Causes of Bad Posture
If you want to give an example of a good posture, just look at a child-their back shows a beautiful “S” curve, and their movements are relaxed and relaxed. With age, bad habits such as laziness and inactivity can lead to muscle fatigue and tension, which ultimately leads to poor posture. Complications of poor posture include low back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, round shoulders, and abdominal paralysis.
You can improve your posture and spine health through some lifestyle adjustments. For more information and advice, please consult your doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or Alexander Technical Teacher.
Symptoms of poor posture
Symptoms may include:
- Round shoulder
- Bent knees when standing or walking
- Tilt the head forward or backward
- Body aches
- Muscle fatigue
- Poor posture can interfere with various postural mechanisms of the body, including:
- “Slow” and “fast” muscle fibers
- Muscle strength and length
- The nervous system’s feedback on the position of the human body in space.
Skeletal muscle is composed of two types of muscle fibers-static (often called “slow twitches”) and phased (often called “rapid twitches”). Usually, static muscle fibers are found in deeper muscle layers. They can help us maintain our posture without spending too much energy, and help maintain balance by “perceiving” our position and passing this information to the brain. Phase muscle fibers are used for sports and activities.
Static fibers burn energy slowly and can keep working for a long time without fatigue. However, the phase fiber will quickly run out of steam. Poor posture can cause muscle fatigue because it requires phase fibers rather than static fibers to maintain the body’s position.
Muscle strength and length
Over time, poor postures that require phase fibers to provide support can cause deeper supporting muscles to be wasted and unusable. Weak, unused muscles tend to tighten, and this shortening of muscle length can compress the bones of the spine (vertebrae) and worsen posture.
The nervous system’s feedback on the position of the human body in space
The deeper muscle layer is related to “perceiving” our position in space and transmitting this information to the brain. If this function is undertaken by muscles that mainly contain phase fibers, the image of the brain is incomplete. The brain believes that it needs to support the body to counteract the effects of gravity, so it triggers further muscle contractions. This increases the fatigue and pain commonly felt by people with poor posture.
Listen to your body
Good posture makes you feel at ease, which is why traditional “good posture” recommendations (for example, tilt your shoulders back and extend your chest) can also be uncomfortable. Instead, listen to your body. Make some small adjustments while standing and sitting. Which location feels the most relaxing and beautiful?
In most cases, focusing on other tasks (such as work) can divert attention away from any sense of physical discomfort. Get in the habit of adjusting to your body regularly. If you feel muscle tension or fatigue, move to another location.
Improve overall posture
- Remember the rule of “curve reversal”-for example, if you keep leaning on a table, stretch backward.
- Perform stretching exercises twice or three times a week to increase muscle flexibility.
- Exercise regularly to improve muscle strength and tone.
- Regularly stretch the neck muscles by turning your head from side to side.
- The abdominal muscles support your lower back, so make sure it is in good condition. Do “abdominal crunches” (lie on your back and curl your chest and pelvis as close as possible) instead of straight-back crunches (work your hips and thigh muscles).
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Place your legs on your ankles instead of your knees.
Maintain good posture
- Avoid sitting in soft, damp chairs.
- When sitting in a normal chair or driving, please use a waist drum to support your lower back.
- Use an ergonomic chair instead of in the office or any activity that requires long sitting.
- Make sure that your mattress has enough support to keep your spine straight when lying on its side.
- Use pillows that support your neck.
- When lifting heavy objects, keep your back straight and use your thigh muscles.
Where to get help
Things to remember
- Complications of poor posture include low back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders, and curved abdomen.
- Suggestions for improving posture include regular exercise and stretching, ergonomic furniture, and paying attention to how the body feels.
- For more information and advice, please consult your physical therapist, osteopath, chiropractor or Alexander Technical teacher.