your body will get stronger and the pain will begin to dissipate.
Keys of Correct Posture
To maintain correct posture when standing, feet should be shoulder width apart and your weight should be mostly on the balls of your feet. Your lower back should have a small hollow, but avoid overarching or leaning back. Lift your chest slightly by pushing your shoulder blades down and back. This will create the proper distance between your ribs and your hips. Lastly, make sure your chin is level and your jaw and neck muscles are relaxed.
Correct seated posture is very important since so many Canadians spend the majority of their day at a desk. Your feet should be resting on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees. While crossing your legs may seem comfortable, it actually throws your body’s alignment off and causes unnecessary stress. Your back should be in a neutral position with a small arch in the lower back. As when you’re standing, lift your chest, put your shoulder back, and level your chin. Avoid slouching or leaning forward since this usually draws the shoulders up and forward creating tension.
It’s also best to remember, when standing or sitting, to take frequent breaks and stretch. This allows you to reset and really focus on your posture rather than fall into bad habits.
How Performance Chiropractic Helps
As we’ve stated, bad posture can often lead to chronic upper back pain. If back pain has been bothering you, contact Performance Chiropractic+ Sports Rehab to start your road to recovery. Our providers will pinpoint the underlying cause of your pain and manually correct it. After devising a custom treatment plan for you, your provider will prescribe at-home active rehab exercises to expedite the recovery process and prevent future pain and injuries. With these techniques and exercises combined, you’ll be standing tall and pain-free in no time