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Your Guide to Good Posture

Looking to improve your posture?

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Let’s face it, “good posture” is something we all strive for, but it’s hard when routine activities throughout everyday life can put a strain on our posture. Things such as stress caused by working from home, fatigued muscles form the latest DIY project, the hours spent sitting slouched over gaming with the squad, and even our shoes, impact our body’s ability to achieve and maintain good posture. In fact, they actively work against this goal.

To maintain good posture, you need more than some gimmicky device sold in stores. You need to have balance, muscle flexibility and strength, and normal joint motion throughout the body, particularly the spine. This means you not only need to be aware of general health, nutritional and exercise considerations, you also be able to recognize and take action to correct postural and movement habits at work, home, and while on-the-go.

In the sections to follow we hope to educate you on the benefits and risks associated with bad posture, provide a few tips you can take action on today, and extend our hand to help you on your journey to achieving and maintaining good posture.


"Good Posture"

What is good posture and why is it important?

Good posture is more than just standing tall and looking your best, it’s an important part of your overall health and well-being. Posture is simply the body's position and alignment while at rest or in motion. In fact, did you know that there are actually two types of posture? Dynamic and static posture (mind blown, right?).

  1. Dynamic posture is simply our whole body’s posture while moving. It’s how we walk, run, lift, and bend.
  2. Static posture on the other hand is our body’s posture while at rest. It’s how we sit, stand, and lay.

Achieving and maintaining good dynamic and static posture is important because poor posture can have a direct negative impact on our bodies, both physically and mentally. Although back pain is the most commonly associated with poor posture, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Poor posture can also cause or compound:

  • Back pain and neck pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Arthritis
  • Digestion problems
  • Respiratory issues
  • Poor circulation

Like bad posture, good posture can also directly impact our quality of life, but for the better. Some of the many benefits of good posture include:

  • Reduced risk of back and neck pain
  • Better balance and coordination
  • Higher energy levels
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Optimism and positivity

In a recent AARP article, chiropractor Dr. Cherese Scotton-Bratcher from The Joint Chiropractic stated good posture can contribute to better body functioning overall.

Don’t know about you, but the list of benefits seems way more conducive to everyday life than the alternative, but what can we do about that? Glad you asked.

Adjusting Poor Posture

A healthy spine is critical to good posture.

One of the key components to good posture is the position of your spine and the body’s ability to function optimally.

As we get older, bad habits such as slouching and inactivity cause muscle fatigue and tension that ultimately lead to poor posture. And, while back problems are what most people associate with poor posture, those issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps you have one shoulder higher than the other or a tilted pelvis – over time, these imbalances can have a serious impact on the body’s central nervous system. That’s where chiropractic comes in. Chiropractors can help improve posture by adjusting the spine, strengthening the supporting muscles and soft tissue in the neck and upper back, and educating people on ways to maintain proper posture.

Posture can affect all areas of health; your susceptibility to injury, breathing, digestion, even nutrition to your brain

"Posture can affect all areas of health; your susceptibility to injury, breathing, digestion, even nutrition to your brain,” says Dr. Kevin Lees, manager of auditing and quality at The Joint Chiropractic. “Chiropractors specifically treat the spine, which not only may improve spinal symptoms, but also quality of life.”

Chiropractors deliver a gentle, non-invasive, non-addictive therapy, known as a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body, which in turn help to correct postural imbalance, reduce inflammation, and improve function of both the affected joint and nervous system. By correcting these postural imbalances, while at the same time encouraging your body to work more optimally, you and your body are able to better support good posture.

To see if chiropractic care is right for you, the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic will perform a consultation, examination and if necessary, refer you out for diagnostic imaging such as x-ray or MRI. Based on the findings of our chiropractic exam and consultation, your doctor of chiropractic may elect to co-treat your posture needs with other healthcare professionals including massage therapists, physical therapists or other primary care physicians.

To find a chiropractor near you and to learn more about how chiropractic care can help you achieve and maintain good posture, contact or visit one of our chiropractic offices today, to speak with one of our licensed doctors of chiropractic.

How to Improve Your Posture

5 easy stretches that can help you achieve and maintain good posture.

In addition to incorporating routine chiropractic care in support of proper spinal alignment and to limit postural imbalances, according to Harvard Health, you can improve your posture with these easy exercises.

  1. Chin tuck. While seated in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and shoulders relaxed. Hold your head upright. Pull your chin in toward your neck; hold that position for a count of five; then relax. Repeat 10 times. To help guide your head, you can gently apply pressure to your chin with two fingers if needed.
  2. Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit up straight in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs. Keep your shoulders down and your chin level. Slowly draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of five; relax. Repeat three or five times.
  3. Abdominal pull-in. While seated or standing, inhale; then exhale slowly to a count of five, pulling your lower abdominal muscles up and in, as if moving your belly button toward your backbone. Relax and breathe normally. Repeat three or five times.
  4. Upper-body stretch. Stand facing a corner with your arms raised, hands flat against the walls, elbows at shoulder height. Place one foot ahead of the other. Bending your forward knee, exhale as you lean your body toward the corner. Keep your back straight and your chest and head up. You should feel a nice stretch across your chest. Hold this position for 20–30 seconds. Relax.
  5. Arm-across-chest stretch. Raise your right arm to shoulder level in front of you and bend the arm at the elbow, keeping the forearm parallel to the floor. Grasp the right elbow with your left hand and gently pull it across your chest so that you feel a stretch in the upper arm and shoulder on the right side. Hold for 20 seconds; relax both arms. Repeat to the other side. Repeat three times on each side.

Proactive Posture Tips

8 tips to help you avoid bad posture everyday.

A few simple lifestyle changes can improve your posture and reduce back and neck pain.

  • Take a look: Look at your posture in the mirror or have someone take a picture of you standing normally. Compare your image to photos of people with good posture, and you’ll begin to see the differences.
  • Get that standing desk: It may seem like the latest craze, but a standing desk allows you to keep that good posture throughout the day and improves your circulation.
  • Look up when texting: Try holding your phone at eye level when texting and browsing. This will avoid the effects of text neck.
  • Exercise: Moving and stretching often will keep your muscles stimulated and your posture long. Exercises that are designed to strengthen your core muscles that support your spine result in a straighter carriage.
  • Breathe: Deep breathing, which is breathing that comes from your diaphragm, requires you to stand up straight. Start the practice of deep breathing just a couple of times a day to trigger you to check your posture.
  • Sleep right: Improvements in your own home can help improve your posture. The pillow you use on your bed should be under your head, not your shoulders. It should also be the amount of thickness that places your head in a normal position.
  • Visit your chiropractor: Your chiropractor is the best resource for keeping your spine straight and aligned. Making routine visits, even when you aren’t in pain, will keep your back healthy and your posture on point.

Perfecting Your Posture

A visual guide to help you improve your posture.

Tap the posture infographic below to view larger or download.

Posture Infographic

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