- Pain in the shoulder blades?
- Tight neck?
- Tingling or numbness in the hands?
- Chronic pain?
These are just some of the symptoms of poor upper body posture. We have all been told at times to “sit up straight, shoulders back” yet there is minimal education about posture and the importance of it for our health as we age. Unfortunately with today’s modern lifestyle and technology a lot of us are suffering from the consequences of looking down at our phones or computers!
- DID YOU KNOW ? ? ?
For every 2.5cm that our head goes forward, we put approximately an extra 4.5kgs of force / weight through each segment in our neck!! This makes our muscles work double time just trying to hold our heads up! No wondering why they start to hurt over time, they are literally exhausted.
*On a 60 degree head tilt, the weight on our spine is 60lb – equivalent to 27.2kgs!
Source: Surgical Technology International
- So what is “poor posture” and how do I know if I have it?
The symbol’s on my back represent where my scapulas (shoulder blades) are positioned. As you can see with rounded shoulders they actually winging out, this put the rhomboids (the muscles between the shoulder blades) on stretch, over time you will feel this pull as they become weakened and lengthened, ultimately causing aches and pains. On the right image you can see my shoulder blades are in correct alignment.
– To change your shoulder posture, gently draw your shoulder blades slightly together and then lightly pull them downwards… look in the mirror and see the difference!
When the shoulders become rounded, the head naturally comes forward with it. As you can see with the poor posture (image below, on the right), my shoulders are rounded and falling forwards, my ear is much further forward than my shoulders and my chin is lifted, you can also see the curvature through my upper- mid back has changed as well.
Over time if I continued being in this posture, it would get worse, years down the track my vertebrae would fuse like this and if I still did nothing I would end up being a stooped over, with a hump and chronic neck and back pain. I think we all want to avoid that, correct?
– To change your head position, imagine having a pony tail and someone pulling it, your chin goes down while your head is elongated.
- How can I fix my “poor posture”?
Like any habit, it take’s your effort to change it. I personal find, the easiest way is to cue yourself (e.g. looking at your phone, walking through a doorway, etc- something that will remind you to correct your posture). Now every time you do that (e.g. walk through a door frame) correct your posture. That way it will slowly become a habit because you are reminding yourself so many times during the day to do it!
~ Written by Gemma Linnell
*Disclaimer: If sharing, please give credit. Poor posture can be a direct results from various things, to address individual issues please organise a Myotherapy appointment, or severe symptoms please see your doctor for clearance.
Leave a reply