INSIDE AND OUT
Good posture has many benefits for your body, both inside and out.
On the outside, correct posture will make you feel taller and more confident.
When you slump or have bad posture your spine is curved in an abnormal way which takes inches away from your real height. Standing properly allows people to see your real stature.
When you have better posture you feel more self-assured and exude confidence. People think, "this person has a lot going." I want to be around him or her. Is it possible that it also makes you look younger, or thinner?
Not only is your posture important to your physical appearance, it is an indicator about what is happening inside your body. Your oxygen and blood circulate better which helps the organs and functionality of the body. And it can be an indicator about skeletal risks and abnormalities.
Remember when your parents told you to stand up straight, early to bed early to rise, and eat your vegetables when you were growing up? Now that you’re older and you suffer from a sore back, you realize they were right. But like eating broccoli and going to bed before midnight, having correct posture may now require changing an old habit of slouching into a good habit.
So...What is Good Posture? First, let's take a look at how your body is 'put together' so we can understand the imporatance of posture.
Just like the wood frame of a house is crucial to its structure, the vertebrae are the frame of your body. If a house doesn't have the proper frame it will begin to sag, needing expensive reconstruction. Your 'frame' must also be sound to be healthy and pain-free.
FROM THE BOTTOM UP
Whether you have good posture or not will depend on several factors. And it all starts from the ground up, just like building a house.
Your feet, ankles, knees and legs should be toned and strong. Example: If your knees or ankles are not functioning properly, or are causing pain that make you favor one side of your body or another it will affect the way you move, and the way you walk. Eventually it can interfere with the spine’s functionality because there is too much pressure on specific areas of the spine.
Your Hips and Pelvis: Bringing your hips forward and vertical with rest of the spine will improve your posture 50%.
Now it's time to evaluate your posture with these 3 steps
POSTURE AND YOUR CAREER
If you are racing to get ahead in your career, consider your posture.
Having good posture inspires confidence and may help increase your chances of getting a dream job, a promotion or salary increase.
According to new research from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, people who have correct posture are more likely to think and act in a powerful way, and take an in-charge role whether they are a high-powered manager or a newbie in the company.
Why Do I Have a Sore Back
You are probably reading this article because you have either upper or lower back problems.
You're not alone. A sore back is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help for pain related issues.
The good news is that there are posture exercises to help you and we'll talk about them a little later, after you learn about a few more reasons you may be experiencing lower back problems.
3 STAGES OF BACK PAIN
Learn what the three stages of a sore back are, and how to treat each one before you end up with more serious problems. Read more
Upper Back Pain
Although there are some uncommon causes, the majority of cases of upper back pain are due to muscular irritation, or joint dysfunction.
This type of back pain can happen suddenly due to an injury or over a long period of time as a result of the strains poor posture will put on the back. Ever since people have been working at computers most of the day upper back pain, along with neck and or shoulder pain has become an increasingly familiar reason for people to seek relief from their doctors.
Often, this pain is due to a lack of muscle strength which can stem from bad posture, or repetitive motions like those that cause tennis elbow. Muscle strains, sports injuries, auto accidents, or other injuries can all result in pain from muscular irritation.
Because pain in the upper back is related to large muscles, active and passive exercises that include stretching and strengthening along with improving posture will help relieve the pain. Osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture and massage therapy will also help. If there are trigger points, an anesthetic can be injected to reduce localized pain.
Acquiring better posture is also a long- term key that will help minimize lack of muscle strength in the future. We suggest 6 Exercises for good posture
Pain medications can also be helpful. Muscular irritation usually includes some form of inflammation, so anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen or COX-2 inhibitors) can be helpful to reduce the inflammation.
Joint Dysfunction is another culprit.
Treatment for this type of injury usually includes manual manipulation to help mobilize the joint and reduce the discomfort. Lasting relief usually also requires a home exercise program for stretching the spine and shoulders as well as strengthening.
Anti-inflammatory and pain medications are often used in conjunction with manual manipulation.
Correct Bad Posture
Making good habits about posture early on is important. Sometimes there are genetic malformations to the spine but they are rare and need to be treated by an osteopath or other specialist.
Bad posture in most people is most commonly caused by several other factors. For example: spending long periods at a desk or in a car encourages rounding of your upper back.
Poorly designed exercise routines by trainers who encourage exercises that create a front to rear muscle strength imbalance will also draw your shoulders forward causing poor posture.
Posture exercises can help turn bad habits into good habits. The exercises on how to improve bad posture will be very beneficial in getting you on the right track. And when your posture improves it can help a sore back.
STARTING GOOD HABITS WITH EFFECTIVE EXERCISES
Getting started is easy. Just take in a deep breath through your nose and let your abdomen expand. Yes, your abdomen.
Repeat breathing this way a few times.
Let your chest and shoulders rise and fall with each breath. This will help activate your core muscles and help you relax.
Wow, this is easy you’re telling yourself. And it is. It just takes practice. And soon you will enjoy good posture.
Now for the exercises. More...
EVALUATE YOUR POSTURE
Here are some examples of what is considered to be good posture, and bad posture.
While sitting in a chair, if your posterior is sliding forwards, or you are slouching your back is not getting the support it needs.
Hunching shoulders and leaning forward or a sway in your back is a defiite sign that you do not have correct posture.
For more examples click here