Having and maintaining a good posture is a major step in preventing chronic back pain. Whilst no one is immune from back pain, there are some simple things you can do to promote posture correction. This will also help reduce the risk of back pain.
Good posture is becoming more difficult to achieve due to uncontrollable factors of our lifestyles. Stress, prolonged sitting, using phones, carrying heavy bags and lack of exercise all contribute to poor posture.
Upper cross syndrome is a muscle imbalance pattern located at the head and shoulder region. This is common for individuals that sit for the majority of the day and continuously exhibit poor posture. The term ‘upper cross’ is broken down into two components. ‘Upper’ simply refers to the head and neck region, as there is a lower cross syndrome for the low back and pelvic regions as well. ‘Cross’ refers to the distribution of tight or overactive muscles, which crosses with weak or underactive muscles. Primarily, tightness of the upper back muscles crosses with the tightness of chest muscles, while weakness of the neck muscles in front crosses with the weak muscles of the mid back. Common signs and symptoms of upper cross syndrome include forward head posture, rounding of the shoulders, hunched upper back (pictured below), headaches, as well as pain in the shoulders, upper back and neck.
The good news is that work station adjustments and appropriate exercises and stretches often improve posture and muscular coordination.
Below are some of the following stretches and exercises, recommended by the best chiropractor in London, that you can do at home to help posture correction:
Bend your neck forwards, and then side-bend your neck by taking your left ear towards your left shoulder. Hold on to a chair to make the stretch stronger. This will allow you to feel a stretch at the back and side of your neck. You can make the stretch stronger by assisting with your hand.
Stand with your feet a few inches from a wall. Place your arms at shoulder level, with your elbows bent. Slide your elbows up the wall as far as feels comfortable. Return to the start position. This exercise can help improve shoulder mobility and posture.
Place your arms at 90 degrees, with your palms flat on the wall, and face towards a corner. Push your body into the corner keeping your hands in the same position. You will feel a stretch across your upper arms, front shoulders and chest.
Sit on the edge of a chair, and open your legs and allow them to relax outwards. Keep your body and spine tall, lift the crown of your head towards the ceiling, and arch your lower back slightly. Turn your arms outwards so your palms are facing forwards, and draw your shoulder blades down and towards the midline. Make a gentle double chin with your head at the same time. Breathe deeply throughout. You will feel a stretch across your chest and front, as well as muscles working in your back, all helping to improve your posture
Sit upright with good posture. Gently pull your head back as far as comfortable and down slightly. You will feel some gentle tension at the front and back of your neck. This exercise will help your neck and upper
Stand up tall, with good posture. Place your arms just out from your side, and palms facing forwards. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you draw your arms back. Let your chest and rib cage expand. You
should feel a tightening of the muscles at the bottom of your shoulder
blades. This exercise will strengthen your lower trapezius muscle and
rhomboid muscles, and help with posture.
In addition to these stretches and exercises, read our blog post on how chiropractic care and proper chiropractic adjustments, performed by our chiropractor in London, can also help with posture correction: here.
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Should you wish to pursue more information regarding posture correction or further exercise instruction, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 07376 243726 to get a free phone consultation.