Poor posture and what you can do about it
It is highly likely that you will have some level of postural imbalance even if you are not aware of it. Very few people have the ideal posture, where the muscles tension is balanced and the joints are in alignment. Poor posture may be the result of a number of factors, the most common being sitting in an office chair for 8+ hours a day, which the human body was not designed for. The result comes from certain muscles being long and weak and others being short and tight. To correct poor posture, we just need to work out which muscles need to be stretched and which need to be strengthened.
So why is it important to assess your posture, especially if it is not overly obvious and is not causing you any problems?
Poor posture can cause imbalances in your hormonal, digestive and respiratory system plus neck, back, shoulder and hip pain. So you may be taking medication or suffering when what you really need is work on your posture. Many people continue to live their daily lives with neck and back pain and accept the situation, but from strengthening and stretching the correct muscles these problems can be reduced or even resolved.
The four main postural imbalances are Kyphosis, Lordosis, sway back and flat back. I will talk about the two most common problems and some of the weak and long muscles as well as the short and tight muscles for each syndrome.
Kyphosis is the rounding of the mid back and shoulders and a forward head carriage.
Some of the muscles that are short and tight may be the pectorals (chest muscles) and certain back and neck muscles. This will be combined with long week lower and mid trapezius and rhomboids, plus certain shoulder muscles.
If you suffer from kyphosis you may also suffer from headaches, neck pain caused by nerve damage or impingement, back pain, restricted breathing and digestive, kidney and menstrual problems.
Lordosis is the hollowing of the lower back.
This is caused by short and tight hip flexors, quadriceps (front thigh), erector spinae and long and week abdominals, gluteals and hamstrings
Lordosis can contribute to symptoms such as lower back pain, hip pain and kyphosis due to compensatory mechanisms.
There are various exercises you can do to strengthen the necessary weak muscles and stretches needed lengthen the short tight muscles.
In order to understand if you have a poor posture you will need to have a postural assessment, which I can carry out in one of your sessions.
It is not something that can be fixed overnight but something that we can work on in every session in conjunction with your original goals. Even if you are not experiencing any problems at the moment, in 10-20 years the weak muscles will become weaker and Kyphosis, lordosis etc will only worsen.