When you think of posture, a first thought might a memory of your granny snapping at you to stand up straight, or someone walking with books balanced on their head. As you read this, you might find yourself sitting up straighter, realizing you were hunched over your computer or phone. There, much better!
However, posture goes far beyond looks and etiquette. There is a distinct relationship between the structure of your body and the function of your body. Posture plays a huge role in this dynamic, and your chiropractor can help you improve your habits and make you feel better overall.
Benefits of Good Posture
With proper body alignment, you can help prevent strain on your joints, muscles, and spine. In doing so, not only are you reliving pain, you’re also reducing the risk of injury.
According to Healthline.com, these are some of the key benefits you’ll enjoy with proper posture:
- Reduced lower back pain
- Fewer headaches
- Increased energy levels
- Less tension in your shoulders and neck
- Decreased risk of abnormal wearing of the joint surfaces
- Increased lung capacity
- Improved circulation and digestion
- Reduced pain from TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
- Improved core and scapular strength
Other surprising benefits:
- Appear taller and thinner
- Increased self-confidence
Consequences of Poor Posture
Posture goes much deeper than what we see on the outside. It’s not just about looking and feeling better – by ignoring it, you can do severe harm to yourself.
Some long-term concerns are:
- Spinal disc degeneration
- Ruptured or dislocated disc (and incredible back pain)
- Herniated disc
- Poor digestion
- Nerve construction
- Subluxation (misalignment)
- Blood vessel constriction
How Do I Know if My Posture Is Correct?
Once you’re aware of your posture, whether it’s good or needs improvement, you can take steps to either fix it or maintain it.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, practicing good posture helps you prevent pain and injuries. Below are some quick tips for improving your posture in various positions:
- Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
- Focus your weight mostly on the balls of your feet.
- Allow your arms to hang naturally down the sides of your body.
- Stand tall and straight with your shoulders pulled down and backward, chest out.
- Your knees should be slightly bent.
- Tuck in your stomach.
- If you need to stand for a long period of time, shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, as needed to provide relief.
While sitting at your desk:
- Your feet should be either flat on the floor (or on a footrest if your legs don’t reach the floor).
- There should be a gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- Check that your knees are at or below your hip level.
- Your ankles should be in front of your knees, uncrossed.
- The backrest of your chair should support your low and mid back.
- Shoulders should be relaxed, and forearms should be parallel to the ground.
- Take breaks to stretch, or even for a quick walk around the room.
While lying down in bed:
- Be mindful of your mattress and pillow. Take the time to find one that works best for you. A firm mattress is typically recommended, but some prefer a softer mattress, and claim it helps reduce their pain.
- Try to sleep on your side or back, rather than your stomach. While on your side, be sure to place a pillow between your legs. If on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
Decker Chiropractic in Olathe, KS Can Help You
What’s so special about chiropractors? Well, when you meet with a chiropractor, they will look at your muscular skeletal system in a way that most other healthcare providers don’t. At Decker Chiropractic in Olathe, we’ll assess your overall alignment and well-being, while caring for you from a holistic approach. Connect with us today in Olathe!