Dr Bret Wilson
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Correct Posture Month

Correct Posture Month
www.drbretwilson.com

Dr Bret WilsonMay is correct posture month. The saying goes that it takes 30 days to develop a new habit. I have provided excerpts from previous posts about the importance of posture and how to improve it. Take a month to improve your posture and your health.

Posture Consciousness

Healthy posture is a habit maintained through awareness and practice. Posture allows for balance and support of our frame against the constant stress exerted by gravity. Poor posture can cause greater wear and tear on joints, inhibit breathing, circulation and digestion, increase fatigue, reduce flexibility, and effect mood. Proper posture employs a forward curve in the neck and low back. There should be alignment of the ear, the shoulder and the hip. From the front there should be alignment of the nose, the breast bone and the navel. These basic principles can be applied standing, sitting, and lying down. Posture should provide balance, support and comfort. When a situation calls for a modification of these basics, limit the time spent in these postures and use supports when able.

Consciousness of your posture, awareness of the basics of good posture and applying those basics on a consistent basis will assist in better health.

Forward Head Posture

Forward head posture can lead to increased wear and tear on your spine, the muscles of your neck and shoulders. This can lead to headaches, neck pain and reduced flexibility, tight and tender shoulder muscles and mid back pain. It effects how you look and feel. Forward head posture results from the prolonged sitting we do in our modern world. Postures of the head and neck while using a computer, laptop, handheld device, looking down with our head bent forward. Injuries such as car accidents to the neck can also lead to changes in the curve of the neck and forward head posture. Lack of the proper exercise and poor posture habits contribute over time to daily wear and tear.

How To Lighten Your Load

Reading this blog you have taken the first step, awareness. Depending on your condition, simply being more conscious of better posture, particularly head and neck position, can make a big difference. Practice posture against the wall. Change your monitor height, look down with your eyes more and bend your neck less. Avoid lying on your back with your head propped forward to read or watch television. Sit upright and hold the book higher and tilt your head less. Develop better habits to replace the poor ones. During exercise, whether it is weight training, walking, running or class/group activities, maintain strong postures to practice with movement to restore balance and flexibility. Visit your chiropractor to have your spine checked and to get specific advice on exercise and posture. You will look better, feel better and be healthier.

Proper Sitting Posture

The proper posture while sitting maintains the normal curves and center of gravity. The normal curve in the low back and neck is a slight forward arch and a mild backwards curve in the mid back. There should be alignment of the center of the head, shoulder and hip from the side. From the front there should be level hips and shoulders, no lean to either side. Avoid twisting your neck or low back while seated, position your seat to look straight on to your work or the person you are talking to. Your f eet should be flat on the floor, thighs parallel to the floor. To add to the stability of your posture, slightly pull your stomach in as if to pull your navel to your spine. This activates the abdominal muscles and stiffens the spine giving the sitter a rigid foundation. Squeeze the shoulder blades together slightly to avoid rounding your shoulders. To lean forward or back, maintain the forward curve in the lower back. Look down with your eyes more and bow your head less as this reverses the normal neck curve, increase stress on the muscles that hold up your head causing neck and shoulder muscle tension. With practice these posture habits will replace the old ones of slouching and slumping in your chair. You sit with greater comfort, less fatigue and be more productive.

Postural Breaks

To avoid prolonged sustained postures and the pain and stiffness that are caused by them, modify your posture of ten to give yourself a break. Give yourself a reason to get out of your chair periodically by putting a reference or tool out of reach so that you get up out of the chair to use it. Set up part of your work station that allows you to perform certain tasks standing. Stand and walk when talking on the phone. Get up and move around during the commercial breaks while watching television. Make frequents stops while driving or riding in the car to break up prolonged postures.

Posture and Aging

Posture is how you balance your body. Posture is the base for all physical activity. Motion begins with posture. As we age, joints stiffen, loss of motion causes change in posture, the more the posture worsens, the harder muscles must work to keep the body balanced, causing further stiffening. So the classic forward bent, rounded shoulders, forward head posture is the result of chronic poor posture habits and adaptation to the lack of motion.

How can you slow the aging of your posture? Become more aware of your posture and practice better, stronger posture habits. Exercise to restore and maintain mobility, flexibility and balance. Consult your chiropractor to help evaluate your posture, joint mobility and alignment. Chiropractors are experts in removing the joint restrictions that cause posture to adapt in an inefficient and weak way. Your doctor can advise you on the type of exercise necessary to regain, a strong posture, joint mobility and better health. We all hope to get older, but that does not mean we have to walk or stand like “an old man”. It is never too late to start moving and feeling younger.

Posture Strong

Practice strong posture to add years to your life and life to your years. Declare your own correct posture month. Keep your head on straight to lighten your load. Sit tall, sit actively to reduce fatigue and get up often. Become aware of your posture in all your daily activities and improve your health.

Yours in Health

 

Bret Wilson, DC

www.drbretwilson.com

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