It is a common fact that having proper posture can help prevent problems; it makes sense doesn’t it? After all, your body is an amazingly complex organic machine. When one part of the machine is out of alignment, other parts will follow, and the integrity of the entire “machine” is compromised. Having poor posture is the result of having poor body habits. These habits usually include slouching and living an inactive lifestyle. These bad habits will inevitably lead to unnecessary muscle tension and fatigue. One of the most common postural problems happens when your head hangs forward too much. Even though it may not seem like it, your head is quite heavy (up to 14 pounds), and when it hangs forward, your neck muscles are being unnecessarily strained. This causes a chain reaction through the rest of your body. The good news is bad habits can be changed!
Change Your Habits
If you are experiencing pain, it can usually be reversed with proper posture. The most important thing you can do to prevent injury and take care of your body is to sit and stand up straight. Remember that you don’t need to throw your shoulders back and push your chest out. Good posture feels effortless, not artificial and forced. Make sure your head is floating easily above your shoulders. Your shoulders and hips should be level. Your body is designed to have maximum strength, stability, and range of motion when your shoulders and hips are level, and your hips, knees, and ankles should line up vertically. This design configuration will help you avoid dysfunction and subsequent pain.
Here are just a few ways you can improve your posture:
- Core Strength: The muscles of your abdomen and back are what hold up your upper body while sitting or standing. Strengthening these muscles will make it feel easier and more natural for you to maintain good posture. If you have strong abdominal and back muscles, they help you stand up straighter.
- Change Positions: Don’t stay in the same place too long. Sitting for long periods encourages slouching. Make sure that you stretch regularly. Both help your posture stay equal and balanced. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is the goal.
- Footwear: Investing in quality footwear is key to maintaining your body’s proper balance while walking. If you aren’t wearing shoes that provide your feet with the proper support, you could be compromising your posture.
- Avoid Locking: Locking your knees puts unnecessary amounts of weight on one leg and could cause knee and ankle problems.
Your bad posture habits will have a domino-like effect on your body, leading to unnecessary pain. Make sure you are taking the steps your body needs to stay supple, strong, and active. Taking small measures can significantly improve your quality of life by decreasing your pain.
Fort Worth Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Boothby is a highly respected member of the orthopedic community. Dr. Boothby is Board Certified and Medical Director of The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Boothby has been named Top10MD for three years in a row. Only 1 in 3 doctors succeeds with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boothby link to his profile or call 817-529- 1900 today.