What is good posture? – Blog by Stephen Lee
Good posture is vital in the ongoing management of low back pain and neck pain. Physiotherapists often prescribe specific exercises for you to perform to help with your back or neck problem. However, many patients forget that we need to maintain our posture in everyday life and their pain reoccurs. Those with poor postural habits may find it difficult to sit well. Nevertheless as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect” good posture can be achieved within a short period of time. I often tell my patients its like brushing your teeth. You need to do it daily for good oral health. The same goes with posture – you need to do it often enough to help with the healing and avoid structures being strained.
How to regain good posture?
In most cases, patients who have poor posture have a “flat” back and forward head posture as shown on the diagram below. Good posture involves maintaining a curvature in your low back and neutral head position. Imagining drawing a dotted line right through your body – you ideally want to maintain the dotted line all the way through.
The slouch over correct exercise
This exercise is apart of the Mckenzie exercises and is widely used with many Physiotherapists. *note it is recommended you seek a Physiotherapist before attempting this exercise to ensure it is the correct exercise for you.
- You should ideally sit in a chair with a supported back
- Slouch your back all the way
- Unslouch and make a curve in your back as far as you can go, lifting your chest up (sitting upright)
- Relax around 10% and maintain that for a few seconds
- Repeat steps 2 – 4 around 10 repetitions every few hours
What else should I do to help?
- We highly recommend that a lumbar roll (see below) is used throughout the day when sitting in a chair or in the car.
- Make sure you move around if you’re in sitting job regularly and avoid sitting for prolonged periods.
- Keep Active ! Staying sedentary definitely doesn’t help. Doing many forms of exercises like pilates, yoga will be beneficial
- A supportive neck pillow (Mckenzie Cervical Roll) maybe used whilst sleeping
Who should you seek in regards to your posture ?
At Total Physiocare, all our Physiotherapists are trained to help to identify issues with your posture. Other contributing factors like tightness in your muscles and joints may need to be addressed as well. Sometimes, you may need a work site assessment to look at your desk setup and chair as well. Please seek advice from your Physiotherapist, Mckenzie therapist or health professional for further assessment and treatment!
Blog by Stephen Lee (Director, Physiotherapist)