What Is Bad Posture?
Have you been told your posture is bad? What does that mean? And does the person saying it know what they’re talking about?
So what is posture?
Posture really just means the way you hold yourself. As such there isn’t necessarily a “good” or “bad” posture. Good posture for you is really specific to your individual structure. For instance, depending on how your spine and other structures developed from childhood you could cause yourself discomfort or damage from trying to hold your body in a text book “good posture”.
At Melbourne Natural Therapies our massage therapists are not necessarily focussed on making you perfectly straight with a “good posture”, our aim is to reduce your symptoms and maximise the efficiency of your body. We look at your body to find the ideal balance for you as an individual.
Massage can help correct many imbalances that have been created in your posture by releasing tight muscles that are causing deviation in your structure, allowing your body to slot back into a more comfortable relaxed posture, and as a result reducing tension and symptoms.
How To Fix Bad Posture?
You can start with some simple stretches and exercises that will take 10 to 20 minutes a day. This routine will release and/or strengthen your muscles to keep your posture in check.
1. Pec Stretch (Click to see video)
Pec stretches are great for your posture. Many people have a postural issue which is known as rounded shoulders. Slouching while seated can cause imbalance and as a result discomfort across the top of the shoulders and into the neck. It can also cause a prominent hump at the base of the neck.
2. Upper Back Stretch (Click to see video)
Many people with postural issues experience pain in the mid and upper back. This upper back stretch is excellent for people who have tension between the shoulder blades.
3. Sternoclediomastoid Neck Stretch (Click to see video)
Gentle stretches for the anterior muscles in the neck can help to improve your posture.
The sternoclediomastoid muscle is a muscle that runs from the sternum to the bone behind your ear. You can see this muscle when someone turns their head to the side. You can see sternoclediomastoid stick out in this position. This muscle is also referred to as SCM.
4. Cat Cow (Click to see video)
Cat cow is a really slow and gentle stretch through 2 postitions that can help with mobility in the back, neck and shoulders. It can lightly strengthen and stretch through the whole back and chest and also reduces stress.
5. Pilates Roll Down (Click to see video)
The roll down is a great stretch that you can to do several times a day. It relieves tension in the back all through the spine and brings an awareness to your posture, balance and core control.
The effects of bad posture
For people with poor posture they can experience more stress on many muscles and joints throughout the body, causing them to overwork and as a result fatigue much sooner. Many people that experience chronic pain can see positive results by correcting their bad posture. It is really important to start managing poor posture sooner rather than later as correcting poor posture becomes harder with age.
Symptoms can include:
- Rolled shoulders
- Abdominal weakness
- Knee issues
- Forward head posture
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Various aches and pains
- Muscle fatigue
- Jaw pain
Many people have been told they have a Kyphosis. A kyphotic curve is a curve that is convex posteriorly. The kyphotic curve in the upper back is normal and necessary, the only time problems arise when it is an “excessive kyphotic curvature”. Everyone has a different level of curvature so it is very hard to say someone has an excessive curve unless your understand their full history and symptoms.
There is also a natural lordotic curve in the lower back and in the neck. The same can be said for the lordotic curve, We all need them but are they excessive?
Scoliosis is a lateral or side deviation of the spine. If you looked at someone’s back from behind you would see an S bend in the spine. We all have some variation in the spine as no-one is born symmetrical. We see many people that have been told they have a scoliosis and in fact they are well within normal range.
If you are experiencing symptoms and would like to talk to someone to see if it could be a postural issue give us a call and speak with one of our massage therapist at Melbourne Natural Therapies.
Melbourne Natural Therapies
What Is Bad Posture?
Remedial Massage Melbourne
03 9645 9923